Towns and cities across Ireland were brought to a halt yesterday as spontaneous crowds blocked roads cheering the release of the Working Group on Seanad Reform’s report. One woman, openly sobbing, told our cameras: “This is truly a great nation, and I’m so proud to be Irish. You can keep your Nobel prizes and your Olympic gold medals: who else in the world can generate so many reports on legislative upper house reform? Who? This is what the men and women of 1916 died for!”
Tee-shirt manufacturers reported a sharp increase in tee-shirts bearing Seanad reform slogans. “Indirect election by local authority members! That’s the big one! I can’t keep them on the shelves. That and Reserved Seats for Parliamentary Nominated Candidates! Jaysus they’re flying off the shelves! Flyin’!”
The 1916 Commemoration Committee has confirmed that as part of the celebration next year Galway based arts group Macnas have been commissioned to create giant papier mache versions of each of the 15 Seanad reports for the parade. The committee has also confirmed that toy and card versions of the reports will be available, so that schoolchildren can collect their favourites or play swapsies. “I can’t wait to get my hands on the O’Rourke report!” one excited ten year old said.
The Taoiseach was cheered as he took his morning stroll to Government Buildings on Merrion Square. Speaking to the media at the entrance, he said: “I’m very proud to be contributing to the long tradition in this country of endlessly guffing on about reforming things and then doing nothing. And can I just say this: I believe in the Irish people, and Irish democracy, and I believe that by working together, through a process of endless presentations and our old friend “consultation”, I am confident that we may see a 16th report on Seanad reform yet!”
Because of her political history, where she was once very active with one particular party, she wrongly gets called biased. It’s not true. If anything, it’s worse than that. She’s no longer loyal to the party she was once a member of, but is, in fact, now a member of The Establishment Party, and a fiercely protective member of it.
She’ll happily speak in defence of any member of the establishment parties. TD salaries? Hours worked? Expenses? She’ll happily go on Prime Time and The Right Hook and Morning Ireland to defend TDs when they’re terrified of their shite to do so themselves. She never has to put her hand in her handbag when she’s in the Dail bar.
She’ll oppose any real political reform which is unpopular with the parties, although will always be careful to publicly support the concept of reform once “consensus” can be found. She’s popular across all establishment parties because she defends “politics”, that is, the status quo where they get paid for doing stuff, going on RTE panels to defend politics as a noble pursuit to the solemn nod of actual officeholders. Summer schools? Sure it’s practically the law that she either chairs or speaks on every panel.
What really irritates her are the outsiders. If you’re not a newspaper columnist with a national newspaper, a pol corr, an elected official or a party officer you’ve no real right speaking about her political system? Blogger? Twitter? Who are these people?
The dream used to be a seat in cabinet, but she knows that’s no longer on the agenda. But a seat on the RTE Authority? Or the Council of State? Or maybe the holy grail of a Taoiseach’s nominee to the Seanad. She’s a big fan of senators keeping the title after they leave office. Especially on their passports for holidays in the US later.
That’s all still to play for, and the main party leaders know whose side she’s on.
1. Your friends admit that they’ve stopped learning your boyfriend/girlfriends’ names because they won’t be around long.
2. You start going to movies on your own, and surprise yourself by actually enjoying it.
3. You have one of those slipping getting out of the shower and thinking This Is How I’ll Be Found moments.
4. You don’t do a Big Shop but buy stuff as you need it.
5. You regard the words bachelor and spinster as both archaic and offensive, and secretly meaning “closet homosexual” and “on the shelf”.
6. Life insurance is something other people buy.
7. You really have your home the way you want it.
8. You start dressing primarily for comfort.
9. You either start talking to yourself, or buy a cat to pretend to talk to but keep asking him questions about you.
10. You start either writing a blog or recounting great details of your life on Facebook.
Posted by Jason O on Mar 2, 2015 in Not quite serious.
, US Politics
A blazing row has broken out in the GOP over the issue of whether the prime minister of Israel, Binyamin Nethanyahu, can be nominated as the Republican presidential nominee in 2016.
Rep. Jefferson Davis Cottonking (R-Alabama 3) has attacked party colleagues who suggested that Nethanyahu not being an American citizen, being born in a foreign country and being the actual prime minister of that foreign country might “not be ideal”.
