Myers said sorry – move on

Well, I haven’t enjoyed anything as much in a long time. It was bliss. Kevin Myres getting eviscerated from all sides. Lord, it was sweet.

I can’t think of a man in Irish journalism who deserves it as much. In my view the bould Kevin had it coming.

He can write. No doubt about that. But he’s mean. He called feminists ‘feminazis”. He blames the weak, like Travellers, for their lot. He dismisses nationalist grievances in the North as ‘victimhood’.

He has set himself the task of traducing the name of republicanism in Ireland. Not just the present provo kind, but every kind. Every dastardly act ever carried out by any republican that ever lived is dragged up and polished off to be characterised as typical republicanism.

But I think he goes further than that. He attributes, and he’s not alone in this, every failing in this country down to it being a particularly Irish problem. So, for example, bad road signage is an Irish problem. Drink is an Irish problem. Mal-governance and corruption is an Irish problem.

These things wouldn’t happen, you would think, if we weren’t Irish. As I say, Kevin Myres is not the only one to indulge in this type of self-hatred. (In fact it’s rampant, particularly in the Independent Group.)

Kevin doesn’t like political correctness. Fair enough. But he also doesn’t seem to like the idea behind political correctness, which is the desire to acknowledge a common humanity and to treat every human being fairly.

In this, he belongs to the rabid right, that brotherhood of US shock jocks, conservative talkshow hosts and columnists who seem to believe that we are just a great herd of wildebeest crossing the plain and if we should fall and get trodden underfoot in the stampede, well that’s just life. In other words, free market economics and the invisible hand therein should get free reign.

So Kevin went with his gut feeling when he wrote about ‘bastards’ and he got his due and well-deserved comeuppance.

But then he apologised and said he was sorry. He did not stand by his piece.

If there’s one thing I have in common with Kevin is the belief that the state should not run everything in society. So it was disturbing that Kevin’s column brought a clamour for a Press Council and for censorship.

This is exactly the type of case a Press Council should not be involved in. Civil society sorted this one out. Kevin was beaten by the pen. There should be no need for courts or cops or big brother.

One of the terrible aspects of political correctness is the dreadful puritanism that has come with it. To some people Kevin must never be forgiven and his mistake must never be forgotten. (Like the awful bitterness against Big Ron Atkinson for his racist remark).

Kevin Myers said he was sorry. That should be the end of it, never to be raised against him again. No sooner have we emerged from one confessional nightmare than we want to descend into another one.

I’d rather have Kevin Myers.