Keeping Them Straight


From top: Leo Varadka at the Dublin Pride festival last month; Eamonn Kelly

After Enda Kenny became Taoiseach, the liberal left immediately launched into a social media campaign of ridicule and invective against him, using memes and comments and so on, and not holding back in the least in terms of insult.

In contrast, there has barely been a whisper of dissent against Varadkar.

It occurs to me that people may be afraid to criticise him for fear of their criticism being misconstrued as closet homophobia. (Either that or the liberal left are all for the right-wing Taoiseach).

I was accused of homophobia in a comment on one of the JobPath articles in Broadsheet. It took me a while to figure out where on Earth the person had drawn such a conclusion from, and I went over the text with the proverbial fine-tooth comb, but could find nothing incriminating.

Then I remembered that the Taoiseach was gay. I responded with something like, ‘Oh, I get it, the Taoiseach is gay, and I’m criticising him, so therefore…’

This response was then seized upon by a third party who said something like, ‘Thanks for reminding us of the Taoiseach’s sexuality. Makes me wonder what your agenda is…’

This is a classic lose-lose situation.

It seems that the election of a rabidly right-wing but forgiveably gay Taoiseach has had the effect of hoisting the liberal left by its own petard. I’m sure Fianna Fáil must be taking careful note of this puzzling turn of events.

Eamonn Kelly is a freelance writer.


Previously: JobPath And Class Discrimination

JobPath And The Reality Of Employment Activation

JobPath: The Great Social Proetection Swindle


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65 thoughts on “Keeping Them Straight

  1. Brother Barnabas

    I did notice that Micheál Martin has started being a lot more expressive with his hands during speeches.

      1. Rob_G

        Yes, that’s what he wants to do.

        He also wants to lock up the homeless, and p|ss on the toilet seat riiiight before you use it.

          1. realPolithicks

            And apparently anyone on the left is “hard” left or a snowflake or a SJW, it’s a two way street Clampers.

      2. MoyestWithExcitement

        Correct. He also spoke out against gay rights in the Dail. He’s about as right wing as you can get.

  2. Clampers Outside!

    It’s time for

    * drum roll *


    This week, we ask on the show – Who accused EK of homophobia ? !

    It’s like a mash up of Countdown and Cluedo… i think… I’m still making it up!
    Was it Clamps in Karl’s Den with a Lenovo Yoga?

    Or… Nigel in the Tower with an iPhone 7?

    Or… Maybe Mildred so pure, in Bodgers’ …em, private place, I dunno… with a Samsung Galaxy S7 !

    Or… den-den-dennnnnn?

  3. Metropolitan

    He hasn’t done anything yet, Every new leader has a honeymoon period, add in the sumer break and we are are where are.

    Let’s see how he copes with a winter of discontent between the Gardai, the rental crisis, waiting lists and homelessness there are multiple banana skins.

    Give it time.. but who is the collective “Liberal Left”.. are we talking twitterati, broadsheet readers.. Irish Time readers even?

    Are Labour voters liberal left or only Social Democrats?
    Are the Shinners, Socialists and SWP “liberal Left” too..or do they use the term to attack Soc Dems and Labour.

    Who are the “LIBERAL LEFT” and who ran their “social media campaign” against Enda Kenny?

  4. RuilleBuille

    Sure half the Nazi Party leadership were gay.

    Leo hasn’t done anything yet but he is the most right wing Taoiseach since Cosgrave.

  5. Topsy

    I’m coming out so please be sympathetic & understanding. I’ve been denying it for years. ” I’m straight”

  6. Janet, I ate my avatar

    if only there was some classic of a multiple choice quiz on pertinent issues so you’d know

  7. Vote Rep #1

    There has been criticism of him. There is not a whole lot at the moment what with zero happening and him being away a lot. This article seems to stem from the author seething about someone on the internet catching him out.

