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Listen to victims*! Tell their stories! (*Approved categories only)

For any Irish readers asking themselves, “What is a victim impact statement?”, the office of Ireland’s Director of Public Prosecutions has guidance:

If you are the victim of a crime you may make a Victim Impact Statement. A Victim Impact Statement is an account in your own words of the effect that the crime has had on you. You may, for example, have suffered a physical injury, be affected emotionally or psychologically. You might also have lost out financially.

But what if the victim cannot speak because the crime was murder? A later section of the guidance, “Who can make a Victim Impact Statement?” says that “a family member of a victim who has died, is ill or is incapacitated because of the crime” may speak in their place”. Ryan Casey fell into that category. He was the boyfriend of Ashling Murphy, who Wikipedia describes as “a 23-year-old Irish primary school teacher and traditional Irish musician … who was attacked and murdered by 31-year-old Slovak Romani father-of-five, Jozef Puška”.

In his Victim Impact Statement, Ryan Casey said that he and Ashling…

…had talked about how many kids they would have, and imagined they would be “little hurlers and camogie players and even better – musicians”. He said it did not make sense to him that someone who is “a burden to society can completely and permanently destroy someone… who is the complete opposite”, describing Ms Murphy as “a light with dreams, compassion, respect, a person who contributes to society in the best way possible”.

Mr Casey told Puska: “Because of you, I’ve lost my Ashling. Because if you, I will never get to marry my soulmate. Because of you, I will never see her smile again… I will have to somehow carry on without her.” He accused Puska of smirking, smiling and showing “zero remorse during this trial”.

Powerful words. Too powerful for some:

In case it disappears, the tweet is by @griptmedia and says,

Irish Times journalist Kitty Holland says the Irish media “were right” to not publish the full comments of Ryan Casey, boyfriend of murdered 23-year-old Ashling Murphy, claiming that his remarks were “incitement to hatred” and that it wouldn’t be “helpful” to share them.

The video clip within the tweet is taken from an edition of the BBC Northern Ireland programme “The View” shown on Thursday 30th November 2023. The presenter is Mark Carruthers.

To be frank, I have never been quite comfortable with the idea of Victim Impact Statements, or Victim Personal Statements as they are called here in the UK, occurring as an official part of the trial. Back in 2005, I quoted a letter to the Independent by one C. Lehman that said, “If we allow victims’ families to speak to judges about the effects of someone’s death, we risk creating a hierarchy of murder based on sentiment, the willingness of family members to speak and their fluency in doing so. Sentences should rightly vary according to the nature of the crime, but surely not according to whether a victim had a family who loved him, or whether the victim’s family can speak fluent English.”

The letter writer was not alone in their concerns – though no one seems to have anticipated the opposite problem, that the words of the family members of deeply loved victims would be so eloquent that they might actually change things – but their arguments did not prevail in either the UK or in Ireland. So be it, but if a society is going to make a point of giving an official platform so that those bereaved by murder can express their pain to the world, for God’s sake, let all of them be heard.

52 comments to Listen to victims*! Tell their stories! (*Approved categories only)

  • It comes down to whether a “Victim Impact Statement” supports the narrative or not. Where it doesn’t it becomes “Unhelpful”.

    Lions are too good for these bastards.

    Hyenas. While tied up and living.

  • tfourier

    Kitty Holland is an Irish media nepo baby. Both her parents are / were very high profile politically very well connected media people for many decades. Mary Holland and Eamonn McCann. Yes, that Eamonn McCann. From Londonderry.

    She is very much a member of the heredity Irish chattering classes. She definitely did not get her job on merit. She is a mediocre journalist with no discernable writing skills with a rather nondescript mind. Which is shown in all its glory in the video clip. She really is that arrogant, self-entitled and stupid in real life. So very Polly Toynbee.

  • rhoda klapp

    When she decides what part of the news is just too inconvenient to report, she is telling us that she is not a journalist but a propagandist, and by implication nothing in the Irish media can be believed.

    OK, we knew that already of all media but in this case it is an open and proud admission.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    This video shows Ryan Casey speaking. I am not sure if this clip is the official Victim Impact Statement, as I would have expected that to have been made inside the courthouse rather than outside it, but it is painfully clear why his anguished remarks went viral and also clear why Kitty Holland and much of the Irish media would prefer no one got to hear them.

    I have not heard or read anything from what Ryan Casey said that justifies Kitty Holland’s description of his remarks as being “incitement to racial hatred”, which is a crime in Irish law. (And is soon to be punished even more severely.) In the following sentence, quoted by The View‘s presenter Mark Carruthers, Mr Casey goes out of his way to say that it is not about race:

    “We have to once and for all start putting the safety of not only Irish people but everybody in this country who works hard, pays taxes, raises families, and overall contributes to society first.”

  • Steven R

    I rather doubt the victim impact statement even matters in the judge’s sentencing. He probably already has his mind made up to what he is going to say, allows the victim and his family to vent, let’s the criminal’s family say how hard he had it growing up and he just needs another chance, and the criminal to say how very sorry he really is and he is begging for mercy in court simply so there can’t be an appeal later.

  • Steven R

    rhoda klapp wrote:

    When she decides what part of the news is just too inconvenient to report, she is telling us that she is not a journalist but a propagandist, and by implication nothing in the Irish media can be believed.

    OK, we knew that already of all media but in this case it is an open and proud admission.

    There was some news commentary show in on my side of The Pond that had one of the commentators, and I want to say Mika Brzezinski but I can’t swear it to be true without looking it up, who came right out and said their job as journalists is to tell the public what to think. Not give the public the facts and unvarnished truth and let the public make up their own minds but to sway opinion to a particular slant.

    And then journalists wonder why normal people have stopped tuning into their shows.

  • their job as journalists is to tell the public what to think. Not give the public the facts and unvarnished truth and let the public make up their own minds but to sway opinion to a particular slant.

    Good. I hope they continue this for as long as they have paying jobs, but equally, if they do continue this, they wont have paying jobs for long.

    Very soon only the Tarquins and Jemimas who can work for free will be able to afford to do journalism, since it won’t bring in enough money to pay for the writing.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Natalie Solent (Essex)
    I have not heard or read anything from what Ryan Casey said that justifies Kitty Holland’s description of his remarks as being “incitement to racial hatred”, which is a crime in Irish law.

    Can we imagine a time when a grieving spouse (or boyfriend) gives a victim impact statement like this, and the judge calls the court officer over to arrest him for incitement? Unfortunately, I think that is nowhere as near a ridiculous scenario than it was a very short time ago. Perhaps a victim’s family needs to have a lawyer just in case they say something that’ll land them in the cell next to their family member’s murderer.

    As to victim impact statements, I think they are largely a good thing. I don’t think they should necessarily impact the sentencing, but I think they are part of the record. Part of the purpose of the criminal justice system is to monopolize vengeance, and allowing the most directly injured party to put their impact on the record is necessary both for completeness and catharsis. And, for the criminal themselves – perhaps many are callous and uncaring toward their victim, but that is not true of many criminals. Some are moderately decent people who did something stupid. And having them hear the impact of their crime is surely necessary for them to understand just how badly they did. For criminals who might be released, such an experience may well live with them forever, and reduce the possibility of reoffending. Plus I think victims are often left behind in the system, and this allows them to be part of the process in a very public way. Crimes are prosecuted by “The King” or the “People of Illinois”. Which is true in a sense, but I think sometimes the victims get lost in the process. The impact statement, in the end, acknowledges that there actually WAS a victim.

