Court of Little Appeal
The inability of citizens to defend their rights from the State — exemplified in today’s judgement of the Court of Appeal — is a sobering testimony to Ireland's descent into outright tyranny.
The first thing to be said about today’s judgement of the Court of Appeal (CoA) in our lockdown case is that we were not surprised. It is not that we did not leave any space in our projections for a miracle, but a realism based on our experiences over the months since we submitted our case had told us not to expect much in the way of justice, reason or decency from any branch of the Irish State.
We put our hearts and souls into preparing our appeal. Our initial application, made in what seemed the urgent circumstances of last April, was necessarily tentative and contingent. We just knew that what was happening, being unprecedented and highly cavalier in its design and execution, was profoundly dangerous. It was vital that someone shout Stop!, and no one else appeared to be about to do it. We put our papers together over the Easter weekend, and delivered them to the High Court on the Wednesday of Easter Week. By rights, the judge at our initial ex parte hearing ought to have simply glanced through what we had submitted and, recognising what we described as the most extreme incursion upon human rights and freedoms in the history of independent Ireland, given us the nod to prepare our substantive case. Instead, we found ourselves waylaid by a concerted movement of State and court designed at filibustering and prevaricating, with covering fire from the corrupt press benches.
In preparing for the appeal, we had more time and used it to put together a comprehensive legal challenge to about half a dozen key aspects of the lockdown package. We knew it probably did not matter: they would shoot us down no matter what was in our appeal. But we wished to leave a paper trail for future historians, transcending the bias and corruption of the current generation of scribes, to use our papers to explain to posterity what will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the greatest crimes ever perpetrated upon the Irish people.
And our experience in the court system from the first day provided dismaying but clear confirmation of an establishment closing ranks, with the courts, rather than defending the rights of the people and the principles set out in the Constitution, stepping into the role of establishmentarian goalkeepers.
This was confirmed by today’s judgement. [There was in fact just one judgment, that of the President of the CoA, Mr Justice George Birmingham, to which the other two judges, Mr Justice Edwards and Ms Justice Costello, gave their assent without elaboration.]
The CoA judgment follows the successful pattern established by Meenan J. in the High Court of seeking to belittle us as applicants so as to avoid looking at our actual arguments. The judgement is littered with cheap shots and misrepresentations of our submissions, a surefire strategy to ensure media air cover in view of the rancid corruption of virtually the entirety of the Irish media these days. There is virtually no evidence in the judgement that the author(s) actually read our written submissions, since virtually all the content refers solely to the High Court judgment and, occasionally, our oral submission to the court on January 20th last. The judgement, for example, deals superficially and misleadingly with our arguments that, outside of Article 28.3.3, the Constitution does not permit the kinds of incursions on rights and freedoms involved in the lockdown measures. Our point, which the judgement demonstrates no sense of comprehending, was that the drafters of the Constitution expressly ruled out what the government did this time last year. Nor does the judgement deal in any way with our submissions concerning the abuse of the Health Act 1947 to construct an edifice of unprecedented illegality in the form of Covid ‘regulations’ imposed on the general population, well and unwell alike.
The treatment of our submission on the denial of public access to court is a farrago of nonsense and obfuscation.
Paragraph 14 states:
14. ‘The reality is that most people never give any consideration to attending to observe a court sitting. They may have little interest in doing so, and even if they would like to, there may be practical impediments. They may have to work or study on a day that a case of interest is listed. The case may be heard at a venue far from their home; they may not have transport and one could go on and on. There have been a number of cases which aroused interest on the part of the public, or a significant section thereof, where it was not possible for everybody who wished to attend to be accommodated. There have always been, and in all likelihood will always be, some limitation by reason of space, though it must be said that modern technology has the potential to expand and improve the opportunities for individuals to observe court proceedings.’
All this disingenuous misdirection amounts to an elaborate device for ignoring or obscuring that the point we made consistently is that the Constitution requires that the doors of the court be open so that citizens wishing to attend may be able to do so — obviously within the limits imposed by a specific courtroom. Our point was simply that there must be open doors and there must be some capacity to accommodate members wishing to attend. Those who do wish to attend, those who have to work or study, those who live far away, those who have no means of being transported to the court — are not the people we were contemplating or speaking about. In addition to the categories of person listed in the judgement, we did not take account of people who have cows calving, people who are awaiting a delivery by FDS, people who have incurred injuries as a result of Garda assaults, and so forth. Is the President of the Court of Appeal really suggesting that, because every single citizen of Ireland is unable to attend every single case, the provision of Article 34 does not require courtrooms to provide access to any member of the public? Is he suggesting that this was something like our case? Is he suggesting that we proposed that this is what the Constitution requires? Disingenuousness is actually an insufficiently strong term for this kind of misrepresentation. It is pure gaslighting.
