By Michael Dwyer.
The notion that it is only by carefully segmenting the nation into distinct and competing sets of victims we can create united and pacific country is one that eludes many. It has been tested to destruction.
In the polling conducted after victory of Donald Trump in last years Presidential election one of the most consistent themes that emerged among blue collar ex democrats who voted for him was not, as many would have liked, a nasty resentment for the advances made by persons of colour, but the perception that the playing field was no longer level, the rules no longer fair.
It is ironic that in an Ireland vastly more diverse than it was that the Dail should now chosen to invent Irish Travellers as a separate ethnic group. A combination of virtue signalling by politicians and rent seeking by the Representariat has brought this about. Whether the majority of ordinary travellers on the street desire to be considered as somehow other than simply Irish is not clear.
What is certain is that this will cost money, much more than anyone of our virtue loving TDs imagine. It will deepen the already concerning level of hostility felt by many settled people for travellers. It will further discourage the important conversation that must take place about to what extent poor outcomes are results of internal cultural issues rather than social marginalisation.
Finally and sadly, it is another nail in the coffin of the Republican idea. The ideal is that we are all citizens to be esteemed equally, none higher or lower, to be judged and protected equally under the laws of our Republic, regardless of race, sex, or creed. This decision is then another unconsidered uncosted step towards a democracy where power will be wielded by coalitions of victims.