Thursday, January 05, 2006

When I Look At The World

I've been meaning to get this off my chest for ages and just kept forgetting...

Am I supposed to take Freedom Institute seriously?

I read the website and it just takes itself so seriously that I'm convinced I'm missing some big joke. Not even the actual experts, that the likes of Panorama or Newsnight wheel out, are that pompous and full of their own importance. I could be wrong, I'm open to correction, but they all come across as a bunch of student politicos, earnestly trying to make a name for themselves. It's like everything they write is with one eye on the reaction of those in the intelligentsia they're *really* looking to impress.

For example (and I fully accept that this is an ad hominem argument) Dickie Waghorne, one of the contributors, is only in his early 20s and is the son of quite possibly the worst lecturer I had in UCD - Earl Waghorne, a middle-aged Canadian whose teaching 'skills' were worse than a couple of octogenarians that were barely coherent and a couple of Russians who could hardly speak English. Furthermore, Dickie was subject to a far from flattering profile by The Phoenix a couple of years back in its Young Bloods column. As someone who virtually despises the baby wannabes that inhabit the world of student politics, this was grist for my mill.

I mean the first sentence on the About FI page is "The Freedom Institute is Ireland's Centre for Social, Economic and Political Studies". Really? Says who? I wasn't aware that such a title was up for grabs. And, later, "Our proposed policies will make Ireland a better place to live." Oh. Well the elected-types might as well hand over the keys and everyone else might as well go home, so. I mean does anyone read this and not cringe? It's so toe-curlingly awful! "In conjunction with many other think tanks throughout the world, we will not shy from our responsibility to create a safer, stronger, freer and more prosperous Ireland." Responsibility?... Your responsibility?! Says who?!!!

Does anyone really take this guff seriously?...
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