Friday 20 September 2019

Norris only has himself to blame for disastrous media campaign

Norris stoutly defended his position by condemning paedophilia but apparently condoning pederasty.

with Gavin Duffy

THIS WEEK Senator David Norris is addressing County Councils seeking their nominations for him to contest the Presidency. He hasn't a hope. Politically he is now a dead man walking and he only has himself to blame. His appallingly poor judgment and disastrous media strategy have ruined his campaign which, only a fortnight ago, looked so promising. A Liveline, RTE Radio One, tele-poll then had him way ahead at 41%.

Constitutionally the office of The President is above politics and must not take policy positions. David Norris demonstrated, beyond doubt, that he cannot help himself when it comes to expressing an opinion even if it is going to destroy his ultimate objective. Does anyone actually believe he could go for seven years in the Aras without expressing a single controversial opinion?

Further his campaign demonstrated appallingly poor media judgement. The worst type of president we could have is one who doesn't have the wit to realise when he or she is in really big trouble and graciously reverse.

But not Senator Norris, he should have immediately apologised for his 2002 Magill and 2010 Irish Mail reported comments, stating that he should not have allowed himself say something so ambiguous and so open to misinterpretation. Instead David Norris ploughed on and over the cliff. He stoutly defended his position by condemning paedophilia but apparently condoning pederasty.

So what is the actual definition of the word "pederasty"? offers three definitions as follows;

1. Sexual relations between two males, especially when one of them is a minor.

2. Homosexual relations between men and boys.

3. And it offers a Medical Definition as - anal intercourse especially with a boy as the passive partner.

This raises the question what is the difference between pederasty and (sexually) "grooming" a boy aged thirteen to sixteen? Clearly Senator Norris's stance raised more questions than it answered and so his hopes of becoming President effectively ended by his own doing last week on Morning Ireland.


One of the most talked about issues this summer has been the Stop the Spread Campaign from Safe Food, the State's public health promotion and monitoring unit. Safe Food has boldly stated that two out of three of us are unhealthily overweight. In previous summers when they spent tax payers' money politely and meekly telling us to make sure we cooked the food thoroughly on the barbeque, they were great folks.

But this year they have had the audacity to tell us to measure ourselves around the middle and for women, if you are over 32 inches, or men over 37 inches, this indicates you are probably harming your health through being chronically overweight.

Some journalists have questioned the one measurement fits all approach sanctioned by the WHO, the World Health Organisation. But is this further proof of our denial. Do we simply hate to be told we are FAT?

When the WHO recently pronounced that mobile phone use is injurious to our health not one journalist questioned it. But because we are in denial about our weight some of the journalists have even questioned the independence of the WHO.

So let's be clear what the WHO says, and in turn, what Safe Food is promoting. They are asking us all to measure around our middle. That is not what we commonly call our waistline. So, measure around your middle at your navel or bellybutton.

If a woman measures more than 32inches or a man measures more than 37 inches, that means there is an indication that your belly is protruding because so much fat has already built up around your heart, lungs and intestine that on top of that it is now forcing your tummy to protrude.

Now we can continue to deny it all day and all night long but they are the facts according to the WHO. With that much excess fat around your internal organs you are more likely to suffer coronary disease, diabetes or cancer. One third of all cancers are weight related.

But because of our state of denial we start claiming, "I have heavy bones" or "I retain a lot of water".

When the WHO stated brain tumours can result from excessive use of a mobile phone no one was daft enough to say "but I have heavy bones, my skull has an above average thickness so the electro-magnetic field won't get through my thick head as much". However these are the very arguments many of us use to resist accepting the fact that we are overweight.

Unbeknownst to ourselves our nation and our children are getting fatter and fatter. Safe Food has stuck to its guns and told us to measure ourselves as instructed. It is merely an indicator and if you are over the 32 or 37 inches but you believe you are not overweight, the best thing to do is to go to your Doctor and get that verified.

If your doctor, who will also take into consideration your age, fitness, height etc, tells you you're not overweight isn't that fantastic! Keep up the good work but don't attack a public health agency when it is merely trying to draw our attention to a serious and costly health issue for our population.


Finally, recently we have had many good reasons to question the integrity of our political establishment but the recent death of Brian Lenihan and, before that, Dr. Garrett Fitzgerald, reminds us all that there are great politicians who dedicate their lives to the common good. Brian Lenihan's untimely and tragic death should cause us to rethink of our damning of all politicians.

There are good, selfless men and women in all political parties and Brian Lenihan was one such man.