Saturday, 24 September 2011

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed

There's a real prospect of Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness becoming the President of Ireland next month. It sickens me that an unrepentant terrorist, a senior figure in an organization that murdered many innocents, could be so close to such a position. But with the success of the peace process in which he has been so influential he undoubtedly has a right to participate  in the election. Moreover I can understand his appeal to many voters, given the weak candidates put forward by the traditional parties and the abject failures of those parties in government. Indeed Sinn Fein may well be the only party who would dare to take Ireland out of the dead-end we've parked ourselves in; one could imagine a Shinner government standing up to European bureaucrats and walking away from the Euro if necessary.

Imagine too a Shinner administration and president celebrating the centenary of the 1916 rising, President Martin McGuinness and Taoiseach Mary Lou McDonald on the reviewing stand outside the GPO - my God I feel quite ill thinking about it.

Where oh where is the next generation of democrats and leaders to put forward an alternative vision for Ireland? Yeats was never more right.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

 - from "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats, 1919

No comments:

Post a Comment