  8. rotide

    +1 vote rep

    There has been nothing BUT dissent from the same quarters that would have produced “memes and comments and so on” against Kenny.

    Yet again, it’s a broadsheet columnist making stuff up to support their argument.

  9. petey

    the poster is of course correct.
    however the correct answer from a rhetorical point of view would be,
    “i don’t understand why you’re attacking me. could you please spell out your position in extreme detail so clearly that it cannot be misunderstood?”

    1. Milo

      He is our first gay Taoiseach. He is also the son of an immigrant. This is all a sign of how modern, tolerant and inclusive we have become as a country. We were also the first people to ban plastic bags.

      1. scottser

        Hey don’t forget the smoking ban.
        Anyway, bloody foreigners coming over here stealing our jobs and our men.

  10. Peter Dempsey

    Loads of criticism on:
    1. Broadsheet
    2. Rabble
    3. Twitter and Facebook from the usual suspects on the Irish left.

    1. Sheik Yahbouti

      Again with this Rabble?? You are totally obsessed. Get help – you know it makes sense. :-)

  11. Catherinecostelloe

    It shouldn’t matter a hoot as to whether he is gay or not. , and it shouldn’t even be up for discussion. If as political leader he wants to head off to gay parades,do it in his own time., in a private capacity. Its like asking Charlie Flanagan his favourite sexual position…..its private, personal life and leave it at that for ALL politicians.

    1. Bookworm


      This guy’s pieces are consistently engaging, entertaining and interesting even if I only agree with approx 2% of them

  12. martco

    right left wide narrow gay straight trans pink yellow whatever…

    He’s a fupping shiny suited pvc window salesman sillyman and bats for a very select few which I can almost 100% guarantee none of ye on the broadsheet are or even probably related to

    How about that?


    99.9% of the country cudnae care less about his sexuality. Do your fkn’job and run the country, build social & affordable housing yesterday, prosecute white collar crime & SPV tax loopholes, sort out the disaster that is the health system. Stop working with your PR team on how to distract from this issues while courting online social & news media via journal .ie shills etc.. while pandering to the dumbed down middle class.

    1. scottser

      He won’t do any of that. He’s many things but a grafter he is not. All style, no substance.

      1. Peter Dempsey

        Interesting Jimmy. The left shout the loudest about white collar crime (primarily because they hate the middle class professional classes) but aren’t always too vocal about violent crime and the issue of suspended and light sentencing for such offences.

        1. JIMMYJAMES

          Your right pete, that march by the residents of cowper downs against martin cahill cat crawling on their garden walls was better attended than the Concerned Parents Against Drugs march in St.Teresa’s Gardens.

      2. Sheik Yahbouti

        Scottser and Jimmy, dead on. What are the odds of anything along those lines happening? I really hate to say it, but it very much looks as if a second (Easter) Rising is the only way forward.

        1. Harry Molloy

          are you feckin serious!?

          I think you need to look at things in perspective, what you’re advocating is the overthrow of democracy to replace with what? what’s better than democracy?

  14. Eoin

    I’ve just seen CNN praise Trump over his Afghanistan expansion and criticize him over his pardoning of Sheriff Arpaio…all while everyone else was covering the hurricane. So there’s a lot of confusion on the left.

  15. what is this lad on

    I enjoyed some of Eamonn’s previous pieces on BS but this reads as a bizarre little diatribe.

    Leo has enjoyed plenty of justified criticism since becoming Taoiseach. Yes, there has been an obvious push presumably by FG spin doctors to dominate the narrative surrounding him by constantly circulating stories about his sexuality and background but this hasn’t been nearly as effective as they would hope.

    The term ‘liberal left’ does not make sense and reads like a pejorative from the author, strange considering his previous objection of supposed job activation schemes. The left has been very active in its criticism of Leo. ‘Liberal’ centrists and right wing types have preferred to handwring about his personal details and shut down dissent.

    Stick to writing about items you have a modicum of understanding about in future.

Comments are closed.