jump to navigation

Sunday and other Media Stupid Statements from this week… September 27, 2020

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

Mr McMenamin [organiser of an anti-lockdown rally in Donegal] added that it was up to the Irish people to challenge regulations saying Irish schools were now like prison camps.

News to me.

Regardless, we need to stop scaring the nation; be honest with the nation and consider how to better facilitate personal choice.

Stop scaring the nation? A laudable aim. B<a href="http://“>ut perhaps a man arguing for the spread of the virus isn’t best placed to making that case.

In fairness to Roisin Ingle she doesn’t use the term ‘enjoyable’ in a piece on Dublin Lockdown II – but the subhead of the article she writes does say:

‘Lockdown, The Sequel’ is just nowhere near as enjoyable as the original

What she does write is in a way not a whole lot better, ignoring the fact people, y’know, died and continue to do so.

The original Lockdown, while surreal and scary, was full of resolve and solidarity and the notion that we would prevail and flatten the curve or smash the virus. It was a time of Zoom quizzes and online locktail-making classes, which seem quaint and faintly mortifying now.

Then there’s this:

Swedish epidemiologist Dr Johan Giesecke will address the committee and will be asked about Sweden’s policy which had been to allow the virus to spread among the under-60s. This raised the question of should the vulnerable be shielded while the remainder of the population was allowed to move out and about, said [chair of the Oireachtas Covid-19 Committee, Independent TD Michael] Mr McNamara. Many people over the age of 70 would not be prepared to do that, he said, so was it down to a matter of personal choice.

Mr McNamara pointed out that the Aids strategy in the US had been to encourage people to modify their behaviour. The Covid-19 message to young people could be not to congregate, but if they did, not to visit their grandparents afterwards.

For how long? Personal choice? How could any of that go wrong? Because it went wrong that same day when Dr. Giesecke retreated from his argument arguing that:

“I’m not prescribing anything for Ireland,” [Dr Johan Giesecke] told Drivetime on RTÉ Radio One. “You have to make your own decisions. That’s not up to me.

“What you just told me, I’m unaware of this. I’m objecting to you saying I’m telling Ireland what to do. I’m not.

“What you’re telling me is a lot of things I don’t know. I was asked to join this committee. I didn’t volunteer for it. With all this knowledge of the Irish situation, and the way your country works, I can’t tell you that this would be better for Ireland.”


1. Gearóid Clár - September 27, 2020

Giesecke’s mealy-mouthed retreat was pretty infuriating. “I didn’t volunteer for it”. True. But he made a decision to take up the offer and weigh in on a debate, knowing that his words would be taken seriously – and indeed potentially weaponised – while being totally ignorant of the Irish context.

It’s up there with the “Hey, I’m just asking questions” line of defence when faced with the consequences.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - September 27, 2020

I think, and agree with you completely, that there’s quite some disconnect for people who appear in public forums and are willing to put out very problematic stuff. It’s irresponsible at best. But it seems to me to dovetail with another dynamic, and we see a lot of this in some of the commentary in the media – a sort of performative elbowing to get into the public eye. And there’s this complete disinterest in the substance of what is said. It’s bizarre and a depressing insight into human behaviour.


2. CL - September 27, 2020

“If anything, there are fewer ministerial advisers in the Irish system than in peer countries. Ministers in all European countries have advisers (often teams of them) because they make the system more efficient, ultimately to the benefit of citizens.”- Dan O’Brien, Twitter, Sep, 26

O’Brien references one of his Independent articles;
‘We need better system of advisers, and more of them, to run a modern state’ …
and contains this stupid remark about neoliberalism;

“The range of things governments do in developed countries such as Ireland continues to expand, despite fact-free claims by some of a ‘neoliberal’ plot to downsize the state.”

“the Government has taken on 64 special advisers” -Irish Examiner.


Gene Kerrigan has a somewhat different view on advisors:

“We act in our common interest or we’re screwed…

Trouble is, that sense of human solidarity is the exact opposite of the qualities revered by those who dominate this country politically and culturally…
They seldom have the guts to say it but their dominant beliefs are summed up in three word- Greed is good.
Well not in a pandemic its not. In a pandemic, human solidarity is essential to survival.
The advisors’ scandal which peaked last week is rooted in that greedy, reckless culture.
“Mr. Ryan has eight special advisors including two joint chiefs of staff who are entitled of salaries of up to €101,000 “…

You might imagine that they’d downplay this nonsense in the midst of a pandemic. No, quite the opposite. They’ve cut the urgent special payment to those rendered workless by the pandemic. Meat workers are still in conditions dangerous to themselves and to us. Nurses still have to pay to park at their workplaces. Countless businesses face an uncertain future…
Now the greedy me-first brigade have got all the Spad fashion accessories they need to show how important they are.

A wonderful example of social solidarity. ” – Gene Kerrigan.

(Accessed via pressreader.com)

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - September 27, 2020

“They seldom have the guts to say it but their dominant beliefs are summed up in three word- Greed is good.
Well not in a pandemic its not. In a pandemic, human solidarity is essential to survival.”



Pasionario - September 27, 2020

The SPAD culture in Ireland started, as I recall, with Dick Spring, who had a (smallish) team of “programme managers” — Fergus Finlay etc.

Then, I suppose, they all watched The West Wing and decided that having a phalanx of unelected flunkeys by your side was the essence of modern democracy.

The late David Graeber analysed the phenomenon of high-level bureaucratic bloat as an institutional power play. The more people you have “reporting” to you in a company, the more important you seem to be, even if all those deputy vice-presidents for paperclips are doing nothing much.

Perish the thought that Eamon Ryan’s recruitment of eight SPADs has anything to do with overcompensating for the Green Party’s marginal role in government.

“A Short History of Irish SPADs” that analysed their background and subsequent career trajectory through the revolving door would be an interesting piece of journalism. You probably won’t read it in the Sindo.

Liked by 1 person

3. jonathanrossney - September 28, 2020

‘Lockdown, The Sequel’ is just nowhere near as enjoyable as the original’
For people living alone in a rural area with an erratic internet connection and without a large circle of internet savvy friends, unemployed because their industry had been entirely shut down because of the virus, not knowing when or if they would work again and that the Irish state would not extend the Covid payments forever (who do we think we are, banks?), worrying that every time you went to the shops (in the early days especially as deliveries took forever) you risked contracting a potentially fatal virus for which there might not be a cure for years, or knowing the impact of long-term side effects when you don’t have private health insurance, I can’t imagine it was all that enjoyable. Do Irish journalists even know of the existence of non-middle-class people?

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - September 28, 2020

I’ve given up JR, in a way. There are whole tranches of the Irish media who see so middle class and insulated that it’s impossible to take. The pity is that the CLR has become in a way tied up in pointing this up particularly in relation to a range of obvious areas around the pandemic etc. But it’s so pervasive and I would argue corrosive to this society and to the left in particular that it kind of has to be pointed to. For all the good that will do. But at least we get to try out and shape some counter arguments which perhaps is not the worst thing in the world.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: