Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Sinn Fein and plum jobs for 'Irish' speakers

Given Sinn Fein's tendency to use populist leftist rhetoric when it suits, it is nice to see them forced into showing their true, right-wing, lumpen-nationalist colours now and again. This time it is about Immigration Minister Conor Lenihan making modest noises about opening up the civil service to Ireland's new arrivals.

Shinner TD Aengus O Snodaigh, in an An Phoblacht article with the absurd headline of "Government Assault on Irish Language Continues" was forced to break cover in this regard, on what he sees as Lenihan's plans "for the removal of Irish language requirements for civil servants", to encourage foreign nationals to join.

Apparently Aengus and the Shinners think it's perfectly OK to exclude foreigners from the civil service because they - along with the vast majority of Irish people - do not speak 'Irish'. It is well-known that the Shinners are notoriously slow learners - but even they should be able to see that the State's policies of making 'Irish' compulsory in schools has not worked, and that excluding people (Irish and foreign) from State employment because they don't share the Shinner enthusiasm for "de language", and reserving plum jobs for 'Irish speakers' is not only wrong - it's counter-productive because of the resentment it builds up.

But then again, this is a party that chose to introduce its election manifesto 'as Gaeilge' rather than in the vernacular. Nice to see that they accordingly got the spanking they deserved in the southern elections. Could have been worse, could have been a kneecapping.

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snookertony said...

(good to find you - keep up the anger)
As someone who left the place in the mid 80's 'tis good to see that nothing has changed. I paid a flying visit during the height of the Celtic Tiger expecting to see a vibrant, modern country and all I found was the same old begrudgers running around except now they seemed to have more money in their pockets and the facade behind which they had always hid the racism was well and truely dismantled. For what it's worth, I blame the politicians. Once the people saw the depths they'd sink to and the lies they gat away with it became open slather for everything.
Come the revolution, though...

The Gombeen Man said...

Cheers Snookertony. I too left the place in the 80s. The only difference I noticed since coming back is the capacity for bollocks and self-backslapping has increased in the interim! Don't worry, no sign of the anger leaving. And you keep up the fight, it's a worthwhile one!

Anna said...

I’m a public servant since 2003- from N Ireland, with less than fluent Irish.
An Irish pass hasn’t been compulsory for public service since the 80’s, I DID check Connor Lenihan’s words.
He said– If immigrants are to be properly assimilated they must be required to have fluent English. (No mention of Irish). THIS is what raised Sinn Fein hackles- as a Government Minister he was saying what we all knew - that English, NOT Irish is the main language here. We don’t want to see the language die out- but compulsion doesn’t keep it alive. And it’s a HUGE waste of public money.
However I saw an item on politics .ie @ Dec/ Jan 2009.
A man called Hillman hunter said his son’s primary teacher had translated his (probably) English surname into Irish on a school attendance card.
No need for it, he said- legal name is the one you are known by.
What WAS interesting was there were 400 (!!!) blog posts for/ against it.
THEN IT hit me- do Irish people have such a slim sense of being Irish that professing to Love the Irish language HAS to be part Of it?
How do Scots & Welsh people STILL feel proud of being Scottish and Welsh
(They never say they are British). And their parliaments Do not waste billions on foolish language policies that ‘teach’ the language- often badly- to those who aren’t interested: I Know I’m Irish without speaking Irish.
Once Irish were poor and kind. That was before 1930’S constitution TOLD us that to be Irish was to be Irish speaking. People are still Believing this 1930s version of ‘being Irish’; can we go back to the old one? Poor, considerate-and speaking the language that was normal in whatever part of Ireland we grew up in (English/ or Irish)

The Gombeen Man said...

Thanks for clearing that up. That would have pissed off the Shinners even more, in their make-believe world.

"Hillman Hunter" "as Gaeilge" - and regardless of whether the bould Hillman wanted it or not.

It's a strange mentality that would argue in favour of depriving someone of their own name and transforming it into something else to satisfy some perverted sense of nationality, which is a load of bunkum, anyway.

Anna said...

Yes and I often get the feeling working class parents feel Ashamed and Inferior (if you don’t grow up speaking Irish, it is reckoned to be the most difficult language in the Latin alphabet to learn) of their often poor. / Near non-existent Irish-so they can’t help their children with homework. Their own parents couldn’t afford grinds/ holidays in Galeltacht. They might have been great at other subjects- often ones they could teach themselves, English, history etc…but some of the poorest parents are as likely to be fluent in Irish as they are in Sanskrit. Their kids work hard enough anyway to get top LC points for degrees in Medicine, law, economics etc: Reason high points are demanded mostly is because the idiot government never provided enough College Places. (This country has only the same no of Medicine places as NI – with 1/3 the population!) Yes your child might get a place in England- with extra expense & homesickness involved in that. Oh, and you’d probably get your British qualifications trashed on return here. But it’s all the fault of a working class parent for not steeping their child in the ‘national’ language.
If I was a working class parent here, I would be Very angry at this re-enforcing of class privilege and unfair allocation of college places- all being done through insistence on compulsory Irish in the LC. Once (before the British set up free grammar schools in the 40’s) working class British school kids found it hard to get to university as they all insisted on a Latin pass ( for any degree) - something working class secondary schools would not have taught. This compulsory Irish nonsense is every bad and worse- because working class parents are made to feel ashamed and unpatriotic and not good parents for not speaking a Notional ’National’ language.