Category: Politics

Well done to the brilliant John Handelar for launching a beta of today, where you can apparently:

  • Read a dramatically-more-legible version of the Dáil Record going back to January 2004,
  • Search that record using a fabulous search engine which I didn’t write – you can restrict searches to speeches or written questions, or by speaker, or by date or date range,
  • Sign up for email alerts for when a search query you’re interested changes, or whenever a TD of your choosing says something or asks a question which generated a written reply, and
  • Subscribe to RSS feeds for individual TDs or for search queries.

And in the next few weeks you will also be able to “inspect the past five and a half years of TD expenses, and the register of members’ interests”, plus an API is in the works. And then he’s moving onto the Seanad!

Of course this all should have been done years ago, by our government with our taxes, but you couldn’t really expect proper accountability with Bert and Ernie in charge, now could you?

Just one complaint: .com? Kildare Street is in .ie John! You tell me the name and I’ll register it for you boy, FOC!

Blackout Ireland Avatars

Didn’t really fancy the one on the Blackout Ireland site, so I made one of my own for a few size variants below.

If you haven’t been paying attention, this is happening in protest against Eircom’s capitulation to the Irish Recorded Music Association attempts to censor the Irish Internet. You can read more about the subject here.

Blackout Ireland 200x200px

Blackout Ireland Avatar 150x150px



President Obama

Well done Senator Obama. Well deserved.

I hope he follows through with the change he claims he’ll make. Change for good, rather than change for the sake of it, or for greed. In his book, he seems to understand compassion and empathy, I hope he’ll exercise them as President.

(Yes, that’s a capital P. Bush didn’t get one, but Barack Obama will. :)

G’wan the Pin!

I’m going to channel Damien on this as he’s put it way better than I could:

Everyone’s fav property website (except maybe for Fianna Fáil, the Greens, Daft, MyHome and the developers) has done it again. They were first to point out that the Home Choice Loans scheme was dodgy as fuck and now they’ve raised it with the EU, who are going to investigate it. This is probably the next big scandal from the budget. Stay tuned here. This is people power and the web working for the common good.

Please do follow the link in Damien’s post and file a complaint on this, all you need to do is a couple of minutes copying and pasting, the lads have already done the lifting and carrying for you.

The banks and the builders have done well enough out of us, it needs to stop.

Obama Campaigning in Xbox Game

How cool is that? I wonder if Holly Rockwood is her real name…


GigaOM: “I can confirm that the Obama campaign has paid for in-game advertising in Burnout,” Holly Rockwood, director of corporate communications at Electronic Arts, the game’s publisher, told me via email, noting that EA regularly allows ad placements in their online games. “Like most television, radio and print outlets, we accept advertising from credible political candidates,” she continued. “Like political spots on the television networks, these ads do not reflect the political policies of EA or the opinions of its development teams.”

(Thanks Damien.)

Response from Sean Sherlock (Lab) on Bailout Bill

Look, a politician with an opinion and something tangible to say in response to my query on the Bailout Bill! Ye gods, will wonders never cease?!


Just a note in response to your email. I am sure that you can appreciate that we received first sight of this legislation at 9pm approximately last night. I am not in favour of the way in which this is being rushed through. Further, the legisaltion as it is framed presently, is a “dire” piece of legislation, in that there is no clarity as to the powers of the Minister. There is no “parliamentary Oversight”. We have proposed amendments. Please see the following press release which sets out our position.

At time of writing we are presently discussing the 1st amendment. We dont know as we speak how all of this will pan out and whether the Minister will take on board our concerns.The Minister’s response to our amendments will determine our ultimate support, or otherwise, for this Bill and I am not in a position to say whether we are supporting it or not because, frankly, we just don’t know until we have voted on the amendments.

But if you read the amendments and look at the Dail transcripts you will see that we have taken a strong position on protecting the taxpayer and I personally could not support a Bill that will see the taxpayer seriously exposed without any quid pro quo for the Banks. On a daily basis I am dealing with people who are laid off from work with costly mortgages who are not given any such sweet deal. There should be no double standards on this.

Please bear with me on this. The next three or four hours will see a further change in the landscape so drop me a line then and I will let you know the position as it unfurls.

All the best


Still nothing from Fianna Failers Michael Ahern and Ned O’Keeffe, surprise surprise.

The Irish Bailout Bill

Sent this email to my TDs in Cork East last night: Sean Sherlock (Lab), Michael Ahern (FF), Ned O’Keeffe (FF) and David Stanton (FG).


I’m a contituent from Ladysbridge. Please vote against the bailout bill that will be put before you tomorrow, rushed legislation is ALWAYS bad legislation.

I’ll be watching your voting record with interest, it will affect mine in future.

Yours sincerely,
Adam Beecher

Thus far, the only one to respond has been David Stanton. His email seems to be saying “we know best” but “I may not vote anyway”. Brilliant.

Dear Adam,

Thank you for your email. We are all very concerned at the current banking situation and the need to provide adequate, extensive and robust legislation to protect any measures being taken. If the banking system were to collapse, this would have major repercussions for everyone in the country.
You may be aware that no vote is being called on the Bill today as the debate is ongoing with Committee Stage being taken in the Dail. This procedure gives the opposition parties a chance to put forward amendments to the proposed legislation. I may not, in fact, get an opportunitty to vote on the Bill at all, if a vote is not called.
Finally, Richard Bruton TD, is out Fine Gael spokesperson for Finance and is responsible for tabling our amendments at committee stage. I can assure you that he is very knowledgeable and well briefed on the issue and the legislation put forward.

Best regards,
David Stanton TD

Unemployment numbers not that bad…

…actually they’re worse…

Irish Examiner: The scale of unemployment is far worse than official figures show because another 38,000 people are stuck in a backlog waiting for their dole claims to be processed, the Irish Examiner has learned.