Or, if you are even older still and were a teacher or a civil servant, you would remember the time when you had to traipse down to the local Unionist and Protestant Justice of the Peace and take the ‘Oath of Allegiance’ to the crown before you could get a job as a teacher or civil servant in old Northern Ireland. A Catholic looking a job in government work had to go and swear allegiance to the crown.
All these things were designed to humiliate the local nationalist population and in this they were very successful. The Catholics were made to feel and indeed were treated as second class citizens; there was one law for the Protestants and another for the Catholics.
There were two alarming reports that came out from Europe last week and as usual with these things they were given very little coverage in the media; they are not politically correct so no one mentions them.
The six countries surveyed – Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Spain, and Poland – are the EU's biggest, jointly making up more than two out of three EU citizens or around 350 million of the EU's 500 million population.”
The article is contained in Europa magazine and says that the people of Europe feel that the way the Euro crisis is being handled is undermining the national democracy of their country.
‘José Manuel Barroso, the European commission president, said on Tuesday this week that the European "dream" was under threat from a "resurgence of populism and nationalism" across the EU. "At a time when so many Europeans are faced with unemployment, uncertainty and growing inequality, a sort of 'European fatigue' has set in, coupled with a lack of understanding. Who does what, who decides what, who controls whom and what? And where are we heading to?"’
Do you know who really takes the decisions that affect your life? Do you feel it right that a German politician or an Italian Technocrat should decide our government policy? More importantly, do you care about what happens to Cyprus, Greece or Spain other than the effect it has on the pound in your pocket?
People feel disconnected from the democratic process in Europe. Have you ever needed to go to your local European parliament member and if you did need to go, do you know who your local MEP is?
The second and connected report, which was taken across all European Union member countries, was perhaps even more alarming. It makes tough reading:
“A separate, more detailed study published this week on the impact of the currency and debt crisis and the austerity policies that have followed also found steep falls across the EU in faith in democracy and national political elites.”
“The study for the Cabinet Office by the European Social Survey, linking university researchers across the EU, found that soaring unemployment, anxiety and insecurity had eroded faith in politics.”
"Overall levels of political trust and satisfaction with democracy [declined] across much of Europe, but this varied markedly between countries. It was significant in Britain, Belgium, Denmark and Finland, particularly notable in France, Ireland, Slovenia and Spain, and reached truly alarming proportions in the case of Greece," it said.”
Is there a connection between these reports and the Catholics of Northern Ireland being stopped by a UDR man?
When a government effectively turns against their own people for whatever reason, the people take it so long and then stop. But the stop is always sudden and triggered by something that the elite consider normal; like the throwing of pennies down into the Bogside by the marchers of the Apprentice Boys that sat off the Battle of the Bogside in 1969.
A very good example of a government turning on its own people is the new insolvency laws that are being enacted in the Free State. They are draconian and are designed to humiliate, punish and effectively destroy any vestiges of self respect and dignity that a person in debt has.
Under the new laws the banks shall employ special overseers to tell the person in debt how much they can spend on clothes, food, social life and every other detail of the persons existence. For example the debtor shall have 33.40 euro per month for personal hygiene products. That is toothpaste, soap, deodorant etc. There is no allowance for the extras that women need.
The debtor is also allowed 28.97 euro a week for a social life. Now this is a country where any disco or concert or cinema night out would cost 100 euro, but the debtor can socialise on 28.97 a week and ‘that is good enough for him. Sure he shouldn’t have gotten himself into the debt in the first place, to be sure to be sure!’
The problem is that the people know that Dublin 4 would never be asked to put up with such a life. The politicians and the elite are closeted from the effects of their decisions and know nothing of the humiliation of having to try account for every penny to an official in the bank.
Understand this, the bank official shall have to see receipts for every cent a person spends. These are not imaginary figures drawn out of a hat and then the debtor is told to go and live on them. No, the bank official shall see receipts, examine your circumstances and if perchance you actually live on less, he shall expect the money that is left over to go to the bank.
This lasts for six years of a person’s life. But even then it does not end. No sir, to be sure to be sure.
For the rest of a debtor’s life the bank is entitled to 30% of everything the person earns. In other words, the debtors are kept in ‘financial prison’ forever.
Ain’t we lucky up here that we live under a civilised government; it may be foreign, it may be arrogant but at least it does not want to tramp its people into the ground.
Again I ask: Is there a connection between the Free State insolvency laws and the Catholics of Northern Ireland being stopped by a UDR man?
