Not Me Guv Pt 2.

Time to rebuild what secularists tried to wreck – Analysis – Independent.ie

Our media has spent the past two decades promoting and glorifying the culture of the raised fist and the raised phallus

That’s Marc Coleman writing.

This is the cover of Marc Coleman’s recent book:

Hur hur.

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14 Responses to “Not Me Guv Pt 2.”


  1. 1 Donagh December 2, 2008 at 11:19 am

    I’m in no mood to laugh at the moment, but this did give me a chuckle all the same.

  2. 2 coc December 3, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Our licence fee is paid by citizens to promote public service values, not to chase ratings down a gutter.

    We have had enough. Eamon Ryan is going to have to get a firm grip on our broadcasting system and bring it into line with what the decent, silent majority of this country want. If he doesn’t, that majority will cease to be silent.

    It appears Marc Coleman is channelling one part Breda O’Brien and one part David Quinn, with essence de Gerry McGeough lingering suggestively in the atmosphere.

    The current ad campaigns suggest the citizens pay the licence fee mainly because they seem incapable of thinking of the one obvious way of avoiding doing so.

    I’d love to see that multilingual TV inspector deal with:

    “No, I do not have a TV and no, you cannot come into my house to check. Now fuck off”

    Public service values? I can’t imagine what those might be, but in the past they seemed to involve women being barefoot and pregnant and children being raped and abused by paedophiles in fancy dress.

    But what about those secularists, eh? If they love it so much, why don’t they go and live in North Korea?

  3. 3 Hugh Green December 3, 2008 at 11:29 am

    It appears Marc Coleman is channelling one part Breda O’Brien and one part David Quinn, with essence de Gerry McGeough lingering suggestively in the atmosphere.

    Quite.

    There is the faintest hint of nouvelle-piété on the breeze at the moment, and it’s coming not only from altar-rail eaters like the above, but from no small amount of ‘secular’ airheads talking about things in terms of ‘ah well, we’ve had it good for a long time, and we got too greedy, but now it’s time to realistic, so I’ve bought myself a big bag of oats and a lime to ward off scurvy’.

    What really gets me about Coleman talking about post-Christian values is that, as you note, they never existed in the first place. If following Jesus is as important as he says it is, why hasn’t he sold all his belongings and given the proceeds to the poor yet? And for all the talk about nuclear families and marriage breakdown, Jesus said very little about marriage, families and so on.

    But what really pisses me off is the technocratic sheen they attempt to put on things, as though this promotion of marriage and so on were not a consequence of their dogmatic obsessions, but something that society really needs imposed on it in order to function properly, like income tax or a sewage system.

  4. 4 Thriftcriminal December 4, 2008 at 9:00 am

    First off, I’m not disagreeing with you, so don’t get upset. But do you have evidence that society doesn’t need it imposed on it in order to function properly? I have no idea personally, but in general people are slow to experiment with the fundamentals of society for fear of breaking it.

    I’ve come across many who insist that religion has no place in modern society and I disagree, I think it has far more to do with personal choice and object as strongly to the religious zealot as I do to the atheist zealot. That said religion could do with modernising. Which isn’t to say it needs to capitulate to all the demands made of it today. Sod it, who knows what the best way forward is? I don’t.

  5. 5 Hugh Green December 4, 2008 at 10:20 am

    First off, I’m not disagreeing with you, so don’t get upset.

    And here was me looking to get upset!

    But do you have evidence that society doesn’t need it imposed on it in order to function properly?

    Well, I guess it depends what you mean by society. I mean, if you’re talking about institutions developed through free association of individuals, then there are plenty such institutions where religion plays no defining role whatsoever. Under such circumstances nothing really needs to be imposed because people have arrived at conclusions about what to do via discussion, agreement.

    Now if you’re talking about society as that group of people whose activity is constrained by a State, then I think there’s a continual burden of justification for any imposition by the State. And I find it hard to justify the imposition of religion under any such circumstances. Also, who legitimately decides whether or not something functions properly? I’m inclined to think that ideas about proper functioning are arrived at via consent, not imposition.

    Now this is not to say that there is no place for religion in modern society (not even Stalin thought that). Like you, I think that’s up to personal choice, and as such not for me to decide. I simply don’t see how one can ever justify the imposition of norms on the basis of religious belief.

    A common mistake -often on the part of religious and anti-religious zealots alike- is to see secularism as anti-religion. But secularism is not necessarily opposed to religion as such, nor even to the participation of religious groups in the public sphere. As far as I can see, a secular public space should enable people to pursue whatever religious experience they wish, provided this doesn’t entail compelling people to have religious beliefs imposed on them in whatever form.

  6. 6 Thriftcriminal December 4, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Sounds reasonable to me.

    I find that the modern world suffers from a number of complex problems, the imposition of a solution could (theoretically) be possible if a proper cost function could be determined, but that seems pretty unreachable. The unfortunate side effect of this seems to be that many people are drawn to absolutes as solutions. The laisez faire capitalist mindset views its philosophy as the only possible way of achieving progress (subtly performing the old switcheroo and equating the goals of efficiency and productivity with the betterment of mankind). Equally the left side adopts an intransigent view based on a slightly different set of values, again masquerading as progress, but often driven by an agenda more akin to class warfare.

    Personally I’d like a couple of acres and a degree of self sufficiency that allows me to tell them all to feck off 🙂

  7. 7 Hugh Green December 4, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Well, I’d tend to disagree. I think that the laissez-faire capitalist mindset is often driven by an agenda more akin to class warfare, whereas the left (in its parliamentary forms, certainly) is indeed drawn into a philosophy of equating the goals of efficiency and productivity with the betterment of mankind.

