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Sunday and other stupid media statements of this week… January 16, 2022

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

Faced with rising demands for housing (and for healthcare and other improvements to the socio-economic fabric) someone in the Business Post today resorts to the line:

A more interesting question is not whether those who assess the current state of Ireland to be broadly positive are right – any fair assessment of the comparative evidence can really only lead to one conclusion – but why the “failed staters” appear to be growing in number, and why their voices are getting shriller.

The answer may be in two parts: first, a vestigial national inferiority complex, and second, a wider international trend to view life as getting worse and positing that “elites” of various kinds are conspiring to keep it that way.

The second dimension is by far the most important. In recent years, there has been a well-documented increase in support for the political extremes in most western countries. Whether of the illiberal right or the illiberal left, populists share a view that the world is going to hell in a handbasket for the little guy, that this is the fault of small groups of bad people who are orchestrating it all for their own benefit, and that every woe could quickly be banished if their easy solutions were implemented.

But what about housing which is where these musing started? “There are serious housing issues in Ireland”. So perhaps that is why people are demanding something be done.

Can someone in the Sunday Independent seriously questioning trial by jury? (behind the paywall).

Being judged by peers may appear to be the only fair way to hold a trial, but courts face political and personal bias, lack of expertise and selection issues 

A sub-editor needs to get at this from it:

The point of a jury is that a group of citizens bring their life experiences to bear on the evidence presented to them. legal team, though, will assert the juror was biased, and that he used that bias to influence jury deliberations.


Same paper has this interesting framing of public sector working hour reducations (after increases during the height of the financial crisis)…

There is public bewilderment about the pay of the most senior civil servants and also about recent announcements about reduced public service working hours. None of this is helped by the emergence of opinionated social media participation by senior officials.

As mentioned on the site from the IT earlier this week… SF is a real danger because it does not not recognise the legitimacy of the state. The evidence. A single tweet. From…

Ógra Shinn Féin marked the Anglo-Irish Treaty centenary with this tweet: “Despite what the Free State establishment want you to believe, the Treaty did not give Ireland independence. Ireland is not independent. But together, we can change that.” This is the youth wing of a party confidently gearing up to govern this State.

The statement not only denies our legitimacy; it also denies the referendum that overwhelmingly accepted the principle of consent and therefore the existence of Northern Ireland.

Exaggerate much? 

This account of Newstalk’s Lunchtime Live from during the week where there was a ‘discussion’ about cancel culture notes the following gem:

Journalist Valerie Cox also joins the conversation, decrying the removal of nativity cribs to spare secular sensitivities, and bemoaning the toppling of statues of slaveholders as rewriting history. Eventually, Gilligan conjures up a dystopian vision of Irish life, talking about people out socialising being “terrified to say anything that might be seen as non-PC”. Cox agrees: “We’re striking fear into the hearts of people.” Well, if they weren’t scared before, they are now.

Meanwhile Newton Emerson contrasted two Tory politicians and their respective attachment to the Union in the rather puzzling fashion that follows:

Johnson really believes in the union, in as much as he believes in anything. He may be kidding himself and kidding everyone else on what he can deliver, but for many unionists this hardly seems worse than usual. There is certainly no guarantee a replacement would be any better.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the favourite to succeed Johnson, was profiled in the Financial Times in April 2020. The paper quoted a Conservative colleague saying: “I remember discussing the future of the union with Rishi and he argued that England should break away. He was advocating the end of the UK because it doesn’t make financial sense to him. He doesn’t have any love for the institution and I suspect he looks at it as he looks at anything: what’s the profit?”

Sunak swiftly denied the report.

“There are some comments about the union falsely attributed to me in the FT today,” he posted on Twitter.

“My parents moved to the United Kingdom, not England, because the union represented an idea of opportunity. I am a strong believer in our union of four nations. Hope that clarifies that!”

These are words to have any unionist reaching for the bottle.

But the question arises why does Emerson believe the man who signed off on the Northern Ireland Protocol over the man who has professed his undying love for the Union?

