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A “dictator” is a head of state who exercises arbitrary authority over the lives of his citizens and who cannot be removed from power through legal means. Kim Jong-Il of North Korea, Than Shew of Burma and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe are all dictators. They rule not because they have the approval of their citizens but because they want to rule. Brian Cowen’s democratic credentials are becoming increasingly suspect in this regard. This is a worrying development because the Taoiseach should be committed to democracy by its definition and not just on his own terms.
The Green Party leader John Gormley recently stated on RTE Radio that he believed that the fundamentals of the Irish economy were still strong and that he was happy with the establishment of the assets management agency NAMA. To me this is further proof that John Gormley is ill equipped to hold a cabinet ministry. Many believe he has sold his soul to the devil for the trappings of power.
A backbench Government TD asks his not very bright 10-year-old daughter what she wants to be when she grows up. I want to be a politician like you, I want to be Taoiseach some day, she says. Her father was delighted. Political life had been good to him. Most especially so considering he had failed in everything else he had tried his hand at. He knew that it paid people disproportionately to their abilities. Where else could an absolute oaf get such a salary and associated benefits? To be elected would secure his daughter’s future and that of all belonging to her. Oh yes, becoming a politician was a very good idea indeed. After all, it’s not as if you need any qualifications or ability.
In this column last August I criticised the ridiculous economic strategy better known to us all as NAMA. I illustrated how it can never achieve its objective and how it will be a financial millstone around our necks for generations to come. It come to light in the last week that Messrs Cowen and Lenihan knew this all along but decided to carry on regardless.
While walking down the street one day, a Government Minister we'll just call ‘Himself’, is tragically hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St Peter at the entrance. Welcome to Heaven, says Peter. Before we let you in I must explain that there appears to be a little problem. We seldom see any member of your party much less a minister around these parts, so we're not sure what to do with you.
The Government’s recent job protection programme involves a €200 a week subsidy towards employees' wages. At first glance this seems a solid measure to protect employment. However all is not as clear-cut as it seems.
Once again water in Galway is undrinkable. Residents of Old Mervue, Bohermore, Shantalla, and Claddagh areas cannot use their tap water at present. If they do they risk being poisoned.
I was educated in a diocesan seminary during the 1980s. I was lucky to have been taught by some priests who were amongst the most dedicated and competent teaching personnel in the country. These people were above reproach of any kind and were and are a credit to their professions. Their colleagues and their superiors have failed these priests and many more like them. Their legacy has been tarnished by a systemic cover-up of crimes of such magnitude that they are the subject of scrutiny and comment all over the world.