Jerry “Golfgate” Buttimer is the latest government politician to be caught rapid after feigning outrage at lockdown comparisons to apartheid and segregation, while previously making those comparisons himself.
They just never learn, do they?
The controversy began after Sinn Féin TD Rose Conway-Walsh expressed her view that the domestic vaccine passport law was discriminatory, divisive, and akin to something that African American Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks would have experienced in the 1950s.
Conway-Walsh made the remarks in the Dáil.
“One speaker from the Government said that it was not too much for [people] to show their [vaccine] pass at the door and go in and get their seats,” she said.
“It made me think of Rosa Parks because of the segregation that is being done here. To say that people are being treated differently but that they are not being discriminated against is just plain wrong.”
Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer, among others, was quick to take to Twitter to chastise her for the comment.
“This is a temporary public health measure which temporarily removes some freedoms to protect us,” he said.
“Rosa Parks was a champion, this case is not comparable to her & others.”
The is a temporary public health measure which temporarily removes some freedoms to protect us. Rosa Parks was a champion, this case is not comparable to her & others. https://t.co/68fLoeOxzR
— Senator Jerry Buttimer (@jerrybuttimer) July 15, 2021
Conway-Walsh ultimately apologised for the comparison after significant controversy.
Sinn Féin TD apologises for using Rosa Parks during indoor dining debate https://t.co/HZK9QjwP58
— breakingnews.ie (@breakingnewsie) July 15, 2021
However, it’s a little bit unusual for Buttimer to criticise Conway-Walsh for this, considering this was the same man who less than 9 months ago, on two separate occasions, compared his lack of speaking time in the Senead to apartheid – i.e. racial segregation in South Africa.
“Some of us are not part of a political grouping at the moment, and there does seem to be apartheid from the chair regarding some of us,” he said.
Golfgate senator Jerry Buttimer compares lack of speaking time in Seanad to apartheid https://t.co/wIVIzDcpVp
— Hugh O'Connell (@oconnellhugh) November 24, 2020
Even if you think that Conway-Walsh’s comparison was over the top, which is a more reasonable comparison to apartheid: a system of legal discrimination by the Irish government on the basis of a person’s health status, or some Senator not getting quite as much speaking time in the Seanad as he’d like? I’ll let you decide.
It gets worse, though: Buttimer also decided to take to Twitter to slam Mattie McGrath’s comments saying that the vaccine pass was something you’d see in Germany in 1933.
“It’s appalling,” he said, referring to Mattie’s remarks.
“It’s not that particular TD’s first time making this horrible and wrong comparison. @SOFearghail_TD should take action,” tagging the Ceann Comhairle, presumably to have Mattie disciplined for comparing the government’s discriminatory law to a fascist regime of the 20th century.
— Senator Jerry Buttimer (@jerrybuttimer) July 13, 2021
There’s just one small issue with this however: Senator Jerry Buttimer effectively called the Polish government fascists on a previous occasion in the Dáil.
Sinn Féin Senator Fintan Warfield began by asserting that “fascism” was returning in Poland.
“We can tackle rocketing levels of youth unemployment, rising poverty and the threat posed by the return of fascism,” Warfield said.
“I refer not to radical nationalism, the alt-right or far-right extremism but to fascism and the ensuing threat to human rights.”
In response to Warfield’s comment, Buttimer replied: “I thank and congratulate Senator Warfield on going to Pozna at the weekend…We all share his view regarding the issue of fascism and the issue of different viewpoints around the world. We must challenge the views of some people in the pursuit of human rights.”
In other words, he conceded that yes, Poland is displaying a return of “fascism.”
Why is it only “horrible and wrong” when Mattie makes such a comparison, but when Jerry Buttimer does it it’s OK? Should Jerry Buttimer be disciplined by the Ceann Comhairle, or do the rules only apply to Mattie McGrath?
I wrote another article about more hypocrisy on this issue, which you can read below.
Irish liberals spent the last half decade accusing everyone remotely to the right of Karl Marx of being a “Far-Right Nazi Fascist.” But when Mattie McGrath says it, it's apparently beyond the pale. The outrage is faker than WWE, says @Ben_Scallan.#gripthttps://t.co/zshMUisdbi
— gript (@griptmedia) July 14, 2021
Once again we are reminded of the total and utter insincerity of these politicians, and the fact that all their moral outrage is faker than a four euro note. They evidently don’t take their own words seriously, and neither should we.