It’s not well remembered today but, Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon was not the first time the Roman Army had entered the Eternal City, ending the “Republic”. That honour fell to Sulla.
While Sulla had been away soldiering for the Glory of Rome, forces back in the city conspired to have him arrested upon his return and his victories stripped of him. Sulla, unable to reconcile this with his vision of Rome, did what a man with the loyalty of legions would do. He struck first. The Senate, knowing a lost cause, appointed him Dictator in late 82bce. He set about instituting Senatorial reform and doubled the number of public representatives, an attempt to leave a legacy of a greater Democracy following Autocracy!
Then he did what no one could have imagined, near the end of 81bce Sulla resigned. His reign as supreme leader was short lived and his resignation was mocked by a young Julius Caesar. Sulla didn’t care; he retired to his country estate with his wife and his true love Metrobius*, his male partner, whom he loved until his death in 78bce.
Today, dear leader enda (lower case required) has dissolved the Dail, not before dissolving many peoples faith in politics, and the game is afoot. We will have, a blessedly short, three weeks of campaigning and then the Government will be elected. Or as we are frequently told “the Coronation will take place.” Tickets will be available from TicketMaster.ie and usual Chumocracy Outlets…
But what of the Reformers, Revolutionaries and “Rubicon Crossers”; has all the civil disobedience, mass non payment of water charges, marches against odious bank debt, public sector work stoppages, farmers protests and calls for women’s bodies to be there own just gone away?
Has any form of protest, that has been denigrated, smeared and subjected to blanket media and government dismissal, just dissolved like a politicians pre-election promise? Can we not bang the Drumm of change?
Fine Gael will run on the economy and its improvements (mainly based on cheap labor and tax inversion schemes) under its time in Government. Labour will run on the idea that they stopped Fine Gael selling off everything to the Private Sphere. This, using disjointed thinking, they will call Stability!
Many people will tell you “They did the best with the mess they were left.” Well did they? They published a 5 Point Plan; so let’s examine that a bit closer:
Health – they failed miserably, James Reilly passes to Leo and the patient lingers on a trolley.
Employment – they increased employment but also increased the working poor at greater rates than ever in the States history.
Budget – Well even the (Government Watchdog) Fiscal Advisory Council has said this is a disaster of spending money they don’t have.
Public Sector Reform – Well done to our Public Servants during the last 8 years of pain, no credit to the Government that created the Super- Quango Irish Water. A company that spends more money collecting charges, than the charge itself brings in. Please read that line again for reinforcement.
Politics – Reforming Politics… I can’t even begin to list the amount of ways they ignored this commitment.
So NO, they did not do the best they could, they did not even do a competent job. They showed great resilience, tenacity and brazenness. They fought tooth and nail. To protect their fiefdom, their power and their pensions. Now they’re fighting tooth and nail to retain them.
When a canvasser or Political Analyst tells you there are scarce resources and limited options; or a Commentator, who thinks Pragmatism excuses incompetence and greed, alludes to the Coronation day tell them Stop!
All the worlds’ problems have already been solved; it is the implementation of these solutions that is the problem now. We do not lack resources. We lack a Government willing to implement the solutions.
My only concern is that too many people want to get dressed up to go to the Chumocracy Coronation, rather than cross the Rubicon of change.
Tony Groves Feb 2016
*Yes Sulla was gay, shocking I know 😉