Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 
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Steve the bird suddenly realised he was flying towards one of his exs, but that she hadn’t spotted him yet.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 18, 2009 in Not quite serious.
Pic by Pixdaus.com

Pic by Pixdaus.com

 
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Why the Gardai should vote no.

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

A vote to strike is more than that.

A vote to strike is more than that.

Everyone has a Garda story, about dealing with the force and coming away disappointed or perplexed at a level of service which seems almost Dickensian compared even to other elements of the public service. Yet the Gardai still have my respect. Every few months, we hear stories of unarmed Guards facing down armed bank robbers, and rescuing people from rivers or burning houses. Like the army and the fire brigade, they put themselves into the way of harm to protect others, and that means something. Even the most cynical of us, faced with a break-in downstairs with kids asleep upstairs, will reach for the phone, and be grateful when we see those blue flashing lights arrive and the Guards deal with whatever nut or junkie is threatening our families. There’s no doubt, being a Guard is not an easy job.

But to threaten a strike? There are some who say that the Guards should be no different from other public sector workers, but they are. When one joins the Guards, one knows that. We have given them the power to deprive us, their fellow citizens, of our liberty, indeed, in some cases, our lives. They are not ordinary public servants, and they know that when they join.

I know it sounds mawkish and sentimental and maybe even naive, but I take pride in the fact that in the 21st century, we still have an essentially unarmed police force that upholds the law with, for the most part, moral authority. I remember walking into my local polling station at the last general election, saying hello to the Guard on the door, and thinking that in other countries the police are there to bully the people into voting for the government. Our Guards are there to prevent that, and that means something. We obey the instructions of Guards not because we fear them, but because we need the order they instill in our society. If the Guards vote to strike illegally, that goes. Even after Donegal and the child abuse cover-ups reported by the Dublin Commission, there were Guards who did the right thing. But if they are breaking the law, then do we have any obligation to heed them? Will we obey them at checkpoints when we break the law, if they themselves are doing it too?   

 
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Can’t see Ogra doing this…

Posted by Jason O on Dec 15, 2009 in European Union

sarkoA promotional video by the Young UMP, the youth section of President Sarkozy’s UMP party. Corny, but bet you’ll be humming the song “Tout ceux qui veulent changer le monde” (All those who want to change the world).” Keep an eye out for former prime minister (And Bertie lookalike) Jean Pierre Raffarin, and also for a bloody territorial ” I put this here!” bloke with his pregnant girlfriend!  

 
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Tiger Woods to acquire black mistress to show commitment to racial equality.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 14, 2009 in Not quite serious.

Tiger Woods: I latter day Martin Luther King.

Tiger Woods: I latter day Martin Luther King.

World famous golfer Eldrick “Tiger” Woods has pledged to take an African American woman as his next mistress, pledging his belief in an America where adultery knows no racial barriers. Speaking from his bunker (sic) he told reporters ” Like Martin Luther King before me, I’ve never seen colour as an issue when it came to getting some lovely into the sack. To paraphrase Dr. King, I do not judge woman by the colour of their skin, but by the content of her tight-fitting teeshirt.”

Former President Bill Clinton endorsed the golfer’s decision. “For years, I tried my best to share my love across racial, religious, international and even bodysize divides, so I applaud Tiger’s decision. In fact, if he’s developed a taste for icy blondes who can’t keep their mouths shut, I might be able to help him out.”

 
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Paul Gogarty

Posted by Jason O on Dec 13, 2009 in Irish Politics

" In the most unparliamentary language, Deputy Stagg, Fuck you!" Great slogan for a tee shirt!

" In the most unparliamentary language, Deputy Stagg, Fuck you!" Great slogan for a tee shirt!

I first heard of Paul Gogarty before he was even elected a county councillor. A guy I worked with was raving about the work this Green party activist was doing in the area, and predicted that he would easily get elected in the locals, and then the general. I thought nothing of it but then he topped the poll in his ward. Then he got elected to the Dail in a 3 seater in 2002, no mean achievement for a Green candidate.

