PlutoniumKun: Correcting the Considerable Misinformation on the Recent Dublin Riots

Yves here. The old Brexit Brain Trust continues to have e-mail discussions from time to time. PlutoniumKun, who as you will see knows Dublin intimately, sent a long missive on the way the recent riots, triggered by stabbings outside a school, were being misleadingly shoehorned into prevailing narratives.

One element of PlutoniumKun’sconfirmed a stereotype: that the UK has a cohort of young men who like to break heads with little provocation, witness soccer hooligans.

But the big, arguably overarching, issue is the way questioning/discussing immigration frictions and violence has been excluded from politics and minimized in media coverage. I noticed that even at my considerable remove, that the press insisted on depicted the riots as the result of right-wingers on social media spreading rumors…when in fact the rioters had the underlying facts correct, that it was an immigrant that was the perp. The stories I read were artfully written to the impression that rumors = fabrication (the right wing in the US calls this spin “the crime of noticing”. It’s really frustrating when actual and self-censorship results in the right wing having a valid point about press bias).

PlutoniumKun also describes how the right wingers, who were an identifiable group, were protesting in a separate area and either not part of the riots or not much part of them, and the rioters did not take up the chants of the right-wingers. Moreover the rioters did not target immigrants, but went after the police and journalists. Note also that PlutoniumKun describes how the resentment is not directed at immigrants generally but at ones perceived as being freeloaders…which includes Ukrainians.

Another surprising issue is multiple examples of American and even some UK meddling.

By PlutoniumKun

Since there is so much nonsense been commented and written about the riots here, I thought I’d take the opportunity to put down some thoughts. My apologies if this email gets way too long and rambling but… I think a lot of things are going on simultaneously, and unless you want to shove what happened into some pre-existing narrative (which is what 95% of the commentary is doing), then there has to be a lot of context.

First off, the riot itself:

It was very short, sharp and nasty, but contrary to what was often portrayed in the media, it occurred in a very small and narrowly defined area – about 200 yards of main street (with some other outbreaks). It took less than 2 hours from flaring up to burning out. It started when a man (thought to be Algerian) attacked children leaving a small junior school – called a Gaelschoil here (a voluntary Irish speaking school, more on this below). He was stopped by brave action by a number of passersby including an American female tourist and a Brazilian delivery man.

I was in my office around 400 yards away at the time. I saw on the news what happened and decided that the last thing anyone needed was sightseers, so stayed in put in the office. But it was quickly obvious a riot was taking place around the corner, so around 6.30pm I left my office and did a walk around. It was apparent something nasty was building, with lots of youths arriving – some attacking police cars. Unfortunately, it was recycling day for shops, so there were convenient bundles of cardboard stacked on the streets. The overwhelming number of rioters I saw were local teens and youths – none chanting – obviously out for a fight without needing a cause. There was no overt political presence, but there was a ‘far right’ protest at the place where the original attack took place. Many of those there were obviously prepared – they had fireworks and some inflammatory materials, but no obvious weapons. Within an hour or two, 2 buses, a light railway and some cars were burned out, and sportswear shops were looted. By 8pm it was all blown over. As riots go, I’ve seen much worse in my time, but it was very intense in that small area. The police were caught completely unprepared.

The area is the upper end of O’Connell Street in Dublin with the junction of Frederick Street and Parnell Street. This is the commercial fringe of the roughest, most deprived area of Dublin. O’Connell Street is shiny and modern, with new hotels, but also has a lot of street drug use, crime, with some very rough residential areas nearby – these extend north for maybe half a mile before the inner suburbs, and east into the traditionally poorest residential part of the city into the docklands, where the highest density of the traditional working class community lives. It’s an area I know very well – my mother came from there (not so poor, more down and out petite bourgeoisie) and I was brought up with stories of the horrors of the slums by my mother and my father, who was a policeman in the 1950’s and 60’s. I can remember as a child in the 1970’s watching the last of the most horrifying slums get demolished, along with the home my mother grew up with. I’ve lived in the area for more than 20 years, I know it very well.

The immediate area of the riots, apart from commercial buildings, is the closest there is to a Chinatown in Dublin – full of Asian restaurants and an increasing number of Arab/North African owned businesses. It’s ‘rough’ as we say here, but generally vibrant and fun.

The immediate and wider area, while leaving a lot to be desired, is probably in better shape than at any time in the last century. The old slums are gone – replaced with public housing and some low grade private accommodation including numerous Georgian buildings subdivided into flats – mostly used by immigrants – the ethnicity over time – currently I’d say mostly Brazilian. It’s not great, but anyone who claims that the area is in decline doesn’t know what they are talking about – it was much worse in the not so recent and recent past.

A lot of commentators are talking about the area being ‘abandoned’, etc., but in reality it’s better than it has been in the past. There have been some very good public housing/park developments, and there is plenty of work at the moment for anyone capable of it.

The Irish working class community are mostly in public housing which is kept firmly within families – so the housing crisis hasn’t really touched them, despite what many would claim. There is a particular issue that (as always in Dublin), the local government is very weak, most real decisions are made at national level – Irish politicians have always ensured Dublin would never be an independent powerbase, it’s just too big compared to the rest of the country. But politically, it’s lost most of its community activists over the years – the last election was the last one that genuine local independents representing the local community won – now all local elected reps belong to the main parties – including the leader of Sinn Fein.

The big issue of contention is quite simple – the government has been shoving in refugees in all available property – mostly short lets or older hotels. What has most upset locals is that many of the most ‘problematic’ refugees – young men from North Africa, the Middle East, etc., are being crammed into these communities. There is deep resentment that they are getting the ‘worst’ dumped on them, and when they complain, they are accused of being racist. To an extent, this is entirely true – there is a crisis in accommodating refugees (not to mention other homeless), and the authorities are pushing for the easiest solution, which is putting them in either old deprived communities or small towns with lots of empty hotels.

What was very noticeable during the riot and the aftermath is that despite the very large immigrant community in the area there was no attempt whatever to attack any Asian/Arab owned property, or attack individuals. Indeed, I saw some Chinese people actually walk right into the riot on their way home, and none came to harm. They didn’t seem to have any idea what was going on, perhaps simply assuming that fights and rioting is quite normal in Ireland.

