Sunday Independent Stupid Statement[s] of the Week… May 30, 2010Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left, Uncategorized.
I’m filling in for Garibaldy this week, who is unavoidably delayed somewhere in Ireland, so apologies if this isn’t quite as succinct as his usual piece on the topic. What to choose?
An article by Colum Kenny which doesn’t blame the ‘State’ for failings in childcare – the headline being ‘It’s all too easy to blame the State for our own failures
The HSE is a handy scapegoat for the death of Daniel McAnaspie, but we all bear some responsibility,’. Except it does. Sort of. Just like it also blames Fergus Finlay. Except it doesn’t. Sort of.
In a report last week, Amnesty International pointed out that the Irish State is failing children. It is a message that is being heard more and more, partly due to the fact that the children’s charity Barnardo’s has employed the former Labour Party guru and PR agent Fergus Finlay as its chief executive. Well-placed on the inner circle of RTE’s favoured liberal programme panellists, Finlay has irked some frontline practitioners who know more about the needs of children at risk than he knows but who are seldom sought out for their opinions.
But there is no doubting Finlay’s commitment to social change. His articulation of a need that has been neglected by society for too long is helping to create circumstances in which there may be fewer children dying when their families fail them.
Let’s go abroad for a moment and contemplate the idea – raised by Eilish O’Hanlon, that Sex and the City 2 is a brave step forward for feminism and in particular the rights of women in the context of Islam. So a trip to Abu Dhabi by the foursome is no longer… well… a trip to Abu Dhabi (actually Morocco is the location) by the foursome but is instead … a means of reinforcing the point that women don’t enjoy lives of blissful, enlightened liberation under fundamentalist Islam.
But who isn’t standing up for those rights? Why the National Women’s Council. Yes, that’s right. The Irish National Women’s Council. That colossus which will implement change across the Islamic world (and, if O’Hanlon is to be believed should go easy on Ryanair for ‘pictures of scantily clad women on its charity calendars’ or ‘one golf club in north Dublin’). Throw in a gratuitous – albeit currently fashionable for the Sunday Independent – reference to famous Marxists of the 20th century and we’re away:
They’re the feminist equivalent of Lenin’s “useful idiots”, smugly imagining they’re contributing to some nuanced understanding of cultural diversity when all they’re really doing is unwittingly providing cover to Islamic extremists to subtly chip away at Western freedoms.
That the clue is in the name National Women’s Council appears to escape her. But speaking of smug, here’s something on the provenance of the phrase ‘useful idiots’.
Finally, I’m not sure if this is the editorial – it’s unsigned, and I’m having to access the web edition, but it’s a doozy.
In a one-size-fits all piece that argues that somehow that a ‘rights agenda’ although…
…rooted in good faith — Ireland’s past is littered with horrendous abuse and violations of basic human rights — but it soon spiralled out of control. Society is now weakened by an obsession with rights and an abrogation of responsibilities. Too many people expect the State or its agencies to sort out problems that they themselves would have taken responsibility for just a generation earlier.
And what example [rhetorical or otherwise] of how we might take responsibility for problems does it offer us?
Our recovery must start from the ground up, with individual communities determining to retake control of their streets, their neighbourhoods and their lives. We are each responsible for where we live, for what happens around us and for those who live near us. Above all, we have a responsibility to each other. We can expect the State to clear the rubbish from the streets, but if it does not, then we can choose to do something about it (organising locally to clear up an area) or we can sit back and moan about the failure of the State while the rubbish piles higher. We can talk about our rights, or we can meet our responsibilities.
Rubbish clearing? Rubbish clearing? I don’t recall us having to take responsibility for that a generation ago. Unless they know something we don’t about just how bad the cuts are going to be…
I’m sure there’s more, any contributions gratefully accepted…and I’ve discovered there’s an art to picking out single sentences which I haven’t got.