Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eamon Gilmore is 'Working On A Dream' for the Boss!

Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen - get your E-Street Shuffling ass over to Ireland as you are needed on very important political business.

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore is hoping that the The Boss - Springsteen and NOT Haughey - can lend his musical magic to Labour’s general election campaign with a high-octane anthem.

Gilmore recently became the latest in a long line of Irish politicians who outed himself as a Bruce Springsteen fan - something he and this column has in common.

So let’s see - I wonder what His Royal Springsteeness can provide for Labour’s general election campaign?

While Gilmore won’t actually be ‘Countin’ On A Miracle’ to win, he is a ‘Cautious Man’ who will be using his ‘Human Touch’ to ensure that there are ‘Better Days’ ahead of us.

In this ‘Jungleland’ of Ireland, he knows it has hard to be ‘A Saint In The City’, so instead of ‘Living On The Edge Of The World’, Gilmore will be hoping to provide ‘Living Proof’ that he is not a ‘Nothing Man’.

But first things first, he needs to get Brian Cowen to take a quick spin along ‘Thunder Road’ out to “Mary’s Place’ at the Aras.

The, following ‘The Long Goodbye’, Cowen can go on ‘Radio Nowhere’ and declare to the country that Fianna Fail and the general public are ‘Worlds Apart’.

Within minutes, Eamon and his very own E-Street Band will be ‘Out In The Street’ selling their version of ‘The Promised Land’ to the electorate!!

But before any of that, Labour has to pick its election anthem and it has called on party members to put their thinking caps on to come up with suggestions.

Some of the biggest and the best in the political business have been known for their political anthems.

JFK had Frank Sinatra’s ‘High Hopes’, Bill Clinton had Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Don’t Stop’, George W Bush had Tom Petty’s ‘I Won’t Back Down’ (until Petty threatened to sue him!), and also-ran John McCain had ABBA’s ‘Take A Chance On Me’.

And leave it to Barack Obama to produce his very own ‘Greatest Hits’ of his election campaign, featuring songs such as ‘City of Blinding Lights’ by U2, ‘The Rising’ by Bruce Springsteen, ‘Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours’ by Stevie Wonder, ‘Think’ by Aretha Franklin and ‘Higher and Higher’ by Jackie Wilson.

Labour's very own X-Factor

Staying on things Labour and musical, it seems that the Labour camp are keeping a keen eye on X-Factor this year.

And the reason? One of its own is in the final!!

No, not Michael D or Joan Burton, but young Niall Horan from Mullingar who is part of the boyband One Direction!

Young Niall has been a Labour man for all of his tender years and come from good Labour stock in Mullingar.

In fact, during the 2007 general election campaign, he became quite an attraction on the Willie Penrose campaign as he helped the Labour TD canvass houses in the Mullingar area.

Always with an eye for the young ladies, Niall - even at that stage - brought a bit of hysteria to what would normally be a rather dull affair.

So as they sit it out and wait for Brian Cowen to call a general election, Labour party members are tuning in every Saturday and Sunday night to support one of their own - One Direction.

A Treely Good Idea

Winter is here and the nights are getting colder.

But unfortunately, free cheese is not going to heat the homes of thousands of people across the land.

So here’s an idea to get one back on the Government for their excess in a time of plenty - claim your Millennium Tree now!

Back in 2000, over 1,500 acres of native woodland were designated as ‘People’s Millennium Forests’.

As part of the celebrations, a native tree was planted on behalf of every household in Ireland and a letter sent to every home telling them where that tree is.

Maybe it is time to cash in these trees for fire wood?

Well the country seems to have gone to hell in a handcart, we may as well take everything with us when we are going down.

Politicians telling porkies?? No way.

An MP over in England was booted out of parliament recently, and his crime? Telling porkies about his opponent during the election campaign!

And now Fine Gael TD Billy Timmins wants similar legislation introduced in Ireland that would see politicians who break electoral law expelled.

He said inacurate and misleading information is often circulated about candidates at election time in Ireland and such legislation may assist in putting an end to the practice here.

