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Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week August 28, 2016

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
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A former senator displays a rather unique understanding of the Belfast Agreement

Leo Varadkar is saying he shares the Taoiseach’s vision of a united Ireland at some point in the future.
Naturally, he adds that unity could only come about by consent and not a crude majoritarian count. But it would be better if he had said nothing about a united Ireland at all, for two reasons.

First, the British government gives Northern Ireland a subsidy of €13bn-14bn a year. A united Ireland could cost every working household Republic roughly €14,000 a year.

Second, even talking about a united Ireland is breaking the spirit, if not the letter, of the Good Friday Agreement.

Yeah.

This piece is worth a read for the lesson it provides in how to write a column for the Sindo – 70k is introduced as referring to people earning that much, then for the column is treated as households worth 70k. Not of course the same thing at all. But sure when did the Sindo ever let accuracy get in the way of a right-wing rant?

Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week August 21, 2016

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
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This is late today due to the necessity of avoiding the internet to watch the MMA fight without knowing the result. An unexpected result was seeing a report on Leo Varadkar’s speech in memory of Collins and Griffith put up at 1pm today in which he discussed his philosophy on taxation and liberty. What a treat. Otherwise, quiet enough week due to the dominance of stuff about the Olympics.

A fine example of lies, damned lies and statistics comes from Dan O’Brien in a piece on government spending on what he describes as the welfare state.

If globalisation has not caused the pruning back of entitlements and free services, neither has the efforts of those who believe that welfarism has gone too far. Back in the 1980s Ronald Reagan claimed that America’s greatest problem was an overweening state. Along with Margaret Thatcher, he believed that the unprecedented increase in the size of the state in the years after the Second World War had been counterproductive in its outcomes and damaging to individual liberty. Reagan and Thatcher wanted to reverse the trends of the previous three decades and roll back the state. They failed. Nowhere did they fail more obviously than in containing the size of the welfare state.

This week it came out that private landlords in the UK now get double from the government what they did a decade ago, claiming £9.3 billion. The reason for this is the continued and continual shrinking of the welfare state. Welfare spending that goes into the pockets of the private sector is not the welfare state. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from the public to the private sector, the redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich. People who write about economics in leading newspapers really should know the difference between what a welfare state is, and what state spending on welfare is. Hint for Dan: Public ownership and provision.

Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week July 31, 2016

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
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You wouldn’t half know it’s the silly season from the paucity of content in the Sindo this week. Therefore, let’s give some credit where it’s due. Fair play to Brendan O’Connor, who, while rightly angry that more were not prosecuted, shows a commendable desire to gloat at the imprisonment of a particularly egregious member of the three bankers gaoled this week.

So remember that – and you might feel more satisfaction about that bollix John Bowe getting some of what he deserves.

Although he did also say this

He’s a terrible loss to this country. Let’s get him home. And let’s get Geldof in the Aras.

Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week July 24, 2016

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
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Not a lot this week of any interest but Dan O’Brien today muses on parallels with the 1930s following the 2008 crash.

For all the talk about the rise of extremists today, eight years on from the crash that still defines our age, the moderate centre has held in democratic Europe. While frustrated voters now rarely give governments a second term, most switch to other centrists parties. In only a handful of countries – Hungary, Greece and Poland – could it be claimed that governments are not fully signed up to liberal democratic values.

You would like to think that in Greece he is talking about the nationalist junior coalition party, but no, he actually thinks the major party in the Greek government somehow rejects liberal democratic values. Maybe he missed all the liberal democratic cuts they’ve been making.

Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week July 17, 2016

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
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Sheer nonsense this week from a certain prominent columnist

My few bob on Portugal was based not on football form, but on two traits in the Portuguese national character which I admire greatly for two reasons.
First, the Duke of Wellington, not easily impressed, praised the stoic character of Portuguese troops under fire.

Second, thanks to the dictatorial Salazar, Portugal was one of the few countries to reject anti-Semitism at a time when European democracies were willingly rounding up Jews.

