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Really? April 20, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

No… really?

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1. soubresauts - April 20, 2012

The points he makes are reasonable, though hardly remarkable. What’s remarkable is how he says it. The language and style are amazing:
“Perhaps more tellingly, it bespeaks the absence in this country of much willingness in the media or in the political debate to scrutinise Irish liberalism rather than genuflect to it…”

Dr. X - April 20, 2012

Reasonable? How is the American wingnut meme of “Liberals are the real bigots” in any way reasonable?

EamonnCork - April 20, 2012

They’re actually such nonsensical arguments it’s as counterproductive to debate them as it would be to point out the inconsistencies of an argument by Ann Coulter or some similar genius.
Here on one side of the debate you have Kieran Rose, who’s obviously thought about the matter a great deal and who has a great deal invested in it being counterbalanced by someone whose sole interest in the question is as an opportunity to rattle off a few flip Jeremy Clarkson has a go at the PC brigade quips. It’s nonsense.

2. EamonnCork - April 20, 2012

The language and style are basically Pubtalk. The incoherence, the lack of logic, the paranoia and above all the carelessness. In the circumstances his use of a phrase like, ‘intellectual undernourishment,’ suggests a slight lack of self awareness.
It’s basically just a cranky Liveline call set down in print, the argument being, “I don’t have anything against the gays but you know like they just think they’re great so they do and they’re not like.’

3. Logan - April 20, 2012

Do my eyes deceive me, or did Witchard actually “come out” in that article?
Way to go as an article to come out in! He might be as daft as a bag of badgers, but he certainly has a certain …er..chutzpah.

EamonnCork - April 20, 2012

He came out as gay in the Daily Mail around this time last year. It doesn’t really lend any strength to his argument unless you feel that the colour of Herman Cain or Alan Keyes’ skin means they’re right when they chime in with right wing arguments against affirmative action.

EWI - April 20, 2012

He was out in 2006, certainly. A typical Waghorne opus in that year, decrying the numbers of gay people in the Irish blog scene:


4. EamonnCork - April 20, 2012

The day after the Abortion Bill fiasco also seems a singularly inappropriate time for the Times to publish a column about the unopposed triumph of liberalism in Ireland.
The problem with a lot of this right wing guff is that while they pretend to be writing about Ireland they have one eye on America so often the article doesn’t really correspond to the political realities here. In a way this bunch of lightweights are like white English kids playing at being Mississippi bluesmen by creating an hommage to their original inspiration.
I used to think that people on this site display an unnecessary level of loathing towards Nick Cohen. No more. For which great Irish intellectual’s work did he display on his site the other day? Ian O’Doherty. It’s Political Obtsuseness Gone Mad.

Michael Carley - April 20, 2012


Richard Waghorne is the Rolling Stones, sycophantic seekers of the approval of authority, while claiming the mantle of authenticity via their appropriation of the style of American musicians;

Fintan O’Toole is Horslips, authentic homegrown culture, brought to the world without compromising on its original nature.

EamonnCork - April 20, 2012

Richard Waghorne isn’t The Rolling Stones, he’s Foghat or Ten Years After.
Horslips aren’t ‘authentic homegrown culture.’ They are a fascinating merger of the native and the international. Not sure what Fintan is.

Michael Carley - April 20, 2012

That’s harsh: I’d say `merger of the native and the international’ wouldn’t be a bad description of FO’T, a possible heir to Hubert Butler?

EamonnCork - April 20, 2012

OK, we’ll give him Horslips. I don’t know if he’s quite up to Butler though, those collections of short Butler essays pack an incredible amount of punch. He may have benefitted from not having to churn it out at the same rate as Fintan.
Actually Horslips always said they suffered from gigging too much so perhaps that proves your O’Toole point.

Ed - April 20, 2012

Where was he quoting Ian O’Doherty? Had a look at the site there but couldn’t find it. But I did find Nick’s idiot mates comparing him to Milton, Mill and the Smiths, which was bad enough.

EamonnCork - April 20, 2012

Posted up on Nick’s site and still there, a masterly piece of political analysis by Iano from the Irish Independent on March 31st entitled, ‘Where Are The Irish Left Protests Against Syria.’ Hang your heads in shame appeasers and Islamofascists.
Ed, it’s right beside those Milton, Mill and Smiths quotes. I presume you were blinded by the dazzling light of erudition.

