The ‘attack’ that was made last week in Finglas on President Michael D Higgins and his limousine has been greeted with hostility on all sides, with the exception of the people who carried out the ‘attack’. (Why, by the way, when it happened last week, did it top the RTÉ News only last night?) Some have characterised it as an attack not just on the President but on the Constitution. Er, um: maybe stretching things a bit, that. Michael D doesn’t look at all like a Constitution.
In the amateur video we saw on the RTÉ News – and how the cops must curse the day smart phones were invented – the President’s car never at any stage looked in danger, much less its occupants. What we saw were gardaí shoving some women, some shouted remarks including “Parasite!” and other expressions of disapproval of the man in the limo.
Why were people so upset? It might be because Michael D has been a long-time Labour party bigwig, and to say that Labour have disappointed the Irish people in the south would be like saying the French people were a little upset when Marie Antoinette told them to eat cake. Or it could be because a number of working-class people saw the visit as rubbing salt in their already raw water-charges wounds.
Myself, I blame the limo. For some unfathomable reason, the President of Ireland (and most other heads of state) are chauffeured around in absurdly roomy and expensive motor cars. It’s as if they lost the power of their arms and legs the moment they were inaugurated. These are times of austerity and as the Head of State Michael D could have set a striking example of sharing the austerity pain by down-sizing to, say, a Toyota Avensis. Most of the people protesting at his visit would be dizzy with joy at the thought of driving a Toyota Avensis, let alone being driven around in one. But back last Thursday, you have this man being driven in luxuriant style, on a massive salary with a massive pension in waiting, and he and his limo swoosh into their lives and then we’re supposed to be upset that he didn’t get an enthusiastic reception from people who literally don’t know how they’re going to stretch this week’s budget to feed their families. Nothing sophisticated in the reaction of the protestors. Just ‘He’s got a massively comfy number, we’re taxed to the bone, and he wants us to clap and cheer?’
God between us and all harm, but if I’m ever attacked, I hope it’s half as injury-free an experience as Michael D’s was.
I was also wondering why RTE have come to this party late.
Perhaps they only belatedly received the instruction to hype it up.
By the way, will any Gardai be investigated for assault arising out of this?
No way is it lawfull to unnecessarily push and man handle people.
I can’t understand why none of the water protesters (afik) have so far been on to the Garda Complaints Board!
Got it right Jude
Go raibh maith agat, Greg
What about a wee Nissan Micra , then Jude.? He’s not a big fella , after all and the wee Micra is very economical….?
Well I wanted to give him a bit of dignity – I was going to say an Auris, which I drive myself, but then I thought ‘He’s just about a bit more important than me’ so I promoted him to an Avensis…
I bet you Martin is thanking his lucky stars that he was unsuccessful in his bid. Operation Motorman was a cakewalk compared to that.
It was the mercy of God he wasn’t hit with a water balloon
Lordy me, Jude et al, but I couldn’t disagree more with you on this. I saw the Youtube footage several days ago and regardless of who the focus of the protest was, the entire episode was anther case study in ‘how to lose friends and alienate people’. This was brought to us courtesy of the looney left (Trotskyists and dissident republicans) who are doing the government’s work for them with their so-called ‘peaceful protests’. There wasn’t much dignity in that protest and (as someone who has been battered by gardai during protests in the past), I thought that they showed commendable restraint in the face of verbal abuse, pushing and shoving. True, mobile phone filming has made them think twice about any heavy-handed response, but it could also be argued that the mobile phone in the hands of these gobshites is also being used to intimidate (amongst others) ordinary workers doing their job installing meters. As for Michael D., I didn’t vote for him, but I can tell you that he is very highly respected in the conduct of his independent role as President of the Irish Nation at home and abroad. Had Mary Robinson or Mary McAleese received such treatment during their visits to Belfast, I don’t think you’d have been so dismissive of the gross insult to a person whose office knows no border. I agree 100% with Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams (and with everyone else who has a brain between their ears) that this protest was wrong and that its conduct was atrocious.
Thanks, Brian, for your detailed response. I always like to see people argue a case against me logically. I’m rushing so I’ll just refer you to today’s blog, the essence of which is: Whence this?
Floating to the bottom
Perhaps this is a distraction from:
The Department of Social Protection warned it did not have adequate resources to administer the €100 water conservation grant established by the current administration.