Anyway, political context:

One of the peculiarities of Irish politics is that it has no significant far right/anti immigrant political party. There have been attempts to create one, but none have succeeded. I think the reasons for this are (in no specific order):

1. Sinn Fein has essentially scooped up the ‘angry working class man’ vote and turned it into an anti-establishment leftist vote. Sinn Fein is very active in essentially moulding its own electorate, which is significantly more right wing than the party itself. Irish republicanism has always focused on social issues and rejected outright racism, going back to its 18th Century origins. And European style fascism has always been attached to Northern Ireland loyalism, making it particularly toxic to Irish radicals, even of the right.
2. The traditional Irish far right has been mostly focused on catholic fundamentalism – their driving issues are abortion, gay marriage, etc. As many African and East Europeans agree with them, they’ve never been particularly keen or interested in racism. Many actually welcomed immigration as it brought in lots of traditionalist Poles and even more traditionalist African priests.
3. Irish people travel and work a lot – i think this matters. Stop in any rural pub and chat to the locals and at least half of them will have spent some time abroad, often in unexpected places. This can make even small Irish towns surprisingly cosmopolitan. i’m not suggesting Irish people are less racist than anyone else, but it sort of goes against the grain for people here in a way it may not in, say, rural France or the US.

Needless to say, the Irish woke left simply assume that Irish working class are racists, because they are white and yadda yadda, etc.

Now, it should be seen as a good thing that Ireland does not have a far right political party. But this has a downside – nobody is representing people who have ‘concerns’. There is a virtual omerta in Irish political talk on issues of immigration and race and so on. Politicians refuse to engage and the media here are relentless in their view (actually overtly expressed by some journalists on twitter), that it their job ‘not to inflame things’. This extends from the mainstream press to the far corners of the tabloids. So there is an absolute refusal to in any way engage with what people are talking about.

It is very noticeable that apart from the police, only one other group was attacked during the riot. Journalists. Several were targeted specifically. Needless to say, none were interested in asking why they were so hated by those youths. i suspect they genuinely have no idea.

I want to give one specific example of the way the Irish system works to simply pretend certain things aren’t happening:

In 2018, a young Japanese man, Yosuke Sasake on a study/work programme, was stabbed to death in a town by an Egyptian asylum seeker. The Egyptian was undergoing a deep psychotic episode and just attacked the first person he saw. The town was shocked, and thousands came out in a vigil for him and his family. Several Japanese people here I know were very touched by the reaction. But not by what happened after.

Essentially, the entire incident was memory holed. The trial took all of 20 minutes. Three psychiatrists briefly stated their opinion that the killer was suffering deep psychosis. He was sent to a secure mental hospital indefinitely (he’ll probably never get out). The Japanese embassy was as furious as it’s possible for a Japanese embassy to be. They had no opportunity to make submissions for extradition, the family were not allowed any say. The small Japanese community here were extremely upset. The trial barely got a mention in the news. The Irish establishment simply decided that it was better not to ask any questions, least of all why a mentally ill Egyptian who had been refused asylum in the UK had washed up in a small Irish town without his medication.

This attitude, of simply pretending things aren’t happening, has become endemic. Some very difficult situations in small towns with refugees are simply not reported (of course, people talk about them, and you see them on social media), but it’s never actively discussed in the media.

Now to more recent events – the trial ended recently of a Slovakian accused of a particularly horrible murder. He randomly attacked a young woman out jogging and stabbed her to death – with seemingly no motive whatever. In the month that it happened, there had been two other nasty attacks on young women by East European men.

In the trial, the victims brother talked about how ‘Ireland gave a home, job, social welfare’, to the killer, and how he betrayed this. The media of course did not report this, but it was all over social media.

This view, incidentally, is not just shared by Irish people – my Asian friends in particular regularly complain to me vociferously over why refugees get free accommodation and don’t to pay for visa applications, while they have to go through the long, onerous and expensive process of applying for naturalizations. They really, truly resent this. Culturally they find it baffling that the Irish will give money to refugees while making life so difficult for hard working immigrants who go through the system the official way.

So, there is this brewing deep-lying resentment towards …. not immigrants, but a particular type of immigrant. It’s very noticeable that there has been very little overt racism expressed (even in the darker corners of X). It’s mostly a very strong resentment aimed at poor incomers, mostly North Africans, central Asians and Ukrainians.

Now, another feature of the Irish ‘turn a blind eye’. In the north inner city I’ve heard many times complaints about how a type of ‘sorting’ is going on in local schools. Some ethnic groups are becoming dominant, others are suffering racism, Irish people are retreating to specific schools. A Japanese friend withdrew her daughter from one school saying the east European kids were bullying her. A friend in a rural village said three Russian kids had been transferred to protect them from being bullied by Ukrainian kids in the main town school. In typical Irish style, the authorities are just ignoring this and allowing the ‘sorting’ to take place, but insisting that teachers don’t talk about it.

This may be significant because the stabbing was outside a Gaelscoil – this are Irish language schools favoured by a mix of hipster parents and working class nationalists, with a smattering of others (my American friends who moved here from Arizona 8 years ago put their mixed race daughter in one and loved the mix within the school). But it has also been claimed – with some justification – that some Irish parents put their kids in these schools specifically to avoid immigrant kids. So… people immediately started wondering if this is why this particular school was attacked. Needless to say, this thought is only in people’s heads, not in the media. The police are still being very tightlipped over the name of the attacker and any motive. I don’t doubt for a moment that they’ll try to have him declared insane so there won’t have to be a trial. That’s just how it works here.

Now, to politics:

I’ve heard allegations recently that Irish politicians are ‘out of touch’. This is one of those statements that immediately disqualifies the person saying it from ever being listened to again on the subject of Irish politics. Nobody is in ‘more touch’ than an Irish politician, whether a local Council Rep, or a government minister. You simply don’t get elected if you don’t know every whisper of what is going on in your area. Every single one has a crew of volunteers whose sole job is to tell the politician what people are saying in pubs, hairdressers, supermarket queues, etc. They know.

This time last year I heard an interesting interview with a senior politician which made me sit up and take notice. He was quite open about the fact that he was hearing that ‘bad things’ are brewing and that the next 2 years would see a lot of unrest. Since then, I’ve been trying to get the sense of how they perceive things. It’s been progressively very obvious that all are doing all they can to avoid certain topics, and even left wing politicians have been slowly inching away from any overt support for things like welcoming more Ukrainians, etc.

But it’s not just immigrants. There have been at least three major ‘right wing’ movements getting traction in Ireland in the past year or more. I don’t think any of them are ‘organic’.

I always avoid the dark depths of social media, but I do try to keep up with what is happening in my area. One thing that has been very noticeable is a concentrated effort to focus on the refugee issue. An anecdote:

Early last year there were claims that a young woman was raped by a refugee and the police were ‘covering it up’. Now I know the place where it allegedly happened – I know it well, I walk past it every day, twice a day. It most certainly did not happen, the story was a compete invention. The initial claims were from what seemed to be locals (no doubt the same people who started the riot), but then I noticed something very interesting. A wave of people came online to back up the claim, all claiming to be local residents. It was perfectly clear that these people were not. In fact, it’s perfectly clear that they were all Americans – you could tell from the word choice and writing pattern.

