Friday, March 16, 2007

Intruder alert at the white House - Stifler and the Taoiseach!

I was watching the RTe news and noticed that they were reporting that there had been a security breach at the White House when Bertie was giving Bush the ould bowl of Shamrock. Personally, my respect for Batty would have gone up if he had had a go at Bush for coming out with that "Top of the morning", nonsense. I daren't imagine what Bush says as a greeting to Condaleeza Rice when she comes into work.

Anyway, after the giving of the green, the Ahern double act was talking to the press in some hallway or alcove when I realised that in the background was the Stiflermeister himself. In the top shot you can see him clearly, and in the second shot he is clear asking where are all the red haired Irish Catholic females he had been promised.

RTE cock up chip and PIN demo

RTE were covering the changeover to Chip and PIN that kicks in from tomorrow on the 6.1 news, and I happened to notice in their demonstration of how you use the card that they actually put the hologram into the chip read and not the chip side of the Credit Card.

See here - >

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Another driving inquest

You can get Irish Times coverage or from the Irish Independent

This crash happened outside Dundalk in last of May of last year (2006). The car wasn't fit to drive, the ABS didn't work and the back tyres were worn and they were doing 90kph in a 50 kph zone at night (3am) when visibility wasn't going to be great.

From the report "In returning a verdict of accidental death, the jury said it felt that had the ABS been working properly, there could have been a different outcome. It added that an inaccurate press release had caused undue grief to both families. A forensic collision investigator told the jury in Dundalk on Monday that the anti-lock braking system was not working and he estimated Mr Hoey had been driving at 90kph at least within a 50kph zone. The jury heard that the back two tyres of Mr Hoey's car were excessively worn and that the car was unfit for use."

So another pair of deaths that were tragically avoidable.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Did any of you lot ever have to make something for a living?

I was watching Mary Coughlan on Q&A this week and since I'm of roughly a similar vintage to Mary it struck me when she was talking about upskilling and the knowledge based economy that she's never really had to do any of those things herself. And not just her. Just look at the work background of the members of the cabinet since 2002.

Bertie Ahern - Bertie was a book keeper for the Mater before become a TD.

Mary Harney - was very briefly a secondary school teacher between her gradution in 1976 and her appointment to the Seanad by Jack Lynch in 1977.

Michael McDowell - a barrister since 1974. Not a lot of make and do in the old law library.

Mary Coughlan - Very briefly worked as a social worker after college before taking her seat in a bye election.

John O'Donoghue - A local solicitor

Dermot Ahern - A local solicitor

Brian Cowen - A local solicitor

Noel Dempsey - Career guidance teacher

Mary Hanafin - secondary school teacher

Micheál Martin - secondary school teacher.

Séamus Brennan - an accountant

Martin Cullen - worked as a sales manager for a wine company. Seriously a wine company!

Dick Roche - Masters Degree in Public Administration. Roche worked as a public servant at the Departments of Posts & Telegraphs, Transport & Power, Finance and at the Department of Economic Planning & Development. In 1978 he was appointed lecturer in Public Administration and Public Finance at UCD. A man so wedded to being a public servant it is hard to imagine him ever having to make something himself.

Willie O'Dea - O'Dea worked as a barrister and an accountant, and lectured at University College Dublin and the University of Limerick well really NIHE Limerick.

Charlie McCreevy - did Commerce at University College Dublin and went on to become a chartered accountant

Éamon Ó Cuív - was manager of Gaeltacht Co-operative, a company involved in agricultural services including timber milling, tourism and cultural development.

Michael Smith - Farmer, so at least he knows something about getting his hands dirty.

Joe Walsh - Walsh was a researcher in the National Dairy Research Centre at Moorepark and ended up as Managing Director of Strand Dairies in Clonakilty.

So it is only the last 3 that actually know what it is like to make or produce something for a living. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Harney caught at press launch by voter

On the TV3 news yesterday we had what might have been an early contender for one the moments of the as yet undeclared election campaign. Harney was challenged at the luanch of the latest PD campaign truck/poster on the state of A&E by an voter the lack of any paediatric immunology cover in Ireland. It was on the 5.30pm TV3 news. Sadly, TV3 don't stream or archive their news nor do they do a late night news or I would have recorded it then.

It is reminiscent of this moment for Blair in 2001, not quite as damaging perhaps but a sign of the times for Harney

Strangly no one else covered it or showed the footage though I'm pretty sure RTe had cameras there. I suspect we may see more of this in the rest of the campaign.