Finn McRedmond is a lot more forgiving than many of us (and long before the arrival of Covid-19) in the following:

The quirky iconoclasm of Djokovic may once have been considered harmless fun. His other scientific ventures include the belief that water reacts to human emotion, and that we can turn toxic food good again with prayer and gratitude. Oddballs like this have often been forgiven as charming, if unserious, until we underwent a sea change with the arrival of Covid-19 on our shores.

All other contributions welcome…


1. Sham Bob - January 16, 2022

Great article from Stewart Lee last week about the hypocrisy of the statue-defenders: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/09/how-committed-is-no-10-to-toppling-the-topplers
Who knows if these people defend the statues reflexively, as good soldiers in the culture war, or have they actually thought about what they’re defending – in which case they’re straight-up white supremacists.

The DUP guy crying in parliament, the Express front page saying the Queen deserved better, it’s surely all over for Johnson. Unfortunately Sunak is to the right of him economically. Conveniently just as the cost of COVID has to be counted. Out of the frying pan.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - January 16, 2022

That’s a good piece by Lee. I was thinking about the utter stupidity of saying taking down statues is destroying history. I think an awful lot of it is reflexive nonsense. I don’t think the majority have thought about it even a little bit. It’s just a drive to attach to the orthodoxy as they see it. But some clearly are white supremacists and imperialists – avowedly so.

That’s the problem with Sunak. Worse again.


2. EWI - January 16, 2022

Oddballs like this have often been forgiven as charming, if unserious, until we underwent a sea change with the arrival of Covid-19 on our shores.

There have been riots in Australia by rightwing anti-vaxxer supporters of this gentleman. But I’m glad that Finn McRedmond, that noted admirer of Thatcher, thinks that he’s ‘charming’.

Liked by 1 person

gypsybhoy69 - January 20, 2022

And there’s was this gem of a tweet from Mark Paul, on the subject, which he seems to have since taken down. I wonder why?

“The decision is not a surprise. But it is a disgrace. It ought to be seen as a stain on Australia’s reputation as a liberal democracy.”

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - January 20, 2022

Hahah, that’s classic Mark Paul.


3. EWI - January 16, 2022

By the way, was Kathy Sheridan always such a rightwing reactionary, or is it a recent emergence of that particular butterfly?

Liked by 2 people

4. LMS - January 16, 2022

Who actually cares about “cancel culture” in all seriousness? Is this something that is even on the radar of most ordinary people? Even if it is, it is beyond flogging a dead horse now, lazy producers/slow news day if you ask me. That being said, I have listened to that news talk Lunchtime show before and it is 100% tripe, no serious discussion to be found there about anything.

Regarding the SBP quote at the top of this post – the assertion that things are generally positive In ireland is totally risible and demonstrably untrue, chiefly in relation to the housing situation as you’ve noted.

Was recently at a meeting for a family just up the road from me in Dublin 5 who are due to be evicted this month. I noted that a lot of the neighbours were in a state of bewilderment that there was no robust mechanism in place by DCC to house families in this situation. Everyone was in disbelief that this family are in all likelihood going to be living in a hotel very soon. The father of the family said he had made ~150 enquiries for a new place and got only two responses, both saying not interested because they are on HAP.

Try telling any of these people about the “generally positive state of affairs”. Mind-boggling ignorance.

Liked by 1 person

5. crocodileshoes - January 16, 2022

Brenda Power has the definitive last word on Covid in today’s Sunday Times. It’s only a cold. She knows, because people had it in her house. So there. Take that, Tony Holohan, Sam McConkey and co.

Liked by 2 people

6. Colm B - January 16, 2022

They were all in favour of taking down statutes with the fall of communism, hailed the fall of Saddams statue in the Iraq War but now suddenly it’s a bad thing. They don’t do consistency, these rightists, do they?

Either you’re in favour of badduns coming down or you’re not!

Liked by 4 people

WorldbyStorm - January 16, 2022

It’s hypocrisy, simple as, isn’t it? And an exercise in complete bad faith.


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