Colm O'Doherty: It’s true, every cloud has a silver lining. The ongoing political crisis - stemming from the failure of politicians to increase social well-being in a period of economic growth and then reducing the well–being of vulnerable groups - creates an opportunity for hunter commentators in the media to “kill” those who stand in the way of the hunters.
As Bauman points out in Liquid Times (2008), hunters are unlike gardeners, not interested in social order or social progress. They are the economistas whose sole task is another kill or financial coup big enough to fill their game bags to capacity. It is not their duty or responsibility to make sure that the forest or society is looked after and replenished. In fact, as one of their ilk declared yesterday in the Irish Times, it’s not their responsibility to know anything about how society works – it’s not her worry.
Sarah Carey in her piece yesterday paraded her ignorance on how the state is run and declared that it doesn’t matter who is at fault in creating our financial destruction, as long (the implication is) as she can continue to gather a few trophies for herself. Yesterday the trophy heads belonged to the people who provide us with electricity. Her piece was titled Sorry boys, it’s your turn to share the pain now. Her message is clear – we should all become hunters now – because the alternative is relegation to the ranks of the game, i.e those on social welfare.
The culture of hunting in our society is very strong, and commentators receive their licence to hunt from a media/ political establishment that likes to hunt in packs. It stands to reason that, in a world populated mostly by hunters, ignorance of the consequences or realities of individual actions becomes a source of pride or vanity. The 'I don’t know what happened, I only want it fixed' attitude is an abdication of responsibility and a badge of honour for hunters. Yes, hunters do vote, but presumably they vote without taking any responsibility for how things pan out. Through their hunter-commentator platforms they provide perfect cover for the politicians who have run the country into the ground.
Colm O’Doherty is lecturer in the Dept of Applied Social Studies, IT Tralee. A qualified social worker with extensive practice experience, he has researched and published in the areas of social policy, child protection, domestic violence, community development, social work, family support and parenting. He is the author of A New Agenda for Family Support, Providing Services That Create Social Capital (2007) and co-editor of Community Development in Ireland: Theory, Policy and Practice (2012) and Learning on the Job: Parenting in Modern Ireland (2015). He holds a PhD from UCD.