The ancestors, the sister ancestors are writhing inside my body, refusing to be silent.
This thing. This initiative you launched. It is so politically infantile that I want to scold you and say pick up your toys and put them back in the box.
I want to.
But I can’t. I just can’t Leo. You’re still just a child.
A little boy copying someone else’s homework. George Wallace’s to be specific. To garner votes. Because you need votes to fulfill your personal political ambitions. Of public hand-jobs and designer cushions to sit on.
It’s okay Leo, don’t beat yourself up for your un-originality. Alan Garcia did the same thing. Excuse me, I forgot you might not know about him. He was the President of Peru. Was. When the big extractive industries came to Peru, he offered the Natural Resources of Peru to them on a plate. And living on the lands beside some of those Natural Resources were the Amazon Peruvians. An indigenous people. Lands that belong to them.
“The rights of ownership of the peoples over the lands which they traditionally occupy shall be recognised. The rights of the people to the natural resources pertaining to their lands shall be specifically safeguarded."
UN ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, No. 169, 1989
“To grow, Peru needs to expand its markets. We need larger investments in mining, oil and gas. That’s why I invite you to invest in Peru – You can trust that we’ll have long term stability.”
Alan Garcia, 2007
When the indigenous people objected, the Government wouldn’t listen. So they protested, Leo. Peacefully. And still the Government wouldn’t listen. So more came to protest. And the Government needed to silence them. So, they tried words first. Words like,
Barbarians. Uncultured. Stupid. Natives. Animals. Just monkeys from the forest who know nothing about business.
But still the indigenous people stood their ground. So Alan Garcia ordered the army, with weapons to silence them.
Alan Garcia had Alberto Pizango [President, National Organization for Native Amazon People] charged with inciting violence and causing harm to the soldiers. To make an example out of him. To suppress future social protests.
Like the people of Jobstown, Leo. Who had the right to protest, because the Irish Government would not afford them an ear. The people of Ireland an ear. Like charging a selection of protesters, male protesters [despite the fact, most were women on the day in question] with incitement to cause harm. To suppress future social protests. Using words like,
Thugs. Animals. Kidnap. Known to the Gardai [thank you Frankie Gaffney for that insight]. Mob violence.
(While Noreen O’Sullivan Commissioner of the Garda Síochána and her husband are rewarded with political support for *allegedly*turning a blind eye and or participating in, stalking, defamation, bullying and harassment)
Oh dear Leo, when you grow up, you will understand how insulting it is to treat people with such contempt. I promise. You will.
It only takes three percent of any population to cause social or political change, petal. The Keepers of Past Knowledge. Like.
The investigation of Padraig Flynn, retired Fianna Fail TD by the European Union, for financial irregularities.
[The Saplings won't remember, Leo. But I do. Patrick Gallagher, jailed in Belfast for financial irregularities. Yet, Dublin happily gave him a loan after he declared bankruptcy]
The absence of political will in the case of missing child, Mary Boyle.
The collusion of the Central Bank of Ireland with the banks and auditors, in failing to design and implement robustly, regulations to protect Irish monies, Irish taxpayers. Costing this country excruciating and debilitating austerity. Iceland jailed all those implicated in the banking crisis. We offer them highly paid consultancy work.
(We are grateful to Jonathan Sugarman, Leo, even if you are not).
Professional barbarians who were awarded a new shiny state of the art building. All the while, issuing legally and ethically worthless reports and guidelines on Corporate Governance, to placate the screaming masses.
The Non-Privileged. Sorry. I forgot, again. You don’t understand privilege, Leo. I define it as having unearned access to benefit. The non-privileged are sleeping on the streets. Or they are dead, by their own hand. Or they are suffering with severe mental health crisis because of debt.
The failure of successive governments to examine the pay outs by the Department of Social Protection, your department Leo, for long term absenteeism from the workplace. Which has cost, to date nearly €2 billion. To investigate the causal factors. Like bullying, harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace. For failing to construct measures to fine businesses who do not vigorously adhere to employee wellbeing. Domestic Violence. Sexual Violence. Mental health crisis. Mental health trauma. The money that could be saved by policing professional barbarianism, is overwhelming.
The failure of the Irish Government to include the Reception Conditions Directive in the International Protection Act, 2015 – simply because it gives permission for Asylum Seekers to work, to be fully integrated members of the community. Visible members of humanity.
In intellectual circles, I believe it’s called Strategic Racism, one grounded in economic greed, Leo.
And the Citizens Assembly, Leo. Well, that really backfired on your playground gang, didn’t it? The boys thought they’d hold on to the eight amendment, didn’t they? As long as women are suffering, fighting for dignity, distracted or clawing out of debt, dealing with mental trauma, it keeps them away from attempting to carve out a slice of the economic, political and social pie, eh? The boys really don’t like sharing their toys with girls, do they? Bless.
When you grow up, Leo, I’ll tell you about leadership. I’ll tell you about social morality. I’ll tell you about building a sense of national shared identity. How leading with vision requires talent.
You see Leo, you’re just a political primate. An inimical one.
Working a crowd that has not politically matured. I’ve heard them, Leo. Yes. The obsession to be allocated in an acceptable class grouping. Creating political family tradition, like a badge of honour, abdicating themselves from keeping informed. Stuck in a Bayesian loop.
While you attempt to prime the masses, using their obsession, to create a divisive, classist narrative.
And if the electorate continue to be drip fed by mainstream media, with your sophisticated- let’s drink lemon tea with cucumber sandwiches in the afternoon- shit, the remnants of colonialism, then I fear for this country. I truly do.
But, I’m not giving up on your education, Leo.
I will continue fighting with the Keepers.
The people united will never be defeated. (Alberto Pizango)
Yours sincerely, etc etc