Democracy in overdrive: time for a break from the ballots

Will this endless cycle of consultative decision-making ever end? In the league table of fevers, ‘election’ sits a lot closer to ‘scarlet’ than ‘Saturday night’, yet we appear to have found ourselves trapped on an election merry-go-round spinning out of control.

Continue reading “Democracy in overdrive: time for a break from the ballots”

Star Wars: Can we really trust this well-funded Rebel Alliance?

If you find the nightly news a bit too depressing these days, why not pop down to the cinema and watch the new Star Wars film, Rogue One?

The latest instalment of the blockbuster series sees a well-funded rebel army, fuelled by religious dogma and a willingness for self-sacrifice, take on an authoritarian regime that is slowly losing its grip on a vast and multi-ethnic territory.

Where do these script writers get their ideas?

Continue reading “Star Wars: Can we really trust this well-funded Rebel Alliance?”

This isn’t a revolution. It’s a mess.

Richard Boyd-Barrett says it’s a political earthquake.

He made the claim having just been elected to the new Dáil in the Dun Laoghaire constituency, a constituency which saw the combined vote for centre-right parties rise from 28,223 in 2011 to 34,261 in 2016 and the combined vote for left-wing parties fall from 25,579 to 21,612 over the same timeframe.

Continue reading “This isn’t a revolution. It’s a mess.”

The sad tale of Roberto Mussi and the Labour Party

In his hometown of Massa, Roberto Mussi is still viewed with hatred and derision. People spit on him when he walks by. Shopkeepers refuse to serve him, and little children cry when his name is mentioned.

Mussi played right-back for Italy in the 1994 World Cup Final. Although he had a solid career, he wasn’t celebrated and few people would have selected him for a starting position.

Mussi will always be remembered for Roberto Baggio missing a penalty kick, thus handing the World Cup to Brazil. From his position at the bottom right of the pitch, Mussi spectacularly failed to prevent Baggio from missing the penalty.

Continue reading “The sad tale of Roberto Mussi and the Labour Party”

Let’s stay together: Why can’t Irish people just get along?

Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader of the Labour party has led to sniping between the ‘New’ and ‘Old’ wings of the party. While this has been a touch unedifying, the remarkable thing is that both wings exist under one umbrella in the first place.

It is inconceivable that two groupings with such an ideological gulf and intense personal dislike of one another would stay together in Ireland. They would have long since exploded into 16 parties, 12 alliances, 11 working groups, 45 independents and six armies.

Continue reading “Let’s stay together: Why can’t Irish people just get along?”

A mistaken coincidence: the curious case of the would-be politician and the modern art museum

Not since a sculptor forgot a key part of Claudius’ anatomy has the art world so seriously threatened the reputation of a political leader.

The scandal began – and this is the first time in the history of written language these words have been written together – with the by-election for the Seanad’s Education and Cultural Committee, a grouping with such a low profile it makes the Freemasons look like the Kardashians.

Continue reading “A mistaken coincidence: the curious case of the would-be politician and the modern art museum”

Retaining the Seanad: Ireland’s love of second houses

How times change: the last government tried to convince us all to buy second houses in Bulgaria, this one seems to think we can’t even afford two on Kildare Street.

The defeat of the referendum to abolish the Seanad has left the government with redder faces than the audience at a Miley Cyrus concert. Continue reading “Retaining the Seanad: Ireland’s love of second houses”

Why if you care about courgettes you will vote No in the Seanad referendum

Save money! Fire politicians! Kick the elite!

The Government’s populist campaign to abolish the Seanad has fallen just short of guaranteeing ice cream and trips to Disneyland for all.

When you see Enda Kenny talking about saving €20m and giving two fingers to elitist hacks, it’s impossible not to think of John Delaney running through a train carriage, his locks flowing behind him as he pours cheap Polish lager into the delirious mouths of the loyal Boys in Green. Continue reading “Why if you care about courgettes you will vote No in the Seanad referendum”

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