Sunday 23 October 2016

All hail the new millennial President!

Published 17/05/2015 | 02:30

Parklife: What young person in their right mind would want to move into the Áras?
Parklife: What young person in their right mind would want to move into the Áras?
Bahar Mustafa

Next Friday we will go to the polls to finally declare to the rest of the world what a wonderful, tolerant and forward-thinking little country we really are. After all, how can we really call ourselves a true Republic when we shamelessly discriminate against a vulnerable, marginalised and misunderstood community?

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What will the neighbours think if we persist on telling tens of thousands of our own citizens that their voice is not as important as those of other people? Couldn't that lead to international accusations that we are - gulp! - mean to people?

Yes, I'm obviously referring to the Referendum that dare not speak its name, that other referendum which has so callously exposed the casual bigotry that remains at the dark little heart of the national consciousness - our continued and disgraceful prohibition of anyone under the age of 35 to stand for election for President.

Okay, okay. It's hardly the great burning social issue of our time. But then again, neither is gay marriage and plenty of people, on both sides of the aisle, have been, to use a young person's phrase, completely losing their shit over that particular topic.

For a Government that is routinely accused of being completely out of touch with reality, you have to wonder at the genius who thought the best way to get down wiv Da Kidz was to offer them the possibility of life in the Phoenix Park.

After all, it's not as if this is something that has been on the national play list for the last few years. We haven't seen rancorous millennials, boycotting any business that doesn't support their right to become El Prez. In fact, ask most 20-somethings if they'd like to be President and they will most likely look at you and go 'huh?'

That's an entirely reasonable response because nobody in their right mind would want to be President and most 20-somethings these days seem to spend their time growing increasingly ludicrous beards to complement their silly hair and their grandfather's clothes.

And the lads ain't much better, either. The crinkly, cranky codgers - who are opposed to the idea of letting someone of such a callow age become Citizen Numero Uno say it would somehow besmirch the dignity of the office - seem to have forgotten that that ship sailed a long time ago, particularly when a former terrorist like Martin McGuinness was allowed to run for the Park.

But what do the nay-sayers expect? That some kid would turn the Áras into the dopest party pad in the land? That it would be a seven-year free gaff that would degenerate into one of those Facebook horror stories which involve thousands of young delinquents descending on the house and not leaving until the parents call the police?

Well, newsflash - Mary Robinson's E-fuelled raves were the stuff of hedonistic legend during her time as President, although the complicit media tend to gloss over that aspect of her tenure. I mean, it took a team of professional cleaners a week to just cover up the cigarette burns and clear the empty cans of Dutch Gold out of her bedroom when she left the gig. What? You didn't know?

We should apply the simple principle of allowing anyone who is eligible to vote in an election to stand in that election, even if people have forgotten one crucial point - what sort of millennial weirdo would want the job anyway? Well, maybe the same kind of patriotic weirdo who is allowed join the army and potentially die on active duty.

So, we'll let these kids die in our name, but we won't let them stand for high office. Let them stand. And then let us ignore them. Sure it's the Irish way....

Btw ...

As a member of the WHNBC community (that's white, heterosexual, non-bi curious, to you lot) I'm probably not the best person to comment on the latest piece of academic madness coming out of Goldsmith College in London.

That august university has been getting a kicking after their "student welfare and diversity officer" banned white people and men from a campus event to celebrate... diversity and equality.

The 27-year-old organiser, Bahar Mustafa, describes herself as a: "Working-class, Turkish-Cypriot, queer, disabled woman", and you don't get many of those to the pound.

She insists only whitey can be racist because of past sins such as colonialism.

Presumably, if she believes people today should be judged on the crimes of the past, she will apologise to those Cypriots her Turkish ancestors colonised and, while we're at it, maybe she should say sorry to the Armenians for the Turkish genocide?

Don't hold your breath.

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