There is a small cast of villains in the pantomime of Irish public life; Sean Fitzpatrick, Michael ‘Fingers’ Fingleton and Bertie Ahern are the most prominent. Most lately they have been joined by an unlikely candidate, journalist John Waters.
What did he do to reach such apogeal heights of infamy? He wrote opinion pieces that were antithetical to the prevailing wind of public opinion, which is shaped by the media, who in turn are influenced by bullish interest groups.
He dared to take an opposing view to the hegemonic orthodoxy that defines modern Ireland.
His beliefs are not modish or populist. In the United Kingdom he would be a dyed in the wool Conservative, possibly James Dellingpole. In the US he would be a card-carrying member of the Tea Party.
The difference is, in those countries, his views would be respected, his opinions given credence. He would be invited to engage in meaningful debate on important societal issues.
In Ireland however he is universally pilloried, lampooned and derided. He is portrayed as an anachronism, a religious crazy, a dangerous malcontent.
He has become the national bogeyman – if you don’t go to bed, John Waters will preach to you.
We find it utterly abhorrent the level of intense vitriol and hatred that has been directed at one individual, who is simply voicing his opinion.
But of course, it’s not the right opinion. The politically-correct, permissive, liberal opinion. And today it is almost impossible not to conform to this groupthink.
Politicians are falling over themselves to ride the liberal bandwagon, hastily jettisoning previously held convictions and principles. Enda Kenny being the prime example.
Waters’ critics claim he is a dangerous influence. That he, and his shadowy allies in the Iona Institute are working to subvert Irish society, to brainwash us back to blind obedience to Rome, to promote intolerance and discrimination. And that they need to be stopped.
What exactly are they afraid of?
Let’s look at the facts.
In present day Ireland there are 24 commercial TV stations, 37 radio stations and 16 national press titles operating. And they all adhere to the same agenda and support the liberalisation and secularisation of Ireland. And that’s not including social media, which is entirely dominated by liberal thought-police. So much for diversity, balance and freedom of speech.
John Waters, until he was hounded out of his job in the Irish Times, was one of the very few opponents of this irrepressible tide of uniformity.
His views on the Children’s Referendum, Father’s Rights, abortion and same-sex marriage are consistent with his belief-set. These views should be respected and given due consideration. Not dismissed out of hand as the ravings of an out-of-touch zealot.
What would we say about a regime in another country that dominated and controlled the media, where dissent was silenced? Would we not treat with suspicion a country where there was universal adherence to a single world-view? Would we not be outraged if someone lost their job for speaking out against this regime?
So why are liberal bullies so threatened by John Waters and his beliefs? Why do they need to demonise and diminish him?
Could it be that the liberal ascendency is vulnerable. That its model of society won’t hold up to rigorous questioning?
Perhaps John Waters’ probing came close to demonstrating how fragile a house of cards built in the rubble of traditional values can be.