Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 
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Slugger makes a fair point about Unite’s call for a No vote.

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

The ever readable Slugger O’Toole points out the glaring flaw in UNITE’s call for a No vote to Lisbon here.

 
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NAMA has made politics exciting again.

Posted by Jason O on Aug 31, 2009 in Irish Politics

Irish politics: Actually about an issue, for a change.

Irish politics: Actually about an issue, for a change.

Whatever your opinion on it, you have to admit that NAMA has gotten the political juices flowing again. The threat of a government collapse, a snap general election, and an issue of massive national importance which has cleft the republic in twain. What has surprised me is how engaged many people are in it, and in a rational way. Sure, you’ve the usual Richard Boyd Barrett “No to Everything!” crowd, but they’d be against orbitting the sun if they could (“It’s an imperialist sun! Forcing the rest of the solar system to take its rays whether they like it or not! It’s the George W. Bush of gassy masses!”)  but there is a lot of genuine debate about what is the best way to fix this mess, from both right and left.

Of course, the sad thing is that even if we have a NAMA election, at least 40% of the voters will still vote on the basis that Mickey Joe O’Murphy is magic with the hurlin’ and isn’t he from the parish? Sure, don’t be mindin’ the droolin’ and the fact that he smells of his own wee. We don’t want to send a fella up there to Dublin whose too schmart for his own good, now, do we? NAMA, isn’t that the song from The Muppets?   

 
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Gardai launch new unit to help Gardai get laid.

Posted by Jason O on Aug 31, 2009 in Just stuff, Not quite serious.
Pic: Irish Times.

Pic: Irish Times.

 
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Irish patriots opposed to the Lisbon Treaty: Have a look here.

Posted by Jason O on Aug 28, 2009 in Irish Politics, Lisbon Treaty

The Kennedys

The Kennedys: Not many fans in the Tory party. I wonder why?

I know I’m talking at a tangent here, but have a look at the following link. It’s from a British Tory website commenting on the death of Senator Ted Kennedy. To all those people who claim it is patriotic to oppose the EU and the Lisbon Treaty, have a look at what Tory Eurosceptics say about a man who most of us, from former PD to Sinn Fein, regard as a great friend to Ireland.

I’m not trying to score points here. Just tell me that you really believe that you share these peoples’s values (I actually don’t believe you do. That’s why I find Irish Euroscepticism to be so perplexing.) because these are the people who will regard a No vote as a confirmation of their values, and you have ask yourself why?

Scroll down through the comments. The link is here.

 

 
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Urban? Don’t you mean democratic, Kathy?

Posted by Jason O on Aug 27, 2009 in Irish Politics, Lisbon Treaty

Kathy Sinnott and friends: Votes for cows?

Kathy Sinnott and friends: Votes for cows?

Former independent MEP for Munster, Kathy Sinnott is quoted in today’s Irish Times criticising the IFA for supporting Lisbon: “It is very, very sad to see the head of the IFA . . . now advocating that Europe have more and more control, and the [European] Parliament – which he was fighting all the time, a largely-urban parliament - to have more and more decision-making on farming.”

Interesting use of the the word “urban” there. There is a reason why the European Parliament is “largely urban.” That’s where most Europeans live, in urban areas, as indeed do most Irish people.

Surely a No campaigner who has constantly demanded “more democracy” in the EU accepts the idea that the vote of one farmer should be equal to the vote of one shopper? Is that not a democratic no-brainer? Or is she opposed to the idea of the “largely urban” population of our countries having a say equal to our numbers? Or should voting rights be calculated by the amount of land you own, or head of cattle?  

 
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Iarnrod Eireann: Mad Max on rails.

Posted by Jason O on Aug 27, 2009 in Irish Politics, Just stuff

In a world gone mad, one man was determined to get a window seat.

In a world gone mad, one man was determined to get a window seat.

The Irish Times’s Pricewatch guy Conor Pope has an interesting blog about booking seats on Irish trains here. What I find fascinatiing is the way Iarnrod Eireann have effectively accepted that once you are on the train, you’re on your own.

” Irish Rail spokesman Barry Kenny admits that “it wouldn’t be the case that there will always be someone on hand” to assist someone with a reserved seat or to ask the cider swilling gent to move along because “we have to take account of the cost environment” He expresses the hope that a more mature passenger body, as they grow more familiar with the reservation system, might be able to look after themselves.”

It’s a very Irish solution, that the reasonable idea that having a seat number entitling one to use that seat is not the same as actually using that seat, and does require a Mad Max style willingness to possibly engage in hand to hand combat to get what you want in a world without rules or order, ie the Dublin-Cork train.

