Wednesday, 3 August 2011

David Norris quits the presidential race

The whole David Norris business is a disappointment, in so many ways.

Disappointing, for one, as it will come as a godsend to those who were opposed to an openly gay man standing for the Irish presidency.  Interestingly, however, despite Norris’s difficulty in getting the required nominations from his fellow politicians, he had been the public’s leading choice according to the polls.

The real problem occurred when it was revealed that  Norris wrote to an Israeli court in 1997, seeking clemency for an ex-partner who had had sex with a 15-year-old. I think the term is known as statutory rape, the reasoning being that a minor is not legally at an age to consent to sex.

Norris, it seemed, wanted to help his ex-partner in some way. I suppose we would all try to help someone we cared about no matter what they had been accused of – but to do so on Government headed paper was his big mistake.

Having said that, Fintan O’Toole, writing in yesterday’s Irish Times, brought attention to the culture of politicians interceding on behalf of constituents in similar serious matters.

For instance, he cites a case in 2002 “when it emerged that junior minister Bobby Molloy  intervened in a much more serious way on behalf of a child rapist, Patrick Naughton, the then Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, defended him on the basis of ‘that’s what politicians do. A TD is a public representative and you make representations’

That’s the kind of attitude we expect from Fianna Fail. And there’s the rub… we expect those who are not from that dreadful party to have higher standards. Norris does, I am sure, have higher standards. I think he just got personally caught up in events.

Once this story broke from all those years ago, however, his presidential ambitions were always going to be distinctly past tense.

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Anonymous said...

I think my ballot paper will have an additional "None of the above gobshites" marked on it.

What a shame that someone with charisma, intelligence and progressive attitude is forced out for the crime of doing something anyone in their position would do to try save a loved one. But then what can you expect from a nation of begrudgers and gombeens, really.

anna said...

Norris campaign was full of voluntary workers, so maybe not as slick as some. And they said they had hoped they knew about all
revelations that could come out -so they felt wrong footed by this as I would have done if I had joined it ( I did consider campaigning) .
He did give a very gracious speech this evening explaining all- he said he really did believe Ezra would have taken his life if facing a custodial sentence ( in fact he did get one and is now long out of prison ).
And in all honesty I did feel the speech redeemed himself and refuted the nasty things that had been said. I don’t believe the real wrong doing was in using Seanad paper- many have said this was no crime and there was no rule against it- one said was he going to use Barbie doll writing paper and pretend he Wasn’t a public figure?
No matter how horrified we are, We would all want to give a character defence to a loved one accused of a serious crime- if we genuinely believed it was out of character and they would not re-offend.
The bit that did vex me was why such an honourable and Very honest man did not reveal this to his campaign team? Ok - well what do you say? How do you get this out in a press release.? But if he had managed to get it out, and made such a gracious and honest explanation as he did tonight, this could all have been history by election time.
BTW I emailed him early on saying I was going to give him No 1 as I was surprised and pleased he was going to try to promote mental health issue if elected- as I think the amount of verbal aggression ( never even mind physical!) in this country is just Shocking- far higher then I ever saw elsewhere, even in NI or mainland UK. He emailed back saying he had an amazing amount of post from people who were pleased with that- people even stopped him in the street to say they were pleased with that.
As he said this evening he was happy the campaign had gone as far as it did . I will now transfer my No 1 to another man who seems to have approached public life with a genuine dedication to the people- Michael D Higgins, even if he has wacky views on promoting Irish.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that your previous post bemoans the demise of the blog, but the story broke on the blogsphere!!

Interestingly the blogger who broke the story sees this as evidence that blogging is in the ascendancy see

Maybe it is just that some bloggers call it like it is!!

john said...

Looks like an Irish blogger was behind the leak of the Norris letter, have a look at the link
second article in English. Seems ashame that the job will most likely go to some party hack.

Willy Moore said...

This election campaign is starting to look like a farce, it seems that the inimitable Dana is now considering throwing her hat in the ring again (some people just can't take a hint)!

Just imagine if this wierdo religious zealot actually won the election, it could finish the tradition of singing two national anthems at Irish rugby internationals as she could just lead us in a rendition of 'Totus Tuus' instead.

I can't stand this country anymore, I have to leave. Soon.............

Dakota said...

Yes GM I think you summed it up quite well. Mr Norris comes across as a well meaning and sincere individual with the best interests of others at heart. Alas he wasn't main stream, by default an outsider. He hadn't a chance..............Having said that GM this election is a Godsend for the coalition. Any distraction etc......Like the skipper of a sinking ship debating about the colour of the lifeboats (tricky subject that for the Irish, ahem, the colour part).

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes folks, all a bit of a shame really, and yeah, maybe if he had disclosed this matter before? And yes, I had noticed the irony of the last blog post and these events... I'll have a look at those links in a mo', thanks (only back from a hard day's slog).

It's all a bit The Usual Supsects now, isn't it?With the odd FF sympathetic gobshite thrown in. But Dana??? Oh jaysus, where's me ticket outta here.

Has to be green lifeboats... blend nicely with the sludge and the slime! Sure that's why its our national colour...

