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

Beeker stirs the European soul.

Posted by Jason O on Jul 31, 2009 in Not quite serious.

Beeker, from the Muppet Show, does a wonderful rendition of the European anthem here.


A Eurosceptic replies.

Posted by Jason O on Jul 31, 2009 in Irish Politics, Lisbon Treaty

The EU: Guarantee of Irish freedom.
The EU: Guarantee of Irish freedom.

David Morris recently posted the following in reply to my post about UKIP:

” Just a pathetic post. I might top it only by musing that for an allegedly self confident pipple emerging from centuries of servitude under the wicked Brits, the Irish couldn’t get rid of their own currency quick enough when instructed to do so by the EUSSR………..”

I thought this was quite an interesting post, as it shows how two people can look at a situation and see two different things. It’s true, we did emerge from servititude, and the EU now acts as a bulwark against us being bullied by much larger nations. Britain has 60 million people to our 4 million, and vastly superior armed forces, two factors  which historically would trouble a nation. But thanks to the EU, we sit as equals with the Brits. This is what we fought a War of Independence for: The right, as General Collins said, for a place at the table of nations.

As for getting rid of our own currency: The Euro is our currency, in the same way that the pound sterling is the currency of the Welsh, the Cornish, the Jamaican-English or the Scottish.  And we have a representative by right on the Governing Council of the ECB. And “instructed” to do do?: We had a referendum in 1992.

Of course, it must just stick in the craw of some, who have gone from being a great empire, to having to treat the smaller EU member states with respect, countries that they could have dismissed with a wave 100 years ago. Fortunately, even in Britain, that’s a minor view.    




Um Bongo! Um Bongo! They drink it in the Congo!

Posted by Jason O on Jul 31, 2009 in Just stuff, Not quite serious.

A blast from the past here, although apparently, they don’t drink it in the Congo. And for your further delectation, the lyrics:

Way down deep in the middle of the Congo,
A hippo took an apricot, a guava and a mango.
He stuck it with the others, and he danced a dainty tango.
The rhino said, “I know, we’ll call it Um Bongo”
Um Bongo, Um Bongo, They drink it in the Congo.
The python picked the passion fruit, the marmoset the mandarin.
The parrot painted packets, that the whole caboodle landed in.
So when it comes to sun and fun and goodness in the jungle,
They all prefer the sunny funny one they call Um Bongo!


What UKIP stands for.

Posted by Jason O on Jul 30, 2009 in Lisbon Treaty

UKIP: Putting manners of Johnny Foriegner!

UKIP: Putting manners on Johnny Foriegner!

Whilst perusing Eurosceptic websites ( I know, I know. And amazingly, I do have both a life and a pretty, funny and very tolerant girlfriend.) I wandered across this neat summary from UKIP of what they’re about as a party. Whilst I didn’t agree with much of it, I liked the succinctness of it, so enjoy. The comments in blue are mine.  

” The UK Independence Party is committed to withdrawing Britain from the European Union. As the debate on the Lisbon Treaty has now made clear, the EU agenda is complete political union, with all the main functions of national government taken over by the bureaucratic institutions of Brussels. UKIP believes that this is not only bad for Britain’s economy and prosperity, but it is an alien system of government that will ultimately prove to be totally unacceptable to the British people.

UKIP would replace Britain’s membership of the European Union with the kind of agreements on free trade and co-operation (Note how there is no mention of getting anyone else to agree. Will they be imposed on the rest of Europe by gunboat?) that we thought we had signed up to when we first joined what was then called the European Economic Community.( Have always thought this was a fair point. The EU is a political union, and the British people were never really told that.)

The UK Independence Party is the fourth largest political party in the UK. We currently have nine members of the European Parliament who use their positions exclusively to expose the true nature of the EU and to campaign for British withdrawal.We would:• Restore British sovereignty, which has been consistently reduced by successive Conservative and Labour governments as they sign up to an increasing number of European treaties and policies. Increasing interference in the British way of life has been imposed on us during the current Labour administration. Labour is determined to destroy our country, its culture and heritage.• Take control of our national borders and impose our own immigration rules. (Presumably meaning that UK subjects will have same imposed on them by other countries.)

