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All growed up....

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:55 pm
by macliam
In this time of division in the UK and with the horrific news from New Zealand, I was impressed by the short speech that Leo Varadkar gave at Mike Pence's residence.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Dn8O_mSQ2Y
For those who might not be aware. Mike Pence is historically anti-gay, yet last year invited the openly gay, half-Indian Varadkar to bring his husband with him on this year's visit. Unfortunately, the clip is cut short from the full speech, where Varadkar also said how he grew up knowing that he had to hide his true feelings or become a criminal..... that was powerful stuff.

I don't agree with some of his actions as a politician, I am not a supporter of his party, but I am proud of the image he projects on the world of modern Ireland. I left a country with a village mentality, where homosexuality was illegal, where contraception was illegal, where abortion was illegal, where the population was hugely white and catholic, where the church had too much influence and where the people saw themselves in terms of their differences to "the English", rather than their own qualities. How much has that country grown in the last 50 years!!! ...... and (cue groans) much of this has been due to membership of the EU and, for the first time, being treated as a partner, not as that little island to the west of Britain.

I compare that with what I now see in the UK, which was a shining light of freedom to people like me. The UK now seems consumed by division and going backwards. The light of public service and social conscience replaced by a me-me-me culture of rights without responsibilities and consumerism, the generally welcoming atmosphere replaced by a bitter, selfish, nasty distrust of anyone different. The politics of Ireland, once so parochial, are now more global - whereas the UK seems increasingly self-centred.

However, my happiness at the changes in Ireland are tinged with regret and sadness that I was not there to witness them first hand and that, while it will always be "home" to me, I am now a stranger and a foreigner in my own land. The good thing is, it's a much better country than the one I left.

This is also not a case of kicking the UK - it is still a great country - or the English (sorry to the Scots and Welsh but England dominates the UK), but more of a plea. For God's sake, wake up before it is too late! See the direction of travel and change tack, use your talents to lead rather than selling out to the highest bidder. Put the Great back in Britain by working with your partners, not against them.

Re: All growed up....

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:45 pm
by macliam
.... and, as if by magic, and to underline the vibrancy of the new Ireland - a clip sent to me by my cousin in Limerick of a new band (to me) Los Paddy de las Pampas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aEQsUo4Ous
Bain sult as!

Re: All growed up....

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:22 pm
by Boro Boy
I don't know if things have changed in the Republic as easily as you say. It's certainly a problem for some Irish citizens: http://www.msn.com/en-ie/news/newsirela ... ?ocid=iehp

As regards the EU, sure you have some great roads now in the West of Ireland but don't you think most of the social changes you mentioned would have changed anyway in or out of the EU?

Re: All growed up....

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:53 pm
by macliam
Boro Boy wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:22 pm
I don't know if things have changed in the Republic as easily as you say. It's certainly a problem for some Irish citizens: http://www.msn.com/en-ie/news/newsirela ... ?ocid=iehp

As regards the EU, sure you have some great roads now in the West of Ireland but don't you think most of the social changes you mentioned would have changed anyway in or out of the EU?
Firstly, attitudes have changed and the law has changed - before the change women coming to the UK could be prosecuted. It takes longer to change the logistics. There are, of course, those who object to some of the changes - but again, it is the country as a whole that has moved forward, regardless of the dinosaurs.

Secondly, No. Joining the EU was a game-changer for Ireland. It opened the country up to influences beyond England and the USA - it also allowed immigrants into a country that had been defined by emigration. The percentage of new immigrants is sightly higher than in the UK, yet there are fewer problems. My own city of Limerick now has a thriving community of foreign students who flock to the University.... so much so that many of the Limerick videos on YouTube are made by Brazilians and others.

..... and the beauty is, in all of this growth and acceptance of other cultures, our own has grown - the Gaelscoil teaching Irish are thriving - videos of the kids learning their language through music make me proud, the Music scene has grown, yet stayed "local" and accessible through "seisiún" where musicians just drop in to play impromptu sets in the local pubs (Co. Clare is full of them). The music I posted above was encouraged by a Tourism drive to reach out to the diaspora and get Irish emigrants to come back and play their music. Bobby Sands was right when he wrote "Our revenge will be in the laughter of our children", we've grown through the dark days to a new optimism.

Maybe that's the difference, we don't want to "be the boss of you", we want to collaborate for the common good. The UK seems to have forgotten how that song plays....

Re: All growed up....

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:48 pm
by Boro Boy
macliam wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:53 pm
Boro Boy wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:22 pm
I don't know if things have changed in the Republic as easily as you say. It's certainly a problem for some Irish citizens: http://www.msn.com/en-ie/news/newsirela ... ?ocid=iehp

As regards the EU, sure you have some great roads now in the West of Ireland but don't you think most of the social changes you mentioned would have changed anyway in or out of the EU?
Firstly, attitudes have changed and the law has changed - before the change women coming to the UK could be prosecuted. It takes longer to change the logistics. There are, of course, those who object to some of the changes - but again, it is the country as a whole that has moved forward, regardless of the dinosaurs.

Secondly, No. Joining the EU was a game-changer for Ireland. It opened the country up to influences beyond England and the USA - it also allowed immigrants into a country that had been defined by emigration. The percentage of new immigrants is sightly higher than in the UK, yet there are fewer problems. My own city of Limerick now has a thriving community of foreign students who flock to the University.... so much so that many of the Limerick videos on YouTube are made by Brazilians and others.

..... and the beauty is, in all of this growth and acceptance of other cultures, our own has grown - the Gaelscoil teaching Irish are thriving - videos of the kids learning their language through music make me proud, the Music scene has grown, yet stayed "local" and accessible through "seisiún" where musicians just drop in to play impromptu sets in the local pubs (Co. Clare is full of them). The music I posted above was encouraged by a Tourism drive to reach out to the diaspora and get Irish emigrants to come back and play their music. Bobby Sands was right when he wrote "Our revenge will be in the laughter of our children", we've grown through the dark days to a new optimism.

Maybe that's the difference, we don't want to "be the boss of you", we want to collaborate for the common good. The UK seems to have forgotten how that song plays....
So are you saying you would still be in the dark days if it wasn't for the EU?

Re: All growed up....

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:53 pm
by macliam
So, let me get this right, out of all that info, the only thing that sticks in your mind is the EU.

To answer your question, I don't know - nobody can - because it did not happen, however Ireland was stuck in a timewarp since the 1920s until it joined the EU.

Ireland is in the EU, the EU has been good for Ireland (and not just financially), The EU has a 90+% popularity rating in Ireland.

On the other hand, you seem to be the incarnation of Britain.... stuck worrying about the EU and unable to see past it.

Re: All growed up....

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:57 am
by Boro Boy
macliam wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:53 pm
So, let me get this right, out of all that info, the only thing that sticks in your mind is the EU.

To answer your question, I don't know - nobody can - because it did not happen, however Ireland was stuck in a timewarp since the 1920s until it joined the EU.

Ireland is in the EU, the EU has been good for Ireland (and not just financially), The EU has a 90+% popularity rating in Ireland.

On the other hand, you seem to be the incarnation of Britain.... stuck worrying about the EU and unable to see past it.

Why must you always resort to personal comments; I was merely clarifying what you had said previously. You leave me to assume that your only means of communication is to attack and dominate.

Re: All growed up....

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:35 am
by macliam
I think we'll let others decide.