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Catherine Murphy TD interview…. November 24, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

…from Hot Press, another interview from Jason O’Toole. Mighty interesting it is too, I’d think, for people here.

Speaking on Denis O’Brien and media ownership she says:

Are you saying there should be a reduction in the percentage of the media that any one person or
company is allowed to own?

Yeah. I think it should be heavily regulated – because it becomes dangerous. I mean, if you start taking it to the extreme and you look at North Korea, you know, where people’s minds are controlled. The media is the vehicle to influence and have control over what people think. Essentially, the more free your media, the more vibrant your democracy.


Are you suggesting that the Government should,
say, nationalise Today FM?

Not at all. What we need is choice. Only recently – and I think the Competition Authority are looking at it – there was a number of acquisitions by Independent News & Media in relation to local papers, and there might even be a radio station in there. If you have a disproportionate amount of media that are owned by someone who has a lot of money, they can control the outlets for political options,
if you like, to be debated. Free press is absolutely essential. It’s not an issue about owning elements
of it – it’s the amount that is owned is a big issue.

There’s this:

Looking back to the start of your political career, do you feel uncomfortable about having been a member of the Workers’ Party considering their past connections with violence in Northern Ireland and with ex-communist regimes?

Yeah, there’s things about the Workers’ Party certainly in hindsight. And, in fact, I would’ve been one of the founding members of Democratic Left when we split from the Workers’ Part
Would you prefer not to have the Workers’ Party
on your CV?

Having saying that, I had a very good experience in the Workers’ Party. It was a campaigning party. In actual fact, I think you always take the best from any experience you’re in. You’ll always learn something. The members had a real say. You didn’t just turn up once a year to a conference and stick a card up in the air and make policy and things. You actually went out and lived it. I thought that was a very stimulating type of political practise.

And the present?

Members of the Gardaí were murdered by people who were in the IRA – and were likely members of Sinn Féin also. Can you take them seriously when they start pontificating about the Gardaí and policing?
Yeah. It’s something that strikes me routinely.

And her own political formation?

I know this might seem like a strange question – but what is the point of the Social Democrats?
The whole point of it is: we felt that there’s a very short-term approach in Ireland to politics and we
needed to look at what was the best practice in other countries in terms of the delivery of good
quality public services and, at the same time, supporting that by having a strong economy.


Was Stephen Donnelly not a rather strangebedfellow from the start?
We were very much part of a spectrum. It wasn’tthat we were all the same. But there were more similarities than people appreciated, I think. But, no, he certainly wouldn’t have come from the same political space as me. I would regard myself as centtral
left. He was certainly more to the right of me.

There’s this:

Was it a case of him being frustrated that you didn’t go into government? Your party rejected the opportunity to be part of the coalition.

When we launched the party, we said that this was more a marathon than a sprint. It takes a lot to bed down a new political party. If you’re going to go into government – and I’d love to be in government personally – it has to be politically compatible. And I wouldn’t have seen Fine Gael as being politically compatible with the kind of country I want to seeIreland become.

But beyond that what does that mean? She argues that the SDs are different to the LP on the basis of the last five years of LP government, and she also argues she’s not in favour of nationalising ‘things that don’t need to be nationalised’. It’s an interesting line to walk. And a very interesting interview. A lot lot more in it too. Well worth a read.


1. roddy - November 24, 2016

Why did the aptly named O’Tool throw a dig at SF who never had anything to do with Catherine Murphy?


makedoanmend - November 25, 2016

A multi-dimensional, complex respose required here, Roddy. And I haven’t the ability to answer it, but my penny…

1. many people are genuinely turned off by SF being the party that is concretely identified with modern violence…full stop…and they like to let everyone body know it.

2. there is a class of people that I now call Clintonite Liberals (and I ain’t saying O’Toole or Murphy belong in this category) that like their Liberal beliefs to be stated openly and often, but also really do nothing concrete to alieviate the problems of distressed members of our societies – except read papers and articles to get their fix of feel-good juice. Any article that feeds into the feel good factor sells better.

3. SF represent, for a strata of the Irish nation, a threat to neo-liberal orthodoxy. These people are heavily invested in all sectors of the nation-state including the media. They own the ball (so to speak) and they get to say who plays and who doesn’t.

4. Many ordinary people feel vulnerable to the way the nation state is morphing into a dependency-state and they are often directed to a “bogeyman” to divert their attention from those who are benefitting from this dependency. Feeling helpless, they need a target for their political projectiles.

5. O’Toole writes political articles, and O’Toole (as is all our rights) has a political objective or perspective that is anti-SF.

You see…sir…it’s just business…nothing personal…


dublinstreams - November 25, 2016

re 4. I too think the banks,bondholders and corporations should end their dependancy on the state.


makedoanmend - November 25, 2016

DS, I didn’t mean state dependency is that sense, but those “institution’s” you cite are the ones creating the individual’s dependency for survival on their version of the state as constituted by business and for business interests only. As they have become economic intermediaries (taking fees) on every human transaction/interaction, they destroy social and cultural bonds that allow individuals and groups of individuals to act somewhat as independent actors – to organise themselves or influence how society is organised.

