Britain is 'backwards' for Brexit vote, says Irish opposition leader


**Britain is ‘backwards’ for Brexit vote, says Irish opposition leader

Ireland’s opposition leader has attacked Britain for “backwards-looking nationalism” in voting for Brexit.

Micheal Martin made the remarks as he called for Ireland to find a new urgency in dealing with the fallout of the referendum.

The leader of the Fianna Fail party said: "Britain has taken the route of a backward-looking nationalism, suspicious of outsiders and committed to the historically false idea that you don’t need strong international bodies to secure lasting cooperation and prosperity between nations.

“In the five months since the UK’s Brexit vote the only things which are clear are that their policy is a shambles and that it is already causing real damage on this island.”

Ireland’s largest party in parliament, Fine Gael, has a minority government and relies on Fianna Fail to stay in power.

“We are not going to join the English in their desire to repeal the 20th century,” said Mr Martin.

“We will not join them in their right-wing ideology of trade rules with no social dimension and no enforceable laws.”

Mr Martin was speaking in County Cork at a commemoration to Sean Moylan, an IRA commander from the 1920s who became a government minister.**


Is Ireland now ready to cede its “nationalistic” independence to Britain, then?


I wasn’t in favor of a Brexit, but that being said, the word “backwards” is inflammatory and part of the reason why it happened in the first place. Skeptics need to be answered instead of belittled. I’m pretty sure that’s how Trump also became the Republican nominee: lots of flaming ended up working for him and giving him a quasi-martyr status.


I quite agree. It should be noted that he’s an Irish politician speaking to Irish feelings and an Irish voter base, however – so in that sense not to be compared with Clinton 's disastrous “deplorables” jibe, which was an insult directed towards her own countrymen!

His words were obviously meant for Irish consumption - “I. E. We’re not like them in Britain” or something to that effect. Since Ireland remains a broadly pro-EU country, he must think it will him more votes. Maybe it will.

Ireland is one of the countries not in any danger from populist right-wing movements, so while I wish that the man had used more diplomatic and respectful language, and entirely agree with your point about opening dialogue and learning from each other rather than belittling I can’t help but feel that maybe the Irish are entitled to feeling a bit of exceptionalism at the moment.


I didn’t know enough about brexit at the time, but I like Nigel Farage, and myself probably would have voted to leave, so that Britain could have it’s independence, especially to control it’s own borders etc (The EU I think was probably fine and good so long as the European nations shared the same common Christian ethos, not so much anymore though, and whoever controls the EU, has control over these Countries in which they were not democratically elected or even a part of).

The systems such as the EU and the United Nations, have increasingly been twisted toward dictatorships I believe, where the few elitists rule the majority.

A classic example is how Saudi Arabia could be on the UN Human rights council (Russia voted off) and we know that Saudi Arabia have been involved with ISIS, not to mention their own public human rights abuses.

When people are headed toward the precipice, I think backwards is a compliment, and I am very happy to be going that way.

I am also baffled at the words ‘backwards’ and ‘forwards’ as these terms are useless unless one defines what ‘forward’ and what ‘backwards’ actually entail. Some of these people would call ‘traditional marriage’ and ‘the repealing of Roe vs Wade’ as ‘backwards’, in fact, they said as much about the Catholic Church in the Podesta email release with WikiLeaks. So Backwards is the way I’ll be going. :thumbsup:

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Of interest, this recent article from a rare Eurosceptic voice in Ireland - bemoaning the lack of euroscepticism there…

**Patrick Murphy: Criticising the EU is now a sin in Ireland

Ireland has discovered a new sin. It is not in the same category as failing to keep holy the Sabbath, or coveting your neighbour’s goods, but it is more studiously avoided.This sin is political - well, for Catholics anyway: “Thou shalt not criticise the European Union.”

Throughout the post-Brexit debate, Irish nationalist politicians have criticised Theresa May’s government, with good reason. But while they have all suggested that Brexit should be more conciliatory, none have argued that the EU might abandon the idea of a single European state.

In Catholic Ireland, the EU is close to canonisation…

Although the concept of political sin is satirical, like all satire it is based on reality. Ireland’s latest sin has existed in various forms since the year 800, when Pope Leo III crowned King Charlemagne as head of the Holy Roman Empire…The Empire, a sort of mini-EU with its own army, lasted for about 1,000 years until 1800. The Church effectively controlled it, not always in the most moral manner, which is how the Reformation came about…**

And another section:

**This drive for modern European unity can be traced back to the European Steel and Coal Community in 1950, which was founded by Schuman (France) Adenauer (Germany) and De Gasperi (Italy). All were devout Catholics.

