Galway International Arts Festival | First Thought Talks Winter Programme

First Thought Talk with Fintan O’Toole

Ireland's best-known journalist opened the 2018 Winter First Thought Talks programme at NUI Galway. Didn't make it to the Talk? Watch the full video below.

In this video, Irish Times journalist Fintan O'Toole discusses his new book, Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain, a ruthless dissection of the psychology and politics of Brexit.

Watch to learn how trivial journalistic lies became far-from-trivial national obsessions; how the pose of camp indifference to truth and historical fact has come to define the style of an entire political elite; the redefinition of a country that once had colonies as an oppressed nation requiring liberation; the strange gastronomic and political significance of prawn-flavoured crisps, and their role in the rise of Boris Johnson; the dreams of revolutionary deregulation and privatisation that drive Arron Banks, Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees-Mogg; and the silent rise of English nationalism, the force that dare not speak its name.

Fintan also looks at the fatal attraction of heroic failure, once a self-deprecating cult in a hugely successful empire that could well afford the occasional disaster: the Charge of the Light Brigade, Franklin lost in the Arctic, Captain Scott so near yet so far from the South Pole.

Catriona Crowe, curator of Galway International Arts Festival's First Thoughts Talks discussion series, opens the programme and introduces Fintan.

Read some of Fintan's recent work in The Guardian and The Irish Times.