This week, Twitter saw the introduction of Ireland’s newest (and most racist) political party, sent support to those travelling to LA for the Special Olympics, and learned a little something about discrimination in the music business.
Ireland’s Newest, and Most Controversial, Political Party #IdentityIreland
A few days ago, unemployed primary school teacher Peter O’Loughlin launched the country’s latest Right Wing, anti-immigration, UKIP-esque political party. O’Loughlin, alongside Alan Tighe and Gary Allen, decided to name their party Identity Ireland – presumably because they are interested in promoting ‘Irishness’ and protecting anybody who identifies as such… Unless you happen to be an immigrant. Instead of bringing our dear nation together by promoting equality, interculturalism, and all of those lovely things, Identity Ireland are more focused on imposing harsher boarder control methods, and calling asylum seekers “bogus.”
In a press conference earlier this week, O’Loughlin stated that he was interested in achieving “full Irish sovereignty,” and was swiftly interrupted by members of the Anti-Racism Network who accused him of being (you guessed it) racist, before being forcibly removed from the venue. But the merited backlash didn’t stop there, as hundreds took to Twitter on Thursday morning, as the party leader tried to justify his policies on NewsTalk.
Actually in stitches listening to this guy from Identity Ireland trying desperately not to admit he resents the migrant children he teaches.
— Amelia (@roqueandrolle) July 23, 2015
— Damien Owens (@OwensDamien) July 23, 2015
— Barry Duggan (@dugganbarry) July 23, 2015
— Damien O'Connor (@ratskins) July 23, 2015
And finally, a little something from the lads themselves:
— Identity Ireland (@AitheantasEire) May 21, 2015
“Ahh I’m just a bit racist, what can I say?”
“50c is Not Enough” #EndPrecarity #LivingWage
During the week, the Low Pay Commission released a report stating that the country’s minimum wage should be increased by 50c – to €9.15 an hour. This seemed like great news to those of us who have been stuck on the ol’ €8.65 for most of our working lives. That was, until, trade unions and workers’ rights activists calculated that in order to attain the basic cost of living, workers would have to be making at least €11.50 per hour!
To combat the commission’s proposition, members of the Migrant’s Rights Centre, Unite the Union, and others, met to discuss the end of precariousness, the numerous problems consistently arising from zero hour contracts, and the incalculable amount of issues associated with schemes like JobBridge. The groups have suggested that an 50c increase is simply not enough, and it would seem that a fair few amount of people agree with them.
Decent work matters. Valuing work & workers. We need to push employers from low wage strategies. Organising or regulation #EndPrecarity
— Paula Geraghty (@paulageraghty) July 23, 2015
Record year for tourism numbers in Ireland,yet some people think minimum wage workers in the industry are not worth 50 cent pay increase!
— nick flavin (@nickflavin) July 23, 2015
— Brid Smith (@bridsmith) July 23, 2015
The likes of IKEA have already vowed to implement a Living Wage for their workers in Ireland and the UK. Maybe it’s time for other employers to take a leaf out of their book.
Racism and the VMAs #NickiMinaj #TaylorSwift
The internet kinda blew up this week when Nicki Minaj took to Twitter to express her resentment towards the VMAs for failing to nominate her video ‘Anaconda’ for Video of the Year. In what she claims to be (and probably accurately so) a disregard for black female artists in the business, Minaj had this to say:
If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year 😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊
— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) July 21, 2015
I'm so glad u guys get to see how this stuff works. Taylor took her music off spotify and was applauded. We launched Tidal & were dragged.
— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) July 21, 2015
While her tweets spawned over a million responses from fans congratulating her on calling out discrimination within the music industry, it also allowed mainstream media to publish mass amounts of articles with headlines like “The claws are out! Here’s the goss on THAT girly feud!” (Well, not exactly, but you know what I mean.)
— entertainment.ie (@entertainmentIE) July 22, 2015
Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj’s Twitter spat gets heated… http://t.co/Fz37ND6G1O
— DOLLY Magazine (@dollymag) July 22, 2015
— ENERGY 106 FM (@energy106fm) July 23, 2015
In a tweet that has since been deleted, Taylor Swift was quick to defend her own video’s nomination by responding with – “@NICKIMINAJ I’ve done nothing but love & support you. It’s unlike you to pit women against each other. Maybe one of the men took your slot..” Although Swift does seem to have missed the point as well, it’s probably not unfair to say that Nicki’s tweet’s are most definitely aimed as much towards Taylor, as they are to the VMAs and the industry itself. Either way, Twitter went mental, and that is the point of this article.
“But whose side are you on?!” I hear you cry desperately. I’m on the side of whoever decides two successful women can have a (potential) discussion on race within the music biz without it being reduced to a mere “catfight” or “jab.” That’ll be the day….
#TeamIreland head off to LA for Special Olympics
Don’t worry – trending topics weren’t just about Right Wing political parties and misinterpreted tweets this week. On Tuesday, 88 Irish athletes were given a worthy sendoff as they arrived to Dublin airport, bound for LA. Those who couldn’t make it to say goodbye, were sure to wish Team Ireland and those volunteering the best of luck on Twitter.
— Special Olympics Uls (@SO_Ulster) July 21, 2015
My bro left at 4am today to volunteer for his 3rd Special Olympics.Im a proud baby sis especially after all he's been through #TeamIreland 🍀
— Mary ☘ (@mmjspelman) July 23, 2015
— Dublin Airport (@DublinAirport) July 21, 2015
Image source: Frank McGrath