A few short weeks ago, we were convulsed by the popping of some champagne corks in Iveagh House. This followed prolonged agonising over whether the partition in The Station House Hotel, in idyllic Clifden, was opened or closed.
How embarrassing it all seems now. How did we permit the angry men and women, who will always be with us, to lead us on this path? The fourth estate followed like the Pied Piper and as they criss-crossed West Connemara, it was hard to distinguish them from the Galway Greyfaced sheep that strolled in unison on the Maumturk mountain trails. They were not alone. Even Insider, an intelligent, unemotive, and analytical individual sought a crucifixion and wanted Barabas thrown in as an added extra.
As I hear the cock crowing for a third time, Insider has now regained his composure and can confidently say "not I", modelling himself on Sinn Féin's latest mantra disowning past utterances on Russia.
The war in Ukraine
The cock that is now crowing is the sound of Putin's artillery raining down on the Ukrainian people whose resilience is their greatest weapon. The western world can only offer token help and we fear where it will all end. Putin wants capitulation and humiliation, but what else?
Western likeability is not a road he seeks to travel. Could all this have been avoided? Did we poke the bear? Surely a sovereign country has the right to establish whatever alliances it desires, or is such an approach a little naïve in the world of realpolitik?
As an island nation, it can be difficult to visualise the concept of nationhood on the continent of Europe as different ethnic groups intermingle within and across national and geographic boundaries, just like Russia and Ukraine.
Oksana Pamula, a Galway based Ukrainian. Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy
Kyiv is almost seven centuries older than Moscow. It has experienced many conflicts over the ages. It has fought and will fight to the end. Its title, ‘City of Braves’, is well earned. The more authoritative and learned views we hear, the less we can visualise the outcome. Will Ukraine become another Afghanistan? Unlikely. Will Putin seek to control a line east of the Dnipro River, with an associated mass movement of people to the west? What we can be sure of is that Ukrainians will resist and Russia will pay a far higher price than anything it can achieve. It will retain a pariah state status until Putin departs the stage.
Don’t buy into the angry voices
What can we learn from it all? First, let us not buy into the angry men and women and the ‘whataboutery’. We need to see a couple of champagne bottles for what they are, and not a symbol, and tool of the great attempt to create a class divide in this country.
At a later date, and more appropriate time, Insider will demonstrate how this State has developed, how the rising tide has lifted all boats, and how the transfer of taxes has addressed income inequality.
Is there a Volodymyr Zelenskyy performing down at the Black Box Theatre this weekend? Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Real substance is in short supply in political circles these days. We can very quickly create false gods.
John Bercow was a great favourite during the Brexit debacle but in recent days togged out as "serial liar, John Bercow, banned from having Parliamentary pass after bullying claims upheld". I can still see the beamed name of Aung San Suu Kyi flashed on the hollow ground of Croke Park as Bono belted out her praises as she sipped tea in the Arás.
Micheál Martin has done well
Micheál Martin is solid and has done well. He survived the slings and arrows, and knows abusive trolls are simply abusive trolls. We should be thankful he is at the helm at this time. Insider firmly believes that others like Éamon Ó Cuív, Michael Ring, or Dara Calleary could do a similar job. Alas, they are unlikely to get the opportunity as they are not known to feed "the Galway Greyface sheep that criss-crossed West Connemara" in the mid August sunshine.
One of the more unedifying aspects of Irish political life is the cross manipulation of some journalists and politicians. These people are clearly visible to the trained eye. All things being equal, Leo Varadkar, will take up the reins later this year. He can learn much from the present incumbent and Insider is hopeful he will. Insider’s only advice at this stage is for Varadkar to act as if he will never be Taoiseach again. Insider will be more prescriptive at a later date.
Filter out populist politicians
We pride ourselves on innovative tech start ups and Insider now make a plea from the heart. Is there any creative person out there who can develop a software program to filter out politicians from populist posts or actions?
Insider could reduce his intake of ‘triple pill’ if he was spared the image of a politician talking to a bemused volunteer at some staging post on the Poland/Ukraine border or glancing at a diesel pump in some forlorn forecourt. I suspect the residents of Orwell Road will give me much needed relief when they administer a boot up the transom to those that seek to surf the wave.