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Kevin Myers – love him or hate him September 5, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.

I feel I have to comment on a recent article by journalist Kevin Myers. Writing in the Irish Independent (subscription req. 😦 for this bit) on Wednesday 30th August, Myers writes an article entitled “We are an immoral people. We have morals to be sure, we just don’t keep them.”

Having read the article, I must say that I agree wholeheartedly with him – and that fact surprised me because most of what I read by the same journalist, I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole.

Myers insists we work and live in an immoral society with a disregard for social values and decencies. I would like to add that not only do we live in an immoral society from top to bottom but also an oxymoronic (sic) society where the majority of people might agree with the lack of morals while at the same time doing the same immoral deeds Myers refers to in his article. We’ve all done it !

I quote :

“We have morals to be sure, we just don’t keep them. This is one of our defining features. It is everywhere. The plumber who turns up 3 days late, the woman who leaves her car straddling 2 supermarket parking spaces … the people who think they are great characters if they arrive an hour late for dinner…”.

He goes on to say :

“… these are the small signs that we have an entirely provisional attitude to social decencies … Magnify this virus, and you no longer have the common cold that is wrongly regarded as a charming and everyday Irish idiosyncrasy, but you have the cancer that is the systemic violation of the rule of law – and at every level.”

I was just wondering what people thought about that ?  How many times have you just pulled up on the pavement or indeed left the car still jutting out into a traffic lane and stuck the hazards on for a few minutes because you were just nipping over to the ATM … or how many times have we broken the speed limit because you thought it was too low ? We all do things such as Myers describes, but never before did I think (until now) that we could be contributing to the overall lack of social decency in this country.

And that is just my point.  We do these small things because we think they are OK or that we can get away with them … of course, none of us agrees with the bigger picture of government corruption or lack of this, that and the other but did you ever stop to think that small things is where it starts ?  Can we link these “small” things that we do everyday to the likes of  “… allowing the IRA to use Ireland as a base of operations for the past 25 years …” as Myers suggests.  We put up with them didn’t we ?  Condemned them on the one hand and did nothing much to stop them (until the 1990s) on the other …

Is then, as Myers says, the “endemic moral laziness in Irish life” effecting the betterment of the country ?  or are we content to disregard these seemingly inconsequential misdeeds and overlook the bigger faults all because, ah sure it’s just in our nature … sure I’ll only be gone for 2 minutes … begorrah, bejaysis sir, toppa the mornin’ …

Note : To read the article you’ll have to get the paper – it’s not online unfortunately.

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1. Mistake or pure thick ? You decide « The Rambling Man - September 13, 2006

[…] I know it has been said before, but God there are some dumb arseholes in this country ! […]

2. cearta.ie » Free Speech, even for Kevin Myers - July 19, 2008

[…] know the enemy. In that spirit, I read Kevin Myers: I seek him out because I know that I will usually disagree with his views. And the fact that he can challenge my views, or a contemporary consensus, […]

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