Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 
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eNovella: A Little Piece of Europe.

The very near future. Welcome to the European Union Safezone in North Africa.

2 million refugees trying to make a life in a city-state on the edge of Europe.

For the disgraced former British prime minister and his Irish deputy put in charge of running it, a chance at redemption.

For the refugee Syrian businessman, it’s a chance at a new life for his family.

For the young Somali woman fleeing terror, it’s a chance to perhaps no longer be afraid.

For the young Islamic State operative, it’s a chance to strike at the west… 

Now available as an eBook on Amazon here.

ALPOE cover

 

 
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What if Ireland hadn’t been partitioned in 1921?

Posted by Jason O on May 13, 2018 in Fiction, Irish Politics
DEV: PROBABLY STILL END UP RUNNING THE PLACE.

DEV: PROBABLY STILL END UP RUNNING THE PLACE.

This is one of those counterfactuals that doesn’t hinge on a simple what-if-X-hadn’t-died. The truth is, it’s almost impossible to imagine Ireland not being partitioned without A) the British turning a blind eye (and that includes elements of the British Army which might have mutinied) and B) a civil war between, effectively, Catholic and Protestant that would have been far more vicious than the actual Irish Civil War of 1921-23. It would probably have ended with a mass exodus by thousands of Protestants from the north, pretty high loss of life (especially amongst areas with one group living amongst a predominantly larger one, such as Catholic areas in Belfast) and an historical legacy that we would be thoroughly ashamed of today.

Putting that aside, the question I ask is what sort of Ireland would have developed if the country had not been partitioned, nor fought a bloody and sectarian civil war?

Would we have still had the civil war we had? Given that the treaty did not bring about a republic in name and still required an oath of loyalty to the British monarch, it’s quite possible. But what if the unionist majority in the north (those who decided to stay) regarded the treaty as the best of a bad lot, and decided to fight to defend it given its recognition of their religious freedoms? We forget that the same elections that elected the second Dail in 1921 also elected 40 unionists who would presumably have taken their seats in the Dail, and so would have passed the treaty by an overwhelming majority.

Read more…

 
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Varadkar opens NATO negotiations with Merkel/Macron.

Posted by Jason O on Apr 1, 2018 in European Union, Fiction, Irish Politics
French Air Force Rafale
French Air Force Rafale

The Department of the Taoiseach has announced that discussions have begun with NATO and other EU member states to consider Ireland’s relationship with the Atlantic Alliance “up to and including membership”, according to sources in Merrion Square.

“The Taoiseach sees bringing Ireland into NATO as being his legacy project, up there with Costello’s declaring a republic or Jack Lynch and Sean Lemass bringing us into the EEC. The Irish people are always complaining that they don’t have any leaders: they’re about to get a leader now” a source said.

As part of the deal France has agreed to station up to 26 Rafale fighters in Ireland, with the Irish taxpayer making a contribution to avoid Ireland having to fund huge expenditure buying its own fighters.

“After that Russian thing was pulled out of the water off Sligo last May, the government has decided that we just can’t avoid protecting our airspace sovereignty anymore. The Taoiseach is hoping that basing a plane in pretty much every county will garner support. The French have even suggested painting GAA county colours on the planes alongside the French, Irish and EU flags planned. The inital three planes will be deployed in Westport, Shannon and Stepaside. The public will be given a choice in a referendum: either NATO membership on the cheap, or we get serious about neutrality and start buying the number of fighters the Swiss, Finns or Austrians have, which will run into billions.”

The government has apparently already begun searching for suitable airfields in different counties. One proposal is that some counties may have stretches of motorway reserved for use as emergency runways, with the planes stored in local warehouses and cowsheds beside them.

“The thinking is that we bring the planes before the referendum, so that local people start getting used to French Air Force crews spending money locally, getting accommodation, hiring out buildings and the like. Then when those people are voting, they’ll be voting to get rid of money in the arse-pocket. We’ll put the pilots on the Late Late as well. Having a few sexy male and female French pilots about the place won’t do the referendum any harm either.”

The Government has tentatively scheduled the referendum for the first day in April next year.

 
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What if?: The Pro-Life Amendment of 1983: an alternative history.

Posted by Jason O on Mar 24, 2018 in Fiction, Irish Politics

Please note: this is a work of FICTION.

But for Deputy Martin Faraday, it could all have been so different. The Irish government, pressurised by a politically active Pro Life Campaign (PLC), would still have held a referendum in 1983 to insert an anti-abortion clause into Ireland’s constitution. The 8th amendment to the constitution would still have overwhelmingly passed, declaring that the state would vindicate and defend the right to life of the unborn. Then Ireland would have continued on its “Do as I say, not as I do” way, turning a blind eye to its women leaving the jurisdiction to seek abortions in the UK. The PLC would celebrate their surreal victory as the one pro-life organisation in the world which celebrates not what happens to a foetus, but where it happens. An Irish solution, as it were, to an Irish problem.

