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

Couples Curios.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 24, 2010 in Just stuff, Not quite serious.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve witnessed four couples interacting in a manner that caught my eye:

The first was today today in Tesco, where, as I queued to pay a human (Not the computerised yoke that tells me that there is an “Unexpected Item” in the bagging area. If It was a butchered human torso or 3.5kilos of uranium yellowcake I’d say fair enough, but it’s always a sodding bag. My bag. In the bagging area. But I digress) a number of customers were distracted by a loud “Where the f**k were you???” and the sight of a woman effin’ and blindin’ her well-meaning dope of a partner in front of  a child. I felt for the poor bastard, whatever his transgression, and thought to myself: He must love that woman, or perhaps the child, very, very much to put up with that.

Earlier in the month I witnessed a couple have a row in the Blackrock Clinic. He was in doctor’s garb, and she had that polished look of a professional woman about him, and they were having that wonderful middle-class “We are having a row in public but we are not going to put on a show” fight through clenched teeth. Very entertaining.

Earlier than that I saw a middle aged man barrel out of a pub in Blackrock followed moments later by a middle-aged blonde woman dressed ambitiously for her age who screamed up the street at him “Yeah, go on, go back to your F**king whore!”

Finally, last week, I left my house at about ten to seven in the morning to clear snow from my car. In the laneway beside my house were a couple who looked in their late thirties, maybe early forties, dressed in sensible clothing for the cold winter, yet all over each other like two drunken teenagers at a disco. At 6:50 in the morning? Hmm. I wonder are some of my neighbours being naughty with each other?


Great Christmas Treats for Someone: A View from the Foothills.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 24, 2010 in Books, British Politics

A well-written glimpse behind the ministerial door.
A well-written glimpse behind the ministerial door.

I’m only a third the way through it, but I can already recommend Chris Mullin’s “A View from the Foothills” as well worth reading. Mullin, a British Labour MP, former minister and Birmingham Six campaigner, as well as writer of the excellent political thriller “A Very British Coup” has published his diaries from his time as a junior minister, and they’re an absolute treat for anyone interested in British politics, or indeed, how decisions are made in politics.

The book is peppered with little vignettes of Blair and others, but also underlines how much of modern politics and government is taken up with time wasting nonsense. The one depressing line running through the book is the sense of helplessness amongst even ministers about how to shape society in a better way. In particular, his picture of an entire underclass (experienced through his northern England constituency)  that is completely dependent on welfare funded by the rest of society whilst at the same time completely ungrateful about it is pretty grim. He also rails against the fact that sucessive governments, both Labour and Tory, have actually improved the living standards of the great majority, yet the prevailing culture is that everything is worse then it has ever been.

Funny, fascinating, touching, and easy to pick up and put down. Possibly the British political book of the year.

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