    And as to eloquence. I really don’t think it makes much difference. I see the wife of some man murdered who makes such a statement in terrible broken English, breaking down in tears in court, I assure you that my heart goes out to her just as much to the most eloquent of speakers. In a sense, it is not WHAT is said so much that they say SOMETHING.

  • DiscoveredJoys

    There’s ‘right-think’ and ‘wrong-think’ – and gradually the means of expressing ‘wrong-think’ are being shut down.

    I’d like to hat-tip Nineteen Eighty Four… but the various Establishments are running late, as usual.

  • Kirk

    The more they do this, the more damage they’re doing to the public commons, and the more explosive the eventual denouement will be.

    What you are observing are the engineers on the train engine painting over the pressure gauges and tying down the pressure-relief valves. If the anger and the all the rest of the righteous rage against these things is not bled off in some manner, it’s going to explode later, and a lot harder than if it were done right now, in the moment.

    Every case like this? There’s a hundred, a thousand observing from the side, minds being changed. And, what are those minds being changed to, you ask?

    They’re losing faith in this experiment of civilization we have going. It’s fine, you see, to have your “Piss Christs”, but don’t you dare blaspheme against Muhammed. It’s fine for thugs and criminals to kill, but if you do, in self-defense or the defense of others…? You’ll be the one in handcuffs, like the guy in LA the other day.

    Y’all think that accrues to the benefit of civilization? Do you think people are watching all this, observing, thinking “Wow, I want to be a part of all that…”?

    Sadly, no. What they’re saying is “Why should I pay attention to the law? The law is not on my side… F*ck the law; I’ll make my own…”

    Civilization is built up out of a thousand tiny pebbles, glued together only by the willingness of the general mass of the public to go along with the charade. Terry Pratchett had a damn good way of describing all this with the way he discusses the values of myth in society in Hogfather: You have to believe in the little things, in order to believe in the big ones. Society is built up out of a million little pieces of belief, a million little stones of these things, all held together by the idea that the “right thing” will be done, and will happen. It doesn’t have to be 100%, but it has to be some number a hell of a lot higher than the one we’re currently aiming for with all this crap, in order for things to continue.

    All these “reformer” types forget this, or never knew it, never understood it. They think that “Da rulez” are just there, immutable, rock-solid and can never go away. What they apparently can’t conceive of is the idea that those rules are by consensus, and that that consensus has to be reinforced and rebuilt with every single state- or group-run action and process. People quit believing in the system? They’ll quit calling 911, and deal with things themselves. They way they do in rural Guatemala or South Africa, where the baying mob comes out for criminals and innocent alike. That’s the world we’re headed towards, with all this “damping down of hate”, and the utter lack of consequence or perceived righteous punishment for rule-breakers.

    You will not like the world these people are making. I used to think they had no idea what they’re doing, but I have to wonder.

    Don’t be real surprised to see the mass of society lose its ever-loving mind, one of these days, and then expect the tumbrils to be rolling, rolling, rolling to the squares of our cities.

    We’ve been so “civilized” for so long, here in the West, that I suspect the idiots managing things have forgotten what a volcano is, let alone the fact that they live on the side of one.

  • rhoda klapp

    Drifting somewhat from the topic, but in response to Kirk, I’ve been observing just what the enemy are prepared to do to get Trump. I quote this bit from A Man for All Seasons;


    William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

    Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

    William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

    Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!


    They are prepared to subvert or tear down the law to get not just Trump (the Devil) but to support the grand scheme. That’s a given. But what I am wondering is what do they think is going to happen? The tighter they screw down the safety valve, the bigger the problem when it blows. And they won’t have the law to help them because even if they don’t tear it down WE will not trust it any more. When they convict Trump and jail him, what do they think will happen? Will 50% of the US population just forget it? Switch to Haley or DeSantis as if nothing had happened? What’s the contingency plan for when those 50%, the one with all the guns, come out on the street? Or just refuse to work? Have they even considered that

  • bobby b

    I’ve listened to hundreds of impact statements. As several have noted above, they exist in order to give a victim a feeling that they matter in a criminal proceeding. (They don’t, really.)

    Generally, in serious cases, the judge has already determined sentencing at the stage the VIS’s are made. In the US, most states have enacted sentencing guidelines – basically, a points system – for sentencing, and what a victim says really cannot alter the resulting sentence.

    “He said it did not make sense to him that someone who is “a burden to society can completely and permanently destroy someone… who is the complete opposite” . . .”

    Well, of course they cancelled his statement. You can’t talk about someone being a burden on society. That hurts all kinds of illegal alien feelz.

  • Mr Ed

    If murderers and killer reckless drivers hanged, without exception, after due process, then there would be no need for these statements. Problem solved.

    bobby b’s summary above of the process is pretty much how it operates in England and Wales, the judge is looking at a matrix of scores when sentencing. Murder = life sentence, but the tariff (time served before parole) is variable and very rarely a whole life tariff, but release on licence conditions that last for life.

  • Steven R

    rhoda klapp asked:

    What’s the contingency plan for when those 50%, the one with all the guns, come out on the street?

    That’s the thing. They know we won’t do that. We still have a little bit of faith in the system, and we may be watching our savings be destroyed by inflation but they will always make sure we have some food, shelter, and TV. We’ve become too civilized for our own good. Watch what happens when some patriot decides the last line has been crossed and gets the Killdozer going. We, the 50% who have guns, call him a terrorist and say how what he did was horrible.

    We want the fight, but we don’t want to be the first out of the trenches.

    In the meantime, they just keep tightening the regulatory screws a little tighter and make the occasional example of someone, normally by saying he has kiddy porn or killing him.

    We never should have stopped tarring and feathering politicians and running them out of town on a rail. I think all of our betters should live in fear for their lives by the people of this country because it keeps them honest then. but again, we’re too civilized for our own good.

    When Ben Nelson voted for Obamacare and got the Cornhusker Kickback he went home and was going into a local pizza joint and the locals booed him. He claimed he didn’t stay to eat because they were too full, but he left from the jeers. Imagine if instead of just being booed the locals grabbed him and his wife and tarred and feathered them and burned his house down. The House hadn’t voted yet and I’m sure had that been done the House vote would have failed. Instead we did nothing. The 2020 election was stolen in front of our eyes but did we drag a single election official in those counties out of their homes and string them up? Nope. A couple dozen fools ran through Congress and the rest of the country did nothing.

    They don’t need a contingency plan because they know we won’t really revolt. We’ll just take it and keep on waiting for just the right moment that will never come.

    The Minutemen would have been stacking bodies ages ago.

