Kevin Myers: This great, liberal society is silent on decisive social issues of our time
Nothing exposes the existence of a subconscious political agenda quite like the use of statistics. Take the recently released figures and analyses from the Central Statistics Office, 2010-11. They revealed, amongst others things, that the birth rate amongst Irish women is now catastrophically below replacement level: our overall birth rate is 2.06, which is just below the generally accepted replacement figure of 2.1, and down 36pc in 30 years. But only 77pc of our births were to Irish mothers, so proportionately, the indigenous Irish population is plummeting. However, even to say this is probably "racist" according to the norms of our splendid media studies courses; and so, what would once have been a most salient headline revelation was at best last week a footnote, if even that.
Ireland is now imitating the deathbed demographics of the rest of Europe, which will ensure that the native populations will require the labour and services of immigrants from the developing world to run their trams and, when the time comes, to wipe their bums. What then of the feminist agenda which has supervised the calamitous fall in native fertility, when the robust and reproductive populations within Europe are drawn from other societies, with other religions and perhaps even anti-feminist priorities?
No doubt, the Euro-elites will continue to ignore this irresistible existential tide, because it simply doesn't suit the underlying egalitarian agenda which sees women's employment rights as the pre-eminent ideological goal of our time. And, of course, it is a common human strategy, evident from the nursery onwards, when faced with uncomfortable truths to shut the eyes, put two fingers in the ears and to bellow on the top of one's voice.
We have already seen a microcosm of this policy of denial in our own medical profession. It is illegal to ask would-be medical students what they intend to do when they have babies, even though the State pays the fees of these students. The figures are almost comical. The majority of medical students are female, and experience and surveys both suggest that most women doctors will have abandoned full-time medical practice within 15 years of graduation. Which is why there are so many foreign doctors in Ireland. But, of course, no one publicly comments on this.
For with the universal enforcement of the feminist agenda, the first casualty must be any acknowledgement of the Law of Immutable Consequence. "Rights" must therefore always trump "outcome" within this ideology. Nor is this an Irish-only disease. It is, for example, why British courts are repeatedly freeing known Islamic terrorists, at colossal cost to both the taxpayer and to an increasingly frazzled MI5.
However, suicide is a far greater threat to life in most western societies than any Islamist conspiracy. Self-killing increased last year again in Ireland, and with men still the primary victims: up from 82pc to 84pc. Admittedly, the latest overall figure of 525 suicides is down on the 2009 figure of 552, but the proportion of male victimhood has continued to rise inexorably. Now, were the figure reversed, and, say, 450 women a year taking their own lives, the country would have been provoked into uproar by the numerous single-issue state-funded feminist quangos. Instead, silence.
If reason were a weapon in all of this, then one could discuss these matters, but of course it is not. So, yes, Savita Halappanavar's fate was a tragedy, but was it more tragic than the deaths of 450 men who annually take their own lives? We have now had over a week of public emoting over Savita, which even included an abject prostration before the Indian Ambassador, who has the honour to represent a country where there are a thousand "honour" killings a year, and where the constitution, through its recognition of the domestic application of shariah law, actually excuses divorced Muslim men the obligation to pay alimony to their abandoned wives. Ah yes, the joys of multiculturalism.
Liberal ideological values are now so entrenched within Irish life that they are now simply invisible. The real scandal of RTE's 'Frontline' presidential debate is that it is not actually a scandal at all. Why was it not? Because the beneficiary of the debacle was Ireland's foremost liberal, Michael D Higgins. But imagine the outcry if Dana had been the victor, if the bogus tweet that ruined Sean Gallagher's presidential hopes had come from SPUC, and she had been spared the direct and challenging questions, just as their labour candidate was. The outcry would surely have instantly invalidated the election of President Dana Rosemary Scallan.
And of course, the RTE inquiry into that appallingly amateurish programme found that there was no "bias", because by the standards of our culture, there really was none. Nor is there any "bias" in our neglect of the hundreds of male suicides every year, or in the way that we ignore our own demographics of doom, or in our dogmatic refusal to acknowledge that the feminisation of the Irish medical profession simply means that it is being out-sourced to Asia. These are the great and decisive social issues of our time, about which our great, liberal society remains decisively silent.