Tuesday, June 24, 2008

ESRI try to save face - Time for a Cull

On May 14th, the ESRI in their last report, told us all was rosy in the garden. http://paddythepig.blogspot.com/2008/05/esri-weather-forecast.html . They told us one of the inputs for their 'model' was 70 dollar per barrel oil price ; now they're predicting 100 dollar per barrel. Looks to PaddyThePig like they're making it up as they go along.

Now they've turned on their heels, and have admitted that the downturn that the dogs in the street knew about, is actually going to happen. A face-saving exercise, fuelled by the desire not to look ridiculous.

They should now recruit from the top brass of 'Irish Psychics Live', to restore their credibility.

FAS have an economist, who scratches his chin, and produces a quarterly report. ESRI throw out their 'predictions' every quarter. As do the the Central Bank, who are trying to find a way to pass the time.

The public service cull that will need to take place, to try to manage costs, should start with some of these star-gazers, especially those who have been proven to be guessers and chancers.

Oink Oink!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Gormley to abolish tax on Long Johns!

Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, in his latest push to reduce our carbon footprint, is to abolish VAT on thermal underwear. This is to encourage the population to return to the ancient practices of wearing woolly vests, bloomers, and especially long johns. It is hoped this measure will offset the effect of the spike in the price of coal, oil and gas, which are becoming unaffordable for many families and pensioners, and also the effect of the Minister's proposed carbon tax.

Oink Oink

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Enda Kenny - 'The Enforcer?

Enda Kenny, the Fine Gael leader, is being thrust into unfamiliar territory as he reacts to Biffo's intimidation in the Dail. Like the squeaky clean class captain standing up to the school bully, Kenny is putting his boxing gloves on, and is threatening all-out confrontation with the Bruiser from Clara.

Biffo won't be worried. He is well used to getting the knuckledusters out. Kenny, on the other hand, is wearing a pair of pink mittens knitted by his Mammy. In boxing parlance, this is a no-contest.

As Denis Healey, former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, said of an attack from his Tory opponent Geoffrey Howe : "It was like being savaged by a dead sheep".

Nonetheless, Kenny feels he has to take a stand. Deep down, he knows the electorate think he's not up to the job, and he is ultra-determined to prove them wrong. That is is biggest problem. He looks like an eejit, as he desperately attempts to assert his authority. Any messing in the school disco, and Kenny will be in there like a shot, rolling up his shirtsleeves and protesting "I will not stand for this! I will have to ask you to step outside."

Biffo and the boys will be rolling in the aisles. Biffo is the bullyboy who fancies himself as the toughest guy in Ballygobananas. Stick a leather jacket on him, a blaring ghettoblaster on his shoulder, a fag in his gob, and give him a posse of adoring (and slightly fearful) hangers-on , and there you have it - our new Taoiseach. In fact, our new Government.

Oink Oink!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Will Biffo do the Fianna Fail Haka?

Fresh from his ordination as Head Bottlewasher of the Republic of Oirland, Mr Brian Cowen has got straight down to business, and has gone on a nationwide tour to promote the Lisbon treaty. He's doing his handshaking and baby-kissing show in venues all over Ireland, and is playing to packed houses. An audience of 'rural dwellers' packed in to hear him speak today in Mullinavat, County Kilkenny, and after delivering a precanned speech - http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0516/breaking47.htm
he then used the occasion to appeal to that unloved, underpriveleged, neglected section of Irish society - the farmers.

Irish farmers have been getting pretty angry of late. Fresh from the biggest boom in land prices in Irish history, and with the boom in agricultural commodities only building up a head of steam, farmers are still not happy. Instead they are going back to doing what they do best. Whinging and moaning.

The brunt of their anger this time is directed at the European Union's trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson, who heads the EU delegation in the World Trade Talks. The plight of Irish farmers is only one of many considerations that compete for attention in Mr Mandleson's mind ; this seems to upset the Irish farming lobby, who are used to shouting louder than anyone else, and getting their way. Remember, this is the same lobby who once threw a live sheep onto the desk of some poor sod in the Department of Agriculture. It's all a bit ironic really, considering farmers have milked the EU dry for years thanks to the EU's costliest charity - the Common Agricultural Policy.