As for ‘effing and blinding, it seemed to be a human response, and in the pubs of Lucan and Clondalkin I suspect he’ll be forgiven. In fact, the po-faced response of some in Fine Gael will probably help him. Gogarty’s problem is that if he’s not careful, he won’t have the word “maverick” attached to him, which is always worth a few votes, but “petulent”, as a guy who has strops and gets in a huff, and that is a very unattractive quality in any person, never mind a TD.

More than any Green politician, Gogarty seems to have struggled with the change in the public’s perception of the Green Party, from the safe default protest party to a party that has had its head kicked in the the electoral car park. He needs to stop protesting, and show his substantial side, perhaps with a calm measured speech as to what a blooded-by-government green party is actually for, and can actually do. There are many of us who have been disappointed by the Green Party but have not given up quite yet, and could be brought into the fold. Gogarty, with a penchant for plain speaking, could yet be the man to do that. 

 
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What a superb headline.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 11, 2009 in Just stuff

Former Cypriot leader’s corpse stolen.

 
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A very Irish observation.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 11, 2009 in Irish Politics

WE could have spent the money on beer too.

We could have spent the money on beer too.

I was listening to some DJs discussing the new Samuel Beckett bridge last night, and one commented that it had cost €8 million, after which another gasped and made a remark about how the money could have been spent on the health service. What? It’s one of those lazy remarks that Irish people throw into observations about public life that makes no sense. It assumes, for example, that building a bridge is some sort of vanity project, and that throwing €8 million into the other €16 billion the health service gets will somehow make a difference.

Well, it would have made a difference. We’d have no bridge.   

 
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Why are Fianna Fail so easy on the opposition?

Posted by Jason O on Dec 10, 2009 in Irish Politics

FF need to start asking: "Where's the beef?"

FF need to start asking: "Where's the beef?"

The budget was hard, and will hurt a lot of people. That’s what recessions do. What surprises me about this budget, and FF’s communication of it, is FF’s inability to take FG and Labour to task over their alternatives. Rather than spend money on their we-have-to-have-a-website-so-let’s-have-a-website, why not set up a very media friendly site outlining the opposition’s alternatives, including tallying, dating and costing every “Call for more resources” (And subsequent tax increases) issued by every opposition spokesperson, and putting it all on a single handy-to-read sheet? For example, every opposition TD, when asked to explain how their promises will be funded, tend to use the same sources, tax loopholes and efficiency in the spending. Surely you can only spend that money once, if indeed it does exist at all? I don’t say this out of any particular love for FF, whose weak leadership in the good times has caused the massive and unsustainable spike in spending, but let us at least have a proper debate.  

 
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I have no good reason for posting this picture. But, still, Sean Connery in a giant red nappy.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 9, 2009 in Not quite serious.
Go on if you think you're hard enough!

Go on if you think you're hard enough!

 
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Why is the budget secret? It’s our money!

Posted by Jason O on Dec 9, 2009 in Irish Politics

Brian "Looking more Taoiseachy every day" Lenihan TD

Brian "Looking more Taoiseachy every day" Lenihan TD

RTE News is reporting that the Cabinet is being briefed this morning on the budget. €50 billion in spending, and they only discuss the entire package now? The argument given is that if people know in advance, they may make different decisions, and thus reduce government revenue. So? The government exists to serve us. We don’t exist as a source of revenue to be tricked into giving them our cash, along the lines of “Damn! He’s put up weasel tax! If I’d known I would have stocked up on weasels beforehand!” The US Congress spends months openly discussing the draft budget, with opponents suggesting amendments. Why don’t we, as opposed to this mad rush? If TDs are not going to take it seriously (And I mean with considered, costed amendments, not “Calls” for “More resources”) Then you have to wonder why we need 166 of them.  

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