WorldbyStorm - April 20, 2012

Sad to say, not least because I’ve defended the man over the years, but the term ‘dimwitted’ springs to mind re his having that up on his site.

EamonnCork - April 20, 2012

I was actually surprised myself. A sad ‘pas d’ennemis a droite’ moment for Nick. Though O’Doherty is perhaps more daft than droit.

WorldbyStorm - April 20, 2012

Populist, in the worst sense of the term. No ideology, no guiding star.

Ed - April 20, 2012

Oh yeah, it was on the next page. Just above an article with the headline ‘Why the Left turned against the Jews’. Lord spare us …

Jack Jameson - April 22, 2012

‘Where Are The Irish Left Protests Against Syria?’ is a constant refrain of Henry McDonald, The Observer Ireland Correspondent, whenever Ship to Gaza is mentioned.

Despite his angst, I don’t think Henry’s concern has extended to him actually doing anything himself about a ‘Ship to Syria’.

EWI - April 22, 2012

In fairness (not), there seems to be a lucrative establishment career path in this move.

“Even the socialist Nick Cohen”, “even the gay Richard Waghorne” etc. Though I suppose for most of them, it’s the one card they’ve got to rise out of well-deserved obscurity.

EWI - April 20, 2012

The problem with a lot of this right wing guff is that while they pretend to be writing about Ireland they have one eye on America so often the article doesn’t really correspond to the political realities here.

And here you’ve nailed it on the head exactly – Waghorne’s stuff is just reheats of stuff he’s read on American and English right-wing blogs, with added random quotes from Leo Strauss, Edmund Burke etc.

(He described his political heroes as Thatcher, Reagan, Pinochet etc. and has been a water carrier for Bush, Sarkozy and Merkel in the mid-2000s. The only Irish ones that I recall were MacDowell and Ganley).

5. Michael Carley - April 20, 2012

@EamonnCork I don’t think he’s quite in the same league as Butler (he doesn’t have to put up with the abuse Butler did) but I think the clarity and honesty are there.

Eoghan Harris would be Fergal Sharkey: started off as a leading member of a respectable outfit, but ended up a corporate lackey.

Still can’t think who would be Bagatelle.

EamonnCork - April 20, 2012

John Waters as Bagatelle? Based in Dublin, aimed at a country audience and not of much interest to anyone since the eighties.

Michael Carley - April 20, 2012

And there was the double act with Sinead O’Connor …

6. gfmurphy101 - April 20, 2012

In fairness is it just the musings of a man, behaving like a toddler seeking nay demanding attention! Richard wagging his horne trying to create a debate and every now and then throwing his toys out of the pram!

Richard Waghorne‏@richardwaghorneReply

· Open

My ‘Irish Liberalism & The Gay Marriage Debate’: http://richardtwaghorne.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/irish-liberalism-the-gay-marriage-debate/ > IT version has closed comments, comments possible at this link.

WorldbyStorm - April 20, 2012


In all seriousness the piece is overwritten in terms of style and underwritten in terms of content. Who precisely is this ‘intolerant liberal faction’. We know no more at the end of the piece than we did at the beginning.

EamonnCork - April 20, 2012

That ‘aha, but you’re the real bigot because you’re intolerant of my intolerance,’ golf club bar sophistry got old a long time ago.

WorldbyStorm - April 20, 2012

But this was in the IT, though casting one’s eyes across to John ‘I know what young people want… what they really really want’ Waters why am I surprised?

EamonnCork - April 20, 2012

I think complaining about the IT for being right wing and the Labour Party for being unprincipled is, at this stage in the game, a bit like criticising David Norris for being gay.

WorldbyStorm - April 20, 2012

Yeah. Tbh I think the IT’s lurched further rightwards under the new guy, but in a fairly cloth-eared and unthinking way.

EamonnCork - April 20, 2012

Think you might be right whereas I think Kennedy with the recruitment of Krauthammer, Steyn and Breda O’Brien had a genuine ideological sympathy for the wilder shores of international conservatism, O’Sullivan seems more in thrall to the ‘common sense’ approach of Dan O’Brien, Power and the Dublin Branch of Littlejohn and Clarkson University.

