In January 1994, the Irish government announced that it was ending twenty one years of media censorship of Irish Republicanism by lifting the section 31 ban. Sinn Féin, who had been denied a voice in the established media for over two decades, celebrated the lifting of the draconian ban and felt that now they would finally be allowed to represent their supporters and their ideals in a new open and fair media.
Nearly seventeen years have passed since the official removal of section 31, but its totalitarian legacy still resonates through our nations national media. Last week Sinn Féin published progressive pre budget proposals that put the needs of Ireland's people before the needs of toxic banks or jumped up eurocrats, who are attempting to exercise fiscal control over our country without any mandate.
Sinn Féin's proposals were widely welcomed by independent economists and sober political analysts. Sadly, our so called impartial media didn't get it, choosing to throw crude and unfounded hexes on the only partisan economic proposals that have made any sense in this country since the crisis began, and in some cases they chose to completely ignore the party's plan.
Imagine if Enda Kenny had come out and stated that not only would Fine Gael oppose all cuts, but they would also reintroduce the Christmas benefit bonus to boost local economy and protect under siege families from the dangers of loan sharks?
Imagine if Kenny had said that those international hotshots who had invested in high risk subordinated bonds would now have to live with their loss because they weren't getting a penny from the Irish taxpayer?
Imagine if Kenny had unveiled plans to invest €7 billion in the Irish people, getting our unemployed back to work by building up our infrastructure?
It would have been frontpage news on every national and local newspaper, and would still be dominating the airwaves. Is Irish media censorship just the mental construct of a few demented republicans and socialists? Or is section 31 alive and well in 2010?