Carol Hunt: Middle East mission shows our genius at doublethink
We seem happy enough to believe the nonsense being spouted by the Government as long as it benefits us financially, says Carol Hunt
'OH that's part of the custom of Iran," said Pat Breen, chairman of the joint Oireachtas committee on foreign affairs, blithely. "But that's not the focus of our visit," he added as Claire Byrne (on Morning Ireland last Thursday) wondered how he would deal with the fact that the two women delegates on the Enterprise Ireland trade trip to the Middle East -- Maureen Sullivan TD and Senator Deirdre Cloone -- were so low down on the Iranian human pecking scale that they weren't even allowed to shake hands with any Iranian politicians. In my mind, the next obvious question would be: "And if their 'custom' was to treat black men, for instance, in a similar manner and you had two such men in your delegation, would you be just as blase about it?" But of course that question never gets asked.
Meanwhile, when questioned about the appalling human rights record of Iran, Breen insisted, bless his trusting little heart, that President Rouhani had "promised to improve human rights".
"Do you believe that?" asked Claire drily. "Oh yes indeed," said Breen brightly. "And it's only by dialogue and by visits like our visit, visits to Iran . . . that we can raise these issues."