So an unpopular minster in an unpopular government implementing unpopular policies is given her marching orders by a community suffering above-average levels of deprivation and poverty, yet the right-wing media argue that she is the one we should have sympathy for? And for what? Recognising that voters actually exist and have opinions in the long years between general elections as opposed to the short weeks leading up to the day of the ballot itself? Now the usual journalistic suspects have rolled in behind the powers-that-be, wagons circling to protect the self-entitled classes from the unruly Muintir na hÉireann. Before last week’s events we were still in stage one, with hysterical warnings about a “sinister fringe” (because anyone who disagrees with Fine Gael and Labour Party diktats must surely be “sinister” and “fringe” by definition). Now we have moved on to stage two. From the Irish Independent:
“Gardai are also considering assigning armed officers to ministers as water protests become increasingly hostile.
A beefing up of protection measures for Government members was ordered after Tanaiste Joan Burton was trapped by protesters, in an incident which Taoiseach Enda Kenny says amounted “almost to kidnapping”.
The review of security comes as protests continued to become more heated across the country.
Mr Kenny was also caught up in the drama when his car was surrounded by more than 300 angry protesters as he arrived at a Fine Gael party meeting in Sligo last night.
Several garda units, including the Crime and Security branch and anti-terrorist Special Detective Unit, are also involved in compiling intelligence on “rogue” protesters.”
That’s right, the tens of thousands of men, women and children, old and young, who have demonstrated since the start of the year against the enforcement of iniquitous taxes are now to be investigated by “anti-terrorist” officers. Forget the “rogue” spin in the article. This will be blanket surveillance and harassment of organised protesters by the forces of the state with one purpose and one purpose only: intimidation. Meanwhile the next time a senior member of one of the coalition parties faces a frustrated and disappointed member of the general public they may well do so while being accompanied by armed bodyguards.
What a wonderful historical testament these times will be to the administration of the Fine Gael and Labour coalition government in Ireland, 2011-2016 (or will it be ’15?). Hundreds of thousands of angry citizens on the streets, widespread disenchantment with the institutions of the state and gun-toting Gardaí as a threat against unruly citizenry.
Forget the “sinister fringe”. The two government parties are doing a fine job of destroying the authority of the state from the top down.