Claire Daly, a one-of-a-kind woman

Claire Daly

In a age where neoconservatism and warmongering policies are taking over the collective West, Clare Daly offers a breath of fresh air, a glimpse of hope for people all over the world who crave to see peaceful resolutions to all of the current conflicts raging across the world.

Daly is a member of Irish nationality in the European Parliament and also happens to be part of the left-wing movement of the said organisation known as ‘NGL’.

Known for her passionate speeches and outspoken stance against the mainstream European foreign policies, Daly continues to openly chastise many of her fellow parliament members for their bias and double standards when it comes to the plight of the Palestinians and several others in the Middle East.

She is also very critical of the European approach to the war in Ukraine, citing the country to be a ‘permanent abbatoir in a suicidal holy crusade against Russia’.

Needless to say that she has drawn the ire of the majority of hardcore European politicians - which include both neocons and neoliberals alike. Yet despite being bashed by the Western mainstream media on a regular basis, people like Daly continue to pose a serious challenge to their one sided narratives presented with the intention of shifting the public opinion.  

A lone warrior 

Daly has had always been a controversial figure ever since she joined the political arena. One of her earliest stirring up the pot was back in 2013, when she called former US president Barack Obama a ‘war criminal’ and ‘hypocrite’ (a jab at Obama’s reception of Nobel Peace Prize) for launching the drone programme in the Middle East which caused massive civilian casualties.

Daly also expressed dissatisfaction with the US administration for their backing of Syrian rebels against the regime of Bashar Al-Assad. Despite being slammed for those remarks, it should be noted that her critics made judgemental opinions and not factually provided counter arguments against the issues that Daly raised.

For instance, one Irish politician back then said that Daly’s comments were ‘disgraceful and beneath her since Obama supported peace in Northern Ireland’.

Now Obama’s support of peace in Northern Ireland has got nothing to do with him launching numerous drone strikes all across the Middle East because these are two different topics. Therefore, except for bashing and name calling, many of Daly’s statements remain factually unchallenged. But it seems that Daly is not afraid to walk over the brazier even if it means that her feet will get scalded pretty badly.

Clare Daly is one of those iron individuals of the 21st Century who can courageously project her beliefs and opinions against oppression and injustices that are happening in the recent times all over the world.

Her blaming of the European governments for the various violence in Europe, most notably the 2015 Paris attacks, has also been the subject of much controversy. Daly argues that Europe’s intervention in the Middle East as well as domestic discrimination against Muslim immigrants are largely to blame for the upsurge of violent crimes and terror attacks in European territory.

She also insists that had the West not facilitated wars and regime changes in the Middle East, the crisis of immigration would not have arisen in the first place because people wouldn’t be displaced from their homes and seek for better lives.

Not perfect by any means

Nonetheless, it’s also important to acknowledge the fact that Daly has sometimes shown a certain disregard when it comes to following institutional rules and regulations. For instance, there is a rule in the European Parliament that members cannot appoint ‘spouses or non-marital partners’ and yet Daly, a divorced woman, designated her former husband Michael Murphy in a post at the respective organization.

Some of her fellow workers have also admitted to difficulties in working alongside her due to Daly’s brash, outspoken nature. There is also the fact that she is supportive of a good number of autocratic regimes around the world, most notably Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus and Vladmir Putin of Russia.

Moreover, she - along with another eccentric Irish politician Mick Wallace - visited Iran-backed proxies in the Middle East, like Hezbollah in Lebanon and PMF in Iraq - decisions for which she had to endure open rebukes from her fellow politicians in Ireland among whom some even went to accuse her and Wallace of being ‘used as a propaganda tools’.

Passionate and fearless

However, she did condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shortly after the war started. Daly accused Putin of abandoning diplomatic means to find a solution and said that invasion of a country is against international law.

However, as the months went on, she became more vocal about the European Union’s strategies regarding Ukraine conflict and blamed the bloc’s policymakers of trying to fan the war by supplying more weapons instead of trying to negotiate in a meaningful basis.

In addition, she talked about NATO expansion towards Russian borders as one of the leading catalysts of the war in Ukraine, citing the military alliance as an ‘instrument of US empire’ and demanded for a different security measure that is respectful of the boundaries of every nation in Europe.

She also voted against applying sanctions and other forms of economic blockade against Russia, comparing such measures to the US-led wars on Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the US-backed Saudi coalition war on Yemen.

In the recent months, she has unequivocally supported the Palestinians and lambasted the current US president Joe Biden as ‘butcher Biden’ for providing weapons and ammunition to Israel, in a fiery speech on 17th January this year that gained much recognition worldwide.

When the European Union president Ursula Von der Leyen said that Europe will stand with Israel, Clare Daly was the first person to speak out against it and famously said, “She (Von der Layan) does not speak for me. She does not speak for Ireland. And she does not speak for the citizens of Europe.”

Throughout her career, Daly has met both praise and hate for her stances against the majority opinions held by European politicians. One can be critical of her yet it has to be acknowledged that Clare Daly is one of those iron individuals of the 21st Century who can courageously project her beliefs and opinions against oppression and injustices that are happening in the recent times all over the world.


* Chowdhury Taoheed Al-Rabbi: Student and Writer

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