A Limerick A Day


French far right politician Marine Le Pen (left) has been invited to speak at this year’s Web Summit by the event’s co-founder Paddy Cosgrave (right)

It must be embarrassing when
You set up a conference and then
Much to the delight
Of the very far right
You’re giving a stage to Le Pen

John Moynes

Pics: Getty/Rollingnews

Yesterday: Right So


It’s escalating.

UPDATE: Invitation withdrawn

103 thoughts on “A Limerick A Day

    1. millie st murderlark

      Most likely not though? I’d say it’s the outrage angle Paddy & Co are going for.

      How very original of them.

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        “Freedom of expression is a fundamental right within the European Union and a basic cornerstone of any democratic society,” he said.
        Sure it is. Why, though, do you chose to offer this women a stage to espouse her beliefs? You don’t HAVE to because it’s a fundamental right.
        He’s an arrogant plonker.

        1. Culchie

          Hear! Hear!

          Everyone has a right to freedom of expression…

          …except those we disagree with.

          1. ReproButina

            She has the right to freedom of expression. She does not have the right to a stage to exercise that freedom of expression which Paddy, in a desperate attempt to drum up some headlines, is offering her.

          2. Elron

            Who says she doesn’t have that right? You lefty guys are getting very dangerous as you make up the rules on your own prejudices and feelings. No wonder Trump is winning.

          3. ReproButina

            No thanks Culchie. Just try reading it again. I know it’s long and challenging for you but stick with it.

            Elron find me the law that says each and every fruitcake is entitled to a platform to express their opinion. Nobody’s denying her the right to express her racist opinions but that doesn’t mean anyone is required to provide her with a forum to do so.

          4. Nigel

            If she has that particular right then so do the rest of us but we aren’t all joining a queue of every other European citizen to speak at the Summit because nobody really has that ‘right.’ What the bleating about free speech amounts to is telling others they don’t have the right to criticise the choice of speakers.

          5. Cian

            “Everyone has a right to freedom of expression…”

            Really – where do we get this right? Bunreacht na hÉireann puts limits on freedom of expression.

            “6 1° The State guarantees liberty for the exercise of the following rights, subject to public order and morality: –
            i The right of the citizens to express freely their convictions and opinions.
            The education of public opinion being, however, a matter of such grave import to the common good, the State shall endeavour to ensure that organs of public opinion, such as the radio, the press, the cinema, while preserving their rightful liberty of expression, including criticism of Government policy, shall not be used to undermine public order or morality or the authority of the State.
            The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law.”

          6. Culchie


            “She has the right to freedom of expression. She does not have the right to a stage to exercise that freedom of expression…”

            Do you always so blatantly contradict yourself?

            Doesn’t Paddy whatisface have the right to invite anyone he likes to his stage?

            Are you denying Paddy whatisface his freedom of association/expression because you may not like something that hasn’t been said yet.

            (Still waiting for examples of what you claim is Le Pen’s “racism”.)

          7. Janet, I ate my avatar

            “I don’t think France is responsible for the Vel d’Hiv,” she told RTL radio on Sunday, referring to the Paris cycling stadium where 13,000 Jews were rounded up in July 1942 before being sent to Nazi death camps.

            Former president Jacques Chirac was the first French leader to admit the country’s culpability in 1995. President François Hollande has said what happened at Vel d’Hiv  was a “crime committed in France, by France.”

          8. Culchie


            You do realise we’re discussing something that may or may not happen in Portugal?

            Somehow I don’t think the Irish Constitution would apply.

          9. ReproButina

            That’s not a contradiction. Try reading all the words. Then have a little think.

            I’ll give you an example. My neighbour is entitled to express the opinion that I’m a pedantic egomaniac but that doesn’t mean I have to let him stand in my kitchen and say it.

          10. ReproButina

            Also, I’m not denying anyone anything. He’s free to invite who he likes and I’m free to criticise. It doesn’t mean I’m entitled to a spot on the web summit stage to criticise.

            If BS delete a comment they are not denying freedom of expression, just refusing to provide a platform. This is really, really simple stuff.

          11. Cian

            I have the right to call you an ignorant twunt[1].

            Broadsheet can delete my post, because I do NOT have a right to a platform to exercise that freedom of expression. Broadsheet can ban me from future posting too.

            On the other hand, Broadsheet also has the freedom to allow me express myself.

            [1] As a random example. I may be wrong and you are not an ignorant twunt – but facts are separate from my right of freedom of expression

          12. Culchie

            Except it’s not your Kitchen Butina, it’s a stage at an event organized by someone else. What right do you have to monitor/approve what someone else does in their own time and space?

            Now either give us examples of Le Pen’s racism or STFU.

