They call it Civil War Politics, and the death of it may be one of the only positive things to come out of the recession in Ireland. The term does not exactly conjure appealing images in the mind’s eye.
Meet Pia Kjærsgaard. Pia is a woman who is going places. Specifically, she is going to the salon to have her hair bleached an even starker blond – but after that, she’s going to pose for a photo shoot wrapped in the Danish flag, and then she is going to make a heroic stand against the foreign hordes who threaten to overrun her fairy tale vision of a Denmark where everyone is a Lutheran, monarchist, pork-eating blonde. Pia is trying very hard to be the Danish Sarah Palin.
This week saw what has been described as the largest demonstration in the history of the Irish state, as an estimated 150,000 people marched through Dublin city centre to protest the Irish government’s draconian new austerity budget and the arrival of the IMF. They came from all over the country and from all walks of life, united in the belief that there is a better way to deal with Ireland’s economic woes. The march had been arranged by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
So it has finally happened. It has been called the blackest day in Irish history and the fall of the Irish Republic: after a tumultuous series of denials, spin and secret discussions, the IMF and the European Union has intervened to try to stop the death spiral of the Irish economy.
Even if Fianna Fail were able to muster the political will, it would be a monumental task for the State to prosecute bankers of the failed Irish zombie banks, notably Anglo-Irish, because proof thresholds required in white collar crime cases are extremely high in Ireland. In fact, the Irish Independent reports in the same article that Ireland has never seen a successful prosecution for insider trading. Ever.