From the Archives

Guessing the Frontbench Reshuffle…

Unless you have been living in the big brother house, there have been quite a few things going on. Firstly the Fine Gael heave and secondly the world cup. Combining the two I have decided, for the hell of it, to guess the new front bench. Please bear in mind that I have not included the deputy spokesperson position as I would be plotting all night long!

In alpha order of portfolio:

Deenihan – Agri, Fisheries and Food
Bannon – Arts, Sport and Tourism
Hayes – Children
English – Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Clune – Community and Rural Affairs
Carey – Defence
Enright – Education and Science
Bruton – Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Ring – Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Noonan – Finance
Hogan – Foreign Affairs
Reilly – Health and Deputy Leader
Varadkar – Immigration and Integration
Shatter – Justice, Equality and Law Reform
Allen – Social and Family Affairs
Coveney – Transport and Marine
Kehoe – Chief Whip
Not giving reasons for my decisions as I have based them on hunches and if nothing else it will be food for thought.
Regarding comments feel free to post away but I may not be able to moderate them as fast as you would like as I’m actually on holidays

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From the Archives

The silenced and the silencing…

This week has proved to be an interesting week of account closures on twitter. Firstly there was the silencing of @Madam _ Editor and then we had the closure of the @leovaradkar account. Both could be seen as in interesting counterpoint in the world of twitter. However, I must first point out that that I have nothing against the individuals involved.
@Madam_Editor was a great bit of fun. No one who followed this account truly believed that it was the account of the great editor herself. In fact, anyone who believed that this was a true account should question their grip on reality. If it is a case that the closure of the @Madam_Editor account was due to lobbying by the Irish Times then this would be a worrying development for freedom of expression.
Satire and Parody are important parts of speech and should be protected as much as possible. Okay some people who are at the butt of such parody may not exactly seek to encourage it. Now by no means am I insinuating that Ms. Kennedy herself is behind the closure. However, in the end, a journalist by trade, of all people should seek to protect freedom of speech.
Twitter is littered with joke accounts of Irish politicians and notable Irish figures. The best ones would have to be that of @Sweary_Mary but notable mentions must be made for @CyprianBrady, @CardinalBrady and @BiffoCowan. I don’t see the individuals involved rushing to lobby the people behind twitter to close these accounts. In fact there is a process that can be undertaken for well know individuals to verify their accounts.
However, the closure of the @leovaradkar account is a different kettle of fish. The closure, due to the time line of events, was obviously a knee jerk reaction to the fallout from the heave and no doubt someway related to the column of @davekenny in the Sunday Tribune last week. If this is the case, in my opinion, any public figure closing their account brings that person down to the level of a sulking child.
In essence, public figures that enter the foray of social media need to be able to take the rough with the smooth. You cannot just engage because at the time you are popular and disengage because life throws you a wobble. Also public figures need to be able to handle the cut and thrust of notoriety. This is a point that has been well accepted by the American Courts when it comes to freedom of expression. Plus an opinion is just that, an opinion.
For both accounts, I hope the individuals involved come to their senses and come back to twitter.

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