Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 
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Rick Perry to let Israel appoint US secretary of state.

Posted by Jason O on Sep 23, 2011 in Not quite serious., US Politics

Rick Perry: I will put one nation first.

Rick Perry: I will put one nation first.

Texas governor Rick Perry has upped the ante in the race for the Republican presidential nomination by pledging that if he is elected president of the United States he will sponsor a constitutional amendment to require, by law, that Israel can nominate the US secretary of state. “Let Israel know that it will have no truer more loyal friend in the White House.”

Already, governor Perry has been attacked by Representative Michele Bachmann for not showing enough commitment to the middle eastern state. The congresswoman told a meeting: “Rick Perry is only a fair weather friend of Israel, unlike me. Not only have I already applied for Israeli citizenship, but I intend to introduce a bill to ensure that only citizens of Israel can hold the office of president of the United States. That’s what a real friend of Israel does.”

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin issued an apology this morning for suggesting that she might put the interests of the United States ahead of those of Israel. “I’m sorry for making that remark, because it was a dumb remark. The interests of the US and Israel are the exact same. How could they not be? After all, they’re both decided in the same building in Tel Aviv.”

Former house speaker Newt Gingrich, on hearing the news, told the assembled media to wait a few moments before he showed his commitment to Jewish voters, and disappeared into the bathroom with a packet of razor blades.  

 
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UN tells George Washington to seek agreement with British.

Posted by Jason O on Sep 22, 2011 in Not quite serious., US Politics

George Washington: You guys can't be serious!

George Washington: You guys can't be serious!

George Washington, the leader of the 13 British colonies in North America that unilaterally declared independence from the British Empire was rebuffed today in the UN Security Council. Supporters of the tentative “United States of America” were disappointed that Britain vetoed Washington’s resolution calling for the new American nation to be recognised. British leader King George said that whilst he recognised the aspirations of the American people, they could only achieve those aspirations with the consent of the country of the nation currently withholding those rights. “That may sound absolutely barking mad to you, but it makes perfect sense to me,” The king said, before appointing a small cat as the Empire’s representative to the world body.

 
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An Occasional Guide to Irish Politics: The Pro-Choice Bigot.

Posted by Jason O on Sep 21, 2011 in Irish Politics, Not quite serious.

She delights in sneering at people with religious beliefs. Not Jews or Muslims, of course, because even though she holds their beliefs in equal contempt as with the Christians, she recognizes that it is only acceptable to chastise certain faiths. But Christians are fair game.

Not for her the internal dialogue of the Catholic, in dispute with their church over the life of the unborn versus the life of the mother, and seeking a genuine truth through prayer. Not for her the Protestant who finds in her faith a set of values that provide comfort to guide her through life’s journey. Not for her even an attempt to understand the immovable object versus irresistible force that is the debate of a possible life that nature has chosen to house within another, and all the medical and philosophical and emotional and spiritual questions it raises. If you question her view, you are a hater of women and a medievalist and an enslaver.

No, these are untermensch, people who may as well be praying that the Sun will rise in the morning and therefore are to be ridiculed and mocked and, with a few glasses of wine in her, surrounded by friends with copies of The Guardian scattered about the place, to be supressed for Hate Crimes, perhaps even Thought Crime itself.

 
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A book I really enjoyed: Dark Horse.

Posted by Jason O on Sep 21, 2011 in Books, US Politics

Thoughtful and entertaining.

Thoughtful and entertaining.

As I’ve written previously on the blog, I’ve a taste for second-hand political fiction or thrillers from the 1960s and 1970s. I recently read “Dark Horse” by Fletcher Knebel, who was a well-known novelist of the time (He wrote the bestseller “Seven Days in May”, which became an excellent movie starring Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas).

The novel is set weeks before a US presidential election, where the Republican nominee dies suddenly. Party bigwigs meet to anoint a new candidate, and select a minor transportation official from New Jersey, Eddie Quinn, as a placeholder candidate. Quinn then proceeds to cause a political sensation by talking honestly.

It’s an enjoyable tale, but what really is interesting is the way Knebel, who was also a political correspondent, paints a picture of a Republican party which although to the right of centre, was light years from the party it has become today.

On top of that, the book goes into detail on the political issues of the day and Quinn’s left-of-field solutions to them, including a fascinating suggestion to require prisoner officers to secretly spend time every year in another prison as a prisoner, on the basis that they’d treat prisoners better if they knew that some of them could be POs themselves.

It is, of course, dated, but that’s part of its appeal. This is politics before the marketing consultants took over, and all the more fun for it.

 
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An Occasional Guide to Irish Politics: The washed-up former TD.

He used to be a contender.
He used to be a contender.

You frown as you look at the face. Isn’t that…your man? Of course, the face is ruddier now, plump and full and the hair is thinner and greyer, but didn’t he used to be..? Fifteen or twenty years ago, he was the coming man. Fron a long political pedigree, you can still remember him being lifted up at the count centre when he took his old man’s seat, a younger, slimmer version of Senior. There was no question: He was cabinet bound, who knows, perhaps all the way to the top job.

But the booster rocket never kicked in, and he seemed to coast on the family name, and no one ever remembered anything he ever did. He kept the seat with a moderate if unspectacular vote at the following election, spending that term in the Dail bar, and finally being ejected at the following election, full of bluster about the service his family gave to the state but remembered for drunkenly stepping through a plate glass door in the Gresham.

