The coronavirus did not originate in Ireland. What did not originate here could only have been imported from abroad, through a weak and flabby non-defence of our national borders. As countries around the world close the door, the theme that resonates most loudly with everyone from your dye-in-the-wool social democrat to your austere Nationalist is the question as to why the Government failed to close the door in time.
The half measure that is concocted is why we simply did not close the borders to specific regions when cases were confirmed. This is an insufficient response given the virus’s asymptomatic nature in many cases, and the asymmetric nature of the information (the fact that there are likely more cases that simply haven’t been discovered).
The only response that would have worked would have been to shut the borders to all foreigners, and for those Irish who were abroad, to receive mandatory quarantine upon their return.
Rather than a straightforward and effective strategy, we are instead forced to contend with the panic-buying of public hysteria, pressure on an already buckling health service, the forced closures of businesses, the arrogation of powers by Government to enforce their restrictions on how many people can affiliate, and looming economic catastrophe. 140,000 people in the hospitality and childcare sectors have already lost their jobs. On that figure alone, unemployment has doubled in the space of a week. And when you take into account the self-employed and other categories or worker, the number of people in difficulty will be much higher.
The Government still has not closed the borders, even as it seeks dictatorial control over what businesses may limp on and which ought to be closed for the foreseeable future. Having championed globalism and interconnectedness, they are ideologically committed to maintaining the illusion in the face of a pandemic which was not born of this island or this people. To restore national borders would be fatal to the liberal system and its sense of natural righteousness –for doing so in times of crisis makes plain for all to see that the natural state of things is not liberalism and open borders, but assertive and confident nationalism.
The realignment of our electoral system, the destruction of the Civil War politics, has been matched in magnitude only by a pandemic which puts the entire internationalist order under strain. This virus originated apparently in China, was exported throughout the world along logistical links and was spread by mass migration. It is, by all accounts, a perfect analogy to what liberalism itself aspires to be –burdened only by its own survival it wreaks its way through national communities, across national borders and tears up social cohesion in its wake.
Exacerbating the crisis of course is the disconnect between the London response and the Dublin response. The obvious can only be restated. There cannot afford to exist two jurisdictions on this island, with differing priorities or objectives. So long as there remains a gaping hole North or South, there exists a catastrophic flaw in the design. No self-respecting Irishman can endorse a border inside our island, and until that barrier is dissolved and reconstituted into a single Nation-State then strong border controls in either jurisdiction are compromised to begin with. Nationalists may boast all they like about winning a “demographic war” in the north, but in all-island terms, the “demographic war” is being lost and lost badly.
In all of this, it is the most vulnerable who are at risk. Liberalism has a tendency to reduce the world to economic units. And on that basis, some categories of person become functionally obsolete. They are essentially non-productive units. We saw two years ago how a category of human, the unborn child, was essentially re-categorised out of existence. Constitutional protections were eliminated. The very old and the very sick are vulnerable to that kind of disregard. The more atomised a society becomes, the more post-family/ post-nation/ post-community, the more disposable human life becomes. If there has been complacency surrounding Covid-19, and many would suggest there has been, then it is partially on account of the “at risk” category being the very old and the very sick. A national community does not treat its vulnerable or its elderly with such disdain. A national community must always be a contract between the generations. One people on a common journey.
Without nationalism there is no long-term and no shared journey, because the bonds between the past and the future have been broken. That’s why the only way forward, in the long-term, is the re-embracing of Irish nationalism in its truest and most authentic form; the doctrine that we adhere to and espouse. Traditional, moral, assertive. An uncompromising Republican position which does not kowtow to left-liberalism, socialism or free marketeerism but rather places at the centre of all decision-making the protection and cultivation of the Irish Nation for the enjoyment of not only our children but all their children until the end of time.
Ar dheis ar aghaidh
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