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

The stuff that stops me joining Fine Gael.

Posted by Jason O on Nov 18, 2009 in European Union, Irish Politics

From today’s Irish Times:

” Fine Gael spokeswoman on European Affairs Lucinda Creighton congratulated the new commissioner but said her relationship with Declan Ganley would have to be clarified. “The Taoiseach needs to come out immediately and clarify whether Máire Geoghegan-Quinn as a former minister for communications sat on the board of one or more of Declan Ganley’s companies, and if so, which companies, for how long and in what capacity.”

It’s this kind of “Aha! we got her!” political point scoring which FG seems to value so highly which irritates me so much. Surely the government has enough real flaws without sly insinuations like this? So what if she worked for Ganley? Lucinda Creighton, and Fine Gael, is better than this.


Maire Geoghegan-Quinn: The Right Woman in the Right Place?

Posted by Jason O on Nov 18, 2009 in European Union, Irish Politics

MGQ: Commissioner for cleaning up the accounts?

MGQ: Commissioner for cleaning up the accounts?

MGQ would not have been my first choice for commissioner, but I can understand the logic of appointing her, especially given the gender issue in the commission. She was a courageous justice minister too. What’s interesting though is the speculation that she may get the budget job in the commission, because she was mentioned in UKIP MEP (And former EU chief accountant) Marta Andreasen’s book “Brussels Laid Bare” on the issue of the commision’s dodgy accounts. This is what it said:

P56: ” He (Director General of the budget directorate) added that as the Court of Auditors had always declared the accounts “reliable” if they were no better or worse, he was sure the court would not be able to change that opinion. Clearly riled, Miss Geoghegan-Quinn pointed out that the court was not going to be inhibited from giving a very negative opinion, or even withhold an opinion, by that kind of argument.”

P71:” A few days later I got a call from Maire Geoghegan-Quinn’s…cabinet head to let me know that copies of my letters to President Prodi and Vice President Kinnock had come into their hands. “Did you mean to send them to us?” I said that had not been my intention. He said he would tell Fabra Valles, President of the Court, that I would write to them that that had not been my intention and that I was “..not requesting help from them.” I could only respond that , while I had not specifically intended that the letters come their way, I had no reason to write refusing their help. I was puzzled by all this. In the past, the Auditors had so often shown themselves to be on my side. Several times, they had explicitedly expressed the hope that I would fix the problems with the EU budget.”

Miss Andreasen’s name is poison amongst pro-Europeans, and unfairly. I don’t agree with all her conclusions in the book, but the reality is that those of us who believe in european unity and the European Union should not be afraid to challenge its flaws and repair them, rather than lash out at those who point out those flaws. I hope MGQ will be of the same opinion.  




The 7 Great Myths of Irish Society.

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

Do as we say, not as we do.

Do as we say, not as we do.

They keep turning up, those little statements of “conventional wisdom” by which we are supposed to run our society. You hear them everywhere, in pubs, on the telly, and most of all, from the mouths of people wanting to protect whatever vested interest they happen to be a part of.

1. Wealth is a natural occurring phenomenon. It occurs regardless of anyone actually working or taking entrepeneurial risk. Unlike in other coutries, where wealth is created by people thinking up things that other people may wish to pay for, in Ireland wealth is just “there.”

2. Because wealth is just “there”, it is only fair that it should be shared out. The fact that many of the people who did not “gain” from the Celtic Tiger did nothing to help create it is not the point. They should get their “fair” share.

3. People should always be put before money. Always. Except where this involves anyone who receives money from other taxpayers or taxpayers being asked to contribute to the funds that allow additional expenditure on people instead of cuts. That money should be put before people, who can go to hell, the bastards.   

4. The vested interests run the country. They are ruining the country for ordinary publicans, public sector workers, doctors, nurses, teachers, ESB workers, Dublin Bus drivers, Gardai, farmers, the arts community, the legal profession, taxi drivers, etc.

5. If only the ordinary people could be listened to. If only those two million voters who sneak into the country on polling day and vote to elect awful politicians and then sneak out again would stop doing that, and just let the ordinary people vote.

6. Sure doesn’t the rest of the World love us? Why wouldn’t they? Telling Estonians that they’re morally inferior because they joined NATO to stop their wives and daughters being raped by Russian soldiers. Or lecturing the British for generating the nuclear powered electricity that we buy off them. Or making sure that our daughters can get abortions whilst wagging the finger at those abortionists in the EU. Or kicking out illegals whilst demanding that our own illegals in the US be given special treatment. Or opposing the arms trade whilst flogging products to every scumbag dictatorship in the world. Or condemning the war in Iraq whilst selling bodhrans to US troops going through Shannon. Sure, why wouldn’t they love us?    

7. We are, as a nation, cleverer than other nations. Managing to be as two-faced as we are (See point 6.) just shows how cute and cunning we are. The fact that “honour” is not a word heard much in Irish society says reams about us. That more serious nations just tolerate us whilst shaking their heads quietly to themselves is a fact lost to us, because we are so cute.

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