As Leo Varadkar continues to make world headlines following his elevation as the new leader of Fine Gael, I personally find it offensive that many international media organisations are still focusing on the fact he is openly gay, the son of an Indian immigrant – and effectively tagging him as a ‘minority leader.’
Now I’ve said it many times; I’m not a fan of Fine Gael, however, if I may just mention that if I did support this party, given the two candidates, Simon Coveney would have been my preferred choice. The simple reason being, when he was Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, I would have worked closely with his Department when, as an interested party, Ireland’s largest and oldest animal welfare charity, the Dublin SPCA, (I was head of their Education and Communications Department) tasked me with putting together a consultative blueprint regarding what I felt were the core elements required when it came to animal welfare in this country when drafting legislation for the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.
I found Mr. Coveney to be quiet, reflective, willing to listen and someone who considered all angles before jumping head first into decision-making. In short, I quite liked him as an individual. And, during the leadership contest hustings, while many had written him off as ‘boring’ or ‘unapproachable,’ ‘aloof’ or even ‘too cautious,’ I have to say I would personally be more drawn to electing someone who engages in the process of careful consideration and synthesis before arriving at a decision. This means, when it comes to our country’s future, I favour emotional maturity over Hollywood heroics; stability over excitability and agreeability and dependability over combativeness and impulsiveness any day.
Look, we only need to look across the globe at the US to witness the results of appointing an ostentatious, self-promoting, narcissistic goon who dominates social media and the front pages of newspapers to understand how electing a skilled orator whose only talent is his ability to attract and inspire followers, can result in a nation getting lumbered with a lousy leader! Now while I do not suggest there are, nor would I ever draw comparisons between the honourable Mr. Varadkar and Donald Chump, I will mention that the former clearly has, er, let’s say, a combative streak…otherwise how could he have risen to the top so quickly?
However, as it seems Fine Gael has fallen under Leo’s spell and his revolutionary promises, perhaps I’m wrong to worry. Perhaps this little country of ours is now ready for a charismatic, controversial leader who is effectively painting us a picture of a very different Ireland; I sincerely hope so, and wish Leo (and us) the best of luck. I believe we’re all going to need it, especially given the rest of the world now appears to believe that the trivial details and technicalities of Ireland’s politics aren’t hinged on how Leo is going to protect us in the event of a terror attack, nor is it the resolution surrounding the scandal that is our housing crisis; nay, it’s all hinged on the sexual orientation and race of our cutesy progressiveness in appointing a gay gentleman as our country’s leader!
Now while I would hail Leo’s appointment as a wonderfully diverse decision, and I’m sure he’ll do his very best for our country…(I like that one of his priorities is to set up a Cobra-style agency to prepare for us for the possibility of terror attacks), insinuating we granted him a hall pass for being gay, or for the sake of being seen as a diverse nation, is an absolute disgrace and an insult to both Mr. Varadkar and to us, the people he’s leading. This conviction diminishes Leo as a man, and as a politician; skimming over his career and his success to date, and neither he, nor indeed any of us, should ever be defined by our so-called ‘differences.’ I congratulate Leo, and I’ll judge him by his actions.
State protects children’s rights? What a joke!
The Children’s Referendum of 2012 promised our kiddies a range of safeguards guaranteed to protect their innocence, yet, five years later, we’re still failing them!
Dr. Geoffrey Shannon, an honest man, a thorough man, as Special Rapporteur on Child Protection carried out a huge body of work evidently showing us that while Gardaí are removing kids from certain ‘barbaric’ situations, Tusla, the agency tasked with protecting them, are alarmingly often returning them!
This allegation poses a litany of questions regarding Tusla’s practices, and it’s clear this State agency isn’t just having an occasional bad day, rather it’s spectacularly under-performing, and we, as human beings should be downright ashamed of ourselves for sitting back and accepting this shoddy treatment of vulnerable children!
Tusla does do some great work but I’m sick of this recurring theme where children’s rights are being ignored and, in some cases, their abuse is being exacerbated. It’s time for major reforms in order to stop endangered children falling through this agency’s cracks and alleged episodic substandard service; it’s time for this agency (whose funding for 2017 is €713 million) to get a bloody clue, put a national policy in place and do its job!
I salute the British people’s incredible spirit!
I became aware of the nasal-toned, baby-voiced Ariana Grande through her ‘Cat Valentine’ character in Nickelodeon’s ‘Victorious’…my granddaughter, who was a huge fan, forced me to sit through episode after episode with her. I didn’t like Grande then and my opinion didn’t improve following her famous donut-licking “I hate Americans. I hate America,” incident resulting in her petty apology, blaming her disgusting actions on her ‘frustration with childhood obesity.’
However, following her organisation of the ‘One Love Manchester’ concert last week, which I sat through from start to finish, and thoroughly enjoyed, I have to say while I haven’t changed my mind about this ‘singer’, because it’s far too warm for hell to have frozen over – I do like to give credit where it’s due…so, n-n-n-nice one, Ariana.
Mind you, for me, the stand-out performance of the event was the moment I spotted the uniformed policeman grasping hands with kiddies, dancing and singing, showcasing the very best of British Bobbies, and I was soon sobbing my heart out, the enormity of what’s going on in the world hitting me – we had earlier made contact with my husband’s family in London to clarify they were all safe and sound – and, through that cop’s actions, I felt the incredible spirit, guts, determination and resolve of the British people; and I knew, in that instant, terror and hate will never prevail. Why? Because we will not tolerate it!