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