Friday 18 January 2019

Glory days for Buzzkill George


There's a little bit of George Lee in us all
There's a little bit of George Lee in us all
Declan Lynch

Declan Lynch

There's a little bit of George Lee in all of us - some part of our souls that will always be wary of the downsides of everything, that will urge us not to get too carried away with ourselves, even on the sunniest day. Especially on the sunniest day.

And since there's a little bit of George Lee in all of us, if you happen to actually be George Lee, you've got more George Lee in you than most.

So at the risk of being accused of shameless typecasting, RTE News sent him out last Wednesday to play the role which he has made his own over the years - that of Buzzkill George.

Admittedly during many of those years there hasn't much of a buzz to kill. Not so last Wednesday, when George faced up to one of the biggest buzzes that Ireland has ever had, temperatures of 30C and a World Cup going on - and he stared it down, and he brought it to its knees, and he killed it.

I think it was the pictures of the poor cattle who were in grave danger of dying of thirst that did it for me, but once George was on the case, you knew it was going to get done somehow.

It is important work that he is doing out there - so, in the spirit of George Lee, I thought I'd mention a few other really bad things that may have escaped your attention in the last few days, when you were out enjoying yourself.

On BBC Northern Ireland, there was an excellent Spotlight report on Dark Money and the DUP - which received a record donation of £425,000, of which some £282,000 was spent in the closing stages of the EU referendum campaign on a lavish pro-Brexit advertisement in the London Metro newspaper.

They got their Brexit too, apparently undaunted by the fact that the prospect of leaving the EU had already unsettled many otherwise normal Northerners, who are now wondering if they mightn't be better off in a United Ireland if it means staying in the EU.

So here is the DUP taking shedloads of money to advance the cause that is cherished by Sinn Fein, which in turn is availing of the worst instincts of the Irish media which simply refuses to seriously challenge the Sinn Fein policy of abstention from Westminster. Their votes could help to prevent the disaster for Ireland that would come with Brexit - but they will not go there, because they sense that they could be the beneficiaries of what would arguably be an even bigger disaster for Ireland, the "unity" emerging out of chaos.

But hey, let's not sweat the small stuff, as they say. I must draw your attention to a Newsnight report about the grave situation in which Angela Merkel finds herself, due to strong opposition to her policies of immigration from many parties in Germany, including a load of men dressed in lederhosen.

This is not something that we like to see, but we were seeing plenty of it during Gabriel Gatehouse's report from Bavaria, in which numerous folk could be seen participating in wildly stereotypical scenes of traditional Bavarian life - music and dancing and beer-drinking, and speeches with lines like "Germany is so strong because of us Bavarians".

So that'd be Germany gone, and with it Europe, bearing in mind that Ireland and the UK will already be gone - all of it brought to you by the unceasing efforts of outfits all over the Continent such as the DUP and Sinn Fein and the Brexiteers and the lads in the lederhosen.

As for America, it's not so much a question of whether it will be gone too, more an effort to establish if it is already gone. Reporting Trump's First Year…The Fourth Estate was a top-notch Storyville production on BBC2, documenting the efforts of The New York Times to report on what looks for all money like a Latin American dictatorship ensconced in the White House.

And by the way, they are trying to keep the old journalism going at a time when this inky trade has acquired so many enemies, technological and human.

But listen, you keep cool out there.

Spotlight (BBC1)


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