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Sunday and other Media Stupid Statements from this week… December 15, 2019

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
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However the pressure on Donohoe [Finance Minister] from the political system, the media and a whole variety of interest groups was not to control spending, as advocated by the Irish Financial Advisory Council, but to continue increasing it in areas of public concern like health and housing which are never out of the headlines.

But why are they never out of the headlines? Could it be that they are in the headlines because only the state has the power to address them and so far it hasn’t managed to do so fully (or in respect of housing even in part)?

Meanwhile another regular in this slot offers this sage advice:

I believe a Boris Johnson government will not be racist, not least because Johnson is of mixed-race ancestry, describing himself as “blended honey” of many ethnicities.

Okaaaaay.

Newton Emerson tries to square a circle when he attempts to argue that DUP confidence and supply support for the last Tory government is no issue, not a problem, nothing to worry about, in relation to the workings of the GFA despite apparently the idea that ‘Nationalists do not accept that London’s duty to impartiality is restricted to non-discrimination in public administration. They expect impartiality to mean not governing with the help of one identity or tradition, no matter how technically balanced. More precisely, they mistrust the presumed sympathy of British governments with unionism – Conservative governments in particular.’

And this is apparently is unreasonable on the part of nationalism (to the point he argues that this breaches unionists rights to participate fully in the political life of the UK), except… er… he then writes:

Yet nationalists clearly have genuine concerns, as the British government has obliquely acknowledged.
One reason direct rule has not been introduced since Stormont collapsed is because the Conservatives reportedly considered it unwise to govern Northern Ireland while propped up by unionists.

So which is it Emerson, genuine concerns or not?

Meanwhile David Thunders writes in the same paper that:

Using the law to regulate hate speech is a bit like erecting a Special Criminal Court to tackle petty theft: while it might have some positive effects, it is an ill-chosen instrument, likely to do more harm than good. The most appropriate instruments for combating hate speech are not laws, but political persuasion, education and social norms.

From that it appears Thunders believes that no legislation should exist in relation to racist and/or other hate speech or indeed any sort of expression of prejudice, hatred or offensiveness.

In public debates about contentious issues, some degree of bitterness and acrimony is par for the course. People are bound to say things, at least occasionally, that others find offensive and unacceptable. That is just the nature of robust civil discourse. A public sphere in which nobody is ever seriously offended is a public sphere that has been infantilised and neutered beyond recognition.

Except he’s now making a different argument where he collapses ‘hate speech’ into ‘opposing opinions and arguments’ – two very different forms of speech. And the thought strikes, this man is representative of a religion which within living memory explicitly sought to regulate speech in our society – not hate speech, just basic information. One feels that in addition to his argument being flawed he is not best-placed to be making it.

Comments»

1. EWI - December 15, 2019

Emerson and Fealty is a double act of always trying to excuse the inexcusable. It’s hard to see it as arguing in good faith.

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WorldbyStorm - December 15, 2019

Certainly the actions of the DUP have been egregious, and the rhetoric too, overtly and intentionally offensive. A party of that sort so closely wedded to a British administration is a problem from the get go.

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2. Daniel Rayner O'Connor - December 15, 2019

Mr Harris should remember that the biggest nationalist are often those who are the least genetically ‘pure’. Churchill was half American and half of that half was Native American, at that.

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3. 6to5against - December 15, 2019

One wonders which ‘interest groups’ Collins is thinking of that are arguing for increased spending on housing and health.

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4. Joe - December 15, 2019

https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/eoghan-harris-why-boris-johnsons-victory-is-good-news-for-us-and-northern-ireland-38786073.html

I’ve only read the headline but it appears that the bould Eoghan is on the ERG side in the ERG/DUP split.

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5. tafkaGW - December 16, 2019

Media stupid policy: what about the BBC’s position now?

Boris “don’t call me Orbán” de Pfeffel etc. is insisting on more rapid Gleichschaltung from the BBC as one of his first political acts.

Such are the wages of arse-licking during the election. Clearly the tongue was not far enough up for de Pfeffel’s liking.

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