Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Alan Shatter, Tom Cooney, morality, and a correction.

The "next article" that I announced has in fact been published by the Irish Left Review. Entitled Exploiting Wallenberg, it analyses in some detail and at some length the assumptions and implications, to say nothing of the falsehoods and insinuations, that clutter up Minister Alan Shatter's speech commemorating Raoul Wallenberg.

Nonetheless, Shatter's speech was so long (some 3500 words) that there remains a great deal more to analyse. In particular, his reflections on culture and the Holocaust need to be discussed; it struck me, however, that such a comparatively recondite discussion would have been out of place in the above-mentioned article, so I'll be publishing something on the subject here over the next few days.

Meanwhile Minister Shatter, that great apostle of liberal values, has been in the news again, this time reacting heatedly to the publication in the Republic of Ireland of topless photographs of Kate Middleton, who is apparently a member of the British Royal Family (yawn...). Mr Shatter wishes to limit the liberty of the Irish media to publish such things.

Given the prior involvement of Mr Shatter's crony Tom Cooney (see my blog on the latter below) in the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement, there is something to be written on the question of how such worthy involvements were or are compatible with his present positions which could be defined as selective opposition to - and occasional support for - Apartheid and the dismantling of civil liberties. Another member of the present Irish government, Education Minister Ruairi Quinn, also merits study. A civil libertarian who has advocated the introduction of internment without trial for certain alleged criminals, Quinn was a former Chairman of the Holocaust Education Trust, an organisation that seeks to "combat anti-Semitism and all forms of racism and intolerance", except when these are directed against Palestinians.(Incidentally, I have written somewhere that Shatter was a former Chairman of the ICCL - on this score I was misinformed: he was never either Chairman or Director of that organisation.)

Much to be discussed, then, but it must wait for another day. Meanwhile, my colleague Conor McCarthy has published an excellent blog on Israel, Iran and the Bomb in which he discusses Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's claim that "those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran, don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel..." Once again that helpless adjective "moral" is abused to provide a pretext for outright criminality.

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