Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Did you get The Message?


IT IS interesting being back in Ireland and seeing how the media works. Like all old establishment media, the mainstream media get very upset if you are not on board with The Message. What is The Message? I will try to outline some of it. It can be fluid, move around a bit, but there are some obvious points.

If you are not onboard with The Message then you will get The Treatment. The Treatment, you say, what’s that? That sounds unpleasant. The Treatment is Twitter abuse, name-calling and general public shaming. Nothing big, mind you. Nothing to be feared if you don’t care about what people think about you, which I don’t.

The Message is put out by Hollywood, mainstream media outlets in the UK and US, such as the BBC, CNN and MSNBC, the Irish Times and the Guardian. You know, the usual suspects.

The Message as per Irish media has an Irish tinge, however. It goes like this.

1.     The Catholic Church is the ultimate evil.

Evil beyond all other evils, even more evil than Israel which is also very evil but not quite as evil as the Catholic Church in Ireland. Therefore anything at all, any story, that can be used to paint the church as evil must be covered in the most hysterical fashion possible. Twisting of facts most welcome and usually obligatory.

2.     Israel is evil, obviously.

3.     Socially conservative people are awful. Liberal people are lovely.

4.     Immigration is the best thing that can happen to a country. No negative consequences have occurred at all, whatsoever and anyone who questions this is racist and fascist and evil. No debate.

5.     Brexit. So bad, so mad that it’s not even debatable.

6.     Diversity is our strength, no matter what.

7.     Ireland is very modern, very progressive, and a wonderful place to live.

8.     Ireland, even though it is very modern, very progressive and a wonderful place to live, could at any moment be destroyed by members of the ‘far right’ who have so much power that this modern progressive Ireland could somehow be taken over by actual fascists in the blink of an eye.

9.     Palestine must be free from the river to the sea. Please don’t ask me any questions about what we will do with all the Jews who live in between.

10.  The Late Late Toy Show is the best Irish export since the Kennedy family. You must watch the Toy Show in your PJs and you must love it. Extra points for putting your Christmas tree up by then.

That just about covers it. So, if something happens, like say a five-year-old girl gets stabbed by a man who arrived in Ireland 20 years ago, was issued a deportation order, but then successfully appealed it and then became a naturalised Irish citizen (which seems like a 180-degree turn, from deportation to citizenship: how did that happen?) then don’t mention the great unmentionable.

Do not mention the fact that this person was foreign-born. This might suggest that diversity is not always our strength and that immigration is not always the best thing that can happen to a country. This goes against points 4 and 6 of The Message. Do not mention it!

As the Irish Independent reported, ‘The man is originally from Algeria and became a naturalised Irish citizen in 2014. He has been living in homeless accommodation in Dublin’s north inner city.’

This is why you have the rather ludicrous spectacle of a journalist getting very angry indeed that fellow journalist John McGuirk dared to say the child stabber came from foreign lands

‘How does his nationality have a bearing on this incident?’ journalist asks. Maybe the fact that he was supposed to be deported, then not only was not deported but was made an Irish citizen. And if that didn’t happen, and he had been deported, a five-year-old girl would not be lying in hospital right now in a critical condition? Seems relevant to me!

We are also not allowed to labour the point that the brutal murder of schoolteacher Ashling Murphy in broad daylight was carried out by non-national Jozef Puska. Also don’t highlight the brutal murder of two men Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee was carried out by serial killer Yousef Palani, who was of Iraqi descent. The attacks were motivated by hostility and prejudice towards homosexual men and Palani had used a dating app to meet gay men who lived alone with the intention of killing them.

But Laura, are you saying all foreign-born peeps are dangerous, potential killers? No, of course not. Most of them are indeed just like us – the good and the not so good, and a huge number do keep the health and care systems going.

What I take exception to is, as always, the media treatment of these stories. The idea that they are the gatekeepers of what we may and may not discuss, of facts that we may and may not talk about. It’s the censorship or near censorship that I get annoyed about.

Many will say, we have plenty of our own homegrown criminals, Laura, plenty of Irish killers. And that is absolutely true. Therefore, I would like a very good reason why the governing elite feel the need to import potentially many more and in fact grant citizenship to someone who for some reason (we can only assume a good reason) was once subject to a deportation order. I thought asking questions about government policy was what the media were supposed to do. Instead they ask questions of the people asking inconvenient questions.

So, I am not on board with The Message. Perhaps I am a contrary person by nature. I got the memo, read it and then put it in the bin.

And finally, I really, really hate the Toy Show. It is rubbish. It is too long. It is on too late. And putting up your Christmas tree in November should result in your being subject to a deportation order – whether you are an Irish citizen or not.

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