“This is a disgrace. I yield to no man in my support for the state of Israel, and the idea that Bibi is not fit to be president of these god fearin’ united states, hell, you might as well be Osama Bin Laden to be sayin’ such things! Are you honestly telling me that Bibi Nethanyahu is less of an American than that pretender in the White House, Barack Hussein Obama? Aren’t we effectively equating Bibi with the same equal status as, say, a goddamn Frenchman? They can’t run either! Thank you Barack Hussein Obama and your “Constitution”!”
The GOP leadership, after humbly beseeching the Israeli prime minister’s forgiveness, proposed to make amends by legislating to allow the Knesset to nominate the next secretary of state.
The Mayor of 9/11(tm), Rudy Giuliani, has called on Israel to be allowed vote in the next US election, and called anyone who opposed the idea a Nazi terrorist.
“9/11 9/11 you’re a Nazi terrorist 9/11″ he said.
Posted by Jason O on Feb 27, 2015 in Not quite serious.
Voldemort, the dark wizard, has announced that he is declaring war on the fanatical extremists of ISIS. A spokeswizard said: “These people aren’t just, you know, baddies like me. They’re a disease, a cancer on the planet, a death cult that actually threatens normality. If NATO or China or anyone else isn’t going to step up, then I guess I’ll have to assemble an international coalition to do the job. I’ve spoken to the Daleks, who are onboard, and the Joker in Gotham City who has expressed serious concerns about their mental health. We’re currently working on reviving Stalin to help too. He’s great at motivating people, a real go-getter. Ayatollah Khomeini is coming back too. He said to me yesterday that “someone has to deal with these religious nutjobs!”
Posted by Jason O on Feb 12, 2015 in Irish Politics
, Not quite serious.
The Irish Department of Finance has confirmed that in the event of a No vote in May’s Marriage Equality referendum legislation will be brought forward to give a special LGBT tax free allowance. A spokesperson said: “Our lawyers have been looking at this. Turns out that it may be unconstitutional to be denying people equal rights but expecting them to pay the same level of taxation for less services. So we reckon a 10% tax cut should level it out.”
When asked as to how the Revenue Commissioners would work out who is actually LGBT, the spokesperson was unclear: “Yeah, that’s an issue alright. You know what the Irish are like. If there’s money involved, half the country will come out. We’re putting together a formula to create a threshold, you know, how many Pet Shop Boys tracks do you listen to on Spotify, how you pronounce the name “Liza”, and whether you think Kim Catrall is marvellous or not. That sort of thing.”
The anti-Marriage Equality campaign, “They’re Coming! They’re Coming!” has called for a tax credit for heterosexual men. “Real men,” their spokesman announced, “not a bunch of fairies. You know, the sort of guys who work out in the gym every day, letting the sweat run down their manly hairy chests as they pull their tight tee shirts over rippling…” the spokesperson then asked to be excused.
Posted by Jason O on Feb 11, 2015 in European Union
, Not quite serious.
Europe: not as much a place as a way of life.
A repost in honour of Australian entry into the Eurovision Song Contest.
As debate currently rages (why do debates always rage, and never, say, saunter?) over Britain’s future in the EU, some UK eurosceptics are quick to point to the Commonwealth as a potential alternative. This got me thinking: never mind the Brits, why are we in the EU not trying to get Australia, New Zealand and Canada to join up? Now, before you go off shouting, hear me out.
There are good reasons:
1. Firstly, it’s true, None of them are actually in Europe. Meh. A minor detail at best. French Guyana is in the EU, and it’s not even in the same hemisphere. That’s the thing about Europeans: we’re very bendy. All three have European histories, and large sections of their population have direct links to the Old Continent. So we might have to change the name from the European Union to, say, the Democratic Union. Big deal.
2. Their head of state is half-German (and lives in Europe), and her husband is Greek. Australia’s prime minister was actually born in England. The previous one but one was Welsh. Seriously? They’re probably entitled to an EU passport already.
3. Admittedly, it would mean being in a political union with France, who exploded the odd atomic bomb near two of them. But the Brits exploded them IN Australia, and they were forgiven. And don’t say the Brits didn’t know what they were doing at the time. They didn’t explode them in Scotland, and hardly anyone lives there. Anyway, it’s not like Canada has no experience in dealing with stroppy French people anyway. Might even calm Quebec down.
4. Every single Aussie, Kiwi and Canadian would be entitled to live, work, study and vote in the EU. No visas, no nothing. They’d also get free emergency healthcare, and of course, tariff free access to the single European market and the upcoming EU-US free trade area. Europe would get access to Canada’s oil, Australia’s uranium, and New Zealand’s dwarves.
