Time to get Irish politicians out of foreign courts

David Norris remarked yesterday, at the press conference outside his front door, that he has lobbied American courts and politicians to help inmates who have been given the death penalty.

Currently, controversy is brewing over Gay Mitchell’s decision to intervene on behalf of pro-life activist Paul Hill, who murdered two people in Florida: a doctor who carried out abortions and his bodyguard (also wounding the wife of one of the men).

I happen to strongly disagree with the behavior of Irish politicians in their attempts to influence foreign courts. Aside from the important separation of powers issue that applies domestically, Ireland does have a traditional policy of neutrality. It is my opinion that Ireland’s politicians, it’s elected representatives, are violating the spirit of this when they lobby for defendants in American courts, Israeli courts or courts in Timbuktu. The death penalty in America is an American issue. There are good arguments in all sides of the fierce debate, and Ireland should  not be so arrogant as to try and force its views on another legal system. I sincerely doubt Gay Mitchell has more insight on the matter than the American judiciary or the Governor of a state. A very important question must also be asked: what kind of criminals have Irish politicians like David Norris and Gay Mitchell been assisting? Would all those who elected them agree to the representation made partly in their names? I have deep issues with the death penalty, and I believe we are better of without it in most circumstances. However, I have met many people involved in the trial and capture of Adolf Eichmann, and this has had a strong affect on me to say the least. There are some crimes that can never be atoned for. Crimes where the accusers number thousands, even millions, of dead bodies that simply merit death.

But I digress.

If the Irish people want neutrality, they should have the nerve to make their politicians stand by that policy. Ireland has often demonstrated its commitment to neutrality is quite phony. The government of Jack Lynch even went so far as to train Egyptian Air Force pilots in 1978. Those who express commitment to Irish neutrality should follow the logical conclusions of their principles to demand the elimination of all foreign aid programs and the end of condemnations of the policies of other countries in the Oireachtas, whether that involves America, Israel, Cuba or Venezuela. There should be no selective condemnations or expressions of support for foreign leaders on the basis of sympathy with that leader’s ideology in a neutral nation. Advocates of neutrality must stop elected officials lobbying on behalf of foreign criminals in their name. Otherwise, Irish neutrality will mean nothing. And I happen to think it currently does mean nothing.

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About Cranky Notions
Reactionary. That fella from the Norris scandal.

7 Responses to Time to get Irish politicians out of foreign courts

  1. baconbiter says:

    The Irish are notorious busybodies whose sanctimonious, pious attitudes seem to drive them to condemn all those they disagree with (Israel is a good example) and defend every criminal who they see as “victims of the system”.

    This statement doesn’t just apply to Irish politicians. It’s a cultural phenomenon that transcends all types, genders and ages of the Irish population.

    I’ve learned there is no affective defence against the “Irish Blitz”. If you try to debate they’ll argue. If you argue back it could result in a prolonged diatribe ending in a huffy, crossed-arm stance, which declares: “You lose I win”, no matter how much positive evidence you produce.

    That’s why they’re called “Thick micks!

  2. Jonathan says:

    Agree entirely, but if you are going to make this arguement then you have to judge others by the same token. How about a post telling the United States to stay out of the Middle East? Or Israel staying out of American politics via its hugely influential lobby groups? People in glass houses…..

    • I believe in ending US assistance to Israel. Israel’s economy grew fastest before this financial assistance started flowing in after the Yom Kippur War. Israel needs to cut the size of its government and state sector, and foreign cash flows mask that reality. Most of the American money comes with strings attached: the majority of dollars must be spent on US equipment. It can be seen as a roundabout way of subsidizing the American arms industry, and as a moneymaker for some Americans in a similar manner to the Marshall Plan.

      Pro-Israel lobby groups in America are an American phenomenon. They are grassroots organisations funded by American citizens, and every American has the right to lobby. The fact is, the American people like Israel. There are influential lobby groups in America with absolutely no public support. The Saudis are a case in point. No popular grassroots organisations exist to support Saudi Arabia. Saudis spend billions on an elaborate lobby network made up of former diplomats and oilmen, while donating billions to Western universities in a way Israel never could. Not to mention their funding of Wahhabi mosques that marginalizes rival streams of Islam. Many Mid-East study departments have received Saudi funding, along with the funding of other Arab governments, which is partly how the ideology of Edward Said took over that sector.

      • Jonathan says:

        You make some good points but leave yourself open. Every American has the right to lobby, but so too does every Irish person. How do you know that the Iona Institute did not lobby Gay Mitchell to write these letters on behalf of himself and his constituents? It is the same as having AIPAC lobby the US Congress urging them in giving generous grants and loans to Israel, only of course the latter involves billions and billions of dollars in arms deals, political donations etc..

        Also, you left the USA out entirely which means you must have conceded the point on that one! I suppose they dont need letters on government headed paper when they have the CIA.

      • I wouldn’t want to speculate on any Iona Institute connection to the Mitchell letter. I have no evidence for that.

        But you know, and I meant to say this in the last comment, many Israelis are angry that European countries such as Ireland fund radical radical NGOs that are seen as undermining Israeli democracy: http://www.aish.com/jw/me/90933029.html

        When I was last walking around Tel Aviv I noticed the offices of a lot of extreme left-wing organizations, whose membership could probably be counted on one hand. Yet these HQs were in expensive plush locations, often paid for by groups like Oxfam or the governments of Belgium or Norway.

  3. baconbiter says:

    Cause glennaolivax447 I’m a staunch Conservative who believes America was created by god almighty to rule the world with Israel sitting on America’s right side.

    Ireland is a puny, pitiful little lump of sod with Neanderthals for inhabitants who are simply jealous of the bountiful American Capitalist lifestyle.

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