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A Quick Glance Around

12.11.2005

In the current enjoyment of lists, i intend to publish one. This one, rounding up the top 6 things since I departed. Its the best way i can think of to comment on the two weeks choc full of oddness.

6. Due Process

The Minister for Justice's decision to use Dail Privelage to land allegations without the burden of proof on the door of Frak Connelly. I am fully aware of the Sinn Fein tint that runs through the Center for Public Inquiry and I am certainly no sympathiser to that particular cause. However, their work is to be evaluated, critically if so choosing, in light of this knowledge.

Reports over the weekend suggest McDowell went directly to Feeny the financier of the organisation on the strength of Gardai intelligence and convinced him to withdraw funding. That particular act is intself underhand but defensible by loyalists. However the passing of judgement by a higly active member of the legislative and the executive is unacceptable and only underlines the terrribly blurred boundaries of responsibility and deceny in our system.

If a group of citizens group together to examine the working of government, or investigate corruption, it is their democratic right to do so. What else is a journalist if not a member (in theory) of such and organisation. Or a blogger. Indeed the presence of an FOI act suggests the very principle is acknowledged by government.

Similar to Anthony Sheridan over at irishcorruption, i worry about the willingness of this government to act like a police state.

5. The Budget

What he said. I think David McWilliams is onto something on the effect of our budget on the general health of the economy, however it is obvious that Cowen chose to use whatever influence he has to appeal to a very key demographic. Those out in the suburbs, displaced from their birth-place commuting to work and raising a young family.

The surveys of irish elections show that these young men and women have very little propensity to vote for a number of reasons. Difficulty in casting the ballot accounts for nearly half. For the others it is apathy. This budget tried to get these untapped voters on board without losing the credentials of a business friendly government. It was a difficult balancing act we will have to wait and see how effective it was.

4. Torture Rendition

Ok as soon as i signed of this story went big time. We had the likes of David Daven-Power explaining the concept of rendition and Bertie explaining why he and Dermot and Mcdowell accpeted the word of a friendly government despite the obvious inevitability of Shannon's further involvement being discovered.

Its great to see calls from across the political spectrum for all such activity to cease and Irish Gardai (who remember are so keen on intelligence) taking advantage of their right to investigate civilian planes.

Fiona makes a very apt point at this stage that if torture were not used, then why is Cheney bursting a gut on Capitol Hill trying to bring down McCains toture amendment. This government and state has a history of looking the other way. Time to stand tall with others who are defending the human rights that seperate us from those the war on terror is fighting.

While the Government hopes to kepp this on the back burner, many ought be uncomfortable with the willingness to facilitate overflight. Amnesty, HRW and many others have been talking for a while about this. Indeed Marty's investigation was well underway before our MSM picked up on it. Still Clever Trevor has aised this two or three times in leaders questions to be rebuffed with the trust we place in the word of Secretary of State Rice.

Ive been over this before, here.

3. Ivor Callely
What a pillock. Shant miss him much.

2.Feminism Blog-Debate

Easily one of the most intersting examinations of a sector of the blogosphere out there. If you havent a clue about which i speak, then Sineads article over at Sigla ties the threads together for you.

The rapid morphing of the debate into a two-pronged discussion on participation and feminism proved intriguing. My own response inspired by FI here is that modern feminism is a very different creature to classical feminism. Contingency has played its role in bringing many different elements to the fore unforseen at the inception of the struggle for equality.

To my mind the feminist challenge to come is the resolution of the dichotmoy of career-v-children. Its but one facet of a topic ive only happened across tangentially in studies etc. Still if you have a spare hour follow the threads from Sinead at sigla onwards. Its great stuff.

1 Irish Ferries/Strike

Well, its been suitably polarised over the last few weeks to make two nice cosy boxes into which to fit. It has really been a lively debate. just look at the comments over at backseatdrivers.
Still it seems that many will oppose the Irish Ferries behaviour for a combination of principle and disgust at the manner in which they carreid out their business.
It has made for some very intersting questions on the irish economy. Personally i have little or no doubt that these men would be fortunate enough to find alternative employment today.

Who knows how long this will last for? The point that most reasonable thinkers, in my opinion, point to is that this economy has a minimum wage. Companies operating here cannot be facilitated in hollowing out that base.

There you go. Over the next week or so, i hope to change the tone and further upgrade the look of the site. Posting will be intermittent. I also want to infuse more of my other interests into the blog. So there will be some new stuff, some same stuff hopefully you will be so kind as to give feedback-you can now email your feedback if you wish. DOnt forget to remove the REMOVE from the address.
RR

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  1. Blogger Kevin Breathnach | 7:21 p.m. |  

    Good to see you back Rover. We've just changed our style and such. I won't lie, it has taken me the guts of a day to get it all working (and I may not be finished!), but I think the non-official blogger templates would be a good bet for you too.

    Try here for some wordpress-ey, clean layouts. http://www.blogger-templates.blogspot.com

  2. Blogger P O'Neill | 12:16 a.m. |  

    The issues raised by the War on the CPI are vaguely reminiscent of something that came up during Bill Clinton's impeachment -- the old parliamentary practice of bills of attainder i.e use of parliament for quasi-judicial proceedings against private individuals. These are explicitly barred by the US constitution, but I don't have my copy of bunreacht na h'eireann handy and it's not quite what McD did anyway. But it's not good when the justice minister is drawing parallels with practices that were already considered beyond the pale, so to speak, in 1776.

  3. Blogger Cian | 12:38 a.m. |  

    I think the smokescreen around the leanings politically of the CPI (for smokescreen is what it is) is taking away from the fact that our Justice minister simply decided on the basis of Garda Intelligence (never too reliable just ask the mcbriartys) that Connolly is guilty.

    The guy may have a case to answer. Make him answer it i say. The issue of Bill of attainder is fasciniating since it is so out of practice. This minister really is beginning to veer into dangerous waters with our democracy.
    RR

  4. Blogger Cian | 4:09 p.m. |  

    test comment
    fingers crossed comments are working

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