God forbid if that were to happen - we might find ourselves in a situation where we will have absolutely no politicians!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

'Wave' goodbye to Labour's Dail bid!

Just what was Labour’s Frank McBrearty thinking when he entered the lion’s den that is Tonight with Vincent Browne this week to make his pitch for the Donegal South West by-election?

In the space of just 50 minutes, all of the good work done by Labour in increasing its popularity over the last 18 months disappeared down the tubes thanks to Big Frank.

Not only did he puzzle the nation with his ‘€8 bonds’ but then offered us an insight into his interpretation of a photo of a wave on the front page of one of the following days papers.

It was, according to Big Frank, the wave washing Fianna Fail out of power and the wave of support for the Gilmore Gale into government.

For many of the people watching the debate between four of the five candidates for the by-election, it was the wave washing McBrearty out of the race for good.

Twitter was alive with reaction to the so-called Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – Big Frank and his wave, Fianna Fail jersey-wearing Brian O Domhnaill, boring Barry O’Neill and preppy Pearse Doherty.

O Domhnaill was pilloried – and for good reason – for his stupid statement that this by-election ‘is not about politics’!

Well Brian, if it is not about politics, what is it about? My Little Pony? Call of Duty Black Ops perhaps? X Factor? Please tell us Brian as we were convinced that it is ALL about politics.

The there was the Fine Gael candidate Barry O’Neill who suffers from the same charisma deficit as his party leader Enda Kenny. An instant cure for insomnia is Barry so he may serve some purpose in Oireachtas Report if elected.

Pearse Doherty was the only one of the four who showed any understanding of what was going on. Donegal South West wouldn’t be having this by-election if it were not from him.

And then there was Big Frank, his €8 bonds and his wave.

“McBrearty makes Jackie Healy-Rae look like John F. Kennedy,” one person tweeted.

“I had a terrible vision of him (McBrearty), Jackie Healy-Rae and Martin Mansergh deciding the fate of the country over a few pints somewhere – in Mansergh’s case, perhaps a few small sherries,” tweeted another.

“Gilmore is going to drive to Donegal tomorrow, lock McBrearty in a room and throw away the key until after the general election,” another wrote.

And a personal favourite – ‘God be with the days when you could buy a bond and a bag of chips for €10!’

New robotic leader for Fine Gael?

It seems that Fine Gael MEP Jim Higgins has been leading the hunt for a new party leader and may have just found him – meet ASIMO the humanoid robot!

ASIMO is the culmination of two decades of humanoid robotics research by Honda engineers, Jim tells us.

ASIMO can run, walk on uneven slopes and surfaces, turn smoothly, climb stairs, and reach for and grasp objects, Jim tells us.

ASIMO can also comprehend and respond to simple voice commands.

ASIMO has the ability to recognize the face of a select group of individuals.

Using its camera eyes, ASIMO can map its environment and register stationary objects.

ASIMO can also avoid moving obstacles as it moves through its environment.

It is also believed that ASIMO can give a credible radio interview on major Fine Gael policy – something the party’s current leader can’t do.

So Jim, when are you bringing ASIMO home to Ireland. There will soon be a vacancy for a humanoid robot in the Department of the Taoiseach!

Mary, Mary - where are all the women gone?

Hard to believe it but Tuesday marked the 20th anniversary of the election of Ireland’s first female President Mary Robinson.

And as Labour Women marked the anniversary, they said it was time for Irish women to once again ‘rock the system’.

“In Ireland, the prevailing macho political culture has contributed to a system in which squandered gains have given way to savage cuts,” said Labour Women Chair Katherine Dunne.

“Women are no worse or better than men when it comes to making difficult but fair decisions about how to run the country. But what is better is a balanced team that represents all the people equally.”

“As 50% of the population, women are sorely underrepresented as only 13% of TDs are women. Urgent measures are required to rectify this imbalance.”

Labour Women has called on the political parties who will make up the next government to implement recommended measures such as legislation for gender balance amongst Dáil candidates.