          13. ReproButina

            Do I not have the right to freedom of expression? If so I have the right to criticise someone offering a platform to a racist.

          14. Rob_G

            @ Repro – indeed, but now someone has decided to let the neighbour stand in their kitchen and hold forth on the subject.

            Now, you are perfectly within your right to not attend, or to email the sponsors asking them why they are endorsing such an event, but she does indeed have the right to a stage to profess those beliefs if someone willing to have her on, which Paddy Cosgrave, in his infinite wisdom, has decided to do.

          15. Culchie

            Butina has no proof that anybody is a racist.

            Butina just likes the sound of his/her own voice calling somebody a racist.

            Makes him/her feel smug.

          16. Cian


            “but she does indeed have the right to a stage to profess those beliefs if someone willing to have her on”

            I disagree. rights, by their nature are NOT conditional.

          17. Alan McGee

            The problem with ‘Liberals’ is they’re not very liberal. @ReproButina if you’re looking for a law or license that gives Le Pen the right to exercise her views look no further:

            The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.
            Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.

          18. Rep

            She has the right to the stage if the owner of the stage invites her just as everyone who disagrees with it has the right to criticise that invite.

            Culchie seems to be of the opinion that the freedom of expression only flows one way.

          19. Nigel

            At this point I can’t quite fathom the more reasonable commenters trying to push back against what seems like a rather obvious proposition – that providing public platforms for far right politicians is a bad idea. It propagates far right ideas. it associates the event, the venue and the organisers with the far right. It is a chilling reminder of the tendency of the techbros of the world to cleave to the right as their creations and companies become ever more ubiquitous and entangled in issues such as privacy, state and corporate surveillance, the hacking and influencing of elections and their so-called disruptive technologies, while they fight efforts at regulation or oversight or worker’s rights.

          20. Rob_G

            @ Repro – no law gives her an automatic entitlement to a stage – but now she has the right to this particular stage by virtue of it being offered to her.

            People are perfectly entitled to ask the conference why they would associate themselves with such an individual, but her beliefs do not disbar her from holding forth when given a platform, even if we may find them objectionable.

          21. ReproButina

            Rob_G “no law gives her an automatic entitlement to a stage”

            So you agree with me that she has no right to a platform. Yet you think me saying this is fascistic?

        2. ReproButina

          @Alan McGee. I have repeatedly stated that she has the right to express her racist views. I have also repeatedly stated that this does not mean she has the right to a platform to express them. That was my first post FFS. I’m still not denying her the right to express her racist views nor am I calling for her to be banned. I’m just pointing out that nobody is under obligation to provide her with a platform to express those racist views.

          There is no law that confers the right to a platform. If anyone believes differently then let them march to RTÉ and demand to be put on air under that law.

          1. Alan McGee

            @ReproButina You’re quite wrong. YOU think she should be be denied a platform to express her views.

            If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person
            were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in
            silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified
            in silencing mankind.

            That friend, is the cornerstone of liberty.

          2. ReproButina

            You’re telling me what I think? Good grief.

            I stated a simple fact, that she has no right to a platform.

          3. Alan McGee

            @ReproButina “I stated a simple fact, that she has no right to a platform.
            This is what YOU have said. To say this YOU would think it first, so yes I’m telling YOU what you think (have thought). How you think in the future may well be helped by reading something, anything.

            I might also point out to you that she did not demand a “right to a platform”. It was offered to her but you have chosen to dwell on this (erroneous thought) because you’re so terribly wrong with respect to silencing voices you find disagreeable.

          4. ReproButina

            You still can’t distinguish stating a fact from stating an opinion. I never once said she should be silenced Alan so insert that in your vaping machine and puff away.

      2. Rob_G

        He probably is – I don’t really have a problem with it, every time Mme. Le Pen appears before an audience, she only makes herself look foolish.

        1. ReproButina

          To you. To many others she does not and a gig like this is just more normalisation of extreme racist views.

          1. Janet, I ate my avatar

            At first glance, it appears that Le Pen has “erased the entire history of the French far right” from her campaigning. She has distanced herself from anyone who could compromise her, even her father, who infamously described the gas chambers as “a detail” in the history of the second world war. But as Eltchaninoff’s philosophical detective work reveals, her ideas are deeply embedded in the tradition of French far-right thought. An MEP, she loathes the EU, which she says is “subservient to the financial markets” and “takes its orders from Goldman Sachs”. There may be no openly antisemitic comments in her speeches, but Eltchaninoff suggests that such language would have been readily understood in the past as code for Jewishness: she has mastered “a subliminal type of racism”. And her “artfully subtle attacks on Islam” offer her followers a new scapegoat, for the Front National is “a movement that needs enemies”.

