Photo Via: Right2Change
Irish Media and Politics Spinning a Web of Lies
With less than a week to go in the Irish elections, the Irish mainstream media, although not impartial, are predicting a hung parliament. No one will get a required majority to govern. Watching from abroad and comparing Irish Media with social media, it’s clear that under-reporting, and in many cases misreporting, is prevalent in Ireland’s mainstream media. I am, at this point in time, not inclined to believe what the newspapers and television stations in Ireland are saying. I don’t believe the polls as I think they are a tool to convince us to vote ‘the right way.’ While they have in the past posted popularity for the governing parties, one only has to engage with any of the thousands of people online to see that dissatisfaction with Irish politics is high. One only has to look at the footage of the many water protests to see that people’s anger is palpable and that the polls are telling a completely different story to what would appear to be the reality on the ground.
It would seem that since the Right2Water protests began a year and a half ago, that the Irish media has made it its business to hold up the government parties and do everything in its power to dismiss and blacken those who have been advocating change in Irish Politics. Each water protest has been highlighted for possible dangerous elements. Many of those arrested on Public Order offenses during smaller protests have been portrayed in a negative light. One of the TD’s arrested was treated in such bad fashion by the national broadcaster that they received public complaints.
The People Have Had ENOUGH
It’s not just Irish Politics. Elections in other European states, most notably Greece, resulted in a huge swing to the left. Even in the UK the Labour party have seen a rebirth under Jeremy Corbyn and there are signs worldwide that ‘the people’ have had enough. It would seem, the rise of the Left in Britain has forced Cameron and Europe to make special concessions to attempt to shift the focus squarely back on the conservatives. Nonetheless, the left in all cases has been ridiculed by the establishment media.
Politicians are Out of Touch
Unfortunately in Ireland, the Irish Labour Party knows no such rebirth as the English one. The fact that its Stalwarts have admitted to Lying at election time (because that is what you do during elections) is a sign of how out of touch the current crop of politicians really are with the will of the people. At least that is what I like to think. I like to think that, because to think otherwise is just too awful. To think otherwise would mean that, in fact, the politicians are not out of touch. It would mean that their stance, and their policies and their ignorance, is willful, sponsored, and intentional. I can believe that of a party that had its roots in fascism, which is a well-known fact about Fine Gael (the major party in the outgoing government). However, to see the Tainsite (the second minister – Joan Burton) leader of the Irish Labour Party, founded by Socialist James Connolly, celebrating the opening of food banks on her watch is something that sticks in the throat. That she would be willfully lying about the recovery, which has no roots in any government actions, but is down purely to the markets, is in this day and age disappointing (to say the least). However, we Irish citizens shouldn’t be shocked. This happened in the 80’s when the Labour leader was Dick Spring and they sold out their left policies to take a share in a power. It would seem to be their way of doing things.
The People’s Conundrum…
We live in a time where it’s difficult to come up with theories that are outside of what the mainstream media is reporting. In doing so, one is called a conspiracy theorist. When the public are presented with the facts, they don’t often want to believe what they see. Somehow, across the world we still want to believe that our leaders are in it for us, and that our welfare is their concern. Of course it’s hard to believe that Hilary Clinton is a woman of the people when she is taking half a million dollars in speaking fees from Bankers who kicked off the world crisis that in turn kicked off the swing to the left across the world. Despite the fact that Bernie Saunders would be seen by European standards as Centre Right, he is the closest to the Left that the USA is going to get for the next decade, I would imagine.
Blatant Neglect by Ireland’s Media
Back to Ireland and its media. This is the media that hasn’t really delved into the connections between Alan Kelly minister for the environment who set up Irish water and his brother Declan Kelly who buys and sells such companies and contributes largely to the Hilary Clinton election campaigns. To imagine for a moment that the Democratic Party in the USA is NOT listened to at the highest levels in Ireland is laughable. Irish people have drawn lines between the dots that somehow the establishment of Irish Water is heavily linked to the company run by Declan Kelly in the USA.
Just last week, the main arms of Ireland’s media neglected to report that the Taoiseach (prime minister – Enda Kenny) was harassed on the streets of Co. Cork. I became aware of this incident while listening to local radio in the car, during the day and was surprised to see the Taoiseach’s visit to Cork was portrayed as a major success on RTE’s national news that evening. So while the national media are reporting one story line, the bloggers and local radio stations and people on social media are managing to blow the lid off what has remained hidden for years. If the government had it their way, we would be singing the song of economic recovery and not lamenting the rise in suicides, homelessness, the old people on trolleys in hospitals, and the massive rise (yet again) in emigration.
I am of the opinion that the longer the water protests have gone on, the more people have used social media to educate themselves and even call out the Irish media on certain stories. This indie style of communicating and storytelling has also shown me that there is a greater chance of this government being defeated. The big problem for the Government of Ireland is that they don’t seem to be clued-in to the truth of the situation. Whoever is manipulating the media and calling the shots, is not informing the Politicians of the truth of the matter. More media manipulation was in evidence this week with a massive under-reporting of the figures at the latest Right2Water/Right2Change protest on February 20th. Mainstream media reported (in difficult to access stories), that a mere 10-20,000 people showed up in the rain. Organizers and more friendly media reported the figure to be four times greater, at over 80,000. What is curious, is that almost all stories reported that it took the march over a half hour to pass any given point in Dublin.
There is no doubt that suicide and homelessness are on the rise in Ireland. There is no doubt that Ireland is the most unequal society in Europe. However, the prevalence of mainstream media in Irish society has convinced many that those on the left are wackos, dangerous, terrorists, and deserve to be jailed. Many of those accused of public order offenses this week have had their cases dismissed. Yet again, this was glossed over in the mainstream media.
We have a Right2Change This!
There are over 100 candidates signed up to the Right2Change principals, which is more than enough to create a progressive government in Ireland. If this happens, it would be a revolution in Irish politics, and perhaps internationally too. The party system would be broken, dead, and buried. Perhaps this is the way forward. A group of independent, but like-minded, people who are willing to work for change and for the good of the people, but not answerable to the party, or the party whip system. I always thought that is what government was about, but watching from abroad these last few years I have learned, that if you want change, it will not come easily. It might not come over night, but if you make enough noise and have enough faith, change will come. I don’t believe a revolution is ever a single moment in history, but perhaps this February 26, 2016 will be the day the Irish historians of the future note as the day the revolution happened — one hundred years after the 1916 Rising in Dublin. One thing does seem certain, from social media, and it’s that the main parties are in for a mighty shock when the Irish people go to the polls this week. I hope so.
Looking for a Right2Change candidate in your area? Click here for a full list of candidates.
Colm Maguire is a Filmmaker, writer, photographer, lyric writer at www.micaelsene.com, contributor to the Elephant Journal, and is based in the South of France. He has been a student of communications, of film production, of process work, and Celtic spirituality. Colm has practiced meditation for over two decades. He attends a sweat lodge in the foothills of the Cote D’azur monthly and works with people and their addictions and helps them untangle their emotions and shed light on some hidden spaces in their lives. Although unable to vote in the Irish elections, Colm has kept a close eye on his homeland over the years. He has been closely following the protests and even produced a short film on the Right2Water/Right2Change movement, you can watch here: bit.ly/1p1K15v