Largely conservative. Somewhat liberal. Economic centrist.
A trigger happy facilitator of free speech in unsafe spaces. Orwell Prize winning writer. Published author.
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Peaceful Terrorism, Sound-Proofing Dana and other Presidential Considerations
Over the course of the Presidential campaign I've listened to Martin McGuinness trying to "contextualise" the IRA murders of innocent civilians during the troubles. In last night's TV debate, he said he had been working for peace in Ireland for over thirty years. Strange how the IRA's cessation of violence didn't occur until 1997 despite peace breaking out in 1981. It's an ironic kind of a peace activist that is part of a movement that planted a bomb in Canary Wharf in 1996 which killed two innocent newsagents to name just one incident during this tranquil time. Perhaps it was the Dalai Lama that planted a bomb the same year in central Manchester that injured over two hundred civilians out shopping, or was it the IRA? I can never be sure. Or can you picture Mahatma Ghandi having taken a woman and her children hostage whilst their father and husband was forced to drive a bomb in to a British Army barracks, where along with several British soldiers he was blown to pieces, as in the case of Patsy Gillespie, to name just one of many 'proxy bombs' that were used by Sinn Fein's peace wing in the nineties.
Personally, I have no problem with Martin McGuinness running for the Presidency and I acknowledge and respect the contribution that he has made towards leading a group of undemocratic violent extremists toward embracing parliamentary democracy, but his peacemaking began in 1997, when the movement with which he was a part of ceased killing their opponents and innocent civilians. Despite the objections of Sinn Fein and its supporters, it is the job of the media and of writers and bloggers such as myself, to cut through the Orwellian doublespeak in which almost all politicians seem to wallow. Martin McGuinness's insistence that he was a peace activist during the height of the IRA's campaign of slaughter is a gross distortion of both truth and language.
Despite wishing to distance himself from links with Fianna Fail, Sean Gallagher appears to be suffering a similiar form of financial amnesia that many of its senior members did during the last government. We could have been listening to Bertie or Ray Burke all over again when he claimed to have had no "recollection" of receiving a cheque and what he would have done with it "if" he had received it, despite having earlier denied ever receiving it. I'm coming to the conclusion that everyone in Fianna Fail smokes copious amounts of marijuana such is the level of memory loss.
On the final TV debate, Dana seemed to have been surgically removed from the copy of the constitution that seemed to form a part of her personality for the first few weeks of the campaign. In those early weeks, I came to irrationally detest the constitution solely through its association with Dana. I even had a few mates around to my gaff and we had a bonfire consisting of copies of the constitution whilst we drew rude pictures on the covers of Dana albums before hurling them in to the blaze. She has stated that the Presidency must be used to alleviate the suffering of the people. She could make an immediate contribution to this end without even being elected, by just ceasing to appear on TV and refraining from speaking in public, or at home, or even in a sound proofed isolation tank.
I don't have much to say about Gay Mitchell, but he has taken the time and money to explain that he comprehends the concept of time in his election posters as he "understands our past and believes in our future." The least I would expect from a President is that they would be able to grapple with the workings of a wrist watch. Whilst he has had some good ideas with regards to Northern Ireland, I find it hard to take seriously any politician whose mere presence and most utterings can induce me in to a state of narcolepcy within thirty seconds; he exudes the vivacity of a pile of bricks. He is also the spitting image of Sam the Eagle and surely we have had enough muppets running the show over the last two decades. His open contempt on the final TV debate for questions put to him by the electorate, whom I naively presumed he wants to vote for him, was an act of public political suicide. I doubt he could have done worse damage to his campaign than if instead of kissing a baby whilst out canvassing he had picked it up, called it ugly and then dropped it in a puddle.
Whilst Mary Davis didn't impress me politically, I felt sorry for her in the way some sections of the media revealed their sexist credentials by focusing strongly on her appearance, whilst not holding her male counterparts up to similar scrutiny.
Initially in this campaign, I would have voted for David Norris as I greatly admire the campaigning he has done for gay and minority rights in Ireland. However, his handling of the allegations levelled against him raised doubts as to his suitability, not to mention his ever increasingly nauseating sychophancy towards all and sundry when in front of a TV camera or microphone.
That leaves Michael D. Higgins the only candidate whom I believe has the personal integrity, intelligence and gravitas to be our President and whom I would urge all my fellow citizens to get out and vote for this Thursday.