Gazing upon the Wreckage of the Norris Campaign
July 30, 2011 16 Comments
Two milestones have been reached on this blog of late. One is the rather minor matter that this piece marks my fiftieth posting.
The other is that the story broke on this site on Sunday July 24th has since gone national. After gathering interest for a number of days on Politics.ie and among Facebook friends, including some journalists and politicians, on Friday evening David Norris’s director of communications, Jane Cregan, and director of elections, Derek Murphy, resigned from Mr Norris’s campaign team. More have joined them today. Murphy and Cregan did not specify why they resigned, but Stephen Collins left readers in no doubt on the today’s Irish Times that it was due to knowledge of Ezra Nawi’s conviction for sex with a male Palestinian minor in Israel getting to the Irish public. Little did I know innocently blogging on Sunday that Norris’s letter appealing for clemency in his lover’s sexual offence case would be leaked by today. The letter is worth reading for the arrogance on display alone. Norris drops the fact that he got a double-first at undergrad level, and claims he can give ‘expert evidence’ to the esteemed judges on the High Court of Jerusalem while talking at length about other irrelevant legal systems. To any decent person, Norris’s actions must rival much of what was revealed in the Cloyne and Ryan Reports in their evil. Unfortunately, classic anti-Semitic motifs among Norris supporters, that I care not to link to, are on display all over Ireland in depicting this as an Israeli conspiracy. No, people: I was the conspirator.
After it all, I’m left pondering a few things. I was able to put damning evidence on Nawi and his relationship with Norris together in a few hours of searching Google and LexisNexis. What was wrong with the Irish media that the pieces were not put together years ago, or even after the Helen Lucy Burke Affair? Clearly if David Norris were an English politician this would never have been the case. Either the Irish media are more respectful of our private lives, or they are marred by timidity. This is a another triumph of the blogosphere, which has really come into its own after the financial crisis of 2008.
Then there are the people in the Norris campaign team, and Norris himself. I have no illusions that these people were not aware of the ticking bomb. The fact that Cregan and Murphy immediately resigned on the news coming out, rather than putting up some kind of fight, is telling. I am only reminded of John Edwards in the 2008 US Presidential election. How could a man continue campaigning knowing he could never keep the affair a secret, much less the resulting child, all behing the back of a dying wife? Was it arrogance? Delusions of grandeur and invincibility? Can we compare this with Norris?
When I get through all the hate mail, I might come back with an answer.