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Sunday and the Week’s Media Stupid Statements August 11, 2019

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

A busy week and weekend. First up from someone who reappeared for the first time on this post in a while last week we have another example of seeming lack of self-awareness:

I studied the selection of abusive tweets about me.

These are compiled by my loving wife Gwen who has a gift for finding tawdry tweets from academics and journalists which can be filed for future use in cold dishes they will not relish.

There were two sordid constants. First, a subtext of sheer sectarian hatred because of my belief in reaching out to unionists.

Second, the smear that I am a traitorous Tory hack sucking up to British media. In fact I have turned down scores of UK media offers.

Last week, for example, I emailed the BBC and the Daily Mail to explain that, although I disagreed with my Government, I was not going to give it grief on British media while it was locked in battle on the backstop.

Thanks to the freedom of speech given to me in the Sunday Independent, I prefer to fight my backstop battle at home because I believe robust public debate is vital to Irish democracy.

But we don’t do debates in Ireland. We do dogma.

Says the man who earlier in the column writes ‘The main dissenting voice was that of Jonathan Powell to whom the panel showed a baffling deference given his sentiments seemed similar to Sinn Fein’s’. Not even a hint of doubt about the proposition that SF’s position on an issue is always wrong.

Meanwhile, speaking of which, it was entertaining to hear Fintan O’Toole on the Irish Times Politics podcast doubling down on his proposal. In an exchange between O’Toole and Eoin Ó Broin the former chastised the response to his proposal, not least from Roy Greenslade in the IT who had spoken to British LP remainers who uniformly argued the arithmetic didn’t add up. Perhaps indicating the essential unseriousness of the approach to politics on display in his proposal O’Toole argued…

It’s extraordinary that Roy Greenslade who is a journalist writes a letter [quoting those Remain BLPers who poured water on FOT’s idea] and won’t tell us who they are. These are meant to be politicians. I’ve never heard of politicians taking a position on a public question without putting their names to it…not willing to say who they are or why they are taking the position…

Really? The pages of newspapers, edited by himself no less, are far from unfamiliar to that phenomenon.

This has to be mentioned again… the source material, during the week, oblivious to his own extreme hostility to SF ‘disruptive nationalists of a piece with Johnson et al’ for their temerity in not thinking his small proposal was such a great idea….

Sinn Féin reacted with such extreme and immediate hostility to my suggestion that it could stop a no-deal Brexit by destroying Boris Johnson’s majority in the House of Commons. I wrote very respectfully of the party’s mandate for abstentionism and tried to find a way to honour it while activating the power of the seven seats it holds at Westminster.

Across the water, Larry Elliott in the Guardian thinks that we are in the midst of a backlash against globalisation and a turn back to ‘local solutions, stronger nation states and a reformed international system’ and reaches for a parallel from history writing…

…the economic crisis of the 1930s – of which protectionism was one part – led eventually, albeit after the war, to reforms that made the world a sounder and safer place.

Except – even factoring in the small detail of World War Two – doesn’t that offer a counter-example, surely World War Two was fuelled in part by…er… nation states and subsequently the post-war period then saw a significant step forward in terms of international trade, cooperation and so on?


1. EWI - August 11, 2019

The Prophet O’Toole surely has to take the biscuit this week. A scheme that would out-de Valera Dev, with a four-day lifetime before casting down thunderbolts from the mountaintop on the unbelievers.

Liked by 1 person

CL - August 11, 2019

There is no way O’Toole’s ridiculous proposal could be implemented before Oct.31.-even if anyone was dumb enough to try.
There is too much going on to refer to these days of high summer as the ‘silly season’, but O’Toole deserves some credit for trying…

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - August 11, 2019

I feel the same – there’s too much news!


2. CL - August 11, 2019

“But the glow faded last Friday morning when I woke to read tweets by Tony Connelly and a column by Stephen Collins, both strongly bigging up no backdown on the backstop.
Connelly’s 11-part tweet was presented as a read of the Irish Government’s position, but to me seemed more like his position.
Stephen Collins put his normal pluralism aside to pen an attack on Brexiteers which, like so many similar pieces in The Irish Times, seemed to me to breach the thin line in the public mind between Brexiteer bashing and Brit bashing.”-Eoghan Harris.

“When David Frost went to Brussels last week to meet Commission and Council officials he was asked, if (theoretically) the backstop was removed would the HoC accept the WA, and the answer was No”…
Boris Johnson & his team are basically hardballing towards a No Deal through rhetoric and sloganeering. Hence “undemocratic backstop” etc.”-Tony Connelly

John Bruton’s views on the backstop also contradict the Harris/DUP/Dan O’Brien position.
” the UK has not resolved the two commitments it made “one to [the] Good Friday [agreement] and the other to Brexit”.

“The backstop was an attempt to build a bridge between these two radically contradictory British positions, Brexit and the Belfast Agreement.”

Liked by 1 person

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