During the citizenship referendum the media was very vocal in its criticism of the government. Using the racism word frequently. Now they are largely quiet. However I think I know why. By the second last paragraph of this post many people will be utterly shocked at these quotes and wondering why this has been so quiet in the media and be baying for blood.
In an interview with the Irish Times Michael McDowell mentioned
“The time may be coming when we will have to sit down and examine whether we would have to look at whether a works permit regime ought to be implemented in terms of some of this non-national labour, even for countries in the EU.”
Now I have no problem with a non-EU countries work permit scheme at all as long as the workers get the permits not the employers. However if you ask anyone what is the main principle of the EU it is the free movement of goods and LABOUR. So basically Michael McDowell is saying that a time may come when we will have to renegotiate Ireland membership of the EU. I sincerely doubt that the rest of the EU countries would allow us to even think of this. Yet a man who I guess wants to the deputy leader of this country is considering suggesting changing the EU’s founding rules. Without the free movement of goods services and labour what is the EU.
So Michael McDowell wants to consider restricting legitimate non-national workers entering Ireland.
But that is not the worst thing he said in the interview. Now if you ever wondered what racial scare mongering is. Here is a classic example.
“There are many positive spin-offs from the diversity of labour here now but to say that that should for all time go unregulated I think has been thrown into question by the Irish Ferries dispute. There are 40 million or so Poles after all, so it is an issue we have to have a look at.”
The sentence “There are 40 million or so Poles after all” is a very vindictive line. This is formed purely to pry on the racist beliefs of people that believe we are been infested by Poles.
So why you asked has this been fairly quiet. Any ideas? I’m not entirely sure but if I pointed out that the above quotes were in fact were said by Pat Rabbitte on Tuesday and not Michael McDowell would it perhaps help explain the lack of baying for blood in the media. The only blog I could find mentioning this is ceadaoin and Indymedia have statement from Joe Higgins but no editorials.I seen haven't any condemnation from any columnists in the papers. (haven't read every paper though.)
Or am I becomeing a cynic in my old age and turning into a bit of a McDowell cheerleader.
Edit: I must say sorry to Vincent Browne as he did write about the topic in the Sunday Business Post. All though not as strongly worded I think if it had been McDowell. Still fair play.