Now there are three explanations for this – one is that this was just typical right wing incels piling on to any issue with lots of potential for trolling. The second is that there are local links to US based right wing groups. There are known Irish American fascist groups in Boston. The third is that this was deliberate astroturfing, that it all originated from the US. I don’t know the answer as to who could be behind this. But it may be related to the second issue:

The second issue is a wave of anti-Green rural activity, based around clampdowns on nitrates and reductions in cattle counts in order to.. well, stop the destruction of Irish rivers and to meet long standing EU Directive obligations (the Nitrate directive dates back to 1991 and has been ignored since then). But what is very obvious to me is that these movements are entirely driven and financed from the US by astroturf organisations, they follow the standard playbook. One rural politician was widely mocked for making a speech denying climate change while changing from his rich Tipperary accent into American prosody while reading out his speech. His press release even used US spellings.

Apart from showing how stupid some of these people are, it is quite clear that there is a funded US effort (in the Netherlands too, I don’t believe for a moment that the farming anti-nitrates directive there arose naturally). I think some well-funded groups see an overlap of climate change and agriculture as a leverage issue for the Anglosphere far right in Europe.

Who is behind it, I don’t know, although you probably don’t have to look too far from various Koch Brothers projects. But, I have to say, it’s having a real impact. The farming media here has gone full on conspiracy right wing, without the rest of the media noticing (and the farming newspapers matter in Ireland, they are read by nearly all rural people).

Finally…. wokism. Over the summer there were a number of protests at libraries stocking pro-trans books for children. I’d more or less ignored this until one very strange event.

Late Spring I was driving West with a colleague and we stopped at the small pretty town of Carrick-on-Shannon for lunch. It was a nice day, so we went to the Shannon riverside park (beside the town carpark) to have a sandwich and coffee. To our astonishment, a fight broke out.

The main protagonists were several obvious trans and some blue haired supporters, (all locals), and a group of anti-woke protestors. There was a lot of shouting, with the latter retreating to the nearby carpark. One of them, a woman in her late thirties, sat next to us – she was visibly rattled. She had a strong English Midlands accent. This isn’t unusual in rural Ireland – lots of returned emigrants, etc, but she was clearly English as, it became apparent, were all the others. They were all early middle aged and entirely unremarkable looking people, apart from their placards and what they were doing. I did want to ask what on earth brought them over to Ireland to protest outside a small local rural library, but I thought better of it. All the accents I heard were English Midlands and they all climbed into UK registered cars and vans.

I noticed that all the vehicles were very old and rusty. At the time I thought they maybe were not very well off or semi-professional activists, but it later occurred to me that these old cars were maybe ‘burners’, bought cheap to be abandoned later so they couldn’t be tracked. All very peculiar and I’ve no explanation whatever for why a group of what looked like a group of Lib Dem activists wound up so concerned about the contents of Irish libraries (so far as I could tell, nobody local cared a jot, apart from the blue haired ones).

So… to summarise. All I know is that what is happening is not really what is being claimed.

There is no question that Irish people are completely fed up with refugees being housed in communities all over (it’s not just the city – many small towns are crammed as it’s cheap for the government to just rent half empty hotels). The resentment is not particularly racist – I’ve not heard one single story of a physical attack on black or Asian people – but obviously they are worried. It’s primarily aimed at what are perceived as freeloaders, fake refugees, and also the drifting population of east Europeans who just wind up in small Irish towns and often end up isolated with the result that some turn violent.

Of course, it will be easier for politicians and the media to call out racism rather than deal with these issues (even though the politicians know full well what is happening). The journalists are probably genuinely as clueless as they appear.

It is absolutely clear that the one thing that really, genuinely makes people angry is that they know they are being ignored and/or patronised. This is making things much worse, especially the absolute refusal of the authorities/media to discuss possible motives for the attacks on the school, or for that matter the number of rapes/attacks on women by immigrants (yes yes, of course, as the left will say, most domestic murders and rapes are by Irishmen – this is both true and completely irrelevant).

I have no idea how this will play out. No doubt external activists along with some locals will try to stir things up. The political class – including Sinn Fein – will try to pretend nothing is happening and most likely have two scripts prepared – one for the public at large, the second for saying privately on the doorstep. I do suspect things will calm down, as I think many people were quite freaked by what happened. It’s like a glimpse into the void, and even within the deprived working class communities there, they didn’t like what they saw.

So… things may change… or may not. I really don’t know.

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  1. Alan Roxdale

    A few additions on points to the above:

    1) Ireland is currently in the middle of a chronic housing crisis. Similar to most western countries, but severely exacerbated as few houses were built in the recession years. The country requires ~50,000 new homes per year, the government is “targeting” 30,000, the actual amount is closer to 10,000 if that. There has been a resulting rental spike and crisis and even the milquetoasts have begun to curdle.

    2) Ireland still has a more or less open border with the UK. Meaning whatever the UK’s de-facto immigration policy is (God only knows), Ireland is likely to see spillover, but in a much smaller vessel. At the risk of getting in trouble for a 3rd fluid related analogy in a migration discussion, there may be a “water hammer” effect.

    3) The last point to mention is growing inequality, which is most noticeable in this part of Dublin. Indeed, cheek by jowl to the ‘rougher’ areas is the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), build on the old docklands as a kind of ex-pat enclave for multi-nationals. The north side of Dublin’s inner city has for decades been snubbed by the more well heeled “South-siders”, even as they have begun to colonize newly sprouted property developments on the north bank.

    Now all that said, I wouldn’t downplay this incident either. I don’t think there’s been an incident anywhere like it in Ireland outside of the North since the 1920s war of independence. This is definitely NOT NORMAL. I can guarantee two things: 1) The government has no idea what is really going on, and 2) they don’t know what to do about it. Beware the foreign salesman with snakeoil to sell.

    1. digi_owl

      Immigration across the post industrial west seems to be to pretend to clamp down on it, using weasel wording to go after refugees, but let in as many quasi-illegal workers as possible to drive down non-PMC wages.

    2. panurge

      I spent most of 2022 in Dublin. My impression was of a city who could barely control the neck breaking speed of its growth and development.

