By Eithne Hogan

I’ve been reading a lot of articles, news reports and personal commentary essentially expressing similar thoughts about the increasing and intensifying insanity that is invading Ireland, Europe and the wider [but more immediate web reachable] world. Nationally, internationally and globally, we are day-by-day witnessing a deep sea dive into the reckless and marauding unwarranted cries for the most brutal and destructive of perpetual warfare. On top of this craziness, there are incessant disparaging moves against every kind and nuance of freedom and liberty we humans allegedly cherish. Everywhere, we are meeting and seeing, touching, speaking and feeling the battle of words, thoughts, and actions with our minds and our souls steeped bloodily and boldly against the darkest forces and degrees of Power. Whilst thankfully and mercifully, growing numbers of people are steadily countering and condemning the point blank refusal by elitist rulers  to definitively contract against the ‘natural’ urge and real live lungs of consummate and sycophantic capitalist terror; this drive for perpetual warmongering and control is accelerating fast.


More and more, we are experiencing through all of our senses the cowardice and inanity of a greedy and lustful guarded move to impose on the earth the impenetrable chains of a world going and already gone, in parts, unbelievably mad. More and more, we are diving down deep into the swamps and wastelands of catastrophic King Lear landscapes while simultaneously observing the most puerile political landslide into the pre-schooler mentality of Montessori political rule. I have never ever seen so many ruling governments wholeheartedly bent on delivering wholesale damage and absolute devastation. And on the governmental ‘puppet’ side and fluff-balled yes-siree snotty sleeve, I have never ever simultaneously witnessed the regressive plunging slide into the mind-set of a delusional but irredeemable demonic child. A child demanding the thumbs up sanction and go ahead from its citizenry way beyond the salvation of the ‘bold step’ behavioural road to redemption. Autocracy lives on with its hanging-on-to-the-ladder in desperation loyal children.

Yet again, the wilfully blind leading the witlessly blinded.

This mix and breed are the strangest and most dangerous of bed fellows. For they place us into a world of capital denial and capital deceit. And they recklessly disregard the bludgeoning bloodshed and the havoc and horror they wreak…

So from the denying and avoiding voice of our modern Lear:

“Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood

Clean from my hand? No; this my hand will rather

The multitudinous seas incarnadine,

Making the green one red.”


to the march of many modern governments:


“We’re all just puppets, doing a little puppet dance, that the puppeteer makes us do.”


The not so very grand old duke will merrily march us up the hill alright, but when he marches us down again, we will be so deep down and dirty, there will be no coming back from the redness of Lear’s incarnadine and flesh-filled bloodied ocean.




So what of our own Irish place in this perverse version of the political ‘Welcome to Letterland?


Way before and especially since the Lisbon Treaty, Irish neutrality has been made a mockery of. You only have to look at the usage of Shannon Airport to squash any gullible iota of belief in that particular fairy-tale.


As John Lannon and Roger Cole of PANA state: “Irish values and neutrality have been eroded by the US military use of Shannon Airport since the start of the 21st Century. As such, it is part of a long continuing struggle against imperialism that was articulated in the 1916 Proclamation almost a century ago and has existed in Ireland ever since.”


“The Government can talk about triple locks and the authority of the Dáil, but for too long this has been used as a fig leaf in their relentless efforts to avoid transparency and accountability at any cost. Troops and heavy armaments are being transited through Shannon on the way to warfronts which have resulted in the deaths of over 1 million people, the destabilisation of entire regions, and

the highest number of displaced people due to war – over 33 million – since World War 2. They wring their hands about the catastrophic migrant crisis, and congratulate the Irish Navy for their part in the rescue, but where is the analysis of why these people are refugees? We have been complicit in the atrocities that have torn apart the Middle East and other regions, driving people from their homes, assisted by the continued use of Shannon Airport by the US military.”