The problem, however, was that Martin Faraday was that rare beast in Irish politics, a politician who actually believed what he said. A devout Catholic, the young deputy from Kilkenny was tall, handsome, charismatic, and had led his native county to victory in the GAA hurling championship in 1979. Although socially conservative, Faraday nevertheless had respect on the liberal left for his consistency, speaking out just as strongly on issues of poverty and on opposition to the death penalty. Many spoke of him as a future cabinet minister, perhaps even party leader.

Read more…

 
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Great TV you may have missed: Occupied.

occuied“Occupied” is a thriller brought to us by Norway’s TV2. It tells the near future story of a new Norwegian prime minister, in response to an environmental disaster, ending Norway’s oil and gas industry. This causes an energy crisis in the rest of Europe, which leads to the EU conniving with Russia to seize the Norwegian oil platforms with Russian troops, and for Russia to deploy special forces into Norway itself. NATO having dissolved some years earlier, Norway finds itself friendless.

This isn’t Red Dawn in snow. It’s much more subtle, and much more political, as the prime minister tries to navigate between the Russians, who threaten more military power, and patriotic Norwegians who regard him as another Quisling.

One aspect the show does very well is its portrayal of the EU, which is selfishly pursuing its own interest yet embarrassed by its own actions, but unwilling to respond militarily to Russian provocation.

Funnily enough, although it was made in late 2015 it actually is more believable in the Trump era. It was made on a reasonable budget, and Norway looks great in it. It also has a very catchy theme song by Norwegian singer Sivert Hoyim.

The first season is available on Netflix, and a second season was broadcast recently. It’s in Norwegian with subtitles, but the characters all use English to speak with non-Norwegians in yet another example of how good some education systems are! Once again, I can’t understand why RTE can’t do political drama like this.

 

 
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Imagine…an EU refugee safezone in North Africa.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 30, 2017 in European Union, Fiction, Politics, Writing

Last year I wrote a short novella, “A Little Piece of Europe”,  about an EU safezone for refugees.

Why fiction? Why this subject?

Because I’m convinced that the immigration crisis is a grave threat to the stability and indeed existence of the European Union. It is causing huge internal tensions, pitting European nations against each other, and is being manipulated by external powers that want a disunited Europe.

It is also providing fuel to various strands of neo-nazi, both within and outside electoral politics.

Finally, there is a moral question: if Europe is not obliged to do something about dead children on our beaches, then we have learned nothing from our history.

The more I looked at the issue, the more I became convinced that an offshore solution is the right one. Why?

First, because Europe must be able to control its borders and who crosses them. Ordinary Europeans expect this and if the centre-right and centre-left can’t do this, they will elect extremists to do it with violence and brutality.

Secondly, an offshore facility will allow us to provide security, safety, and a place to process and screen refugees according to our values.

Finally, let me stress, I’m not talking about some sort of Australian-style prison camp. I’m talking about a functioning city run by the EU to a standard that will allow refugees to build a life there, whilst slowly absorbing into the EU proper a controlled number of pre-screened applicants.

Why fiction? Because the more I looked at the issue and thought about it, the more questions arose. How would it work? Who would fund it? What problems would it encounter? The more issues that arose, the more I concluded that it was a concept best communicated within a story. So that’s what I did. Told a story.

This is a work of fiction, and so there is dramatic licence. But the core concept is in there, in detail.

You can read it at the link here.

 
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Kate O’Hara, Taoiseach.

SEnta Berger Kate O HaraI’ve recently started writing a collection of short stories about a fictional female Taoiseach, Kate O’Hara, leader of the Centre Party and deputy for Dublin East. I’ll post them here as I complete them:

Kate O’Hara I: A Bear in the Air.

Kate O’Hara II: A Scandal in Ranelagh.

 

 

 
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News from the Future: President Gonzalez survives assassination attempt by Secret Service Drone: Hackers suspected.

Posted by Jason O on Jul 17, 2017 in Fiction, News from The Future!, Not quite serious.

News Future logoDateline: Washington DC, 2042.

A gun battle between US Secret Service drones and another USSS drone believed hacked by as yet unknown sources narrowly avoided the assassination of President Gonzalez as he spoke in the Rose Garden in the White House earlier this morning. The president had been making remarks to a delegation from the European Parliament when a protocol detected an attempted hack of one of his BodyGuard, and ordered other drones to secure the president. Seconds later, the rogue drone drew its sub-machine gun but was hit dozens of times by other drones as two human Secret Service offices rushed the president away from the scene and into the secure bunker in the building.

