Shinners' Stepford Wives can't just plead ignorance
The rise of the Sinn Fein women reminds us that gender is no guarantee of greater compassion, writes Eilis O'Hanlon
Last week's ruling by the European Court of Justice that individuals can force the removal of certain items from Google search results had an immediate and predictable consequence. So far, scores of people have come forward to ask that unfortunate parts of their pasts be edited out of the public record, including a convicted cyberstalker, a man who tried to kill his family, and another convicted of possessing child pornography.
According to the BBC, more than half of those who have requested that their records be removed from Google searches since Tuesday have been convicted criminals, giving rise to concerns that the ruling may not only be a new charter for censorship but a boon to conmen and criminals too. Not to mention politicians with something to hide.
Disturbing as this trend undoubtedly is, a more worrying development in Ireland may be that there's no need for a careful editing of the past because we just don't care enough about certain people's misdeeds to hold it against them when they run for office. Economic crimes will not be forgiven or forgotten. Crimes against human beings are much more easily dismissed, as Sinn Fein's rise in popularity attests. Republicans haven't had to run to the courts to hide their dirty laundry. They've scattered it around and found that many voters don't even mind the smell.