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Loony liberal left treading on eggshells in wake of atrocities visited on France

In a week dominated by the dreadful events in Paris, there wasn't really too much to brighten the mood. That 12 people should be shot dead in the offices of a satirical magazine is utterly outrageous, an assault on the freedoms we in the West take for granted but which clearly haven't taken hold among the crazier adherents of a creed around which critics must tread very warily.

The most obvious people on their tippy-toes are, of course, those corners of the media who'd classify themselves as the liberal left. The crazies on that wing of world politics responded with the usual playbook straight from the cranks' charter. You could have held a drinking game with the statement issued by the Socialist Workers' Party and still been hammered even though it barely ran to a paragraph.


Let's see. "Rogue state of Israel" - check. "US imperialism and aggression" - check. That kind of thing is to be expected from those deluded and dangerous headcases, but the liberal types are in a different quandary.

A typical example was the panel on Tonight with Vincent Browne on the night of the atrocity. Rather than admit that the US and Israel are bang to rights trying to keep a lid on this kind of savagery, a panel including journalists(and someone from The Journal.ie) pussyfooted around the issue and actually pondered what this attack would mean for "the wider Muslim community". Jesus, your colleagues have been murdered by madmen earlier in the day and you're worried whether some equally misguided nutjob might launch an attack on a mosque.

The real problem Vincent Browne and his ilk face is that they simply can't bring themselves to acknowledge that anything the US and Israel do might be in any way right, and instead try to ponder the "causes" of Islamic extremism. Well, Vincent and Co, I'll make things really, really easy for you. There is no "cause". It's been there since the 16th Century and didn't suddenly emerge after the Six Day War, the first Gulf War, the Iraq War or even the bloody Crusades. Just admit it and stop tying yourselves in knots.

Oh, and while condemnation of the outrage was everywhere from Wednesday lunchtime onwards, it was interesting that there wasn't a peep out of the Shinners. I wonder did they keep their heads down due to the fact that a couple of months ago their president for life Gerry Adams was making wisecracks at a fundraising dinner in the States about taking a gun into the offices of this newspaper group, as Michael Collins allegedly once did. What a card that man truly is.

On a slightly lighter note, we had the distraction of a pub in Coolock raising hackles by holding a 'Welfare Wednesday' and offering pints and shorts for €3 all day on production of a social welfare card or bus pass. Using the Department of Social Welfare's actual logo on the poster wasn't the brightest idea, admittedly, and I'm not too fond of these kind of schemes.


However, the manager of said establishment did make a good point in response to Tanaiste Joan Burton's indignant reaction.

He pointed out, quite correctly, that Ms Burton condemned his pub for trying to give people with limited money an opportunity to socialise without it costing them an arm and a leg, but the Government of which she's a part is quite happy to stand over the fact that supermarkets continue to sell alcohol below cost.

This, he said, is directly encouraging people to drink at home where there's absolutely no restriction on how much they consume or how they behave.