The 2023 Booker Prize was won last week by Irish writer Paul Lynch with his dystopian novel Prophet Song. I must say I was surprised, expecting the gong to go to Western Lane by Kenyan-born author Chetna Maroo – because she’s from Kenya and called Chetna Maroo. What on earth possessed the judging panel to give the award to a pale, stale, straight (as far as I’m aware) white male against all approved contemporary literary best-practice?
It may have something to do with the fact this year’s shortlist was, as Gaby Wood, the Booker Prize’s Chief Executive, put it, “truly a list without borders”, as it didn’t feature any white Englishmen. Another place which apparently has no borders at the moment is Ireland, where uncontrolled mass immigration has meant that, in the last 20 years, Eire’s population has rocketed from 4 million to 5.3 million. By 2060, the Irish may well be a minority in their own homeland: Goodbye Paddy, hello Punjabi. Predictably, this has led to soaring rent costs and housing shortages, plus pressure on public services. Equally predictably, it has led to widespread anti-immigrant demonstrations – so many, they now have their own Wikipedia page.
The most recent occurred on November 23rd when an Algerian-born knifeman already known to police for possession of, erm, a knife, stabbed several small children outside a Dublin primary school. As word spread online, a crowd, automatically labelled by local politicians and their compliant media as being “far-Right”, assembled to demand Ireland be given back to the Irish, before large-scale looting, arson and vandalism broke out.
The Prophet Motive?
In light of this, when Prophet Song was announced as the Booker Winner on November 27th, some suspicious minds began to ask why this particular awful-sounding Left-wing book should just happen to have scooped the prize at this particular moment in time, rather than one of the other equally awful-sounding Left-wing ones instead.
Perhaps the answer lay in Prophet Song’s plot. Set in the near-future, it tells the emotionally manipulative story of a far-Right takeover of Ireland, necessitating its native folk to gather around on beaches, trying to escape across the waves as refugees, at the mercy of unsympathetic authorities and people-smugglers.
Given this, you might almost suspect the true instigators of the Dublin riots were not the far-Right, but the PR Department of the book’s publishers, Oneworld (whose name in itself sounds distinctly borderless in nature). Interviewed by Sky News after his win, author Paul Lynch asked “Does it [the Dublin riot] mean Prophet Song is happening? I don’t truly believe so, but we must be asking questions” as the Irish far-Right “is always there”.
The judging panel’s chairwoman, the habitual penner of race-centric novels Esi Edugyan, denied handing Lynch his prize just to make a topical political point, but did admit that the Dublin riot was “mentioned at some point” during deliberations. As for Lynch himself, he said his £50,000 cheque would go towards paying off his large mortgage. Maybe your house would have been cheaper if Ireland wasn’t so full of immigrants, Paul?
Lynch Mob Mentality
The book received very mixed reviews in the press – the Times more-or-less called it worthless agitprop. The Observer [i.e., the Sunday Guardian], however, loved it, dubbing it “a crucial book for our current times”, and hailing it as “a literary manifesto for empathy for those in need and a brilliant, haunting novel that should be placed in the hands of policymakers everywhere”. Whilst I admit I haven’t actually read it (I’m still halfway through The Turner Diaries), it sounds to me as if Irish policymakers have already read every page with a highlighter pen whilst making detailed notes.
In an August interview, Lynch explained his novel was inspired by the Syrian refugee crisis of 2015:
I was aware while writing this book that I was addressing, in part, a modern problem: Why are we in the West so short on empathy for the refugees flooding towards our borders? Prophet Song is partly an attempt at radical empathy. To understand better, we must first experience the problem for ourselves [via fiction].
And yet, Lynch still thought fit to “consider the book metaphysical rather than political” as “I tend to dislike fiction that uses literature solely for political ends – even if, as a citizen, I agree with those values”. For a supposedly non-political writer, though, Lynch appears to rely disproportionately upon an income largely derived from… politicians:
None of this would be possible without the support of the Irish state. I received two [Irish] Arts Council bursaries during the four years it took to write this book, as well as the residency [as writer-in-residence] at Maynooth [University]. And all of us avail of the artists’ exemption from income tax [which Irish writers don’t pay].
That rather makes him sound like a state-subsidised propagandist. I wonder what would have happened to all those lovely grants and residency awards had Lynch chosen to write an anti-immigration novel rather than a pro-immigration one?
What is most amusing about this book (based on descriptions, anyway) is the way the political reality presented in it is completely inverted. According to the Observer’s sycophantic review, under the future fictional Ireland’s extremist far-Right Government, “Like a lobster in a boiling pot, people don’t realise their freedoms have been obliterated until it’s too late.”
Yes, the Left-wing pro-immigration political class who rule Ireland at present would never act like that! Except that, in the wake of the riots, Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar immediately sought to exploit the situation by announcing plans to toughen up (or “modernise”, as he euphemised) and rush through his appalling pending Hate Crime Bill, using “the full machinery of the state” to silence offenders.
