Catherine Murphy TD interview…. November 24, 2016Posted 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.
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.
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.