For the past three months the authorities north and south have made extraordinary demands on the Irish people. They have done so on the basis of a public health emergency. To a great extent these demands have been willingly met. The rules which have been applied by the authorities have been followed. The public have endured the restrictions with relatively little complaint because they have perceived them to be for the good of the nation and the protection of the vulnerable.
The government and the media have worked basically in partnership to ensure that an atmosphere of duty and collective responsibility pervade the country. There is an implicit contract. We are being ordered to make sacrifices to protect others. We are being promised in return that the authorities know what they are doing and only want to protect us.
Overall, the public have gone along with this. To be sure they have had moments of incredulity. The failure to properly lock down nursing homes has certainly damaged public confidence. The interminable nature of what were initially sold as short temporary measures have tried public patience. The spectacle of Leo Varadkar in Phoenix Park drinking beer and having a picnic has undermined the seriousness of the public health measures. But yesterday was the day when the State lost any moral authority to enforce its measures.
A large “Black Lives Matter” protest was allowed to proceed through the streets of Dublin. Exactly the kind of large gathering we have been warned is not permitted. In failing to condemn this large public gathering, Leo Varadkar has made a mockery of his own Covid-19 strategy. He has made a mockery of the phased exit from lock-down. He has made a mockery of the sacrifices endured by the Irish people. He has shown that there is one rule for people like himself (or people he approves of) and one rule for everybody else.
In fact it is worse than that. It is not just that we live in a society where there is one rule for the governed and another for those who govern, it is that we live in a society where one economic and ideological agenda overrides the duty of State to Nation. Leo Varadkar’s picnicing in Phoenix Park might be written off as personal hypocrisy on his part, but this latest example is more significant. We have a situation where the implied moral supremacy of a particular protest movement has, at face-value, outranked the concerns of public health and the good of the Irish people.
This would be irksome enough if we lived in normal times, but we don’t. As we have been told repeatedly, by government and by media, we live in extraordinary times. We live in a state of emergency. When we drive down the motorway there are electronic billboards that read “We’re in this together” or “Stay at Home. Save Lives.” For the past three months the whole country, and indeed a good share of the world, have been living through an experiment in pandemic control. Some people have not left their houses or their local communities in months. When there is an occasional lapse in public discipline, we are chided for having broken the rules. Indeed having broken the law.
For the sake of this experiment, many people have died alone, funerals have been restricted to a handful of attendees, important hospital procedures have been postponed, people’s whole lives have been put on indefinite hold. A million banal obstacles have been placed in the way of daily life. And that is not the end of it. We are told that the world will never be the same again. The “normal” as we have known it, will cease to be “normal” and a new “normal” will replace it. Even if we lived in a sane and just society, which we certainly don’t, the extent of these measures would give one pause.
But whether the lock-down restrictions have been proportionate or disproportionate is not the issue at hand. The issue is why has this state of emergency been lifted for the sake of a certain few? Why is a march against racism in America more important than an Irish public health crisis? Why have the lock-down measures parted like the Red Sea for a few thousand hipsters and professional activists to traipse through the streets of Dublin. If anybody else in the country had held this march then these very people would be condemning it. They would be virtue signaling about it on social media. There would be hashtag slogans like #CovidIdiots and so on.
We all know the answers to the questions above. We see the same double-standards play out again and again. Racism is one of those magic words that make politicians do stupid things. It is one of those sacred cows of Liberal Ireland. It is sacred in fact to the whole globalist project to which our leaders are determinedly committed. And when push comes to shove, that is the agenda that informs the decision-making of government. That is the agenda that overrides any contract between the State and the Irish nation.
It does not require a conspiracy. It is not that somebody makes a decision not to properly lock down nursing homes, it is just that the protection of the elderly is not a high priority in a globalist society. Nor would one expect it to be. In this kind of society the elderly are an implicit problem. They are an economic and a political problem. They are something to be put aside in a home and forgotten. In this crisis, the people who were the most obvious and most vulnerable group were simply forgotten. And that forgetfulness amounted to about half the Covid-19 deaths.
It is not a conspiracy that the Irish government failed to close the borders when the virus was in Italy, nor that they failed to do so when they locked down the country, it is just that closing of borders is so antithetical to their way of seeing things that it is almost unthinkable. The issue is not even reducible to EU policy. Plenty of EU countries acted to impose border restrictions. The fact we must face is that the Irish government is more “open-borders” in its mindset than even the EU policy makers are. It is more globalist than even the EU.
Our leaders all too often choose the easiest road. God knows they have done so in the past. Today the easiest road is globalism. When there is a choice between serving the Irish people and serving the globalist agenda, the State as it currently exists, will always choose to serve the globalist agenda. To do otherwise would require guts and imagination.
Leo Varadkar had a choice yesterday. He could have condemned the “Black Lives Matter” protests as an obvious violation of his own lock-down measures. By the standards which he has himself imposed and by the reality which we have been asked to accept for the last three months, that condemnation would have been consistent. It would have made sense. It would have seemed fair.
But he did not condemn it. He condemned racism instead. In effect he endorsed or tacitly endorsed the protests. Not for the first time he made a laughing stock of the Irish people. What has happened is this. The State has broken its promise. They have broken their word. They have abdicated their duty to protect the Irish people.
This article was submitted by a National Party member. If you would like to submit an article for publication on the National Party website, follow this link.