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

An Occasional Guide to Irish Politics: The surprisingly cold candidate.

Posted by Jason O on Jan 30, 2011 in Election 2011, Irish Politics, Not quite serious.

Icy icy baby!

Icy icy baby!

On paper, she’s electoral gold. She’s pretty, young and well-educated. She looks great on a poster and even better in real life, bringing that X factor to politics. Except she doesn’t. When you meet her, she smiles at you and shakes your hand and affects to listen to you, yet you can’t help notice that the smile has all the warmth of an open fridge full of fish fingers. In fact, you can’t help feeling that the smile is like that of some sort of alien doppelganger, like someone who has only learnt how to smile late in life and is trying to copy someone else a little too hard.

Her earnest look is betrayed by that flicker as you talk to her, that millisecond when she looks over your shoulder to identify her next port of call. Yet the smile remains rigid, even though you know she’s not listening. And there’s the test right there: If you were to suddenly say to her “My mickey is unusually heavy. Would you like to see?” She’d keep smiling, her brain miles away, whereas a really good and forthright candidate would at least ask: “Fair enough. Will it increase the chance of me getting a number one?”


Never mind Angela: Why aren’t we debating the idea of a debt brake here?

Posted by Jason O on Jan 30, 2011 in Election 2011, European Union, Irish Politics

Mammy lays down the law. Again.

Mammy lays down the law. Again.

The latest story doing the rounds is the idea of us amending our constitution to restrict borrowing as a quid pro quo for getting a reduction in our IMF rate. All well and good. But why aren’t we discussing this idea for ourselves, as a good way of running our country regardless of how Brussels or Berlin think?

Surely one of the key ingredients of our economic downfall has been the Spending Junkies that are our politicians, men and women who just can’t help themselves when it comes to spending other people’s money. Imagine the effect of a constitutional amendment that not only restricted borrowing, but actually limited the size of the budget, and forced politicians who wanted to spend to go and find the funding from existing resources. Sure, the social partners and the politicians wouldn’t like it. But the people who pay tax might.

And before some people go off on a bender condemning this as another “typical right wing” proposal, ask yourself who pays for all this stuff. The rich pay some of it, but ordinary workers pick up most of the tab, reducing the amount of money they have to put food in front of their kids. Politicians perceived as right wing (Step forward FF and the PDs) have been just as guilty of blowing other people’s cash as the left. Just look at benchmarking. Or PPARS. Or eVoting. All money pissed away by a nominally centre-right government. This isn’t ideolgy. This is how a reasonable family manages its budget. 

Copyright © 2021 Jason O Mahony All rights reserved. Email: Jason@JasonOMahony.ie.