So much for the mob-baiting elements. At its core, the judgment repeats the tendency we've observed from courts in both Ireland and the UK to issue tautological judgements which state that because the ‘pandemic’ was as bad as the health ‘authorities’ said it was, and the ‘domestic and international advice’ concerning the pandemic available to the Government was such as the Government solicited, and only that, and on that basis unquestionable — the Government was entitled to do whatever it wished. The judgement states: ‘Ireland was guided in its response by the advice, guidance and protocols of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. That advice was considered by the National Public Health Emergency Team who made recommendations which were submitted to Government for consideration and decision. Countries across the world have followed a broadly similar approach.’ That, essentially, is the judgement, which thereby suggests, in substance and effect, that the actions of a government, including a rogue or out-of-control government, must be unquestioningly affirmed by the courts, over the heads and against the wishes of citizens, provided that such government can claim to have been acting under ‘advice’. Our case, on the other hand, was that the 'pandemic' was nowhere near as bad as the government believed or claimed to believe, and so nothing the government did was proportionate to the problem, and, in any event, the abrogation of fundamental rights ought to have been the last option, not the first.
Several of the judgements in the case taken by Simon Dolan in the UK followed the same course and illogic, being eventually shot down in precisely the same manner. The UK Supreme Court ultimately refused to hear an appeal from Dolan. Along the way, Simon Dolan was briefly given a reasons to be momentarily cheerful when Lord Justice Hickinbottom allowed his initial appeal to the refusal of leave for judicial review, stating inter alia:
[‘N]ot only did/do the challenged Regulations impose possibly the most restrictive regime on human life and businesses ever — certainly, outside of times of war — but they potentially raise fundamental issues concerning the proper spheres for democratically-accountable Ministers of the Government and judges. Furthermore, albeit not in the same form, substantial restrictions on public life remain in place, and it is possible that further restrictions will be (re)imposed in the future. Therefore, I am persuaded that the grounds should be considered by the full country in open court, and the Applicant given an opportunity to make good their case, at least on arguability.’
In that paragraph is contained the kind of sense that otherwise appears to have vacated these islands, possibly forever. All of it — ‘most restrictive regime on human life and businesses ever’; ‘potentially raise fundamental issues concerning the proper spheres for democratically-accountable Ministers of the Government and judges’; ‘substantial restrictions on public life remain in place’ — all these apply also here in Ireland. Hickinbottom LJ’s reference to ‘open court’ was remarkable also, since this was one of the bugbears of our proceedings from the outset, with the courts and, on occasions, members of An Garda Siochána arbitrarily deciding to block members of the public from attending and, on the occasion of our hearing before the CoA, actually subjecting people waiting outside because they had been refused access to besetting, assault and arrest. The CoA judgement seeks to fudge these issues by kicking dust in the eyes of its readers. It is not the work of responsible judges but the rationale of a beleaguered and losing establishment.
I shall say no more about the judgement here. Those who feel confused by the media coverage of these matters may read this lengthy but layperson-friendly account of our position in this article published here in January.
The idea of our being given leave for judicial review was, of course, the appalling vista: that O’Doherty and Waters, two laypersons without legal backup, should succeed in mounting a challenge to the neo-tyranny of the progressivism that was always promising to go rogue, would be unthinkable: unthinkable for the Government; unthinkable for the red-rotten media; unthinkable also, it now emerges, for the judiciary, nominally the third arm of government but in reality welded to the State and its most narrowly-interpreted interests, i.e. the interests of its personnel.
So we had a fairly shrewd expectation that we were going to be shot down. That made the news today, but it was not ‘news’ to me. Our hopes of a miracle were too flimsy to now be described as having been ‘dashed’. Such a miracle would have involved at least two senior members of the Irish judiciary deciding to do the decent thing, to examine our case on its merits and the facts, and leave all political considerations outside the door. This did not happen. What a surprise!