The strange thing is, I think IE’s reputation would actually go up if it, along with Dublin Bus, actually got heavy with customers. A couple of ex Polish paratroopers walking up and down the train and the problem’s solved. Same with smoking on buses. Let the driver call a number, have a jeep with four  “security consultants” meet the bus at the next stop, and f**k the transgressors off the bus. The rest of us would all mutter the same thing under our breath. Proper order.       

 
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Ted Kennedy. American Patriot and friend of Ireland.

Posted by Jason O on Aug 26, 2009 in Irish Politics

ted-kennedyIt is sad to hear of the death of Senator Edward Kennedy, one of the liberal giants of late 20th Century US politics. I never met the man, and didn’t agree with all his positions, but broadly speaking, for many of us on the progressive side of politics, he was our guy, and as an Irish-American, he did his bit for the home country.

Over his career, he made a lot of mistakes, and some shameful decisions, but on balance he did more good than harm and spoke out for a lot of people who couldn’t speak out for themselves. Watching his speech to the Democratic convention which nominated Barack Obama, one could not help but see on the faces of the crowd the raw emotion. They knew he was probably saying goodbye, the last of the four Kennedy brothers who gave so much for their country, and listening to that accent, one could almost see the invisible line that started with JFK sending US marshals into the southern states, and ended with the election of the first black President of the United States.

You’ve played your part, Ted. You can go rest now.

 

 

 
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Voters being “looked at funny” by Yes campaign says No campaign.

Posted by Jason O on Aug 25, 2009 in Irish Politics

Lisbon: Should be renamed for duration of campaign?

Lisbon: Should be renamed for duration of campaign?

The No to Lisbon campaign has insisted that voters are being “bullied” by the Yes campaign by being “looked at in a funny way”. A spokesperson for the Youth Defence/Socialist Party/Sinn Fein/British Tory No campaign alleged that the Yes campaign has been muttering under its breath and raising an eyebrow at what voters have been wearing, and sniggering that voters need to lose weight. The No campaign also alleges that the Yes campaign thinks that voters smell.

This follows an insistance that that RTE stop using the word “Yesterday” in news broadcasts as this is obviously an attempt to brainwash voters into voting Yes.  

Last week, the No campaign condemned the Government of Portugal for insisting that the capital of Portugal’s name be on all maps used in Irish schools, as ” an attempt to turn the Catholic children of Ireland into trained killers for the English/EU murder machine.”

The Lisbon Tourist Board are quoted as saying “What the f…?”

 
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That’s that guy from that thing: Ray Wise

Posted by Jason O on Aug 21, 2009 in Not quite serious.

Ray Wise: Dial-An-Ooze.

Ray Wise: Dial-An-Ooze.

You’ll know Ray Wise for having hair so perfect that it looks like it might break if handled roughly. With his finely coiffed follicles, Ray Wise has made a career in television, from Laura Palmer’s father in Twin Peaks through, well, everything, up to currently playing The Devil in Reaper, as the smarmy oily executive/politician guy with the shit eating grin and a tan that looks just too “glowy”. Funnily enough, although he has been typecast as a certain type of slimeball, he can actually act when he wants to. Just watch him playing a depressed news anchor in Good Night And Good Luck with David Strathairn and George Clooney with touching sensitivity.

Having said that, he’s just as quick to turn up in the Command and Conquer computer game series as the US President. Hey, don’t knock it: Guy’s got kids to put through college.   

 
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Great books you should read: Ultimatum.

Posted by Jason O on Aug 20, 2009 in Books

Interesting and challenges preconceptions.

Interesting and challenges preconceptions.

“Ultimatum” by Matthew Glass is very much a book for The West Wing fans. Set in 2032, it takes the reader on a journey from the night of the election of a reforming liberal Democratic president  through the decisions he has to take to deal with global warming, as it becomes apparent that the effects of climate change are beginning to become impossible to ignore.

What’s particularly interesting is that the book savages the Kyoto process and basically lays out the case for why, ironically, a unilateral George W. Bush style  ”War on Climate Change” may be the only way to deal with the problem.

To call it a thriller is probably an understatement, in that a lot of the book is taken up with President Joe Benton’s speeches and detailed meetings about how to deal with the issue, especially in a world where China is the world’s most important economy. But that is not to negate the general thoughtfulness of the book. It leaves one thinking about the issues raised. I actually downloaded it off iTunes as an audiobook, and it whiled away some otherwise tedious commuting.

Worth a look.

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