My emphasis here is not to discuss the specifics of our neutrality and on-going fight to retain it or to have its corruption somewhat reverted and albeit tarnished returned. My focus is more a commentary on the mind-set of a ruling government and coalition that childishly thinks it plays any significant role other than what its puppet master expects of it and demands and so far all too conveniently gets. My line of sight is on the current coalition and the defenders of these actions who have the pre-schooler gall and five year old tenacity to think that any of its current representatives like the Coveneys and Cowans of the world hold the needed characteristics beyond the A is for Arry Gant, D is for Dose Ile  and F is for Few Tile and imagine that other than the possibility of a higher paying job on the prospective ladder of rule; they will be dropped unceremoniously like the wimpish but dangerous fodder that they are on the neo-liberal road to world domination. Perhaps this is enough payment for the pre-schoolers in Montessori politics? Perhaps the ignominy is worth the green white and orange snotty sleeve? Perhaps the job in the land of Nod or Narnia is a conscience cleaning exercise for the Irish political Letterlanders? Who knows? They may not care. But we the people in our ‘democracy’ do.


The majority of Irish people cherish and respect Ireland’s wanted position of neutrality. The majority of Irish people see no justifiable reason for us to become involved in any foreign action that smacks of unnecessary or unjustifiable echoes of colonialist or neo-imperialist warfare. The majority of people unrelentingly support the very few voices in the Dáil who speak out wildly against the injustices of war and the imperialist agenda that props it up and profits from its existence.  The sincerest position of neutrality I have read to date, expressed just earlier today are the simple words typed on a post beside a series of photographs depicting the horror of victims in the current genocide taking place in Syria. “Not in my name”. This is the humble and genuine voice of authentic neutrality. Our LetterLanders out for a quick fix of shortly-lived onward and upward camaraderie and hot towel sauna talk with the big boys should take heed of the simple and not the simplistic. Arry Gant, Innadaze aka Pinocchio Kenny and Clever Cat Coveney should listen well and learn good. The citizenry are watching and learning regardless of your convenient truths and outright shame-faced lies. Remember, the pacifier fell out of their pram many lullabies and pre-election promises ago – if the soother was ever really in place to begin with or the visit of the tooth fairy ever really happened!




Now, the LetterLanders on behalf of the puppet masters are dancing to a different tune. They are offering our very own youth to participate in Mali, on a so-called peace-keeping mission. But do the LetterLanders deceive? Even in the wake of the Paris attacks, our LetterLanders were giving it loads about Ireland’s role in EU’s struggles and our obligations and duties to our neigbours.  But things are not always as simple as the nursery rhymes emanating from the corridors of power in Montessori land otherwise known as the Dáil.


“With regards to Mali, the growing possibility that the peace accord will fall apart, or that it was never fully implemented in the first place, means that there may be no ‘peace to keep’ – while extremists there have made a habit out of targeting peacekeepers and aid workers specifically. These, in addition to France’s colonial legacy and particular set of national security and regional economic interests, were only some of the contextual factors that Minister Coveney wanted to so quickly write off as an “unfair story.”[Broadsheet]


The only ‘unfair story’ or one of them at least is Coveney’s possible dance to the beat of the Bilderberg tune. That Mali presents our youth’s participation as an intermediary peace keeper in a mere squabble between two innocuous parties is disingenuous and false. That one of our leading LetterLanders would try to ask us to swallow this pill is as ridiculous as the naivety and danger of the pill’s complicit holder. The truth is: “Ireland needs to seriously consider the implications of sending more soldiers abroad, at a time when the very safeguard protecting Irish neutrality, the so-called triple lock mechanism, continues to suffer from legislative erosion”. Ireland’s neutrality is regarded as sacrosanct to the majority of people who live on this Island of ours. But the people’s voice is equally being eroded by a combination of arrogance, reckless foolhardiness and the politics of a pre-schooler out to save his own lunch while sacrificing his friends or his peers. It brings to mind the certain saying that a particular person would sell his granny! The primary difference in this sale is the politics of a pre-schooler siding up to the bully stems from fear or a misplaced sense of bully by association. The politics of the Montessori coalition is misguided and misplaced loyalty, pre-planned and complicit.




There are so many things that must be saved from the hands of the Lears and the LetterLanders of the world. Everything we possess as humans seem to be commodities on the table. Attacks to these basic needs and our freedom and liberty and sovereignty grow by the day. Ireland’s neutrality is but one in a long list. But alongside our food, our water, our homes, our education and our health and the environment in which we live; our neutrality is part of what makes us human.


It is the simple but heartfelt ability to speak the words:


Not in my name. Not in my name.


Not in my name…