Shock as Taoiseach tells the truth — kind of

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So Taoiseach Leo Varadkar finally let us — and Vincent Browne — know the real truth: his Government can’t solve the riddle of the loaves and hospital trollies, and neither will those selfless property developers who once slushed millions into his party’s funding coffers sort out the housing crisis. Like ever!

This was the top headline in today’s online Irish Independent, following last night’s appearance on Browne’s programme on TV3: “Problems in housing and health will not be solved by this government, Varadkar”.

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Scared of Trump but terrified of Bannon

trump bannon.jpgFuelled by the double black coffee at my elbow  I am trying to get my head around all that has been happening since the Trump regime hit the ground kicking in America.

More particularly my heart is in my mouth as I ponder the role of Steve Bannon in it all.

Trump, that half buffoon, half genius, I am scared of. Bannon, that eminence grizzly of the alt-right, frankly has me terrified.  Continue reading

Why is RTE’s flagship news so dull?

dobboWhy are RTE’s flagship news bulletins so dull, predictable and safe? The same heads, the same tales … drawing the same reactions. Yawnarama!

I have my iPhone and my laptop, so I’m fairly up to speed on what’s happening. Surely Bryan Dobson and the team have something new, or value to add? Footage from Roy Keane’s press conference 13 hours ago scripted in that dramatic present tense just doesn’t cut it! Continue reading

Litter and sewage spoil Rush beach stroll

Looks like the poo always be with us

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At play on the North Beach in Rush, Co Dublin. Just don’t mention the raw sewage being pumped straight out to sea nearby by Fingal Council

low swathe of diaphanous cloud is puffing across a clear denim-blue sky as down Kilbush Lane we go, Bella, my wiry black and white terrier mix, and I. We’re on our way to the North Beach in Rush, Co Dublin, for our early morning ramble.

There’s a north-easterly wind would cut through you though, and an old salt who has stepped out from a galvanised shed for a roll-up, welding mask pushed to the top of his shaven knobbly head, remarks, “It’s a bit blowy.”

“Tis a bit,” I reply in kind.

Blowy? The fur on Bella’s black face is parted and her ears are flat against her head, making her look like a startled hawk from the front.

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Aleppo and Syria a tragedy for us all

Weapons manufacturers must be called to account _aleppoThis is one of those ones where you stick your neck out and risk being denounced as a dunce, or a simpleton. I’m talking about Aleppo.

Most of us are looking on from our comparatively cosy TV lounges and wondering what the hell is going on. What kind of hell are we witnessing? Or are we even witnessing it? Every emotive hand-held camera testament to Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter is open to question. Every stock shot of every devastated city streetscape, every line of ragged bodies beamed out to the world is either history in the making or wicked propaganda, or some immeasurable mix of both.  Who is right? Who is wrong?  What do we do? What can we do? Confusion reigns and the destruction continues.

It’s all so confusing. All faction and counter-faction. Elements splitting and transmutating all the time, colliding and dividing to spark ever more deadly fissions and fall outs in ungovernable space.

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Trump sayers battering us like Conor McGregor

Okay, we called  it wrong on Trump but stop rubbing it in!

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The deep guys who predicted Donald Trump’s presidential knockout victory have been trash-talking us woolly liberals in the style of Conor McGregor.

I’m so confused about things right now I posted a text memo to myself yesterday — and sent it to the wrong number. And then an answer pinged into my message box in the middle of the night. Woke me up it did.

“How deep” was all it read. A statement not a question.

Deep enough to spend what was left of my time in bed wondering just how shallow I am.

Certainly not as deep as those smug told-you-sos  blowing now about how they saw Trump’s presidential victory coming. Unlike the pontificating liberals in rival ivory media towers. And them just as smug and pontificating now. And patronising us too, the right-on intelligentsia, just as we had patronised the American heartlands that backed Trump so decisively.

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Trump versus Clinton: either way we lose

Trump phenomenon reveals something rotten in US politics

hillary-clinton-donald-trumpDonald Trump and Hillary Clinton. There, the first time I have put these names to print.

Billions of words have been written on the US Presidential Election but I really didn’t quite know what to say. So I will say it anyway.

For all sorts of reasons I do not like either candidate.

Yes, I’ve  seen all the stuff about Trump,  and he does seem a piece of work.

But the Trump phenomenon also points to something rotten in the state of US politics.

Much has been written about the irony of a billionaire braggart being a repository for the anger and disillusionment of so many millions of disaffected voters in the US. Many of them white, male and not rich enough for their liking, or safe enough from Mexican wetbacks and Arab terrorists. So angry about economic instability, and so disillusioned with mainstream politics that they would vote for this narcissistic, orange-skinned reality TV star as President of the United States. President Trump.

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