Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 
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Why does the Government hate (Insert NGO name here) so much?

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

FF needs a nasty frontman.

FF needs a nasty frontman.

One of the key examples of why Fianna Fail are perceived as being stale is the fact that the let NGOs kick the shit out of them so much, without putting up the reasonable defence, that is, the truth. This is how it works: A given NGO gives an angst ridden picture of its deserving clients. It then highlights the relatively small amount of money that the government has cut, and how it is both penny pinching and mean, and how the government are basically uncaring pricks. The government then takes the abuse.

But that’s not the whole picture. If it were a question of a few million here or there there’d be no problem, but it isn’t. A few million here and there adds up to billions we don’t have, yet the government doesn’t explain that.

The government needs a public spokesperson who will take the crap, be hated, and say the things that FF ministers don’t want to say (in public) because it will make them personally look like pricks. It needs someone who will stand in front of a powerpoint and point out the cash demands of every single NGO, and the sum total which is billions,  and point out that whilst each is individually worthy, none is more worthy that the other, and conceding to them all is not possible. To paraphrase Josh Lyman: ” The government doen’t need to be nasty. That’s why it has me.” FF need to get themselves a Josh Lyman to take, and dole out, the flak.

 

 
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Great books you should read: Reasons to be Cheerful.

Posted by Jason O on Jun 17, 2009 in Books

Mark Steel: Manages to be both left wing and funny.
Mark Steel: Manages to be both left wing and funny.

Mark Steel is a stand up comedian and was a member of the Socialist Workers Party in the UK. His book, “Reasons to be Cheerful” is a very funny insight into what it means to be on the hard left without losing your sense of humour. To be honest, I agreed with very little of his political analysis, primarily because it assumes, quite nobly, that the vast majority of people are honourable and selfless, something which has not been my experience of my fellow man. But then, maybe I’m just a magnet for pricks. Or one myself, maybe. After all, does one know if one is a prick?

For anyone who has had any experience of dealing with the hard left, he’s hit the nail on the head, especially in dealing with the massive proclivity towards self delusion and expectations of betrayal. Let’s be honest, socialists tend to spend far more time fighting each other than they ever do fighting the right. And no, before people get upset, I know the right has its own idiosyncracies. I was in the Progressive Democrats, for f**k’s sake. There is one very funny story in particular about a furious battle within a tiny Trotskyite group to prevent a hand cranked printer being used for counter-revolutionary purposes, and the group’s surreal response. Or another about his opposition to fascist lucky dip stalls.

One of those books you’ll find yourself rereading for the sheer pleasure of it.  

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