Wilde in Merrion Square Dublin
I was there less than two weeks ago; I saw the posters, understood what it was about and knew what the opinion polls were saying and heard the anecdotal opinions of the people I met. Yet on Saturday afternoon, as the result of the Irish Equal Marriage Referendum became clear, something utterly astonishing has taken place in Ireland. It is no exaggeration to say that the entire country has experienced a societal seismic shift overnight.
With a national turn-out of 60 per cent and with 62 per cent voting “Yes”, talk of a landslide is probably a bit of the blarney but the sands have shifted irrevocably and, to my mind at least, a Catholic State has become an Irish Nation. The figures demonstrate that a sizable majority of the population regardless of age, faith, ethnicity or gender who would never in a month of Sundays describe themselves as LGBT have voted for equality, compassion, respect and (wait for it) love as basic human rights extended to their fellow citizens. (more…)
Kings of Leon
”The grave`s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.”
Andrew Marvell – To His Coy Mistress
So, farewell then Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Time`s winged chariot has crossed the deserts of vast eternity and finally arrived in Riyadh. The touching tributes and moving obituaries delivered by state media described him as a moderniser, a reformer, a moderate, a humanitarian and a champion of women`s rights. The state media in this case was the BBC and the Union Flag flew at half mast over the Palace of Westminster as a mark of respect to honour the life and cheque book of this great man. (more…)
Via Ian Britton freefoto.com
The final day for posting second class Christmas mail in mainland UK is Thursday 18th December unless you live in a certain exclusive, up-market suburb of Greater Walsall in which case the last post went three weeks ago. (more…)
Sometimes, usually in the wee small hours I feel a little bit sad when I consider what this country has become. This self-indulgent melancholy is almost certainly fuelled by a glass or two of something nice and listening to Elgar played loud on headphones so as not to disturb the neighbours. Having dismissed BBC News as utter tosh, perusing other more reputable online news providers only adds to the feeling of being swamped by dejection.
Upon discovering that Vince Cable is to send a polite letter to bankers asking them nicely if they might like to consider, if at all possible, to think about not pillaging the national finances for personal gain, the increase in gloom became inversely proportional to the amount of single malt in the bottle. The bankers who brought about the collapse of the global economy through naked, reckless greed and have escaped scot free must be quaking in their boots at the prospect of being swamped by a polite letter from Vince Cable. It seems Vince needs time to develop Post Offices into branch banking which is a bit of a shame as Vince knowingly undersold the Royal Mail with the express intent of financial gain for overseas hedge funds and a bloke who just happens to be George Osborne`s best man. I sometimes become a little bit miffed when I consider what this country has become. (more…)
Image via upr.fr
There can be few things as unintentionally funny as witnessing a conman bluster manufactured outrage after being accused of being a conman and then proven to be a conman. The usual defence of indignant silence when presented with evidential facts goes out of the window once the game is up. When the stock response to being caught red handed is not to dignify sordid allegations of being bang to rights with a rebuttal will not work, then the only course of action is to summon up carefully rehearsed apoplectic fury.
David Cameron`s tub-thumping lectern abuse in Brussels on Friday was not just hilarious, but also smacked of a chocolate covered kid denying he had stolen the Mars Bar. To be fair to the Chipping Norton conman, being presented with an unexpected bill for nearly £1.7billion would make any of us bang the table and search out someone to punch. The problem for Cameron is that no amount of synthetic anger can divert attention away from the fact that this useless Prime Minister has brought it on himself, or rather us as we will be paying the bill. (more…)