Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 
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Is it just me or does being expelled from Fianna Fail mean absolutely nothing?

Posted by Jason O on Dec 16, 2010 in Irish Politics

From the Irish Times:

” Ms Flynn was elected to the Dáil in the general election of 1997 and was widely tipped for rapid promotion. However, two years later she ran into conflict with her party over a Dáil motion asking her father to clarify allegations about his receipt of a financial contribution from developer Tom Gilmartin. Ms Flynn voted against the motion and was expelled from the parliamentary party as a result. She was accepted back into the parliamentary party within a year but was again expelled as a result of a failed libel action against RTÉ for a report on her activities while she worked for National Irish Bank. She was again accepted back into the parliamentary party and ran successfully as a Fianna Fáil candidate in the 2002 general election. In 2004 she was again expelled from the parliamentary party and also from the Fianna Fáil organisation when the Supreme Court upheld the High Court judgement in the libel case. She subsequently settled a court case with RTÉ over the €2.4 million costs of her libel action. Ms Flynn was elected as an Independent in the 2007 general election but voted for the election of Bertie Ahern as taoiseach and was later accepted back into Fianna Fáil.”

Basically, being expelled from Fianna Fail is just a bit of oul guff really, isn’t it?

 
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You can have no abortion, or seriously no abortion.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 16, 2010 in Irish Politics

In light of the recent ECHR ruling, the Pro-Life Campaign has called here for Ireland’s SIXTH referendum on abortion, something which is becoming, to be honest, a bit of a national fetish.

Well, fair enough, let’s be clear about this: Let’s have a clear choice between having abortion available, and not having it. No more pandering to the Pro Life Campaign who basically want to constantly add yet more plating to a situation where you CAN’T actually get an abortion here, and so you end up having a ballot paper choice between no abortion and no abortion.

Let the Irish people vote on the actual issue of  abortion availability, in circumstances outlined in a bill to pass if they ratify it.  The PLC don’t own this issue, you know. 

 
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Christmas Treats for Someone: Sons of Anarchy

Posted by Jason O on Dec 16, 2010 in Movies/TV/DVDs

With many of the same traits as his previous hit series, The Shield, Kurt Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy starts slow but coaxes you in. Set in the small California town of Charmin, the series tells the story of the Sons of Anarchy, a gun running motor cycle gang with fingers in many illicit pies, headed up by the grizzly always watchable Ron “Hellboy” Perlman, with Katey “Married with children” Sagal (who plays a menacing juxtaposition to her previous sit-com roles) as his partner.

As with The Shield, what keeps bringing you back to SoA is the moral ambiguity. These are bad guys, yet when they face off against corrupt cops, child rapists or neo nazi rival gangs, you’re rooting for them. 

It’s not to everyone’s taste, but if you enjoyed The Shield, you’ll like this. Keep an eye out for Jay Karnes who shone as detective Holland “Dutch” Waggenbach in The Shield, who appears as a federal agent.

 
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Michael Noonan: The John Howard of Irish Politics?

Posted by Jason O on Dec 16, 2010 in Irish Politics

In 1987 John Howard led the Australian Liberal (conservative) Party to defeat in a general election, resulting in him being ousted a year and a half later. He then served under two party leaders, retook the party leadership in 1995, and went on to win three general elections in a row. Looking at FG’s bump in the polls, and the mysterious disappearence of Enda (has there been a ransom note? We should be told!) coupled with Noonan’s excellent performance as finance spokesperson (whatever happened to that other guy, Richard something? Good with figures as long as they are over over fifty, apparently) you can’t help wondering as to whether there is such a thing as an encore in Irish politics.

Here’s a thought for Fine Gael. It looks like there could be a UK style Taoiseach’s debate during the election. Deep, deep down, when you’re alone in your cold, empty (I’m assuming here, although the rule doesn’t apply to Fine Gael women, who tend to have no problem attracting suitors, in my experience) all-blue bed, who do you really want facing Cowen and Gilmore? Enda, or Michael Noonan? Seriously?  

 
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Labour’s Change Conundrum.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 16, 2010 in Irish Politics

Gerry's nominee for Taoiseach?

Gerry's nominee for Taoiseach?

Today’s poll in The Irish Times puts Labour in a difficult position if indeed the figures resemble anything like the actual election result. On those figures, it is not inconceivable, if both parties can get their candidate strategies right, that Labour and Sinn Fein could be within shouting distance of a majority, or at least, during the campaign, look like they were. It’s unlikely, I accept, in that neither party will get the sort of seat bonus that Fianna Fail used to get on a similar share of the post 40% vote, but it still raises questions. A Labour/Sinn Fein government, even a minority government, if FF and FG could not do the business on the far side of the house, is a topic deserving debate during a campaign, and it puts Labour in what can only be described as a pickle. Eamonn Gilmore as Taoiseach leading the first genuine left government in the history of the state, which would be a real change, especially if propped up by a few United Left TDs, or serving as a distant second banana to Enda Kenny?

But here’s Labour’s problem: Labour learnt in 1992 that you can’t say one thing during the campaign, and do another thing after the polls close, and there’s a big question as to whether Labour’s middle class voters are ready for Sinn Fein in government. But what if Sinn Fein offered to support a Labour minority government from outside, voting for Gilmore as Taoiseach and then negotiating a confidence pact for, say, 18 months provided they were genuinely consulted on legislation? Would Fine Gael and Fianna Fail really vote to trigger and immediate second election?

This could be fun. 

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