Archive for the ‘dublin’ Category
So it seems the debate about the proper attire to wear when one is a parliamentarian rages on in old Hibernia.
Since the beginnings of the state politicians from all parts of Ireland have been trying heroically to seem more bourgeois than their proletarian roots would otherwise suggest, by stuffing themselves into off the rack suits; the odd fashionista may even have purchased a Louis Copeland special.
But since the general election, t-shirt wearing independents have been popping up in the back benches like irreverent weeds and no matter how many time the Ceann Comhairle waves his gavel and demands they respect the sobriety of the surroundings and have a little decorum, they just keep coming back.
Today in The Journal we have pictures of Luke Ming Flanagan wearing a bright orange Oscar the grouch t-shirt, standing up talking to the chamber. To my surprise, in the comments section under the piece raged a fierce debate on the issue. The surprise being that so many people cared enough about such a non-issue they felt an irresistible desire to comment on it.
Honestly when it’s the politicians shouting at each other saying, “my suit is better than your t-shirt” one despairs for the complexity of our political discourse. When the plebs get arguing about it,well then I know we’re fucked.
We’ve all seen them. Newspaper headlines that catch the eye, shock us or even get us to buy a paper (becoming a rarity in these digital times). And boy do they range from the good, the bad and the ugly. But whatever they say or how good they happen to be there is no excuse for lying,rank stupidity or deliberately misleading the reader as to what the content of the main piece is going to be about.
The Irish Independent has had headlines that were demonstrably untrue or manifestly stupid.
This headline appeared on the 12th of July – ‘This verdict will tarnish island and damage tourism’, say Irish priest The readers will most likely assume that they are now going to get a quote in the first paragraph regarding the priests statement. Instead we get this.
“A 95-year-old Irish priest who has lived most of his life in Mauritius said he fears the murder of Michaela McAreavey will tarnish the holiday island’s hospitable reputation”.
So on top of the fact that the headline is a lie and has misquoted the priest, the headline writer is either not the brightest person in the world or has so little regard for readership of the Independent that she/he thinks they won’t notice that in the first paragraph of the article we’re shown that the priest said nothing at all about the verdict and was talking about the murder.
The word verdict is not to be seen anywhere in the article outside the headline. What they did was use the verdict to get people to read a page filler. A non story.
I’ll admit that the Indo is not the only paper to do this but at best it’s shoddy journalism and at worst it’s pure cynicism.
Messers Kenny and Gilmore, had a piece in the Irish Times yesterday outlining the details of the upcoming constitutional convention. 100 people in total, 60 of them random members of the public and the rest TDs and academics. All brought together to review, analyse and suggest alternatives to elements of our constitution. In essence it is an excercise to try and modernise how our political system works.
A noble endeavour, to be applauded. If of course it was going to modernise our institutions and change how politics works in Ireland. But the convention will only be discussing a limited range of issues that I would imagine almost everyone in the country already agrees on.
Are they really trying to suggest that the removal of the section in the constitution regarding women’s position in the home is something we need to discuss? or that the insane blasphemy law brought in by the monumentally corrupt and morally bankrupt Fianna Fail, is trailblazing modernising stuff?. Changing the voting age to 17 and limiting the presidential term to 5 years are all good ideas but if these are the only issues to be reviewed then it is clear that the entire convention is nothing but a sleight of hand trick to distract the masses from their increasingly vocal demands for change.
Our TDs do not legislate, they fix peoples social welfare problems and we have way too many of them for a country our size. New Zealand has 120 and we have over 166 most of whom do little or nothing except engage in the worst forms of parish pump politics. The opposition has zero influence on the government of the day and the executive essentially has no cheques and balances. We have seen the results of this in Biffos’s disastrous bank guarantee which helped sink the country into penury.
We also have a country that has a constitution riddled with references to the disgraced and medieval Catholic church. All references to Catholicism being the states main religion need to be removed and the guarantee of the separation of Church and state,religious freedom and plurality inserted in its place. This is of vital importance if we are to finally limit the power of the church in our society and create a true democratic republic.
But we now know the convention won’t even be discussing these issues, so when Kenny says that this is great opportunity for the public to get involved, he really means it’s a great opportunity for you think your involved but we’re going to pat you on the head and then head away and make only the changes we want.
