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Sunday 1 January 2017


Grandees require a push if they can't deport themselves

After the anti-establishment year it's been, our elite should now face justice - and exile

President Michael D Higgins alienated the US presidential candidate Donald Trump and then paid tribute to Fidel Castro
President Michael D Higgins alienated the US presidential candidate Donald Trump and then paid tribute to Fidel Castro

It's the time of the year when - after due consultation and mature reflection - I name and shame a selection of those I think should be deported from our nation forthwith.

As befits his status as head of state, President Michael D Higgins's name leads all the rest. Increasingly reluctant to exercise the discretion that is a prerequisite of his job, in October - while on TV plugging a collection of his own speeches - he delivered a warning against Donald Trump in a denunciation of "the politics of fear in the demagoguery of the United States".

Alienating a US presidential candidate was reckless. Worse was his cringeworthy tribute to Fidel Castro, who had clergy, gays and his political opponents executed, tortured, imprisoned and terrified or bored out of the country in their hundreds of thousands, and whom President-elect Trump had rightly denounced as a tyrant.
Since his wife Sabina shares not only his views but his propensity to make personal political statements, she can go with el Presidente.

And for like-minded company, and to give the folks back home a bit of peace, they can take the trade unionist and serial agitator Brendan Ogle, and his views on Cuba where he's visited the poverty-stricken totalitarian state many times with his rose tinted glasses on.

I don't normally suggest where deportees should go, but in their case, I'd recommend Florida. The climate is good, and Cuban refugees would be glad to help educate them about the realities of life under Castro and the reasons why the deplorable Donald won their state.

2016 having been an anti-establishment year, it's fitting that I'm nominating two more grandees. First is Peter Sutherland, whose many important jobs have included the chairmanships of BP and Goldman Sachs International. He was so outraged by the result of the Brexit vote that he tweeted: "The younger generation in UK has been sacrificed all because of distortion of facts & consequences. Somehow this result must be overturned."

Sutherland is so Europhile - and has innumerable European honours to prove it - that he's said: "Europe for me is the most noble political process in 1,000 years"; believes the EU should be working to undermine "homogeneity and difference from others"; considers opposition to further globalisation "morally indefensible"; and is a voluble campaigner for unrestricted mass immigration into the EU.

Since I'm a) a democrat and b) think Ireland should be able to retain its Irishness, I'm sending this fanatical federalist off to live abroad full-time, perhaps in the Vatican, to which he's been a trusted financial adviser for years.

Out too with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who delivered homilies about the 1916 leaders that were staggeringly ill-informed, sentimental and hagiographical, exaggerated their Catholic piety and ignored inconvenient public theological arguments showing how they flagrantly broke his church's rules on what constitutes a just war.

As a penance, he can take back to New York the body of its long-time resident Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa, which was despatched to Dublin in 1915 to provide the Irish Republican Brotherhood with a propaganda funeral (which regrettably was commemorated by the State in 2016). A megalomaniac, alcoholic and apostle of hatred, this bitter old Fenian specialised in plotting jihadi-type adventures in which groups of young Irishmen would be despatched to London to murder civilians.

The Archbishop is big on diversity, so I'm giving him as a travelling companion Ali Selim of the Dubai-financed Clonskeagh Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, which houses the European Council for Fatwa and Research, whose head is Qatar-based Yusuf al-Qaradawi - a man so close to the Muslim Brotherhood he was offered its chairmanship. They could discuss Al-Qaradawi's developing views - these days the old softie recommends flogging gays, lesbians and fornicators rather than executing them - and explore how Ali Selim can claim to be "a great advocate of freedom of expression" while threatening to sue anyone who publishes a picture of Mohammed.

But enough of the intellectual high ground. Mick Wallace TD has notice to quit because these days he's much more irritating than refreshing and has also been guilty of startling ingratitude.

I know they haven't been the best of friends, but - bearing in mind that a ruling in the Court of Appeal indicates that a breach of natural justice cost Alan Shatter his ministerial office, his reputation and his Dail seat - after Wallace was declared bankrupt, he should have showed the common decency and fellow-feeling to acknowledge that without Shatter's reforms, he'd be out of a job.

What's more, Wallace is the most ubiquitous and attention-seeking of our Dail left-wing social justice warriors and his hair is a crime against humanity.

He can leave the country along with John Halligan, the Training and Skills Minister, who also has annoying hair and spends inordinate amounts of time dithering about how to vote without a) weakening his left-wing credentials, b) losing his ministry, or c) upsetting the voters of Waterford.

Gerry Adams published a New Year message to his fans which explained that Jesus was a Palestinian but omitted to mention he was a Jew, and was so hilariously bad that it's being hailed on social media as a comedy classic and causes me to give him a reprieve.

Any-way, these days he's a liability to Sinn Fein rather than an asset. Mary Lou McDonald, however, is a goner, because her slavish allegiance to him embarrasses all right-thinking women everywhere.

Almost as mortifying for the population at large were the images of Irish senators snuggling up to have selfies taken with celebrity politician Nicola Sturgeon, whose smoke-and-mirrors routine about independence is a deliberate distraction from the poor performance of Scottish National Party governments over the last decade.

Out, out, out with the lot of them.

And a happy New Year to you all!

Ruth Dudley Edwards' 'The Seven: the life and legacies of the founding fathers of the Irish Republic' was published by Oneworld on March 22

Ruth Dudley Edwards

© Ruth Dudley Edwards