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

A book worth reading: The Last Sherlock Holmes Story

Posted by Jason O on May 9, 2011 in Books

Amongst other things, I’m a big Sherlock Holmes fan, and just happened to come across this in Hodge Figgis. I then promptly went to buy it as an audiobook off audible.co.uk, which says an awful lot about the future of book stores in high rent locations.

It’s a good thriller written by the late Michael Dibdin (who went on to write the Aurelio Zen crime novels) about Holmes investigating the Jack the Ripper killings, and is particularly of relevence to Sherlock Holmes fans who will get the references to the original stories, etc. In fact, given the twists and revelations in it, and threading very carefully so as to avoid spoilers, I’d say it’s a must-read for Sherlockians (yes, there’s a word for us). As it was published in 1978, however, I suspect I’m coming somewhat late to the party.

The BBC audio version here is read by Robert Glenister, who plays “Ash” in BBC’s “Hustle” TV series. There’s a certain snootiness about audiobooks for some reason, as if it’s a lazy way of enjoying a book. I travel a lot with work, and whether it’s a CD in the car or downloading onto my iPod and listening on my treadmill, it’s an excellent way of utilising time to enjoy books that I otherwise would not have time to read.


Odds and Ends.

Posted by Jason O on May 9, 2011 in Irish Politics

Interesting move by Fianna Fail to open up their presidential nominating process, as detailed here. Let’s hope they mean it, and that a few Oireachtas members and councillors have the courage of their convictions to follow FF Cllr. Malcom Byrne of Wexford in nominating David Norris. Fianna Fail have a lot to win here, by endorsing another candidate. After all, the presidency is not a normal partisan job, and we don’t regard the current incumbent as a Fianna Fail president. It’s also a severe juxtaposition to Fine Gael in power, whose “New Politics” involves instructing their councillors to deny voters as many choices as possible.


The Morgan Kelly article continues to both fascinate and terrify, as remarked here in the Indo. I’m of two minds about defaulting, primarily because of the need to instigate eye-watering Army-on-the-streets cutbacks if we go through with it. Having said that, if we can put shape on the consequences, as Professor Kellyhas outlined, and have a clear picture of the outcome of default, then maybe it’s time that both options be put to the people. Comrade Joe and Richard Boyd Barrett will of course say that it’s a false choice, and that a socialist republic should also be on the ballot. It should also be stressed, by the way, that we would not be defaulting on our national debt, nor would that be a good idea. We had a very respectable debt before the bank guarantee, and it would be important that we clarify in the minds of the markets that our word is still good when it comes to real sovereign debt. After all, we will want to go back to the markets eventually.  

Will public sector workers, people on welfare and the dole vote to accept 33% cuts? We could be about to enter hold-onto-your-hat times.

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