Lapped Up Fake News at the Joint Oireachtas Committee
Donald Trump was elected President he did so on a crest of accusations
of fake news and lies by the traditional media. When
challenged by factual-based questions, or accusations, he would
simply reply that this was more of the medias lies and
fake news. It is a strategy of answering by accusation rather
than answering by way of substance.
fishing industry, in my opinion, is currently facing an onslaught
of fake news accusations which is nearly impossible
to deal with. I refer to the recent media coverage of the employment
of Non-EEA Fishermen and the work permit system.
the 4th of July a Joint Oireachtas Committee meeting was told:
There are only 42 permits today in existence today for an
industry that has more than 1,500 migrant workers.
office alone has renewed over 123 such permits in 2017 alone. Where
did 42 permits come from?
Like fake news the numbers 42 and
1,500 have been plucked from the Trumpsphere
with no basis in reality. The idea that there can be armed raids
in November 2016 and not one undocumented worked found begs the
question - where are these 1,500 migrant workers exactly hiding
and why could the sniffer dogs not find them?
course the fact is that these numbers serve nothing but to garner
headlines, promote personal agendas and, perhaps more tellingly,
are at the sole cost of the Fishing Industrys reputation.
the recent Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
which was discussing the Atypical Work Permit Scheme
pertaining to the fishing Industry, the attendees on that occasion
were: Ms Edel McGinley and Ms Dearbhla Ryan from the Migrant Rights
Centre Ireland, MRCI, and Mr. Ken Fleming, Mr. Darren Proctor and
Mr. Padraig Yeates of the International Transport Workers
a single representative from the Fishing Industry present.
the legal privilege that attaches at such a Committee, it was nothing
short of a disgrace.
permits were referred to as dog licences
maximum time they enjoy from one length of Ireland to the other
at any one time is a two-hour rest period
that we would legalise slavery, which is exactly
what we have done
. and when asked about international
comparisons - There is no two-ways about it; we are the worst.
is the evidence for any of this? The TDs lapped it up and
were appalled. Not one of them asked if any of this
fake news was documented or if any of the assertions
listened to biased, unproven poison, Mr. Niall Collins TD (FF) actually
stated: It would be right to hear from the other actors who
are not behaving as they should be, as outlined by Mr. Fleming,
for example, the Maritime Survey Office, MSO, the Workplace Relations
Commission, which used to be NERA, and representatives of the people
who own the fleet, namely, the Irish Fish Producers Organisation,
was no evidence of any mis-behaviour on the part of
anyone because it was all assertion and guff.
Neville TD (FG) stated We are talking about human beings and
the reported conditions in which they are working, or trying to
reported conditions are we talking about? If someone
stands up and says it is raining it is customary for someone to
verify if this is correct. It is a disgrace to see Public representatives
forming opinions based on fake news. It is nothing short
of appalling to watch TDs accept at face value all sort of
nasty assertions being peddled without any questioning or digging.
thought it ironic that the Minister for Education announced in June
a new Course resource to help teach primary schoolchildren about
the media, advertising and fake news.
would appear that our TDs should attend this course as well.
difficulty for the Industry is that Fake News works.
People listen to it and worse, want to believe what they hear. It
plays to some part of their own preconception about the subject
matter being criticised.
in mind the alleged 1,500 undocumented migrant workers on fishing
vessels, the WRC recently reported that they had undertaken 208
inspections of the whitefish fleet, involving 150 of the 176 whitefish
vessels over 15 metres in length and initiated 5 prosecutions where
compliance by other means was not secured - 5 prosecutions!