Is water charges debacle much ado about leadership?

If I was still producing and scripting for TV I’d be getting in touch with one of my former colleagues and suggesting we put our heads together pronto and pitch an idea to the Broadcast Authority of Ireland (BAI) around a comedy based on so-called ‘new politics’ and the whole joke that is the water charge recommendations screw-up!

  Dear God folks, the mileage I could get out of that one; I mean it’s comedy gold, all based apparently around the members in Leinster House b**ching about the word ‘normal,’ a run of the mill adjective that simply means ‘usual’ or ‘ordinary’, yet it’s possibly going to cause detriment… another adjective, to our Government.

  I mean, can’t you just imagine the jobsworths (no names, no scandal) with their big yellow bingo highlighter markers going rogue on the first paragraph of the five-page report that was BTW apparently already agreed in principle before the entire house ran like destructive schoolkids to stand front and centre on the plinth with their gangs to whimper and whine to the meeja about the others. Look, d’ya see where this entire cock-up is going folks? It’s not about water at all at all, it’s about leadership and the inner wranglings of Fine Gael.

  Methinks this much ado about nothing concerns an already approved report, which a Minister, i.e. Simon Coveney, rejected, citing legal concerns, which he is perfectly entitled to do; however, what if more expensive legal advice finds the original report has been sound as a pound all along ‘cos it’s already been scrutinised, but the Minister rejects it once again? Well then, here’s the thing readers, the Minister has no obligation to honour the recommendations contained in this report and, technically, the only decision he is bound by is that of our esteemed Attorney General Máire Whelan SC, who is the legal adviser to the Government, making her not just the only woman to hold this prestigious post, but also the chief law officer of the State.

  Here’s where it gets tricky…if Minister Coveney rejects the Attorney General’s advice, it could then suggest he has no confidence in her, possibly forcing her hand to resign, plunging the Government into crisis and a change of leadership or a general election. Ah yes, just another week in Dáil Eireann where our TDs got a pay hike of €2,700 in what’s being sugar-coated as a ‘wage restoration,’ following the recession. And despite calls for politicians to forego this pay boost the results of a survey carried out by the Irish Independent shows over 90 will be accepting the increase. Now I don’t know about you readers, but given the petty squabbling, amateur dramatics, and what appears to be the wilful rejection of a pre-approved document, I don’t think we as taxpayers are getting value for our minimum wage money – and I for one am interested in how this childish tiff plays out!

  However, sadly though as none of us have received a recessionary pay boost and will eventually have to pay for our water anyway, the consequences of our TDs playing Russian Roulette with our money means that when it comes to our turn to bite the bullet, you can be sure there’ll defo be a round lodged in the chamber and we’re the ones who’ll suffer the gravity of the repercussions.

Trump – cynical token gesture or genuine change of heart?

Knee-jerk reactions and high emotions only serve to guzzle nations into unwinnable wars. Aggressive world leaders who use twitter/social media to communicate only serve to cause catastrophic consequences for the rest of us. We, as in those living in the civilised world, have a humanitarian and compassionate obligation to help those who are suffering from the monstrous effects of war; and we must do our best to relieve and soothe their unbearable hurt, not add to it, and I fear that President Trump’s actions last week may only serve to have caused the latter to be the case.

  Now I hate to nit-pick…(okay, it’s kinda what I do…just ask my husband), but was Trump’s missile attack on Syria a cynical token gesture, or a genuine change of heart that the welfare of the US and making it great again, is no longer top of his agenda?

  Those heart-shredding images of a dad cradling his dead twin babies were soul-destroying and of course these war crimes, labelled by Trump as a “horrible chemical weapons attack,” must not be allowed to continue, but I’m worried about his motives and have to ask if he even consulted with his advisors or if indeed, carried out a vital stress test before going in gung ho, placing the rest of the world at serious risk? While Trump is clearly asserting his position as Commander in Chief, his actions could well prove to be a high-risk situation for the rest of the world.

  Committing war crimes against your own people is abominable, meaning someone needs to step up and stop the carnage – and quick! But is the man who in 2013 tweeted ‘Don’t attack Syria; an attack will bring nothing but trouble for the US,’ the one to front the campaign –  especially given the volatile Putin’s furious reaction, leading his PM Dmitri Medvedev to reportedly say it all now leaves the US “one step away from military clashes with Russia.” Uh oh, does this mean the ‘bromance’ is over and the hair pulling is about to begin?

  Either way, let’s hope Trump, whose foreign policy shift has taken everyone by surprise, at least has a strategy to back up last week’s actions and this bullish engagement wasn’t just a publicity stunt to bolster his flagging popularity, which beforehand, withered between 30 and 40 per cent. Time will tell!  

When two became three…

I’ll tell ya what I want, what I really, really want – and that’s to stop hearing the intimate details of Mel B and her estranged husband Stephen Belafonte’s marriage break-up. Mon Dieu, if you were to believe the dossier, you’d be forgiven for supposing their debaucherous life consisted of threesomes and more sexcapades and chandelier swingin’ than a Ron Jeremy movie!  In fact, according to The Telegraph, back in 2010 when asked about her toned figure, Mel B reportedly told Grazia that it was due to her energetic, er, fornications, while having “sex with [Stephen] five times a day. I have to admit, I’m a nymphomaniac with him. It’s sexercise.”

  Now these, and other revelations, have surfaced with Mel B being granted a temporary restraining order against Belafonte, citing a string of alleged incidents of verbal and physical abuse, including claiming he is a “large, extremely aggressive, hostile and violent individual” who was “controlling, manipulative and abusive,” which he denies as “outrageous and unfounded.” 

  Whatever way you look at this, a family is in crisis with added claims of financial abuse and blackmail thrown in. And again, while we don’t know the full story, I think it’s a big feather in Mel B’s cap that she’s eventually managed to leave, (and remove her kids), from what appears to have been a toxic situation.