For leftist Dún Laoghaire TD Richard Boyd Barrett, it’s been a week in which he snubbed a war president but privately messaged a top model on Instagram.
is party, People Before Profit, got the plug of his life when supermodel Bella Hadid shared one of his posts on her Instagram Stories with over 50 million followers.
Typically, brands would pay hundreds of thousands of euros for a single post with that reach, but it was completely free for the small party, as Hadid shared a 10-week-old post about government funding of horse racing versus domestic violence shelters — $88 million euros or €30 million.
She also added the hashtag People Before Profit and followed the Dún Laoghaire TD, making it one of the few 728 users she follows.
Earlier this week, Boyd Barrett said he followed Hadid back and texted her. “I sent back a message thanking her for following and sharing, and just saying I’m always happy to be in touch with activists fighting for similar issues to ours,” he said.
He said he “honestly” doesn’t know if she texted him back and that he thinks the supermodel came across him because of a viral video of him talking about Palestine in the Dáil.
“I think the reason I probably got on Bella Hadid’s radar is because of a video from the Dáil where I was talking about Palestine and double standards in terms of Western policies towards occupation or invasion, which is happening around the world went viral,” he called.
“She’s half Palestinian, so I suppose that’s why I got on her radar.”
On Wednesday, he was one of four People Before Profit TDs not to applaud Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered an emotional speech to the Oireachtas, despite receiving a standing ovation from all of the other TDs and Senators.
In a short speech after Zelenskyi’s speech, Boyd Barrett said the party “absolutely opposes” the Irish government using the war in Ukraine as an “excuse for abandoning Ireland’s military neutrality”.
party colleague Paul Murphy later said, “We cannot agree to calls for more sanctions that harm ordinary Russians and only strengthen the Putin regime at home.”
However, this appears to contradict the party’s position on Israel, where it has often pushed for sanctions and the expulsion of Israel’s ambassador to Dublin, Ophir Kariv.
“The vast majority of Russians do not benefit but rather suffer from Putin’s government and his decision to wage a murderous war,” said a spokesman for the party.
“The US or British public did not benefit from Bush and Blair’s decision to wage a murderous war on Iraq.
“So why sanction them for decisions they didn’t make and don’t benefit from?”
However, the party’s decision not to applaud worked in its favor.
The story made headlines in all national news outlets and overshadowed Mr Zelensky’s powerful speech to the Oireachtas.
Although Boyd Barrett decided to snub a wartime president, one supermodel felt a private message was necessary in response.
Boyd Barrett said he wasn’t “aware” of Hadid’s, but in fact he may have more in common with her than just her political leanings, as both come from privileged positions in their own way.
Boyd Barrett, the biological son of Sinéad Cusack and theater supermo Vincent Dowling, was adopted by architect David Boyd Barrett and his wife Valerie and attended St Michael’s College, a private school in Dublin.
“It seems Bella Hadid is more focused on the nitty gritty issues than the glamor of it all,” he said.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/from-dm-ing-bella-hadid-to-zelensky-snub-its-been-quite-a-week-for-richard-boyd-barrett-41535619.html From DM-ing Bella Hadid to Zelensky snub, it’s been quite a week for Richard Boyd Barrett