George Hook: Please, don't make me face the past

George Hook is not impressed by Sinn Fein’s call for a proper banking inquiry after the party announced it had anonymously received a further batch of Anglo Irish Bank tapes (The Right Hook, 6 Nov).

I don’t want to know what happened in the past. I want to know what happens to my grandchildren’s future, will they get a job and I think that is what we have to be looking and seriously considering now.

People operating under this uniquely Irish form of delusion think that if everybody agrees to forget the past then everything will be rosy in the future.

In functional democracies the common mindset understands that the past must first be dealt with, no matter how distasteful, so that the future can be better for everyone.

3 thoughts on “George Hook: Please, don't make me face the past”

  1. Anthony, you have summed it up in two excellent sentences. This is the Irish problem and it brings us a lot of grief. In daily life adults look critically at where they are, see what has to be changed/ improved in the past and use this to guide them into a (hopefully) better future. George, like too many Irish people,acts the political child – blind to what has happened and rushing headlong forward with never a look around him. I wonder is it safe to let him out on the road on his own?

  2. In Ireland the Roman Catholic peasant cannot escape the religious atmosphere of his Church. Except when he breaks out like a naughty child he is docile; he is reverent; he is content to regard knowledge as something not his business, he is a child before his Church, and accepts it as the highest authority in science and philosophy. He speaks of himself as a don of the Church, calling his priest father instead of brother or Mister. To rebel politically, he must break away from parish tutelage and follow a Protestant leader on national questions. His Church naturally fosters his suhmissiveness. The British Govermnent and the Vatican may differ very vehemently as to whose suhject the Irishman is to be; but
    they are quite agreed as to the propriety of his being a subject. Of the two, the British Government allows him more liberty, giving him as complete a democratic control of local government as his means will enable him to use, and a voice in the election of a formidable minority in the House of Commons, besides allowing him to read and learn what he likes — except when it makes a
    tufthunting onslaught on a seditious newspaper. But if he dared to claim a voice in the selection of his parish priest, or a representative at the Vatican, he would be denounced from the altar as an almost inconceivable blasphemer; and his educational opportunities are so restricted by his Church that he is heavily handicapped in every walk of life that requires any literacy.

    George Bernard Shaw
    John Bull’s Other Island

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