Tag Archives: irish times

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.

Anyone?

The commentary piece can be read in full here

Pics; Irish Times

Paul Murphy TD, of Solidarity, in Leinster House as Joan Burton TD, of the Labour Party speaks to the media on the Dáil plinth after Tuesday’s budgetary oversight committee

…. Confidence in the Garda Siochána is not an optional extra. It is the bedrock of public compliance and a properly functioning society. As a succession of scandals wash over the force, it is essential the public are assured that when gardaí give evidence in court, they speak nothing but the truth in accordance with their best recollection of sometimes fraught situations.

A Garda statement, saying a senior officer was conducting a review of organisational practices and policies arising out of Jobstown and “other issues of note”, may also have created the misleading impression that it would include evidence given in court. The Garda Commissioner made clear yesterday that this was not the case. A full Gsoc investigation is needed and Paul Murphy, if he is serious about anything other than crass political advantage, could usefully seek it.

A Case For Gsoc To Investigate (Irish Times editorial)

Meanwhile…

Thuggery!

Today.

In The Irish Times.

Colin Gleeson writes about the rental sector and residential landlords.

He writes:

Pat (66) has been a residential landlord all his life, but he’d prefer if his full name wasn’t published by The Irish Times. “Do you know the opprobrium I would get if I was identified?” he asks. “The hate mail I would get?”

After falling into the sector “by accident”, Pat at one stage had about 80 tenants on his books in 20 properties around Dublin 6 and Dublin 1. “I wouldn’t house one now,” he says. “Not one.”

This, he argues, is due to “appalling treatment” by the Government, and what he calls the “Tesco-isation” of the sector.

“What I mean by that is, the small guy who was providing accommodation was put out of business while the bigger players came in.

“These big American companies are coming in and they have no problem with compliance and all the registration and so forth. It’s easy for them because they have the scale, but, for the small guy, it’s murderous.

“Pretty soon, the only people letting properties will be the big huge companies. When tenants have a problem, they’ll ring up a number to say the toilet’s blocked, and they’ll get an answering machine somewhere in the United States.”

…The story of the housing and rental crisis has largely been told through the prism of the house buyer and the tenant, but Pat can barely contain his anger at what he perceives to be a stacked deck, and vitriol towards landlords among the public.

‘Tesco-isation’ of home rental sector driving landlords out (Colin Gleeson, The Irish Times)

Mark Stedman/Rollingnews

Graeme K writes:

I see [Irish Times Political Correspondent] Michael O’Regan’s tweet remains undeleted in the face of some justifiable criticism….

While part of me thinks good on him for sticking to his guns  another part says what a complete and utter spanner…

FIGHT!