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Local clown declares: Ban landlord TDs from voting

Obvious question here: What about tenant TDs?

After all, conflicts of interest run both ways. No doubt there are rural TDs in the Dáil with children attending college somewhere who would financially benefit, say, from rent caps. And while we’re at it, why draw the line at rent caps? Should Labour TDs be prevented from voting on trade union legislation, since many of them are members of a union and their party is substantially funded by the trades union movement? Should TDs who are teachers be prevented from voting on teacher’s pay? Should TDs who own farms be prevented from voting on agriculture?

Indeed, we should take it one step further: Are landlords entitled to any political representation at all? Should they not simply be banned from becoming TDs entirely? And if so, wouldn’t that principle also extend to bankers and housing developers and, feck it, the unemployed? TDs do vote on the dole, after all.

There’s a limit to it, though, because as far as I can see, if we just banned morons from voting in the Dáil, we’d unfortunately lose the services of Deputy Murphy.

The Deputy knows, obviously, that his proposal is both unconstitutional and moronic. He doesn’t care, because, like almost every PbP proposal, the intent of the idea is not to accomplish something meaningful, but to heighten societal division.

There’s irony in the fact that the usual line from the socialists about the “far right” is that they are people who go into communities to sow division. That is exactly what this is: An attempt to set one section of the population at the throats of another. An attempt to blame a small minority group in society for the poverty and struggles of everyone else. An invitation to hate, and to resent, with the hope that those doing the hating and the resenting will vote for Paul Murphy.

Only it’s a con: Because Murphy will never enter Government and deliver the radical changes he talks about, because to do so would be entirely at variance with the avowed strategy of the socialist party, which is never to share power with any group but themselves lest doing so damage the cause of socialism.

It’s also, in this case, a bet on the stupidity of some voters who he hopes will not see their own disenfranchisement being proposed: If you voted for a TD who happens to be a landlord, then, says Paul Murphy, you should have no voice in decisions about housing. This is the case irrespective of whether you even knew that the TD you voted for was a landlord, or whether that TD’s landlordism was a factor in your vote. It’s a democracy on these matters for some of the people, if he gets his way.

I wrote yesterday that when it comes to the far left, the Irish media engage in stenography, not journalism. That was on display again in this case: Murphy’s dumb idea was immediately faithfully reported, without so much as a critical word, by several outlets. Nobody thought to ask him about the obvious implications of the precedent he wished to set, or whether such a proposal had implications for democratic legitimacy, or whether he was even being sincere. “Paul Murphy says” is good enough for a headline, and if you can’t figure out the problems with his ideas, well the media ain’t going to help you.

Any other politician would be shredded for this kind of nonsense on their next outing on national media. For whatever reason, that won’t be the case with Murphy.

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