• Repatriate the many thousands of illegal immigrants who represent a significant risk to our national security and who create a drain on our already over-burdened resources. This Labour government displays little interest or ability in managing this crisis.• Save £30 million per day currently paid into EU coffers, which can be better spent to benefit our country and protect its people. (Conveniently assuming that the rest of us will let them have access to our single market for free. Norway has to pay, and so will Britain. Without getting any of the money spent in Britain, unlike at present.)

• Rebuild our national fishing industry (By not preventing overfishing? How? Banning foriegn fishermen? Good luck trying to export fish related products, so.) , which has been reduced to almost nothing, with the introduction of a strong fisheries protection fleet to protect our fish stocks. We also need to assist UK Customs & Excise in their fight against the illicit smuggling of drugs. (By not being members of Europol? I’m sure the drug dealers will be voting UKIP.)

• Restore our national agriculture and protect the custodians of our precious countryside.• Develop British democracy by encouraging the electorate to vote on contentious issues through referendums. Government by the people for the people! (What, like fox hunting?)• Reduce the oppressive regulation imposed on British businesses and exempt small businesses with less than 25 employees from the present damaging regulations imposed on them. (Pregnant women can be sacked? Young female employees can be fondled? In fairness to UKIP, the point about small businesses does have some value.)

• Eradicate political correctness and replace it with free speech and common sense. ( I love this. The common sense law! For example, does UKIP regard the word “negro” as being acceptable to use? Or is it political correctness gone mad to find it an unacceptable word?)

• Introduce a zero tolerance approach to assist in fighting crime, with effective practical deterrents. (What does this mean? Chopping off the hands of people who defy the hosepipe ban?)

• UKIP is committed to the highest standards of animal welfare in the treatment of animals (Whilst supporting fox hunting? That’s novel.)  and for food production.



The second part of the plan was not very well thought out at all.

Posted by Jason O on Jul 29, 2009 in Not quite serious.
Pic by Pixdaus.com

Pic by Pixdaus.com


Property Tax: Let the Councillors decide!

Posted by Jason O on Jul 28, 2009 in Irish Politics

What do we want? Less power! When do we not want it? Now!

What do we want? Less power! When do we not want it? Now!

It looks here like the Commission on Taxation is to propose both property and water taxes. Whilst not liking the idea, I can see the logic. In particular, having seen the way Irish people waste water compared to Australians, it makes sense if only as a means of making us cop on about our child-like approach to resource management.

Having said that, here’s a suggestion: Let the local councillors set the property tax. Let central government cut their grant by the nominal amount the tax would raise, and then let the councillors decide what their constituents really want, lower taxes or more services. On a sneaky note, considering that most councils are now run by FG/Lab majorities, why not just force them to make the decisions? Could be good for a laugh.

Of course, this all assumes that we can get county councillors to actually take the power to set taxes. The fact that Irish politics is populated by large quantities of dossers who want the job (And the money.) but not the responsibility says something about our national psyche. We must be the only democratic nation in the world where elected officials actually protest when they are given powers. Where else but Ireland can you expect to see placards demanding  “Less Power now!” 

Just wait and watch the debate about elected mayors, and how FF will go out of their way to stop mayors being given the golden chalice of Irish local government, the power to overrule the county manager. Why? Because then FF mayors might actually a) have to make decisions (Always unpopular. Much better just to “call” for nice things like “more resources”) and b) might actually make decisions (Which, when it involves FF councillors, tends to lead to tribunals.)



The PDs walk off into the sunset, mostly misunderstood.

Posted by Jason O on Jul 27, 2009 in Irish Politics

In a surprise for the Left, Dick Dastardly was not actually a Progressive Democrat TD.

In a surprise for the Left, Dick Dastardly was not actually a Progressive Democrat TD.

Sometimes, listening to the opinions of those who slate the PDs is like listening to someone describe a cartoon baddy, like Dick Dastardly. After all, they tend to talk about the PDs as a far right Thatcherite villian-of-the-piece when the party just wasn’t like that.

