Ireland’s cultural revolutionaries went just that bit further in undermining themselves yesterday with the failure of a referendum intended to boycott the Irish Times in Trinity College.

Driven by the embattled paper of record’s decision to platform trans critical feminists on the matter of conversion therapy last August, the referendum aried some factional grievances among the nation’s liberal coteries.

Failing on account of not reaching the required 60% quota constitutionally needed to pass, the vote nevertheless saw 58% of students opting to cut ties with the Irish Times. 

Backed by the usual progessive big wigs, critics of the student union process may point out the fact that overall just 686 students (roughly 4% of the entire student population) were actually bothered to vote in such a trivial and vindictive referendum.

From divestment by the major papers in TCD, to the opprobrium spreading to UCD with similar campaigns on the horizons, the Irish Times has seen its name dragged through the mud by one time ideological allies.

If passed, the Irish Times would have found itself in the same position as Apartheid South Africa in having its products proscribed from sale on campus as well as the total severing of ties with the student union.

Tokenistic as it is, such a move would invariably put the fear of God into any future editorial decisions made by the paper in platforming those critical of the transgender industry and its effects on society.

A subdued referendum by Trinity standard’s the losing side were quick to vent their frustration at failing to win the vote despite capturing a majority. Speaking in the hours following the announcement Trinity News Editor Jack Kennedy lamented,

This isn’t the end. TN will be maintaining our boycott and we’d encourage other groups and people within Trinity to join. The SUs of many of Ireland’s universities are still on board, as well as thousands of individual people. You should be one of those people’

For our own part the Burkean took a rather keen but detached position on the mania gripping our alma mater. A decision either way would have placated us regardless whether it be to drum the Irish Times off campus entirely or a failure for the motion to pass and resulting sour grapes caused.

Ultimately the vote was rather indicative of the inflated egos of the middle class hacks who inhabit the corridors of power in Irish student unions, wasting our time, money and attention spans on unimportant matters while Rome otherwise burns and covid drives a nail into Irish tertiary education.

Taking the historical view, Archbishop McQuaid at the zenith of his power was unable to mount a successful boycott against the Irish Times for the paper’s tacit support for anti-Catholic pogroms during the Spanish Civil War. Much greater is our current progressive authoritarianism that such a feat is much more achievable considering the uniformity in which our media acts.

At this point in our political life a step on the cultural accelerator is in tall order to make transparent the hollowness of the status quo.

Here’s hoping Trinity presses harder down on the accelerator next time. 

Posted by Ciaran Brennan

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