FF and “high moral ground”
21 September, 2010
A bitter laugh was to be had from a remark on Eamon Dunphy’s radio show on Newstalk last Sunday.
A panel member (I think it was Ger Colleran of the Irish Daily Star), contrary to the rule that dog does not eat dog, was giving out about Kathy Sheridan’s Irish Times’ article about Garglegate, and about its coverage of Fianna Fáil generally. The words he chose to condemn the Irish Times were so revealing: he said that they were always taking “the high moral ground”.
These particular words are usually heard from Fianna Fáil politicians or their apologists and, you no doubt realise, they are intended to be a severe criticism.
That sums up the ethical morass that passes for public discourse in Ireland and in Fianna Fáil in particular. To adopt the high moral ground is to be deviant, elitist, priggish and judgemental (the last being used in its now-normal pejorative sense, although of course the continuation of civilisation depends on people making value judgements, and acting upon them, every day of their lives).
I don’t know about you, but I prefer to be sitting (standing?) on the high moral ground. In most parts of the world, that would signify that one is taking the side of the good guys, and not the sinners and criminals. Obviously we do things differently in Ireland. Or at least they do in Fianna Fáil.