Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Mary Harney paint protest and Two-Jabs Prescott egging - Different responses.

I don’t watch Top Gear that often these days. It used to be about cars but now it’s all about the burgeoning egos of Messrs Clarkson, Hammond and May.  

I looked at it last Sunday, however, as it included a feature on the old Porsche 959, and I quite like Porsches – though Clarkson disparagingly refers to them as arsed-ended Hitler-mobiles. For the record, they aren’t all arse-engined; the Boxster has its engine amidships and the Cayenne… well the Cayenne is just a jumped-up Volkswagen Touareg and doesn't count.

Anyway, “what’s this got to do with Irish politics?”  you may ask. Well a bit, actually. You see Clarkson had a certain John Prescott on as the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. Prescott, an Old Labour stalwart, was previously known as Two-Jags Prescott, as he once owned two Jaguars.

Then, a few years back, his nickname changed to Two-Jabs Prescott.  Why?  Well, in 2001 a man with a mullet pelted Prescott with an egg as he stepped off his election campaign bus in Wales.  Prescott, presumably in the heat of the moment, hit out at the man who launched the missile, a farm worker named Craig Evans. There was an unseemly scuffle between the two and the protester was arrested.

In the end, it all blew over. No charges were pressed against Evans for splattering Prescott with egg yolk and no charges were made against Prescott for his rather puny pugilistic performance. And that’s how it should have been. The incident even makes a humorous advert now (see video below).

Contrast that with Mary Harney, who saw the protester who hurled red paint  at her last year in court. The demonstrator, from Republican sect Eirigi, threw the paint at Harney in protest at her record in charge of the health service. The court found her guilty of assault and imposed a two-month suspended sentence and fined her €1,500.

Now, I don’t know if Mary Harney actually pressed charges, or if the police just took it upon themselves to do so - but either way, they should have had more sense. All the more so, in view of the fact that people have actually died unnecessarily while waiting for treatment, scans, or colonoscopies in our awful public health system – Susie Long being the most high profile example.

Getting hit with a bit of paint is not such a big deal, and something any politician should be able to rise above.  

And is there not something inherently self-defeating, from an establishment perspective,  in giving the protesters another day in the national news?

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Ella said...

Hi GM, a bit of both I'd say Mary pressing her charges, she comes across as that type of "lady" and the gardai pressing charges. A nice handy conviction for one of them for their personnel file. Mary would have to be the star witness in the court room for them to press charges. The whole thing just showed Mary up for the type of person she is and gave lots of publicity for Eirigi.

Anonymous said...

The Gardi had no Option.

Because it is dangerous to throw any chemicals and missiles and because things can go wrong. We all know about ‘the law of unintended consequences’ and people can be accidentally killed. That is why the police have no option, but to prosecute because a person’s life has been threatened. If Eirigi,had used custard, then there probably would have been no prosecution because the risk to health and safety was less. The toxic paint could have gone in her eyes or splashed on someone else and hurt them.

If there are any ancient North of Ireland people reading this they would confirm that Mary Harney was lucky not to be hit by something worse. At election time and on the 12th July it was customary for parties on all political persuasions to save up buckets of shit and land it on whomever deserved it most. By today’s standards, the present politicians would not even notice that because they smell of worse things than excrement, corruption.

Macpony said...

OUT DAMN SPOT!! God she's a ringer for Lady Mac

anna said...

Mary said clothes worth hundreds of pounds were ruined.YES she did make the protester look better by pressing charges- any times Harney gets in the headlines it only reminds people of how incompetent she was- and indifferent.
BTW an ordinary retired share holder in AIB who lost his nest egg, egged a head honcho at their AGM 1 yr ago, with Rotten Eggs- AIB 'magnanimously ' waived charges- think of the bad PR if they hadn't.
Re Prescott- initially there were talk of charges- then dropped. I read some Conservative's comment on Prescott's bad taste in even considering them. He said something like" I was at a conservative event with Margaret Thatcher's husband Dennis beside me, when someone punched him.Dennis ( who actually did seem an amiable old boy) just smiled, and said to me, 'just keep walking.'"
AND don't forget new TD Claire Daly: Claire Daly of SP, who was elected in Dublin surely deserves her seat, for being locked up for bin tax protests 10 yrs ago- to the great distress of her toddler daughter- and yet not a banker Ever jailed for financial crimes that amount to treason - what a country.Oh well I lost 3500 in pay over 2 yrs ( and I am fine- I'm not married with a redundant spouse/ 3 kids/ sick old parents) but I live in a fine country that at least keeps me safe from paint and bin protesters and other such dangerous scum

Anonymous said...

Of course what you say is true, but it is the Director of Public Prosecutions who decides if charges are to be brought in a case like this.

Irish law may be different, but I doubt it. It would not have mattered whether it was Eirigi or anyone else who threw a solution containing a toxic substance in a public place, the victim has no choice as to whether charges are brought when the public have been put in danger.

Mrs Harney is probably a millionaire several times over and can afford to buy many new outfits, but in the eyes of the law she was just an ordinary individual, and now she is just an ordinary overweight middle aged ex politician who could have done so much good, but did nothing significant to help Ireland.

Anonymous said...

I would imagine the fine would have passed the €2,000 mark if any of the noxious chemical had got on Mary Harney's hair.

A bit of good fortune for the Eirigi woman there.


Michael O said...

The reality is that the protester deserved to be prosecuted for her puke-making hypocrisy. Eirigí supports another group of people who believe murder is justifiable. The paint throwing was just a way to divert attention from the evil activities of her friends. She threw paint at the wrong person - she should have poured it on herself.