>> 26 May 2004

Beware Journalistic Bootlicking!

Harry McGee and Mary Dundon in the Irish Examiner paint a flattering, nay hagiographic, portrait of Sinn Fein's candidate in Connacht/Ulster, Pearse Doherty. They variously describe him as 'tall and fresh faced', possessing 'energy and vigour' and rating him overall as 'about as experienced, as mature, as worldy-wise as they come.'

In an era when appearance seems to count for everything and where, contrapuntally, decency and integrity count for very little, it should hardly be surprising that the Examiner's hacks are smitten with what they perceived to be a 21st Century Rudolph Valentino. Doherty is 'tall and fresh faced', eh? So what!!! The urchin who was recently arrested for breaking into my car was also 'tall and fresh faced'. It did not obscure his inner character with its palpable lack of conscience, however.

McGee and Dundon make only a cursory mention of how outsiders may perceive the 'party's policies and its moral equivalence', despite that fact that they live in perhaps the only remaining sovereign western polity (or should that read venal state?) that would even allow such a 'party' to contest nationally important elections at all. They also ludicrously deny Doherty's connections with paramilitarism. How convenient it must have been for them to casually skip over the fact that everyone who works, or is involved, with Sinn Fein is giving a blessing to the continued existence of the Provisional IRA - with its weaponry intact and ready for use. That is just about as much paramilitary baggage as one can hold short of actively engaging in mass terrorism.

Should the voters of Connacht/Ulster elect such a man, they should be viewed with the same contempt by peace-loving democrats as their separatist cohorts in Northern Ireland.


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