God forgive me, but I couldn’t help but laugh. And what’s even worse is that half the people who watch a programme like that would say that they don’t believe in God because there is no proof of his existence.
An earthquake takes place in China, hundreds are killed, almost six thousand injured and scores of thousands left homeless......and it warrants about 30 seconds on the news.
What is the difference? On Sunday morning after I came home from Mass I turn on the TV and there are the headlines all about the stun grenade that was set off by the FBI to arrest the second bombing suspect, who by the way is only nineteen years old.
It seems that if you are a little Chinese man in the province of Sichuan, stuck in the middle of that great landmass then a few hundred can die and we won’t really consider it important. Is it because we can all identify with the white, Anglo Saxon American or can we identify with their lifestyle, which is not really that far removed from our own.
But then there are some people who don’t know what they are. It turns out that quite a few Polish people who have assumed all along that they were from a European Christian background are in fact fully fledged Jews.
After the fall of communism the authorities have released papers that show that a lot of people who were Jews actually took on western names and attitudes during and after the war. You could not blame them for that, but now one young couple of neo Nazis tendencies have found out that they were both actually grandchildren of Jewish people and they have converted or reconverted to being Orthodox Jews.
Their identities are almost as mixed up as ours in the New North. We have no idea what we are.....we just tiddle along hoping that Britain keeps pouring £10 billion a year into the place to keep us fed and watered. And we need to make sure nobody tells the British voter how much this place costs them.
I see the queen is 87 today (Sunday). Happy birthday, Missus. If you get time could you come over and talk to your two joint first ministers and try to find out what the most recent splat is about. Rumour has it that Martin and Peter are in a bit of a huff.
Edwin Poots, our beloved Health Minister, let the cat out of the bag when he said that “relations between the two parties were at their most strained since power-sharing began.”
has welcomed news that planning permission
has been approved for the Conflict Resolution
Centre at the Long Kesh site.
I have a bit of advice for Mr Libeskind; if he thinks that his new building shall do anything to promote peace and reconciliation in our wee province he is only kidding himself. But if he collects a nice fee for his efforts out of our £10 billion annual annuity from the Old Dear who is 87 today then fair play to him.
Peace in Northern Ireland seems to have it’s hands full lately. During the week Geoffrey Donaldson of the DUP said that “Unionists have a veto” on what is contained in Libeskind’s new building. In other words, history shall only be viewed in the way that unionists want it to be.
There appears to be parallel universes in Northern Ireland; there is Catholic history and there is Protestant history, just as there are our names and their names. My wife, who hails from Argentina, via the United States, has great fun with the names and is becoming quite well versed at asking the questions;
“Is there a ‘y’ in Smith or an ‘e’ in Clark?”
I have a good idea for the new peace building on the Kesh. We should promote it all over the world as a place to get married. I read this in an Italian English-language newspaper:
Some 1.2 million people travelled to Italy last year to celebrate friends' and relatives' weddings, which cost couples an average of 51,000 euros to organize.”
We could bring a whole lot of people to Northern Ireland and boost our tourism and hotel residency as we are going to do with the G8 summit in Fermanagh soon. But the same problem would arise for the wedding guests as for the summiteers; we have nowhere to put them. The hotels in Sligo and Donegal are filling up with foreigners because the north has not enough good hotel beds.
You can’t bring Mr Obama and his entourage to a B&B in Tempo!
Serious question—why do we not really want peace in the north?
Serious answer—we have no need of it.
We have a good thing going in this wee province. We can pretend to be Irish or British, depending whether your Clark has an ‘e’ or not, and we collect our annual gratuity from our paymasters and on we go. We have the benefits of being half in the euro, half in the sterling area but we have to be careful not to make too much noise on the political front.
As a sop to our paymasters, we send Peter and Martin off to Brazil, USA or wherever on the pretence of looking for work in the dread that some big company from these countries might start a factory here. If they did decide to come and open we would have a fit because we would lose our DLA, tax credit and every other sort of benefit that we can manoeuvre the British into giving us.