Anonymous said...

Sadly GM, even if he disclosed it, the other parties and the gutter press would have been all over him for supporting a rapist and his campaign never would have gotten off the ground.

It's farcical, honestly, that we let the morons in charge get away with fleecing us for years and we don't do a thing, yet we are up in arms about a man doing anything any one of us would done in that position. Utterly ridiculous and insane this country is.

anna said... a footnote, I noticed a newspaper article this morning - with Ezra Nawi who said the boy in question lied about his age.I have yet to read the article- but I think it is worth pointing that out.

Anonymous said...

Looking at that bloggers website and in light of the Irish Times rightly taking the candidates to task for pulling the EXACT SAME THING as Norris. Seems to me someone's pulling a hatchet job because they don't like Norris' views on Israel. He's already pulled out the "I'm not a journalist" defence. It remains to be seen how deep the rabbit hole goes on this one.

Minister for Snowflakes and Daffodils said...

was just listening to BBC World Servicr over here in this far flung colony and the report on the fall of David Norris. That's a damn shame really - he certainly looks the part and probably is too had he not fucked up. Michael D is a possible candidate. Then of course there's Dana. There's all kinds of everything going on in the old country right now.
Isn't time for the Gombeenmobile's special tune up for blemmin' along the French motorways scaring the merde out of the poor old Frenchies time of year again (ou non)

The Gombeen Man said...

PB, it gets worse. Now it looks like Gaybo is waiting to through his cap into the ring. Dear oh dear oh dear.

Who next? Daniel O'Donnell? Twink?

I suggest a dual presidency of Podge and Rodge to restore a bit of dignity to the country.

PS Those French motorways are a nice thought alright, but I don't think this year :-(

anna said...

I'd like to also say Esra Nawi got a jail sentence of Three Months- can readers do a
calculation to translation that into the weight of the offence.
'Statutory rape' can be an unfortuante and loaded term, it appears the victim in this case misled as to his age, wanted sex, and was 1 yr under legal age of consent.BTW I study law and read cases of sexual offences especially agaisnt minors with great interest- child sexual abuse has certainly happened to people I have been very close to throughout my life- and I have known both male and female victims- I certainly have had an opportunity to see the ill effects at close hand and it is something I am never soft on-
Strange really such hysteria over ' we must give a message to the world that we can't have a president who would tolerate child abuse', when David Norsis most certainly never did etc..
YET 2 yrs after Ryan Report into sexual abuse by priests no one has been charged...
OH and NO demands by our concerend citenzry that They Are Charged- OH and even more Amazingly no large mobs Demanding the Catholic cHurch hands over control of all schools immediately. Nothing like a good witch hunt to Really Stir the fine spirts of we Irish- too bad we're too cowardly to go after real targets.
Ireland- 2011
Twinned with
Salem - C 1600's

The Gombeen Man said...

"YET 2 yrs after Ryan Report into sexual abuse by priests no one has been charged..."

Good point. Selective hysteria is at work, it seems...

Anonymous said...

"Good point. Selective hysteria is at work, it seems... "

It's all fitting into place really, GM

- Israeli blogger doesn't like Norris' opinion on Israel and his pro-Palestine views
- Selectively creates a salacious story out of an old story to try create a scandal
- Most Media runs with it without investigating the full story or reporting the full facts that anna has pointed out(Betting that some of them will be pulled to the press ombudsman after this)
- Irish Times calls bullshit on the claims but it's too late for Norris' campaign.
- "John Connolly" distances himself and tries to re-invent his blog as a pro-zionism/pro-capitalism/anti-Ireland blog.

Yeah. No wonder people smell a rat when it's an obvious hitjob.

anna said...

A concise gem- see below-
David Norris and the Troll
By Bock ( The Robber)
Aug 1st, 2011 | | Category: Politics

