Why Civil War Politics are here to stay

I have just put up this discussion at Cedar Lounge Revolution of why predictions of the demise of civil war politics in the south are sadly mistaken.

2 Responses to “Why Civil War Politics are here to stay”

  1. Cruibín Says:

    While I would agree with you to some extent Garibaldy, I think that civil war politics qua actual civil war politcs died a long time ago. Instead you have the remnants of the two major forces that evolved post the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 who vie for political power while differing very little in political philosophy. The Civil War ended almost 85 years ago and while there were several decades of mutual hatred between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael this has now evolved into a mutually convenient arrangement where two practically identical parties can alternate in power without any real change in policy, only emphasis.

    Even in the United States you at least have some semblence of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats where the Republicans are the party of the big arms dealers and multi-nationalists while the Democrats are seen as the party of the middle-class that relies for election on the votes of the working class. Even here both keep their thumbs in the other’s pies so Republicans can claim the votes of working class but racist white factory workers and Democrats can hob-nob with the movers and shakers in Wall Street.

    In the Republic of Ireland Fine Gael is seen as the only viable alternative to Fianna Fáil and they have adapted Henry Ford’s motto for the Model-T – “You can have any colour as long as it’s black” to “you can have any government as long as its capitalist” with the added choice of stripes or mudflaps (aka Labour, the Greens and Sinn Féin).

    So in a sense Civil War Politics became tweedledum-tweedledee politics about 25 years ago.

    Finally with its all but declared intention to rerun the Lisbon Treaty referendum Fianna Fáil has shown that it is still a “slightly constitutional party” since it regards the constitution as a dispensible charter and the democratic vote of the Irish people has about the same value to them as was that “mere form of words” that was the Oath of Allegiance.

  2. Garibaldy Says:


    I agree entirely. Clearly the politics have moved on, though to the extent that we have no strong left we are still trapped to an extent in the old divisions, though not for the original reasons as you say. Nice line about FF too.

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