You’ve often heard mention of Maurice Healy’s wonderful documentary Waiting For Houlihan which was basically the mountain of a man from the mountains of Kerry telling his own story in his own words. Interspersed therein also, mind you, were tributes to the great man from such contemporaries as Tony Meade of The Kerryman and Eoghan Corry, and Liam Mackey and the late Paddy Downey.
One of the numerous reasons the great man from Castle Island was absolutely adored in this seat – and his material will forever be so was his alacrity at commenting with knowledge and authority on a vast array of topics. What was even better was that all the editors for whom he worked more or less gave him free reign to write whatever he wished about whichever topic took his fancy on a given day.
For example, during one of his contributions to the programme, Mr Meade told of a time Con had, perhaps unusually, written a column concerning the Troubles in Northern Ireland. More specifically, the Provisional IRA. The Editor admitted that his newspaper – and specific personnel therein – had received threats from the Provos on foot of what had been in the article. On what Ireland’s greatest man of letters had written, his Editor at the time said “You mightn’t have agreed with his opinion, but he sure as hell had a right to express it”.
Such rights are, of course, underpinned by the principal of Freedom of the Press. Provided, of course, those publishing the material stay within the bounds of the laws of publishing. The latter factor is the point that brings us here today.
On Friday last, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Jeff Bezoss’s Twitter took the bold but wholly understandable but not guaranteed decision to permanently remove the accounts of Donald J. Trump from their social media platforms. The 45th President of the United States. The so-called leader of the Free World – Lord help us all. God be good to Charlie Haughey, his Grotesque Unbelievable, Bizzare and Unprecedented line will surely never be presented with a better comeback opportunity.
The only down side to it is the resemblance to closing the stable door when the Ginnit has long bolted. For make no mistake about it, the outrageous, audacious attempt to subvert and/or decimate democracy had its origins and got its fertiliser on social media. How else would Trump notify his mob of redneck, hick thugs of where to gather – in the midst of global pandemic – so that he might work them into a frenzy in a manner reminiscent of a certain other former leader who was very much of the ‘My Way Or The Highway’ school of thought.
When one considers the bull dung Bill Clinton was put through for what were trivialities in comparison to what this bloated gasbag has inflicted upon the world, Bill can consider himself lucky, probably, there was no social media back then given the dangerous, vitriolic effluent being spewed by the meglomaniac to his swathes of almost robotic foot soldiers.
To be fair, Twitter in particular have a good record of offloading promblematic service users. See comedy writer Graham Linehan, Katie Hopkins and now Donald Trump as reference points. In the case of the latter, mind you, continuing the theme of our headline, the damage may already be well and truly done. There’s at least one other person closer to home who is surely a prime candidate for similarly belated expulsion. Especially in light of most recent events.
89.7m indoctrinated zombies have already been dripfed what would be bad enough if it was only bovine excriment but of course we know it was more than that. There were lies, hate speech, encouragement towards criminality and, worst of all, the attempted insurrection on Capitol Hill.
Let us not forget, either, that the disorder prpogated by and in the name of the incumbant President of the most powerful nation on the planet led directly to five deaths – including that of a police officer. If, as seems likely, criminal charges are brought owing the Federal investigation, it would be horrifically apt if No. 45 ended up going from one large accommodation block to another.
At this juncture, it is important to point out that even though someone of the profile of Trump – even before he moved into and besmirched 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – needs lackies and enablers. Not only did he have them, he had an All Star cast of sycophantic sheep. The most sickening of which had to be the former Mayor of New York, Rudi Guiliani.
He who was in so many ways the public face of 9/11. The manifestation of courage and strength and hope has obviously fallen into the trap of being governed by an addiction to $.
He’s far from alone there of course but once you slide down that hill no amount of grapple hooks and/or harness will retrieve what’s gone before. Some once inportant people may just be about to find that out.