Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics

Mock indignation is detracting from real racism.

Posted by Jason O on Feb 6, 2009 in Just stuff

Norman Rockwell's Freedom of Speech. Don't care if anyone thinks he's kitschy, I like Rockwell!This story caught my attention today.  Normally,  I don’t really pay much attention to celebrity nonsesne like this, but it came on top of a story about Carol Thatcher being fired from the BBC for (Stupidly) referring to a tennis player as a gollywog.

Here’s the thing. In both instances, mock indignation by self appointed spokespeople for different offended groups have rolled out and demanded apologies and acts of public contrition, and the dreaded “R” word has been waved about like some sort of medieval brand ready to be affixed to the non-contrite.

Do we not have bigger racist issues to deal with? There are real issues of foriegn worker exploitation, sex slavery, racially motivated attacks and the rise of the far right, and the media focuses on whether Miley Cyrus pulling a funny face is racist or not? Let’s apply a simple test: Do really believe that Carol Thatcher or Miley Cyrus are people who have a problem with people of different ethnic backgrounds? The answer is almost certainly no.


The Truth about Drink and The Irish.

Posted by Jason O on Feb 6, 2009 in Irish Politics

Drink: A little escape from dealing with reality. Listening to someone bemoaning our attitude to drink on the radio recently, I was reminded of our ability as a nation to say one thing but mean something else.

Firstly, we don’t want to actually reduce the amount of alcohol consumed in the country. We could do that very simply by taxing it to Scandinavian levels and just making it too expensive for people to drink large amounts of. But neither the publicans nor the public fancy that, so we say that such an option is “unworkable.”

We then say we want to get people to drink more responsibly. How? Rather than drink one’s quota at night, perhaps we could spread it throughout the day? That might be worth a government ad campaign. Instead of that useless po-faced drinkaware.ie ad campaign, we could encourage people to have a sup with their mid-morning biscuit:

“ Have a bourbon with your chocolate Bourbon!”

We won’t do that either. No, let’s target young people, who don’t really vote, and also treat them like morons. This is the generation that invented their own language and are incredibly proficient with technology, yet we think that they don’t know that alcohol is dangerous? Let’s also give the Guards more powers to not use. After all, we gave them Asbos, and just look how many they’ve used so far.  

Having said all that, I don’t blame the government, who have the unenviable task of crafting a response to a problem we all acknowledge, but deep down don’t really want solved. 

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