There was a very good example of denial Irish style on Today with Pat Kenny last Friday.
A panel of commentators, Sean Mac Connell, Irish Times agricultural correspondent, Gina Quinn CEO of Dublin Chambers of Commerce and Diarmuid Mc Dermot of Ireland International were discussing the problems caused to water supplies by the recent bad weather.
The reasons for the problems were correctly identified by the panel – Failure to invest in proper infrastructure, failure to plan ahead, failure to make the best use of money during the boom years, failure to install water meters, failure to make a decision regarding water charges, failure of proper planning and so on.
Now the reason for all this failure is crystal clear for anyone willing to open their eyes and see. Ireland is a corrupt state led by a mafia type body politic where votes, power and influence are on sale to the highest bidder.
This brutal reality, however, must be ignored at all costs, some other reason must be found for our failure as a state no matter how stupid that reason. Here’s what Sean Mac Connell thinks:
Some historians will say that because we have been a rural people for so long that we may not be capable of organizing ourselves into urban societies and the more I look at our society, it’s probably true.
We don’t seem to have the capability of coping with an urban environment because we’ve had the tradition, and of course, because we’re a relatively new country.
We have no tradition of governing ourselves, it’s only 60/70 years (sic) and you can have no civic spirit then. Those two elements should never be neglected when we’re thinking about how we live.
Nobody challenged this moronic opinion before Kenny added his own.
Well there was always the notion that before we won our freedom that the British government did everything for us and there was a certain antipathy towards that government and that never really changed when we started to run our own affairs.
There’s some truth in this view but Kenny failed to follow up with the obvious question – Why are we, as a people, chronically incapable of maturing into a proper nation. Why do we constantly blame the British for our incompetence, corruption and other failures?
Diarmuid Mc Dermot added his piece:
There’s always a rebellious streak in every Irish person.
This is just another cowardly cop out. If such a rebellious streak existed in even a sizeable percentage of the Irish people then criminals like Haughey and chancers like Bertie Ahern would never have survived and prospered.
The only reason politicians, priests and bankers can abuse and exploit their own people is because the majority of citizens are politically ignorant and (still) chronically deferential to authority figures.
Remember, the panel started off by correctly identifying the reasons for our pathetic failure to deal with a spell of bad weather and, effectively, concluded that it’s not really our fault – pathological denial.