Earlier yesterday, members of the Labour Party, dubbed within Leinster House circles as the “Aer Lingus 7” met over the potential sale. The group, privately believe such a sale will decimate what support remains for Labour in Dublin.
Waiting times to see a specialist have shown little improvement with 55,733 patients on lists at present.
As I said before Michael D is’nt the worst of them.His record includes abolishing section 31, starting TG4 , appointing Michael Farrell to his council of state and treating SF with respect in the Dail.
Perhaps Michael D might do worse to solve his ongoing transportation problem than take a leitmotif from the only other Michael in the Free Southern Stateen who clocks up (just about) more airmiles than himself.
That would be Michael O’ Leary. of Rhinestoneair.. When the high flyer with the low threshold level for fools who do not consume his fuel (translation: a BX, total) was faced with a similar problem some years ago he solved it in jig time.
A spot of lateral thinking was all that was required to get him from B to X. Which simply involved a finger-click that transformed the gabby one’s Merc into a cab. This enabled him to fly like a Ryan hare unrestricted in the inside lane shared only by squad cars and god cars (including ambulances and hearses). Even as the tortoises in the main lanes tortuously crawl along.
It would not require Michael D to ditch his limo, just the affixing of a tasteful plastic sign on the roof. Some Barnaby Rudgers affect to find his limo unbecoming and carp accordingly; Perkie’s inner insider is not one of them.
For he knows that public display is commensurate with private deprivation. Think, furcoat and no breakfast. Ergo: a limo outdoors equals lino indoors. The things he does be doing for us. Praise where paraphrase is due.
Finger clicking time: hey presto ! Perkie’s instant poetic license.
What might to Michael O be owed by Michael D
Let leery Michael O from Gigginstown
Erase from Face 1 the Higgins frown
Let our hero emulate
R De Nero’s taxi plate
Jude why an Avensis? Even a smart car would be roomy and sure think of the ease of parking. Jokes over. I think the President should lead the way and Use either a smart car or an electric one. Even one that went on water might do but running costs could be extortionate. Jokes definitely over now!
Whence this? you ask Jude. Whence what? is my reply. If you are referring to the anger and frustration of a large part of the southern electorate, I suppose we would agree on the answer; people are weary of austerity and (hopefully) of the political approach that relies on ‘a rising tide lifting all boats’ (i.e. that when the rich get even richer the benefits will/may trickle down to those most in need). To assuage that anger, people have a choice; either stick with the boom and bust formula of the past or change the political order. Political mobilisation (including through peaceful protest) is essential to that process of change, particularly when the mainstream media is wedded to the status quo.
If, however, by ‘this’ you main the aggressive behaviour displayed during the recent protest against President Higgins (and in other actions, including the blocking of bridges over the Liffey during the last major protest in Dublin), I refer again to my point that the looney left is at work along with an assortment of dissident republican groups. They are orchestrating/whipping up aggressive behaviour. Why, you ask? To present themselves as the ‘radical edge’ of the protest movement I suppose. It has certainly nothing to do with building mass mobilisation because such actions inevitably drive potential peaceful protesters away.
Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised by any of this: this is the contribution of the ultra-left to political movements globally … infiltration, fragmentation and defeat for the radical programme they purport to support. Ádh mór.
Go raibh maith agat aris, Brian, for your detailed thoughts. I agree with much of what you say, and yes, the ‘ultra-left’ are no doubt doing what they can with these protests. But isn’t ‘ultra-left’ as legitimate a position as ‘ultra-right’ or middle for that matter? More so, maybe, since it certainly wasn’t ultra-left that screwed the south’s economy, put tens of thousands of young onto emigrant planes, or taxed the life out of people who are scrabbling for a living. I’ve no evidence that the protestors are being ‘manipulated’ anyway. I think it’s a good idea this gets to the top of the news, rather than some rubbish about some celeb or some further rubbish about what a terrible threat SF are to the south’s body politic.
While we can agree that the ‘Ultra-left’ is as entitled to adopt whatever political position it chooses (as are dissident republicans), it is another matter entirely to regard as legitimate any tactics that they may choose to adopt, especially where those tactics fly in the face of common sense and are likely to retard rather than advance a particular cause. While we might defend the right of the elitist and the zealot to have their spake, we should never allow them to dictate (or subvert) the process of radical change that is required. True, they didn’t cause the economic and social woes of our people, but they sure as hell won’t solve them either!
If Adams gets elected as President of Ireland I am sure Alex Maskey could lend him his old DLA car I am sure that would keep him grounded…