But the implications are ominous all the same. They include the possibility that there is now no way of confronting abuses of power and plundering of freedoms in our society. This is not simply a passive phenomenon — an inconvenient absence, still less merely a temporary absence, of things we have been able to take for granted. What we are talking about here is a fundamental change, by which all of our expectations and assumptions become undermined. Not only is it okay for your government to prevent you walking or driving about your own country, but there is no agency in the land that can be relied upon to call a halt to such encroachments, or even to limit them, or challenge them. Without an objective judicial process, the Constitution of Ireland has no more value than a 1937 edition of the Yellow Pages. And the implications of this are grave indeed: they include, as a primary danger, the prospect of our country descending into official lawlessness, authoritarianism and repressions If this seems fanciful, I urge people to read more carefully the histories of previous tyrannies, and the testimonies of those on whose shoulders fell the duty of resisting them.
One of the most persistent tropes of the Time of Covid has been not merely the dismissal, but the outright repudiation of any suggestion that there is some kind of comparison to be made between the incursions being made on human freedoms and democratic rights by lockdown measures and the evils of Nazism. This notion, aside from proving a convenient form of insurance against certain kinds of criticism, also seeks to avail of a culturally-constructed understanding that may actually represent a profound risk to freedom in our time. This is the idea that the Holocaust is a 'singular evil', unprecedented in its time and also incapable of being equalled or exceeded. This strikes me as a dangerous idea, since any event of evil can only be regarded as singular until it is measured against the next one.
It is certainly the case that, thus far, there is no legitimate comparison to be made between the outcomes — thus far — of the Covid conspiracy as compared to the Nazi period seen in retrospect. But the Nazi period did not begin in Auschwitz, though it certainly culminated there, and we may be only close to the beginning of the Covid episode. What we need to consider, therefore, in protecting ourselves against any recurrence of these phenomena is the essence of the experience: the nature of the changes taking place, both in law and in the actions of authorities; how these changes bear down upon the ordinary person, the way power and propaganda are manipulated. It seems to me obvious that any particular events or series of events can be regarded as singularly evil only until the next one, and we render the next one an escalating danger the longer we continue to describe all possible comparators as representing unique and unmatchable horrors. It seems to me that, unless we decide that evil has something to do with bad moustaches, we need to be alert all the time to the idea that power and propaganda represent a lethal combination, allowing all kinds of sinister factions to conceal their true natures behind cloaks of virtue.
We should not forget that many dissidents who have resisted tyranny in its many forms have repeatedly warned against the complacency engendered by appearances of civilisation.
Years before the collapse of communism, the Czech writer, philosopher and future president, Vaclav Havel, wrote that the socialist ideology of the East was merely a convex-mirror image of the capitalism of the West, a slightly exaggerated version of something that relates fundamentally to the perversion of human desire. This idea was met with some condescension in the ‘free’ West, challenging against the prevailing idea that East and West were opposites. What he meant was simply that the conditions which were so strongly visible in a communist society were in our society as well, except in a more subtle form, a diluted form. The Russian dissident Aleksandra Solzhenitsyn had earlier tumbled to the same conclusion. In Between Two Millstones: Sketches of Exile, 1974-1978, he describes how his initial expectations, on arriving in the West for the first time, were rapidly disabused by what he encountered. Immediately, he began to see comparisons between the totalitarianism he had left behind in the East, posing a grave and immediate threat to humanity, and the ‘cult of comfort’ underpinning Western ‘freedom’, forces of frivolity and complacency that were just as deadly by virtue of having destroyed all sense of dignity and high purpose. Like Havel, he believed that the West held in potential a diluted version of Soviet tyranny that might kill the spirits of men and women just as effectively in the longer run. ‘Today’s prosperous world’, he warns, ‘is moving even further from natural human existence, growing stronger in intellect but increasingly infirm in body and soul.’ He proceeded, then, for the duration of his sojourn, to warn of the dangers of materialism and the ideocratic state, which he perceived as a sleepwalking into totalitarianism-by-default.
The Canadian scientist Professor Denis Rancourt has published a number of studies on the question of the propensity within Western societies towards totalitarian patterns. Central to his thesis is that, as the experience of Easter European peoples has borne out, explicit violence is not an essential ingredient of a totalitarian society: once ‘authoritarianism’ and a related concept of implicit violence is present, a society moves rapidly towards such totality.
In this context he posits a new definition — or, more precisely, measure — of ‘violence’, which may become increasingly apposite as the consequences of the Covid cult continue to roll out. what he terms ‘violence’, is the degree of unresponsiveness in official institutions to the remonstrations or entreaties of citizens regarding losses of their rights and freedoms. Whereas we have yet to see the full symptoms of this change, I would say that the degree of such ‘violence’ in Irish society is now higher than 90 per cent, and moving fast towards totality.
