Sunday 21 January 2018

John-Paul McCarthy: It felt like hard labour watching 'Starry Plough' show

Analytical malaise undermined RTE's documentary on the Labour Party, writes John-Paul McCarthy

President de Valera once famously said that television could be as destructive as a nuclear weapon. I thought of the old man's shudder in this regard when watching RTE's documentary on the Labour Party, Labour's Way. At times, it seemed as if this programme went out of its way to dumb down the entire discussion.

Nobody asked Dick Spring a single serious question about Northern Ireland, or about his fraught transition from service under a chief executive who saw diplomacy like a river boat gambler (Reynolds) to life flanking our only Redmondite Taoiseach (Bruton).

Spring famously described himself as a balance-wheel when Tanaiste from 1992-1997. He gave Reynolds the unionist analysis, and he gave Bruton the nationalist one.

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