Last night, Michael D Higgins, TD for Galway West and Labour Party President delivered what is likely to be his last speech in the Dail after 25 years in that Chamber, and 42 years of public office. It doesn’t disappoint. The speech is nominally about the Finance Bill being passed, but takes in a lot more amounting to a summation of Higgin’s political beliefs. It’s a shame he’s stepping down, but I really hope he gets elected as our next President. How many other TDs are we likely to see in our life times that can reference things that Slavoj Zizek personally told them?
We need to go back and recover the promise of a real republic that would be built on citizenship and that would reject as outrageous in a republic the kind of radical individualism epitomised in that ugly statement of Michael McDowell’s that inequality is needed for the stability of society. It ranks with the mad Margaret Thatcher view that there is no such thing as society. It stands there as such a notion. People should have seen immediately how incongruous it was to speak like this with the language of radical individualism.
The full text is here, and the video is below.
My lord, we need a lot more Michael D. Higgins in this country.