As the national state is dismantled, the corporate state for a fee provides all the services and intercedes in all human interactions (for a fee that one Must pay). If one does not have the capital to pay the fees, one does not have any independence but one does have the freedom to starve or die of cureable illnesses. Hence, one is always dependent on the corporate-state interests.


2. EWI - November 24, 2016

I look forward to British politicians being asked:

“Looking back to the start of your political career, do you feel uncomfortable about having been a member of the British Government considering their past connections with violence in Northern Ireland and with ex-fascist regimes?”

Liked by 1 person

benmadigan - November 24, 2016

you’d get “No comment” as an answer on the grounds of “protecting national security”


3. dublinstreams - November 24, 2016

not nationalising todayfm is a interesting line, …or obvious one?


4. RosencrantzisDead - November 24, 2016

The whole point of it is: we felt that there’s a very short-term approach in Ireland to politics and we needed to look at what was the best practice in other countries in terms of the delivery of good quality public services and, at the same time, supporting that by having a strong economy.

Is anyone any clearer on the point of the Social Democrats after this?

There was a piece on Gary Gannon in one of the university papers. He seemed none the wiser as to what the party was about – they are “pro-business”, progressive but not “the left”.


WorldbyStorm - November 24, 2016

That’s an odd one and good spot RiD. I got the sense from media coverage of their conference last weekend that the two TDs were portraying them as centre left. It’s almost like he’s pitching an independentish sort of approach. I wonder how that will serve him in the long run.


dublinstreams - November 24, 2016

Progressive Politics and the Problem of the Left http://www.universitytimes.ie/2016/11/progressive-politics-and-the-problem-of-the-left/ very long, thoughts later

Liked by 1 person

RosencrantzisDead - November 24, 2016

The piece is not a bad read. Its author was an intern for Stephen Donnelly which I am not sure what to make of. There are idiosyncracies: she believes that the election of Donald Trump is an example of how ‘the left’ is in crisis. Really? I think it is the centrists who have been left bruised. They are unappealing on both pragmatic and ideological grounds.

Ganon thinks going into government is ‘hard’ and that protesting like the AAAPBP is ‘easy’. He wants to ‘learn’. Well, if he hasn’t by now learned what happens to the liberal mudguard of a right-wing party, this just may not be his subject.


5. 1798Mike - November 25, 2016

All I have registered about the SDs is that they favour the ‘Nordic model’ – whatever that means. Are they just the Labour Party mark 2 – sans coalition & pro-austerity policies? Are they something more?
I had thought that they might emerge as a mini Irish version of a corbynite party – offering a distinct left wing social democratic agenda.
Now I am not so sure. They probably don’t know where they want to stand on the political spectrum and even shorn of Stephen Donnelly, they have not signed up to the Right2Change principles.
What we have got is incoherence, confusion & some policies thrown together for the last election.


6. Jason O'Toole - November 25, 2016

I’d like to state that I’m not anti-SF. I feel it’s very unfair to describe me as being anti-SF based on one or two questions in a 6 page interview.
If you read any of my previous articles on the Hot Press website with SF members, such as Gerry Kelly, Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, John Noonan and even Bobby Storey, you’ll clear see that I have never set out to attack them.
I’ve interviewed Adams, McGuinness and Storey on several occasions for both Hot Press and the Daily Mail. I doubt they’d grant me so many interviews if I was attacking them in print.
In fact, in the current edition of Hot Press I’ve an nice little article about Gerry Kelly and Gerry Adams talking to me about Leonard Cohen. If I was anti-SF, I wouldn’t be printing these type of an article about them.
I just want to set the record straight: I’m certainly not anti-SF. In fact, Gerry Adams one at least two occasions spent 90 minutes with me for an interview – and his press people said they were surprised because he never usually gives that much time to one journalist.
If you read the entire interview with Catherine Murphy, for example, I bring up at one point that I feel Tomas Mac Giolla was shafted by DL. I conducted the last interview with Tomas shortly before he died, which is also available to read on the Hot Press website. Again, I didn’t attack him when he discussed his time in the in the IRA.
Here’s a link to the Cedar Loung blog about my interview with Bobby Storey back in 2009:


I’d like to conclude: keep up the good work with this websites. It’s by far one of the better political forums on the ‘net to discuss politics in a fair and balanced way, and always enjoy reading what you all have to say on it.
Best wishes,
Jason O’Toole


7. roddy - November 25, 2016

Fair enough,I will now return the final “e” to your surname as a gesture of reconciliation!


Jason O'Toole - November 25, 2016

Very funny. But thank you… as I was sick of jokes about my surname in my youth! LOL


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