The new Minister for Children was accused of endangering the rights of children because he was photographed at a Dublin Pride march beside gay rights activist Peter Tatchell.
The absurd guilt-by-association smear, now so popular with online mobs, was to imply that O’Gorman, therefore, endorsed a letter that Tatchell wrote in the Guardian more than twenty years ago.
This time the usual online abuse escalated into a protest outside Leinster House calling for the new Minister’s resignation.
Organisers the Irish Freedom Party outrageously described the protest as a ‘Hands off our Kids’ rally while calling for O’Gorman to be sacked.
The Irish Freedom Party is opposed to abortion and secular education, and it wants Ireland to leave the European Union. It says that Ireland cannot house the world and opposes what it calls mass immigration.
While promoting Saturday’s protest, party president Hermann Kelly told Castlebar Radio that two men may have some genital activity but they can not have what is properly termed sex.
Speaking at the protest, Kelly called the Irish media prostitutes, called Irish politicians morons, bastards, perverts, and scum of the earth who hate our country, and shouted that various people who he disagreed with could go fuck themselves.
Thankfully, most Irish people reject this demagoguery and these narrow ideas of Irishness. In the last European election, Kelly got 0.7% of the vote and party chairperson Delores Cahill got 1.5%. At the recent Dáil election, Kelly got 0.3%.
Saturday’s protest led to a peaceful counter-protest that played Billy Bragg’s version of Woody Guthrie’s song “All You Fascists,” while holding a large banner with lyrics from the song.
Justin Barrett who was speaking from the stage shouted into the microphone: “I see that there are people actually here on behalf of the paedophiles,” as members of the main protest attacked the counter-protesters.
There is no place in Irish democracy for this incitement or this violence. These thugs are the mirror image of the Antifa thugs who assaulted people on the streets of Dublin a few years ago.
Whatever our political beliefs, we should challenge ideas and not defame or assault people. We must stand together against the recent trend towards authoritarian silencing and personal smears.
|Michael Nugent is Chair of Atheist Ireland|
Homophobes have always tried to link gay rights with advocacy of paedophilia.ReplyDelete
Mr Kelly complains of attempts to hoist an 'extreme LGBTQ+ agenda' on children. Did generations of Irish children not have the ideology of patrriachy forced on them with well documented paedophiliac consequences?
Great piece Michael - nailed it.ReplyDelete
The guilt by association used against O'Gorman has a powerful rebound effect. It is left looking wholly at odds with its own message when the same principle is applied to Hermann Kelly and Justin Barrett. The latter in particular has long association with neo Nazi groups and events and the former has associated with Jim Dowson, the Scottish far right activist. Should either man be judged on the company they have been seen in? If so, the verdict would be damning.
I agree with Kelly on one point - "there's one human race and it is a continuum from whitest white to blackest black."
The corollary of that seems to be to be towards globalism, where it has taken me. Yet, paradoxically, it has led him to right wing nationalism.
Of course, that assumes he actually believes what he said and it wasn't a discursive device to avoid accusations of racism.
"Homophobes have always tried to link gay rights with advocacy of paedophilia"ReplyDelete
Eh that's because paedos hide under that umbrella. It isn't rocket science. Just like many politicians hide behind good causes whilst facilitating child rape. P.s I don't know anyone who is afraid of gay people hence your 'homophobe' term is simply more virtue signalling p.c language.
"Just because you do not know anyone who is afraid of gay people does not mean that homophobiua does not exist no more than claiming not to know anyone with prejudces towards blacks, Jeqs and Mosloems does not prove the absence of hostility towards thsoe groups.Delete
Saying there's one human race is another way of saying there's one human nature. The corollary of that is surely nationalistic, when has it ever been anything else?
there is one human nature in general terms. There are endless human personalities and traits.Delete
One human nature allows us to advocate a one universal human rights model without saying "they" should be excluded from the cover of human rights because they have a different human nature from "us." There hasn't always been nations and I don't presume there always will be nations. I don't see how the corollary of a universal human rights could be nationalism. The opposite in my view.
Does that not presuppose that it's in human nature to advocate for universal human rights?ReplyDelete
I don't believe it does. People advocate in accordance with their opinion rather than their nature. The human nature of people allows us to make the case for universal human rights. It does not mean that it is in our nature to do so. Many don't.Delete
Collectively as a people can our intellect outweigh our nature? I.e in times of stress and fear can rationale dominate the brain's r complex. Are the educated 21st century westerners more moralistic than our ancestors or just safer? It's easier to be philosophical when not in danger.ReplyDelete
That's not to argue against universal human rights but more ask if it's feasible.
our behaviour is shaped by more than our reason. But our capacity to reason is what distinguishes us. Better to follow reason than irrationality or faith. The enlightenment was based on a n assumption that people could reason but would not necessarily do so. Science was meant to give us a way to overcome the limitations of subjective experience.Delete
Are universal human rights feasible? Its a goal to work towards while being mindful that perfection is the enemy of the good.