Now farmers are livid that Ireland will lose it's veto at the talks. Well boo hoo. Pass me a Kleenex. Picture it. A deal about to be struck at the WTO ; it's a win win situation for everyone. More trade. More global growth. More employment. But the IFA aren't happy. Irish farmers throw a hissyfit. And oh shit, the deal is off. I don't think so!

For some reason, Mr Cowen feels he has to appease this lobby. Friday, he strutted the stage in Mullinavat like an evangelical preacher, as he pleaded to his congregation to stay at the heart of Europe rather than the periphery. No doubt spurred on by his 42% rating in the latest opinion poll, Mr Cowen has the gadge of a fella who got lucky the night before, and the night before that. I suppose, he is on honeymoon.

But he couldn't lose the Lisbon vote, could he? Probably not. To do so would be a case of 'snatching defeat from the jaws of victory' ; as of today, the number of Yes voters outnumbers the 'No' side by a factor of 2:1. But there is the odd cloud on the horizon. First is the wholehearted support of Enda Kenny et al : http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0516/breaking47.htm.
Second is the dodgy economy. Any of these accidents-in-waiting could damage the campaign if left unattended. It would be wise to muzzle Kenny, but unfortunately that's not within his powers. Let run amok, Mr Kenny might encourage people to vote no just for the heck of it. But at least Mr Cowen can take heart from the erratic campaigning of the motley crew of misfits that make up the No campaign.

Lisbon or not, the Fianna Fail show must go on. Voters can expect to see Cowen press the flesh. Nothing is more important than the Fianna Fail party. And if we're lucky, and the Lisbon treaty is ratified, we may see Cowen burst into a spontaneous version of the Fianna Fail victory dance. Expect the arms to be raised in triumph, and I'd be very surprised if we're not treated to the Fianna Fail haka - Biffo lifted shoulder high by an army of henchmen in tweed caps, howling like a pack of Bagles. And for the icing on the cake, we'll be treated to the Biffo thumbs up. Can't wait.

Still, it's weeks to polling day. There could be a few banana skins between now and then. Let's hope a few of them are put under Biffo, just to wind him up. Me, I'm tempted to vote No. Just to see how they would justify holding a second referendum if they lost. And a third. And a fourth. Have they no shame?

Oink Oink!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

ESRI Weather Forecast

Good evening.

Ireland's climate is about to turn tropical. The medium to long term outlook for Ireland is for a rise in temperatures leading to all-year-round summery conditions. We will be able to grow bananas and pineapples in our back gardens. We will be wearing our flip-flops and shorts to work in mid January. We will be making our Christmas dinner on the barbie.

The weather over the next while might be a little volatile. We may see the odd little shower or cloud, the odd cold spell, and maybe an occasional snowflake. But don't worry. These conditions will soon clear. The fundamentals of the Irish climate are sound. The Irish climate has a high resilience to negative external conditions. Our magic wand will fend off wet and cold fronts coming in from the Atlantic.

That's all for now. That's the weather forecast for Ireland. This is the ESRI reminding you to always be positive, no matter what the evidence is to the contrary.

Good evening.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Tullamore address

New Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, made a triumphant return to the Faithful County over the weekend. The Master of Ceremonies, quoting Abraham Lincoln, introduced Cowen to his flock as a leader 'by the people, of the people, and for the people' . The faithful hollered their approval, and hurled their peaked caps in the air. The wideboys dragged on their ciggies. Things were looking promising ; there was a sniff of a good session in the air. Every barman within a 10 mile radius were busy shining up their counter-fronts, and dickying up their toilets by putting fresh soap in the dispensers for the first time in yonks.

Thankfully, Cowen didn't ham it up too much by wearing his Offaly jersey, or anything like that. He was paraded through the town square in an open-top car. The local Fianna Fail hacks from Tullamore Town Council had their shirts pressed, and the hair combed, and lined up to greet the boss. One got a little carried away, and nearly hugged him. But that's as far as it went. Cowen was then escorted to the podium, where a roost of Fianna Fail TDs were waiting for him. Clearly, this rent-a-mob had been hauled in to make up the numbers .