      On one side all the European HQs of IT companies were vacuuming people from all the four corners of the globe. This was shaping an SF treatment for Dublin. Rents rose to astonishing levels, with people being slowly pushed out of town or prevented from moving in due to gentrification. Seeing several mid-career IT people crammed together in a flat like they were students was a spectacle to behold.
      As PK explained, the house crisis is not affecting specifically the locals. My irish colleagues told me that those who own a place in Dublin are clinging to it because those who sold, cannot afford to buy anything back. This is true for those working in Dublin but living outside and wishing to move in too.
      Maybe the firing wave at the beginning of 2023 decreased the pressure on this front.

      On the other side, I came to notice that a lot of people are treating Dublin like it were London, a city 15 times bigger (600k vs 9M souls). For example, a lot of young Japanese people once picked London to learn or improve english and to travel throughout Europe too. Since Brexit, this is not possible anymore, I am told, so the remaing options within the ‘garden’ are Malta or Ireland.

      Regarding UK and US meddling, no idea whether the fact Ireland is not a NATO country has any bearing on it or not. From my brief anecdotally experience, PMC lemmings were quite surprised when they discovered that.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, the rate of growth has been completely unprecedented (and its much higher than indicated by official figures, another story entirely). Although its possible that the bubble may have already burst, if rumors from the commercial property industry are true. Dublin essentially has the infrastructure for a sub-1 million person city, but with a growth level pushing it well beyond that.

        But as you suggest, there is a strong Brexit effect too – there is unprecedented demand for third level places from foreign students, although ironically one issue is the perception among some that Ireland is safer than the UK – this may have changed radically. But an EU passport is still highly valued, hence one of the reasons for such a high level of interest for skilled immigrants. I was actually surprised recently at a comment I heard from a Vietnamese friend that EU passports are now considered more desirable among professional class Vietnamese than US or Canadian ones. Whether this is universally true or not I don’t know, but its interesting how perceptions change.

        A key issue with housing though is the impact of post-crash austerity. The building industry was annihilated, with physical plant sold off and skilled workers setting off for Canada and Australia. Building it back up has been a painfully slow process which has sent construction prices through the roof. This could have been avoided if the government at the time had at least made some attempt to keep things ticking over as (for example) the Swedes did by pumping money into public housing.

    3. playon

      Thanks much for this PK, very interesting.

      I lived in Ireland as kid in the mid-60s for a year. Our family moved to Dublin as my dad got a scholarship to teach at Trinity College. We lived in a suburban house on the far eastern edge of the city, a Romany family (referred to by the Irish as “Tinkers”) used to park their camper wagon in the field nearby.

      A couple of years ago I became curious and was looking at housing prices near Dublin – I was shocked how expensive homes were. Things are obviously very different there now as there were few immigrants at that time.

  2. The Rev Kev

    I see that Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar is not letting an opportunity go to waste and has signed up for the idea that these were far right riots. This being the case, he wants to bring in new legislation on hate speech and facial recognition tech which will be a bonus for the surveillance industry along with the ability to police what people say if they do not go along with the narrative-

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, one would almost suspect they were waiting for an opportunity to push it through.

      The irony is that the much circulated photograph of a burning police car was almost exactly on the spot of a car bomb that exploded in 1974 (allegedly by Belfast loyalists, but this is still a matter of dispute), which killed passing school children, leading to the enactment of anti-terrorist legislation which up to then had been blocked.

  3. Tom67

    Just two addenda to the interesting article by PlutoniumKun:
    1. There have been a multitude of stabbings here in Germany as well by asylum seekers, refugees or migrants. Not only in Ireland in Germany as well things are usually hushed up and the perps bundled off to a lunatic asylum.
    2. Don´t get me started on the Green agenda of the EU. I agree with all the goals. Reduction of nitrogen use a.s.o. The problem is the top down approach. You can´t simply decree a reduction and not think about the lifelihood of farmers. Especially as some of the policies reek of favouritism for big ag. Where I live there´s just one farmer left (very bad soil) who does biological farming. The paper work he has to fill is unbelievable. The bureaucracy is mind numbing. He is giving up and some big farmer will move in in with gigantic machinery and a legal department. There are also a few part time farmers left (I know them all as I have quite a lot of bee hives) who raise cattle or sheep. It is very hard work and getting more and more impossible as the documentation demanded is outrageous and because the small slaughterhouses are all being shut down. An unholy alliance of animals right activists and crazy EU rules are responsible for that.
    The rural population of Europe (heard similar stories from France and Poland) is getting seriously fed up.
    Instead of concocting ever new regulations to force people into some direction one should simply put an ever increasing tax on nitrate and pesticites and at the same time enforce monopoly laws in the food business. Driving small and medium farmers to ruin by overburdening them with regulations will result in the countryside turning to the far right and not helping the environment one jota.

    1. Anonymous 2

      Are you sure it is the EU which is responsible for the paper work requirements? I ask because I read a long time ago that when the UK was in the EU, UK farmers had to fill in much more paperwork than Irish farmers. This was blamed of course on the EU, though of course if true this cannot have been the case.

      One of the reasons for Brexit was that UK politicians would regularly blame the EU for the consequences of UK-determined policies.

    2. digi_owl

      The lack of systemic thinking seem to be endemic these days.

      It is all near term feel good decrees aimed at securing the next election.

      1. Neutrino

        And then the so-called leaders issue a press release and get chauffered to a posh lunch with their handlers, toadies, sycophants and pet media retainers. 1/2 s

        They are not prone to thinking about short-term dislocations or discomforts from their comfortable cocoons. Propose, which is really dictate from a bully pulpit, and it is then up to the disposable to adapt.

        Some in Germany, Ireland, Argentina and elsewhere take exception to the rigged games. Can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      Just a point about agriculture and regulations. I suspect that the problems with paperwork are more due to the German system than the EU. I follow a few self reliant small holders on YT and one who recently moved to Finland went through his thought process in selecting land. He and his partner looked closely at Germany as she is German, but they said the sheer number of bureaucratic obstacles made it almost impossible – but they didn’t have a similar issue in Ireland, UK or Finland. So even if it is based on EU law, its probably more to do with the German way of interpreting it (very literally, in my experience).

      1. Tom67

        This is definately true about Germans taking EU regulations literally. But for instance the regulations for slaughterhouses are such that small ones simply can´t survive. EU wide. I know that from Poland where I lived in the countryside for a year. Basically the bigger your number of animals in one place the more problems with communicable diseases. You therefore have to regulate the slaughterhouses more strictly. Small slaughterhouses couldn´t cope in Poland and went out of business. But small farmers can´t afford to carry their animals across the increased distances. Therefore the small farmers are next. As to Finland: my good friend Petri was such a small farmer before Finland entered the EU. Now he just grows potatoes for himself. Where there used to be 35 farmers in his area there are now only 2 left.
        How did they ruin the small dairy farmers in Germany? Again thru hygiene. Twenty years ago “fresh” milk was not allowed to be heated above a certain temperature. That made life impossible for big operations as they couldn´t produce germ free milk. Now that milk is allowed to be ultraheated and still be considered “fresh” you can have any number of cows in one shed and the milk will comport to hygiene standards.
        EU agricultural policy is a shit show.

