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Sunday and other Media Stupid Statements from this week… February 28, 2021

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

Curious understatement in the subhead to this article:

Adolf’s father, Alois, was the source of his son’s least attractive features, letters suggest

Paul Cullen, the IT’s health editor appears to be unaware of the difference between inside and outside…

The drawn-out reopening of education seems at odds with the mantra that schools are safe places. The Government professes its concern relates to activities around schools, but if that were the case, wouldn’t it close playgrounds?

Then again he also offers this which seems to miss the obvious:

The problem with basing your policy on the uncertain threat posed by a new variant is that when the next dangerous variant mutation comes along, you may have to react the same, particularly if it threatens to compromise the effectiveness of vaccines. In which case, the end hoped for by the Taoiseach mightn’t be as near as he suggests.

That’s precisely the problem – there’s only so many policy responses to viral pandemics and unfortunately lockdowns are the only one to actually restrict the spread to any extent. So yes, if another variant appeared then lockdown it will be.

Pat Leahy on the same topic appears to not understand aspects of a viral pandemic either as when he asks:

Even some of the public health hawks in Government think the pace of reopening is too slow. Take the schools – if you believe the absence from school is so damaging to children that you are prepared to put everything else on hold to get them back, then how can you justify leaving many of them at home for another three weeks, and most secondary school students at home until mid-April? That’s six weeks away.

That Leahy doesn’t grasp that it might be too risky today to send children back, but all things being equal and other measures taken  working across a span of time it might be possible in three weeks, is somewhat troubling. 

Newton Emerson last week claimed that ‘Arguably, despite the recent modernisation of the state, a residual latent Anglophobia has remained, and was evidenced by the stance taken over Brexit by the Varadkar-led Fine Gael government in 2019’. Now he’s modified that argument somewhat… 

The vaccine nationalism of the past few months has revealed a new layer of identity in Ireland: European nationalism. It seems able to hold as potent a sway over large numbers of people as its Irish or British versions. Sufferers are certainly as willing to call day night and excuse the inexcusable. Quibbling over rates of first and second doses and the delay between them is the sort of dishonest tribal apologism the North is wearily familiar with. Now the whole of Ireland can enjoy it on an extra level.


Still, the worst example all week is the IT’s question in the poll on Friday. This from their editorial:

The scale of divergent opinion is illustrated by the response to a question about whether people are favour the “living with covid” strategy of getting back to normal, once the elderly and vulnerable have been vaccinated, or whether they would prefer “zero covid”, which would mean keeping restrictions in place until the virus is close to elimination. While 68 per cent favoured the Government strategy, a significant minority of 30 per cent opted for zero Covid with ongoing restrictions for as long as it takes. The Government will have its work cut out to get the balance right in the months ahead.

“Living with covid” strategy of getting back to normal, once the elderly and vulnerable have been vaccinated,” is not the government strategy. Now why would the IT state that it is?


1. Gearóid Clár - February 28, 2021

I saw this morning in the IT that Maria Bailey was given a softball interview recently on Brendan O’Connor’s radio show, which was then knocked out of the park by this IT article: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/it-destroyed-me-maria-bailey-on-swing-gate-controversy-1.4497233

Some choice quotes:

“When the incident occured, I wasn’t a national politician, I was injured, taking legal action was not my first port of call. There was about five or six months of going back and forth before that happened.”

“I wasn’t deselected, I was deleted. I think that word says more than anything. I had already been sanctioned, I had apologised countless times,” she said.

“I asked for a valid reason for that deletion and I still to this day haven’t been given a valid reason. I had done polls, I knew I had been damaged but I was still in with a shot of getting a seat and unfortunately by being deleted the choice of the people was taken away.”

It’s not well worth a read.

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - February 28, 2021

I behaved really stupidly and was then made to feel stupid. It’s not fair!

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - February 28, 2021

“by being deleted the choice of the people was taken away.” wow… that’s… something else.


2. Tomboktu - February 28, 2021

Liked by 1 person

3. An Sionnach Fionn - February 28, 2021

“public health hawks”… Irish neoliberal journalism at its finest. And then those self-same journos feign surprise when far-right pandemic-deniers run riot on the streets?

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - February 28, 2021



4. Bagatelle's Undermined Transept - February 28, 2021

“Adolf’s father, Alois, was the source of his son’s least attractive features, letters suggest …contempt for the church, science and the nobility.”