Still, it was a big day for the boy from Clara, who'd gone up to the big shmoke and make it big. There's something in the rural Irish psyche that rejoices in the lad from the shticks, who goes up to Dublin and shows the jackeens who is the daddy.

Cowen then got up to speak, and didn't disappoint. Whatever about the substance, Cowen does at least inject passion into his speeches. He's a bit like an All-Ireland winning captain, about to receive Sam Maguire. Thankfully, on this occasion, he didn't scratch his balls, or shout so loud as to blow a speaker in the PA system.

'It's time for Government to realise that it doesn't just represent the country, but that it also represents the people', he hollered. And quoting Sean Lemass, he added, 'All national progress can only be predicated on an upsurge of patriotism'. Cowen seems big on the patriotism thing ; unlike Bertie, he will bellow out the words to 'Amhran na bhFian' at Lansdowne Road and Croke Park. Whether or not he'll sing 'Ireland's Call' will be interesting to see.

Actually, it was more the singing that caught PaddyThePig's (and the audience's) attention on the night. Politics is all well and good. But there were pints to be drank, and punters were more interested in getting the shindig underway. Cowen obliged by leading the crowd in a sing-song, culminating in a rousing version of 'My Way'. This is something Bertie would never have done, even if he could sing.

Not since Offaly won Liam McCarthy back in 1998, had the county seen such celebrations. The last time Offaly people got this emotional was during that year's All Ireland Hurling Campaign. Things threatened to boil over at one stage, when Offaly supporters staged an impromptu sit-in on the Croke Park pitch, after referee Jimmy Cooney blew the whistle two minutes early in the All Ireland semi-final. The hang sanger brigade simply weren't having it. They refused to leave the ground, and demanded a replay. They got their way. It just goes to show ; you should never ever upset a Biffo.

Oink Oink!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Biffo's Cabinet - Yawn!

All the radio stations were running live coverage from Dail Eireann of Brian Cowen introducing his new Cabinet. Fintan The Toole was sticking his oar in with the hapless Enda Kenny, and was baying for Mary Harney's blood on the Matt Cooper show.

I was tempted to switch channels. Fintan's whining voice was a bit much to take ; it resembled a violin being played off key. And Kenny's attempt to scupper Harney's reappointment was looking like a vain attempt to be noticed, and appear leaderlike. Enda Kenny is a student of the Steve Staunton school of management. Unfortunately, he has an knack of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, leaving everyone shaking their heads wondering "What is he on about?" Maybe one day, he will make one final attempt to assert his authority, and tell us "I am the gaffer. The buck stops with me".

Back in the Dail Chamber, no sooner had Cowen started proposing his Ministers, than Kenny and his sidekick Eamon Gilmore, were on their feet lodging objections. Not enough time was being allocated in the Dail to discuss the appointments, they claimed. Kenny pointed out that in previous administrations, it was common practice to debate Ministerial appointments for up to four days. Four days? Perish the thought. Bless me Father for I have sinned, what's my penance? Son, Three Hail Marys, and Four Days of Enda Kenny.

Eventually the news seeped through. But amidst all the shenanigans, PaddyThePig had lost interest. Michael Martin or Brian Lenihan? Mary Coughlan or Mary Hanafin? Tweedle Dum or Tweedle Dee?

Still, Michael Martin looked cock-a-hoop at being given Foreign Affairs. On Prime Time, Michael made his debut appearance in his new role. He was speaking from Belfast where he was hobnobbing at the American Investment Conference, dolled up in his new monkey suit and dickie-bow. The Star Spangled Banner limply flew behind him.

Brian Lenihan, a barrister by trade, was on morning radio, being touted as a 'safe pair of hands' in the tricky Finance role. He stoutly defended Brian Cowen's dithering on residential property stamp duty during his reign in Finance, and firmly stood up for his new boss. Moore McDowell, economic commentator, said that as a highly successful barrister, Lenihan would be able to 'get to the core of the matter', despite having no economic background.

