Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cow'ngate....



I am outraged, no fuming at the way the Irish government has trodden their hobnailed muddy boots all over civil liberties and freedom of speech in the last 24 hours. For those not aware of what has happened.Two days ago someone entered the halls of the Irish national gallery and (without permission) hung a nude drawing of the current Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen amongst the other paintings. It took a while before this was noticed and the painting was promptly removed. Big joke, no harm done and all that one would think. WRONG!



The "event" was covered on the national news which showed some of the pictures. They were not offensive insofar a drawing of a naked obese man can be deemed not offensive. There were no grosly distented erect penises or anything of the likes. Just a naked fat bloke.
But great offense was taken in the halls of Dublin castle!
To everyones surprise the national broadcaster RTE last night broadcasted a public apology for covering the story and showing the images.



As if this wasn't enough they also removed all links to the original broadcast from their website. Big brother, police state, thoughtcrimes?
As if this wasn't outrageous, ridiculous and offensive enough the Gardai (Irish police) this morning entered the offices of Today FM, one of Irelands bigger radiobroadcasters, and demanded copies of email they had exchanged with the artist that made the paintings. Apparently they had no warrant, but sure that would be OK, wouldn't it? Audio coverage of this can be heard here.
The government has now also demanded that the Director General (RTE's head honcho) steps down over this as the coverage has caused great offence.

Let's put this in perspective for a minute; after years of mismanaging the country and buggering the collective Irish population the government now feels like they are above & beyond criticism and that they can use the Irish judicial system to surpress political satire?! Offensive? I can think of justified comments on the government that would be a lot more offensive.
Are we going in the direction of Thailand where people get thrown in jail for offending the king?
It would be bad enough if this type of action was supported by legislation but as far as I have been able to ascertain it isn't which shows us that the government is willing to act on an arbritary basis. Cowen was obviously not joking when he said that he: "would run this country the way he saw fit".....

2 comments:

About this site said...

Wonderful article thanks much for providing such a full and complete overview of the incident and subsequent actions and reactions.

You've demonstrated clearly the power of independent blogs to offer information in a timely and often more concise manner than is sometimes possible with other media

RTE said...

excellent article.