December 12, 2014

Sinn Fein and the English Language

Cartoon by Ian Knox
When symmetry of scandal is met with an asymmetry of outrage, something is not right, and you have to say something. When an allegation is pointed at the church or an arm of the state, indignation is universally heaped on those named; yet when an allegation is pointed at the party, there is silence - indignation is selective and sectarian, falling along ideological lines.

With no sense or awareness of inconsistency, people can simultaneously support scrutiny of others and stridently oppose scrutiny of oneself; people can simultaneously credit allegations made against another but outright discredit allegations made against oneself. Mary Lou McDonald said in 2009:

"Anyone, including Gardaí, found to be complicit in the cover up of child abuse must be arrested and made to face the full rigours of the law."
Mary Lou said in October 2014:
"Specific assertions have been made by Maria in respect of Sinn Fein. She has accused us of covering up abuse. She has asserted that we refused to co-operate with the police on matters pertaining to abuse. I want to say categorically that this is not true. It’s most unfair and unjust."
Two radically incompatible statements, very Orwellian, She can simultaneously support relentless investigation of state and church sex abuse but oppose the relentless investigation of Sinn Fein sex abuse and see no contradiction or feeling of inconsistency. And here's the key bit, Mary Lou said, "I’m not calling her a liar", and followed that with a large "BUT":
"Maria has told her story, which is brave of her. She has come out and told her story. In the course of telling that story she has made assertions against Sinn Fein which are untrue. That’s the position."
Very like Farage:

Mairia has said she was raped. Mary Lou said that is a flat out untruth, but wrapped it in slogan and euphemism. Not only has Mary Lou simultaneously operated on two standards of accountability but can simultaneously say one thing and mean another.
And here's more cognitive dissonance. Mary Lou McDonald also said:
"The IRA did shoot people, kneecap them… I believe people who volunteered to the IRA were decent people".
George Orwell wrote in Notes on Nationalism that indifference to Reality is a principal characteristics of nationalist thought:
"All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side."
George Orwell also wrote:
"All the national movements everywhere… seem to take non-democratic forms, to group themselves round some superhuman fuhrer (Hitler, Stalin, Salazar, Franco, Gandhi, De Valera are all varying examples) and to adopt the theory that the end justifies the means… With this go the horrors of emotional nationalism and a tendency to disbelieve in the existence of objective truth because all the facts have to fit in with the words and prophecies of some infallible fuhrer."
He also said: "Two and two could become five if the fuhrer wished it."

And in an effort to make two and two make five, our petty fuhrer Gerry Adams has turned his anger on the press and turned the whole concept of a free and independent press on its head. "The Irish media has yet to be subjected to any serious public scrutiny" - Making a world where the press is accountable to the public representatives. But as JFK said:
"There is a terrific disadvantage in not having the abrasive quality of the press applied to you daily. Even though we never like it, and even though we wish they didn’t write it, and even though we disapprove, there isn’t any doubt that we could not do the job at all in a free society without a very, very active press."

Read my previous post on Orwell on Ireland, George Orwell on Ireland

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