So is Brian Lenihan the guy who will be able to say "No" to vested interests during difficult economic times? As a litmus test, he was asked 'Will you be introducing a property tax in Ireland?'. In a Freudian slip, Lenihan showed that, where he comes from, the wind clearly blows in opposite directions at the same time. 'No', he insisted, 'We have no plans to do this'. But then added, 'But if there a demand for such a measure from the public, we would consider it'.

Oink Oink!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Don't bite me Biffo!

Get ready for the crocodile tears. Bertie's resignation will be accompanied by a final round of wailing and reminiscing. No doubt, on the six o'clock news, Anne Doyle will have her forlorn face on ; we'll have the usual soundbite where a microphone is stuck near the gob of some aul wan, and she'll babble 'Ah Bertie, we'll miss ya`. There'll be the photo-opportunity at Aras an Uachtarain with President McAleese. And who knows, it being Bertie's last day at the office, a miracle might actually happen ; fireworks may well shoot up to the sky.

And then it will all be over for Bertie. The number one contender - Mr Brian Cowen - will be crowned champion. It has been a long wait for Biffo. He's been Bertie's loyal Consiglieri, and now he's the Don. First of all, he has to pick his Ministerial Cabinet. All the hopefuls will have had their best suit dry-cleaned, and will be waiting for the call. They will be practicing their Ministerial smiles in front of the bathroom mirror. The ladies in waiting - Mary Hanafin, Mary Coughlan, and who knows Beverly Cooper Flynn - will be off to Peter Mark. The lads will be off to the local barber shop for a dry cut. No better way to impress the man from Offaly than a freshly cut short back and sides.

After that, it'll be down to business. The Irish public will finally get to make their mind up about the man from Clara. In his youth, Brian Cowen played Under 21 football for his native Offaly, lining out alongside Matt Connor and Brendan Lowry, during which no doubt he learnt a bit about fighting his corner. But when he first arrived on the political scene, Biffo was still fighting his corner - a little too much. There was the famous 1992 Ard Fheis elbow in the face for the Progressive Democrats when he bellowed 'If in doubt, leave them out`. He was like an over-pumped, young corner forward playing championship for the first time. Eager to please the selectors, Biffo typically engaged in a bit of rough and tumble with the opposition. He was the guy to dish it out to the opposition's best player, maybe engage in a bit of verbals, or a bit of skullduggery off the ball. Had there been a referee, Biffo would have picked up the odd red card for rough play. Perceived as being a bit of a rough diamond, the image boffins had to go to work on Biffo's persona.

Brian Cowen re-invented himself impressively. He suppressed his quick temper, and his tendency to get his retaliation in first. He learnt the art of political babble and verbal procrastination. This was quite a feat for a man whose true nature is to be blunt.

So far, he has shown the Teflon quality that is required for political survival. As Ministers for Health, Foreign Affairs, and Finance, nothing stuck to him. He even has turned potential negatives into positives. He admitted to smoking marijuana in college, adding that "Unlike Bill Clinton, I did inhale". He joked that he was indeed a Biffo, a 'Big Intelligent Fellow From Offaly'. He brushed off a personal insult from the Reverend Ian Paisley who said 'Someone told me the other day that the reason his lips were so thick was that when his mother was bringing him up he was a very disobedient young boy, so she used to put glue on his lips to keep him there and that has been recorded in his physical make-up. Away with him indeed and if he wants to use his lips to better effect, he should do it somewhere else, and go to people of like physical looks. '

Cowen responded : “Rather than me reacting in a personal way to it, which I don’t, those comments have been made and I am quite prepared to allow the discernment and the judgment of the Irish people to decide their merits or otherwise. But I do think genuinely that we have gone beyond the failed politics of insults and we have a far more substantive agenda to address. "

Game set and match to Cowen.

Of course, he was operating in economic Disneyland. As Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen kept the good times rolling. He benifited from benign world conditions of historically low interest rates, and price disinflation in consumer items. This allowed him to fill the Government coffers with the fruits of the Irish property and retail boom. At no point did he warn of a bubble. This may come back to haunt him.