          2. Rob_G

            If we are not offering platforms to far-right people, should we stop offering platforms to far-left people as well? Where does it stop? Is there a list of acceptable opinions that one can hold before speaking at a conference?

          3. ReproButina

            Where did I say she should be banned?

            Bleedin’ right wing snowflakes are always whinging about being oppressed.

          4. Elron

            em, here?…. “She does not have the right to a stage to exercise that freedom of expression which Paddy, in a desperate attempt to drum up some headlines, is offering her.”

            Petit fasciste

          5. ReproButina

            Is English your first language Elton? That’s not a call to ban anyone. Maybe have a grown up explain it to you.

          6. ReproButina

            Is English your first language? That sentence is not a call to ban anyone. Maybe ask a grown up to explain it to you.

          7. Rob_G

            “She does not have the right to a stage to exercise that freedom of expression…”

            – that is about as fascistic as anything Le Pen has come out with, tbh…

          8. ReproButina

            Really Rob_g? I’d love you to explain how freedom of expression not being the same as right to a platform, is a fascist statement. Maybe your next newspaper column could cover it. Or your next speech at the EU parliament.

          9. Elron

            Eat it Repro. You said it. Youre now going to start “but its ok to be fascist if youre right”… this is the delusion and cruelty of the left. Cos we think it, it is so. Well fupp right off you controlling stasi fascists.

          10. ReproButina

            Good man Elron. Simple English is too complicated for you. That’s about the limited level of intelligence I’ve come to expect from the right. Maybe I should have drawn a picture? Or a flip book?

          11. Nigel

            Rob she didn’t magically appear on the programme through some passive process arising from some special right particular to her, it was a conscious active choice on the part of the organisers and as such open to criticism. If the idea that people are somehow doing something wrong in objecting to this sort of thing takes hold and becomes predominant I would say that is far more fascist than voiciing criticism or objections.

          12. Jeffrey

            Care to explain what those views are? Or are you, like most people going on from hearsay and overall reputation from the media?

          1. Nigel

            Some people prefer to argue that bad ideas should be heard over and over and over again long after those ideas have been proved not just bad but catastrophic rather than argue against the bad ideas, leaving that work to others, who they attack for arguing that those ideas are really, really, bad. Fellow travelers? Enablers? Useful idiots? Who knows? Who can tell? Maybe they’re just those ‘let’s you and him fight’ types.

          2. Cian

            I agree that one fights bad ideas with good ideas on open platforms.

            But I don’t think that a 30-minute slot at a Web Summit is sufficiently “open platform”. I don’t know the exact format – but these are usually a prepared speech followed by limited Q&A. This gives the speaker (any speaker – I’m not limiting this to Le Pen) the freedom to set the agenda and to control the message. It can also legitimise a particular topic.

          3. f_lawless

            but when Le Pen talks of “intelligent protectionism” that goes against the whole globalist/neoliberal program, which bad ideas over and over again do you mean – those of the neoliberal free-market economist types?

          4. Nigel

            Personally I find her views on immigration pretty bad and I dislike nationalism in general but if she gives you happy feels because she’s anti-EU, sure, go cosy up to the Nantional Front. That seems to be the strategy, anyway.

          5. f_lawless

            I’m curious as to why you are anti-nationalism?
            I think that in the context of current times we live in where the concept of the nation state is being eroded bit by bit in this free market-capitalist system, surely the desire to preserve one’s nation is no bad thing?
            And I wouldn’t describe myself as either a Le Pen supporter or being anti-EU (we should be striving for a better EU!) Although I think it would be too simplistic to say the support she received from the French voters was motivated by racism. But of course that’s the narrative we’re given through the usual media outlets because she’s a potential challenge to this neoliberal status quo.

          6. Nigel

            I associate nationalism with violence and extremism. To not be nationalistic is not to be in favour of completely dissolving the nation state. I like the free movement of goods and people around the EU. I dislike her immigrant policies as stated by her. Not all challenges to the status quo are better than the status quo a good many of them are a good deal worse.

          7. f_lawless

            “I associate nationalism with violence and extremism”.
            Nationalism is very different to “extreme nationalism”. Could it be you make that association because you’ve been conditioned to think that way?

          8. f_lawless

            Well I’m looking at it more in terms of wider picture of what’s playing out globally today.. What other way do we have of trying to rein in the worst effects of the ongoing drift towards a neoliberal globalist dogma – a dogma too ingrained into the institutions of the EU in their current form – other than standing up for our national sovereignties from time to time?

      3. bisted

        …unless Paddy has undergone some kind of epiphany his guiding ‘principle’ has always been the biggest possible name for the lowest possible cost…

  1. Elron

    Paddy might be doing it for the publicity, because he knows there are enough lefty goons out there who will try and show their soundness and kindness on the back of his essay. Then he will drop her and the caring crew can move on to some other target.

