Lenin in Ireland redux. August 23, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.
It is genuinely amazing to me that in the days since Enda Kenny gave his speech only one newspaper columnist has referenced it though kudos to Broadsheet who picked up on this post on this site (btw, thanks to D_D for the very nice comment on Broadsheet).
Entertaining too as Tomboktu pointed out to read that the offending lines have been changed to:
The brilliant Minister for Finance.
The outstanding organiser who brought Lenin’s attention to Ireland to see how the National Loan worked.
Yeah. Right. That’s a fairly clumsy sentence construction at the best of times (and by the way, the google search had the original phrasing as can be seen in the screen shot below).
But what does this tell us?
Quite a lot I think.
Firstly the speech writers were completely inept. This isn’t a minor historical detail – whatever about Enda Kenny, Lenin is a major figure. Nor is the potential involvement of him in Irish affairs mere esoterica. Particularly if the point was one about the economy and given the direction of the speech as a whole Kenny’s intention was to knit this into a broader ‘lesson’ about our role in getting out of the economic mess and how reforms here could be influential in Europe more widely.
It would be a matter of moments to check it out online, one would think it even easier for a party with a lineal connection with Collins. Surely there’d be a biography or two knocking around the place.
Secondly what about the serried ranks of political correspondents and other journalists who relayed this information. Did not one think to question such an absurd statement? Or was it a case of registering it but not wanting to make too much of it.
Thirdly, and this is troubling, not one of the opposition parties or representatives picked up on it. Now one can argue it a number of ways but at the least on an informal level opposition parties should keep an eye on the government parties and what they say – not least because so much of future policy direction is freighted into speeches just like this.
It also raises the question as to who reads this stuff in any detail? Clearly next to no-one. Well, me. But I only did so because I’d barely registered the speech in the news media at the time, then I ran across the Irish Times editorial on the topic early yesterday morning and thought the issue the media did pick upon – that being the none too subtle attacks on FF (Kenny used the term ‘assassination’ in relation to Collins death rather than it being part of a military engagement) – was worth checking up on.
So it’s not as if the speech wasn’t looked at. But it wasn’t read, or if it was certain individuals chose not to publicise what is a fairly absurd gaffe by the Taoiseach of this state.
Of course in the broader scheme of things it doesn’t matter a damn, but as an indicator of what’s going on, or rather what isn’t… it’s sort of instructive.