So I have returned to the Motherland for an extended break, arriving last Friday morning to a freezing cold Dublin Airport and a general sense of things just being not quite right. All the time i was working in Phnom Penh, I read the Irish Times and The Independent every day. I read the journal.ie, kept up with friends having difficulty with jobs and mortgages and felt I was prepared to come home and be informed on the whole situation.
People are so, so angry. And sad. And lost. And muted by the abuses of those who have run the country for so many years. My Dad is terrified for the future of his still very small grandchildren. How will they be ok? They won’t have the same wonderful chances my generation has had. Will they see the inside of a lecture theatre? What if they have no choice in how they earn their daily bread? He is worried and afraid and unsettled. But nobody talks about this. People are angry. They are vicious. They have been lied to and robbed from and left in an utterly fucked situation where banks are protected and people are not. But nobody really cares. Not really. The abuse is continuing and it is accepted.
I came home expecting to find a solidarity, a will to change things. I’m a slight idealist, I’ll admit, but for Jesus’ sake, the country has been beaten and pissed on by those we elected as leaders and I don’t think it’s wildly left-wing to expect some mild form of protest or continued open debate about how utterly fucked we might possibly be.
Since I’ve come home, family and friends have told me of the hardships, the injustice, the fear and pressure that has entered their life. And then they go for dinner. Or watch X Factor. Or go to Penneys and buy a top. I’m losing patience. I’m not expecting a storming of the Bastille, but a bit of longevity in your sense of being slighted wouldn’t go astray, fellow countrymen.
We have been ruined. Can somebody stand up and call bullshit on this? Anyone? I love my country, and in a week where we saw a poet, philosopher and all-round wonderful man become our president, how can we be so apathetic about how shit we’ve become?
Fight. Fight with intelligence and informed ideas. Create a new party. Use the Occupy movement to genuinely good effect. Read the paper. Watch the news. Understand what the bailout actually means. Understand what happens if Greece falls out of the Euro. It’s not rocket science and it is your fucking life so make an effort.
From afar, I was saddened by Ireland’s demise. Now I am here, I feel it is partly deserved from an utter lack of anyone giving an actual shit about anything.
Michael D, our new King, said this in his inauguration speech: “The ideal Ireland that we would have, the Ireland that we dreamed of, would be the home of a people who valued material wealth only as a basis for right living, of a people who, satisfied with frugal comfort, devoted their leisure to the things of the spirit.”
Fight for the things you have lost. Fight for the loss of people like me who will struggle to call Ireland home for a very long time. Fight for financial equality and the punishment of those who abuse those below them. Fight to maintain the pride of Ireland. For the time being, it is sorely lacking.