The National Question

Lately, in this little God-fearing country, a new language seems to be evolving to categorise all the new immigrants we have these days, and for some reason, it always seems to involve the word National.

You hear it in news bulletins, you read it in the papers. People you bump into on the street use it.

A foreign national is believed to have fled from the crime scene . . .

A number of foreign nationals were involved in a two-car collision . . .

The victim is believed to be a foreign national.

What does it mean? Well, foreign national is the New Irishspeak for Polish.

If we say a European national, we mean German.

We even say it about ourselves: one of the arrested men is believed to be an Irish national.

The word for American is American, and the word for Australian is Australian.

Now, here’s a test for you. What does the term non-national mean? That’s right. It means black.

23 thoughts on “The National Question

  1. That was a very erudite exposition, Bock.

    I’m nor sure, though, that the people using these terms put quite so much thought into their use as you do into their analysis.

    “Non national” used to be used by the media for “non Iish national” until it was pointed out to them that these people were in fact nationals of somewhere. They then switched to “foreign national”. Well, some of them did.

    Makes you wonder if the term “non national anthems” would cover everything from “Oh Mary I …” to the “Commitments”.

  2. Perhaps they mean a black national?
    Trust the telly people to over-complicate things. Do they think it really matters? They must do.

  3. The term East European National is a common one in the media too. It almost always means Polish. However, my Polish friends assume it to mean someone form the old USSR.

    Yours etc.
    A Western European

  4. Ye’re all wrong – as usual. A non-national is modern-speak for a pirate. The sea is our home. The wind our fuel and we do not discriminate like you filthy land-lubbers – we have no qualms about whom we pillage.
    Qualms: Now there’s a stupid fucking word.

  5. this is what i keep telling people here in the states…
    when you leave this country it’s the only time you’re an american…not a hyphenated abberation..just an american…probably the only time we have a national identity..but i were talking about your own idiotic media….or governmental spin doctors.

  6. In the UK they’re thinking of having a national Day to celebrate what it means to be British. I think they mean define for the brown people how the white people want them to behave.

    I don’t really have any huge objection to it though – although I think some of those behind it might have insidious little motives of their own – particularly for an old country with no constitution. It doesn’t do any harm to say what it means to be British as long as tiffin and pearl rinses for the over-60s isn’t mandated. The latest honour killing if a beautiful young Kurdish woman by her father and uncle shows that there are certain things the officially tolerant UK won’t countenance.

    While I think it’s a bit much sometimes, and uncomfortably self-conscious – like the teenage country it is -the US has a very keen sense of itself and it’s very common to see American flags in gardens and on cars in a way I’ve never seen elsewhere. I think its because America is a definite idea that people can point to and say, yep, that makes us, us; a man-made nation rather than a sort of rough and tumble evolution of older nations.

    The idea of what it means to be American works as a great unifier in the US with all its disparate people and, for other countries, growing similarly diverse, setting down the democratic, free-speech principles that are central to its identity doesn’t seem like a bad idea. It’s a tricky business, defining nationhood though and open to abuse so it would have to be a very public open debate to keep the thing as high-minded, honest and principled as possible. I mean does the Queen represent Britain more than say, the revolting British tabloids – the world’s worst – we’ve always had?

  7. Well, there’s a varied range of views. In my personal opinion, culture is what matters, not colour.

    For example, among the Polish people coming here, there’s an extreme Catholic right-wing minority, who would like to re-oppress us. They’re not welcome in my country, though I’m happy to see the majority of Polish immigrants coming here. Ironically, many of these Poles are against immigration, by which, of course, they mean non-white immigration. They can fuck off.

    Likewise, there’s a section of our African immigrants who illegally practise female circumcision here. They’re unwelcome too. Not because they’re black, but because their culture is repugnant to ours. Again, the majority of Africans are welcome in my country.

    Nigerians seem to have a higher-than-normal proportion of scammers among them. They’re coming from a corrupt culture and they can fuck off, but their fellow countrymen and women are welcome to stay.

    All these Roma begging in the streets can fuck off.

    Anyone who believes women are inferior to men can fuck off because their culture is vile, and I couldn’t care less what it says in their holy book. We just got rid of one crowd of clowns oppressing us with religion and we don’t want another gang of fuckers doing the same thing.

    Now. Who isn’t offended yet?

  8. I believe that anyone who can make a vaild contribution to our society should be allowed in. Call me a fucker for saying this, but lately I’ve seen a huge increase in the number of disabled Romanians walking around town begging. Are these guys for real or is it a put on?? I mean, I really can’t picture immigration at Dublin/Cork and yes even Knock airport being swamped with foreign cripples trying to get access to li’l ole Ireland. What the fuck is our immigration police there for?? Now you can call me a racist, cripplist neo facist!!!

  9. Yeah.

    And when they say for example “A 24 year old non-national of no fixed abode”, where exactly IS this ‘no fixed abode’ place and how come so many people live there?

  10. Fuck, I’ve just reread what I wrote above and it doesn’t make any sense at all. It was early morning! My dog ate my homework! I was dead! All right, i was hungover and it was 7am or something. And I’ve got a bad dose of inarticulosis

    What I was trying to say was I think immigration is good and healthy for a country. There will be teething pains but in the long run it’s a good thing as long as the laws of the land are followed and outrageous shit like honour-killings can be eradicated. No harm learning the lingo either.

  11. Well in Dublin I hear the Polish being called the Polacks. I think they call that in the US as well.

  12. Galwaywegian: I think the issue was to do with the kinds of culture that are repugnant to ours, and the kind of practices associated with them. I personally couldn’t give a shit if somebody is legal or illegal, black, blue, purple, brown or chequered as long as he fits in and doesn’t try to fuck around with my customs.

  13. Are you saying it’s ok to be illegal in our country. ????????

    Shop all illegal sum and fuck them out of the country.

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