I struggle with the logistics of a global framework. When the Chinese oppress the uighur Muslims, the Israelis commit a war crime or if Trump's federals shot someone in Portland tonight, what can we actually do about it?ReplyDelete
Are national human rights not easier to obtain? In supporting Globalist networks are we giving more power unintentionally to those who abuse human rights?
How can you can you edge towards a noble goal without the help of an ignoble Empire?
Much as those who believed in the duchy struggled with the concept of a national framework. What are national human rights other than rights for certain individuals within a nation? And are those rights to be denied to others not of the nation? How would that survive allegations of racism? Global problems in my view require a global government.Delete
It's a complex question. If only citizens of a country were afforded human rights, then they would be national rights instead of human which inevitably would be unjust. Although it would be easier to implement.ReplyDelete
If you were a member of a country or bloc then you are protected as such. Oftentimes they can't even get that right so how could we be successful globally? Even though the U.N has been largely useless on this matter do we expand their power?
For universal human rights to be a thing too many powerful institutions would have to relinquish power. It's a gargantuan task beyond the will of humanity.
to follow on from that logic that national human rights would be easier to implement than international, then even ore local than national would be easier again to implement.Delete
Nations no more protect human rights than wider governmental institutions such as the EU. The welcome verdicts of the European Court against governments who have abused rights indicates that.
At the same time we have a sense of the many problems with the EU.
National governments often too don't get it right. Every type of problem we can conceive of at global level, we can find a version writ small at national level.
Global government is just a preference I have over national governments. But it would take a serious cultural shift.
Intellectually your premise is fine. It's the will I don't see. How long have international bodies been in agreement climate change is the number one concern? What's happened? An autistic girl spoke at the U.N. Is that the highlight?ReplyDelete
As selfish as it is, I believe we should concentrate on achieving human rights for who we can, asylum seekers who land in these shores, for example, highlighting Putin's treatment of homosexuals is admirable but ultimately useless.
I don't see the will either. I think the possibility is that we will grow into it. The trend is towards a global government. The nationalism that rise up to buck the trend is more of the right than the left. Right wing nationalism poses a serious threat to human society.Delete
We should concentrate on achieving human rights for those we can. We can hardly achieve them for those we can't. But we should not stand in the way of preventing those who can do something from doing so or highlighting abuses whether inflicted by Putin or whoever.
I think we've allowed the right to hijack Nationalism. I don't see why you can't have a love for Ireland, the six if you're a Unionist, Scotland, Wales wherever and not have simple empathy and compassion for your fellow man. We've allowed too many people to use Nationalism as a front for racism.ReplyDelete
While agitation has it's uses, you end up feeling despondent over things you have no real input. I hope we do grow, I'm just not optimistic
You can love it with you want. Of more interest for me is whether nationalism should be any more obligatory than religion; what freedom there is for the dissenter from nationalism - one index of freedom is the extent to which it is given to those who oppose.Delete
Obligation nationalism has as much purchase on me as obligatory Catholicism.
The same limits on agitation is applicable everywhere including to nationalism.
I never feel any strong sense of nationalism. When I pop my clogs I want my ashes scattered in four different rivers in three different countries!
No it shouldn't be obligatory. You should be free to hate or be ashamed of your country without people thinking less of you. Patriotism has obvious downfalls blind allegiance etc but I don't think we are at a position were we can replace it with globalism.ReplyDelete
With current human mindset I believe global government would lead to a more tyrannical world.
While agitation is limited, I believe localised agitation carries more weight.
Globalism is a preference for me, not something I would go out and fight for. There is always the danger that it will lead to a more tyrannical world but the world as it is might have no option - globalism or barbarism to misquote Marx. And even then there is no guarantee that it will not be global barbarism.Delete
to favour internationalism and globalism above nationalism does not require one to be ashamed or to hate one's country. Your assumption that in rejecting nationalism we hate or feel ashamed is, or so it seems to me at least, an indication of the binary quality of your thinking on this.
As such there's an inherent limitation to such black or white positioning, but fair play to you for pitching your case.
I never said it was black and white positioning. Anthony asked if Nationalism should be obligatory and I said no, cited extreme cases of being free to hate or feel ashamed of your country. The assumption you suppose was never made.
Apologies for the misunderstanding David.Delete
Thanks for the clarification.
It's no problem. You're welcome.