          1. Tom67

            Lobbyists have taken over. They have realised that greenwashing is the best strategy. In that they meet with some of the more corrupt – or more stupid – NGO´s. The nitrates strategy is in my eyes pure greenwashing. Big land owners have the legal departments to cope. Small don´t. The fact that the EU has just allowed another ten years of Glyphosphate use speaks volumes about who calls the shots.

  4. Rip Van Winkle

    More dangerous for the Irish in the south side Chicago neighborhoods Beverly and Mount Greenwood.

  5. DJG, Reality Czar

    Many thanks to Plutonium Kun. I have been holding my assessment of events in suspension, because I knew that sooner or later Plutonium Kun would explain things here at Naked Capitalism. Little did I know that your office is in the same neighborhood as the events.

    I appreciate all of the details, because many of them also apply to the situation in Italy. The description of going to small towns in Ireland and running into people who have been all over the world applies here in Italy, too. This was highlighted for me when I was up in Oulx, a town of 3,500, and the two waitresses in a dining room that I favored turned out to be from Romania and Colombia.

    I also agree that racism is Europe has to be understood differently. This is one reason for being very leery of American (and English) writing on “racism in Ireland” or “racism in Italy.” As the writer Rhyd Wildermuth (now of Luxembourg) has had to explain to fellow Usonians, U.S. racial categories are being exported to other countries and are inherently colonialist. Of course, there are racial problems in Ireland and Italy, but they don’t come from three hundred years of slavery and a hundred years of legal segregation. So charges of racism from Anglo-America often can be read as pure ignorance of the local situation.

    I especially admire the descriptions of how to tell U.S. commenters and U.S. attitudes in forums. Yep. The strange thing is that Americans, thinking that they are hegemons, are too insulated from reality to notice that the rest of us notice these things.

    Using agriculture and other hot-button issues to create crises or as some kind of probe: Yep. I know that some U.S. politicians are now saying to keep money in the U.S. of A. Unfortunately, Americans tend to refer to that as “isolationism.” Believe you me, fellow Americans, isolationism for the U S of A would not be a bad thing. You can come for visit, and even stay–but please leave the baggage at home.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, I agree about the issue of exporting US racial categories. It drives me to distraction that companies here regularly feature black people in order to demonstrate their inclusiveness, while ignoring the traditional victims of discrimination/racism in Ireland, such as the travelling community and Romany gypsies.

      Recently there was an online campaign here about reparations for slavery. A list of Irish involved in the 18th Century slave trade was circulated. Someone noted that every single one of them was an English/Anglo Irish Protestant landlord, descendants of someone who had stolen their land from the original Irish. Someone sarcastically suggested that perhaps we should provide reparations by starting an anti-colonial war, burn their houses, drive them out of the country, and seize their land to be given back to the original owners. It seems those who launched the campaign either lack a sense of humour, or a basic knowledge of history as they didn’t respond.

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        Thanks. I forgot to mention how interesting your description is of the placement and circumstances of the Gaelic immersion school. I am big on language maintenance and revival (given that the Undisclosed Region more or less recognizes and tries to maintain Italian and four or so minority languages).

        I say: Have those in the on-line campaign go to Gaelic immersion school. Then, they’d have to do the campaign in Gaelic.

        Plus: Have you heard of U.S.-style “land acknowledgments”? Make ’em do some of those, too. In old Irish.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Sadly, Ireland isn’t a good model for language protection. Despite vast amounts spent on it, Irish is still just hanging on. The Irish schools are quite popular, although its only a drop in the ocean. Although theoretically around 40% of the population speak Irish, only around 2% use it daily.

          There is, incidentally, an amusing short film on you can find on YT that satirizes this, called Yu Ming Is Ainm Dom (my name is Yu Ming) about a Chinese immigrant who mistakenly thinks he had to learn Irish Gaelic coming to Dublin. Its a big favourite here in language schools.

  6. Patrick Donnelly

    Why did Timothy Geithner ask that Ireland not pursue the bondholders who had fuelled the massive bank expansions, that inevitably collapsed those banks?

    That apparent wealth increase attracted migrants and then displaced locals.

    Fomenting disruption and diluting local population seems the objective.

    1. Michaelmas

      Patrick Donnelly: Fomenting disruption and diluting local population seems the objective.

      Yes. It doesn’t seem like it’s just about importing cheap immigrant workers to create a pool of excess labor and keep wages down, when many of these immigrants come from the most unsuitable populations for that purpose. One does suspect, therefore, that it’s also about creating divisiveness and fragmentation to prevent mass resistance to neoliberal policies.

      I’m in London currently. Post-Brexit and out of the EU, there were about a million people immigrating from ex-colonies in the last calendar year, all of them hard working, grateful, and with very temporary rights. Simultaneously, large numbers of Italians seem to have replaced many of the Poles formerly here, and generally are better-mannered, friendlier, and a better fit with multi-cultural London than pushy, humorless East Europeans.

      Real estate and rentals are sky-high. Still, otherwise, it almost seems like perfection next to the situation described in PK’s post.

  7. Carolinian

    Thanks for the snapshot. Of course some of us would contend that even when it is about race it’s as much about class conflict with some groups kicking down as they are kicked from above. Ignoring class issues isn’t just an Irish thing. For the neolib market gods it’s part of the natural order with racism serving as the scapegoat allowing them to blame it all on “the right.”


    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, thats one thing that particularly annoys me – the importation of specifically American racial tropes. It drives me to distraction that, for example, advertisements here regularly feature black people in order to demonstrate the companies ‘inclusiveness’ or whatever, while traditional victims of racism in Ireland, such as the travelling community and romany gypsies, are ignored.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, well, as always these things are complex and interrelated. There certainly is a very strong class element to the whole thing.

  8. upstater

    Two comments…

    >In 2018, a young Japanese man, Yosuke Sasake on a study/work programme, was stabbed to death in a town by an Egyptian asylum seeker. The Egyptian was undergoing a deep psychotic episode and just attacked the first person he saw.