  • Fraser Orr

    @rhoda klapp
    First, thanks for the “Man for All Seasons” quote. I had forgotten it and boy are you right that it applies here. However, what More didn’t say is that you and me will suffer the billowing ills that come when there is no regular law, but King Henry will do just fine.

    When they convict Trump and jail him, what do they think will happen? Will 50% of the US population just forget it? Switch to Haley or DeSantis as if nothing had happened? What’s the contingency plan for when those 50%, the one with all the guns, come out on the street? Or just refuse to work? Have they even considered that

    I’m sure they have, and they know that it won’t happen. It seems to me that what will happen at this election is that Trump will be the candidate and he will lose, by hook or by crook. That will make the post 2020 election look like a picnic, but it’ll be the same outcome — a few blips and a lot of regular people going to jail, and most likely even more restrictions on our rights.

    FWIW, if, by some happenstance, Trump did not run (and TBH I think the only circumstance that that will happen is if he is assassinated, which though terrible, I don’t think is impossible.) However, if that did happen the pundits seem to have this idea that the R vote will go to Desantis or Haley. That is absolutely not what will happen. It’ll go to the person Trump voters think Trump approves of most. If he is still alive, Trump would be the kingmaker. TBH I think that means either Ramaswamy, or, as an outlier, one of the Trump children. It’ll also depend on when it happens and what happens to his primary votes.

    FWIW, I personally think Ramaswamy, Desantis or Trump Jr. would all be better presidents than Trump. But their election is very unlikely. (As to Haley, she is absolutely loathsome, I could not bring myself to vote for her even if it was Haley vs Biden.)

    The whole thing is going to be a massive, spectacular mess.

    As I have said before, the United States is FAR beyond saving. The sensible thing to do is stop fantasizing about some solution and face the reality that the party is over. And find some bubble where you can live out and enjoy your life. This means either wrapping yourself in systems and tools to protect yourself (for example, if you live in a city, you’d be insane to stay there, you’d be insane to keep all your financial resources within reach of the government too). Or find an alternative place to live. I gave a list a while ago of options. There are a lot of better places to live than UK/USA/Canada/AUS/NZ where most of the readers here live.

  • Kirk

    Steven R said…

    They don’t need a contingency plan because they know we won’t really revolt. We’ll just take it and keep on waiting for just the right moment that will never come.

    Well, I’m sure it sure looks that way. From some standpoints. However, there’s a lot of patience in the hearts of people that actually do things, and while that patience takes a long time to run through…? Make no doubt about it, they’ll lose it.

    Ceaucescu in Romania is a good case study. How long did the Romanians put up with him and the rest of his BS? What happened, that morning in Timisoara that was different, that shifted him from “tolerable” to “intolerable, and we’re gonna kill him”?

    I’d say that cusp was reached, a tipping-point. And, once that point was reached, there was no way of going back for the regime.

    It’d be an interesting thought-experiment to imagine Ceaucescu reaching that point during a period where the Soviet Union was still able and willing to do a Hungary or Czechoslovakia in Romania. What would have happened?

    No idea, but it wouldn’t have been pretty. I’ve a Romanian friend who describes those times as “We just didn’t care, any more… About anything.”

    You can only keep the lid on the pressure cooker on for so long, while the heat is turned on. That pressure gauge gets blocked? You forget it’s doing its thing in the kitchen? You’re going to hear a rather large bang with an inevitability.

    The idiot class running everything with such smug superiority and sanctimony does not grasp that they live beneath a dam that they’ve neglected to maintain for generations, now.

    I see the popularity of these vigilante movies like Law Abiding Citizen and TV shows like the Punisher as warning flags we really ought to be paying attention. Not necessarily the entertainments themselves, but the fact that they have such resonance and success with the public. We’re only about a hairs-breadth from someone playing out Frank Castle’s life in real time, and the first people that are going to go down are likely the prosecuting attorneys and all the rest of the supporting failure matrix.

    What happens when they go after the real-life lead character from Law Abiding Citizen, and can’t get a jury to convict? What happens when nobody believes the cops or the FBI as witnesses, on the stands of the courtrooms across America?

    Friend of mine just sat on a jury where 9 out of 15 jurors refused to vote for what he thought was a slam-dunk case, proven beyond reasonable doubt. Why didn’t that jury vote to convict? Didn’t believe the cops or the prosecutors. Defense attorney barely did his job, either… Still got an acquittal out of it, because the majority of the jurors refused to believe “the authorities”. This isn’t inner-city Detroit or LA, either; this is rural Washington state. Time was, the local cops said you did something, you were done; everyone believed them. Now? LOL… Dear God, but the wheel has turned.

    I don’t think anything positive is coming out of this. At. All. Not in the sense of “justice”, not in the functional sense of behavioral modification, either.

  • Mr Ed

    I have long supposed that Ceausescu was removed at the instigation of the Soviets by the Securitate. The message from Moscow being that the time had come to change. The suddenness of it, the brief flowering and then the rather thuggish post-Ceausescu government sending the miners to attack protesters etc. all point AFAICS to a changing of the guard and a recognition that seizing riches was better than absolute power in the corrupt oligarchy that followed the collapse of Communist rule. There weren’t Soviet troops in Romania at the time (perhaps some liaison/training but no standing forces) but I always thought that both sides knew ultimately that Socialist Romania was subordinated to the Soviets. So the coup in Romania isn’t such a good example. In Hungary the ruling party fairly openly and briskly gave up on communism in the mid-1980s and worked openly but cautiously to dismantle socialism, but they didn’t believe it. In the US, the bureaucracy and two main parties, it seems in the main do believe in their system, a self-inflicted gangrene.

  • Kirk

    @Fraser Orr,

    I rarely agree with you, but the general thrust of your post is very much the way I see it.

    I do find exception to what you’re saying here:

    FWIW, if, by some happenstance, Trump did not run (and TBH I think the only circumstance that that will happen is if he is assassinated, which though terrible, I don’t think is impossible.) However, if that did happen the pundits seem to have this idea that the R vote will go to Desantis or Haley. That is absolutely not what will happen. It’ll go to the person Trump voters think Trump approves of most. If he is still alive, Trump would be the kingmaker. TBH I think that means either Ramaswamy, or, as an outlier, one of the Trump children. It’ll also depend on when it happens and what happens to his primary votes.

    I think you misunderstand the source of Trump’s popularity. It’s not necessarily who he is, it’s who he isn’t. Have you seen the way his popularity goes up in direct proportion to how much they try to take him down? How many bad things they say about him?

    Trump didn’t happen because people like Trump. They like Trump because he’s everything the establishment jackasses aren’t. People are not going to vote for whoever Trump says they should, if he is taken out of the election. His power isn’t like that; he’s not a hugely popular guy because people love him; he’s hugely popular because they hate his opponents, and he’s the only guy standing up to them.

    They are going to vote for whoever the establishment tells them not to, who the media decries and spins as the “next Hitler”.

    This is very much a case of the “Choose your own destructor…” that these idiots have wandered into. They don’t understand the situation; every vote for Trump ain’t a vote for him so much as it’s a vote against them.

    As such, they’re going after the wrong things. They need to fix what they’re doing, rather than go after Trump. Trump is a symptom, not a cause.

