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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oh, not again!

Algeria's police chief has been shot dead this morning.

The authorities are now searching for half a dozen Irish citizens with ringlets and little black hats.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Trevor caught by the Cutting Crew

Fianna Fail were never going to take the axeing of O'Dea lying down.

It didn't take long for them to wheel out some dirt on possibly the cleanest TD of all, Not-so-clever Trevor Sargent.

The government is rocking, right now. The gaps are opening up. Cowen can't keep it together much longer, especially with Dermot Ahern bootboying around the place as he has been.

Trevor's gone, and will eventually be the focus of the Greens again when this regime falls and the Gormley era is consigned to the unrecyclable bin of political failure.

In the meantime? Why not do as I do and crack open some popcorn and a nice beer and watch another government minister forced to quit.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Death by a thousand cuts

With a title like that, you're possibly expecting another economic rant from me.

Nope, it's option two on this occasion - this rancid government.

I wish I didn't feel compelled to pen my outrage on these two topics so often. It's wearying and depressing to return again and again to stare into the abyss and yell back what I see.

God only knows what you lot feel about it.

(Well, actually, Statcounter knows. And he says you're way more interested when I write about dead porn stars, or tattooing in Goa, or music piracy, or Irish whiskey, or the farce that is Ulster-Scots. Anything, in other words, other than the above two conversation-stoppers.)

So I'll try to think of posting about tattooed porn stars pirating Ulster-Scots albums or something similarly gripping later this week.

Remember when John O'Donoghue got forced out of his cosy, parasitic sinecure?

It felt like something had shifted in the universe. A senior politician in Ireland quit? That hadn't happened since forever.

But now that lying lowlife Willie O'Dea is gone too.

And Brian Lenihan, the last intelligent member of cabinet and the only one with any sort of respect outside a cumann singalong, is way more ill than they are publicly letting on.

And hoppity shortarse Martin Cullen is soon set to depart, what with his back finally caving in (likely due to his utter lack of spine.)

That leaves three seats at the top table soon to be empty,and let's not forget that Harney is only in her supersized chair because nobody else in government is taking enough hallucinogens to think running the Department of Health is a good idea of a career move.

And a level down the greasy pole, their margin is wafer thin in the Dail due to two by-elections and the distaste of panic-stricken backbenchers to continue supporting the insupportable.

Never mind the ever-skittish Greens, and the collection of allegedly Independent village idiots and parish pump attendants their every vote is now reliant on.

Finally, this has roused Fine Gael, many years later than it should have, and we have the riveting sight of blustering Enda in the Dail.

Obviously, with their huge poll lead and the almost unimaginable dream of possible one-party rule, they want to deliver the knockout blow as quick as is humanly possible.

After all, who knows when Labour will cop on and disassociate themselves from the unions' ruinous and publicly unpopular campaign to exempt overpaid, underworked public sector workers with job security from sharing the burden of the recession?

But thus far, the blueshirts remain utterly ineffectual, reliant on the Continuity Greens (the ones still technically in the tent, as opposed to McKenna's Real Greens, De Burca's Official Greens or any of the others who've already walked in disgust) to do any real damage.

The only thing that seems likely to prevent this government limping along, dying the death of a thousand cuts as one rat after another speeds for safety, is the incompetence of the incumbents.

God forbid that a government in Ireland changed because the public got disgusted by its corruption and incompetence and demanded its removal.

No, instead we must have, as we always do, some ridiculously irrelevant issue to get collectively mental about for a week, until before you know it, someone's off up the Aras and those fecking posters sprout on the lampposts all over again.

When O'Donoghue resigned, he whined that others in government had done much worse and seen no harm come to them. Why, his baffled mutton head seemed to ask, am I being picked on?

This week, we've seen O'Dea moaning exactly the same tune.

And so it will go, on. Some of them will slip out the backdoor, pleading illness. But those which remain will face a scrutiny that comes many years too late.

None of them will withstand such scrutiny. All of them will feel aggrieved, to have their past behaviour judged by proper standards of probity at last, when for years they quite rightly believed they could get away with anything, because they always did.

Then they'll be gone, with big cheerio cheques in their pockets, and we'll be left with blustering Enda, a prolonged recession, no jobs and a huge deficit.

And it'll happen all over again in another few decades, unless we start jailing people.

We should start with prosecuting O'Dea, who is guilty of perjury. We should go back to Ahern, who cannot explain away his financial shenanigans to the taxman, and prosecute him too.

Until these people are held accountable, they're beyond the law and will act accordingly.

And exactly the same principle applies to the banksters too.

(Oh, look! This post is about the economy after all!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It takes a thief to spot global theft

The name Darius Guppy probably doesn't provoke much recognition in Ireland, even though he lived here for some time.

A brief precis of his life thus far might run:
Privileged schooling at Eton,
followed by more of the same at Oxford where he chummed around with top Tories David Cameron and Boris Johnson as part of the odious Bullingdon society,
followed by his father's spectacular bankrupcy,
which in turn led to Guppy Jr scamming Lloyds insurance to make up for the cash he believed Lloyds had stolen from his family.

Guppy was caught, prosecuted and jailed, then vanished into obscurity on release, firstly in Ireland and latterly in South Africa.

