Monday 19 August 2019

Shatter claims 'arrogant' jibes had anti-Semitic connotations

Launch: Alan Shatter and Paul Williams at the launch of ‘Frenzy and Betrayal’ at Hodges Figgis Book Shop in Dublin yesterday. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Launch: Alan Shatter and Paul Williams at the launch of ‘Frenzy and Betrayal’ at Hodges Figgis Book Shop in Dublin yesterday. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Former justice minister Alan Shatter claims there were anti-Semitic connotations to suggestions he was an arrogant politician.

In an explosive new book, the sacked minister severely criticises Opposition politicians and the media for branding him as arrogant during the Garda scandals which engulfed his term in office.

Mr Shatter says he was described as arrogant any time he sought to defend himself or correct inaccurate information circulating during the avalanche of justice crises which defined his tenure and resulted in his resignation.

In his memoir, 'Frenzy and Betrayal - The Anatomy of a Political Assassination', he says the "arrogant Jew" is a "centuries old anti-Semitic depiction of Jewish people who stand up for themselves, have the courage of their convictions and who are neither servile nor compliant".

"Accusations of my being 'arrogant' were commonplace by the date of the confidence motion and surfaced several times during the debate.

"I assumed that most, if not all, of those who resorted to it had no understanding of the backdrop to the narrative used by them, were not consciously anti-Semitic and would be outraged if accused of anti-Semitism," Mr Shatter adds.

Mr Shatter also details how he had to call the Army Bomb Disposal Squad to his home after receiving a suspicious package containing white powder. He says the powder was identified as ashes which he believed were intended to symbolise the "remains of cremated Jewish concentration camp victims".

In the book, Mr Shatter also attacks Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who he claims "opportunistically" used the Garda whistleblower scandal to begin his Fine Gael leadership bid. He also said the Taoiseach had "no concept of collegiality" during the controversies which cost Mr Shatter his job.

Asked about Mr Shatter's criticism of the Taoiseach, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said: "[Mr Varadkar] is intensely collegiate and the comments that he made around the period that Mr Shatter is referring to were driven by the Taoiseach's desire to ensure that the highest standards possible in relation to public service and integrity and public life could be maintained."

Irish Independent

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