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Concerning misuse of words by politicians

January 25th, 2021 11:40 AM

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Sinn Féin commented that it was ‘weird’ that Micheál  Martin should claim the banks had not been bailed out

ONE evening, when such things as public houses actually existed, we asked a former Fine Gael mini-minister if he regretted describing a member of the opposition as ‘an idiot.’

‘No!’ he curtly replied. ‘Idiot’ is an acceptable parliamentary term that describes a person who is moronic, imbecilic or a cretin, especially if a member of Fianna Fáil.

‘However, if I were to refer to a Dáil deputy as a brat, a buffoon, a chancer, a communist, a corner boy, a coward, a fascist, a gurrier, a guttersnipe, a scumbag or a rat, I would be in trouble. Such words are considered “disorderly,” according to the rules of Dáil Éireann, as they call into question a deputy’s personal honour.’

When asked about use of the word ‘bol..x,’ he admitted that a ruling had yet to be made on that particular word although it was famously used by a Minister for Transport to accuse a former political ally of delaying the passage of a Road Traffic Bill through the Dáil. Later, the incident was said to have happened in the canteen, not the Dáil itself.

The misuse of words by politicians also is a matter of concern for US politicos. According to a recent poll, Americans were asked what first came into their minds when they thought of Donald Trump. The response was ‘idiot’ followed by “’ncompetent’ and ‘liar.’

When suggested to a West Cork politico that Irish politicos did not linguistically match their Yankee counterparts, he advised us that the American overuse of the word ‘lockdown’ may well be due to the fact that American politicians tend to suffer a form of motor dysfunction when it comes to the spelling lark. Hence their representation of the word ‘quarantine’ as ‘kwarinteen’!

Billy’s concerns

Interesting to see that our auld butty, Billy Kelleher, once a prominent Fianna Fáil TD representing Cork Northside, has been making his mark as an MEP in Brussels.  Recently he sharply criticised the Blueshirts for their support of Victor Orban, leader of Hungary’s crypto-fascist  FIDESZ party which, along with Fine Gael, is a member of the EU’s grand alliance, the EPP (European People’s Party).

Billy, quite rightly, wants FIDESZ thrown out of the EU political group, the EPP, claiming that the Hungarians are a collection of bigots and ultra-nationalists. ‘Fine Gael knows this. Yet the Irish party has done nothing and it’s time FIDESZ was expelled for their anti-liberal and anti-democratic influence,’ he said.

‘I would never make the leap and accuse Fine Gael of believing in the things FIDESZ do, considering that their actions  fly in the face of our common EU rules and values,’ he told journalists.

‘Fine Gael must pick a side in the Euro Parliament and go for the rule of law, LGBT rights, judicial independence and media freedom or else continue rubbing shoulders with FIDESZ. 

‘How can the rest of the EU negotiate with the European People’s Party in good faith when we know lurking in the background is the FIDESZ with their anti-liberal, anti-democratic leader, Victor Orban, exerting influence?’

The more things change

Éire may well be in a state of chassis, but our councillors are showing the way forward with their readiness to embrace change in these challenging times – such as embracing with open arms ‘virtual’ Council meetings in their homes.

Nevertheless, mean-spirited individuals have been whispering that some councillors are claiming exes for mocky-ya mileage when, in fact, they’ve been sitting at the kitchen table, trying to figure out what a ‘shaggin’ virtual meeting thing is all about.

Hungry Brits!

You won’t see much reporting of this particular food crisis, but UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, which aids a country’s efforts to improve the health, nutrition and general welfare of children, has been asked for the first time ever to feed British children hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Although Britain is one of the richest countries in the world, the UN agency was called in after charities warned that a parallel was emerging between the Second World War and the effect of Covid-19 on children.

Prompting UNICEF’s unusual move is the fact that 2.4 million children in Britain are living in ‘food insecure households.’ With jobs disappearing, families in a state of penury, and almost a million extra children having registered for free school meals last October, UNICEF, famous for its trojan work in Africa, stepped-in.

No Queen here!

Tom Cooper of the Irish National Congress (the enduring conscience of Irish nationalism) has initiated a national campaign to remove Royal references, such as Queen Victoria, from street names.

For Mr Cooper (and, indeed, most Irish people) the Queen’s name conjures up images of famine, evictions, landlordism, workhouses, and coffin ships. ‘Ireland’s avoidable famine deaths were inflicted almost exclusively on the Catholic peasantry in what can almost be described as an act of genocide,’ he said.

He told this newspaper: ‘What worries us is that decades of revisionism and propaganda, with the specific purpose of incrementally deconstructing the narrative of the Irish State, is bearing fruit.’

But, if Mr Cooper wants to give Old Vic the boot, he’ll have his hands full. Already, business interests and trendies in Cork want the MacCurtain Street area to be re-named and officially called the Victoria Quarter!

Mickey misspoke

Lost in the Christmas rush was a comment by Our Mickey that was startling for its frankness. He said that ‘the banks were not bailed out, the State took equity.’

Perhaps Mickey was for a moment thinking of the lovely Christmas pressie he had in mind for Vlad and forgot that six Irish-owned financial institutions were the recipients of €64 billion of our money.  They included Anglo Irish Bank, Irish Nationwide, EBS, Permanent TSB, AIB and Bank of Ireland.  Indeed the State still has shares in AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB.

The following day Mickey told ‘De Echo’ that he ‘misspoke.’ What he meant to say was that ‘the shareholders weren’t bailed out, but obviously the banks were. There was a huge rescue package for the banks.’

‘Rescue package!’  Surely he meant monstrous ‘Bailout’?

In response Sinn Féin commented that it was ‘weird’ that Martin should claim the banks had not been bailed out. ‘It is deeply insulting to all those families and communities that endured savage austerity as a result of the bail-out. Fianna Fáil are simply out of touch,’ the party said. 

Ah well, it was Christmas!

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