Rancourt defines a number of indicators which he believes indicate a society on the slide towards these new forms of totalitarianism:
* Firstly, he talks about the way the institutions of modern societies — hospitals, schools, universities, media etc — have been ‘captured’ by ideological interests. This he identifies as tying in with the degree to which professionals have lost professional independence. They no longer give good, independent counsel according to the principles and traditions of their respective profession but are, instead, compliant, following directives from powerful interests, building their careers and fitting in with whatever demands are laid before them. He’s never seen anything like this before. ‘That’s a real flag that something is wrong.’
* Secondly, he has growingly become concerned about the reach and influence of organisation like the UN and WHO, which he sees as part of the phenomenon of globalisation, where monied interests are funding entire UN-controlled sectors through NGOs, which are extended special rights at the UN, with which they seek to undermine national institutions. ‘There is no way that these kinds of unelected bodies should have this kind of influence on nations,’ he says.
* Thirdly, he identifies a growing problem in the degree to which individual persons have developed personality frailty and are susceptible to fear, a syndrome easily manipulated by rogue media. Individuals nowadays, he says, have stronger fears than they did 30 years ago. It’s become easier to excite them to fear of personal endangerment. Some of these fears are irrational: ‘You just have to tell them that there’s a danger and they react with fear.’
Related to this is a specific and growing fear that nowadays afflicts people to an exaggerated extent: the fear of being excluded or mocked for saying something out of place. This he sees as associated with the phenomenon of political correctness, which provokes in people an exaggerated desire to show their virtue and compliance.
This, he says, has virtually destroyed the possibility of independent thought and societal dissent.
‘This is a personality trend in individuals which has been increasing and is now at a very high degree. I think it took decades to achieve this degree of individual malleability and insecurity, with regards to believing what you see, making up your own mind, being intellectually independent, opposing views and being prepared to argue them, being prepared to have arguments even if it’s uncomfortable — all of these traits that are normal in a society of interacting individuals have been washed away from individuals. And this has happened chiefly through the schools system, so the institutions have been cooperating in this, and through the propaganda, obviously, which is continuous.
‘But I think another big reason is that, more and more, our reality is seen through the screens of our computers and our iPhones and so on, so that “reality” is what comes to us through those electronic venues — versus meeting people, exchanging stories with them, exchanging their experiences, confronting whether or not what they’re saying is true, directly through personal contacts. That has diminished as a way of getting reliable information and it has been replaced by these electronic means that are so easy to manipulate by powerful interests. That’s the problem. Even if there’s freedom for some people to give their opinions on the Internet, it’s swamped by the establishment propaganda.’
These problems of democracy, he insists, are far greater than they were 20 or 30 years ago. ‘It was not like this after the second world war, in the ‘50s and ‘60s and ‘70s. It was nothing like this. I think that one can objectively demonstrate that it’s gotten worse.’
In the specific context of the Covid cult, he spells out some refinements on these observations. One thing that has surprised him in 2020, he says, is the degree to which individuals, governments and media, have displayed such an unquestioning trust in the medical establishment.
‘We believe that the medical establishment is actually doing more good than harm. That belief is contrary to evidence: Medical treatments and medical prescriptions are a leading cause of death. This is not a controversial point: medicine is the third leading cause of death in Western countries. There is no good evidence for many of the treatments being prescribed. There is usually no high quality, policy-grade, treatment-grade evidence available — they just do it. They do it on the basis of second-rate evidence. I find it very shocking that the medical establishment has captured us to this degree.’
He also identifies a major change in the degree to which governments are captured by influential groups, special interests, corporations, et cetera, which he believes is having a profound effect on the quality and character of national government, in effect abolishing actually political decision-making.
‘The degree to which the governments themselves are thoughtless — they don’t rely on in-house expertise and having strong scientific teams of scientific thinkers that can give them counsel. They’ve become both thoughtless and extraordinarily reckless.
‘It is so reckless to be launching into this huge social experiment with regards to Covid. It’s so irresponsible. They’re willing to go along with these massive social experiments. They’re willing to follow globalist forces, and globalist messaging. And these same globalist forces control the media, so they’re willing to go along with what the media says, because that’s the memo that they get, just like everyone else.
And yet, even after governments have been captured, free speech has been abolished, constitutions have been suspended, propaganda has become ubiquitous and unchallengeable, there remains the merest vestige of ‘democracy’: ‘public opinion’, usually manipulated into the requisite shapes by mass entrancement, neurolinguistic programming and opinion polling.
