The Week on Twitter: ‘Identity Ireland’ & Nicki Minaj

This week, Twitter saw the introduction of Ireland’s newest (and most racist) political party, sent support to those travelling to LA for the Special Olympics, and learned a little something about discrimination in the music business.

Ireland’s Newest, and Most Controversial, Political Party #IdentityIreland

A few days ago, unemployed primary school teacher Peter O’Loughlin launched the country’s latest Right Wing, anti-immigration, UKIP-esque political party. O’Loughlin, alongside Alan Tighe and Gary Allen, decided to name their party Identity Ireland – presumably because they are interested in promoting ‘Irishness’ and protecting anybody who identifies as such… Unless you happen to be an immigrant. Instead of bringing our dear nation together by promoting equality, interculturalism, and all of those lovely things, Identity Ireland are more focused on imposing harsher boarder control methods, and calling asylum seekers “bogus.”

In a press conference earlier this week, O’Loughlin stated that he was interested in achieving “full Irish sovereignty,” and was swiftly interrupted by members of the Anti-Racism Network who accused him of being (you guessed it) racist, before being forcibly removed from the venue. But the merited backlash didn’t stop there, as hundreds took to Twitter on Thursday morning, as the party leader tried to justify his policies on NewsTalk.



And finally, a little something from the lads themselves:

“Ahh I’m just a bit racist, what can I say?”

 

“50c is Not Enough” #EndPrecarity #LivingWage

During the week, the Low Pay Commission released a report stating that the country’s minimum wage should be increased by 50c – to €9.15 an hour. This seemed like great news to those of us who have been stuck on the ol’ €8.65 for most of our working lives. That was, until, trade unions and workers’ rights activists calculated that in order to attain the basic cost of living, workers would have to be making at least €11.50 per hour!

To combat the commission’s proposition, members of the Migrant’s Rights Centre, Unite the Union, and others, met to discuss the end of precariousness, the numerous problems consistently arising from zero hour contracts, and the incalculable amount of issues associated with schemes like JobBridge. The groups have suggested that an 50c increase is simply not enough, and it would seem that a fair few amount of people agree with them.

 

The likes of IKEA have already vowed to implement a Living Wage for their workers in Ireland and the UK. Maybe it’s time for other employers to take a leaf out of their book.

 

Racism and the VMAs #NickiMinaj #TaylorSwift

The internet kinda blew up this week when Nicki Minaj took to Twitter to express her resentment towards the VMAs for failing to nominate her video ‘Anaconda’ for Video of the Year. In what she claims to be (and probably accurately so) a disregard for black female artists in the business, Minaj had this to say:

While her tweets spawned over a million responses from fans congratulating her on calling out discrimination within the music industry, it also allowed mainstream media to publish mass amounts of articles with headlines like “The claws are out! Here’s the goss on THAT girly feud!” (Well, not exactly, but you know what I mean.)

Etc, etc…

In a tweet that has since been deleted, Taylor Swift was quick to defend her own video’s nomination by responding with – “@NICKIMINAJ I’ve done nothing but love & support you. It’s unlike you to pit women against each other. Maybe one of the men took your slot..” Although Swift does seem to have missed the point as well, it’s probably not unfair to say that Nicki’s tweet’s are most definitely aimed as much towards Taylor, as they are to the VMAs and the industry itself. Either way, Twitter went mental, and that is the point of this article.

“But whose side are you on?!” I hear you cry desperately. I’m on the side of whoever decides two successful women can have a (potential) discussion on race within the music biz without it being reduced to a mere “catfight” or “jab.” That’ll be the day….

 

#TeamIreland head off to LA for Special Olympics

Don’t worry – trending topics weren’t just about Right Wing political parties and misinterpreted tweets this week. On Tuesday, 88 Irish athletes were given a worthy sendoff as they arrived to Dublin airport, bound for LA. Those who couldn’t make it to say goodbye, were sure to wish Team Ireland and those volunteering the best of luck on Twitter.

 

Image source: Frank McGrath

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