Say what now?

Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week July 10, 2016

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
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Broadly speaking, a boring week with not much of any interest, stupid or not. However, in the week of the Chilcott report and the commemorations of the Somme, Eoghan Harris strikes gold.

Like the glib dismissal of Great War Irish soldiers as ‘cannon fodder’, this demeans their sacrifice.

Like the Irish soldiers in World War One, the American, British and Irish soldiers who died in Iraq fell in the cause of freedom.

Surely that should be their proud epitaph?

Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week July 3, 2016

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
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Can’t do this properly today alas. But here’s Eoghan Harris not reading his own paper

But recently, I have been revolted by how educated people, including journalists, feel entitled to express opinions for which the only accurate adjective is racist.

Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week June 26, 2016

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
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Kudos to the commentator here who predicted that the result of the UK referendum would be an appeal for a unity government in the Republic. The Sindo editorial comes close enough

In that regard, and to use that much abused term, now really is a time to put on the green jersey. The tentative new administration here should be afforded every support by those progressive parties and members of the Opposition who must surely understand that, in the round, Ireland’s membership of the EU has been to the good, and, further that this country’s economic, cultural and social relationship with the UK must also be preserved insofar as those two ideals remain compatible.

Eoghan Harris meanwhile had this to say about how Cameron should have responded to the vote

Second, Cameron has shown further weakness by stepping down instead of stepping up to the plate.

The result of the referendum is not legaly binding. Parliament is sovereign.

Cameron should have rejected the result as too close for a national consensus and put the matter to the House of Commons.

There’s the defender of democracy for you.

But even on it’s own terms, it’s a crazy argument (and it’s disturbing to see Labour MPs like David Lammy making similar ones): the referendum revealed a large disconnect between the political elite and democratically-expressed popular opinion. The idea that ignoring democratically-expressed popular opinion would be a sensible thing to do is fanciful, and would have extremely dangerous consequences. Stupidity indeed.

Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week May 22, 2016

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
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Eoghan Harris is in great form this week.

That is why the Labour parliamentary party’s failure to provide a seconder for Alan Kelly is beyond belief. Because Kelly was the only leader who might have lifted that party’s morale.

Far from facing the fact that Labour needed a fighting alpha male like Kelly, the party leadership preferred cagey and cautious characters like Howlin and Sherlock.

In fact, it so disliked Kelly’s combative style that it brazenly disenfranchised its own rank and file membership, which was looking for someone a lot harder than Howlin.

Why the antipathy against Kelly’s honest passion for power? Surprisingly, Patrick Pearse rather than James Connolly can supply an answer.

Pearse sardonically remarked that the greatest fear of the Irish bourgeoisie was to be seen going down Grafton Street with a brown paper parcel.

Alan Kelly is Labour’s brown paper parcel. He is not politically correct, not loved by the cosmopolitian media, not in thrall to the liberal agenda, and comes from a humble background.

But Spartacus Kelly was just what the rank and file of the party needed to restore its fighting spirit.

Surely he means SpartAK47us?

Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week May 15, 2016

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
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Dan O’Brien must be living in a different Ireland to everybody else

If a foreigner with no knowledge of this country had spent last week here attempting to understand our general political orientation, they might well have concluded that we are a nation of leftists and reflexive statists. On some of the most discussed issues of the week – housing, health and welfare – far more voices were heard in the broadcast media calling for the government to address all of our ills. Many of these voices held private enterprise in suspicion, if not contempt.

That contempt for the private sector. Ruins my experience every time I turn on the tv, the radio, or pick up a newspaper.

Meanwhile, the new Minister for Transport has received a bit of a shock on discovering that public sector workers don’t just work 9-5, and do a lot of unpaid work in the evenings and at weekends.

My first working day as Minister for Transport was on the Sabbath. Slave drivers, these public servants. Or at least some of them.

That’s a fine way for a minister to raise morale. Suggest most of his workers, and most workers in the public sector, are slackers. Brilliant.

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