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[personal profile] underthewillows
Warning: possible swearing ahead. Also, I'll be venting steam and doing a lot of foam-flecked ranting, in which I may or may not say things about individuals and institutions that could be construed as slanderous, libellous, or both. To which I reply: (a) if you don't expect vulgar abuse from the general public as part of the job, you shouldn't be in public life and (b) bite me, you tossers.

Double warning: Ireland is a racist country. I've been more or less denying this all my life, but over the past couple of days I've been smacked in the face with it. Evidence to follow.

Most of you probably aren't aware of the latest news from my green little island. Most of you probably aren't aware of the most recent tabloid hysteria case roiling Europe, for that matter. And there's no reason you should be particularly aware; you all have your own problems and your own countries' scandals, difficulties and 'who's on the front page of the redtops/scandal sheets today?' to occupy you.

But I'm angry, and I don't have a platform to express myself (I've left some angry comments on a newspaper's Facebook page - oh, the social activisim!) so you are going to bear the brunt of it. If you want to stop reading now, I cannot blame you.

We've just had a beautiful case - no, I correct myself, two beautiful cases - of the forces of the State intervening on behalf of the welfare of children. So why the scorn, contumely, and hollow laughter on my part?

Because the Irish childcare system - and I include voluntary organisations, registered charities, and the organs of the State in this opinion, no fear or favour to anyone - is fucking shit. From my very limited exposure to it in a five-year period in local education, I was and remain as unimpressed as I can possibly be. If I had a mangy cat, I would not be confident in relying on the system to take best care of it, let alone vulnerable children.

But underthewillows, just last year we had a brand new shiny Referendum on Children's Rights! We had the Children's Rights Alliance all over it! We had it passed! (We've even had complaints about, and court cases challenging, the unfair representation and lobbying by the government to push a "Yes" vote for the amendment to the Child Care Act, they were so eager to see it passed!) Is not everything now tickety-boo with children's protection in Ireland?

*sound of hollow laughter* *possibly slanderous opinion* I didn't trust any of the feckers involved, not even the secular saints such as Fergus Finlay, chairman of Barnados, or Colm O'Gorman, founder of One in Four.

Let me step back here, and give you some necessary background which may seem tangential, but it's relevant, I promise you.

(1) Currently, there is the gorgeous spectacle of a case in Greece that pushes all the buttons about "Gypsies stealing white children", that perennial favourite of yore going back centuries, combined with modern fears of trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation, forced labour, and selling of children for fake adoptions. You can read the bones of it here.

(2) Also current, but dragging on for years since 2007, is the Madeleine McCann case. It's something along the lines of the Australian Lindy Chamberlain ("Dingoes ate my baby", as the tabloids so sensitively headlined it) case in Australia or the JonBenét Ramsay case in the U.S.A.

Both cases are catnip to the British and Irish media; they love the McCann case because it includes all the tropes: heart-string tugging disappearance of a child (is she alive? is she dead?); British/Irish family (the McCanns come from Northern Ireland so, depending on which side of the Border you come from, you will or won't include them as One Of Ours) dealing with foreigners; alleged incompetence of the foreign police (because they're foreigners, of course, not like our good old British bobbies and courts!); wringing every last drop of tears and blood out of the parents and their desperate campaigns to find their child; then the old tabloid trick of keeping the story fresh by attacking those you previously supported - in this case, going from 'grieving parents mistreated by dastardly foreigners' to 'neglectful parents leave vulnerable child alone while they party' to the guaranteed headline-grabber 'did parents kill child and cook up fake abduction?'; and of course the White Slavery sex and trafficking angle. The case has been re-opened by the British police due to alleged incompetence and errors by the Portuguese police and it's all over the papers once again.

Put these two together and you get a hack's wet dream. And that's what I'm coming to: we've got the hack's wet dream in the two Irish cases.

Gypsies kidnapping our white children! Read all about it! Live at six!

I wish I were joking. I'm not. It's literally "Gypsies kidnapping our white children" because the two children in the cases were blue-eyed, blond/blonde children and they didn't look like their dark-haired, dark-eyed, dark-skinned families. That's why the police and social services took them away from their families: someone rang up and said "That kid doesn't look like the rest of them".

You still think I'm pulling your legs, don't you? Part II to follow.

Date: 2013-10-24 11:02 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] sajia_kabir
ARRGH! I've been following this from a distance on FB.
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