    But, they’ve always done that. Just like the NRA; they posit that the NRA is why people want guns. The real reason, that people want the NRA because they want their rights protected? That escapes them, because they can’t imagine any other way to explain things than the way they normally do them, with astroturf grass-roots “movements” run from above.

    I have no idea what 2024 is going to bring, but I can about guarantee you that it won’t play out the way you think it will, because you and a lot of others totally misunderstand the nature of Trump and his popularity. He’s popular precisely and only because he’s not presenting as “one of them”, but as their enemy, their polar opposite. And, that’s what people are voting for, not he himself.

    I’m personally still not convinced that Trump wasn’t a Clinton stalking-horse she put up so that she’d have the easiest time possible in 2016. She, too, misunderstood the public sentiment: 2016 wasn’t a plebiscite on Trump as a great guy, but one that said “Oh, hell no…” to Hillary. The majority of votes cast for Trump were really votes cast against her… A stray cat could have been the Republican candidate in that year, and likely would have won.

    Trump is a symptom, not a cause, not the disease. The disease is the current lot of Uniparty oligarchs running the nation, and the people are waking up to that. It won’t be pretty if the beast ever fully awakens from its somnolence, which will become very likely should they try pulling shenanigans in 2024.

  • Kirk

    @Mr. Ed,

    I know some of the people who were there in Romania and who were working the US aspect of it all as members of the military attache system.

    None of them expected what happened, and none of them share the opinion you have about the KGB “letting it happen” deliberately. It was way more of a “Holy shit… The peasants are revolting!” situation than anything anyone wanted to happen. The US was trying to calm things down, because they wanted “stability”. The Soviets were taken totally by surprise, because it was a lot of their own operatives in the Securitate that turned on them and went all “pro-Romanian” literally overnight. One of my friends who was a military attache assistant described the desperate Soviet counterparts of theirs coming over and begging for someone to tell him what was going on, because he had no idea and supposedly, neither did the KGB or GRU.

    Sheer chaos was the way he said it went down. Nobody knew anything, and they were all expecting someone to swoop in and rescue the Ceaucescus before they were executed… Only, nobody did.

    I’ve looked for a good descriptive work for that period in Romanian history, one that matches what I heard from first-hand reports, but… I’ve never seen one. I’m not even sure that anyone really knows what the hell was going on, even a lot of the participants. I know two Romanian expats I ran into, one was on the Securitate side of things, and the other was among the protesters, and if you got those two together and talking? Yikes.

    It was about like the way the Berlin Wall really came down; a tragicomedy of error, on all sides.

  • Snorri Godhi


    FWIW, if, by some happenstance, Trump did not run […..]
    It’ll go to the person Trump voters think Trump approves of most. If he is still alive, Trump would be the kingmaker. TBH I think that means either Ramaswamy, or, as an outlier, one of the Trump children.

    It seems to me that Ramaswamy is significantly more insane than the median American voter. (Which is saying something.)

    Since people more insane than the median American voter tend to vote Democrat by huge margins, i don’t see much support coalescing for Ramaswamy.

  • Kirk

    @Snorri Godhi,

    Like I said above… Trump’s voters aren’t so much voting for him, so much as they’re voting against his opponents, who they perceive as being the entirety of the “them conglomerate” running things.

    If they succeed in taking Trump down, and there’s no “sane alternative”? They’ll vote for whoever they think will piss the media and establishment off the most.

    That might be Ramaswamy.

    This is not a rational electorate doing cool, careful and well-considered things. This is a potential mob that could do anything, because they’ve simply not been paying attention these last few generations, and they’re waking up to the mess they’re in. Rational actors should have entered the stage after the radicals moved things a bit to the left; today’s situation is that the radicals have taken everything over, and are engaged in trying to take over permanently, so that they’ll never answer for their excesses. Which explains why they’re so frightened of Trump; it’s not him they’re worried about, its the general public finding out all these things they’ve swept under the carpet, like Pizzagate, are true.

    Still ain’t made my mind up about that one, myself. The fact that the guy who did most of the debunking of it has just been indicted for kiddie porn…? I’m kinda sitting here going “WTF? Was that real?”

  • Crawdaddy Cowgirl

    It seems to me that Ramaswamy is significantly more insane than the median American voter

    For sure. I’ve always voted Republican but if Ramaswamy gets the nod, y’all gotta know I’m spending election day in a bar getting wasted, even if it means Biden again. Ramaswamy really is the dumbest asshole I’ve ever listened to. Damn, that’s a depressing thought 🙁

  • Kirk

    I’ve ceased believing in any Republican politician.

    Any more, I look at them and wonder “OK, why is this guy running, and what do the Democrats get out of it…?”

    From that standpoint, analyzing what Ramaswamy is would be pretty simple: A spoiler stalking horse candidate put up by parties unknown, likely the Democrat/Republican Alliance at the national level.

    If you look at him, head cocked like the dog in the old RCA ads, you can kinda see how he’s a picture-perfect image of what the establishment thinks their opposition looks like.

    As such, I think he’s a put-up job. One meant to bleed off support for sane candidates, if any appear. Which they seem unlikely to do…

  • tfourier


    The one time CNN actual earned its keep was during the battle at the main TV station building in Bucharest when they just went to a continuous live feed from Romanian TV. Just like US local TV stations do with affiliates in disaster areas after major natural disasters.

    It was probably the only time the revolution actually was televised. The gun battles for control of the TV station. From what I remember it was about three or four hours of live OB / ENG video until the station lost it power.

    Everything happened so fast. The big street demonstrations in Timisoara were only 7 days before the battle for the TV station and a few days later Ceausescu had his “trial” in the school and he (and his vile wife) received his punishment for crimes against his people in the school yard. A fitting end.

    It was very obvious the Soviets had no idea what was going on in Romania because of the way the story was covered on Vremya on Channel 1 Moscow. They kind of when radio silent on it after the first few days. Very different from how they covered the story in the DDR. Which was basically – this is all part of the Perestroika process. This is all part of the Historical Process. etc.etc.

    The local university cable TV channel showed a lot of Soviet TV starting in 1988 with the daily Vremya broadcast and large chunks of Soviet weekend TV. It was very educational to read the later memoires of what was happening in the Kremlin week to week and calibrate it with what the official propaganda line on Vremya was at the time. Proved very useful when I started watching Channel 1 RU again in January 2022. To apply those old Kremlinology skills to the daily propaganda output on Vremya / Great Game etc.

    Nothing really changes in Russia. Just the names of the key players. And the initials of the siloviki agencies. But still the same feckless stupidity of the Russian political system. And the passive fatalism of the Russian people.

  • Rhoda:

    As a movie blogger, I’ve posted the Paul Scofield version of that several times over the last seven-eight years. I’ve also posted this clip. What’s particularly ironic is that the female student in the denim jacket asking the question is played by Felicity Huffman, who would go on to have her own high-profile legal issues.

  • Kirk


    I have no idea what the hell was actually going on behind the scenes in Romania, but there’s one thing I’m pretty sure of: The Soviets were not running an op, there.

