Fintan O’Toole at the Book Festival

It should be a mandatory obligation for everyone in this beleaguered island, caught up in the constitutional chaos that is Brexit, to listen to an hourlong debate with Fintan O’Toole.

O’Toole is an esteemed Irish Times Journalist and author of “Heroic Failure” and “Brexit and the Politics of Pain”.

His mordantly perceptive insights into the origins of the EU, Britain’s relationship with the EU, the strengths and the failings of the EU are incisive and revealing. How we got to this lamentable state as a country is forensically dissected, from the origins of the referendum to present day hubris.

In an engrossing interview with Allan Little at the Edinburgh Book Festival much of the dead wood of obfuscation was stripped away to reveal the sorry sight lying beneath – a toothless British Bulldog, enslaved by English nationalism, flailing to free itself from the perceived slavery of Europe.

Oddly enough his views were not challenged at all by the audience – was there not one brave pro-Brexit soul willing to speak up in a country poised to deliver the much vaunted will of the people? A will, that O’Toole reminded us, is in a constant state of flux in any democracy, and dependent on truth, not a constant barrage of half truths and jingoism.

Instead there came a call from the floor for a Hong Kong type resistance, a feeling that the Union seems likely to splinter and a God help Ireland reminder from O’Toole himself.

And as for Boris Johnson…remember the threat to our national institutions such as bendy bananas and prawn crackers? Just a couple of examples from O’Toole of the Boris truths.

Heroic Failures
Brexit and the Poltics of Pain
Both available at Amazon


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