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

Hug a German today.

Posted by Jason O on Mar 21, 2009 in Irish Politics, Lisbon Treaty

Make it good. A €110 million hug. Here’s why.


Top Tory Henchman to run Libertas campaign.

Posted by Jason O on Mar 20, 2009 in Irish Politics, Lisbon Treaty

Have a goo at this, from conservativehome.com


The Germans treat us like adults, and we don’t like it.

Posted by Jason O on Mar 20, 2009 in Irish Politics, Lisbon Treaty

A friend tells us a home truth.

There’s a tendency amongst the anti-Lisbon crowd to regard anyone who tells a negative home truth as a “bully.” The German Ambassador to Ireland’s recent remarks here are statements of the bleeding obvious to anyone who bothers to inform themselves about the EU.

 But what the ambassador said remains what it is. An accurate and truthful assessment of our situation.  

Ambassador Christian Pauls is telling the truth. LIbertas don’t like that, and Libertas are probably being quite savvy in recognising that Irish people sometimes don’t like hearing the truth. Indeed, we have been brought up on a generation of politicians who have point blank refused to confront us with reality, hence our shock over the current economic crisis.





A Curious DVD I watched: The Trojan Horse.

Posted by Jason O on Mar 20, 2009 in Movies/TV/DVDs

The Trojan Horse [DVD]I’m not really recommending this, as it was a bit slow and struggling to be profound, but worth mentioning because of  its curiousity value.

Basically, The Trojan Horse is a Canadian mini-series starring (And co-written by) Paul Gross, whom you may remember as the eccentric mountie Benton Fraser in the tv series “Due South” . It’s about a joint Canadian-EU plot to rig a US presidential election.

The series is actually a sequel to a series called “H20” where Gross played the Canadian prime minister dealing with a mysterious conspiracy.

The conclusion is unusual, and based on a real life event, but what is notable is a rant Gross gives during the movie about his vision of the world. Curiously, it is worded in such a way that would shock most Americans, yet as a European sounded quite reasonable!

Only available on region two with Dutch subtitles at the moment.  



Great Books you should read: The Right Nation.

Posted by Jason O on Mar 19, 2009 in Books

Guns, grits and The Good Book!

Guns, grits and The Good Book!

John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge’s 2005 “The Right Nation” is slightly dated since the Obama victory (And the collapse of the global financial system.), but still well worth reading. It gives Europeans in particular a fascinating insight into how political concepts we take as a given are regarded as completely alien in the US, and vice versa.

To their credit, the authors have painstakingly teased out examples as to how even moderate Americans can voice calm positions that would be regarded as the bastion of the far right within the EU, such as, for example,  the Clinton/Kerry/Obama position on the death penalty. All are in favour, to varying degrees.

The book also gives some wonderful examples of the difference, between European and American thinking, including a quote from FDR that if he could put one book into the hands of every Russian it would be the Sears Roebuck catalogue, or one unnamed EU foriegn minister pointing out, about American military might, that ” Even if America has the biggest hammer, not every problem is a nail.”  It also points to areas of American life that puts Europeans to shame, pointing out, for example, that over 95% of NRA members vote, and as a result their organisation matters, not because they are right wing, but because they’re civically engaged.   


Elect Sarah Carey.

Posted by Jason O on Mar 18, 2009 in Irish Politics


Electing someone who voices an opinion?




Electing someone who voices an opinion?

The most honest analysis of our economic situation I’ve seen.

Would give her a vote, as opposed  to some of the  fencesitting spineless opinion-free rotting corpses we currently have sitting in the Dail.


Let Cowen be Cowen.

Posted by Jason O on Mar 18, 2009 in Irish Politics

There comes a time.

There comes a time.

I recently had a discussion with a politically astute pal as to who would be the dream candidate for Taoiseach in the current crisis. We tossed around various names, many from outside politics, until she hit the nail.

” Of course, if the real Brian Cowen were Taoiseach, he could do it.”

That’s the thing. We’d both seen Brian Cowen, before he became Taoiseach, speak in private, without notes. He was thoughtful, inspiring, and did that thing that Fianna Fail ministers always shy away from. He showed how smart he was. I went into the meeting with a low opinion of him, and came out thinking that this guy could be The Guy. He wasn’t Obama, but he wasn’t a million miles away either.

It’s no secret that I’m not exactly Fianna Fail friendly, but I would hope I’m not just a knee jerk anti-FFer either. If Fianna Fail changed, I’d give it a second look, but that means Brian Cowen taking the leash off, and deciding what matters. The country, or Fianna Fail.

Take junior ministers. Cutting the number of junior ministers will save buttons, and severely piss off the FF parliamentary party. But it will send a message to the country about how serious things are. Brian Cowen can be a popular leader within Fianna Fail, or he can be Taoiseach. I’m not sure, in the current climate, if he can be both.

Sometimes, there are things more important than getting re-elected. Ask David Trimble. He destroyed his own party in the process, but history will remember him as a man who paid a sacrifice for peace, and Ian Paisley as the man who always took the easy option.

David Trimble, Sean Lemass, Captain Terence O’Neill, Harry S. Truman, or F.W. de Klerk were all very unpopular when they left office. But when history judges them, it will judge them all as men who stood up and were men when they had to be. Brian Cowen has the ability to do the same.

On a lighter note, there’s always a bit of fictional inspiration to be had here




Politician expresses opinion shock, part 2.

Posted by Jason O on Mar 17, 2009 in Irish Politics

Regardless of whether you agree with him or not, why don’t we have  TDs willing to express their opinions like this British Labour MP, Tom Harris?


Sad News for West Wing Fans.

Posted by Jason O on Mar 16, 2009 in Just stuff

Ron Silver RIP

Ron Silver, the talented, thoughtful and at times controversial actor who played political strategist Bruno Gianelli, has died of cancer.


Make Brendan Drumm a junior minister. Yes, we can actually do that.

Posted by Jason O on Mar 16, 2009 in Irish Politics

Junior ministers's actually knowing stuff? Outrageous!

Junior ministers's actually knowing stuff? Outrageous!

Much talk about junior ministers, the need for, etc. A very smart pal of mine (How smart? He uses the word “behoves” in general conversation.) has suggested a novel idea.


Rather than appoint a bunch of parliamentary party latchycoes to office for the cash, why not appoint talented people? Take Brendan Drumm. He controls a budget of €16 billion, giving him more power than most cabinet ministers. Yet, he isn’t answerable to the Dail. So let’s appoint him instead of one of the “Davin-Power Bedazzled.” At least he’d be held accountable.


But you can’t, I hear you cry. He’s not a TD.


He doesn’t have to be. Junior ministers are not mentioned in the constitution, they are created by legislation. We could legislate to appoint non-TDs.


I can hear the shock and outrage, especially from Fianna Fail. Undemocratic? Brendan Drumm has more power than ALL our junior ministers together. He already has the power, so how is making him accountable to the Dail less democratic? The same clowns who will shout “undemocratic” voted to give an unelected man control of a quarter of our national budget!  


What they really mean is that some hard working PP stalwart will be deprived the few extra bob that he’s “entitled to”. Yeah, they’ll dress it up as national interest and all that guff, but the fact is, the Fianna Fail interest always comes first, and that’s why the party is so out of touch with feeling in the country.


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