The rogue drone was completely incapacitated by gunfire. The Secret Service moved quickly to reassure both the public and elected leaders that the service’s firewall had worked exactly as planned, detecting the hacking attempt and on determining it could not block it, delaying it long enough to mobilize other drones to eliminate the threat. The USSS also pointed out that the BodyGuard, built by McDonnell-Douglas Robotics, are designed specifically to prevent a mass hacking.

Secret serviceThe director of the FBI, the Comey-Mueller 3000 AI Entity, has announced a full investigation. This is the second time a protective drone has been hacked to attack its principal. In 2035 former President George W. Bush was attacked by his own drone on his ranch in Midland, Texas. The drone was neutralized with a chainsaw by the president after been beaten with a frying pan by Mrs Bush. The FBI later arrested a neo-Nazi cell angry with the former president over his condemnation on racial attacks.

 
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Short Fiction: This is Earth One.

Posted by Jason O on Jun 3, 2017 in eNovels & Writing, Fiction, News from The Future!, Not quite serious.

News Future logo

A short story.

When a tiny nation permits a giant software company to take over the running of the country with its new Artificial Intelligence system, there are global consequences.

Not all are predictable, either.

Download: https://issuu.com/omahonyjason/docs/this_is_earth_one_

 
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The jailing of Hillary Clinton

Posted by Jason O on Nov 13, 2016 in Fiction, Not quite serious., Politics, US Politics

hillaryThe FBI agents didn’t arrive until the media, tipped off by Rudy Giuliani’s Department of Justice, were in place. Secretary Clinton opened the door herself, and invited the flak jacketed agents into her hallway. She looked refreshed and prepared, in a purple pantsuit.

The first mistake happened there. The new FBI director had handpicked agents with a clear disposition against her, and when one agent grabbed her wrist roughly and spun her to cuff her, one of President Clinton’s Secret Service detail stepped forward and pulled the FBI’s hand off her.

“She is cooperating. Show her some respect.” The Secret Service man said, squaring up to him.

The FBI agent went for his gun, but the Secret Service, trained for the sudden appearance of  weapons had their guns our faster.

All on live TV, after the FBI in their zealotry hadn’t closed the door behind them and dozens of zoom lenses and microphones recorded the incident.

Giuliani, who had been watching in his office with his staff of young men, shouted down the frat boy whooping that had accompanied the initial entry into the Clinton home in upstate New York.

He, an old master of the live TV perp walk from his days as a US Attorney, had given instructions for her to be brought out in cuffs. But this was getting out of hand.

On TV, President Clinton stepped through his secret service detail and stood in front of the FBI.

“There’s no need for this. Hillary is cooperating.”

Secretary Clinton put her hand on the Secret Service man’s shoulder.

“Stand down, Tom. Let’s let these guys do their jobs.”

The agent in charge, suddenly realising that the door was open and that they were probably live on TV, had the sense to calm the situation.

“Thank you, madam secretary,” he said, and put the cuffs on her wrists, clicking them loosely.

“Are those really necessary?” President Clinton said.

“Orders, sir.”

“Whose orders?”

“I can’t…”

“Who ordered you to put handcuffs on a 69 year old women with no history of violence?”

“Vince Foster would disagree…” one of the agents quipped, before realising.

President Clinton, spun on his heel and looked at the agent.

“That’s the way it is, it is?”

In his office, Giuliani, listening to the entire conversation broadcast live on TV, was screaming at the screen.

“Close the fucking door! Close the fucking door!”

Secretary Clinton tapped her husband on the arm.

“Don’t worry about it, Bill. Rudy Giuliani obviously thinks I’m very dangerous. Will you bring my reading glasses, honey.”

As she was led out of the house, America had stopped what it was doing to watch the spectacle. A growing crowd was gathering outside the house, and started chanting “Hill-a-ry! Hill-a-ry!” as she was put into one of the 10 FBI jeeps outside the house. She smiled, and held up her her hands in the air, the cuffs very clear to be seen.

It was an image that would become iconic.

Media helicopters and drones buzzed over the scene, following the FBI convoy as they took her to Manhattan to be charged. By the time she arrived at FBI headquarters, thousands of people were present. Some were shouting “Jail her!” but most were supporting her.

When she was led in, accompanied by her husband, there was a wall of noise as the crowd now covered the entire street. The NYPD were desperately trying to redirect traffic.

After an hour, President Clinton exited the building with with some aides and his Secret Service detail. Half way down the steps, surrounded by the media, someone (on advice from James Carville who was in apoplexy watching from Louisiana) handed the former president a loudhailer and a hand mike. He slung the loudhailer over his shoulder, looking like a superannuated student activist.

“My wife Hillary,” he said in that familiar southern drawl, “is a political prisoner.”

