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

Odds and Ends.

Posted by Jason O on Mar 29, 2011 in Irish Politics, Just stuff

Was in “The Frontline” audience last night watching Andrea on the panel with Michael Healy-Rae. I have to say, I’m liking MHR the more I see of him, because I like his brutal honesty, and his point about the expectations of his voters is a fair one. I don’t know if it came across on the television, but when he made a point about “you can always sort it out” when asked about limited resources (hospital beds) it got a very negative reaction from the audience, and he got booed. I wonder, are we beginning to realise, as a country, that if you use pull to get your sick relative a hospital bed, you’re accepting that someone else with more pull can get your sick relative bumped DOWN the list in favour of THEIR sick relative?

I don’t like “The Frontline”. Not the show, or the staff, who are always friendly and professional, or Pat, who is really good in this format. I just don’t like the 30 second soundbite type debate nature of it. It’s not a format I’m any good in, because I don’t have time to “warm up” or think or expand on points. Assuming you can even get in, that is.

Had an interesting chat with a chap from the United Left sitting beside me. Very nice guy, and we ended up discussing the challenges of creating a leftwing mentality in a country “contaminated” by 800 years of centre-right British values. He also explained to me the differences between the SWP and the SP (which seems to hinge on interpretation of Trotskyite writings, which I loved. The only writing FFers ever fall out over tend to be on cheques). He had the grace to see the humour in it, which can be so lacking at times in the far left. Having said that, I took the piss out of the PDs. Which is never hard. 

Before traipsing out to RTE I attended a talk arranged by Kevin Rafter and Eoin O’Malley of DCU with Chris Mullin, the former Labour MP. He was very self-deprecating and gave some great snapshots of life as an MP and minister under Blair, and was very revealing about Gordon Brown and his temperamental unsuitability to be PM. Tantalisingly, he hinted at a television remake of  “A Very British Coup”, possibly about a moderate Tory PM being undermined by the far-right. Sounds like fun.

Two asides: His diaries are an excellent read, up there with Alan Clark in terms of fun (minus the overactive libido). Also, I’m currently reading Kevin Rafter’s “Fine Gael” book, and it’s well worth buying. It’s effectively the first biography of Enda, and I would not be surprised if it’s recovered and reissued with a few new updated chapters. Like Rafter’s “The Clann”, a fascinating history of Clann na Poblachta, you’ll read it in a weekend. Which I would, if I only had time. And, admittedly, wasn’t also reading a collection of new Sherlock Holmes short stories at the same time. Guilty pleasures, alas, as I’m indulging myself with a rewatching of the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series. But that warrants a post all of its own.

Copyright © 2019 Jason O Mahony All rights reserved. Email: Jason@JasonOMahony.ie.