“Mary Robinson was, and still is, an inspiration to women in Ireland. She gave us hope to believe that true equality is within our grasp. Only when women take their full place at the decision-making table will we be able to achieve the true equality that Mary Robinson made us believe was possible,” said Katherine Dunne.

We can sing for our supper

All this talk of bonds and budgets and cutback and austerity is driving me to drink!

Even the feared economist Morgan Kelly claims he doesn’t have a solution to it.

But one person who has a solution is RTE business reporter and all-round good egg Conor Brophy.

“We are at the stage now where we will need a charity rock concert to sort this country out. I like to think of it as Bond Aid.”!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Eirigi paint stunt was child's play

And so the lunatics have taken over the asylum and so-called ‘elected representatives’ have adopted a mob mentality – what a nasty little country Ireland has become.

That an elected representative like Louise Minihan should resort to paint throwing just to try and grab a bit of free publicity for her very questionable cause is nothing short of pathetic.

Mary Harney is no angel. She has been controversial in the decisions she has made. Our health system is in disarray and she is politically responsible.

But what right has a nobody like Louise Minihan to resort to thuggish behaviour by spraying the Minister with paint as she was turning the sod at a new mental health facility in Ballyfermot?

None. But then what would you expect from a person who managed to get themselves elected under the Sinn Fein banner only then to jump ship almost immediately to the left-wing republican group Eirigi.

If Minihan was in any way politically astute, she would have organised her protest in a more intelligent way rather than behaving like an animal in a zoo.

Yes we all have our problems with the health service. Yes, people are dying waiting for treatment. Yes there is a massive lack of services for the sick and vulnerable in society.

Feelings are running high and why wouldn’t they be.

But if Minihan wanted to change this, she could have used that little Eirigi brain of hers in a more adult way.

Instead she revelled in her five minutes of fame and tried to make herself out as a hero of modern times.

“I could have shot her and I think people would have still shook my hand,” she stupidly said afterwards.

Her behaviour was nothing short of thuggish and the outpouring of sympathy for Mary Harney in this situation has been huge.

Politics aside, that Harney continued with the sod-turning after being childishly sprayed with paint is a measure of the woman’s

For Minihan, it was a publicity stunt that completely backfired.

For Harney, it was a crude signal of the anger that is out there over the cutbacks in the health service.

Summertime - and the livin' ain't easy!

Campaigning politicians come in all shapes and sizes and political hues – so step forward Fine Gael’s David Stanton who is at it again.

It is an annual call that comes from his office deep inside the Fine Gael bowels of Leinster House but an annual call that is all but ignored – year in and year out.

And his call? We shouldn’t have to put our clocks back – summertime should last all year round!

To be fair to David, he has backed up this annual call with reasons why we should have left our clocks the way they were last Sunday morning.

“Longer summer time could save energy costs by reducing consumption and carbon emissions, boost road safety and help tourism,” he claims.

He said the USA extended summer time by four weeks in 2005 in order to cut down on energy use. American summer time runs for eight months from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November.

“Summer time in Ireland and across Europe runs for just seven months.”

Stanton has written to the Government seeking an extension of summer time.

We await the reply!!

Ministerial drivers - beware!

A word to Ministers and their drivers – be afraid, be very afraid as Twitter is on your tail!

Economist Brian Lucey has set up his very own Twitter campaign to identify Ministerial cars that are idle or doing jobs that they really shouldn’t be doing (like bringing Ministerial wives shopping or picking up Ministerial kids from school etc).

Twitter users are being asked to tweet any sightings they have of Ministerial cars around the country and say what they are actually

“If you see a State car used for shopping, family outings etc, tweet the Minister, time and location. Let’s out them,” Lucey tweeted.

Driving out of politics for Jim McDaid

And so departs the colourful and controversial former Fianna Fail TD Dr Jim McDaid.

One political wag was quick to point out on Tuesday morning that McDaid opted to resign because he felt that the Government was ‘driving politics in the wrong direction’!

But credit to Fine Gael Senator Pascal Donohue whose reaction was interesting.

“If Jim McDaid feels so strongly about this Government, why doesn’t he stay in the Dail and vote against the Government?”