Irish Independent Now Neither

Independent, out of focus
Image by Cian Ginty via Flickr

The Irish Independent has gone to shit.

First of all, an article designed to incite hatred against the Polish minority. Why would you want to do that?

The story allegedly reports an account from a Polish newspaper of a woman revelling in the easy life she has on our excessively generous welfare system. It’s even claimed that she called the Donegal town in which she lives “a shithole”. But as people who understand Polish point out in the comments, that is a travesty of the original. To quote one:

This article is so full of blatant lies that you can’t even blame it on mistranslation. The authors should be ashamed; they certainly did it on purpose to suit their agenda, unless they are illiterate.

The original is completely different; the woman has never said Donegal is a sh*thole, in fact she is heaping praise It is said in the introducion that Donegal is the most beautiful place in the world for some and the ultimate backwater for others, but for her it’s great; she gets up at dawn every day to go out and see Donegal sunrise to energise her for the day ahead. She is training and working towards opening her own massage therapy business, renovating the premises herself etc. Her standard of living is very low. She doesn’t even turn her fridge on, she shops in the local market and barters for services in her town offering massage therapy in return. She has been exploited in her jobs in hostels and hotels and she is grateful for the opportunity to retrain and open her business and for the assistance she gets from the welfare office. She sees this help as temporary, until she gets back on her feet. She is on her own, no partner or family here.

I can’t believe that the authors had the gall to take their twisted version to a senator to stir up trouble.

  • See a point-by-point demolition of the story posted to Reddit.
  • Here, The Broadsheet refutes the article by juxtaposing it with its alleged source.

Why, Indo? Well, I’m sure it sells newspapers. And when it starts fights between our own poor and an immigrant minority, coverage of that will doubtless sell newspapers too. The story invites you to agree that welfare is too generous and foreigners are lazy. I realise there’s a need to beat off competition from the “Irish” editions of British tabloid newspapers, but you do your country no favours by becoming them.

And this was not even what drew my attention to the Irish Independent’s plunging standards. It was today’s front page story, about “left-wing critics” of government health policy “refusing to answer” when asked if they themselves used private health insurance instead of the state system.

Perhaps they didn’t answer because they thought it was a bloody stupid question. Of course they use private cover. Only the very poorest get free health care in this country. If your income is over social welfare levels you have to pay. Therefore you need insurance.

The editors of the Independent however seem to have forgotten that. Their question would only make sense if these “left-wingers” were paying lip service to a system that they secretly refused to use themselves. It’s a standard Tory newspaper attack, translated into a context where it makes no sense whatsoever.

Forgetting where you live is I think taking imitation of the British tabloids too far.

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