The ongoing soap opera, which we will laughingly refer to as the 26-County Presidential Election is an obscenity in terms of the cost estimated at €20 million and the fact that it is being used by the political elite as a very convenient distraction from the harsh economic realties faced by Irish people the length and breadth of the 32 Counties.
The office itself is a meaningless and empty position carrying no political weight. It was a position created by Éamon De Valera to replace the old position of Governor General when he introduced his 1937 Free State Constitution. The blandness of the rhetoric coming from the candidates reflects the shallowness of the well-paid position they are all jockeying for.
Martin McGuinness tells us he wants a “New Republic”. Perhaps Martin could enlighten us as to how he will “lead us to the Republic” from the Vice Regal lodge.
Martin has said he will fearlessly uphold all the institutions of the 26-County State – including its army and police force. Well at least here he is consistent, as he has already made a similar pledge to uphold the institutions of British rule in the Six Counties. It seems if Martin is going to uphold partition it’s a case of all or nothing!
This election is a parody of democracy a case of fiddling while Rome burns. The political class are playing their little games hoping that the people will be distracted enough not to notice that their country and the future of their children is being sold off. All the elements that go towards creating a civilised society – access to health at the point of need – equal access to education – social protection of the young – the old – those with special needs either physical or mental are being sacrificed. The effects of this will be felt not just by this but also by future generations.
So as the rhetoric flies and the platitudes are trotted out by the various candidates telling us they “believe in people” or want to “encourage and inspire” or God preserve us “build bridges” just remember you can register your disgust and protest at this sham politics in a sham state. Either stay at home on polling day or if you do feel the need to go to the polling station write an appropriate slogan across the face of the ballot paper and send them your own message of protest and your aspiration for a truly New Ireland.