5. Australia and Canada would be the seventh largest countries of the 27 countries of the EU. They’d be big cheeses. New Zealand would be like Ireland without kiddie fiddling priests and banker-terrorists.
6. They wouldn’t be negotiating with the Chinese, a couple of million to one billion, but over 500 million to one billion. And with the US one-to-one. When George Bush threatened to put a tariff on European steel before the 2004 election, the EU threatened a tariff on Florida oranges. He backed down. That’s what having a single market of 500 million gets you.
7. All three share our values on everything from gun control to the death penalty to gay rights to social healthcare to democracy, human rights, the rule of law, stability, and a solid economy. And they are not run by people who are mad. Or at least no more mad than our ones.
8. Every fourteen years, they’d get to run the whole of Europe for six months. Including Britain. Assuming they stay.
9. They’d be entitled to a European commissioner, seats on the European Council of Ministers and the European Court, and about 80 seats in the European Parliament between them. Think about that: they could make 80 of their pols live in Belgium for months at a time. Offer that up front and they start drawing up the list in their heads.
10. No reason why an Australian, Canadian or Kiwi could not end up as President of Europe. After all, Canada has cultural and liguistic links with Ireland, the UK, France and Belgium. Australia and New Zealand with Ireland and the UK. And here’s the thing: no natural enemies. Europe is full of countries with grudges going back years: No one has a grudge against Canada, New Zealand or Australia, which makes them ideal for appointment to the top jobs.
11. Finally, and this is the best reason of all: imagine the fury amongst British eurosceptics if the three started negotiating to join, against the wishes of their betters.
Is it plausible? Who knows? I’m just saying, don’t be too hasty. At least have a browse through the brochure.
Posted by Jason O on Feb 9, 2015 in Irish Politics
, Not quite serious.
Socialist Party Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy has lashed out at the Garda Siochana for treating him courteously and respecting his civil rights following an arrest earlier today.
Addressing a group of working class supporters who didn’t seem to have to go to work, Murphy said: “This is typical of the right-wing oppressive forces at work in the Garda Siochana. If this had been Chile under Pinochet I’d be beaten to a pulp, speaking to you now in a shirt covered in my own blood.
Or possibly even dead and on an iconic teeshirt!
But no! This regime is so opposed to socialism that they refuse to cooperate, and instead gave me a cup of tea and as many chocolate digestives as I could eat, all paid for by your taxes if you please! The fact that the oppressive police of this state refused to oppress me, that they actually allow us to speak here without shooting us even with plastic bullets, shows how devious and oppressive they really are! If they truly supported the working class they’d be baton charging the working class to remind the working class that they were being oppressed by being baton charged!”
Deputy Murphy continued in this vein for a a good twenty minutes until Jennings, his butler, collected him and drove him home.
Posted by Jason O on Feb 7, 2015 in Irish Politics
, Not quite serious.
RESPECT YOUR BETTERS!
Sinn Fein/The British Conservative and Union Party (delete as appropriate) have defended the rights of people descended from famous ancestors to be given special treatment above that of ordinary citizens not sharing a famous bloodline.
A spokesperson for the party said: “We are calling on people from these good families, who are entitled to this special treatment due to the superior blood in their veins, to be consulted on things like commemoration of national historical events/national legislation (delete as appropriate). It is only right that people whose key achievement in this regard is to have been born be sought out and asked their opinions with regard to these national matters. They should be given reserved seats on committees/in the House of Lords (delete as appropriate). I mean, it’s not like we want to copy those filthy republican practices of say, France, where all citizens are regarded as equal. This is a country where people must learn to respect their blood betters and know their place.”
Posted by Jason O on Feb 6, 2015 in Not quite serious.
, US Politics
The French Ministry of Science and Technology has surprised many by announcing that it is to commit €50 million to a campaign to encourage anti-science teaching in American schools.
A spokesman told us: “This is a wonderful opportunity for France and Europe. We would like to help American conservatives turn a whole generation of American schoolchildren against science, and instead obsess about stuff in a 2,000 year old book. Today, it’s evolution, but we are confident that within five years we can have them teaching that gravity is a communist idea, and that bio-technology is something to do with the Devil and homosexuality. We have one school board in Alabama voting tomorrow to teach that the Sun revolves around the United States. NASA aren’t happy, but the director of commercial satellite launching of the European Space Agency actually weed himself, he was laughing so much. Sent us a lovely hamper. It had cake.”
The ministry ruled out extending the policy to Europe. “Absolutely not. We need kids who can write software and develop new medicines, not wonder if God designed Zebras to look like they’re wearing pyjamas.”