Monday, 2 June 2014

Emigration and Noreen Bawn

On Crooked Timber they are discussing Joseph Carens' book The Ethics of Immigration . He advocates open borders and the posters are in general anxious to maintain access for all to that country which is a home away from home and a refuge for all requiring no passport. There is no let or hindrance when you turn up in Utopia.

In Ireland we know about emigration. We know that it's not a good thing for all the usual reasons that are given at the departure lounge of airports at Christmas in the now traditional t.v. news segment One imagines the producer saying – 'find some crushed rednecks'. Going abroad for adventure is excellent, being virtually expelled is not. Is it better to receive than to send? Employer groups think that it fosters wage correction, a sum that is always rounded down.

This country is broke yet our social welfare and unemployment benefit is higher than Britain's. We know that sending our young people away by the infliction of dole penury is a stupid waste. The open borders position has a cool anarchic flavour but it's as bad for them as for us. There is an obverse side to the reparation argument which if we agree has merit applies also to those that stuck it out. They are owed too.

Noreen Bawn (Blonde) emigration ballad written by Neil MacBride from Creeslough, Donegal in early 20C.

Two versions running the gamut but avoiding the C&W.



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