Trolls are interesting creatures, aren’t they? In internet language, a troll is someone who, among other things, tries to disrupt discussion on certain topics, and we’ve had our fair share of such people on this site. Of course, as everyone knows, the word Troll comes from Scandinavian folklore, as does the word Berserk and I thought this was an interesting commonality, which I’ll come to in a little while.Probably the most pathetic of the trolls, in hindsight, is the young lad who recently posted material on his blog leading to the derailment of David Norris’s presidential campaign. He commented here quite a lot as well, whenever I wrote anything about Israeli policy, and I tolerated him for far longer than my reputation might suggest, even to the extent that I gave him space last year to write a post all of his own, defending the Israeli attack on Gaza. At that time, I described his contributions as “decent and courteous”, overlooking his tactic of disrupting conversations using any opportunity available to him.While I offered him space to express his views, he failed to respect that courtesy, just as he failed to respect all other commenters on this site, leading me to conclude eventually that I was dealing with a boy who lacked the normal boundaries by which we show respect to our fellow men and women.
I banned him, and I was right, but I failed to grasp the extent of his vindictiveness.
You see, although I suspected that the young fellow using the clumsy handle “thesystemworks” was a bit of a fantasist, I didn’t comprehend the full extent of his role-playing. I didn’t grasp that a nineteen-year-old Irish lad from Sligo really was convinced he was an Israeli operative in the field. And so, when he re-emerged as the source for the information that has undermined David Norris’s presidential campaign, I was a little taken aback.
I was even more surprised when he boasted on Twitter about his involvement, even though he later attempted to downplay his role.
Coming so soon after the Anders Behring Breivik incident in Norway, I was struck by the similarity between the circumstances of the two fellows, even though one is a grown man while the other is still a boy. Both of these characters had persuaded themselves that they operate on behalf of a greater power. Both are convinced that they have a significant role in changing the world. Both are grossly intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them. Both are prepared to take extreme action in support of their ideology. Both are cowards. Neither has any shame.
Obviously there is a difference. ”Thesystemworks” hasn’t killed anyone directly, although he has no difficulty defending the murder of civilians, but I would be worried about this lad. From what we’ve seen through history, adherence to ideology, combined with a delusion of being a secret agent, can have an unsettling effect on the mind.
My advice to our trolling friend would be simple. You have little experience of life, and sometimes the overpowering certainty that comes with youth can unbalance the psyche. We don’t want to see another Anders Behring Breivik, and you’ve already boasted about your achievements in overturning the presidential campaign of a good, if foolish, man. You haven’t killed anyone but you’ve already politically assassinated someone who will always be more of a man than you are.
As even Cromwell said, Think it possible you might be mistaken. After all, and ironically, such certainty as yours gave us the Holocaust.

anna said...

well said, Bock-
BTW John Connolly- the blogger- says he is not in a political party, but Once was - I wonder which one??? for some one who purports to be big on honesty, he does not say)
And YES, while I am Not saying he is mentally ill, it's people like him who made me want to vote for David Norris, because Norris said he would highlight mental health issues-
This blogger Did make me feel that he cared Less about shooting down an 'unsuitable' President - as satisfying a vindictive streak that is Woefully too apparent here.
EG ' Slagging' is seen as a nstional sport- to me, it is humourless generally and vindictive - just another outlet for those with problems of untreated aaggression.
Incidentally, countries with flash point racial problems strive through laws to counter these, N Ireland brought in laws to counter allegations of sectarianism in the jobs market-all these laws are really to improve how people relate to each other.
SO I Wonder Should we have 'Anti- Slagging Laws? To teach certain Irish people to behave more courteously towards each other ??
( would the 2 psychologists who contribute have any views on this? IE I have never seen anything like the verbal aggression here)

anna said...

The official David Norris website is unavailable, and he is in Israel for a few days- got on the Face book page , which actually inspired him to run :

We Want David Norris for President

The site now has a petition, signed by 4000 including me :
Asking Him to Reconsider- why not?

I’m a big believer in ‘never say never’ it’s early August.
‘Parnell the uncrowned King of Ireland.’
‘David Norris, the best President Ireland never had.’
Where DID this country go to in 100 yrs?
No Israeli plot either- All Guaranteed Irish!
The more I think of this , the more I believe he has been the victim of smears right from the start.
When this broke, I emailed Maureen O’Sullivan, saying I was very impressed by her loyalty. I said I was annoyed with David Norris for not telling his campaign team of this. She replied that was a mistake- but No other candidate had been put under that kind of scrutiny, she also effectively said a smear campaign had gone on.

anna said...

David Norris has shown great dignity in not suing many times this year, BUT EVEN today there was a Screaming headline in the Irish Mirror based on a remark Norris made in 1975- and had intended Ironically- I though the Mirror was the best of the tabloids- I am disgusted. Worse when I went to the supermarket this eve, there were plenty of other papers - but the Mirror had sold out. If I was David Norris, I’d sue them. I’d take Israeli citizenship- who’d want to be head of this nation ?
This election - which many say is just for a figure head has brought out the Very Worst in this nation. Who’d want to head a nation which includes a vindictive blogger, lying hacks and back stabbing cowardly parliamentary colleagues?
‘We must show we are not soft on child abuse etc..!!!’- this I think from Independent TD Finian Mc Grath.
1)And what has this to do with a very decent man- all he did was give a character reference to someone he cared for in a criminal case- something we would all do.
2)WONDERFUL to see such concern in a nation that tolerated abuse of all kinds for decades. The national mantra was not concern for children , or any vulnerable people, more’ Keep your head down, it could be you next.’
3) NOT a word from the ‘concerned’ about asking for a few more paedophile priests to be charged, for the Catholic church to hand over millions of property it owes in damages, ( Reneging on a Sweet Deal they arranged with Da Bartman about EIGHT YRS AGO!!!! AND THE STATE Has RECEIVED ALMOST None of what they owe- OH and we are Bankrupt with hospitals closing !!! And Still we can't ask this monstrous church to cough up!!!
And how many people here are clamouring for schools to be taken into state control-HOW can such a Church be trusted with schools a minute longer?? …what a nation!!
Too cowardly to get after real perpetrators of Monstrous Abuse- let’s all kick an honourable man instead.

The Gombeen Man said...

The Irish are world champions in hypocricy, I am afraid, Anna.

Here's that clickable link