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

Enda: Bertie with a bank account and a Mayo accent.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 28, 2010 in Irish Politics

If you believe that we might, at least, get some real political change out of the economic crisis, then you will find Enda Kenny’s remarks in the Irish Times today to be shockingly depressing. Regardless of your stance on abortion, the fact that the man who will most likely be our Taoiseach has expressed a view that despite having over 50 full-time taxpayer-funded researchers at his disposal, he has no policy other than to set up a committee with (seemingly) no deadline to actually produce a possible solution. Talk about gutless.

Then, on political reform, he advocates a bit of tinkering, marginally reducing the size of the Dail, abolishing the Seanad and setting up more committees for TDs. He opposes changing the voting system or appointing ministers. He actually claims, bizarrely, that TDs concentrate on constituency work “because they have no other role”. Our current batch of TDs are just itching to legislate and hold the government to account. If only we’d let them! In other words, Enda Kenny does not really believe that our current political system has any real responsibility for where the country is today. Instead, he seems to believe that same old Fine Gael adage: There is nothing wrong with the country except that we are not running it.

But what is really reach-for-the-revolver stuff is when you take all of the above together. A Taoiseach who wants to be in power, but avoids making decisions which might be right but unpopular with vested interests (Politicians and the anti-abortion crowd). This from a party leader who complains that his predecessors didn’t take “tough” decisions to dampen down the property market even though the decisions would have been unpopular. Didn’t we already have a fella from Drumcondra who kept his life savings in a sock under the bed and didn’t like making unpopular choices already?

It is becoming very clear that a vote for Fine Gael is not a vote for change.    


Ryan Tubridy to “kick orphan from wheelchair” in ratings war.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 28, 2010 in Not quite serious.

He's so shiny!

Sources in RTE have confirmed that The Late Late Show is to follow an “edgier” strategy in the next season, in an effort to increase ratings. The source revealed that:

“ Ryan’s a lovely guy, and he has the nice-cup-of-tea-and-a-digestive segment in his pocket. It’s now time to start branching out, by being a bit more controversial and “out there.” We’re looking at stuff like Ryan beating up children live on air, that kind of thing. Less Burt Bacharach, more biting the head of a live bat and spitting it into the audience. We’re also thinking of fitting him out with a posse of  bihatches. How do you think he’d look in a full length white mink coat?”

RTE have admitted that they are treading cautiously on the issue, after the infamous incident when Michael Ryan on Nationwide referred to Mother Theresa as an “That Albanian ho.”



Why do the Irish hate the rich so much?

Posted by Jason O on Dec 28, 2010 in Irish Politics

Let us be honest: In the Irish political lexicon, the phrase “the rich” is a swearword. When one looks at the posters of the hard left, “the rich” are given the same hate filled centre-of-place that the Jews would have been given on a Nazi poster in 1930s Germany. We are left in no doubt that to be rich is to be morally inferior and probably evil. Yet, curiously, as a people we have never elected an openly hostile anti-rich government. Even in the coming election, where surely the left will have their best result ever, it is very unlikely that a hard left government will be elected. We are, it seems, happy to hate the rich but not that committed to actually depriving them of their status. Why is that?

I suspect it is because we assume that the rich behave in exactly the same way the rest of us would behave if we were rich. We too would take umbrage at paying high taxes, indeed generally, as a people, we do. Our social conscience is only as deep as to demand that other people pay for social solidarity. We could easily elect a government that would confiscate wealth, but we don’t, because deep down we’re afraid that they’ll come after the rest of us. The Irish don’t ideologically hate the concept of being rich: We just hate the idea of other people being rich.  

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