Friday, September 29, 2006

Casting the first stone

This whole Bertigate thingy is all getting a bit boring now! For me, the problem with politics is that I don't have the staying power to sustain a particular point of view. In an attempt to provoke a reaction, I even posted a ridiculous 'Bertie should go' post. I didn’t get many comments but people started emailing me telling me that I was right on the money. Then my blogger account was inactivated!

Quick recap for those born yesterday.

We, Irish pride ourselves in our ability to bend the rules. We admire and value the cute hoor. But this benign attitude ignores the fact that basically we are a country of crooks.

DIRT & wholesale tax fraud by the majority of the population, a generation of illegals in US, an army of untaxed building contractors in the UK and swarms of teenagers fiddling slot machines in Germany demonstrate that we are genetically predisposed to "fraud". We don't obey the rules of the road, we drink/drive, given any opportunity we'll thieve and rob. We took ambulance chasing and litigation to such a level even we had to get a grip and invent a “Quantum of Personal Injury Claims”. We rip off visitors. For God sake, we commemorated the visit of the world's best golfer with fake pictures of his wife naked! We pride ourselves in our abilities to beat the system and our best boast is that the Brits found us ungovernable. We invented boycotting and guerrilla warfare. We are fundamentally anti-establishment.

One of the things that we all like about our Taoiseach is that he is decent, hardworking and generally an honest soul. So he got €8,000 for a few public speaking events in Manchester many years ago. Big deal? No I don’t think so. Most people I know would say, “Fair play to you Bertie, wear well.”

No, a big deal is that our legal profession are bleeding the country dry. One tribunal investigating the payment of €30,000 has cost us €24 million and is likely to double the before it is finished. Building contractors have subverted our planning laws. The cost of the port tunnel, M50 and just about every major capital investment programme we ever make escalates by a factor of ‘Think of a number, treble it, add 50% and then double it’. We pour €11 billion a year into our health service and get a third world service. We’ve allowed our hospital consultants develop the most ludicrous and lucrative remuneration system. We poured millions of Euro and thousands of Gardai into a small village for a 3 day golf competition but yet couldn’t afford to police the wild west that has become parts of Limerick. To me, these are big deals.

So folks can we get back to the real politics and stop pretending that we are all holier-than-Bertie?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Yours culpably ....

Those damn fine folks at Irish Election are to blame. Their blog is so darn interesting that even if you don't have an interest in Politics you soon realise that you have an interest in politics. It's one small step from posting a comment to breaking your resolution never to blog again.

It seems to me that his tear-jerking face-the-nation routine will elicit all sorts of responses. It will give more ammunition to folk who want to keep digging, provide a soundbite or six for the Bertie faithful to defend the simple man in the anorak and give Matt Cooper/The Old Lady of D'Olier St/Vincent Browne something else to get indignant about.

I wonder if anyone will ask the following question? Why on earth did we elect a politician who having gotten himself into such financial difficulties, and having such generous friends, fabulously wealthy daughters and the means to wipe out his modest cashflow problem, hasn't been able to right the ship completely. If we knew that our Minister for Finance had money problems and didn't sort it when he could, would we really think him suitable material to run our country's finances? That's like Eddie Hobbs saying sometimes he doesn't mind frivolously blowing his savings. In my book this is a case of Culpable Incompetence.

Either he was incompetent and couldn't sort the problem (and so must resign)


He is not incompetent but is to blame for the whole sorry mess (and so must resign).

Time to call time, Mr Ahern?

Friday, September 22, 2006


Blogosphere has always had an element of soap opera about it. Characters come and go. Actors are changed while the characters stay the same. But it seems that Blankpaige's departure was but a prelude to some really important departures. One of the minor nuns in a dramatic e-staging of Poulenc's "Dialogues of the Carmelites".

Those who venture across this page is be disappointed, nay devastated by the departure of, or continuing silence from

to mention but a few. Has my blog roll become some sort of death wish?

If Sarah Carey and Damien Mulley stop blogging, we will officially recognise the end of a brilliant era.

Occassional Paige