From the 1980s to 2011,
Michael D. Higgins
the leader of anti-American and anti-Israel
politics in the Irish parliament.
For decades he attacked the West's two frontline states - America and Israel -
with his trademark divisive, self-righteous, left-wing rhetoric.
As a result, I was horrified when the Irish people elected him
to the office of
President in 2011.
The office is largely ceremonial, but there is plenty of scope for Michael D. to make insulting speeches
that cast Ireland in a bad light.
With Michael D.,
Ireland probably has
the most anti-American head of state
in the western world.
And the most anti-Israel head of state
in the western world.
I cringed in 2011 thinking of
the offensive Irish insults to Israel for 7 long years with Michael D. as President.
Or a U.S. Republican Presidential visit with the pompous anti-American Michael D. as President.
Ireland being linked again and again in world news headlines with
anti-American, anti-Israeli and anti-business statements.
But I must say it has not been as bad as I feared.
Since 2011, Michael D. has largely shut up.
He was far more offensive before 2011.
The two faces of Irish President Michael D. Higgins.
(Left) Demonising US President George W. Bush and the US military.
(Right) Mourning Palestinian terrorist leader Yasser Arafat.
Maybe the main reason Michael D. won the 2011 presidential election
was that the media did not do their job.
in 2008, the Irish media loved Michael D. and almost never raised any of the issues on this site.
They could be found on the Internet, but that isn't enough.
The Irish media never bothered explaining to young voters (or even old voters who have forgotten)
where Michael D. stood on Arafat and Hamas
and Reagan and Bush
and so on.
The media regarded it as a non-story.
Isn't it the media's job to vet candidates before elections?
But that did not happen in 2011.
The silence of the Irish media in 2011 was a disgrace.
Too late, the Irish media covers Michael D.'s background:
broke with the consensus and covered Michael D.'s background, but too late.
references this page
on 15 Oct 2011, and wrote a piece about this material after the election:
Catch-all Gallagher was hit by 'Catch 22' problem, David Quinn, 28 Oct 2011.
A good piece about Gallagher and Higgins, which references this material, but published after the election.
It's a shame no journalist managed to examine the winner before the election.
As Quinn says:
"frankly I can't see how a Fianna Fail past, even if downplayed, is so very much worse than a past spent lending moral support to organisations like Hamas, dictators like Yasser Arafat, or venting your anger on the United States, not the Soviet Union. But apparently in Ireland for many people, having a Fianna Fail past is very much worse than any of this."
Elected: Michael D Higgins - Ireland's most anti-American President, by John Fay, IrishCentral, 28 Oct 2011.
A good profile of Higgins:
"Overall, it would probably be a good thing if the next seven years did not include any Irish presidential visit to America."
Published too late - after the election
- but still puts the Irish media to shame.
Why did the Irish media not do this?
sums it up:
"Ireland is having its Obama Moment now, having realised the media, er, forgot to probe MDH's past properly the way they did with other candidates, and having elected a complete loon to a high position. Fortunately, MDH has little power as president, but he will go off abroad on the taxpayers' dime spouting his worn-out brand of mindless slush to all and sundry on our behalf."
In poor taste?
Now that Higgins has won, what is the point of this page?
Some people think you need to "respect" the decision of the people.
They might regard a page attacking the Irish President as "in poor taste".
This, I think, shows confusion about what democracy is.
Democracy means decisions are taken by votes like this,
and no one should try to overturn that.
But democracy also means that I am free to regard my President, my Taoiseach and even the voters as idiots.
If you think no one should criticise the election of Higgins,
did you agree in Nov 2004
that no one should then criticise the re-election of Bush?
Did you agree in June 1986
that no one should then criticise the voters for
Did you agree in May 2007
that no one should then criticise the voters for
re-electing Fianna Fail?
Of course you didn't.
Saying the voters made a stupid decision is just part of normal democracy.
I'm sure we can even find Michael D. saying something like that if we dig hard enough.
Michael D. himself shows a lack of respect for the voters' decision in 1986!
From Irish Times,
June 28, 1986,
after the voters rejected legalising divorce.
I rest my case.
Showing a lack of respect for the voters' decision is just normal democracy.
Like all politicians, he speaks for the people who voted for him.
He does not speak for all of us.
Michael D.'s inaugural speech, 11 Nov 2011, shows his contempt for the Celtic Tiger and Irish prosperity:
"it is necessary to move past the assumptions which have failed us and to work together for such a different set of values as will enable us to build a sustainable social economy
in more recent years, we saw the rise of a different kind of individualism - closer to an egotism based on purely material considerations - that tended to value the worth of a person in terms of the accumulation of wealth rather then their fundamental dignity. That was our loss, the source in part, of our present difficulties. Now it is time to turn to an older wisdom".
And so it begins.