    The on-scene types I’ve talked to, and there were more than a few, describe utter chaos throughout. The guy who was low-level Securitate said that he thought they did the trial and execution of the Ceaucescu’s as sort of a “Throw the wolves someone off the sleigh…” thing, in that they were convinced that if they didn’t do something like that, then they’d be torn to pieces by the mob themselves.

    The girl who was in those mobs, talking to the two of us, was of the opinion that that’s something that could have happened, but the executions served to damp passions down, and the actual fact and manner of the way they were done did a lot to shame people into thinking “Is this really what we want…?”

    It was an interesting conversation, and when I couple that with the stuff my friend who was a defense attache staff member at the time…? Yeesh. After Timisoara, there were a lot of people doing things that scared the hell out of the “authorities”, such as they were, and nobody knew where it was going to go. The Soviets had nightmare visions of it all spreading, I suspect.

    The real problem for the Soviets and the other Warsaw Pact members was that the inherent contradictions and lies caught up with them, cumulatively. Kinda the way they’re catching up with the assholes running things across the West, today. I have no idea where it’s gonna end, but you can clearly see the same sort of thing going on.

    If you’re in the US, just go out and listen to people. Don’t join conversations, just listen… Out where the “other” lives, in flyover country? People are emphatically not happy with the direction we’re moving in. They feel like they’ve been conned, and I’m here to tell you, that’s a volatile thing for people to feel. The chances of excess are all too high.

    I’ve got a friend, knew him since I was a kid. Used to be a rock-solid Roman Catholic, true believer, patriot type. After the years of denial and then admission over the child sex abuse that was going on, including in his own church? And, with everything he sees in the news? He ain’t the same guy I knew as a teenager. I heard him talking to his grandson, not that long back, about joining the military. He told him not only no, but hell no, and that it was the stupidest thing he could imagine someone doing.

    From him? That’s like hearing the local used car salesman say “Yeah, this is a lemon, don’t buy it…”

  • Fraser Orr

    @Snorri Godhi
    It seems to me that Ramaswamy is significantly more insane than the median American voter. (Which is saying something.)

    TBH, I haven’t been paying much attention since the first Rep debate, where I thought he was excellent. Every time I hear him speak I am really impressed. My God, he wants to fire 75% of the federal workforce. That is awesome. But I hear this noise about his crazy ideas, though I haven’t paid much attention. From what I know of him, he is the best candidate for president I can remember. An actual, factual libertarian. I even sent him some money.

    But maybe he went off the rails. I know the press hates him, and I know he will talk to anyone, including the leftie press, which is hugely positive in my books. But, I haven’t really been paying attention since August since it really doesn’t matter much.

  • bobby b

    Ramaswamy strikes me as someone with some very good impulses, but he hasn’t been political in his past and so is missing some of the standard “don’t go there!” filters. He keeps saying the wrong things and letting himself get ridiculed for it.

    But I keep that Claire Berlinski article about him in mind.

  • Fraser Orr

    @bobby b
    so is missing some of the standard “don’t go there!” filters.

    Yeah, what big orange guy does that sound like. Surely that is a asset>

    But I keep that Claire Berlinski article about him in mind.

    Not familiar with it. What did she say?

  • Colli

    Not familiar with it. What did she say?

    I think it is this article which you talked about a couple of months ago here.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Claire Berlinski did not need so much verbiage to make the point. For people like me, with a Machiavellian turn of mind, Ramaswamy’s insanity is evident from the fact that he thinks that appeasement works — or in other words, he does not understand that people respond to incentives.

    For people of a less Machiavellian turn of mind, Berlinski could have pointed out that Nixon did not divide China from the Soviet Union by throwing South Vietnam or South Korea under the bus.

    Apologies for going further off-topic, but I wish to note that Wikipedia informs me that Ramaswamy is a vegetarian. You know what that means to me.

  • AFT


    I find your generally anti-Irish attitude tiresome and predictable rather than offensive but I have to recognise that you’ve summed up Kitty Holland to a tee.

  • rhoda klapp

    I agree that Trump has the hate-the-rest vote, and that is over 50% of the electorate. They don’t love him so much as what he stands for, but he wasn’t actually a bad president if you ignore the way the deep state acted.

    What I wanted to remark here is the way the Dem talking points are going in the direction of Trump-is-hitler, Trump-is-worse-than hitler and Trump intends to be a dictator and destroy Democracy. When we already have a record of what he did 2017-2021, with no such tendencies, what is the aim of the Dems? They can’t expect Trump’s voters to be influenced, although it might work with some floaters and RINOs. They don’t need to convince their own voters who are going to vote for any damn fool with a D after their name. So why? Two things. They might just as a bonus inspire some nutcase to assassinate DJT. I don’t say that is their primary aim. The primary aim is to get their own activists into the mindset that their noble cause against literally-Hitler justifies ANY action on election day. There will be no level of cheating they won’t be able to justify to save democracy. And they’ll feel fine about it.

  • @rhoda klapp – No doubt setting their supporters up for another 4 years of Trump Derangement Syndrome and general “Orange Man Bad” exclusive 24/7 reporting.

    How very tiresome.

    Though if Trump does follow through and breaks the DoJ / FBI into a thousand pieces (or even 50), it might be worth a laugh.

    We’ll see. Trump has a long record of speaking loud and doing nothing (except golf).

  • tfourier


    Guess why I was able to sum up Kitty Holland to a tee. Because I have known that part of Ireland or rather Dublin and the people who move in it since her father was just that very pushy and annoying Nordie who wrote those tiresome and sententious articles in the Hot Press. And known the office politics at D’Olier St just as long. For those on the inside Dublin is a tiny world. Which never really changes.

    “Anti Irish”? Nope. Just calling a spade a spade. Then promptly use it to beat some sense into anyone who tries any of the old Begorrah and Begob gobshitery which passes for “informed opinion” both inside and outside Ireland. I know where all the bodies are buried. Often literally. And if you think I am just picking on the Irish I can regale you with equally gory tales about the many UK, US, France etc political and historical embarrassments. I’m particular good on the last 6o years of the Democratic Party in California. Now there’s a story. Lots of dead bodies too. Like in Jonestown. Really good on France too. As more than one French person discovered when pontificating about the “failings” of the US.

    Its just that the Irish and those who fall for their self-serving plamas stories are not used to someone being blunt and honest about their often profoundly shaming and self-destructive history. And present politics.

  • John

    They’ll vote for whoever they think will piss the media and establishment off the most.

    Living in the UK but with a number of politically minded American friends, most but not all to the right of centre, the name which regularly crops up under the “what have we got to lose” heading is not Ramaswamy but RFK Jr and it isn’t even close.

    The anti-establishment tide appears to be very strong within this small sample and not just centred around Trump.

  • John

    Trump has a long record of speaking loud and doing nothing (except golf).

    John G. With so much historical revisionism it may be that my recollections of a relatively stable foreign policy when compared to the current shitshow and US domestic energy independence never happened. I still believe they did.

