Bowler hats, West Brits and the advantage of keeping your past in another country

Okay, I apologise for yet another post on the McGuinness candidacy (there’s loads of stuff out there). I am trying to do something more useful with my time, honestly. But this from Miriam Lord, is just too good to miss:

That David Norris guy is different. He has been known to wear a bowler hat on Bloomsday and sounds like a West Brit. He deserves to be fully interrogated about his past – which he was recently, with disastrous consequences for his presidential ambitions.

But not Mr McGuinness, who is on a career break from his day job as Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister and seeking to be the Republic’s next president.

His past is another country and it appears he wants journalists from the adjoining jurisdiction to respect this.

Like hell they will. The DFM’s wish to be designated a Special Area of Protection is unlikely to be granted in the coming election. Otherwise, those who would not ordinarily pull their punches might be accused of having an agenda.

And the point of all that satirical levity:

Candidates must face an equal opportunity onslaught and no-holds barred background check, with the eventual survivor deemed equal to the requirements of the highest office in the land.

They know this around Leinster House, where the saga of who will eventually be on the ticket continued to be one the main talking points. Martin McGuinness’s preciousness about his background raised many eyebrows, both on the political and the media front.

She concludes with the DFM’s round turn:

…there are undoubtedly a number of people out there who are very determined to try and undermine my campaign, but I’m not going to get fixated about any of that.”

It was an “off-the-cuff” remark and if he offended people in the media, “it wasn’t generally meant for the media”. Top-ho, so. Pink gins all round!

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

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