    I don’t know how mental health services are provided in Ireland. But from family experiences, in the US they are extremely poor. NYT had a recent article detailing the failures in supportive housing and hospital care. In our health care system, it is all about profit, even for so-call nonprofit systems. A psych bed provides $88K in annual revenues compared to $1.6M for other beds. Follow the money. Much social psych care is provided by nonprofits. Reimbursements are far lower. Mentally ill have always been considered disposable. I am struck by the differences in cancer care vs psychiatric care. Jim Crow is alive and well.

    My daughter worked for a UK mental health services provider (a “charity” there, a “nonprofit” here). It was always a race to the bottom supplying services to council governments in responseto tenders. Low bid always won, quality of care was an afterthought. People with severe problems were warehoused in SRO hotel with minimal care. I would expect Ireland uses the same neoliberal model for mental health services.

    This is why these tragedies happen. My point is what was supposed to happen to Yosuke Sasake’s murder? Public hangings accomplished nothing. It was memory-holed because the system obviously failed. Nobody wants to own the problem because it requires substantial resources to fix.

    Secondly, Tucker and Bannon weigh in, with PK’s observations about US fermenting right wing politics. The lede on ZH today:

    “It’s A Powder Keg”: Steve Bannon Warns Tucker Ireland’s Post-Stabbing Anti-Immigration Crisis Is “Coming Here, At Scale”

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Just a point on mental health – its true that mental health is almost always the poor relation of any health service, in Ireland as much as anywhere else. I suspect that if the killer had gone through the system, even as an asylum seeker he would have been eligible for basic anti-psychotic medication. But he had ‘sneaked in’ over the border from Northern Ireland having been rejected for asylum in the UK, so in this sense he seemed to fall outside the system. It should also be said that there is an ongoing problem in Ireland that without a long history of immigration government systems do a poor job of communicating peoples rights.

      A friend does voluntary translation work for a charity and she told me some horror stories of Chinese who came to Ireland illegally in the 1990’s, and are now facing extreme poverty in old age. They are terrified of seeking any medical help fearing they’d be sent back to a home they know longer recognise. In truth, no hospital would report them, and they almost certainly would qualify for some sort of aid (and maybe citizenship if they got a good lawyer) given the length of time they’ve been here, but they don’t know the first steps on how to start the process.

      As for Sasake’s murder, what upset the Japanese community here was that there was a complete refusal by the Irish government to allow him to be extradited (he could of course have faced the death penalty in Japan) and the manner in which the entire process was guillotined and the media lost interest after the initial murder. Shortly after, there was a high profile murder of a woman (white, blonde, attractive) in England which attracted much more Irish media interest that Sasakes. They felt, rightly or wrongly, that because the victim wasn’t white Irish the system was not geared to help them or at least allow some sort of visible justice – the prosecution, for example, didn’t contest the psychiatric evidence.

      1. Alex D

        How could the killer be extradited to Japan, when he killed in Ireland? Are such extraditions ever done? Did the murder happen in the Japanese embassy?

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Ireland could have consented. I agree that it would be pretty uncommon to do so, but I don’t think completely unprecedented. The Japanese choler suggests there might be some past instances.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          Its rare, but my understanding is that in certain cases it is possible to extradite someone when the accused person is not a citizen of the country in which the crime took place. There is some complex case law in the EU on cases where the citizen of one country killed the citizen of another country in a ‘third’ country or when one country seeks proceedings against someone who committed a crime in another jurisdiction.

          However, there is zero chance that he would have been extradited, as Ireland does not permit extraditions to countries with the death penalty.

          While in this case there was a certain amount of grandstanding (possibly by Japanese politicians), the basis of the embassy’s upset, as I understand it, was that they were blocked from any opportunity to make a submission on the case or to object to the declaration that the killer was not of sound mind.

      2. Robert Gray

        > As for Sasake’s murder, what upset the Japanese community here was that there was
        > a complete refusal by the Irish government to allow him to be extradited
        > (he could of course have faced the death penalty in Japan) [emphasis added]

        Sorry, but isn’t such a refusal by the government a good thing? I mean, aren’t we all against the death penalty? In my opinion, this makes the Japanese community clamouring for extradition-to-potential-execution look extremely barbaric.

  9. flora

    Thanks very much for this post. The Koch Bros outfits meddled in the Brexit issue, it would not surprise me to find out they are meddling in Ireland’s immigration issues, if they are meddling.

  10. ambrit

    From the worm’s eye view in the North American Deep South, I’ll echo PlutoniumKun’s observations and say that ‘Immigrants’ have become yet again the American Lightning Rod.
    The ongoing American political dispute about “Open Borders” touches on all of the mentioned factors: wealth inequality, low wages in general for the working classes, “preferential” treatment for “illegal immigrants,” the visibly corrupt political class, plus a stealth patriotism. This subject is all over sections of the social media. Serious discussions of whether or not groups of fit, military age young men of ‘foreign’ provenance seen entering the country from Mexico are infiltrators with ill intent happen without a trace of irony.
    Following several comments above, I’ll chime in and say that around here, financial insecurity is a big ‘driver’ of anger and violence. People are scared; scared for their financial survival, scared for their community’s social coherence, and scared for their and their families’ physical safety. People react strongly to threats against their kin groups. ‘Give’ people an easy target for their fears and you have political power. The “Right Wing” organizations know this. Such is the basis for the “success” of real fascist movements worldwide.
    Tangentially, when the American Democrat Party stopped focusing on giving the people of America “concrete material benefits,” they opened wide the door for Fascism to come into America. Few of us imagined that it would be the self same Democrat Party that would also be the instigator of the shift.

    1. John Beech

      Illegal immigration into America is not a problem, it’s a solution.

      Solution to what? Population decline extant since ~1990. Fortunately, those lacking the requisite gray cells to form a thought may pearl clutch all they want – but – they don’t run the government, which knows it.

      So both sides (team Red and team Blue) sing the tune of ‘We must stop illegal immigration before our way of life comes to an end’, while doing nothing.

      Why? It’s because we the people are not breeding at replacement levels! This brief graphic communicates this more clearly than mere words.

      USA population by race from 1900-2020.

      The trend is clear, since ~1990 all races (sorted by white/black/brown/yellow) are trending down. Note; it’s interesting to see the dislocation during war years.

      Me? I don’t for an instant believe we can’t stop illegal immigration. That we haven’t informs me politicians may bemoan it for the cameras (dunno why) but have been briefed in on how it’s actually gonna save our asses (AKA our Ponzi scheme known as SS).

      And think about it, compared to Muslim who immigrate into Europe only to form enclaves and resist learning the language and integrating, we in America are blessed with brothers and sisters sharing a Christian religion and a good work ethic.