There has been a certain glee in particular taken by some who attempt to equate the current economic crisis with the policies of the PDs, pointing fingers at the party’s perceived obsession with free markets and competition at all cost. And yet, the worst aspects of the country’s woes are not the result of PD policy, but the party’s own failure not to vigourously pursue those policies more.

Take our public finances: The ranting about “rightwing” cutbacks misses the fact that the reason public spending was allowed get that high was because the PDs weren’t that rightwing in government. Same with benchmarking and public sector pensions. They were allowed reach their current unsustainable heights under a PD government. If only the PDs had actually been as ideological as their enemies state, we’d actually be in a better place than we are now.

The truth is, the PD monster was created by the left who lacked the courage to actually attempt to convince the Irish people of their own bona fides. Instead they settled for the lazy fall-back of having some cartoon villain to blame for everything. All the promises of the left require high public spending, which require ordinary workers to pay high taxes, as they do, for example, in Sweden. Essentially, if a people make a compact with the state, lower consumer spending power in return for good public services, that’s perfectly noble. But that is not what they Irish left offer: Instead, they pretend that you can have both, low taxes (Including no water or bin taxes) but high spending paid for by the Crock O’ Gold solution of heavy taxes on the rich.

They don’t want to answer what happens when the rich hightail it out of the country, because that means increased PAYE on Sean and Mary Citizen, and the left haven’t the guts to sell that.

The country needs a party that isn’t anti-public sector, just pro-private sector. The PDs’s opponents managed to convince their voters that that was the case. If only it had been true. 

An Irish Times article about the PDs I wrote last year here.


If there was ever a need for a railway crossing safety gate…

Posted by Jason O on Jul 24, 2009 in Not quite serious.
Pic: By Pixdaus.com

Pic: By Pixdaus.com


When Britain dies.

Posted by Jason O on Jul 24, 2009 in Just stuff

From the grave, the Empire strikes back.

From the grave, the Empire strikes back.

Very interesting article here I stumbled across in the Daily Mail (By accident! I wasn’t reading it, honest.) about the British Prime Minister’s letters of last resort. These are the four handwritten letters that every new prime minister must write which are sealed in the safes of Britain’s four Vanguard nuclear submarines, to be opened if Britain has been destroyed in a nuclear attack, ordering the captain what to do. And we think Brian Cowen has to make hard decisions?

Fascinating and terrifying in equal measure.



Enda Kenny pledges to make “Sweet, sweet love” to nation.

Posted by Jason O on Jul 23, 2009 in Irish Politics, Not quite serious.

Kenny: Apparently in posession of a "well-filled" leopardskin pouch.

Kenny: Apparently in posession of a “well-filled” leopardskin pouch.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny TD (Mayo) has pledged that if elected Taoiseach in a future election, he is committed to making “sweet, sweet love” to every single Irish citizen who wants it.

Addressing a Fine Gael constituency dinner in Wicklow, Kenny told members that it was his wish to enter the homes of the nation, remove his cravat, slip off his blazer, turn the lights down low, put a little Henry Mancini on the CD player, and cradle the citizen in his strong, manly arms, kiss them delicately, and then take them gently but firmly to a crescendo of pleasure, repeatedly so if they desired.

A former lover remarked that “his wife is a lucky woman. That man…I’m still shivering when I think about it. The glistening sweat on his chest, that well-filled leopardskin thong! ”

Kenny is apparently not the only member of the FG parliamentary party to display prowess in the bedroom. A previous sexual partner of Leo Varadkar TD (Dublin West) told us that   “ He took me to bed with a bottle of baby oil, a Cadbury’s  Dairy Milk, and the complete collected writings of Milton Friedman. Not only did he show me ecstasy, but also left me with a very clear understanding of the theory of supply-side economics.” 

The FG press office has pointed out that Kenny’s pledge is part of the party’s desire to help salve the divisions in the country by confronting those feelings, and, in the words of Marvin Gaye, “and when I get that feeling, I want sexual healing.”      

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