Tuesday, 9 June 2009


One of the wittier posters on display
My abiding memory of the recent elections here will be the bewildering amount of posters that festooned our streets with names of candidates mostly unfamiliar to me, putting their names forward in the local and European elections. Light pole after light pole were draped with air-brushed hopefuls each one trying to outdo the other in capturing that ‘see how sincere I am’ look, a kind of political pout that indicates savvy, soundness and saintliness all rolled into one electable package ! In truth, judging by the appearance of some of the candidates they should have more appropriately hung in the Wanted section of the local Garda station ! The optics aside this was an electoral outing that was savoured by many of the citizenry as their first chance to register their anger and dismay at the response of our governing parties to the economic crises. As a result the Fianna Fail / Green alliance suffered heavy losses across the board with the Greens being particularly decimated. The net winners were the Fine Gael and Labour parties with two spectacular results from independent socialists. Sinn Fein held their own while Declan Ganley’s new pan European grouping, Libertas suffered meltdown. The Libertas result hit home as a good friend of mine had signed up with them after the demise of the Progressive Democrats , and as a result of these two debacles he is fast developing a reputation as a party-pooper ! Politics is such a grave business you need to have a laugh.
Now the call is for a General Election where the hope is that the present Government incumbents will be ousted and a new crew installed. It seems that a lot of the anger out there is borne by people’s genuine frustration at the soaring cost of living and the increased calls being made on diminishing wages, as well as the growing number (1000 a day) being added to the unemployment ranks. It’s sad if our hope for justice and equality solely rests with the politicians as these are people like ourselves with all our strengths and weaknesses. As we read the Gospels our sights are raised to the example of Jesus who not only spoke ‘truth’ but exemplified it in a perfect life. His is the Way of victory and power which uniquely offers real answers to the dilemmas of the human heart. Interestingly when confronted with the question of Political responsibility and God accountability Jesus simply replied, “ Give to Caesar those things that are Caesar’s ,and give to God those things that are God‘s ” (Matthew 22:21) Of course everything is God’s and even governments sit beneath His throne, how much we now need as individuals to vote for our ‘Caesars’ and devote our hearts to the living God. Political activism has its place and I commend all those who have gone through the process and become elected officials but our real and abiding hope for change rests with another, the Holy Spirit of God. As we are changed into the likeness of our Master the world will sit up and see that we are marching to the beat of a different drum.
Gerard O'Shea


Another Hurler on the Ditch said...

Libertas meltdown? Meltdown from what? They had no seat, so unlike many others they did not loose one.
70,000 first preference votes on a first outing would be the enevy of many in the game. And all this without the support of any of the major parties without corporate finance and people on the ground is quite amazing. I believe if there was not a deep recession at the moment Libertas would have faired far better.
Unless Declan Ganley and others take the risk doing something different we in this country are doomed, as we have for the last 70 years to re-live civil war politics for the next 70. And lorded over by family dynesties whose grand fathers fought in that war. How dismal.

Brian Mc said...

Where are the "we" and those "marching" and who is beating the "drum". If you see any let me know. Fancyful ideas I think.

Dew of Hermon said...

The 'we' I had in mind Brian are those who follow Jesus Christ and trust in His righteousness and love to effect a positive change in their lives. The 'marching' is the disciplined life informed by Jesus' teaching in the Gospels and He is beating the 'drum'. And I have seen many who fit the description above both in history and in contemporary reality. In fact, about 35 years ago my encounter with one of these 'marching to the sound of a different drum' had a life-changing effect on me.I take your point though, the challenge is to do it not just blog it.

Brian MC said...

I'm still looking. All I see is greedy bankers and perverted clergy, and the only ones marching are the abused.

Anonymous said...

soaring cost of living is droping like a rock and the fighter higgins is back due to poopular demand. people like him usually show up at times like this, while the tiger is away joe will play. he is like a car jack used rarely, handy though. And gunter ganleY was last seen marching over the hills of connemara sucking his thumb. do we get what we diserve. i think so. were good rugb y though