Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Irish Times

One side permanently accepts the fact of life that is independence, even if it does have nothing whatever to do with the familial, social, economic or cultural reality, that last stretching from high letters and the theatre to football and horse-racing (in all of which fields England has significantly closer links to all parts of Ireland than to any part of Scotland).

The other side permanently accepts the fact of life that is partition, and which is also the sheer tininess of the number of people who can now so much as imagine life in any other terms.

One side acknowledges the vast contribution of the Irish to an Empire at least as much theirs as anyone else's, and to its most obvious successor's Armed Forces down to the present day.

Now, will the other side acknowledge how many of those to whom the Queen laid a wreath and bowed her head were scarcely Irish at all, and will those of their American allies who dislike the ill-informed foreign interventions of Presidents in general, and of Woodrow Wilson and Bill Clinton in particular, revise their view in this case?


  1. How British is the Queen?

  2. As British any anyone else: it is a civic identity.

    Whereas Irish Nationalism is always ethnically exclusive; you often don't even have to scratch them very hard, as with Bostonians and New Yorkers hilariously claiming in all seriousness that Ireland belongs only to people whose ancestors were already there in the sixteenth century.

    Just as tickling is the fact that numerous of the figures to whom the Queen was required by the etiquette of these things to pau tribute had no such identity. The oft-involked Protestant pioneers regarded their own Protestant, "Saxon" nation as the only one on the island, with full national rights accordingly, while viewing the Gaels and Catholics as their contemporary and correspondent, Thomas Jefferson, viewed the Red Indians or his own slaves.

    We all know about Dev, and in fact that wave of Republicanism was very much founded in and directed from the United States, by men who had never set eyes on Ireland. Even into much more recent times, exactly what connection with Ireland did all those IRA men late of the US Marines and what not really have? What did they really know about the place? And exactly how pure were their bloodlines, that they would have satisfied the IRA/Sinn Fein rank and file if they had actually been born in Ireland?

    Why, only in the last few weeks, none other than the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin has been telling his Boston audience that he found Irish-Americanism both dangerous and incomprehensible, and that so did everyone else in the Old Country.

    Well, of Irish-Americanism is Fenianism. His Grace's horror and incomprehension are apparent in Dublin this week, as they were in Northern Ireland when the green vote once again swung behind the totally compromised, and now even pro-Visit, Sinn Fein, without a "dissident" in sight.

    The imposed fantasies of New York Hispanics, wandering Polish aristocrats and old US Marines with a couple of Irish great-great-grandparents are now as dead as those who believed that the whole of Ireland should be a republic for its sole, "Saxon" nation, truly a Protestant Parliament for a Protestant people. To all of those, the Queen has laid a wreath and bowed her head.

  3. "The oft-involked Protestant pioneers regarded their own Protestant, "Saxon" nation as the only one on the island" you often say this. Any proof, primary sources secondary sources?

  4. Any serious book about them, by definition.