October, 2017

Jeffrey Donaldson and the amazing invisible £1 billion

ff It’s always interesting when two different parties insist that their version of things is true. Since in the case for consideration both parties can’t be right, it’ll be interesting to see who proves to be either ill-informed or a liar. The Financial Times via the Daily Telegraph says that the £1 billion – or […]

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The life and times of Regina Doherty

If you bought yesterday’s Sunday Business Post (I have my moments of weakness), you’ll probably have read their two-page spread devoted to Regina Doherty, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection. In it she reminds people of her humble beginnings (a council house – eeek!) and a few other things as well. Or maybe […]

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Ming made a mistake. What about Fianna Fail’s Emma Coffey?

Is Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan MEP the best-known politician in Ireland? A case could be made. With his thinning head of hair gathered in a tight ponytail and bearded hollow-cheeked features, he’s certainly not a man you’d mix up with somebody else. You wouldn’t mistake him for the UUP’s Jim Nicholson – Jim has been an […]

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Sami Chakrabarti and “We don’t do things like that”

Two days ago on Question Time, there was a discussion of young Brits who’ve gone overseas to fight alongside ISIS. As some bloody-minded audience members recommended killing them as traitors, Sami Chakrabarti said “We [Britain] do no take out people”. Sami was born in 1969, so she’d have been too young to have lived through the […]

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Saturday pics of the week

Pics 1-5 are by John Patton.   Pic 1   Pic 2   Pic 3   Pic 4    Pic 5   “I am not over-keen on early rises these days; in my final job , I had frequent early morning flights which soured me. However, landscape photography, especially in these days of glorious, autumn […]

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A reunited Ireland? Show, don’t tell

I was talking to a man last night and he raised a number of points which prodded my thinking. We were talking about health care and like myself, he believed that a quality health care system, free at the point of delivery, should be right at the top of the southern political agenda. This won’t […]

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Tom Humphries and moral/legal standards

The very thought of an older man using his status to prey on a young girl makes me, and I expect you, pretty angry. That’s why the conviction of the Irish Times sports journalist Tom Humphries yesterday received widespread approval, with those who’d given him a character reference uneasily back-tracking and trying to explain their […]

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How to avoid reality

“Human kind” wrote TS Eliot “cannot bear very much reality.” To say Eliot was right would be the understatement of the decade. There are things and practices in the world  that we’d rather not look at, because it (i) might upset us; (ii) might force us to change our way of thinking or manner of […]

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Dreaming of a golden time

  INTO my heart on air that kills   From yon far country blows: What are those blue remembered hills, What spires, what farms are those?   A good friend pointed me in the direction of these exquisite lines from Housman a few months ago, and I thought of them again as I heard a man on […]

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