Nine stabbings in the Phoenix park, 3 deaths, 1 missing girl( thankfully returned safe and sound) and then last night we have 2 more men injured in stabbing incidents. All in Dublin and all in space of a few days.
Yet I’ve not seen a single paper describe Dublin as stab city. Were this to be Limerick, that particularly disgraceful moniker, would be plastered all over the papers and that pathetic excuse for a journalist Paul Williams would be turning up on every radio station giving his ‘inside info’ on the situation.
No nickname for Dublin, no Paul Williams ‘articles’ on the ever-increasing amount of aggressive drug addicts with titles such as “Dublin’s Heroin Epidemic” or “Junkie Dublin”.
For far too long the crime level in parts of Dublin has been ignored. Unless there was a high profile gangland shooting then it didn’t really count according to most of the national newspapers.
While we shouldn’t get all Daily Mail on the situation or Irish Independent for that matter (twin masters of hyperbole) the level of aggression and random violence around certain parts of Dublin has been very high for as long as I’ve been living here, yet it has been ignored for far too long. Yes the majority of the Dublin is very safe but the inner city does have a lot of problems.
It’s time the powers that be face up to the fact that inner city Dublin has been ignored for far too long and the results are plain to see.
They cost the Irish tax payer 55 million Euro and were never used; because one of the many morons in Fianna Fail , one Martin Cullen, went against all advice, reports and even ignored the fact that the people selling them also mentioned that they didn’t quite work.
So today the debacle of the E-voting machines has ended because they were sold for….€70,267 to a scrap company. So in honour of all the people who voted for Fianna Fail over the last 20 years and for Martin Cullen I’ve added this little video.
Fianna Fail Voters
I have lived just off Talbot street in Dublin city centre for nearly four years now and I tend to have a mixed bag of feelings towards my neighbourhood. No exclusive brand name shops for us, nor venerable cafes steeped in history, offering savoury delights and exotic coffees in salubrious surroundings. Alas we rarely if ever hear troubadours vying for our attention and money, playing everything from Bach to the Rolling Stones as is common on Grafton Street.
You see, for many in Dublin, Grafton Street is to Talbot street as the Champs Élysées is to downtown Kabul; chic,desirable and unlikely that one will end up running screaming through the streets being chased by a foaming mob of lobotomised people.
For many in Dublin a trip from the south side to the inner city of the north side is something you threaten your children with if they misbehave. ‘If you don’t eat your greens, I’ll make you spend a day on Talbot Street! Then you’ll see what happens to those who wouldn’t eat broccoli”
And I admit it’s not far from the truth. My neighbourhood is infested with the living dead: for ever shambling about in what I call the junky shuffle; always at speed, but feet never quite getting far enough in front of each to avoid collision. Perfect locomotion being secondary to their all encompassing need. And then there is The Call.
The average person attempts conversation using their voice as an instrument. Engaging it in a myriad of tones and individual mannerisms. Conveying meaning with a mere hint of tonal change or a whisper of expelled air. Not so the shuffling denizens of Talbot St. In a form of reverse Darwinism they have reduced syllabi, created a single tone and upped the volume to loud. They can be heard calling each other from one end of Talbot St to the top of O’Connell St. It is of course mostly unintelligible to those of us for whom being medicated involves some aspirin and a doctors note.
None the less the neighbourhood is more than just the sum of its drug addicts. It has a character,a certain flavour that one can taste no where else in Dublin. Along with a few Irish owned convenience stores the street has many excellent Indian and Pakistani food stores and a plethora of cheap home stores run by people from a variety of nations. It has several excellent Italian restaurants and a Thai restaurant that for my money is as good as anything on the south side.
Add the Russian tattoo parlour, Chinese noodle joints and ubiquitous pizza places, at times it feels more ethnic than Irish, more foreign than local. Diversity is the best of what the street has to offer. It seethes with a manic energy, like a meth addled clown performing modern dance with a monkey for a partner, one feels anything can and will happen.
On any given day I gravitate between love and hate; drab utilitarian buildings and the human detritus caused by the horrors of heroin abuse can cast a shadow on the brightest of days. But yet, the life, energy and comedy of it all is as addictive as the drug that has ruined so many young lives in the area. And besides, some of Dublin’s finest pubs and purveyors of excellent stout stand ready to bring a little cheer. Old man smell, free of charge of course.
So drop over some day, take a wander enjoy the madness and maybe stay a while. You might just find you like it.