    Anything he did achieve was down to the man himself and in spite of the f-all of nothing support he received from a notionally Republican Congress and Senate along with some distinctly dodgy interventions or inactions from the military and security services. Up until 2 am on a Wednesday morning it looked as if the country was willing to stick with him, mean tweets and all.

  • tfourier


    During the whole 1989 events I was lucky enough to have a good friend who had done his PhD is Slavic languages specializing in Russian and had actually been an exchange lecturer in several Warsaw Block countries in the early 1980’s. Where he met his Czech wife. A PhD in linguistics.

    So I was running stuff past them and getting their opinions while I heard from them what they were hearing from the family / source in Czechoslovakia, Poland, DDR and the Soviet Union. I remember I used to pick up my copy of the Sunday Times on Monday evening ($4.50) quickly read all the news section then pass it on to them the following day as they considered it by far the best media coverage in English of what was going on. I remember having a traditional Czech Christmas Dinner with them in 1989 with everyone still incredulous at what had just happened. With Ceausescu just being the icing on the cake.

    From what I remember key people at the Securitate started stepping into positional of control once Ceausescu was dead. His death solved a lot of problems. If only Pour encourager les autres. And it worked. By March 1990 everything was humming along nicely with the New Old People still in charge.

    As for the US. What I learned many decades ago was that going to the local blue collar barbershop and just listening was the single best education on “real America”. Places were the barber had been cutting hair for decades. Since he went to barbers school paid for by the GI Bill after he got out of the military. With the same customers for decades. Even in the bluest areas of the bluest states if you search out for a barber shop that looked like a time warp from many decades ago you would so get to know the people who are the true backbone of America and who make it great. Just ordinary working folk.

    My regular place for years until the guy retired was not that many miles from the Stanford Faculty lounge yet you would hear far more good sense, informed opinion and real understanding of the world in a few hours just hanging out after getting your haircut (it was always worth your while just hanging out) than in a whole academic career of going to a Stanford Faculty lounge.

    These people, the ordinary folk, have been very unhappy for a while but unlike those in the suburban / urban middle classes who look down on them in condescension the ordinary folk saw through the lies long ago. Treat NPR/PBS for the self serving purveyors of lies they are. Ordinary folk are as unhappy now as they were back in the 1960’s. Nixon did not happen by accident. Whether 2024 turns into a 1860 style disaster is totally up to just how low the Democratic Party are willing to go to steal the election. The Party is a rotten shell by this stage. Lets hope it implodes under its own decrepitude before next Fall. For all our sakes.

    Actually your friend is not unusual. What I am hearing from US military vets is that current military top brass is so toxic that the families and people who traditionally provide most of the actual front fighting people are telling their kids not to join up. To these people all the woke and vaccine crap was a huge put off but it was the gratuitously insulting renaming of the Southern military bases and who they were renamed for which was the final straw. Its going to take a long time to undo that damage.

    So n’th generation military families are telling there kids dont join up. The recruiting shortfall of the actual frontline troops when added to to the very large number of resignation / not reenlisting means that from what I’ve heard less than 30% of the battalions in the active army divisions are combat effective. Much worse than even the post Vietnam mid 1970’s situation. Based on some stories doing the rounds the US military may be in the same sort of de-facto institutional collapse as the German military. Which ceased to be any kind of effective military force more than 5 years ago.

    This collapse of the US military is due to the Biden Admiration and no other reason. The Chinese CCP got great value for money with the $20M they threw at the Bidens.

    Not looking forward to 2024. Its going to be a very bad year.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Snorri Godhi
    OK, I haven’t had the chance to read that really long Berlinski article (though I’ll get to it), but if you think he is insane because he is in favor of trying to negotiate a settlement in Ukraine, I’m afraid you’ll have to toss me in the looney bin too. Ukraine will be resolved in a negotiated settlement, irrespective of any fantasies about Putin’s overthrow. It is just a matter of when and how that happens. VR is looking to leverage it to the US’s advantage. Which is what American presidents are supposed to do. There are two outcomes. Either it is settled in negotiations or it is settled in negotiations including some points that are advantageous the the US. Seems an easy choice to me.

    It used to be that Libertarians were opposed to getting involved in foreign wars, in favor of getting less involved with international orgs like the UN and NATO. I’m that kind of libertarian — though it seems to have gone out of style.

    If your big critique, if you assessment of “crazy” is that he holds a classical libertarian position, I’m afraid that makes him more attractive to me, not less.

    For people of a less Machiavellian turn of mind, Berlinski could have pointed out that Nixon did not divide China from the Soviet Union by throwing South Vietnam or South Korea under the bus.

    Nixon did neither. The US lost those wars effectively. And Russia is much weaker than it was back then (as the USSR). For sure, VR’s plan here seems the best I have ever heard. And let’s be clear, his plan wrt to Taiwan is not “defend it forever”, but “defend it until the lifeblood of our whole society doesn’t depend on it.” Wrt the manufacture of advanced silicon. Which isn’t to throw them under the bus, but rather to eliminate a core American vulnerability — which again is an American president’s job. For sure, we can and do sell arms to Taiwan, and I see not problem with that.

    But Taiwan is responsible for its own defense, not America. Much as we might sympathize with the Taiwanese, why exactly is it an American apocalypse if Taiwan becomes a part of China again, just as Hong Kong and Macau did? It sucks for them, but American presidents are supposed to be about Americans, and defending that island even to the point of nuclear exchange is INSANITY. We have a huge vulnerability with chip manufacture, but that can be solved over the next few years.

    But the biggest mistake wrt to the Ukraine war is simply the parallel war on fossil fuels. If we had continued Trump’s policy of driving down the cost of oil then Russia would not have the resources to prosecute the war since they are largely a petro state. Instead we drove the price of oil sky high in our “green new deal” vanity project, money that effectively paid for the bullets and bombs that destroyed Maripol, and killed millions of Ukrainians.

    Apologies for going further off-topic, but I wish to note that Wikipedia informs me that Ramaswamy is a vegetarian. You know what that means to me.

    However, the difference is that VR isn’t insisting YOU become a vegetarian (something the lefties seem to push to prevent cow farts). This is libertarianism. You do you, and I’ll do me, and we will leave each other alone to make our personal choices. God bless America, #amirite?

  • pete

    The possible variation in sentencing for murder because of different styles of victim impact statements could easily be avoided by hanging all murderers.

    This would also save a lot of money.

  • Snorri Godhi


    if you think [Ramaswamy] is insane because he is in favor of trying to negotiate a settlement in Ukraine, I’m afraid you’ll have to toss me in the looney bin too.

    No: i think you and Ramaswamy, and everybody else including me, is insane, because we ingested seed oils, refined carbs, and other (vegan) #### while our brains were developing. I have this advantage, that i have been in detox for a decade; but i have an even greater advantage: I am wary of my own insanity, and everybody else’s.

    As for you, your problems are
    (1) you do not understand that people respond to incentives;
    (2) you do not understand the difference between negotiation and appeasement;
    (3) you did not detect the sarcasm in my reference to Nixon.