7 years of immensely annoying speeches.
Irish people, why on earth did you vote for this?
"This pampered and cosseted member of the political elite thinks that Ireland somehow was demeaned by being the Celtic Tiger. Does this mean he wants to go back the mid-1980s, before Ireland began to reform? Back when government was consuming more than 50 percent of the nation's output? Back when the the corporate tax rate was 50 percent? Back when other tax rates were at extortionary levels?
If that's true, he wants to dramatically reduce the living standards of the Irish people.
Prior to the market-based reforms of the Celtic Tiger era, Ireland was a relatively poor nation with per-capita income and output well below $10,000. Today, by contrast, output and income are four or five times higher."
Sad that the foreign press has to do the job because the Irish press won't.
Speech by President Michael D. Higgins, Jan 2012, attacks "unrestrained market dominance".
He says (amongst clouds of hot air)
that the free market (not the EU and the euro) is "a failed paradigm of life and economy".
By the end of the vague, rambling text, you're not really sure what, if anything, it means.
But one thing you know - you don't want anyone like this
anywhere near running the Irish economy.
Speech by President Michael D. Higgins, Nov 2012.
"Right-wing economists have created a neo-liberal philosophy that seemingly cannot now be questioned and that leaves control in the hands of a faceless market, President Michael D Higgins has said."
President's shame over Tiger excess, article, 28 Nov 2012, reports on an
interview in Ireland's Own.
"President Michael D Higgins has told of the lasting shame he feels at the way people acted during the Celtic Tiger era.
He said he is embarrassed over the arrogance of many who made their fortunes during the bubble.
"I think it's probably fair to say that during the period of the Celtic Tiger, there was a certain amount of boastfulness by some of the Irish about our economy.
"They were inclined to give lectures about how others could be as good as the Irish. I've always felt very unhappy about all of that. It's quite embarrassing really, and that was picked up on abroad," he said."
"Mr Higgins said the impact of climate change and the depletion of natural resources meant economies had to change
"The shift to sustainability, if managed ethically and fairly, offers the possibility of making economies more inclusive and of directing new economic opportunity towards people who are currently excluded from economic growth and prosperity"".
He has not one clue how to make Africans prosperous. Total drivel.
How the Celtic Tiger improved Irish quality of life.
From Daniel J. Mitchell's piece above.
"Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I'd rather live in a "selfish" world that gives me doctors, cars, and central heating.
But to a member of the political elite like Mr. Higgins, this kind of prosperity probably spoils people
... Better for people to live noble lives of poverty and deprivation."
Here we go: 7 years of headlines like this,
portraying a terrible image of Ireland abroad.
Michael D., you don't speak for me.
is trying to celebrate Michael D. Higgins.
But in fact I think they nail what is wrong with him.
If you reject - like Pearse, De Valera and Higgins
- Ireland's place as an ally of the democratic West,
the West led by Britain and America that has fought titanic struggles against fascism, communism and Islamism
to defend freedom,
then what is left to you?
Irish nationalists that reject this narrative always end up portraying Ireland
as some dull boring backwater of impoverished illiterate peasants, as this poster does.
It is a deeply unappealing view of Ireland, and quite imaginary.
I prefer the modern, globalised, Celtic Tiger Ireland
of Intel, Google, the PDs, Bertie Ahern and Sean Gallagher.
That's my Ireland.
No anti-American and anti-Israeli speeches
I must say, though, the Michael D. Presidency
has not been as bad as I feared.
I expected 7 years of this:
IRISH PRESIDENT SAYS IRELAND REJECTS CAPITALISM
IRISH PRESIDENT SAYS IRELAND HAS "MOVED ON" FROM CELTIC TIGER
IRISH PRESIDENT SAYS IRISH TO FOCUS ON "SPIRITUAL" NOT MATERIALISTIC VALUES
IRISH PRESIDENT SAYS US PRESIDENT "NOT WELCOME" IN IRELAND
IRISH PRESIDENT CALLS FOR BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL
But it's been mostly bland speeches about warmed up socialism.
His anti-American and anti-Israeli speeches have dried up since he became President.
"I am effete and proud of it. I am also a lefty pinko. I was told that by no less than our mutual friend, Kader Asmal, and coming from him, it was the greatest compliment I ever received in my life. Myself and Deputy Michael D. Higgins are two old lefty pinkos. I am an effete lefty pinko and I was part of the commentariat as well for a period."
- David Norris
sums it up in his usual style in Mar 2007.
Who I block:
I will debate almost anyone.
I love ideas.
I will not debate (and will block) people who do the following:
(a) Make threats.
(b) Accuse me of crimes.
(c) Comment on my appearance.
(d) Drag in stuff about me not related to the topic. (My professional career, my personal life.)
(e) Complain to my employer.
Yes, people do all these things.