Tuesday 22 October 2019

United in panic

• There is one thing that Ireland has gone nearly one year without, but without which, most of our people don't seem too uncomfortable.

No, it is not the snow that ravaged our country and its citizens this time last year, but also brought days off and general mirth to the youth of the country.

No, it is not Fianna Fail, who one year and, give or take, one week ago, unveiled its last budget as the crumbling government fiasco it was. It is in fact a good bout of mass hysteria, as was seen in November and December of last year, before the arrival of the dreaded EU and its IMF cronies.

A year ago, we were terrified by the prospect of help. Savings wiped! Stalinesque seizures of land for public ownership! Not to mention the loss of sovereignty!

But 12 months on and little or none of that has actually transpired. Most people probably forget about Ajai Chopra before being reminded by Cathal MacCoille each morning, during one of RTE's daily fearfests.

But, back then, the nation was united by its fear of the troika, and hatred of our local Dail dimwits.

Crisis was what held us together, as opposed to the calm Tiger years, where a national psyche was fractured by excess.

Since then, we have not had any farm-animal flus that could wipe out millions.

No massive international wars that threatened global stability, with the exception of the relatively minor Libyan kerfuffle.

Little Middle Eastern sabre-rattling, and even less that produced anything tangibly threatening, with Israel and Iran now both backing down.

At the moment, we have some slightly disagreeable Euro kites being flown, but nothing that could spark a head-for-the-hills mentality.

As such, could we at least get a Merkozy admission that the euro may go down, just to boost Christmas cheer? After all, we do pay their salaries, so it's the least they could do.

We are generally known as a nation of begrudgers, especially among ourselves.

Well, now, we are a nation of happy-go-lucky panickers. The Germans, who ironically have the power to make or break said panic, have a word for it. Schadenfreude, or malicious glee.

The only thing is, here, it's usually self-directed and, on occasion, inflicted.

Killian Foley-Walsh

Irish Independent

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