There most certainly is a connection and it is something worth thinking about.
The questions arises and is arising in all the countries of Europe, if the two reports quoted earlier are to be believed, does a citizen of a country like Ireland or Greece or Spain, where the people are being held to ransom in order to save a ego trip currency of the politicians, owe any allegiance to the state?
In other words, should a man living in Co Carlow, who has to hand over a toothpaste receipt to a young bookkeeper in a bank, feel a duty to obey the laws of the land, to help pay taxes and be part of the society?
We didn’t in the north: we enjoyed rioting, burning and destroying anything that we saw as connected with the establishment and we felt, as a community, perfectly justified in doing so.
Why should Johnny Patrick Murphy from Ballykissangel go back to living in the famine times so that Enda the Red can smile at Frauline Merkel and kiss the ring of Madam Lagarde?
Then there arises a further question which no one seems prepared to even countenance.
What have we in Europe become when we consider it right to drive people to suicide to pay for debt while the politicians, bankers, accountants, developers and everyone else, who caused this debacle in the first place, walk away scot free or may have even been given a bonus?
If there is one term I have grown to hate in these past five years it is “moral hazard.”
There are three things in life that you can be sure of; death, taxes and that moral hazard only applies to the poor.
There was no moral hazard for Brian Cowen, Bertie Ahern or Seanie Fitzpatrick. Seanie Fitzpatrick may be bankrupt but he can still buy toothpaste!
Beginning sometime in the 60s or 70s, it is hard to pinpoint the exact date, we moved from being a society where people were important to a society where money ruled the roost. If this is evident in any country it is evident in Ireland. We lost the run of ourselves completely.
A state is set up in some way to look after the welfare of the people. The job of the state is to provide protection, fairness, to help the underdog and to ensure that people have a chance.
It says a lot about pagan Britain that up here we can go bankrupt and that the state will at least give us a second chance.
In good Old Catholic Ireland, if you sin you have no hope of forgiveness. “You are a debtor, Paddy, and just because your betters like Enda and Eamon say so, you shall spend your life in debt. No second chance for you, me boy. Long live Ireland of the free!”
This whole Euro crisis and all the problems that arise from it are a perfect example of ‘confused conscience’ syndrome. But before we look at this let’s for a moment examine the opposite of a confused conscience, an “informed conscience.”
An informed conscience is one that starts off with what is right, what is the proper thing to do and what is of the best benefit to the individual and to the community.
Even if you don’t believe in God you can still develop an informed conscience by following the ‘natural law.’ The natural law is the law of God as written in nature, if you believe in God, or it is the proper ordering of things according to evolution, if you are a secularist.
So many things are obviously against the natural moral law. Confused consciences in Germany in the 1930s said it was legal to kill Jews, the same applied in the 1840s America with regards to slavery.
Such heinous crimes could only be justified by confused consciences. You do not need a degree in moral theology to know that they are wrong; the natural law shouts it out loud and clear.
There are so many things that can only be justified by confused consciences. The best example is abortion, but that is not our subject here.
An informed conscience, even if only informed by the natural law, knows that a society cannot punish the weak to protect the strong. Such behaviour is immoral.
Employing thousands of people to monitor people’s toothpaste spending in order to protect corrupt banks and bankers is immoral; letting the Greek people die for lack of drugs so that a politically motivated currency can be saved is immoral; watching Spanish women jump out of apartment windows and die as their home is about to be reposed is immoral.
A confused conscience can justify anything.
“We in Ireland need to pay back the bondholders—the former politicians should have 150,000 euro pensions or else we won’t get the right class of politician—a banker needs a million a year to live on, they are special people with special needs.”
Europe and Ireland have come a long way.
“We have shaken off the shackles of old Christian teaching. Ireland is a modern land where such old superstitions as forgiveness or giving a person a second chance are no longer believed; let’s all of us, from mighty Germany to little Cyprus throw off the bondage of superstitions such as concern for our neighbour and looking after the weak in our society—and we in the elite shall look after ourselves,” is the secularist politician’s cry.
“What need have we of the Prodigal Father who forgave his son after he spent all his father’s money on women and high living? What kind of example is that to give the poor?” they continue.
And when the petrol bombs start flying, and the mobs riot in the street, the elite of Dublin and Bonn shall look on like the unionists of 1969 Northern Ireland, and they shall wonder why the people would take no more!
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