We are paying dearly for the past and present sins of Fianna Fáil

IN going into government Green Party Leader John Gormley suggested that he and his colleagues could aptly be compared to voluntarily putting themselves in straitjackets. “Because when you are entering government,” he said, “you are entering an asylum.”

“I have no choice,” he added. “I have to act in this way.” That was what many of those who propped up the Nazis said.

Like many before him, Gormley probably got into politics with the best of intentions, but now he feels like he is in a straightjacket in an asylum.

The Greens are responsible for that part of the National Recovery Plan, which will compel people to pay for a water meter to be installed in every home, and they are also behind the carbon tax. That is supposed to protect us against global warming. This country is turning into an asylum, with the lunatics in charge.

The bailout agreement has been announced, but the Taoiseach has refused to submit it to the Dáil, even though the Constitution specifically stipulates: “The State shall not be bound by any international agreement involving a charge upon public funds unless the terms of the agreement shall have been approved by Dáil Éireann.”

The Green Party and the rest of the government are quietly the current lunacy. “The external assistance facility is a matter for the euro group members acting unanimously,” Brian Lenihan told the Dáil on Wednesday. “Many of them must enact legislation in their national parliaments.”

The people of those countries must be consulted, but the representatives of the Irish people have no say. This is the most arrogant display of contempt for the Dáil.

It is treason, a kind of modern equivalent of the Act of Union. Our democracy and independence are being handed to the IMF/EU, at the connivance of this lying, incompetent, and treacherous government.

Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independent Party, delivered a powerful three-minute address to the European Parliament last week. When politicians like him begin to sound rational, it is time to sit up and take stock of our own situation. He accused EU leaders of trying “to remove any remaining traces of democracy” from the European system.

“We had the Greek tragedy earlier on this year, and now we have the situation in Ireland. I know that the stupidity and greed of Irish politicians had a lot to do with this,” Farage told the European Parliament. “But look at your response to them. What they are being told, as their government is collapsing, is that it would be inappropriate for them to have a general election.”

“Just who the hell do you think you people are?” he continued. “You are very, very dangerous people indeed.” This is more serious than mere economics, he warned: “If you rob people of their identity — if you rob them of their democracy, then all they are left with is nationalism and violence.”

Farage may be blaming the EU for subverting democracy, but the greatest threat to our democracy are the politicians of Fianna Fáil.

Justice Minister Dermot Ahern announced this week that he would not stand in the next general election, because of health problems. If you believe that, you are probably waiting for Santa Claus, too.

Ahern is getting out now, because he knows the game is up. Even if he were re-elected, he would obviously be only a backbencher. Yet he will get €37,000 a year more doing nothing on pension than he would get as a backbencher. The is that craziness being emulated in our dole system where people are being paid more not to work.

In 1973 Frank Aiken, who had represented Louth in the Dáil since 1923, decided not to run for re-election. The electorate was told his decision was on health grounds, but this was a blatant lie.

Aiken quit because Fianna Fáil ratified the nomination of Charles Haughey as a party candidate. Although not one of the brighter sparks in any of the ten governments in which he served, Aiken did have a shining integrity.

He recognised that the attempted gunrunning behind the Arms Crisis was grossly irresponsible. The whole thing was not, as we were told, just a scheme to help the nationalist community to defend themselves. It was a crazy conspiracy to end partition by provoking civil war, if necessary.

Aiken was the IRA Chief of Staff who ended the Civil War in May 1923 by ordering the dumping of arms. The Arms Crisis clique had tried to take them up again, so Aiken wanted them ostracised.

He intended to announce his reasons publicly, but Jack Lynch got President Éamon de Valera to persuade Aiken not to go public. “That was 40 years ago,” Fianna Fáil supporters might say, “what has that to do with today?”

If we don’t learn from the mistakes of history, we are doomed to repeat them. Indeed, we are witnessing history’s repetition.

When the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in 1921, some aspects — like financial matters and the border question— were left for subsequent consideration.

In accordance with Article 5 of the Treaty, the Irish Free State agreed to “assume liability for the service of the public debt of the United Kingdom.” If necessary, the border with Northern Ireland would ultimately be submitted to a Boundary Commission.

Article 2 of the 1925 agreement scrapping the Boundary Commission relieved the Free State “from the obligation under Article 5” of the Treaty. But in March 1926 Ernest Blythe, the Free State’s Minister for Finance, secretly signed the so-called Ultimate Financial Agreement, with then British Chancellor of the Exchequer Winston Churchill, to pay land annuities to Britain. Blythe was already reviled in Ireland for taking the shilling off the old age pension in 1924.

When Fianna Fáil came to power in 1932, de Valera refused to be bound by the Ultimate Financial Agreement, because the Dáil had never approved it. He was willing to submit the issue to international arbitration, but the British rejected his offer. Chancellor of the Exchequer Neville Chamberlain told his ministerial colleagues in March 1932 that de Valera had “an arguable point,” because the 1925 agreement had absolved the Dublin government “from liability for the service of the public debt of the United Kingdom, and that the Irish annuities form part of the public debt.”

After Cumann na nGaedheal secretly encouraged the British to stand up to de Valera, Westminster initiated the Economic War against this country in the summer of 1932. Six years later the British settled their claim of over £105m for just £10m, which de Valera said could be considered “ransom money” for the return of the treaty ports.

Taking the €1 off the minimum wage is the modern equivalent of taking the shilling off the old-age pension. Moreover, in refusing to submit the current bailout agreement to the Dáil, the government is emulating Cumann na nGaedheal’s refusal to submit the Ultimate Financial Settlement for proper approval.

Fianna Fáil deputies have become utterly detached from their roots. After plundering the country and feathering their own nests, these culprits are trying to get their victims to pay for their contemptible extravagance. The latest public opinion poll indicates that even lifelong supporters have seen through their treachery.

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