‘They’re willing to do all of this, but there is a catch — they’re willing to do it provided public opinion goes along with it. That’s the control on governments: they don’t dare have a revolt, they don’t dare have people get angry with them and vote them out and elect some government they’ve never seen before and change things around completely. So they’re willing to go along so long as they see that the media are dragging us along in terms of public opinion. So if the majority have an opinion that they want to be secured in their health by these measures, then the governments feel that they can do this and they can push it and they can be aggressive and punish the ones who don’t go along because they are a minority of people and the majority will cheer the government on when they get aggressive like this.’
We saw a very clear example of this last weekend in Dublin, when a completely State-run operation infiltrated what was ostensibly an open-to-all-comers demonstration against the lockdown, but in reality a set-up involving the organisers, An Garda Siochána and a number of agents provocateur which in combination yielded the planned episode of mocked-up violence which, in the hands of the corrupt media, was misrepresented and exaggerated so as to frighten future would-be objectors from venturing on to the streets and also to justify a violent State backlash against anyone who might do so.
The same syndrome is at play in the legal arena: by publicly and repeatedly shafting O’Doherty and Waters, the coalition of manipulators and enforcers seeks to deter any future challenges.
Professor Rancourt, referring to a similar pattern observable in the State of Victoria, Australia, some months ago, said at the time: ‘The fact that governments are willing to sacrifice a vocal part of the population and be very aggressive with them, and push these massive experiments, is shocking. I’ve never seen anything like it before. None of us have, I don’t think. Those things are extreme characteristics of our society, They’re huge signals that something has gone wrong.’
How did we get here?
‘There’s a word that has to be used, and it’s a word that people don’t like to say sometimes. But this very important word is: fascism. Fascism is a very real social phenomenon. All societies are dominance hierarchies and influential people that are at the top tend to want more, and be more assured of their continued control, and they have more influence on the laws and policies. And so there is a gradual progression in society, a steady, slow march towards an extreme state, which is fascism. And that has occurred in every society that is organised, that is large enough.
‘There are balancing forces against that steady march towards fascism, and they are based on resistance, on the individuals not wanting to go along and on resisting. We’re very fortunate to have some high level science that has been done on this phenomenon very recently. [In] 2019, Joseph Hickey and his supervisor at the time, Professor Davidson, wrote a paper entitled Social Organisation and Time Stability of Social Hierarchies. This is a fundamental paper written by two physicists who look at a fundamental theory where you can try to calculate where and when a society is stable, and where you can see this slow march to an extreme state of very sharp hierarchy which can be called totalitarianism or fascism. So they made a theoretical model that was based on this very simple idea that a society is made up of individuals that interact and battle for status, for relative position, because that is our nature as social animals. And in these battles, whether you’re battling someone at City Hall or someone at work and so on, there are two basic parameters that are important. One is: how violent is the interaction? How big is the punishment if you lose an interaction or a fight? So . . . it might be: how big is the fine you have to pay if the police decide to charge you? That would be how violent the society is. And the other parameter is: how authoritarian is the society? And that means, if you’re fighting someone who has more power than you, more status than you — like if you’re fighting City Hall — what is the probability that you can actually win sometimes? Is it 100% that you’re gonna lose all the time, or, if it’s less authoritarian, sometimes you’ll win.’
These two parameters, violence and authoritarianism, are what dictate how quickly a society drifts towards fascism. Virtually all Western societies, he says, have allowed themselves to become, by these definitions, more ‘violent’ and more ‘authoritarian’. The shift I have alluded to in the Irish court system is a key indicator that a society is at an advanced stage.
‘We don’t have the same features that we used to have to protect our rights, and to have our rights, because the courts are captured in the way that we describe, in the way that the politicians are captured, and so on. So that there are these progressive structural changes in the society, and capture, that it makes it such that it will evolve more quickly to this extreme state.’
What can we do about it?
‘If we’re going to change this thing at its core, you need something very essential. The individual has to be prepared to fight back. How individuals decide to do something, and whether or not they engage, and are willing to take risks, the degree to which individuals themselves are not compliant, that’s the key. You need that element. So basically what that means for us in this struggle — whether it’s for vaccine choice or anything else — what it means is that each person has to do what they can, by the means that they have. In other words there’s no silver bullet. No perfect or good organiser is going to solve everything. No whistle-blowing scientist is going to solve everything. No new politician that starts a movement by himself or herself is going to change anything. You need more than that. These people are just part of that network, but in that network you need to have individuals that are dedicated to pushing back. So all of us have to push back however we can, using our abilities. And we have to trust our knowledge, we have to keep learning, and we have to evaluate whether our tactics are working or not.’