Catholic historian Alan Fimister has argued that all three, particularly Schuman, were strongly influenced by Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical, Rerum Novarum (1891). It is a foundation of modern Catholic doctrine, based on concerns about the nationalism, liberalism and anti-clericalism, which followed the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, almost a century earlier. The solution, as later articulated by Pius XII, was the unification of human society across national borders. French Catholic philosopher, Jacques Maritain, has argued that a European federation would ultimately lead to the establishment of a new Christendom, identified by Schuman as “a generalised democracy in the Christian sense of the word.”

So the philosophy behind the EU’s single state can be traced (with a few bumps along the way) to Catholic social teaching…Either way, it explains the Pope’s call for an anti-Brexit vote in Britain…You may have observed that this column has sinned against the EU on more than one occasion, which destines it for political damnation**


I might be wrong about this because it’s not my backyard, but I believe Ireland’s relative support with the EU is because in the early 70s the EU was seen as an added guarantee of Irish respect in the European community and the end to being eclipsed by British influence, so it’s going to be one of the stronger pro-EU countries along with Germany. So that background still carries weight in the present generation.

Anyway, it’s a rallying cry to gain solidarity with his voters, but don’t be surprised if after 10-20 years of that language, it eventually creates a much larger nationalist group. Think about the British political climate roughly 15 years ago (2000) compared to today. Things can change fast.


The EU is controlled to this day by centre-right Christian Democrats from Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and other countries who form the largest political grouping in the pan-national European Parliament - the EPP or “European People’s Party”.

The EPP are the successors to the original Catholic Founding Fathers - Schuman, Adenauer and Gaspari et al:

**The European People’s Party (EPP) is a European political party. A transnational organisation, it is composed of other political parties, not individuals. Founded by Christian democratic parties in 1976…

The EPP has been the largest party in the European Parliament since 1999 and in the European Council since 2002. It is also by far the largest party in the current European Commission. The President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission are both from the EPP. Many of the Founding fathers of the European Union were also from parties that later formed the EPP. Outside the EU the party also controls a majority in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The EPP includes major parties such as the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), The Republicans (LR) of France, Fine Gael of Ireland, and the People’s Party (PP) of Spain, and it has member parties in all of the EU member states except the United Kingdom.**

**The European People’s Party (EPP) is the political family of the centre-right, whose roots run deep in the history and civilisation of the European continent and which has pioneered the European project from its inception. Tracing back its roots to Europe’s Founding Fathers – Robert SCHUMAN, Alcide DE GASPERI, and Konrad ADENAUER – the EPP is committed to a strong Europe based on a federal model that relies on the principle of subsidiarity.

In April 1991, party and government leaders of the EPP decided that, while the party would be open to the British and Nordic conservative parties, Christian Democracy would be preserved as the cornerstone of the EPP’s identity. The EPP needed to integrate like-minded forces in order to achieve the majority needed to make ideas and concepts a reality.


Very true!


No, and neither is Scotland. They both like the benefit of the union too much and deep down know how much England carried them financially.


Yes, yes, we know----the elites with degrees know what’s best for everyone. :rolleyes:

That’s why the EU is such a basket-case economically, lost culturally and basically in complete and total decline.


Indeed they can, Brexit politics and economic prospects are loaded with hostages to fortune and their outcomes could well solidify European opinion rather than create more ‘-exits’.


The Irish Republic is not part of the UK.


Polls indicate that is what has already occurred.

Britain is demonstrating for all to see just how intensely complicated and perilous it is to exit from the EU.


Only he didn’t say that. The Irish opp leader did NOT say “Britain is ‘backwards’” – He said, per the article, “Britain has taken the route of a backward-looking nationalism,…”


That is true, we are taking that route under the present government…

One can perhaps blame the headline for somewhat misrepresenting his words…

See the “narrow nationalistic politics” spoken of by Pope Pius XII in my signature quote…


Indeed it it not, but given that this gent was speaking at an event to remember Sean Moylan his words are a wee bit ironic. Sean Moylan was of course been an IRA member and participant in the War of Independence a nationalist of some note.


Not officially anyway, although at times one does get the feeling that we are almost a hidden member. Also some of the citizens of the republic can tend towards interesting viewpoints on whether they are foreign or not. My father is a case in point, he has lived in Britain for many years but is conveniently foreign when he wishes to be and more British when that suits his needs more.

But not unless Britain has either invaded the Irish Republic or we reapplied to rejoin the UK and I missed it we are not part of the UK and have been a republic since 1949. Or 1016, dependent on your politics and outlook on the matter.


The Irish government might be talking a different tune when the EU tells them they can’t keep their corporate tax rate where it is. Oh noes, may not be not allowed to undercut the Continent on such things for much longer …

The EU is destined for breakup in the next few years, five on the outside. Financial stresses combined with banking issues and migrant indigestion will combine to tear it apart. For those who don’t believe this, remember the Schengen Agreement regarding free movement within the EU is already under attack and that is not going away anytime soon.


It would be that if anybody concerned on the UK side had a clue, since they haven’t . . . :smiley:

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