I hope it was none of you. I’d be very upset if one of my readers took it all too seriously and tried to assassinate Dana. That’s wrong and stupid. What if you failed and she got in on a wave of sympathy?
OK, I wouldn’t joke about this if I thought it was for real. Or at least I’d make different jokes. But it’s not real. No one was trying to rub out Dana. Maybe it isn’t hard to imagine someone with a grudge against the Catholic church having a stab at her tyres, but who stops at stabbing just one? And anyway, that’s no assassination attempt. Unless of course they had the expertise to damage a tyre just enough to cause it to blow out later when moving at high speed. You know, the kind of expertise that doesn’t exist.
No. The Scallons had a blowout. Unusual, but they happen. That they should even speculate that it was some sort of assassination attempt tells us all we… well, all we already knew about their grasp of reality.
Let’s pass over this sideshow, and concentrate on keeping Fianna Fáil the hell out of the Park.
So according to a story just broken by IrishCentral.com, the “vile and false” accusation against a member of Dana Rosemary Scallon‘s family is that her brother – and campaign advisor – John Brown sexually abused their niece.
Pretty vile all right, and from an odd source. No complaint or charge of sexual abuse appears to have been made. The accusation comes from legal testimony given by the father of the alleged victim, Dana’s brother-in-law Dr. Ronald Stein, during the legal wrangling between the partners formerly involved in Dana’s record label. (Heart Beat Records, a “Christian music company the family had established in the U.S.” as IrishCentral describes it.) However he appears not to have accused Dana’s brother of the crime so much as claimed that he confessed to it.
It has to be emphasised that we have no particular reason to believe the accusation. Possibly the testimony by Stein is a fabrication made during a very nasty battle to control a lucrative family business. This is what Dana herself appears to believe, and as the Irish Times reported, the judge in that case said that “no witness spoke only the truth.”
Will this affect her campaign? In fact I think it could do her more good than harm. Unlike the loosely comparable issue dogging Senator David Norris, her brother has not apparently been convicted or even charged with anything, and the full extent of Dana’s involvement, as far as we know at this point, was to try to keep the allegation off the record and out of the papers. That may have been ultimately a foolish move – if an allegation is baseless you inevitably lend it credence by attempting to suppress it – but she doesn’t appear to have done anything at all improper. Then there is the issue that will inevitably follow on. Was some journalist really using this information to threaten her, as she seems to believe? If it can be shown (or made to look like) one was, then she has a sympathy vote coming.
I doubt if it is true though. It seems more likely that she perceived, or wished to characterise, any questions about these allegations as an attempt to undermine her campaign. But she should not pretend, even to herself, that such an allegation made in court is of no legitimate interest to the electorate. The biggest mystery here is how it did not come to light until this late stage.
Will it effect the outcome of the election? No, not at all. She was quite clearly not electable anyway.