    Problem (1) seems to be quite common amongst American libertarians: Rothbard was an extreme pathological example. I also had a short debate at Econlog with some folks who thought that the attack on Pearl Harbor was FDR’s fault, because he did not help the Japanese to slaughter the Chinese by selling them oil and iron.
    The same mental block is responsible for open-border libertarianism.

    — Of course the rise in oil price enabled Putin’s war. You are sane enough to see that, but i am not sure that Ramaswamy is.
    If he were, he would have said that he would immediately return to Trump’s energy policies, to negotiate from a position of strength.

  • James Strong

    Maybe the votes for Trump really were anti-the usual politicians votes, but votes for Biden were also anti-Trump vot.

  • Paul Marks

    A journalist supporting censoring the words of the family of a murder victim.

    Dissent would not be “useful”.

    Not “useful” to the political cause of the international establishment.

    They may light a candle and sing a song – but they do not care, the dead are nothing to the establishment, not compared to the cause of getting rid of independent nations.

    To say that the international establishment are evil is to state the obvious – but the obvious needs to be stated.

  • but if you think he is insane because he is in favor of trying to negotiate a settlement in Ukraine, I’m afraid you’ll have to toss me in the looney bin too

    I put all people who are not actually pro-Russian (those are wicked but not looney) in the looney bin category if they argue that a ‘settlement’ before a Ukrainian military victory will actually bring peace. Face it, when you say ‘settlement’ you mean ‘Ukraine surrenders, Russia expands, and gets to rebuilt its military after sanctions end for the next phase of its expansion in a few years’.

    As I observed on the first day of this war, Russia has always known it is weaker than ‘the west’ by every metric except one, which is the only one that matters. They think they can outlast the weak willed morally decadent west and just gradually expand like Lyautey’s colonial inkblot, knowing his enemies will tire and wither away before Russia does every time.

  • Snorri Godhi


    I put all people who are not actually pro-Russian (those are wicked but not looney) in the looney bin category if they argue that a ‘settlement’ before a Ukrainian military victory will actually bring peace.

    People who are ‘actually pro-Russian’ are not just wicked: they are also insane.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Putin can not be trusted – he is not an honest man. This is a very basic thing – but it is often overlooked. I have no idea if a Ukrainian military victory is possible (the present policy of the Biden Administration appears to be to make it impossible for Republicans to vote for more military aid – by refusing oversight of the aid to reduce corruption, then the Dems will blame the Republicans for “losing Ukraine” which will be slogan in the 2024 elections), but the fact that Mr Putin would break any agreement that he signs, makes peace talks with him rather pointless.

    I would prefer it if the Biden Administration stopped playing games – agreed to secure the southern border (i.e. end its “Great Replacement” policy – a policy it openly follows whilst, at the same time, calling it a “racist Conspiracy Theory”), and stop taking money from the aid to Ukraine.

    The Biden family have corruptly been taking money for many years – and they, and their associates (the non Biden family member “friends of the family” as well) have to stop taking money – or it will be very difficult to get further aid through Congress.

    It is not much to ask – secure the southern border, and stop taking bribes. Then you can have more money to continue the war in Ukraine.

    However, the Biden Administration seems to prefer to carry on the “Great Replacement” policy (whilst, at the same time, saying it is a “Conspiracy Theory” – although openly following the policy, indeed boasting about demographic change, and how it will eventually result in a one-party-American-political-system, as a result of the policy that goes all the way back to the Immigration Act of 1965) and to carry on taking bribes – knowing that it can blame defeat in Ukraine on the Republicans.

    “Republicans should vote for more aid to Ukraine – regardless of the southern border, and regardless of Biden associates corruption”.

    Perhaps so – but Republicans who did that would face Primary challenges.

    It is not a difficult compromise – secure the southern border, then you can have money for the war, as long as your associates keep their hands off the money.

    By the way – the changing demographics may not turn out the way the Dems hope, if the United Stats does become a Latin American country an emotional style of political campaigning, a more open expression of emotion, will play well.

    True “stuffed shirt” Corporate Republicans are useless at that – but Donald J. Trump is very good at it, he did well with Hispanic voters (even whilst, at the same time, pushing for immigration control).

    “We hate Populism – but we are going to turn the United States into a country where the culture is ideal for a Populist campaign” may be a mistake that the Corporate State is making.

    Even if they have Donald J. Trump imprisoned on false charges (via their corrupt courts) or just have him murdered, someone else will take his place.

    The days of BlackRock, and the rest of the Corporate entities, are numbered.

  • Paul Marks

    On the Republic of Ireland….

    It is sometimes said that most Conservative Members of the United Kingdom Parliament are not really Conservatives at all – but in the Republic of Ireland there-are-no-conservatives in the Parliament (well perhaps a couple of independents – I am not sure on that).

    I am going to say that again – there are are no conservatives (at least no conservative political parties) in the Republic of Ireland Parliament, so conservative voters in the Republic have no representation.

    This is partly because Irish politics is still partly “which side did your great grandfather fight on in the Civil War?” – in spite of both Fine Gael and Fine Fail being a bunch of lackies for the international Corporate State (specifically Pfizer, Apple, Microsoft and Google) these days.

    The political parties in the Republic serve the international Corporate State – they could not give a damn what Irish people want. Political parties that oppose this international establishment, such as the Irish Freedom Party, have no representation in the Irish Parliament at all.

    “But Sein Fein” – they are just another bunch of cultural leftists (very much pro “international community”), if anyone thinks that Sein Fein IRA cares about the Irish people – I have a nice bridge to sell you.

    The education system and the media are also very much on board with this agenda of mass immigration, reduction of the number of Irish people (via abortion and so on), and censorship of dissent, “Hate Speech”, “racism”, “Islamophobia” – the standard stuff.

    So the Irish people are going to lose their country – that just seems to be the way things are going to go.

  • Paul Marks

    The sort of “peace agreement” I fear in Ukraine is like the one that Colonel Douglas McGregor pushed with the Taliban – and that agreement started under President Trump, although he might not have actually gone through with it in practice, the Biden Administration used the excuse that he agreement was made under President Trump as an excuse to cut-and-run in Afghanistan – even though the Taliban had already BROKEN THE AGREEMENT by launching a military offensive, thus giving the United States a perfect excuse to NOT pull out.

    The Marxists in Indo China also BROKE (violated) the Paris Peace Accords (almost as soon as the ink was dry) – so the United States was under no obligation to end air support and ammunition supplies to anti Communist forces in Indo China (Laos, Cambodia, and South Vietnam), that America betrayed the anti Communists anyway is a disgrace, which led to MILLIONS of people either being murdered or having to flee (something that seems to have been shoved down the Memory Hole).

    What has been done under the Taliban in Afghanistan is utterly awful – the Taliban are like Hamas, they are vicious. The Taliban have treated the Afghan people with utter savagery.

    And it is just not true that America was taking a lot of casualties in Afghanistan – the Libertarian Party claims are Rothbardian nonsense (in reality American casualties in the last few years were not heavy – indeed I seem to recall that there were none-at-all in 2020). As Snorri would say – the LP claims are so far from reality that they are “insane”.