His reputation even emerged unscathed from the 2007 general election, when his policy of not interfering in the Irish property market, was embarrassingly over-ruled at the halfway point. On Questions and Answers, Cowen barked 'I am the Minister for Finance. There will be no interference in the Irish property market'. A few days later, realising their policy was unpopular with the voter, Fianna Fail did a U-Turn, and unveiled their proposals to amend stamp duty for first time buyers. A muzzle was put on Cowen, and he was sent to ground for a week or two. The Bertie bandwagon got into full swing. One would have thought this would dent Cowen's reputation. But it didn't. A few weeks later, Biffo was out and about again.

So his time has come. The question is, which Brian Cowen will we see when the chips are down? The diplomat or the over-zealous young corner forward? When angered or backed into a corner, Brian Cowen tends to throw punches like there is no tomorrow. His recent attack on a bewildered Enda Kenny in the Dail is a case in point. Responding to a Dail question about Bertie's evidence to the Mahon Tribunal, Biffo put on his gloves and barked 'His evidence will be decided upon by judges, not by you. You're not qualified or able to evaluate the evidence'. Kenny seemed taken aback, but if he is cute, he will wind up Mr Cowen, and give Biffo ample rope to hang himself.

Oink Oink!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Let's get ready to rumble!

Bertie was given a heroes welcome. Much like a WWF superhero, Bertie was ushered down the aisles of congress, flanked on both sides by hollers of approval and warm handshakes. Any moment, PaddyThePig half expected him to strip down to his green underpants, flex his muscles, accompanied by a Heavy Metal version of 'Amhran na bhFian' . Nancy Pellosi, speaker of the House, to rapturous applause, got into the spirit of things, and introduced him as 'His Excellency Bertie Aye-hern". The audience obediently provided a standing ovation.

But at least Bertie didn't wear the green tie. The green tie is a secret weapon kept safely under lock and key for the annual St Patrick's day festivities. Yesterday Bertie toned it down, going instead for a nice navy silk number, with a diagonal stripe.

He was clearly relaxed. Here was a man who felt good about himself ; he was like the cat with the cream. The speech started out with the usual camaile about the historical ties between Ireland and the United States. Bertie is good at this. No better man to butter up the Yanks, with a few yarns about how our labourers carried the hod that built America. And sure, why not. We did more than our fair share. But he was laying it on thick.

Bertie : America and Ireland have something that goes beyond a friendship between countries. To be an Irishman among Americans is to be at home. So, Madam Speaker, I stand here before you as a proud son of Ireland. And I stand with you as a steadfast friend of the United States of America.

PaddyThePig was about to reach for the Kleenex, when suddenly Bertie's speech took a surprising diversion. Out of the blue, Bertie stuck his oar in where it was not wanted, and brought up the issue of the illegal Irish immigrant community living in the US. Hardly an appropriate topic for an address to Congress. But it was typical Bertie. There he is on Capitol Hill, with an opportunity to comment on the State of the World, and what does he do? He does an Oliver Twist, and goes begging for more porridge.

Bertie : So we are profoundly aware of those challenges as we ask you to consider the case of our undocumented Irish immigrant community in the United States today. We hope you will be able to find a solution to their plight that would enable them to regularise their status and open to them a path to permanent residency. There is of course a wider issue for Congress to address. And it is your definitive right to address it in line with the interests of the American people. I welcome the wise words of your President when he addressed you on the State of the Union earlier this year and said he hoped to find a sensible and humane way to deal with people here illegally, to resolve a complicated issue in a way that upholds both America's laws and her highest ideals. On this great issue of immigration to both our shores, let us resolve to make the fair and rational choices, the practical and decent decisions, so that in future people will look back and say: They chose well. They did what was right for their country.

Translation : Please allow all illegal Irish immigrants to have US visas. Please give us special treatment. If you give us what we want, you will be given the Bertie Medal of Honour. Please bail us out. Please. Pretty pretty please.

Camouflaged amidst the colourful rhetoric about the so-called unique ties between the two countries (and notice also the flattery aimed at President Bush), this tactic was designed to appease the vocal Irish-American lobby group in the States. It may not go down so well though with the average mover and shaker in Washington political circles, who are not fond of special dispensations to any ethnic group.

Then came the bit about peace in Northern Ireland. This was always going to be the highlight of the speech. And isn't it a great thing! Not even PaddyThePig is twisted enough to attempt to throw cold water on this. It's a great achievement. Bertie, take a bow.

