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No need to cheer for England

by Frank Schnittger Fri Jul 16th, 2021 at 09:33:09 AM EST

It's becoming tiresome reading all that guff about Ireland really being closer to England than the EU, and that therefore anyone who supports anyone but England is being hypocritical or an extreme nationalist. And yes, this is coming from an Irish columnist living in England who voted Tory last time out.

No need to cheer for England

A chara, - Your columnist Finn McRedmond's "both sides do it" articles are getting increasingly tiresome ("The anyone-but-the-English crowd look exactly like the Brexiteers",Opinion & Analysis, July 15th).

Somehow the vituperative bile heaped by some Brexiteers on Ireland and the Irish has now been counterbalanced by Irish soccer fans supporting Italy in the European final. Many of those same fans probably support Manchester United, or Liverpool, and welcomed Jack Charlton's stint as Irish team manager.

It wasn't Irish soccer fans who sought to incorporate the English team's success in getting to the final into the Brexiteer "Global Britain" project or criticised those same footballers for "taking the knee" against racism.

It isn't Irish fans who have gained a reputation for rioting, public disorder, and disrespect for opposing teams and anthems.

Finn McRedmond asks, "Who knew so many in Ireland kept their Italian identity hidden for so long?" Could it be that Italian football has had its admirers everywhere for many a long year, and that we are now allied with Italy as part of the EU? Could sports fans everywhere not feel aggrieved at the blatant dive that won England their place in the final? Sterling hasn't dropped so fast since the Brexit vote.

But in Finn McRedmond's world, everything has to be binary. You are an extreme Irish nationalist if you don't support the English football team. She claims that such extreme displays of nationalism are indicative of "a nation [not] at ease with itself or its direction of travel".

That may be a perceptive comment about Brexiteer England, but it says nothing about Ireland.

We don't define ourselves with respect to England, one way or the other, anymore. - Yours, etc

Perhaps I am wrong, but I believe the name on her birth certificate is "Fionnuala".
It is a fine name. Should I hazard a guess as to why she does not use it?
by det on Fri Jul 16th, 2021 at 10:43:46 AM EST
`Being a Tory does not make you a bad person'
For anyone to become an opinion writer for the `paper of record', the Irish Times, requires considerable ability. But does a particular viewpoint give an aspiring columnist a distinct advantage?

It is said that if you're not a socialist in your twenties you have no heart, and if you're not a conservative in your forties, you have no brain. Given the increasing centre-right consensus across Irish media, including the Irish Times, anyone aspiring to be a journalist there might do well to accelerate that learning curve. There are, of course, true conservative believers from the outset.

Once such appears to be the precocious Finn McRedmond, who in recent months has become a fixture op-ed writer for the Irish Times. The daughter of David McRedmond, former chief executive of independent commercial television station, TV3, and currently chief executive of semi-state An Post, Finn McRedmond attended Rathdown [private, fee paying] Secondary School, and completed a Classics degree in Cambridge University, graduating c.2015.

In a series of waspish recent articles for the Irish Times, she has attacked the Brexit movement,[i] lauded the statesmanship of Leo Varadkar,[ii] while heaping scorn on both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn.[iii] These contributions situate her politics on the centre-right - liberal-conservative and Remainer - an ideological slant very much ascendant in the Irish Times.

This outlook has generally been evident in the paper's coverage of the forthcoming U.K. election. Along with condemnation of Populists, especially Nigel Farage, the U.K. Labour leader is a recurring bête noire,[iv] albeit full-time U.K. correspondent Denis Staunton has generally remained impartial.

The cartoon drawn by Martin Turner on December 3rd provides a good example. It features Corbyn alongside Boris Johnson with a list of some of the calumnies we have seen during the election. The point seems to be: these are two extremists - one as bad as the other.

Martin Turner, December 3rd, 2019.

Even apparently centre-left Fintan O'Toole was given to describe Corbyn before the 2017 election as: `a highly problematic leader, not least in his inability to think about how to create a majority in England for this radical social democratic vision.'[v] Curiously, O'Toole has not expressed views in any articles on the Orwellian campaign of online distortion characterising U.K. election 2019.[vi]

In her latest opinion piece, McRedmond laments the loss of Ken Clarke, Nicholas Soames, Nick Boles and Philip Hammond from Conservative ranks, and reventilates paper-thin allegations of anti-Semitism[vii] orchestrated to discredit Corbyn, concluding: `there is no good choice, and no obvious way through this election.'[viii]

While still a student, McRedmond revealed she gave her vote (presumably enjoying that right as an Irish citizen) to in the 2015 General Election to David Cameron's Conservatives, who won an overall majority for the first time in nearly two decades. Published in the The Cambridge Tab just after the election - with austerity in full swing as over a million people relied on food banks[ix]  - the headline read: `Being a Tory does not make you a bad person.'

McRedmond supported David Cameron over the then moderate Labour leader Ed Milliband. Perhaps in response to university peers whose "hearts" may have ruled their "heads," she protested:

I'm not a bad person because I voted Conservative. I voted to decrease the deficit. I voted to raise the basic state pension by 2.5% a year. I voted to increase the health budget by £8bn by 2020.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 20th, 2021 at 09:56:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is said that if you're not a socialist in your twenties you have no heart, and if you're not a conservative in your forties, you have no brain.

Another load of G.K. Chestershite.  And he was considered witty because of such statements.  Which by Tory standards I suppose he was.

by rifek on Tue Jul 20th, 2021 at 03:52:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dear Irish Times Editor...
A Chara,- How splendidly your Correspondent, Finn McRedmond, represents all that is good about the Irish Times. The privately educated scion of an Irish business family, Finn went to Cambridge to study classics where she also wrote an article entitled "Being a Tory does not make you a bad person" for the local rag.

While revealing that she voted for David Cameron's Conservatives rather than Ed Milliband's Labour party, she has since bemoaned the ousting of moderates in the Conservative party and, in line with Irish Times Editorial policy, has supported the Remainer cause.  Anxious to sustain ties between Irish and British conservatives she has compared Irish anybody-but-England soccer fans to extreme Brexiteers and likes to condemn the riffraff on both sides.

Oblivious to Ireland's increasing political, economic and cultural links to European countries and other foreigners, she supports the established links between British and Irish elites.  But it is also good to read that she believes "the instinct for cynicism is usually always one worth repressing" but that she is nevertheless opposed to billionaire space jaunts, Prince Harry's mooted memoir, and the latest emanations from the Brexiteer eminence grise, Dominic Cummings. (Earth too busy to marvel at the billionaire space race, Opinion, 22nd. July).

Surely these are issues all right thinking Irish Times readers can agree on and are uppermost in our thoughts each day. Your correspondent has her finger on the nation's pulse.


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 22nd, 2021 at 12:09:55 PM EST
TL;DR: Finn McRedmond is yet another entitled, Tory bint.
by rifek on Thu Jul 22nd, 2021 at 06:59:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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