Hairy moment for Bald Billy as Soc Dem Niall’s mask slips

In his hair: Niall Ó Tuathail (left) attacked Cllr Billy Cameron over his hirsute views.
In his hair: Niall Ó Tuathail (left) attacked Cllr Billy Cameron over his hirsute views.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

The only political party more anonymous than Labour, and perhaps Renua, is the Social Democrats.

And so, in a shameless effort to appear relevant, the Galway West branch of the Social Democrats – fronted by baby-face Niall Ó Tuathail – descended into histrionics to get noticed.

They must be devoid of new ideas to promote. Maybe they are really insecure about their self-identified ‘new’, ‘radical’ thinking.

Or is there another reason why they sunk to the bottom of the Irish political cesspool – and boy is that low – and even whipped out the race card to smear an opponent?

Regular readers will recall that Billy Cameron asked at a Joint Policing Committee meeting for a ban of hair braiding on Shop Street.

During the discussion, he referred to people who set-up hair-braiding stalls on the city’s main thoroughfare as the ‘new Irish’.

The comments attracted ire from the irrationally angry brigade who have nothing better to do than spew bile online.

Niall Ó Tuathail read the comments’ section, and decided to capitalise (notice how rants on social media become party policy).

He issued a statement calling for Billy to “apologise” for “targeting a small number of people using racial euphemisms”.

Niall, correctly, said Billy should have better things to be worrying about. Although it’s a bit ironic that one of the few press statements Niall has issued in the past few months deals with a subject – hair braiding – which he thinks doesn’t deserve debate.

But we digress. Billy is balding. So maybe he’s prejudiced against people who have hair that can be braided.

But suggesting Billy is racist was a cheap pot-shot, no matter if it was delivered through a cheesy smile.

The term ‘new Irish’ is not racist. And no amount of tut-tutting from the quinoa-eating, Guardian-reading, sandal-wearing, lentil-soup-coming-out-your-ears brigade changes that.

Racism is a belief in the inherent superiority of some races over others; and it is discriminative treatment based on that belief.

The hair braiders were singled out not because of their race but because of their actions. Banning hair braiding might be a hair-brained idea but surely it can be raised without being branded racist.

Rickshaw operators were banned on Shop Street without a race row, and most, if not all, rickshaw operators were not Irish.

Billy is big and bold enough to defend himself.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.