So finally, in Ireland, we have discovered the breaking point for the establishment’s tolerance of the woke mob: Eamon Ryan.
Universally, it is agreed, those who came yesterday for poor Eamon’s head had simply lost the run of themselves altogether. It didn’t matter that they were in the Green Party themselves. It didn’t matter that they’ve been brought up, fed, and nurtured on a diet of constant outrage and self-righteousness. It didn’t matter for half a second that when the mob came for John Boyne, or Graham Linehan, or Kevin Myers, or George Hook, or Barry Walsh, that the establishment in Ireland sat in silence and indulged them.
But Eamon? Our Eamon? The nice fella with the curly hair? That’s a step too far.
They raced yesterday to show their decency and their moderation. “Everybody knows”, they said, “that Eamon Ryan isn’t a racist”.
But why does that matter? Everybody knew that Kevin Myers wasn’t an anti-semite either. Where were they then, all these voices of moderation?
Everybody knew what George Hook was trying to say, too, but that didn’t matter. He said it in a clumsy way, and he had to go. But Eamon? Our Eamon? Speaking in a clumsy way? Ah, come on now, that’s too far.
Everybody knows, too, that Graham Linehan doesn’t want transgender people to die, and that he isn’t “scum”, or whatever, but where are their words of encouragement and defence of him?
For about a decade now, every time the twitter mob has come for a head, the reaction of Ireland’s media and commentariat has been silent acquiescence, hoping that if they say nothing, and do nothing, and utter their mild words of reproach at the target of the beheading, that they’ll be left alone.
But that’s not how it works, is it?
What happened to Eamon Ryan yesterday is the logical next step to the madness. Nobody, it’s true, thinks he’s a racist. But that’s not the point, is it? He wasn’t accused of racism, he was accused of something much worse than racism – being “offensive”. Because it doesn’t matter if you say the word “nigger” to condemn its use, or to weaponise it. The only thing that matters these days is how a word makes the listener “feel”.
If it makes you “feel” bad, then it must be bad, and the person who said it must be bad, and there must be consequences for their badness. That’s how it works, and it’s pointless to pretend otherwise.
People who think like this have been indulged, with head, after head, after head for years now. It’s actually unfair to round on them the way establishment Ireland did yesterday. You might as well shout at a dog for chasing a stick. It’s what they do, and it’s been bred into them.
To those young Greens who issued press releases yesterday, the whole thing must have come as a terrible shock. Because all they were doing was playing their part in the national play that has been scripted around these events for several years now. You issue your press release, you get invited onto Matt Cooper, you say how terribly sorry you are but the fact is that this sort of language just isn’t acceptable these days, and then Alison O’Connor appears on another radio show to say that you have a point and that things like this just can’t be said in this day and age.
Then your target resigns, and we all move on.
Why should yesterday have been any different?
The only reason, and let’s be honest about it, that it was any different is because Eamon Ryan is “one of us”. And “we”, of course, are not racist.
And if a minority group, like black people, or travellers, or whoever, say that they find something racist or offensive, then they should be listened to, and the perpetrator should be decapitated. Unless the perpetrator is one of us. Because then, well. Black people should have the common sense to know that one of us cannot be racist, can we?
We’re introducing the hate speech laws, after all.