As explained previously on this site, the Bill means “it will become an offence punishable by up to five years in jail to incite hatred against a person or group of persons based on their ‘protected’ characteristics, e.g. race, colour, nationality, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender”. Furthermore, “merely possessing material likely to incite hatred will be a criminal offence, even if you never actually share it with anyone”. Here’s the relevant section, drafted by the senior Dublin civil servant Drach O’Nian:
Simply possessing something – a book, tweet, DVD, meme, even a distasteful tattoo, I suppose – that someone, somewhere in authority, deems “likely” to be offensive might lead to prosecution. There is an alleged get-out clause cited by the Bill’s supporters to the basic effect that ‘oh, you are allowed to say offensive thing … just so long as no-one is actually offended by them’, which is right up there with Shylock being told he can cut his pound of flesh just so long as he doesn’t actually draw any blood from Antonio whilst using his knife in The Merchant of Venice:
So, in summary, please don’t read this current article from an Irish IP address, or you might end up with five years behind bars.
Mr. McGregor’s Garda
What kind of dangerous ‘far-Right’ radical will such measures be used to silence? Well, according to one senior Irish policeman, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, all native Irish-born protestors against immigrants stabbing local children are “severely mentally ill”, and “a complete lunatic hooligan faction driven by far-Right ideology” – so, only mad Nazis, then. Mad Nazis like well-known mixed martial-arts fighter Conor McGregor, who, having taken a public anti-mass immigration stance in recent weeks, went online following the atrocity to tweet such “lunatic” sentiments to his 10 million-plus followers as:
(Ashling Murphy was an Irish teacher murdered by a long-term unemployed Slovakian gypsy in January 2022, whilst the “Sligo men decapitated” were two local homosexuals who had their heads chopped off by an Iraqi from a resettled family with a long history of alleged extreme antisocial behaviour in April 2022)
That isn’t incitement to violence: It is just rational political dissent at the sight of seeing your own countrymen and women slaughtered before your eyes in the name of a transparently failed political ideology. And yet, for these apparently “absolutely disgraceful” comments (so says Micheál Martin, Ireland’s Deputy PM), McGregor still found himself being investigated by Irish police – and this is before Varadkar’s Hate Crime Bill has even gone through!
Mr. McGregor has indeed tweeted a few intemperate things, such as calling for the “torture and death” of the “waste of oxygen c**t” who killed Ashling Murphy, but why shouldn’t he describe Leo Varadkar using such words? He was clearly angry, and, shockingly, sometimes angry people use naughty words. You could be forgiven for thinking McGregor’s main ‘crime’ in the eyes of the authorities was actually calling Varadkar and his political cronies a bunch of morons, who have intentionally failed their own people on misguided ideological grounds, and so need to be kicked out of office immediately:
And here’s another ‘hateful’ tweet of McGregor’s, simply reproducing, in slightly shortened form, part of the Victim Impact Statement of Ashling Murphy’s bereaved boyfriend Ryan Casey, explicitly blaming the Irish state for her death:
Bravo, indeed, and yet, strangely, much of the Irish media neglected to report Casey’s words. State broadcaster RTÉ reported them at first, but then ‘stealth-edited’ them out later, perhaps feeling they would be ‘likely’ to cause offence to those amongst Ireland’s deeply marginalised foreign murderer community. Indeed, under Varadkar’s Hate Crime Bill, Casey could conceivably be prosecuted for saying them in the first place.
In the wake of the Dublin riots, Irish journalist John McGuirk went on Irish TV for a discussion with former Dublin Mayor Hazel Chu, who explained that, during such febrile times, the true duty of the media was not to tell the plain truth, but to “focus on unity” – i.e., to lie. As McGuirk notes, Varadkar’s Government have recently launched a new Commission for the Media, intended to “combat online misinformation” – which in practice, I strongly suspect, will largely mean blocking ordinary Irish people from accessing the tweets of awkward truth-tellers like Conor McGregor.
Leo the Lyin’
In the wake of the Dublin riots, which he himself did more than anyone else, other than the actual stabber, to cause, PM Varadkar said, “As a country, we need to reclaim Ireland” from the extremists. Indeed so – from professionally blind and hypocritical illiberal-liberal extremists like you yourself, Leo. Otherwise, the only option for politically persecuted native Irishmen like Conor McGregor might well be to start huddling on beaches and seeking out people-smugglers to escape to freer shores abroad, like in Prophet Song.
Amusingly, alongside all the semi-professional race-obsessives, one of the judges of the Booker Prize 2023 was none other than comedian Robert Webb, of Mitchell & Webb fame. One of the double-act’s best-loved sketches is the well-known “Are we the baddies” piece, in which a couple of Nazis suddenly stop and notice the SS death’s-head skull insignia on their caps, before awkwardly considering if they might be the evil ones in this whole desperate life and death conflict for national survival, and not their much-hated and defamed üntermenschen enemies after all.
I wonder if, one day, sanctimonious oikophobic elites like Leo Varadkar, Paul Lynch and the rest of the Dublin 4 set (Ireland’s rough equivalent of Islingtonians) might develop the wisdom to stop and ask themselves the very same question? You’re the totalitarians now, I’m afraid, you Dublin 4-ckers. Someone should write a novel about the irony of it all. Sad thing is, it would never get published these days, let alone win a Booker.
Steven Tucker is a journalist and the author of over 10 books, the latest being Hitler’s & Stalin’s Misuse of Science: When Science Fiction Was Turned Into Science Fact by the Nazis and the Soviets (Pen & Sword/Frontline), which is out now.