Bertie : This year, in Ireland, we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. It was a defining moment in Ireland's history. In the years since then, some doubted that the Agreement would endure. I never did. I knew it would last because it is built on the highest ideals of democracy - the ideals of liberty, of equality, of justice, of friendship and of respect for our fellow men and women.

Above all, the settlement of 1998 will flourish because of one simple and unalterable fact.
It represents the will, democratically expressed, North and South, of all of the people of Ireland to live together in peace and harmony. That is far more powerful than any words of hatred or any weapon of terror.

On St Patrick's Day 2008, a few short weeks ago, I came here to Washington.
I came with a simple and extraordinary message. That great day of hope has dawned.
Our prayer has been answered. Our faith has been rewarded. After so many decades of conflict, I am so proud, Madam Speaker, to be the first Irish leader to inform the United States Congress: Ireland is at peace.

Then came the silly quote. There just had to be one ; it just wouldn't be Bertie otherwise. For once, the boffins in the Department of the Taoiseach slipped up, and allowed this geographical clanger to slip through the cracks.

Bertie : The Atlantic Ocean will always bring Europe and America together. I do not see the Atlantic as something that keeps America and Europe apart.

Mmm. Anway, then came the obligitary quotation from John F Kennedy (didn't see that one coming), and a tribute to the victims of 9/11. PaddyThePig was about to reach for the Kleenex again, when Bertie decided to assume the mantle of a messiah. He softened his voice, and put on his puppydog face. One almost expected a halo to light up around his head.

Bertie : We are all citizens of the world. We must therefore develop a true spirit of global citizenship. This cannot and should not be an alternative to national pride and patriotism, but rather a complement to it. We should care for our planet as much as we care for our country.
We should champion peace, justice and human rights across the globe as well as at home.

Mmm. Given Bertie's permission for hundreds of thousands of US militiary personnel to avail of Shannon airport on their route to the dubious war in Iraq, this all rang a little hollow. And the whole `we must care for the planet`routine is a little tired. Later that evening, Bertie and his officials entertained their US hosts at a lavish banquet in the Irish Embassy. An evening of mickey-stroking and back-slapping paid for by you and me, for which I am sure no expense was spared.

Tonight it all ends, the entourage fly home on the Government jet purchased in 2005 for 20 million bills, which according to Bertie, doesn't have a jacks on board. Now there's a thought. After a night on the tear in Washington, the Irish Cabinet is stranded somewhere high over the Atlantic, clutching their pants, tears in their eyes wailing "Please Bertie, I can't wait. I have to go to the tilit!"

Oink Oink!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Please Sir, the dog ate me copy!

Teacher : Son, where's your homework?
Bertie : Ehh, sir, I forgot to bring in me copy.
Teacher : I thought I told you to bring it in today.
Bertie : I know sir, sorry sir.
Teacher : So what happened?
Bertie : I had it on the kitchen table this morning sir.
Teacher : OK. And?
Bertie : Ehh, I thought I had it in me bag.
Teacher : But you didn't. So where is it?
Bertie : Ehh, I can't remember sir.
Teacher : Oh you can,. Think.
Bertie: Sorry sir, I can't remember.
Teacher : OK I've had enough of this. Ahern, you're on
detention every night for the next month.
Bertie : Ah sir.
Teacher : And extra homework.
Bertie : Ah sir, that's not fair.
Teacher : And you'll be sitting extra tests.
Bertie : Ah come on sir, that's not on.
Teacher : And you're off to see the headmaster.
Bertie : Ah please sir, no way. ........ Wait!
Teacher : What?
Bertie : Sir, I remember. I remember what happened?
Teacher : Really? Tell us.
Bertie : Sir, I had me copy on the kitchen table, I was about
to put it in my schoolbag, but then out of the blue,
next thing the dog jumped up and snatched the copy
out of me hand, and ripped it to shreds.
Teacher : Oh.
Bertie : Yessir, that's it sir. The dog ate me copy. Sir.

Don't you just love the Mahon Tribunal!

