During the pro government love-in on the Marian Finucane Show last Sunday Fionnan Sheahan, political editor of ‘Independent’ Newspapers did, like so many other establishment journalists, allow that the great unwashed do have a right to protest.
But, his generous concession to the masses came with a dire warning.
It would be a shame if recent events such as we saw here would tarnish everybody who decides to take to the streets.
The pro government panel all muttered in solemn agreement. And I’m sure I could hear a distant murmur from the listening peasantry recognizing the wisdom and charity of this fine Irish ‘Independent’ journalist.
Somebody said to be recently, the great seer went on:
It takes a lot to get Paddy out on the streets but when he gets out there you can’t get him off again.
The pro government panel all dutifully laughed at the humorous wisdom of this great national philosopher.
I see outside Leinster House on a weekly basis groups of people from all parts of the country coming up taking up their protests and you have to say, more power to them and it’s only right and proper that they be allowed to do that.
This generous and unsought sentiment, I must admit, brought me to the edge of tears – ‘it’s only right and proper that they be allowed to do that.’
My God, I thought, the Irish peasantry is so lucky to have such an enlightened journalist recognise their democratic rights.
And, it must be remembered, this weekly engagement with the peasantry outside Leinster House probably occurs when the journalist is on his way to meet the Great Leader and his hard working fellow politicians as they beaver away protecting the democratic rights of the sadly, ignorant and unappreciative masses.
It’s no easy thing to mix in such exalted circles while at the same time retaining an understanding of the coarser feelings of the common citizenry.
I think our problem here is, you’re seeing fringe elements now attaching themselves to legitimate people.
The pro government panel all murmured in agreement at this warning to the ‘legitimate’ people of Ireland – whoever they are.
And, to be fair to this most unbiased of journalists, he does clearly take ownership of his views when he states ‘I think our problem is.
The ‘our’ he speaks of is, of course, those on the pro government panel, the government and wider body politic (excluding certain sinister elements, naturally) and his bosses at ‘Independent’ Newspapers.