After life in politics, the TD’s pension keeps him going and he is seen in the constituency, stumbling from a hostelry with a few auld boys who used to be his father’s henchmen, usually in a suit that looks like it came free with its own park bench. Is that dried sick on his tie?

 
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Is Michael Martin becoming FF’s John Major?

Posted by Jason O on Sep 19, 2011 in Irish Politics

That John Major Effect.

That John Major Effect.

Stephen Collins’s piece in The Irish Times here is indicative of a issue that is beginning to permeate Fianna Fail. The fact is, aside from being in power, there’s little that holds the party together save for its more reactionary elements. Martin hasn’t got jobs or favours to keep people in line, and it’s beginning to show, a decent man trying to govern an ungovernable party?

His own deputy leader opposed him openly. He should have fired him, and placed a motion before the PP setting out exactly what his position is on the presidency and put it up to the PP: Back me or sack me.

Of course, that assumes that Martin actually has a position. If we have now reached a stage where the leader of FF is afraid to have a clear position because it might be opposed, well, that’s says it all, doesn’t it?

 
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I love the menacing tone of this ad.

Posted by Jason O on Sep 18, 2011 in Just stuff, Not quite serious.

 
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Attacking McGuinness’s past will not hurt him.

Posted by Jason O on Sep 17, 2011 in Irish Politics

An interesting candidate.
An interesting candidate.

There’s a tweet going around saying, and I paraphrase, that whatever about David Norris’s skeletons in his closet, at least they’re not actual skeletons. Sinn Fein’s decision to nominate Martin McGuinness for president is an interesting move. McGuinness is respected in the south in a way that Adams isn’t possibly because he’s seen at times as Collins to Adams’s Dev, the soldier as opposed to the politician, and that will help him, as will the images of him and Paisley, as soldier turned peacemaker. It’s a De Klerk-Mandela thing, and it has traction.

Yes, his opponents will want to bring up his past, and footage of him advocating the killing of collaborators et al, but they’d be fools to think that will hurt him. All that will do is confirm the prejudices of people who will never vote Sinn Fein, whilst reactivating the normally non-voting hotheads who love the smell of sulphur that Sinn Fein has lost in recent years. If anything, if McGuinness can set himself up as the two fingers to the IMF/EU/Banks candidate, he’s going to do very respectably. It also puts paid to a significant guerilla vote spoiling campaign by disgruntled Norris supporters, if he can’t get on the ballot.

There are, however, some issues worth considering about putting a Sinn Fein candidate into the Aras. For a start, the penetration of Sinn Fein by MI5 is a fact, and a serious issue. Does a Sinn Fein president increase the likelihood of  having British agents in the park seeing Irish government documents during, say, EU negotiations, or advising the president against bills not in the British interest?

Secondly, there is an issue as to how other countries will see the election of McGuinness, especially Britain. I’m not for one moment suggesting that any country have a veto over who we choose, but never the less, would we be that surprised if the Queen, having had a close relative murdered by McGuinness’s close colleagues, chose to not having dealing with the Irish president for the next 14 years? Do we want 14 years of the scumbag British media going on about it? Does it matter? Possibly not. But I remind people of how Kurt Waldheim was treated when he was president of Austria.

On the plus side, I do look forward to seeing Martin McGuinness sign a new EU treaty creating a defacto federal Europe into law. Or would he resign first?  

 
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Would Ryanair healthcare really be that bad?

Posted by Jason O on Sep 17, 2011 in Irish Politics

The doctor will see you now.

The doctor will see you now.

During the Lisbon referendum, one of the posters put up by those mysterious foriegn backed No campaigns was “No to Ryanair healthcare”. The phrase stuck in my head. Would Ryanair healthcare be that bad?

I don’t like Ryanair. I like being able to pick my seat, and so pay extra to Aer Lingus for the privilege. But that’s fair enough. That’s my choice. Ryanair, to its credit, does what it says on the tin even if O’Leary is telling you to go f**k yourself at the same time. Supposing we gave him an A&E department to run, with a fee paid by the state per person processed, with bonuses paid for speed and getting them into actual beds in wards as opposed to corridors. The INO would go ballistic, of course, as he’d almost certainly fire them all, but so what? They seem to spend half their time on go slows, work-to-rules, or else planning them. The usual suspects will say that care will suffer, that Ryanair will “cut corners” to make a profit. Yes, they will. The way they cut corners running an airline. But they still run a very complicated organisation, including flying and landing a fleet of modern aircraft safely, all regulated by air safety authorities. It’s not like they’re using TK red lemonade instead of jet fuel to boost their profits, is it?

Where’s the harm? We’ve tried the public sector way, which seems to involve hoofing large amounts of cash at permenently unhappy people. Let’s give O’Leary a single Dublin A&E department and see what he can do. 

 
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Can Socialism exist in a free society?

Posted by Jason O on Sep 16, 2011 in Irish Politics

Karl Marx: Nice idea, until people get involved.

Karl Marx: Nice idea, until people get involved.

Why is there not a single functioning socialist society on the planet? Why is that? The aims of socialism are noble enough, so why is it that we have never seen a single functioning socialist society? The hard left will tell you that it is because of capitalist intervention, as in, say, Chile, but even in Chile Allende had mass opposition against him to begin with, winning election with only 36% of the vote. In the 1988 referendum, 43% of people, not an insignificant number, actually voted to keep Pinochet in power. Hardly an overwhelming endorsement of socialism.   Read more…

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