Current Affairs Politics

Stephen King. Ireland’s Very Own “Harigate” Scandal?

It seems Irish journalism is about to have its very own “Harigate” scandal. This time the focus is on the Irish Examiner’s resident columnist and tame Unionist politico Steven King. King, a former aide to one-time UUP leader David Trimble, has been a regular contributor to the Examiner for many years and has carved out quite a market for himself in the Irish media establishment’s Unionist-friendly ecosphere. Have a northern or history related story in the headlines? Roll out Doctor Stephen King to tell it like it is (strictly from the point of view of the British separatist minority in Ireland – but we don’t really focus on that bit too much).

But now his writings have come under examination by journalist Brian Whelan, and whoops, has someone laid an egg. Or a half-dozen.

“I will show below that he [King] has been extensively passing off the ideas of Spiked Online’s Brendan O’Neill as his own. I have contacted O’Neill who says he has never met King and never gave permission for any of his work to be reproduced by him.

Let’s begin.

Steven King writes in the Irish Examiner on the 6/7/11;

The crusade against trafficking looks less and less like a serious attempt to assist migrants and increase their options, and more like a super-moralistic fantasy campaign against evil and perverted Johnny Foreigners

Read more: http://www.examiner.ie/opinion/columnists/stephen-king/crusade-against-trafficking-may-be-missing-the-point-on-sex-industry-160058.html#ixzz1ZvU3w3nt

Brendan O’Neill writes in Spiked online 31/1/08;

The crusade against trafficking looks less and less like a real-world attempt to assist migrants and increase their freedom of movement and choices, and more like a super-moralistic fantasy campaign against evil and perverted Johnny Foreigners.

Read more: http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/earticle/4389/

King continues;

The anti-traffickers paint a picture of Conradian darkness, where women and children are bought and sold by evil gangs, and then forced into labour and kept in their place by threats of murder or voodoo vengeance.

O’Neill;

The anti-traffickers paint a picture of uber-Dickensian global squalor, of Conradian darkness, where women and children are bought and sold by evil gangs, and then forced into labour and kept in their place by threats of murder or voodoo vengeance.

King continues;

This distorted depiction portrays foreign women, especially those who end up working in prostitution, as objects rather than as active subjects. These women do not simply move around the world; rather they are trafficked across borders, smuggled and shifted like pieces on a chess board.

O’Neill;

Anti-traffickers patronisingly describe foreign women, especially those who end up working in prostitution, as objects rather than as active subjects. Apparently these women do not move around the world; rather they are trafficked across borders, smuggled and shifted like pieces on a chess board.

I could go on. But I have a lot to get through. On Wikileaks the similarity between King’s copy and O’Neill’s are shocking.

Steven King, December 1, 2010;

Today’s information incontinence among the powers-that-be in much of the Western world — which is now so bad that a couple of years ago an internal US government document about the problem of leaking was later leaked — springs from institutional incoherence amongst the political class.

Read more: http://www.examiner.ie/opinion/columnists/stephen-king/he-is-irritating-but-wikileaks-founder-is-no-enemy-of-the-state-138047.html#ixzz1ZvX4WkUb

O’Neill writes July 27, 2010;

Today’s information incontinence amongst the powers-that-be in much of the Western world – which is now so bad that a couple of years ago an internal US government document about the problem of leaking was later leaked – springs from political disarray and institutional incoherence amongst the political class.

Read more: http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9348/

If you take your time and pick through it there are scores of matches throughout this article, at least four paragraphs match up almost word for word.”

And the list goes on, and on, and on.

The Critical Mass blog contains even more revelations about Kings hero-worship of Spiked editor Brendan O’Neill (I suppose persistent plagiarism of one person’s works is a sort of hero-worship, isn’t it?), and includes details of Kings “proper job”:

“Steven King, or, to give him his full honorific, Dr. Steven King, is currently the director of the New Delhi office for APCO Worldwide. The man has degrees from three universities, one of them Oxford, and for years was the chief political adviser to the Ulster Unionist Party. He ostensibly left politics to join the Policy Exchange, a British think tank where he worked as the External Relations Director from 2006 to 2008. The Policy Exchange is “powering the renaissance of the centre right” according to Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London. “

Wow. A right-wing British Unionist regularly writing for a major Irish national newspaper? Imagine. Surely that could never happen, could it? Oh wait. It did. And still does.

Ah, the Irish media establishment. Newspapers, radio, television. The ladies and gentlemen of Irish journalism. What can one say? Does anything about them surprise us any more?

No? I thought not.

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