12 February 2011

Ireland - Fianna Fáil

In Weekly Standard, Christopher Caldwell's  "Not Too Big to Fáil - The death of Ireland’s crony capitalist party" seems a bit optimistic. After all, if rampant corruption troubled the Irish people, they would not have elected Fianna Fáil for 61 of the last 79 years. Even when it was briefly in opposition, Fianna Fáil has been the largest party in the Dáil since it first took power in 1932 - and remained in power for sixteen years under Éamon de Valera, of whom Dubliners joke that there is no street named after him because none are crooked enough.

Fianna Fáil represents everything that is disgusting and self-destructive about the Irish. The legacy of the Irish diaspora world-wide has been organized crime with a political gloss. Their effect on the Roman Catholic church has been similar. Long a refuge for discreet homosexuals, it has been the Irish contingent that has brought the church to the brink of ruin by raping the children entrusted to their care. 

Yet, knowing this, the Irish at home and abroad continued to support their church, and to vote for Fianna Fáil. Just as a large minority of the British people still vote for a Labour party that has betrayed the class and country it is supposed to represent, so will many of the Irish vote again for Fianna Fáil - not despite but because it is shamelessly corrupt, and as such fully expressive of their own character and culture.

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