Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die. (more…)
Brian’s Lenihan’s diagnosis of cancer – and the the manner in which his terrible news was broken – is going to dominate public discourse well into the New Year. He is going to release a statement about his condition early in the New Year. There will also be a continuing debate about TV3′s decision to run with the story on St Stephen’s Day.
There is an unreal air about Leinster House this evening. We are on the eve of the most important Budget since (at the very least) the measures brought in by “Mac the Knife” MacSharry in 1987. That Budget laid the foundations of the Celtic Tiger boom: what effect will Brian Lenihan’s speech tomorrow have? If it keeps us out of the bankruptcy boneyard we will be reasonably happy. It seems appropriate to reproduce the first stanza of Lord Byron’s The Eve of Waterloo here. I like reproducing verse that gave me pleasure at school anyway. Below that is a piece from yours truly in Monday’s print edition, which contains all my predictions for the Budget. My one cautionary (i.e., cop-out) note is that some of the final decisions may only have been made today. (more…)
The phrase is Tony Blair’s and I love it. I came across it last night when reading a piece that the Labour MP for Sunderland (and former journalist of Birmingham 6 fame) Chris Mullin wrote for the Guardian. You can read the article in its entirety here.
I know, I know. Before your fingers start thumping the keyboards in the Comment section, I’ll be the first to admit that there was no better man for manipulating the British media than the sooon-to-be failed candidate for President of the European Council.
Oh to be David McWilliams’s publisher! The publicity he has generated with the extracts from his new book, carried in the weekend newspapers, will have it flying off the shelves. As they say down the country, “He has a great welcome for himself.” Or alternatively: If you don’t blow your own trumpet, nobody else will blow it for you.”
Chewing garlic ensures they stand well back! (Photograph by Bryan O’Brien) (more…)
On the face of it, the Government would appear to be in considerable difficulty after last weekend’s Green party deliberations on the National Asset Management Agency. But although the voting figures in the “Preferendum” (see below) are very negative, some Green sources keep insisting things aren’t as bad as they look.
What in the Nama Gawd are we gonna do now? (Photograph by James Flynn/APX)
There is none. Silver lining that is. See the bit on NAMA at the end.
We have the result of the next election already and it is this: change of government. The only question is: when. Some of my colleagues believe as early as the New Year. I say the end of 2010, at the earliest.
The row between the Government and Fine Gael over Nama is good old-fashioned toe-to-toe political pugilism. The subject matter of the debate is complicated (class exercise: explain the difference between senior, and subordinated, debt in one sentence) but the intensity and adversarial nature of it is unmistakable.
Over the past couple of years, I have done the Overlook Hotel metaphor to death when describing Leinster House during the summer months. (For those who are not film buffs, it’s the hotel to which Jack Nicholson takes his family in Stanley Kubrick’s film on Stephen King’s novel The Shining).
It would be wrong to finish up a week at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Co Donegal without contributing to this blog. One has not yet mastered the art of the brief, almost Twitter-like “soundbite” which other bloggers use from time to time. Our posts on this Blog are more like mini-essays and hopefully therefore more profound.