    1. Elron

      What evidence do you have that he is? Zero. Just your prejudice and intolerance. Persecuting thought crimes in the name of compassion. That always ends well!

        1. Elron

          Ah the guy who started out as a socialist. And Stalin, Mao and Castro— lefties. They all start with caring, then then insist on caring, then they force their caring on you… in the name of good you see. This isn’t a Ladybird history book. This is real life.

          1. Cian

            sounds like religion:

            “They all start with caring, then then insist on caring, then they force their caring on you… in the name of god you see. “

          2. Nigel

            Fecking hell absolutely none of those guys started out with caring. They were all monster bastard revolutionaries from the get-go and systematically murdered anyone who got in their way, including any and all moderating voices and influences. Jesus Christ. Now he started out with caring. Look how that turned out.

          3. Cian

            Nazi is literally Nationalsozialismus – or National Socialism. The Nazi Party was officially the “National Socialist German Workers’ Party”

          4. Nigel

            Ah, Cian. You can’t offer up that factoid without historical context, especially when it’s so commonly used in bad faith to prove a falsehood.

          5. Cian

            @ReproButina “Buffalo wings, Hamburger, Caesar Salad”
            All based on where they were created, not what they contain.

            Are you suggesting that the Nazi party was created in “Sozialismus Straße, Munich”?

            @Nigel – If the Nazi party wasn’t Socialist – what was it? Capitalist? It was nearer to socialist than capitalist.

          6. Nigel

            Don’t make me go look up the details – the ‘socialist’ part of the name was part of an internal power struggle as well as nakedly branding themselves as propaganda. The Nazis with more socialist tendencies were Hitler’s rivals and got murdered early on. I mean it seems like an odd argument to still be having, when you could just look at the modern Nazi movement’s attitudes to unions, and who they support politically. I mean, if you can bear to. Ugh.

          7. george

            It was totalitarian. Hitler didn’t want the state to own resource for the social good. He wanted to have full control himself to serve his own purposes as he was a totalitarian.

            He really didn’t have a coherent belief system beyond hating other races and wanting absolute control.

            He was no more a socialist than Gadaffi, Saddam Hussein, or Kim Jong-Il.

          8. Nigel

            You’re right george, but fascism was a defined ideology of the far right, but because that ideology involved state control, or at least achieved its ultimate expression through totalitarian state control, the modern right, which proclaims itself to be small-government having subsumed libertarian language and ideas, classes it as a form of socialism, hence the ahistorical revisionism of Nazism as being of the left. And yet Hitler sent his aid to Franco.

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        “Persecuting thought crimes in the name of compassion”?
        Christ. Calm down, dear.

      2. Nigel

        Given that he invited a prominent far right politician to speak at his summit, that’s actual evidence for my conclusion. Your hypothesis on the other hand is convoluted nonsense.

        1. Elron

          Ah Nigel, you have let ideology replace intelligence. Join the infamous list of tyrants who confused the two.

          1. Nigel

            I’m eager to hear how inviting a far-right politician to speak at your summit cannot count as evidence that they might be courting the far right, while saying so somehow makes me a mass murdering tyrant.

  2. MaryLou's ArmaLite

    Paddy may have misjudged this one. Lots of tech workers and companies tend to be very liberal trendy virtue signalling types. This yucky woman will not sit well with them.

    1. Janet, I ate my avatar

      he looks like he has never had to chew his food
      weak jaws it’s our doomed future

  3. Starina

    Who are these commentors who always turn up to cheer on fascists and racists (mostly by denying they’re fascists and racists) but never otherwise?

  4. george

    Not inviting someone is not the same as banning them. She wasn’t there last time because she wasn’t invited not because she was banned.

    People aren’t saying she should be banned they are saying she shouldn’t be invited. Paddy Cosgrave has made a conscious choice to ask her and it is legitimate to have a negative view of that decision.

  5. Jeffrey

    Has Hitler or Nazi been mentioned yet? Let’s see… Ah yes, we have a few winners, congrats guys.

  6. Jésus María Josépha

    So far, she has proved less of a threat to democracy than some of the tech titans Paddy’s associated with.

    If he wants to invite her, then people have an opportunity I presume to challenge her. So there’s advanced consent….

    1. Elron

      Job done. Libtard snowflakes give paddy the publicity he craves and confirm what fascist, censoring whack jobs they are.

      1. ReproButina

        Nobody was censored snowflake. She’s still free to spout her racist claptrap just as the web summit is free to deny her a platform. Hurray for freedom!

      2. Nigel

        What awesome ides you have quick get him a platform and a megaphone so we can debate them while he yells them at us.

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