I need to mark this historic day with a little note on the churchdoor. In years to come when some high-powered blog summariser is designed and then used to chart public sentiment from this era, and notably from this day, I want my feelings to be thrown into the melting pot.
So the Germans arrived today. Not under cover of darkness but not exactly by invitation either. The Germans, along with a few French, Italians and worst still Austrians and Belgians. Fuck, just think about it - the Belgians arriving to sort our mess out.
Littered through history we have plenty of examples of our forefathers inviting foreigners in to help us win our freedom and to establish our sovereignty. Think of the glorious failures - General Humbert at Ballina and the Spanish Admada at Kinsale to name but two - all culminating in eventual success and our own independent State from 1921.
And now, what? We have to invite these foreigners back because we fucked the whole thing up and displayed to the world that we really haven't come very far from the days of the Famine. A peasant nation with an fundamental inability to adopt common principles of shared responsibility and obligation, a democracy centred on producing individuals driven solely by the achievement of personal gain, and the denial of personal culpability. Geldof was right - a Banana Republic, a septic isle.
So how did it happen? Several options on this - greedy developers, corrupt town planners, incompetent and criminal bankers, a flawed legal system - take your pick but when you've decided, ensure that your answer also includes the two simple evil words - Fianna Fail. Having ruled this country for close to eighty of its' years of independence, they created an inherent culture of me-fein-ism and cute-hoorism, translated into English as selfishness and devious dishonesty. Brown paper bags and padded envelopes in dingy planning offices, knowing embraces prior to the walk past homeless begging mothers on the way to the State car.
Can we hope that this disaster which has beset our country will bring one shred of good from it - the permanent demise of the Fianna Fail party? Would that it did - it might even be worth the price, regardless of the billions it will cost. But let's not count on this - their carefully constructed opposition to the inevitable bail-out is designed to give them the defence lines that they didn't want to bring the IMF in all along and the cuts that have been imposed were not of their doing. The die-hard supporters that still live in 1916 will believe it and the true test of our stupidity as a nation and people will come in counting how many others go along with this. Pray, oh pray, that the rest of the population are sensible and brave enough to see right from wrong and good from evil and to cast them into the annals of history, along with other outdated and now redundant organisations like the Home Rule Party, the United Irishmen and the Fenians.
These people have blighted our country for years and now they have destroyed it. Long may they burn in hell.
In trying to place the blame for this mess I take an interesting diversion to recall the comments made recently in the Irish Times about the roles our private schools played in creating this debacle. The suggestion being that places like Blackrock, were intent and still remain intent, on producing individuals who aspire continually to achieve the pinnacle of success in chosen professions ("get to the top at all costs") while substantially ignoring the core values of integrity, dignity and ultimately charity and philanthropy. Schools which perpetuate the problems associated with influence and favour -- who you know not what you know - through their old boys network.
You might say that Mike and I have a greater peripheral guilt on this than you two legal eagles because we sent our kids back to this place, but remember we've got higher point scores on the charity front by a long way. We had genuine intentions in going to the School for the Deaf in Stillorgan whereas you guys went simply for the false glory of belting the ball past a kid who was a quarter your size and unable, through no fault of his own, a disadvantage from birth, to argue that your first touch was taken in a blatantly offside position. But then I suppose you are lawyers.