Liked by 1 person

5. CL - February 28, 2021

– ” As an admirer of President Higgins it saddens me to take him to task for some of his recent reflections on British imperialism and Ireland.
In a long article in The Guardian, and in his address to Machnamh 100 last week, the President launched what I believe to be a crude attack on British imperialism in Ireland which was all black with not a sign of white.
The British Empire, like most empires, whether the Roman Empire or the Hapsburg Empire, has to be viewed dialectically: the good noted with the bad…..
I am surprised by the timing of the President’s unbalanced attacks on “British Imperialism” at a time when Brexit has left a battered loyalist
community licking its wounds and Sinn Fein turning the screw.” –
– Eoghan Harris, Sunday Independent.


Bagatelle's Undisguised Troubling - February 28, 2021

Does Groan get paid for these or does he pay to have them published?

Am expecting paeans to the architectural and sartorial triumphs of 30s/40s Germany any Sunday now.

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - February 28, 2021


He’s remembered the word from back in the day, but not what it means.

Liked by 1 person

CL - February 28, 2021


Liked by 1 person

Daniel Rayner O'Connor - March 1, 2021

He never did know what ‘dialectics’ meant. It was just a word to be used to shut up his more naive opponents.

Liked by 3 people

Fergal - February 28, 2021

Harris really has gone over to the Dark side…
A crude attack on British imperialism? I too would put crude and imperialism in the same sentence but …
Brexit hurting loyalists? Who voted for it? And who cosied up to Bojo? This time, there are 26 other countries indirectly involved … the game is changing

Liked by 1 person

CL - March 1, 2021

The historians who spoke at the Macnamh 100 seminar on imperialism seem blithely unaware of political economy.

“Bill Warren … sought to challenge the then common anti-imperialist view that imperialism, and more generally the expansion of capitalist relations globally, created dependency and underdevelopment in the third world…..
The actual development thus far does not substantiate Warren’s thesis…..

As numerous thinkers have pointed out since the late 1960s, most notably by Kevin Anderson in Marx at the Margins, Marx’s thoughts with regard to colonialism evolved beginning in the late 1850s, particularly after the 1857 Indian Revolt….
Marx observed that the revolutionary potential of English workers was severely limited by the existence of British peripheries such as Ireland and the colonial alliance between English workers and capitalists…..

When some leftists deny or give up the Marxist theory of imperialism, capitalism becomes a vibrant evolving system without end instead of a system of decay and parasitism….

Without reconnecting with the anti-imperialist tradition, and without a careful analysis of the imperialism developed in the neoliberal era, it is likely the left will retreat further from its revolutionary past in the next decade or two. ”


6. CL - March 2, 2021

” Between 1801-1921, 8 million people left Ireland, often for British dominions and territories, while a further 1.5 million went to Britain between the mid-1930s and 2000. While we can empathise with the “exile” of perhaps two million Irish poor during the 1840s Great Famine, the reality is that most Irish people willingly left Ireland. ”
Professor Niamh Gallagher, Irish Times, March 2.

Economic compulsion had nothing to with it; it was just a matter of individual choice.

Gallagher in her Macnamh 100 address did cite Connolly;

” In his 1910 work, Labour in Irish History, Connolly wrote that ‘the progress of the fight for national liberty of any subject nation must …keep pace with … the struggle for liberty of the most subject class in that nation.’ For Connolly, democracy, and the essential sovereignty of the people, lay within the working classes, not within the middle and upper classes, who had been corrupted by capitalism and exploited the workers for their own gain. For Connolly, these were the true imperialists. No question of sovereignty could be solved by territory alone when the imperialist class continued to exploit the sovereign—the working classes of the world who had no territorial boundaries.”

But Connolly also wrote;

” “If you remove the English Army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle., unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts will be in vain. England will still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.” –
James Connolly.

Any intelligible discussion of the British empire in Ireland must take account of the capitalist, exploiting institutions embedded and maintained by imperial state power.
Ignoring these historical realities and consequences of imperial political economic power in Ireland, and instead incanting the neoliberal bromide of individual choice is a form of historiographical malpractice.


Bagetelle's Unison Touchstone - March 2, 2021

In retrospect it’s clear that the campaign for acceptance of the poppy, the associated celebrations and condemnation of the condemnation of Irish people taking the English Shilling was the prologue to smearing the Irish with British settler colonialism and its horror show of genocide and sundry crimes against humanity.

My GGF, a Dubliner, who fought in the British army in WWI was disowned by his brother and they never spoke again. A common occurrence in families throughout the occupation of Ireland by the British empire.

Liked by 1 person

7. roddy - March 2, 2021

We are now told up here that the poppy remembers “those who fought for all of us”.Practically every TV journalist wears one whilst presenting one sided stories about the conflict and ignoring the fact the emblem remembers those “who served in all conflicts” ie those who plundered and murdered all over the world in the service of imperialism.


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