Drew Harris Is Going To Arrest You if You Keep Noticing Demographic Change

Earlier in the week, while speaking about clashes between lockdown protestors and Gardai, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris digressed to talk about his broader role in monitoring political speech.

It’s important to point our how sinister these words are, and how unwarranted this intrusion by the Gardai is.

First off, you’re allowed believe whatever you like, regardless of whether it’s true or not. The earth is flat, Esptein didn’t kill himself*, we didn’t land on the Moon, the Great Replacement is real — I might think these ideas are crazy and so might you, but it’s none of our business what others believe, nor is it the Gardai’s.

It becomes Garda business when the threat of violence arises. If your belief in a flat earth means that you are agitating to blow up the Oireachtas, I would want the authorities to monitor and investigate your Flat Earth meet-ups.

What is the evidence that “Far Right” activity presents a systemic threat of violence to individuals or a threat to the security of the state?

A number of events have been held this year which have been designated by media, politicians and activists as “Far Right”. At some of these events violence has erupted. In all where protestors clashed, the violence has been triggered by counter-protestors actively seeking confrontation.

To continue the above analogy, if every time the Flat Earth Society met, the UCD Geography Department turned up to flip over tables, throw smoke-bombs and scream in people’s faces, it would be the latter that needs investigation, not the former.

Let’s talk about The Great Replacement conspiracy theory itself. Is the best way to tackle such a conspiracy theory through observing and investigating those who believe it?

However wrong or misguided, people believe what they believe for a reason. There are four self-evident truths in Irish society that might cause people to believe such a conspiracy.

They are that the demographic make-up of Irish society is changing rapidly; that this change is being encouraged and facilitated by all mainstream political parties, the media, and non-governmental organisations; that there is little space in civic life through which to critique this change; and that such spaces that do exist are being increasingly restricted, for instance through the introduction of hate speech laws.

Conspiracy theories don’t die, but one of the best ways to reduce their popularity it to make them structurally impossible to believe in. I don’t believe in The Great Replacement; but I do think the trends I mentioned above make it very easy to believe.

So here is a recipe to defeat this conspiracy theory and neutralise the “Far Right”. This plan will require no intervention from the Gardai.

Reduce Government funding for pro-migration NGOs and increase funding for groups that are sceptical of it (or simply end all NGO funding entirely); allow space in mainstream politics and respectable media to discuss the ramifications of demographic change, and to advocate a variety of perspectives on it; finally, do not introduce additional restrictions on free speech to stop people talking about it.

You’re allowed to believe whatever you want. That includes believing something that is wrong, stupid, nasty and unfashionable so long as your belief doesn’t put anyone else in immediate danger, and so long as you don’t seek to impose your beliefs on other people through coercion. If some people in Ireland believe in a theory of a Great Replacement, the solution is not to “observe and investigate”, but to ask why they believe it, and neutralise those reasons. It’s none of Drew’s business either way.

*I mean obviously Epstein didn’t kill himself.

Foreign correspondent