      Me? If were king for a day I’d designate Brownsville and TJ as official points of entry and turbocharge the process. None of this 12 year nonsense to become a citizen!

      Just raise your right hand, place the other on a Bible and . . . Do you swear to blah-blah-blah? And presto, welcome to America!

      Here’s your documents, try to learn English (your kids are doing fine already and we’ll help you learn for free with courses if you feel like it), so go get a job, and pay taxes. Do it quickly!

  11. Aurelien

    Thanks PK. Without going into detail, I think the same elite denial is in force through most of Europe.
    But there’s one aspect that I just want to touch on because it’s particularly potent in France, and it’s the desire, whatever the issue, to ape the United States. The French elite is going through one of its bootlicking phases for US culture and politics, where essentially everything that happens in the US has to be copied here, or an equivalent has to be found. Thus, Macron has proposed an amendment to the French Constitution to give a “right” to abortion because he read about the recent fuss in the US, although there is no comparable controversy in France. Likewise, within a few days of the Floyd killing, a group called (in English) Black Lives Matter France had emerged, although it couldn’t find any similar incidents to actually complain about. And pundits from the intersectional industrial complex, many of whom spend a lot of time in the US telling Americans that France has all of the same problems they have, rapidly reacted to the riots in France earlier this year by assuring readers of the MSM that there were close resemblances to the US race riots of the 1960s, and that the best solution was to follow the precepts of Martin Luther King. And there’s a lot more where that came from.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I’m sure there is plenty to study in why the particular US pathologies over race/gender etc are so popular with young people worldwide – I find it baffling. Its not just France, its worldwide – in Chinese there is even a word for it – bai zou 白左 – which is used to mock locals who are seen as aping the ‘white’ left. I’ve seen plenty of examples all over Europe, Thailand, even Japan.

      I suspect it is something to do with the ubiquity of English language social media personalities and the perceived social value of adopting certain high status in-group symbolism. A lot may simply be absorbed through language learning, especially when learning pronouns. The increasing popularity of American English for young people (along with the syllabus) over RP English may also have an influence, not to mention the near universal desire I’ve come across to work for a US IT company.

  12. Eclair

    Thank you, PK. For your ‘long read’ as well as your shorter additional comments, and especially for the quiet anti-colonial chuckle over those Anglo-Irish landowners who benefited from the slave trade.

  13. hk

    One thing that occurs to me is that the best solution to “extremist” parties might be for countries everywhere to create their own versions of Sinn Fein–a “responsible anti establishment party.”

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its very noticeable that Sinn Fein are never in the conversation when people talk about the failures of the left in Europe. They are well on their way (if the polls over the past 3 years are correct) of being in power north and south after the next election, which is all the more impressive given that the economy in the Republic is very strong.

      There are of course ‘reasons’ why many in the mainstream left dislike them – from Labour parties to the ideological marxist/trotskyist left – but it is undeniable that the left would be in a much better position electorally if they seriously studied how SF have done it. They are proving that a populist, nationalist-oriented left wing party can be a very credible electoral proposition.

  14. lyman alpha blob

    Very interesting that you should mention outside agitators showing up to disrupt things. It seems to be going around and has happened a lot at local council meetings in recent months in my neck of the woods –

    This is a very liberal area, and there has been a lot of hand wringing about this, but people are just sort of hoping it goes away as they are in your area. I am well connected to many local councilors, and some were actually wondering if they had to let these people speak their piece. I’m really at a loss as to why it is even an issue, since these are generally not just poorly reasoned but polite arguments, they are nasty, vicious, expletive-ridden tirades with the intent to disrupt spoken by people misrepresenting themselves as local residents. If I were to show up in person, I would be immediately warned to check my language, and if I didn’t, escorted out of the room, probably by law enforcement. People who call in to meetings like this should be cut off immediately.

    What I’d really like to know is who exactly is putting people up to this, and for what purpose?

  15. David in Friday Harbor

    I see a connection to another American social trend: “Flash-mob” smash-and-grab retail theft. During the BLM demonstrations of 2020 there was an element, mostly masked young men, who took advantage of the disorder to engage in the window-smash looting of stores offering untraceable luxury and sporting goods that could be easily re-sold online.

    While the BLM movement has fizzled-out, “Flash mob” smash-and-grab retail theft has not. I personally suspect that the attitudes of these organized retail-theft mobs are a reflection of the neoliberal anything goes/law of the jungle zeitgeist also shown by Sam Bankman-Fried and Elizabeth Holmes — or if you will, the Biden and Trump family mafias.

    By pointing this out, I don’t intend to understate the impact of the global population explosion, neoliberal international wage arbitrage, or the sudden influx into western Europe of 6 million-plus “Ukrainians” taking advantage of their status as refugees from a U.S./NATO fomented conflict. During the Brexit controversy I was flamed-on by an otherwise cosmopolitan acquaintance living in South London who was completely fed-up with east European immigrants.

    This issue is far more complicated than the “woke” Thought-Police would have one believe. As 1.5 billion people are displaced by Climate Change, I see a trend forming. P.K.’s commentary is very helpful to understanding its complexity.

  16. ChrisPacific

    Interesting comments Here in New Zealand, which is a similar size to Ireland with a large farming sector, I’ve also noticed a right wing conspiracy type mindset taking hold (Groundswell). There’s also a small but growing minority operating on what are obviously imported American culture war issues (anti-vax, gender identity etc.) and I suspect there is an echo chamber operating there. There seems to be some overlap between the two, and there are probably some legitimate concerns about green policies being improperly or clumsily applied. That said, there are farmers out there who are increasing their profits by doing exactly what the green policymakers want, and they’re still coming in for a ton of abuse because it’s different from what farming is traditionally supposed to be.

    I’m not really up to speed on what media the rural sector consumes so I can’t say for sure why this happens or where the boundaries are drawn. All these groups overlap considerably, and there’s also a fringe Maori separatist movement that’s jumped on the conspiracy bandwagon as well. Whenever one of them protests, all the others will show up as well and try to hijack the agenda to their own purpose, and misinformation and (potential or actual) violence are a common feature. All of this came to a head last year with the Parliament protests, which were technically anti-vax mandate but turned into a beacon for every fringe group out there, and ended up locking down a key area of the CBD for weeks.

    A difference here is that they do have representation, courtesy of the redoubtable Winston Peters, who is now pushing their interests in the new coalition government. This presents its own problems (the education curriculum is supposedly to be revamped to remove ‘gender ideology’ but nobody is sure what that actually means) but at least it should stop it from being driven completely out of sight like you describe.

  17. XXYY

    Really nice, and fascinating, piece of reportage. Thank you very much for taking the time.

