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'Who lies for you will lie against you'. - Bosnian Proverb

Anthony McIntyre • March 13, 2003


Even if you don't happen to be a fan of horse racing, the shout, 'they're off', besides acting as the catalyst for a surge of excitement to course through the veins, means one thing - the horses are off and the bookie and punter stand divided by a chasm of self interest. But as matters would have it, in the week when horse devotees have their eyes on the Cheltenham races, the term takes on a somewhat different meaning as we watch the ungainly charge across the Atlantic by our own political class. It is said that when those who populate that class depart our shores the collective IQ of Ireland surges upwards while that of America plummets down towards equilibrium with its president.

Thoroughbred liars the lot of them, their lunge out of the traps is normally a welcome sign that the Americans rather than ourselves will have to put up with them for a few days. Usually it is a source of comfort to know that St Patrick's day remains faithful to the tradition established by the believers' most revered national saint when he banished snakes from these parts. Ours, although unfortunately not banished, nevertheless leave that silver trail in their wake as they slither across the Atlantic to inflict their sob stories on people not in the slightest bit interested. They try to convince the Americans that our self serving sordid sectarian squabble should merit more attention than matters in the Middle East. Too vain to appreciate that in American eyes they appear as recalcitrant obscurantists, they will strut their stuff on a media cat walk, never pausing to consider that were any of them to possess the mettle of Bernadette McAliskey, they would be on the first plane back here.

Once safely grounded on US soil and having uttered the necessary obeisant grunts they proceed to slither about the banquets of the powerful telling lies to and about each other before rounding it off arm in arm singing something about smiling Irish eyes. And then, such is our misfortune, they come back here, proclaiming their willingness to work together at the top so that they may devise strategies to keep the rest of us apart and at the bottom. Unionists as well as nationalists will jump all the hoops to show that they can leap as high and bow as low as the next one.

Their tuxedos, green bow ties, snivelling and grovelling they will assure us is for our benefit. Honourable people like themselves only assume such a demeanour out of respect for the rest of us. They will seek to convince us that that they would never dream of such a deportment were it not for their constituents back home on the old green sod.

But before we delude ourselves, abandon our faculty for critical judgment and wallow in the collective self denial that has poisoned our intellectual climate there is good reason to reflect on something noticed by William Rivers Pitt. Not too far back he drew attention to his familiarity with the permutations of the following comment which have from time to time appeared on a variety of online forums.

I cannot believe how incredibly stupid you are. I mean rock-hard stupid. Dehydrated-rock-hard stupid. Stupid so stupid that it goes way beyond the stupid we know into a whole different dimension of stupid. You are trans-stupid stupid. Meta-stupid. Stupid collapsed on itself so far that even the neutrons have collapsed. Singularity stupid. Blazing hot mid-day sun on Mercury stupid. You emit more stupid in one second than our entire galaxy emits in a year. Quasar stupid. Perhaps this is some primordial fragment from the original big bang of stupid. Some pure essence of a stupid so uncontaminated by anything else as to be beyond the laws of physics that we know.

Who amongst the thinking community is prepared to risk exposure to such ridicule by suggesting that any of it is believed?

On a much more serious level and at a time when those opposed to war on Iraq would be hoping for the isolation of an increasingly unbridled warlike US administration rather than public identification with it, only the radicals of Irish political life stayed at home. Those claiming to be opposed to war yet who travelled the 3000 miles to worship at the altar of US belligerence will no doubt come back and regale us with tales of how they told George Bush that his proposed war on Iraq is wrong; and of how he listened. Just as they claim to have told Richard Haass that American foreign policy on Israel was unethical. Haass, no doubt would be hard pressed to have any memory of such a conversation. And Bush it appears is unlikely to remember anything.

Nevertheless, we should be thankful for small mercies. Their sojourn in America should help to persuade us that we can get along without them. The man tasked with administering British rule until such times as the British can get the Irish to do it for them, Paul Murphy, has made it known that £7.4 million of public money has been saved and reallocated as a result of the suspension of Stormont. Just think of how much could be saved and usefully redeployed if America were to hold our political class until St Patrick's Day next year. Guantanamo Bay houses more honest people at the minute.



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Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
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Index: Current Articles

13 March 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:

Anthony McIntyre


One For All & All For One
Paul Dunne


Brave New World, Indeed.

Tommy Gorman


Ireland: Direct Rule Continues
Paul Mallon


9 March 2003


The Fundamental Problem Of Non-Constitutional Law Vis-À-Vis The Northern Ireland Question
Paul Fitzsimmons


To: George Bush and Associates
Karen Lyden Cox


An Open Letter
Vincent Doherty


Stupid White Men - A Review

John Nixon


Avoiding Conspiracy Theories

Anthony McIntyre




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