Tomboktu - April 21, 2012

The new editor introduced The Social Column on the back page of the weekend review. That says screams and screams volumes about where he wants to take the paper.

Maybe we should help the scribbler ensure the content of the page better reflects the readership:

“Cedar Lounge Revolution ocassional contributors Tomboktu and Smiffy were seen comparing notes at their union conference at the weekend, while site master Worldbystorm joined Tomboktu for a pizza in a Dublin eaterie on Wednesday”.

Change the names for the brother of a judge and the nuncio, and it become more interesting or relevant??

WorldbyStorm - April 22, 2012

It surely does!

EWI - April 20, 2012

Richard famously threw his toys out once with a major hissy fit over how some wingnut cause celebré or other hadn’t been marked on Irish blogs at the time – of course, it turned out that he hadn’t referred to it at all at the time, either.

gfmurphy101 - April 20, 2012

“Who precisely is this ‘intolerant liberal faction’. ” good example of his imagination running wild! I would be thinking along the lines of “you could’nt make this up” but obviously Richard has !

7. dmfod - April 20, 2012

Yeah, the IT has actually gotten worse since Geraldine Kennedy left, which takes some doing. I don’t think there’s any ideological shift though. It could be that things are so bad now that there’s less room for equivocation, ‘nuance’ and crumbs of noblesse oblige, so sides are being picked more blatantly than in the past.

EWI - April 20, 2012

Well, for one thing it’s given Richard a much-desired stamp of official approval for his mediocre career.

Expect to see much CV reference in the future to “Irish Yimes columnist” Richard Waghorne.

8. smiffy - April 20, 2012

What would you expect from a pig, but a grunt?

9. Dr. X - April 20, 2012

I assume this is the same R. Waghorne who has endorsed Marine Le Pen for the French presidential elections?


Read that link, if you think you can stomach it. Pure Breivikism.

WorldbyStorm - April 20, 2012

Could there really be two RW’s?

But beyond that I guess if Pinochet was one of your political heroes why not Le Pen? Though how that sits with a pro-Israel stance escapes me. Or indeed the FN’s neo-corporatist approach.

But no she remains ‘an imperfect choice in urgent times’.

One could not make it up.

Dr. X - April 20, 2012

You know what? Fuck this guy.

WorldbyStorm - April 20, 2012

Well, cheerleading for the FN and Le Pen crosses a line in my book, that’s for sure.

EWI - April 20, 2012

Though how that sits with a pro-Israel stance escapes me. Or indeed the FN’s neo-corporatist approach.

He marked some rocket attack or other in Israel with a post entirely in Latin.

Logic and consistency are alien to young Mr. Waghorne.

WorldbyStorm - April 20, 2012

Not as young as he used to be I’d imagine.

Michael Carley - April 20, 2012

He has the air of a man following the Mary Ellen Synon trajectory.

WorldbyStorm - April 20, 2012

True. Though even more rapidly.

EamonnCork - April 21, 2012

In this worldview there’s no such thing as a Fascist, just someone who’s ‘not very PC.’ If these boys had been around in the forties they’d have written columns along the lines of, ‘Adolf Hitler may have his problems but personally I love the way he gets up the noses of right on liberals.’
Though re Waghorne and the boys I’m inclined to think of Thomas Kinsella’s lines, “It’s double foolishness to flatter/by attack what doesn’t matter.”

WorldbyStorm - April 21, 2012

I think that’s a great point.

Dr. X - April 21, 2012

Except that these idiots may be less irrelevant than we would like to think. Breivik cited Melanie Philips more than once, remember. . .

ejh - April 21, 2012

But it is often useless to attack that with which you can scarcely hope to engage.

EamonnCork - April 22, 2012

Reasonable point Dr X.
However there’s a bit of a schemozzle going on at the moment stateside over an article on the New York Review of Books blog by William Pfaff about the murders in Toulouse which argues that political capital shouldn’t be made out of them because in the final analysis what we’re dealing with is a nutcase.
He’s been accused of minimising the problem of Muslim anti-semitism for saying this but I do see his point. Much as I dislike Philips and her ilk I think it’s a bit of a stretch to blame them for the deeds of someone as transparently mad as Breivik.
Of course if Breivik was quoting people on the left those right wing columnists would be the very first to tar everyone on the left with the same brish. But it strikes me as a dodgy argument whichever side makes it.

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