Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Colum Kenny

On Wednesday, a commentary piece by media analyst Colum Kenny about the Irish press, Charlottesville and Donald Trump was posted on The Irish Times website.

It was trending for a time.

Then it was taken down.

Without explanation.

Colum Kenny wrote:

Speaking in New York, at a combative press conference where he controversially renewed his claim that there was wrong on both sides involved in a street fight about a civil war statue of a Confederate general on a high horse at Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump was asked about chief executive officers leaving his advisory manufacturing council in protest.

He slammed them, saying, “they’re not taking their jobs seriously as it pertains to this country . . . If you look at Merck as an example, take a look at where their product is made. It’s made outside of our country. We want products made in the country . . . You can’t do it necessarily in Ireland and all of these other places. You have to bring this work back to this country.”

That a president of the US is singling out Ireland in response to lost US jobs is bad news. And it matters a lot more to Ireland than the details of a street fight in middle America. You would not think so from the relative media coverage here.

That street fight provides good self-righteous TV footage, easily and cheaply available, with cardboard cut-out bad guys in the form of Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members. Trump makes good copy.

He equivocated when it came to condemning those who perpetrated the worst violence at Charlottesville, but he voiced the reservations of many Americans when he claimed there had been violence on the other side, from a small number who reportedly came with baseball bats to confront a lawful, if odious, right-wing demonstration against the removal of a statue.

Trump is a sometimes odious and frightening president, but he was elected fairly under the American system.

Irish fascination with his antics is tinged by a certain air of superiority that leaves us open to accusations of hypocrisy.

We have, after all, attracted US jobs offshore by means of incentives that seem to have come to have no social bottom line.

We hide behind the shield of Nato without paying a penny for it, and cutely let the US buy facilities at Shannon while we take the neutral high ground.

And what of our own Civil War monuments?

We jettisoned various statues of Queen Victoria after independence, but what if we were to tear down monuments to those who rejected democracy in 1922 when most people accepted the Treaty, or various unofficial memorials to the later IRA? Would those opposing such iconography be dismissed as fascists?

Donald Trump has no monopoly on ambivalence.


The commentary piece can be read in full here

Pics; Irish Times

Independent Alliance TD Shane Ross

Further to ongoing debates over Independent Alliance TD and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross’ judicial appointments bill…

In today’s Irish Times, Stephen Collins writes:

Most members of the public are probably not too concerned about the proposed change in the judicial appointments system, which provides for an advisory appointments committee with a non-legal majority and a non-legal chair.

The bottom line, though, as articulated by former Supreme Court judge Catherine McGuinness, is that the removal of the Chief Justice from the chair of the committee represents “a deliberate kick in the teeth” not only to the incumbent Susan Denham but to the judiciary as a body.

For Ross and Sinn Féin the whole point of the Bill is to give the Chief Justice and her colleagues that deliberate kick in the teeth. While the system of appointing judges could certainly do with some improvement, the deliberate humiliation of a judiciary, which has broadly served the country well, is a dangerous path to go down.

Ross in his long career as a journalist and politician has engaged in one populist campaign after another. He is the nearest thing we have to an Irish Donald Trump and Fine Gael needs to think very carefully before betraying one of its core values to appease his grudge against the judiciary.


Fine Gael risks betraying its values by appeasing Ross (The Irish Times, Stephen Collings)

Sam Boal/Rollingnews

Ah here.


Earlier: Long Distance