Four Newborns in Australia Have Died Bec... Wed Oct 21, 2020 21:51 | Levi Parsons
Australian Special Forces Executed Afgha... Wed Oct 21, 2020 20:23 | Walrus
EU Is Gearing Up for Another Interventio... Wed Oct 21, 2020 19:25 | Jason Ditz
Moscow Salvages START Nuke Control Exten... Wed Oct 21, 2020 17:13 | Tom O’Connor
MSM Polls Showing Biden Leading Big Are ... Wed Oct 21, 2020 16:30 | Napoleon Linarthatos
A bird's eye view of the vineyard
?North Korea Rising? Interpreting Pyongyang?s Strategic Position After its Groundbreaking Military P... Wed Oct 21, 2020 20:21 | amarynth
By A.B. Abrams for the Saker Blog Marking the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean Workers? Party, today the oldest ruling party in the world, a major military
Iron Curtain still separates Russia and the EU Wed Oct 21, 2020 18:13 | amarynth
by Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times Sergey Lavrov, Russia?s Foreign Minister, is the world?s foremost diplomat. The son of an Armenian father and a Russian
Armenian Forces Use Their Last Chance To Turn Tide Of War With Azerbaijan Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:37 | amarynth
South Front The Azerbaijani Armed Forces have been developing their advance on Armenian positions in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. On October 19, they captured 13 more villages in the Jabrayil
Moveable Feast Cafe 2020/10/21 ? Open Thread Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:30 | Herb Swanson
2020/10/21 10:30:02Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of
USA SITREP: FBI indicted Russian trombone player as a ?GRU hacker? Tue Oct 20, 2020 19:53 | The Saker
By Lilia Shumkova, a Moscow based independent journalist, for The Saker Blog A federal grand jury sitting in the Western District of the US state of Pennsylvania without citing any
The Saker >>
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005
A Woulfe in judges clothing
Sarah McInerney and political impartiality Anthony
Did RTE journalists collude against Sinn Fein? Anthony
Irish Examiner bias Anthony
RTE: Propaganda ambush of Sinn Fein Anthony
Public Inquiry >>
The Party and the Ballot Box Sun Jul 14, 2019 22:24 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
On The Decline and Fall of The American Empire and Socialism Sat Jan 26, 2019 01:52 | S. Duncan
What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith
The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith
Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh
Spirit of Contradiction >>
RTÉ Primetime Parrots State Propaganda on Water Charges
On Thursday night RTE Primetime presented what many have described as a 'regime broadcast', an utterly transparent hatchet job of the anti-Water Charges campaign. This featured, supposedly, an anonymous water meter installer describing being accosted by knife, hatchet, baseball bat, and golf club wielding maniacal protesters – the sinister fringe. The core message transmitted in the program was 'you can protest, but don't protest effectively'. If you watched it (link below), what did you think?
It was a 'Greatest Hits' compilation of government talking points. The issue which defined and dominated the program is captured in a framing question the RTE narrator posed at the beginning: 'Will it remain a broad based campaign, or will the hardline elements [the sinister fringe] come to the fore?' This divisive narrative will be familiar to anyone who has even cursorily been following the anti-Water Charges campaign. The mainstream media, in line with the government, has obsessively focused on the question of whether or not any particular protest action is 'peaceful', continuously querying if the campaign has erupted into chaos yet.
Central to this narrative is the division of protesters into good and bad ones, 'legitimate' and 'illegitimate', 'peaceful' and 'non-peaceful'. This serves to turn protesters against each other, to make protesters fixate on appearing 'legitimate' (and hence become more biddable), to draw attention away from the real issues, and to foster anti-protester hostility among non-protesters and the undecided.
Instead of discussing privatisation, the bank debt, Garda brutality, or austerity, we're supposed to endlessly contend that our protest, and our campaign, is 'legitimate'. As the narrator noted about the December 10th rally, 'the vast majority ... were polite and engaged in legitimate protest. But a small concentrated group of people are targeting water meter installations, but they are a very small element, of what is for the most part a group of people genuinely frustrated at the charges, and the way the government and Irish Water have handled things'. Could it be more obvious? As William Hederman wrote in his opinion piece in today's Irish Times: 'the water-charge demonstrations have worked because of civil disobedience. When people break the rules of protest they force governments to act '.
RTE secretly filmed a protest preventing the installation of water meters, but found none of the violence described by the silhouette in the picture. However, they made sure to remind us that it was illegal, in breach of an injunction's 20 metre exclusion zone, and later that Water Meter Fairies were committing 'Criminal Damage'. It's not surprising in the slightest that they are so keen to deter people from taking direct action, as it has been the backbone of this campaign and is the greatest assurance of our rights in general. It's well known that the prevention of water meter installations has been a crucial rallying and organising point for the movement.
As if it weren't parodical enough already, the program aired Kevin McSherry, the Irish Water executive who leads the water installation program, who after recounting an oh-so-rabid pack of youths shouting 'Irish Water scum' and slashing his tyres implored the viewer: 'don't attack the working man who's there to do their daily job'. This regular working class hero added 'I can't understand why anyone would protest against the working man. If someone wants to protest then you're welcome to walk to the Dáil or walk on O'Connell street' (even though, ironically, people were not free to walk to the Dáil on December 10th). Again the subtext here is that we should walk around with placards, but should not take direct action, especially not prevent the installation of meters.
A debate between Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy and Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty concluded the show, with the latter pontificating about legality despite the fact that, as Goldhawk notes, 'Doherty has broken company law by taking out a director’s loan from her company, Enhanced Solutions Ltd' (link below).
This vigorous muddying of the waters reveals a vital point of clarity: the establishment is deeply troubled by the anti-Water Charges campaign, that it is a mighty platform for general opposition to this government and what it represents, its widespread adoption of direct action, and its de-centralised character. In the particular case of RTE, the water charges campaign has been the greatest generator of distrust for Radio Telefis Eireann in recent times.
Obvious attacks like this, and there are plenty (see below for a recent example), should spur us on to be more bold, more persistent, and to demand greater justice.
RTE Primetime 'On the frontlines of the water protests'