Wednesday 17 January 2018

Je suis Derek? Not at all. In fact, vous etes un idiot

Water Protester Derek Byrne
Water Protester Derek Byrne
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

When it comes to having a decent protest, the first rule is to wildly exaggerate the threat of the thing you are protesting against and the plight you find yourself in.

I first saw this in Dublin in the late 1990s when the taxi industry was being deregulated. Barely a day went past without some demo or another, and my favourite was the march on the Dáil which culminated in a bunch of the demonstrators unveiling a banner which spoke of a 'Holocaust against taxi drivers'.

It was a supreme example of the almost heroic hubris and self pity which ran through that particular campaign, but even in the annals of hyperbole, comparing the much needed reform of an uncompetitive industry to the greatest crime in humanity's history proved just how bloody stupid some people can be.

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