Are You Part Of The Chumocracy?


Glossary Dictionary Definitione single word close up


From top: Glossary: Tony Groves

Seek Stability?

Hate Populism?

Read on.

Tony Groves writes:

When The Irish Times published a glossary of Alt-Right terms my echo chamber lost its mind. When I spewed my badly punctuated thoughts on NAMA on these pages I was grammatically held bang to rights.

Words, even in this text speak era, still hold value. Words still have power and given the Alt-Right got its own glossary; I thought I’d try my hand at doing a Chumocracy Glossary. I should probably start with Chumocracy.

Chumocracy: A system of governance run by and for the Arms of the State and their Chums. I’d love to say I created this phrase, but I stole it from someone referring to the Tory Toff Infighting around the time of the Brexit campaign. Eamon Dunphy refers to it as Official Ireland, but I think Chumocracy has a more onomatopoeic flow.

Accountability: A situation where a Chumocracy member is forced to issue a statement of deep regret, or a statement refuting findings against them. Once complete the contrite individual can return their snout to the trough, or pull the chord on a massive golden parachute pension.

Pronespeak: A series of phrases that are seemingly benign, but are actually malignant tumours on the body politic .For example: “not aware of, or privy to” and the old chestnut “let me just be clear”. These phrases rarely mean what they say and quite often they mean the exact opposite.

Populism: A smear used by Chumocracy members to describe anybody outside their groupthink bubble. Frequently thrown at an individual who has the temerity to question the morality of putting free (rigged) market ideology ahead of social crises.

Complex Issue: A term used to explain away the fact that those in power have failed to do anything about a particular issue right up until six hours before it becomes an RTÉ Prime Time Special. Usually the nodding heads, not wanting to be seen to be stupid, nod along and accept this explanation. Sure haven’t the government agreed to set up a…

Commission of Inquiry: A method of placating public outcry against injustices that are (more often than not) within the remit of the State to address, but might result in embarrassment for a Chumocracy member; see Accountability.

Stability: The state of being out of your depth and screwing up at your job, while simultaneously claiming that you are a safe pair of hands. For example  Alan Kelly and Simon Coveney brought Stability to the homelessness crisis.

Political Correspondent: A name used for many Journalists who allow politicians to make false or misleading claims (like “I refute” and “I was unaware of”) and often use their own type of Pronespeak, like “a source close to X said” or “a senior party member told me”, thus removing Accountability (see above).

Advice of the Attorney General: A phrase which gives the user a form of diplomatic immunity against charges of idiocy; particularly useful when trying to turn a simple matter into a Complex Issue.

Speaking Truth to Power: A Leadership Skill of standing up to the EU Commission when defending the Apple Tax decision, while at the same time prostrating oneself in front of the EU Commission when talking about Irish Water.

Independent News & Media: see Pronespeak.

Communicorp: See above.

Mea Culpa: It means No Worries For The Rest Of Your Days.

Tony Groves is a full-time financial consultant and part-time commentator. With over 18 years experience in the financial industry and a keen interest in politics, history and “being ornery”, he has published one book and writes regularly at Trickstersworld

41 thoughts on “Are You Part Of The Chumocracy?

  1. Andrew

    “hate Populism” ?? What is populism? Is populism stuff you don’t agree with. What is electoral politics if it isn’t populism? Is populism only confined to the right? I think not.

    1. Gorev Mahagut

      “Populism is a political doctrine that proposes that the common people are exploited by a privileged elite” (q.v. Wikipedia). Elections are a way of making decisions.

      1. Andrew

        so is a manifesto of lower taxes and increased spending populism? What parties propose those kinds of policies Gorev?

      2. Cian

        Gorev: “Populism is a political doctrine that proposes that the common people are exploited by a privileged elite, and which seeks to resolve this.”
        you missed the important bit at the end.

  2. scottser

    chumocracy? our system of governance has been termed ‘clientalist’ for ages now. how is ‘chumocracy’ different? goddam young people and their retronyms.

  3. Sheik Yahbouti

    Interesting and fun, Tony. Pretty large grains of truth also. Keep at it and eff de begrudgers! (Oh no, am I being ‘negative’ or hurtful, or abusive? I’m fwightened).

    1. nellyb

      I’ll be very bold and suggest Tony changes spelling of Chumocracy to Chumocrassy. To highlight the lack of aesthetic dimension in the phenomenon.

      1. nellyb

        sorry, Sheik, it was not meant to be reply to your post, lazy clicking. but here we are. apologies.

        1. Sheik Yahbouti

          nelly, my own, No offence given or taken :-D (this is going to get really tiring!!)

    1. nellyb

      indeed! :-)
      1. Ascending 4th: 5 8 76 54 32 1 (“hal-le-lu-jah”)
      2. Minor 3rd + descending 5th: 1 flat-3 2 4 5 1 (“ma-loo”)
      3. Major 3rd + descending 5th: 13 24 5 1 (“al-le-lu-ia, a-men”)
      4. Major 3rd: 13 24 35 46 5432 1 (“halle, halle… lu-jah”)

      1. Sheik Yahbouti

        D’jah know Nelly, in my extreme youth, we had to sing the entire High Mass, in Latin, every Easter. (the Litany of the Saints was a hoor). It may well account for my heathen state. ;-)

      1. Sheik Yahbouti

        Sancta Agatha, ora pro nobis – (repeat for every Saint then on the list) Minor Saints got lumped together and the response was ‘orate pro nobis’

  4. Andrew

    Increased public sector pay, scrapping of water charges.proposals to lower taxes and talk of United Ireland from all and sundry. Despite debt levels similar to Italy and borrowing costs set to rise this year?
    Is that not populism?

    1. Tony Groves

      Populism, when it first raised its head in 1890’s America, was all about inequality and challenging a country that was wealthier than ever before, but had higher rates of poverty than ever before.
      Now it’s just a lazy smear.

      1. Holden MaGroin

        I would have defined it as someone opportunistic who goes with the flow. Sees which way the wind is blowing changes their stance.

        The definition from Wikipedia above is not what I expected. But sure you learn something new etc.

        1. Rob_G

          The wikipedia definition seems very U.S.-centric; the meaning of ‘populism’ isn’t fixed, it depends very much on the country and context.

          The original populists in the U.S. were focused on agricultural prices and the gold standard; Trump’s populism is mainly about (muslim) immigration. Populism in Ireland revolves mainly around free water.

        2. rotide

          Holden’s definition is what I’ve understood when it comes to ‘populism’ in todays politics.

          1. rotide

            I wouldn’t say inaccurately as no one uses the term in its original form anymore. It’s become a catch all term.

        3. Sheik Yahbouti

          Holden,you would have defined it as you have by only reading the scutterings of mainly Irish Right Wing Politicians and perhaps a few from the U.K. Language is an early casualty in this sort of argument. “Liberal, populist, feminist” just three words which have been totally hi-jacked, subverted and turned into pejorative terms – all to suit the 10%, or the 1% if you want to be really high flown. Language has meaning and precision, but only if allowed to.

  5. ahjayzis

    Isn’t populism just appealing to the baser instincts of your followers, whipping them into a fervour with a simplified, emotional message?

    I mean that’s why it’s applied to both Geert Wilders and Bernie Sanders. One’s a demagogue appealing to people’s darker instincts about in-groups and hatred and fear of outsiders, the other appeals to empathy and compassion – and the centre tries to be hard headed and compromise on both?

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