Did you ever stop to think how many jobs there are in the six counties that are concerned with community relations, community building, community help, community identity, victims, victims support, community regeneration and community projects?
We must have the most communities of any community in the world. Why would we want peace? We are on a good thing and we know it. The secret is to pretend we are at peace with the constant danger of war hanging over us.
That’s the good thing about northern Ireland, we are not really responsible for ourselves; we know the pot is coming at the start of every financial year and all we have to do is to fight over which department gets what amount.
If we had a real identity, if we were truly either Irish or British, we would do what mature people do and look after ourselves.
Instead we would rather shout at each other while we all hold our hands out for a donation from John Bull.
Other countries are in as big a mess. Poor old Italy can find no one to be president:
“The Italian parliament has re-elected the 87-year-old president, Giorgio Napolitano, for an unprecedented second term.
He had been due to step down next month, but with a polarised parliament unable to agree on a replacement, Mr Napolitano has been voted in for another seven-year term.”
That means that Signor Napolitano will be 94 years old when he gets a chance to retire. The Italians can’t form a government because they can’t agree on a coalition and my old friend Berlusconi has announced that he will run for Prime Minister if there are elections.
The whole thing is pure nonsense but it is great fun watching it all unfold. And the countries are lining up now to have bailouts in the Eurozone.
"We are absolutely not Cyprus," says new Slovenian Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek. "We don't need help. All we need is time."
Poor Alenka has recently become premier of a wee broke country. Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia during the communist era, has a population of roughly 2 million people and a banking system that is in a mess.
"Recent events have underlined our view that the Slovenian government will struggle to finance itself this year despite the small size (relative to GDP) of its troubled banks and public debt," Capital Economics Ltd., a London-based analyst group, said. “To avoid a bailout, the government will need rapidly to put in place a credible plan to tackle the banking crisis."
What has this to do with Slovenia, and by extension, us?
Already the Germans are saying that any money to save the NLB, the national bank of Slovenia, will have to be self financing. In other words, the money shall have to be taken off the investors. The message is clear: The Germans are paying no more.
And Christine is coming to visit, if she is not being questioned by the courts, that is.
“IMF chief Christine Lagarde has been summoned by a French court to answer questions over alleged abuse of office during her time as France's finance minister, her lawyer has said.
Ms Lagarde is to be questioned before a magistrate in May over her role in the awarding of financial compensation to businessman Bernard Tapie in 2008.”
But in fairness to Christine she has done what it is a woman’s prerogative to do; she has changed her mind. Well, not only Christine but the whole board and money men of the IMF.
For five years now the peoples of Europe have been told that austerity was a must and that everything hinged on the ability of the countries in the Eurozone being able to cut spending and cut the standard of living.
But lo and behold, it didn’t work. Thousands across Europe lost their livelihoods and countless poor souls died by suicide because of financial stress but the IMF and the ECB said we had to do it.
Now, it turns out, the IMF are saying that austerity is not the way to do it at all. We need to go for growth. What about the millions of people across Europe who have lost homes, jobs, family members as Frauline Merkel and Madam Lagrange rammed the austerity mantra down our throats?
How do I know these things are coming? They are here already.
David Lipton, a long lost American cousin of the famous Scottish tea makers, is coming to the UK as head of an IMF delegation to tell the Brits that they are on the wrong track and that austerity is not doing them any good.
“The Fund's view is clear”, Lipton told Sky News. “The UK economy has turned out to be somewhat weaker than had been foreseen, so our view is that the pace of consolidation ought to be reconsidered, and we'll want to come and have some discussions over that.”
His comments come after ratings agency Fitch lowered Britain's status from AAA to AA+ on Friday, citing a "weaker economic and fiscal outlook.”
So now Britain is running on a weaker battery, the IMF and ECB are about to turn from austerity to growth, the people have lived in misery and the “smart people” who don’t know what is really going on in the markets, will keep their big jobs.
What are a few million broken people and a few hundred thousand suicides when you can keep your big pension intact? It would buy some makeup!
Someone said recently that a certain European Prime Minister had done more damage to the people of Europe than their illustrious moustachioed predecessor.
I wonder who they were talking about.
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