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12 March 2009 Edition

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Ryan’s arrogance

EVENTS in the North have seen a return to some dark days we thought we had left behind. Unreconstructed, macho attitudes coupled with a refusal to try and understand the roots of the conflict while advocating simplistic and naive solutions no matter how daft they might sound.
Yes, Kevin Myers is writing about the North again.
“Intern them,” he demands in a typically restrained piece in Tuesday’s Independent.
“The lot, the heathen mujahadeen of Real and Continuity. Intern the apparatus of the Irish Taliban before they do any more murder, and before they can wreck the creaking non-government that is the Northern Executive.”
Because introducing internment would save the Executive. We’re in a place where ‘out of touch with reality’ doesn’t begin to cover it.
We get some of his greatest hits. “Murderous lunacy”, “medieval barbarism”, “homicidal criminality” and, of course, responsibility rests with the “green-pinkish” media. You can imagine the glee nestled deep down in a dark part of Myers’ psyche, possibly unknown even to himself, at the chance to slip on his worn old jackboots and advocate exactly what these micro-groups are hoping for.

BRIAN FEENEY in Monday’s Irish News had something more thoughtful to contribute.
“It took British politicians a long time over here to realise that it was disastrous if their policy was driven by the politics of the last atrocity, that reaching for draconian military responses was exactly what not to do,” he points out (Kevin, take notes).
“The only hope they [‘dissident republicans’] can entertain is that the British do something stupid, play into their hands with some over-reaction. Given the experience of the past 40 years and the British open acceptance that decisions like internment and the prisons policy were mistakes, such a hope is far-fetched.”
David McKittrick in the London Independent challenged those commentators like Andrew Lynch in the Herald or the opinion writers for the Mail and Telegraph who attacked Sinn Féin’s reaction to Saturday’s gun attack.
“The remarkable fact is that the Peace Process has reached the stage where Sinn Féin has formally signed up to support the policing and justice systems in Northern Ireland. Policing has undergone fundamental reform in recent years,” he suggests.
He went on to acknowledge that, for republicans, the British Army “remains an ‘army of occupation’ whose legitimacy they do not accept; much has changed in Northern Ireland, but this has not. It is not just a matter of ideology, but also of violent experience: the Army killed 105 members of the IRA during the Troubles, while the IRA killed 447 regular soldiers.”

MOVING ON, you’ve heard of the expression ‘Rabbit caught in the headlights’?
The shambles of an RTÉ TV Prime Time interview last week with Fianna Fáil Junior Minister Máire Hoctor defending the scrapping of the National Carers’ Strategy is an example of what happens when the rabbit gets run over.
Make some popcorn, open a beer, log on to and put Máire Hoctor into the search engine. Hilarity ensues. And if you find you’re laughing too hard, remember how much she earns.

STILL on the internet, congratulations to the Cedar Lounge Revolution (http://cedarlounge. on winning the 2009 Best Irish Political Blog.
In a small country like Ireland, blogging and online commentary is never going to be as important as it is in the US, or even Ireland. But sites like Cedar Lounge, Notes on the Front, and Slugger O’Toole provide well-thought-out and often insightful political commentary.
It’s a far cry from the anarcho-Trots on Indymedia and the acne-scarred student fascists who inhabit and worth a look.

FINALLY, a tribute to RTÉ’s Gerry Ryan. No, he’s not dead. After weeks of refusing to take a cut in his bloated €558,000 salary for saying the word ‘poo’ on air he finally conceded the point on Tuesday morning. But this is Gerry Ryan. He couldn’t do it with a simple announcement or press release. He had to bore his audience with a meandering, self-indulgent justification for delaying the decision.
“I have, I suppose, spent quite a long time trying to come to terms with this issue and indeed I have spent a lot of time soul-searching and thinking about this...
“I believe I can say that this is a meaningful response to this issue, that what you expect of me, what you the audience expect, is that I should take the pay cut.”
On behalf of all the unemployed people listening to it, what a load of arrogant poo.

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