Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics

In farewell address, Pres. Bush declares “other Americans” to be biggest threat to Americans.

Posted by Jason O on Jan 19, 2009 in Not quite serious.

And that's a wrap! President Bush today announced that he was downgrading Al Quaeda into second place on the National Threat Watchlist, and moving Americans into the number one slot.

“ The figures speak for themselves. Americans are far more likely to lose their lives at the hands of other Americans than at the hands of terrorists. Therefore, I want to warn other Americans that the US Government will retaliate with force and the wrath of God against them if they harm Americans.”

The president went on to point out his belief that the Obama administration should carry out air-strikes against the single largest group or organisation responsible for killing Americans, and, most tellingly, should not rule out a possible invasion of America if Americans kept being killed.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown, visiting on a farewell tour, agreed with the president, remarking that “As a country that has seen substantial numbers of troops killed by Americans, we will enthusiastically support what ever measure we are told to enthusiastically support. Eh, if that’s okay with you, sir. ”


An occasional guide to Irish (And EU) politics: Enhanced Cooperation

Posted by Jason O on Jan 19, 2009 in Irish Politics, Lisbon Treaty

Oh say can you see, the committee voting by QMV?Despite knowing what both words mean, when one puts them together, they’re so bland that they could mean anything. Enhanced Cooperation? It could, for example, be a dubious Viagra-enhanced encounter in a darkened gay sauna.

And maybe it is. But in an EU context, it is the equivalent of a gang of kids forming their own tree-house club, and then being forced to let Gavin with the funny shaped head play by their mum. Of course, it is slightly different from children in that any kid who suggested “Hey, let’s form our own currency union!” would almost certainly be beaten up by other kids. That is, assuming he didn’t have the comedic nous to at least name the currency in a child friendly manner, such as calling it, say, the Farto, and with 100 Poos to the Farto. Enhanced cooperation is actually the device that was invented to stop the British blocking everything by storming off to the corner with a jutting lower lip and a folded arm sulk. Or indeed the post Lisbon Irish, for that matter.

The idea is this: If a third of the member states want to do something that a) not everyone wants to do (Say, funding a series of statutes of David Hasselhoff with real glistening chest hair. His chest hair, actually shaved off by him and donated. And don’t say he wouldn’t do it. He’s the Hoff.), and b) isn’t illegal under EU law, they can, as long as any other country that wants to join and meets the criteria can also join. Current examples are the Eurozone and the passport free Schengen Agreement, which differing groups of countries believe to be alternatively cool and smelly, depending on which gang one was in.   

Its opponents say that it is pretty much a gateway to a two speed Europe, and there is an element of truth to that. But the reality is that it is an incredibly European solution to a European problem, letting countries share what they wish without being held up by the crankiest (The British, Irish and the Poles) or by those who actually hate their bloody country and want a United States of Europe quicker than you can say “Oi! Schumann! What’s that coal and steel palaver you’re always goin’ on about anyway?” (The Belgians.)  And you can bet your bottom Farto on that.

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