You have to hand it to the Ionanists. They might have no sense of irony, but they’re still a superb comedy act.
We’ll do the interfering around here, Ben Conroy warned Twitter Ireland’s MD Stephen McIntyre after he told a conference attended by Enda Kennny that a Yes vote would be good for Ireland’s image.
Apparently outraged at another private company muscling in on the Iona Institute’s patch, Ben wondered if Kenny would be so happy to see Twitter commenting on other political issues. It set a precedent, seemingly, of foreign companies trying to influence Irish voters. Of course, that’s where Ben is being a tad economical with the truth since his mother Breda must surely have told him about Iona’s long-standing relationship with Tom Monaghan, founder of American multinational, Domino’s Pizza.
He also seemed to overlook the fact that he, as spokesman for one private company exclusively engaged in political lobbying, was challenging the right of another private company to express an opinion. He also overlooked the fact that as an Irish citizen, Stephen McIntyre has every right to say whatever he wants about Irish politics.
Just like Twitter, Iona is a private company, but with several significant differences, the most relevant of which is this: Twitter doesn’t pretend to be what it is not.
Under the pretext of being a charity exclusively devoted to promoting religion Iona, aka Lolek Ltd, receives considerable tax relief, funded out of your pocket and mine.
Unlike the Iona Institute, Twitter is not a political lobby group pretending to be a charity. Unlike Lolek Ltd (aka Iona), Twitter has conducted no campaign, commissioned no videos and sent no representatives to infest every talk show on the airwaves.
You’d almost think the Ionanists were trying to protect their patch, as if they had secured the exclusive rights to opinions in this little democracy.
If pizzas were politics, this would be a lot like a small local pizza chain trying to fight off a big American franchise.
Back off. If anyone is going to tell people what to think around here, It’s going to be us.
All Bock articles on Iona.