Saturday, July 12, 2008

Same sex relationships - won't someone think of the aunties?

Breda O'Brien returns to the topic again today 'It is the belief that wherever possible, a child should be reared by a mother and a father, and that children have the right to know and have a relationship with their biological parents.' I wonder if 'wherever possible' is the 'wherever practicable' of social thinking amongst the new Christian right. I say new right but they sound a lot like the old right to me.

I'm sure my own individual mail (see bottom of post) had nothing to do with her returning to the topic but I suspect she got lots of mail over the week and that fact probably did have something to do with her response. I had mentioned in my mail that I thought a more important fact was that 'Children have the right to be raised in a loving home, ...'

First though, let's start with the above comment she made' children have the right to know and have a relationship with their biological parents' - is she in truth suggesting that all current adoptions should follow this route with biological parents being required to play an active part in their children's lives? I would wish that she would be clear and state that she is also objecting to the adoption of children by single people and also objecting to IVF. David Quinn has mentioned that a few times but hasn't banged that drum too loudly as most people are inclined to be sympathetic to those who go for IVF. They're no eejits these lads and lassies.

Moving on from there she doesn't mention at all that more important than being 'reared by a mother and a father' is that you are reared in a loving, nurturing and supportive environment. the mere presence of a male parental unit, and a female parental unit is not sufficient to ensure that those elements are going to be present. Shouldn't we think more about the importance of children having loving and caring parents at all than what their sexual orientation is?

This is what I'd sent to her last week, I'm sure she had other comment too during the course of the week.

'I’m not at all clear how asking a straightforward yes or no question like “Are you homophobic?” is a "have you stopped beating your wife?" type of question. Surely a version of that question would take more a form like “When will you stop persecuting homosexuals?”. I suspect Matt Cooper was as interested to know what was behind Senator Walsh sudden interest in
the topic (or in legislation more generally) given that he is one of the more laid back Senators when it comes to debate within the Seanad. He is more known for his work tending to the needs of those cllrs who vote for him than a strong interest in the legislative role of his office.

I don’t doubt that people use the term homophobe as a battering ram in many a discussion but it is also the case that the rights of children is being used to serve a similar purpose. Children have the right to be raised in a loving home, while I would have my own bias that it may well be a family unit with a mother and a father, aunts and uncles, grandparents and even siblings has the benefit of long practice. But the absence alone of some component of that ideal family is not a sufficient reason to preclude someone from the adoption process. I wouldn’t seek to prevent single people or those in same sex committed relationships from adopting simply because of their sexual orientation or the fact of being single.

No one has argued for the right to adopt children that I aware of. In fact no one has the right to adopt a child. They merely have the right to apply as people should be only able to adopt if they are suitable to provide a safe, secure, loving and nurturing environment to the particular child. The greatest challenge to traditional marriage is the attitude of some of those entering into it that it should come as easy as pie, when in truth all relationships require work and are all the more rewarding for it.'

Dublin South bye-election - Part 2

This could be the PDs Bootle byelection, if Fiona O'Malley runs (and she simply has to given that she announced she was targeting this constituency once DL went to 4 seats; she can't choose to nor run now in a constituency where they had a seat up to the last election and then try to run in the next general election) and if she gets considerably less than what Liz O'Donnell got - say under 5% - then the party would have some cause to simply wind itself up much as the SDP had to do after coming in behind the Monster Raving Loony Party.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Battlestar - Irish Government cross over episode

It's not hilarious I admit but it's more a test of what might be possible once the telly card comes out of the plastic wrapping and into the maw of the machine.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Dublin South bye-election

It could be some months yet before we see the writ being moved for the by election in Dublin South following the early passing of Seamus Brennan. None of the early presumptive candidates from FF/FG/Labour had large votes in the general election last year, so they start from a situation where their personal bases are substantially the same.

With almost 42% of the vote FF should be favoured to win easily here but much of that vote is personal to both Tom Kitt and Seamus Brennan and as such more mobile than might otherwise be the case. FG with 27% would seem next best placed here after FF, but Labour's probable candidate Alex White got marginally more than the presumptive FG candidate in the general and has had a year as a member of the Seanad. That said as a local cllr O'Leary would have been on the ground more often than White and in a bye election the local connection counts.

Fianna fail - Maria Corrigan is in the Seanad and was appointed by the Taoiseach so if elected she can be easily replaced. However, if she does run then you can be sure her relationship with Joe Burke and by extension the former Taoiseach will come up. In that sense she may have first call on the nomination but it could turn out as a negative for her if the election was about another referendum on Bertie.

FG - Jim O'Leary must be favoured, he towed the line when required in shifting wards in 2004 and run an effective campaign as the 3rd option last time out. A safe solid choice.

Labour - Alex White may have to fend off Culhane again for the nomination. There again that may be all done and dusted.

Progressive Democrats - Fiona O'Malley simply has to run, whether for the PDs or more spectacularly for FF.

SF - will run whichever of their council candidate they wish to most promote most Most likely in my view to be Sorcha Nic Cormaic who polled higher last year.

Greens - would be best advised to do as SF will do and run someone just to give them a profile for the locals.

The bookies will favour Corrigan out of the blocks but if you see decent odds from the bookies on O'Leary or White throw a few quid at it or bite their hands off whichever you prefer.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Jedi Gym

Much of it is funny in the way you'd expect it to be, but there are less obvious gems too.

Excellent work my young apprentice. Hat tip to Kerry.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Willie takes aim, he shoots, he scores!

I was reading the Sindo on line yesterday (seriously, you don't think I'd paid for it?) and I was shocked but not appalled by the contribution of minister Willie O'Dea. Willie did his usual short, sharp shock job but on this occasion in his sights were the twin arguments commonly raised against Civil Partnerships that they will undermine existing marriages and that God has told some folks that it just ain't right. While I'd personally prefer if the government went further with these proposals I'd not be inclined to vote against them just for the sake of it. The piece is short and well worth reading. Nice one Willie.