Saturday, December 21, 2013

Fluoride Girl's Creative Manager Links Homosexuality and the Pill

I recently had the pleasure of taking part in an episode of the 4FM Late Show with Niall Boylan. I commend Boylan for putting the show together so quickly - it seemed as soon as he was aware of campaigners against vaccination he was eager to see their views put to the test. He has done a public service in showing the anti vaccine arguments to be the nonsense that they are. Aisling FitzGibbon, aka The Girl Against Fluoride, was offered a slot to defend her opposition to vaccines, but given the short notice she was unavailable so offered her creative manager and writer as an alternative spokesperson. Her name is Martha Brassil, she is also FitzGibbon's mother.

The call in contributions on the night were excellent and included a mother speaking of her regret at not vaccinating. Her son nearly lost his eyesight. A physiotherapist from Cork told of her experiences working with polio survivors. The vaccine opponents were not as impressive. I won't make you prejudge - the podcast should be available in early January.

Boylan was kind enough to make a small segment available on Soundcloud. During the show we touched on Brassil's beliefs in angel healing and her endorsement of Barbara Wren, a woman caught by the BBC pretending to cure cancer with urine and castor oil. (More on both here.) What raised the most eyebrows was her baffling linking of homosexuality and birth control. It is this segment which Boylan has released early, and I offer a transcription below.

Addendum: the full podcast is now available.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Irish Nationalist Brotherhood Embraces Multiculturalism

I have little doubt that I will almost immediately regret the decision to invest energy writing about the Irish Nationalist Brotherhood. I am mortal, my time on this earth is finite, and life brims with much greater pleasures than looking at the Twitter account of a rather depressing group that could easily hold its AGM in a large taxi.

That said, this seems to fall neatly into my area. These half dozen racists remind me of a puffer fish or scared little kitty - lacking any real substance or mass, they've found an - let's be charitable - almost intelligent way of appearing to be larger and more intimidating than reality would allow.

Over a thousand racists following their account seems to give them a warm, fuzzy feeling, the implication being that 0.0002% of the population share their views. It enables them to send vaguely threatening tweets like this:

To our members in Buncrana do you know who this anti #INB hatemonger is. [name removed]?

But how have they achieved such numbers?


They have opened up their borders and accepted any and all comers. They just can't get enough of foreign folks.

Every Twitter account contains a location tag. When you set up your account you type in where you're from. I pulled this information from all their followers and put it into a word cloud. Words that are larger are the words most frequently used:

Those most concerned with keeping Ireland white and pure seem to hail mainly from South Africa and the USA. Only 18 list Dublin as a timezone, and they're mostly radio stations and charities that automatically follow back.

This is the point where I normally write a witty summary and closing. I'm sorry to disappoint - they're really not worth my time.