    To give an example of the latter, look at how the Labour Party is now talking about publishing official league tables for schools, justifying this by saying that at least the state can present the information in a more objective and informative format. So for them it’s a matter of perfecting ‘consumer choice’ -through the mechanisms of the State- in terms of the underlying principles of education being something to be consumed, children as economic units, machines to be loaded with sufficient data so that they can function efficiently, with parents as their managers, schools as service providers, and so on and so forth.

  8. 8 Thriftcriminal December 4, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Probably elements of both from both sides maybe? Certainly class warfare feature extensively in the UK, here it is more muddied. I’m not in favour of the Friedmanite model by the way, it is best described at the individual level as the freedom to benefit from our indentured slavery.

  9. 9 Hugh Green December 4, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    The distinction I would draw between the left and right, in terms of class war, is that those elements on the left primarily concerned with it talk the talk but do not walk the walk, since they have little actual power, whereas the reverse is true of their counterparts who exist in far greater number on the right. The picture is a bit muddy: lots of people nominally on the left also broadly adhere to neo-liberal principles.

  10. 10 coc December 4, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    people are slow to experiment with the fundamentals of society.
    Absolutely correct. What Marc Coleman seems not to have noticed is that the changes that came over Ireland in the last 25 years or so, came very slowly indeed. 25 years to be precise. That is not a revolutionary change by any but a chinese measure.

    To buy into Coleman’s mindset is to imagine crack squads of homosexual lentil munching secularists abseiling down from helipcoters of hedonism onto to roof of the Pro-cathedral from which they proceed to cast priests and nuns and all that is priestly and nunly and good.

    There was no revolution. No-one was guillotined (more’s the pity). David Quinn’s culture warriors are counter-revolutionaries to a revolution that never happened. What actually happened was a slow progression (yes, it was progress) of Irish social mores from a rigidly enforced religiosity to a more tolerantá la carte approach. Religion, of itself, is neither here nor there. There is no persecution of religious expression in this State nowadays, which is certainly not something you could say about 50 years ago. Quinn et al appear to consider this A Bad Thing. What they really want is a return to the ‘good old days’ when their particular brand of fairy tales had eminence over all others. Hence the fixation of marriage, divorce, abortion. These are just ciphers for the real agenda, which is a return to the hegemony of McQuaid. I mean really, why would anyone give a sh1t if their neighbour was divorced? Thankfully these people are titling at windmills. The revolution that never was is irreversible.

    I, for one, welcome our new godless overlords.

  11. 11 Hugh Green December 4, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    What they really want is a return to the ‘good old days’ when their particular brand of fairy tales had eminence over all others. Hence the fixation of marriage, divorce, abortion.

    Which reminds me. I got this month’s copy of Alive! delivered yesterday. Those guys are nuts. All the stories are the same.

    An eminent scientist/bishop/schoolteacher/journalist (normally Melanie Phillips) has revealed that heterosexual marriage is natural and gays are evil/there are genetic differences between boys and girls that need to be dealt with through single-sex education/the UN is out to establish a new world order and exterminate all the Christians.

  12. 12 thriftcriminal December 6, 2008 at 11:49 am

    I think the issue is one of values. The knee jerk reaction of the old ways of the church were the best is simply a reaction to the erosion of a moral base. They want a return because that is the mechanism they know, whereas, as you state, its time has passed. I don’t personally believe that the secular notion of “Do this and you will be punished” is sufficient. There needs to be a dimension that produces a more visceral “this is wrong” reaction to curb some of the behaviours these days. And no, I am not referring to homosexuality or the like, I mean illegal abuse of people and society. The church can’t do that any longer, what is the preferred mechanism?

  13. 13 coc December 8, 2008 at 10:44 am

    The preferred mechanism is parent to child. Everyone (apart form a tiny number of the mentally ill) knows right from wrong. Many choose not to obey their own consciences and behave in ways they know to be wrong.

    The question of punishment is neither here nor there – morally acceptable behaviour is imposed by social norms. Some parts of our society are in crisis and norms of social behaviour are not observed. This is neither caused by nor exacerbated by the decline of religious observance. The reactionaries surely know that people committed crimes in Ireland from 1922 to 1982, when we had the mother church to watch our every move. That church never served as an agent of producing the visceral “this is wrong” we appear to lack.

    I would argue that we don’t lack it, apart from those unfortunate to be reared by families in crisis. Herding hundreds of such families into ghettos like Moyross or Finglas just amplifies the problems. If places like that were set up in the 30s & 40s instead of the 60s & 70s we’d have seen the same results 30 years earlier.

    So, the solution is to address the families and communities in crisis. Time will tell if the regeneration of places like Ballymun or Moyross cauterises this wound.

    After all, what is the point of punishment after the fact?

  14. 14 Hugh Green December 9, 2008 at 9:13 am

    I agree about the parent being the primary educator in terms of ethics and morality. At the same time, I think that society ought to responsible for ensuring that parents are able to educate their children. That means not confining them to the likes of the places described above.

    Whilst I think people have an innate capacity to know right from wrong, there are many ways that that capacity is stunted, interfered with, diminished. If your parents are drug addicts and you live in a house with dog shit on the floor in a dump of an estate, you’re off to a bad start in this regard. But I think that when we’re talking about knowing right from wrong here we’re talking mostly about engaging in violent and destructive personal behaviour. The question of who puts these people in this situation in the first place is rarely couched in terms of right and wrong, even though it probably should be.


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