Mr 'The Dog ate me copy' addresses the American Houses of
Congress tomorrow. He might even wear his favourite green
Darby O'Gill tie, and put on his statesman voice. The aul wans
will say a few rosaries for him. There'll be a few Ceili dancers, and
a maiden playing a harp. Diddley eye!

Oink Oink!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Friday Poem

Thank God for Friday, Thank you God,
I thought this damn week would never end;
Get me a Bloody Mary under a parasol
and a double dose of Panadol

Find me a cubbyhole in a quiet pub,
with a stiff drink on a summer's day;
let a ray of sun rest upon my cheek
to put this goddam week to sleep.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Gormley's China Crisis

Is the power going to Archbishop John Gormley's head? Fresh from his (and Mary Harney's) ever so unsubtle putsch on Bertie, His Eminence's moral crusade has gone into overdrive. I suppose if you're one of the triad of supermen destined to save the planet (Will Smith and Bruce Willis being the others), there's no point messing about, is there?

Usually, His Eminence makes his pronouncements in an outdoor setting, and he likes to wear his favourite prop - his all-weather, waterproof coat. Watching him, one feels like you're getting a good ticking off from Sherpa Tensing.

Why is this significant? Well, His Eminence's latest outburst was directed at the mighty Chinese, no less. You can check out his verbal Kung Fu on Youtube by clicking on the title of this post. So Gormley is dishing it out to the Chinese? Hi-Ya! Out of curiosity, I decided to go out to my coatstand in my hall, and check where my Columbia waterproof jacket was made. You guessed it. Made in China. What about my Lowe Alpine Fleece? China. My Timberland Jeans? China. Folks, chances are most of the nicknacks in your house originated from China. To put a figure on it, imports of goods into Ireland from China and Hong Kong increased from €4,768m in 2006 to €5,148m in 2007 (+8%). Exports of goods from Ireland to China and Hong Kong increased from €1,498m in 2006 to €1,950m in 2007 (+30%). Basically, we get to buy cheap goods from China, including fancy waterproof coats.

So, your Eminence, next time you feel like having a cut off the Chinese, take a look inside the lapel of your jacket, and see where it was made. Take off your pants, and see where they were made. And if you really want to make a stand for the people of Tibet, start putting your money where your mouth is.

Oink Oink!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

We're a livin in a pigshty!

Forget the forty shades of green folks. Poor aul Ireland is experiencing a litter epidemic. At every four-cross roads, in every ditch at the side of every bohereen, the Oirish are dumping their domestic waste. And Official Ireland doesn't give a damn.

Archbishop John Gormley, Minister for the Environment and number one treehugger, is too busy saving the planet to even notice. Instead of opening his eyes, and taking in the damage to our countryside, the Archbishop is stuck in his office in Merrion Street devising emergency strategies for Judgement Day, Armageddon, and God knows what. Yikes, here comes the tsunami! I'm going to drown. Oh wait, here comes Gormley on his rubber dinghy. We're saved, we're saved!

Not that the Al Gore wackybacky is confined to the Green Party. Our County Councils, who we pay to collect our rubbish, are clearly very relaxed about the situation as well. PaddyThePig, upon informing his County Council about some disgraceful local dumping of litter was abruptly told "The Council have a policy of not collecting illegally dumped litter." In other words, chill out man, we ain't gonna collect it.

Should we be surprised? No. We always knew there were scumbags in our midst. Regrettably, they are now on a crusade to avoid paying their waste disposal bills, and to hell with the consequences. The authorities are either too lazy, or have their heads buried so deep in the sand (or up their asses), to do anything about it. And you call pigs dirty! Gimme a break!

Oink Oink!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I'm Paddy The Pig. Oink Oink!

Paddy the Pig here. Casting a sceptical eye over all things Oirish. If like me, you're fed up with Official Oirland (that's Piglish for Ireland by the way) ; if you've just woken up with the biggest financial hangover of your life after Bertie's house party ; if you're fed up of the Government, the estate agents, the mortgage brokers, the bankers, the cheerleaders and the apologists for the boom that never was - the Celtic Tiger; if you've had enough camaile to last you a lifetime ; if you want to separate from the herd, and are looking for some straight talking about what is really going on in Oirland, then stick around.

Oink Oink!