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Governments must govern -- not try to shape our culture

In its own twee way, the very name, An Bord Snip Nua, gets to the heart of the issue.

Its utter bogusness echoes so much of what state endeavour has been about: pretending to protect and preserve ancient forms of Irishness, whether it is some precious cultural commodity west of the Shannon, or a peat bog in the Midlands, or the Irish language. Whether the McCarthy report is implemented in part or in whole, it is now on the political agenda: and underlying its proposals is a desire for minimalist government, without any great non-political projects as policy. In other words, an end to the notion of the State as a means of shaping the culture of Ireland, and how its people think.

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