“This is the sort of thing you see in Zimbabwe or North Korea. A new president turning the power of the state on his political opponents. You did not see Reagan jail Mondale, or Bush jail Dukakis, or George W jail Al Gore. This, this is disgusting!”

In the DOJ, Giuliani was fielding a call from the President, who did not like what he was seeing. Then something caught his eye on the screen.

The crowd, now maybe 100,000 strong, seemed to ripple as someone moved across the steps of the building. Then the cheering started as people recognised former President Obama and Michelle Obama pushing through. Clinton saw them, and opened his arms to give both a huge embrace. The crowd started cheering, a chant “Let her out!” started, during into a deafening roar.

Giuliani was smart enough to see this was getting out of hand.

“Yes sir….no, I don’t think we should send in the national guard…we’ve a helicopter…yes sir.”

President Obama took the microphone live on camera.

“Michelle and I were downtown when we heard the news…I could not believe what I heard…is this the America we’re living in, where one party has its opponents picked up off the streets? Hell no!”

The crowds chanted back a “Hell no!” at him.

“What happens next? Is Rudy Giuliani going to have her spirited away to some prison in the middle of nowhere, some gulag?”

Giuliani looked at his advisers. That was exactly the plan.

A helicopter took off from the roof of the FBI building, as someone whispered in Clinton’s ear. Clinton gestured to Obama, who handed over the microphone.

“I’ve just been told that Hillary is on that helicopter, and that they’re taking her somewhere. I don’t know where. But my friends, I’ll tell you this. This is a political arrest, and will only be resolved in one place: Washington DC.”

*****

They could hear the chants in the Oval Office. “Let her go!” from just shy of two million people was very loud.

The president was not happy. Despite many questioning his intellect during the campaign, he’d proven himself to have a shrewd political gut, and this sat uneasily. The polls were showing that whilst a solid 40% of the country supported prosecuting her, 50% saw it as purely an act of political revenge.

In the week since her incarceration in a federal prison awaiting trial, in North Dakota, the Democrats had been galvanized. Millions were marching on the streets, and her name was now being compared to Nelson Mandela and Alfred Dreyfus. Foreign leaders hadn’t been helpful, although Putin and the Chinese endorsed his action in the “fight against corruption”. President Le Pen supported him too. That prick Trudeau had led a march to the US embassy in Ottawa to hand in a letter of protest. It wasn’t helped either by the fact that his coarsest supporters were having a field day on the web making remarks about her being sexually assaulted in jail. The First Lady had walked out of a meeting where such remarks had been made.

The visit to the prison by Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Rosalynn Carter and Barbara Bush had looked awful for the administration on TV.

His advisers had all advised that this was to be expected,     and it didn’t matter.

“All this proves is that the people who hate you still hate you,” Chris Christie said.

Giuliani nodded.

“Let’s get through the trial, put her away, and let her rot!”

The meeting broke up with out a decision, the room clearing save for Ivanka Trump. The others knew not to question her remaining.

“This is a huge problem honey!” The president said, slumping in his seat. He was not enjoying being president. He still spent a lot of time in his home in New York, and was beginning to hate having to return to the White House. The constant protest outside Trump Tower annoyed him too. It also grated with him to be booed in his home city, where once people had cheered him on the streets. He’d tried to have them moved on, but both the mayor and governor had refused to deploy heavy forces.

His mood hadn’t been helped by the fact that every business with a Trump in the title was now being permanently picketed by the Let Her Go crowd. Ivanka and the boys had openly talked about rebranding and separating his presidency from his brand in an attempt to save revenues.

“They’re wrong,” she said.

“If Hillary stays in prison she will become the focal point of your presidency. The next election will be a referendum on freeing her. Is that what we want?”

“What’s the alternative?”

“Pardon her. Say that a trial will be divisive and that you want to  bring the country together.”

“My supporters will go nuts!”

“You said you’d put her in jail. She’s in jail. Now the country has to move on. I’ve put some words together.”

She handed him a buff folder, which he opened and leaned back in his seat. He smiled.

“Is this legal?”

“I have half a dozen lawyers who say it isn’t illegal.”

*****

Newsflash: The White House has announced that the president will issue a pardon of Secretary Hillary Clinton for all crimes and misdemeanors committed by her. Unusually, for the pardon to take affect, Secretary Clinton is required to sign that she is accepting the pardon.

Some legal scholars suggest that in doing so she would be admitting to having committed the crimes in the first place.

A spokesperson for the president said that the pardon is on its way to North Dakota by fighter jet, and that Mrs Clinton can be home with her family by tonight if she wishes.

The attorney general, Rudy Giuliani, has resigned. He will be replaced by his deputy, Gov. Chris Christie.

The president shall address the nation tonight.

Copyright © 2018 Jason O Mahony All rights reserved. Email: Jason@JasonOMahony.ie.