    As an American, I found this super interesting:

    This view, incidentally, is not just shared by Irish people – my Asian friends in particular regularly complain to me vociferously over why refugees get free accommodation and don’t to pay for visa applications, while they have to go through the long, onerous and expensive process of applying for naturalizations. They really, truly resent this. Culturally they find it baffling that the Irish will give money to refugees while making life so difficult for hard working immigrants who go through the system the official way.

    I remember reading somewhere, sorry can’t remember where, a write-up by someone who was going around doing focus groups in the United States on what it was that was really getting under people’s skin. He found to his surprise that almost everyone described the same fundamental idea using various words, which went like this:

    You and your family are in a long line of people, waiting endlessly to get to the front so you can get what you deserve. The idea is that everyone keeps their place in line, and the people towards the front of the line have been waiting the longest and are most deserving. Now, you start to notice that a bunch of immigrants and others are being let into the line ahead of you. You and people around you have pretty much stopped moving forward while the recent arrivals proceed to the front. Over time, you realize that you will never get to the front, and that the whole system is rigged against you.

    I don’t need to point out the almost literal similarities between this and what you described above.

    It seems clear that once a society is perceived by the population to be rigged and unfair, people pick up on it really quickly, and the whole society becomes a powder keg. I think this is more or less the point you are making in your good piece, but it probably isn’t confined to Ireland.

  18. elviejito

    I find it useful to view the ongoing outbreaks of directionless outrage thru the lens of two ground-breaking recent books: “End Times” by Peter Turchin and “Breaking Together” by Jem Bendell.

    Peter Turchin provides a historical, data-based analysis of when and how governments and especially empires collapse. He predicted based on his research that the ’20s would be an inflection point in the history of the U.S. (and, by extrapolation) much of the rest of the world. Much of the rest of the world is joined at the hip with the U.S. empire.

    Jem Bendell complements this with a dense presentation of multiple cross-disciplinary studies clearly demonstrating that societal breakdown is already proceeding apace throughout the world. This is not just due to Global Heating but also due to the irresponsible extractive economy, the failure of any thought to follow the precautionary principle, the lack of attention to sane health care measures world-wide, and on and on and on.

    Not light reading, but each book provides insights into what might be done, not to stop the collapse, since that is already baked in, but to model new societies based on entirely different principles.

  19. playon

    Thanks much for this PK, very interesting.

    I lived in Ireland as kid in the mid-60s for a year. Our family moved to Dublin as my dad got a scholarship to teach at Trinity College. We lived in a suburban house on the far eastern edge of the city, a Romany family (referred to by the Irish as “Tinkers”) used to park their camper wagon in the field nearby.

    A couple of years ago I became curious and was looking at housing prices near Dublin – I was shocked how expensive homes were. Things are obviously very different there now as there were few immigrants back then.

  20. ami

    Just my 2 cents on an ancedotal local level. First, thanks PK, you provided a very well laid out contextual depth the situation. Excellent, in fact.

    1. When looking for a house in Donegal, I was somewhat surprised by several local comments about immigration. As always, any statement was superceded by the required trope “…I’m not racist, but..” The resentments expressed were not racist but centered around the fact that locals had asked for local buses for travel and schools, help with housing, need for local healthcare (all local facilities are sold are being sold off to the “free market”), etc. and were told these cannot be provdided under any circumstances. The market does not will it.

    But it can be done if the “open economy” deems it worthy. Not worthy for locals (including long-time immigrant locals) but worthy for others in 2022-23?

    And we all know Donegal people are the most laid back in Ireland. This caught my attention.

    2. Your take on politicians caught me by surprise. Your point is well made, but don’t you think there is a cohort now with FFG that is somewhat detached given their ardent neo-lib ideology? Yeah, they’re aware but they weigh that awareness against the concepts of cheap labour, an innate gentle contempt for working stiffs, and the need to commercialise simply every facit of life? Aping Corporate Centralisation and Modernisation at any social cost? (And they can count on the ~35% A1 electoral cohort to vote for them in any cirsumstances.)

    3. Immigration/Refugee is big business. Recruitment, rental subs and cheap labour translates to nice unearned incomes for a few. There is a little consortium in Donegal that uses the small hotel angle to hover up the bucks. Ukranians and some others are now routinely cycled through these facilities.

    4. Was amused when in LIDLs in Cavan Town last month. The East Euros all gone and replaced by N Africans, Africans, M East uns and Subcon. Asians. Even continuity of job security is denied to most menial of us labourers these days – at the bottom level anyway.

    5. Tangent: the Spectator article cited a couple of days ago was simply very not helpful, and so full of gross oversimplifications of Irish politics and political parties as to make it cartoonish. Our own press/opinion peddlers are horrible in all the same ways, but the Spectator article really took things to a lower level of diatribe and offshore “messaging”. But Kudos to them for taking things below the gutters.

    1. SOMK

      Re: Immigration is big business, there two considerations, firstly a lot of hotels were built in remote-ish areas making use of section 23 tax break which were supposed to spur regeneration (there is an interesting discussion about it here from roughly the 26th minute onwards ) so there are a lot of empty hotels in Ireland as a result and incentives to fill them. Secondly (per that same historian featured in that podcast) apparently the class of developers who got wiped out in the crash were subsequently replaced broadly by much larger developers in Ireland and a lot of them ended up going into the business of having direct provision centres (temporary accommodation for asylum seekers).

  21. Nealser

    Thanks PK. I also work in Dublin 1 and your reportage is better than anything I’ve seen. I moved back to Ireland 2 years ago and I am surprised at the self censorship in the media. You articulate this very well. “Where can people go with there concerns?” Any thoughts outside the approved overton window will have you tagged as a far right racist, even if you are a leftist.

  22. plurabelle

    The women protesting the indoctrination of children into trans ideology most likely came from the UK gender critical movement. They’ve been trying to reach out to Irish feminists for years and get them to listen to the reality of child mutilation and attacks on women’s rights by autogynephilic men (just one example, that double rapist being transferred to a woman’s prison in Scotland). The campaign was called “We Need to Talk”, look it up. The Irish feminists roundly rejected their overtures, calling them colonialists, but no doubt they’ll listen when the issues get too obvious to ignore.

    As an Indian radical feminist, I have my issues with them, and some of them accept right-wing funding (which is hotly debated in the movement), but they’re not some shadowy group. They’re legit, and their concerns about gender ideology are legit too, even if Irish libfems don’t realise it yet. If you won’t listen to women, then listen to the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls:

    Their cars were probably beat up because they’re working class women, on the whole. They’re not well-funded and they travel on their own dime.

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