Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Some background: this city is called Limerick, and Limerick city has a Mayor. Not a Lord Mayor, now. That kind of genuine attainment never sat well here. Just a Mayor.
At the moment, the Mayor is a man named Kevin Kiely. Next week, it will be someone else. Perhaps.
The elected members of Limerick City Council, in the dark corners that they call home, decided way back when to carve up the mayoralty according to party, hair colour and opinions on What is The Most Appropriate Biscuit to Dunk in Tea.
There's a pre-designated queue to get into that shiny riverfront office, but Cllr Kiely, having had his taste of golden chain gravy, doesn't want to move out.
The Mayor is confident that he can rally enough support next week against the voting pact formed by his own party, Fine Gael, to make sure he breaks precedent and remains Citizen One for another year.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Thanks to new media, death now only counts if it is caught on video.
Israel cannot and will not find any tolerance for the murderous actions it inflicted upon a civilian vessel in international waters early on Monday morning.
But what many are finding hard to stomach is the blatant hypocrisy of the international community's response.
A tragedy? Yes. The provocative act of a pariah state with nuclear capability? Yes. A surprise? No.
Embassies are rattling and marchers are marching in the wake of Israel's latest crimes. But the raid on the Mavi Marmara should not shock anyone familiar with how the Israeli government goes about its work.
But simply because Sky News and Reuters and France 24 were broadcasting shaky deck footage of soldiers attacking and being attacked within an hour of Monday's dawn raid, it becomes an international incident.
Because Twitter was alight with frantic updates all yesterday morning about reported death tolls, it becomes an international incident.
The ancient ignorance of diplomatic rules and a modern obsession with the latest footage came together in a shameful marriage yesterday morning.
Where were the citizen journalists when Palestinian children were being killed in hospitals struck by IDF bombs in December 2008?
Where were the UN Security Council when Israel used white phosphorous bombs on the innocent people of Gaza City?
Where is the rage of the online masses every single day that Israel breaks international law by starving the Gaza Strip and building new settlements in the West Bank?
New media has brought the information era into the minds and pockets of a new generation. Say whatever you want about the cheapening effect this has had on professional reporting.
The Board, for one, supports the editor of The Guardian Alan Rusbridger when he speaks of a future of 'mutualisation' between the creators and consumers of media. But New Media needs to sharpen its moral compass.
A two-year-old child crushed to death in its mother's arms cannot record footage on an iPhone. Until it can, its death will never mean as much to us as that of the 26-year-old Turk who does.
That truth - one we hold in our own minds - is as appalling as anything in Israel's murderous arsenal.