He Wishes for the Cloths of Britain

robert owen

Truth be told, I’m not a well-travelled man nor am I cultured in the traditional sense of the word. I believe in nationalism, but certainly not of this country. Moreover, those who transcend Irish patriotism live a pitifully laughable existence, begging the question; what exactly warrants your national pride?

Is it a countries’ constant  inability, when historically traced, to manage  their nation’s finances? Or the daily mask hiding a deplorable xenophobia it’s people live under?

Meanwhile, I fight the proverbial “monkey on my back” concerning the unachievable conviction that I should have been born British. I would sooner serve a Queen, than a man who pilfers speeches off an American President to appear as the grand orator of our time.

Ironic then, you may think, that I have chosen to spin the words of a famous Irish poet for the title of this article. I would worry less about that however, and more about the fact that the majority of people who do read this will not know which poet I speak of, or that there was any wordspin to begin with.

Pride in Ireland will only lead to one thing, indignation, and even that carries the aforementioned xenophobic connotations. Irish people’s hatred of foreign nationals supposedly “taking their jobs” is well documented. The reality is of course that they are taking the jobs that we, the Irish people, turned our noses up at some seven years ago out of, you guessed it, pride.

For the careless few tempted by our countries market economy modeled on the ideals of neo-liberalism, caution should be thrown to the wind. Every single man’s dilemma these days is no longer how to achieve the next love interest, rather how to remain under the €32,000 threshold so as not to be sent to the higher echelons of a 41% tax bracket. It is as if on one hand you have the ethos of free market economy endorsing individualism and entrepreneurship yet with the other gently reminding you that it will be of no financial benefit.I do exclude recent CRC employees from this and will save my socialist mentality for another day’s argument.

There was an argument by the Independent’s Ian O’Doherty this week that Irish emigrants should not be allowed to cast votes in a country they have abandoned. The primary focus in this case should rather have been; would they even want to? The last referendum (which I myself did vote in) brought a measly 30% of voters to the polls. If it’s own people cannot bear the thoughts of trundling down to the nearest voting station (my own being a reasonable 700-800 metres away) and trying to reform their  country, maybe we need to rely on the diaspora.

Winston Churchill famously declared: “if you’re going through hell, keep going.” Many of us Irish hear his words echo through our mind on a daily basis, yet our procrastination leads us down a path of complacency brought about in no small part by the culture of dependency which we have foolishly settled into. No other nation’s people would happily sit on welfare benefits when jobs are few and far between. Our friends from Eastern Europe are testament to this. When times got tough, they came in their droves to the economic haven of Britain and, if things got desperate, sought refuge among us neanderthals.

So for those who have emigrated I say this; daily renew within yourself those reasons that led to your escape from this cesspool of metaphoric locusts in the first place and remain wherever you are in the world. For us that remain the task is simple; flee, flee while you still can. I hear Chad is nice this time of the year.


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