    “Putin would not be as bad as the Taliban” – perhaps not, but he is no boy scout either. A lot of people in Ukraine would be murdered – indeed anyone Mr Putin thought might oppose him. Like Stalin (who Mr Putin admires) he believes not only in killing people who oppose him – but also in killing people who MIGHT oppose him.

    Think about that.

  • tfourier

    @Paul Marks

    Until about twenty years both major political parties in the ROI were social conservative. Fine Gael was a Christian Democratic Party with a rump Social Democratic wing. And Fianna Fail was still very much a statist/populist party in the Salazar Estado Novo tradition. Which is why Fianna Fail MEP’s have always had very odd bedfellows in the European Parliamentary groups. Fianna Fail was basically a (mostly) benign Christian fascist party. The Labour Party in Ireland was so useless that they could never even get a plurality of the working class vote. The working class voted for FF.

    In the last twenty year social conservatism as a political force was collapsed by the multiple Irish Roman Catholic scandals. The Roman Catholic Church was such a dominant force in Irish politics from the 1920’s onwards that the 26 countries can be safely treated as de-facto theocracy for its first 60 years.

    In the 1980’s and 1990’s its influence lessened but it was still all pervasive. It was nt so much the number of scandals but the nature of the scandals that totally destroyed the Roman Catholic Churches political influence. The fact that both the Irish Hierarchy and Rome considered themselves completely above the law of the land to such a degree that the Irish government was forced to break off diplomatic relations with the Vatican and expel the Papal Nuncio was one thing. It was the fact that the Irish Roman Catholic Church informed promptly for decades those who underwrote its institutional liability insurance with the details of every new abuse scandal while stonewalling the abuse victims sometimes for decades that the Church knew nothing about the endemic abuses problems.

    That particular scandal when it came out was the last straw for most people. And with the collapse of the Irish Roman Catholic church as a social force went social conservatism as a political force. And with Fianna Fail shattered by the fall-out from the 2008 national bankruptcy / financial collapse Ireland now has a political situation where the left of center now control the rump of the two main parties, about 1/3 of the parliament are “independents” or fringe parties, and the most forceful party in parliament is an organized crime / terrorist group who bears a remarkable resemblance to Fianna Fail circa 1932. Most of Sinn Fein’s voters coming from traditional Fianna Fail demographics.

    So as the Irish Roman Catholic church went down the plug hole so did Irish political social conservatism with it.

    Long term? Sooner or later SF/IRA dumps the 1960’s marxist liberation movement political baggage (they are political opportunists par excellence) and gets back to its roots. Killing “foreigners”. After the next national economic collapse (there will be one, there always is) expect a reverse Pied Noir on those who dont “fit in”. And it wont be the very large number of Eastern Europeans. The Irish make good haters. And are very good at coming up with self-justifications for ethnic cleansing and related topics. Something that has been going on somewhere in the island for at least 400 hundred years.

  • Snorri Godhi

    The Irish make good haters. And are very good at coming up with self-justifications for ethnic cleansing and related topics.

    I don’t know much about the Irish, but i can believe that.

    However… will the Brits, the EU, and the Americans let the Irish get away with it?

  • Martin

    From what I’ve read by authors like Angela Nagle and Philip Pilkington, as well as my own observations, the Irish elite take most of their political-cultural cues from the United States, particularly the Democrat Party due to its historic strength with Irish Americans. Pilkington highlights the left-liberal Fintan O’Toole as epitomising this elite. As well as being a high profile Irish journalist, he has a professorship at Princeton. These trends are also bolstered by the importance of (mostly) American multinationals who have established subsidiaries in Ireland primarily for tax reasons. For a relatively small economy like Ireland, these subsidiaries are a huge chunk of the GDP. And where there’s California money, California morality soon follows. So what was probably one of the most socially conservative European states in a couple of generations is now one of the wokest.

  • tfourier


    Modern Irish Republicanism is a mostly an American import. Not just almost totally financed from America since the 1840’s but a lot of the key players had spent time in the US or were US citizens. Like the bete noire of 20’th century Irish history, Eamon De Valera. Who was an American born kid dumped on his Irish relatives to raise because his mother did not want him. And that other great 20’th century Irish Republican political disaster, Sean MacBride, was French and spoke with a very strong French accent till his dying day.

    I think the reason why the US was so dominant is because is because most of the Irish Catholic professionals and middle class emigrated to the UK and the greater British Empire whereas the rural peasant mostly went to the US. And to a much lesser extent, Australia. And the shambolic “War of Independence” was very much peasants revolt which drove out most of the professional classes from the 26 counties post 1922 because they were either the wrong national identity, wrong religion, or worst of the lot, “Castle Catholics”. And we wont even mention the West Brits.

    So as the Free State after a shaky start careered from self-inflicted disaster to self inflicted disaster especially after 1932 the dependence on the US both financially (through emigrant remittances) and emotionally (as a place to dump its unemployed young) grew stronger. Then through US financing of the Troubles this dependence was cemented. It was US money that got the Provos up and running in the 1970’s until they became financially self supporting thorough organized crime. After that the NORAID money was just loose change. And a great cover story.

    As for the MNCs’ They have had almost zero broader social effect over the decades. They had a bit more impact up till the 1990’s when they were mostly genuine subsidiaries but the current MNC shell companies although they have huge “revenues” they employ relatively few and 80%+ of those are foreign nationals. Because Ireland produces very few of the people with the skills that the MNC are looking for and those Irish with those skills can have a better paying job with a better quality of life if they emigrate. So a lot do.

    Fintan O’Toole. He was always a pseudo-intellectual gobshite who was good for a few hundred words on demand for an editor. Filler pieces for when articles from genuine intellectual heavy weights like Conor Cruise O Brien or John Banville etc were not available to run. O’Toole was always a bit of a joke. A lightweight. And still is.

    As for Ireland being woke. The media is almost 100% state controlled by this stage. Directly or indirectly. Or a newspaper with a Guardian inferiorly complex. Outside of the Dublin 4 / Dublin 6 set which the Irish Times is a perfect mirror The Plain People of Ireland are 90% un-woke in their opinions and outlook but 90% social conformists. Because that’s how fundamentally peasant cultures work. Fifty years ago Dublin was a village of 700,000 people. Today Dublin is a village of 1.5 million. Despite the veneer of cosmopolitaness most of the native Irish of Dublin are still the cagey suspicious profound parochial types that they were in the 1950’s. And just as socially conformist. Just because they might mouth the current woke platitude means nothing. What they think in private is usually quite different. Just listen to what they moan about. Which is the national past time. That gives some hints as to their private, not public opinions.

    Remember, there is no word for Yes or No in Irish. The equivalent word are “It is” and “It is n’t”. Which accounts for the profound misunderstanding Anglophones have with Hibero-English and its speakers. In standard English what is said and what is meant is usually synonymous. In Hibero-English what is said and what is meant is rarely synonymous. So thats why ordinary people spouting wokism means little or nothing. Because they mean little of nothing to the speaker. Just words to express social conformity.

    Oddly enough Eastern Europeans who grew up in the Communist era have no problems dealing with this. Just Brits and Americans have problems. Taking what is said purely at face value.