For example: refusing to wear a mask; insisting on the constitutional right of free assembly, free movement; confronting the system at every opportunity, in spite of the risks. It is what Vaclav Havel wrote about in his essay, The Power of the Powerless, in which he re-emphasised that the ‘post-totalitarian systems’ of the Soviet bloc provided a warning to the West of its own latent tendencies. People may be manipulated and demoralised in ways that are infinitely more refined than the brutal methods used in the communist societies, but the processes of capitalism, materialism, advertising, commerce and consumer culture all combine to repress in the human being the questing for the ‘something’ that defines the human. In the communist system, fear or repercussions led to a quiescence usually enforced without outward evidence of violence; in the West, he held, the ‘oppressor’ is the human unwillingness to sacrifice material benefits to retain spiritual and moral integrity.
Rancourt and Havel sing the same hymn. Human beings, Havel observes, live within lies as an alienated form of humanity, not because they have no choice, but because something about them makes it congenial to live this way. But the power of the lie, precisely because it is dependent on the collusion of the individual, can be broken by the individual choosing to refuse. To live within the truth requires just a short step, but its power is tremendous. Everyone who steps out of line with the lie ‘denies it in principle and threatens it in its entirety’. This is the ‘power of the powerless’
Rancourt elaborates: ‘And the important element of doing what you can — because it can be dangerous to have these actions — the important thing you have to do is to ensure that you’re not isolated and that they cannot eliminate you easily. So that’s why we need groups, that’s why we need organisations, social media, the networks. We have to be part of groups. So part of your pushing back is connecting to others and making sure that you have the security of many people. But without the individual, that security in itself is not going to do it. It’s not going to be successful. That’s the lesson that we have to learn, that we have forgotten. They have taken that lesson away from us. We used to know this in the 50s and 60s and 70s — we’ve forgotten it. We think it’s enough to organise and have a good message, and to get the message out, and to give good information, and to do good studies and then convey them. It’s not enough. All of those steps are support, but the essential ingredient that’s often missing is the individuals themselves willing to put themselves out there, willing to push, willing to go and meet the teacher, or the principal, and explain to them that these masks are harming your children and why — willing to do all those extra efforts and push as far as you can that you think is effective, not too far that you alienate everybody in your environment so you get isolated, and you get taken out. But, as far as you can, that you have an influence and that influence is starting to gain because you have many actions.’
‘People are not going to understand because you explain things perfectly. That’s not going to happen. It’s the pushback that’s going to do it.’
And so, this is what we find. Our country has been all but totally destroyed. Our political class has turned on the people, who under licence from those politicians are being intimidated on a daily basis by gardai who have abandoned all claim to be enforcing the law or abiding by the Constitution. We now have just one more step to confirming that the courts are not merely unwilling to stand by the people but are not even interested in upholding their own undertakings to defend the Constitution. We, the people, are on our own. The Fourth Estate, charged with the role of watchdogs and custodians of the sacred conversation that ought to underpin our democracy, have essentially sold their souls in return for the wherewithal for another week of their corrupted existences.
All this has occurred in what has seemed like the shortest time. For certain, now we have gained retroactive perspective, it is possible to see the roots of all this in the events of the past two decades: the disastrous Foreign Direct Investment policy that gave American multinationals direct influence over our political system, the economic meltdown of 2008, the appalling referendums of 2012, 2015 and 2018, which took a sledgehammer to our Constitution not once but thrice. Still, even to contemplate the condition of Ireland this time last year, and compare it to what confronts us now, and any sentient person would be compelled to ask: Where might these tendencies take us in another year or two? Is it even conceivable that those who have done these things to us will suddenly ceases, repent of their ways, and set these processes into reverse? Can it be said that there exists any limit to our capacity for corruption and disintegration, and bar that may be imposed on the further infantilisation of our people and the confiscation of their freedoms?
I cannot say that there is. I can say, however, that only one institution now stands between Ireland and outright capitulation to tyranny, and that is the Supreme Court. That is where we go next, not in optimism but with a little glimmering, guttering hope that we may find there a handful at least of human beings who are prepared to put the good of their people before the interests of the establishment to which they belong. We, and by extension our once glorious and free country, stumble towards the Court of Last Chances.