In short, he's the sort of rum bloke that the British aristocracy churn out all the time - the well-spoken crook.

But he's no fool and no idiot. And his introductory essay as a journalist for the Sunday Telegraph today is one of the more important articles to be published today or any other day.

Guppy's not the first to argue as he does, that the core problem with our global economy is the banks and how they invent money out of nothing in a form of alchemy that better resembles a card sharp's sleight of hand.

But few others have ever made the case so convincingly, so accessibly and so simply.

He argues clearly that you cannot allow banks to invent ever more amounts of money when the planet itself is finite. But this isn't an eco-hippy argument in favour of culling children so that the whales may feel free. This is a warning to everyone - the global economic collapse isn't over; it's barely started.

Perhaps it takes a thief to tell the rest of us that the banks are thieves on a truly colossal scale, and that a root-and-branch overhaul of the entire way money operates is now needed to prevent global meltdown.

His article is essential reading for anyone with a bank account, mortgage, personal loan, savings or property. If you haven't dropped out of society entirely, he's speaking to you.

Or, like the banksters, you might prefer to embed your head back in the sand and hope for business as usual to resume. It won't of course.

Money is debt, and allowing banks to create unending supplies of it is what's wrong at the core of our world. If you've got more time, perhaps you might like to view the following documentary, which expounds even further on the same points Guppy makes so excellently.

Britain has the wrong Bullingdon yobs running for office. Guppy would make a much better PM than Call-me-Dave Cameron. Because his criminality is so much less serious, and because he at least is prepared to acknowledge the real wrongs.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Do you know any of these Israeli Assassins?

These are the passport photographs used by the Israeli hitsquad that murdered a Hamas leader in the Gulf last month.

At least three, possibly four, posed as Irish, thereby putting at risk every single genuine Irish person on the planet who travels to the Gulf or indeed any other state with sympathies for Palestine.

These people are extremely dangerous and need to be found and tried.

And the terrorist government of Israel must issue an apology to the Irish people for hiding behind our good name while they go about their spineless murders.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

That extra F

I've blogged before about how parents who give their children stupid names should be up on child abuse charges.

It's a global problem, generally committed by the lumpenproletariat whose imagination, stunted by a childhood diet of smokes and deepfried food, leads them to brand their offspring with the name of whatever pop star, white wine, car model or city happens to be in front of them at the time of birth.

But surely there must be a special ring of Hell set aside for people who, given perfectly reasonable names by their perfectly normal parents, jettison that in favour of some eye-popping nonsense.

I'm not talking about actors and writers assuming stage or pen names. I'm talking about Celtic Tiger eejits who decided to 'rebrand' in order to feed the ravenous monster that is their attention-seeking ego.

That extra F did it for me. Malcontent with being just another Aoife, some balloon off some RTE reality show (another ring in Hell dedicated to anyone involved in making those, I'd have thought) decided she needed an extra F in there 'to be different'.

Note to Aoiffffffe: Adding random letters to your name isn't 'different'; it's illiterate.

Graduates of advanced level Celtic Tiger naming idiocy include people who call themselves 'Puffin', 'Turtle', 'Doodle', 'Vogue' or 'Gavin Lambe-Murphy'.

By no coincidence whatsoever, all of these people can be found on the southside of Dublin 'working' in jobs that don't sound like jobs to people who work 9 to 5.

You know - they're models, or in PR, or they simply consider themselves to be celebs. Some such shit.

These people need to realise that it's not big or clever. It doesn't make you look different, or special. It makes you look like a self-important tool who can't spell and has industrial sized attention issues.

A kid like Rocco Ahern I feel sorry for (in more ways than one.) It's not their fault. But the adults who insist people call them by the name of exotic animals? I simply feel contempt for them.

It's not 2007 anymore. Change your name back to Mary or Padraig or whatever normal name your parents gave you before you copped a double dose of Celtic Tiger delusions, you planks.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Bury the dream with this poor girl

I've been to Turkey, and I've nice memories of the place.

It was full of beautiful ancient Ottoman buildings, and earlier remnants of other awe-inspiring eras like the Greeks and Romans and Persians.

The people were urbane and friendly, the beer flowed freely, the transport infrastructure was impressive by Irish standards and the food was wonderful.

So I can see what people mean when they claim that Turkey is a European nation, that deserves to take its place in the European Union.

But of course, when I was in Turkey, I didn't leave Europe. I was in Istanbul, a city under its previous incarnations as Byzantium and Constantinople that was for long periods European in culture and still is by geography.

But on the other side of the Bosphorus is another Turkey - the real Turkey. The huge Asia Minor bulk of the country. Their cultural practices are not so obviously in tune with European norms as those in Istanbul are. Unless, of course, we're talking about European values back in the Dark Ages.

Turkish police found the dead body of a 16 year old girl in a pit in a village. She had died through inhalation of large quantities of soil, indicating that she had been alive when buried.

Her own family did this to her, to preserve their 'honour', because she had been seen transgressing their cultural rules.

What was her crime, this unnamed creature of woe? She was seen talking to boys.

There may be room in the EU for Istanbul, should it and it's Euro-hinterland ever choose to secede from Turkey, not that it seems likely.

But there will never be room in Europe for the redneck lunacies of the hillbilly Anatolians.

Application denied.