A year after all of the head-shaking and nay-saying assurances that ‘negotiations’ with the IMF and EU were mere ‘fiction’, the sense of betrayal that Irish people experienced about the then Government’s denial that the Irish nation was about to lose its economic sovereignty is still palpable. This psychological process of denial – the refusal to acknowledge a reality that is obvious to others – is characteristic of contemporary Irish society and can be linked, in part at least, to its history of colonialism (for more on this see Geraldine Moane’s Gender and Colonialism). Another psychological process characteristic of post-colonial societies is that of double-think – a capacity to entertain two conflicting thoughts simultaneously.
Enda Kenny’s state of the nation address was the epitome of double-think. Perhaps anxious not to evoke the same justifiable sense of outrage brought on by the previous administration’s ‘Hey, we all partied’ approach to austerity politics, our current Taoiseach assures us that we ‘are not responsible for the crisis’. Yet in the same breath, he informs us that it is ‘our most important responsibility…to do what must be done to get our economy back on its feet.’ We are not responsible, and yet ‘the steps the Government has taken’ are a reflection of ‘our sense of responsibility’, for which Enda is very grateful, apparently. We are not responsible, but we must nevertheless ‘make sacrifices’ and so on and so forth.Add a comment