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Sunday and other Media Stupid Statements from this week… September 13, 2020

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

What’s the minimum wage in Ireland? What’s the state pension? We’ll get to that in a few seconds. Because there’s this which is one of a near weekly example of someone apparently not understanding what a pandemic is and what the impacts of it on society entail:

Something sits uneasily about the resignation this week of Fáilte Ireland director, the veteran former Penneys/Primark executive Breege O’Donoghue, just because she visited her Spanish holiday home this summer. Politically, it may be just about possible to justify it. But politics is a brutal business.

…The fact that any of this is the Government’s business at all shows how strange and terrifying these times have become.

But it is the Government’s business, and it is precisely because of the pandemic and because Fáilte Ireland is linked to the state that it is the government’s business (and oddly ironic for Mark Paul to be talking of something being ‘terrifying’ when his column has been relentless in scolding those who exhibit concerns about Covid-19). Yet having tut-tutted over the resignation the piece then turns around and in a supreme example of cakeism argues that ‘to describe any situation honestly, we must also look it squarely in the eye. O’Donoghue will know in her heart that she should probably have known better, especially given the febrile atmosphere that has enveloped the State in recent months and her position on the State’s tourism board’.

But there’s a more revealing aspect to the piece in regard to a different angle:

Anyone who truly understands the detail knows that neither of them was on a gravy train. O’Donoghue was paid €12,000 annually for her services, while Cawley received €21,000. Like it or not, that is just walking around money for two of the most senior names in corporate Ireland. They weren’t on the State’s tourism board for the money.

Perhaps Mark Paul might acquaint himself with what the annual minimum wage in Ireland is and how close it is to €21,000 and how that for many many workers is far from ‘walking around money’. Or perhaps he might consider that state pension in Ireland is barely €800 more than the ‘walking around money’ that O’Donoghue was paid for the FI position (and let’s not ignore aspects of prestige and reputation as well in all this which are non-monetary compensations but very real nonetheless).

Does the IT mean what it says here?

It’s harder to reimpose social restrictions than it is to impose them for the first time. But we should be less tolerant of risk in pubs than we are in schools. That means that if it emerges in the coming weeks and months that pub reopenings are linked to a spike in outbreaks, the Government should not hesitate to close their doors again.

Surely we should be equally intolerant of risk in both and all environments?

A tasteless turn of phrase here…

“We’re very clear on one thing: there has been enough Government-sponsored apartheid on pubs,” Pádraig Cribben, chief executive of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland said.

Meanwhile… if you don’t like public health advice on the pandemic, the IT, or one of its correspondents, is arguing just get someone whose advice from someone you do like!

The time to act is now. If the Government is going to rely heavily on the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) and other officials to set policy, it needs to ask them how we can, as quickly as possible, bring air travel here in line with the rest of Europe to start forging again the links on which so many jobs depend.

If the answer is “you can’t”, then the Government needs to look elsewhere for guidance. It could start with the ECDC and the EASA, whose advice has helped get the EU partly flying again.

And then there’s this from today… a proscription for the Taoiseach from someone who surely is either brilliantly qualified to make the assessment, or exhibits complete lack of self-awareness, or perhaps both!

The headline is:

Taoiseach Martin will not Trumpify Irish politics with angry bluster

And it continues:

Last week, despite intense pressure from Sinn Féin and media, Taoiseach Micheál Martin refused to degrade Irish politics by doing a Donald Trump and venting his anger at Boris Johnson.

As a result, he won the respect of the EU and the United States and left Johnson looking like a lout.

But since Brexit there has been a greening and coarsening of political and media discourse that has seeped like a sewer overflow into wider waters.


1. roddy - September 13, 2020

When will Martin realise that listening to Harris has put FF in the worst position in it’s history.(see Red C).

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - September 13, 2020

Can’t disagree at all.


2. sonofstan - September 13, 2020

“But since Brexit there has been a greening and coarsening of political and media discourse that has seeped like a sewer overflow into wider waters”

This is a dog whistle to those who think letting SF and others into the parlour is too much. Trump and Johnson =populist, SF =a little bit populist, so we have two things that are in one respect alike which means, according to newspaper columnist logic, that they are EXACTLY THE SAME!!!

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - September 13, 2020

And he gets paid for this.


CL - September 13, 2020

“For the last four years the American commentary class has been in a state of sustained hysteria over what they call “populism”…
we should remember that the word was originally invented to designate precisely the opposite sensibility….
The Populist party, as it came to be known, was part of a leftwing flowering then happening around the world, the rough American equivalent of the labor parties and social-democratic unions springing up in other lands…..
For a few decades in the first half of the 20th century, American historians thought highly of populism, seeing it as the beginning of the reform tradition that eventually came into its own in the administration of Franklin Roosevelt.
Then everything changed. In the 1950s, American intellectuals soured on reform movements made up of working people. Led by the most famous historian of the period, Columbia University’s Richard Hofstadter, the eminent thinkers of that contented era painted populism as the great example of the scary things that could happen when society’s lower orders got organized…..
And so the consensus thinkers redefined populism as a catch-all noun denoting not merely the farmers’ movement of the 1890s but any situation in which democracy is out of control or in which ordinary people refuse to genuflect before social standing or scholarly attainment…
Hating populism quickly became a standard posture of mid-century academic liberalism….
anti-populism is an essential part of a political myth that is dear to a certain class of people. Hating populism is the built-in corollary to this group’s grand vision of how society ought to be directed: which is to say, by responsible professionals, meaning they themselves, always concurring prudently with one another, always doing their best to steer the world through complex problems…..
The only real answer, to Trump and plutocracy both, is a mass movement of ordinary people, hailing from all different backgrounds, joined together by a common desire to understand and dismantle the forces that make their toil so profitless.”
(This an excerpt from The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism by Thomas Frank)

Liked by 2 people

3. CL - September 13, 2020

-The current administration has appointed over 60 special advisers and communications experts – with some ministers having as many as six such advisors and two ‘chiefs of staff’.-

“The Department of Health has hired a private company to handle PR after being accused of creating confusion around Covid….
A spokesperson denied the PR firm had been recruited to deal with mounting criticism and accusations of mixed messaging around Covid from opposition parties.”

“The evenings have started to draw in now. You can already see how the light fades fast at the end of each day.
Remember how those lights in the sky watched over us, when coronavirus first visited these shores, early in the year and especially during lockdown, when the heavens appeared clearest at night.
And so they will again guide us now through winter, and we hope, into better times.
We must accept the darkness, because it shows us the stars.”


WorldbyStorm - September 13, 2020

Peak Bowers. He means well but sheesh.


4. NFB - September 13, 2020

“walking around money” Jesus wept.


WorldbyStorm - September 13, 2020

+1 You’d have to wonder at the sheer insularity of that.


Pasionario - September 13, 2020

The choice of phrase is unfortunate in another way, which the author clearly doesn’t realize.

In the US, “walking-around money” also known as “street money” is the name given to the cash that local party bosses dole out to supporters to get out the vote. In other words, low-level political corruption.

The practice is less common than it used be, but I would guess it’s probably still going on in some form.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - September 13, 2020

Great spot.


5. roddy - September 13, 2020

I knew of an SDLP councillor( now deceased) who would give cash to a constituent who was needing help.He knew full well that this would get out and cast him in an “angelic” light and with minimum outlay (£20)

Liked by 2 people

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