3. 11. 2011

Energy hypocrisy exposed by ignoring nuclear option

RTE ‘News at One’ excitedly announced the other day that work had started on the new electricity interconnector between Ireland and Wales. This, carolled the RTE reporter with all the cretinous piety that characterises any discussion on the subject in Ireland, will enable us to export renewable energy to the rest of Europe! Which is rather like saying the Marshall Aid was a way of Ireland coming to the assistance of California, or Live Aid was all about Ethiopia rescuing […]

2. 11. 2011

A sinister spring takes hold after a despicable fall

If you reduce the morality of international affairs to the politically convenient intervention against the bad guys just as they’re losing power, then I suppose there is good reason to cheer events in Libya and the Middle East generally. To be sure, Gaddafi was a thoroughly evil man, and he should have been dealt with, by international fiat, once Lockerbie was shown to be his work. NATO should simply have overthrown him. But of course it didn’t, according to the […]

2. 11. 2011

Consequence, Greeks and Convoys

Yes, I know I do bang about these historical things a lot, but that’s because I believe they’re important. The most important event in world history since the Reformation was the Great War. That unleashed the concept of Awful and Inescapable Consequence on Europe. That is, if you invade a country that has friends, the price to be paid is truly, truly awful. But then, in the succeeding years, the law of Inescapable Consequence was seen to be far too […]

2. 11. 2011

Banks and Recovery

How much are we pre-destined by our culture to follow particular paths? How difficult is it to make startling departures from traditional ways? The question is worth asking in the light of the recent proposal in “The Irish Times” by the economists Sean O’Rian and Michael O’Sullivan that we start a state-investment bank. The first objection is one that any semi-literate ten year old can make: how are we to trust an unreformed public sector with the management of a […]

1. 11. 2011

What precisely does one do with a website?

A committee member of the Wexford Festival Opera — a lover of music, to be sure, but in most regards a plain and modest Wexfordian, more of a Rackard than a Rackrenter — was once, while about his operatic duties, invited to a Big House for lunch. Unfortunately, he was somewhat delayed and only arrived after everyone had finished their first course. Look, said his host, why don’t you catch up with us while we wait, and then we can […]

27. 10. 2011

Rugby powers must tackle dangerous play

Thursday October 27 2011 Deterrence is the most infuriating of virtues: the more successful it is, the more invisible are its consequences. So we should at least acclaim a morally superior act of deterrence whenever we see one, especially when it is done at great risk to the doer. Which is why the Irish rugby world should this week welcome home the referee Alain Rolland, and celebrate the single bravest deed in the Rugby World Cup: his sending off of […]

26. 10. 2011

Garda Ciaran Jones gave his life for Ireland

IT was on the last weekend of autumn, the first days of winter, as an evil and ferocious monsoon lashed the bleak mud of the Wicklow hills, that a young off-duty garda, Ciaran Jones, freely went out and gave his life, so that others might live. Of course, he did not deliberately seek death, but no-one going out on the N81 on Monday night could have been in any doubt, with the dark cataracts rampaging down the steep slopes on […]

25. 10. 2011

RTE’s McGuinness coverage has been abysmal

I have no particular feelings about most of the presidential candidates. Sean Gallagher is a Fianna Fail stealth-missile, and I would trust that once in the Park, he’d remain nice and stealthy. Poor Gay Mitchell is not so much a missile as one of those poor birdmen who used to leap off the Eiffel Tower, convinced that the fragments of cloth attached to their arms would keep them aloft. He’s more likely to be a sad and crumpled heap than […]

14. 10. 2011

Terrible things, bedsits — but are they the business of Government?

MY HEART is torn: the Government is to abolish bedsits by 2013. Part of me says thank God. Another part says what business is it of the Government to choose how people live? Let the market decide. If you’re a certain age, namely, YOUNG, you probably don’t even know what a bedsit is. It is an entire flat, usually minus a bathroom, lavatory or fridge, distilled into a single small room. Everything that you notionally need is there, as it […]

12. 10. 2011

McGuinness is part of the IRA’s army council. This question remains central to the election

THE clock clicks by. Irish democracy sleeps, the lullaby of Sinn Fein lies wooing it to a deadly slumber. Electors under 30 have little memory of the Troubles: those under 25, none. Mental partitionism, which became endemic in this Republic after about 1973, means that maybe half of those old enough to remember the Troubles do not actually do so: the memory receptors in their brains were instantly turned off by any mention of the North. And suddenly, we have […]