We all thought she was being nice but she had a cunning and devious plan in mind. The truth came out this week on the Australian news website, New.com.
“Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg is reportedly in contention for the top job at Disney as talk moves to who will replace current Chief Executive Bob Iger in two years.
The New York Post is reporting that the talk on the US West Coast is that Facebook's Chief Operating Officer has been put on the list of those who might have a shot at the top slot.
The job is the most coveted role in all of media, said one source close to the action. People are angling early on.
Disney TV boss Anne Sweeney took herself out of contention on Tuesday by announcing her departure from the company. Few discussed Ms Sweeney as a possible successor to Mr Iger, one possible reason she opted out of the company.
The 44-year-old Ms Sandberg already sits on the Disney board and is said to have had conversations about her interest.”
So now we see Ireland’s future; Ms Sandberg is going to buy the place and turn it into a Disney Theme Park. We could have Mickey Mouse for Taoiseach (who would notice the difference) Minnie for President (she might be too tall) and Mr Magoo for Tánaiste, but perhaps Magoo has too much personality and people wouldn’t realize he was meant to replace Gilmore the Great.
Bunratty Castle: just add a few leprechauns. The Rock of Cashel, the perfect place for Tom and Gerry. Pluto at Shelbourne Park and Ludwig Von Drake teaching at Trinity; perhaps Ireland’s finest brains would not be ready for him.
That’s my fantasy Ireland. But the real Ireland of the future is not as pretty if you read what others are saying about us.
“If Ireland Is Not A Tax Haven, What Is It?”
This was the title of an article by Martin Sullivan in Forbes magazine on June 6th last year. In case you don’t know, Forbes magazine is the most influential business magazine in the world.
The article begins by stating: “It would be hard to overstate the importance of reputation in international tax. Cross-border tax planning involves extremely arcane and technical rules that only brainy experts can understand. But the opinion of regular people matters, too.”
Why was Forbes so harsh on Ireland? Well perhaps if you take a bite of the Apple you will find out. Just read the next bit from the Irish Times, March 7th.
“Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has repeated Government assertions that Ireland has no special deal with Apple.
‘We have consistently rejected that allegation,’ Mr Gilmore said in the Dáil as the controversy over Ireland’s effective corporation tax rate was raised again.
This followed the revelation last week that between 2004 and 2009 the multinational paid $36 million in tax on profits of $7.11 billion through an Irish company, but Mr Gilmore said this was based on a flawed premise.”
That is, wait for it, a half of 1% tax. Now this particular branch of the Apple group does not employ one person in Ireland. This is an Apple company which uses Ireland as an address for the tax man. The excuse Ireland gives is that if they don’t allow Apple to do this then the group would pull out of Cork where another section of Apple employs 3,000 people.
So there you have it: Sheryl Sandberg’s Mickey Mouse Ireland or a two bit Tax Haven; James Connolly sat in a wheelchair and took a bullet for that.
And we who live in the North East corner of Ireland have a new prophet of doom as well. Richard Haas came over here with no knowledge of the place, talked to a few of our myriad elected leaders and decided that if we don’t do what he tells us we are all going back to war.
“Richard Haass has warned that violence could re-emerge in Northern Ireland if progress is not made in dealing with the legacy of the Troubles.
The former American diplomat, who last year chaired six months of talks on flags, parades and NI's past, made the remarks to a US government committee.
He described the outcome of the talks on New Year's Eve as a disappointment.
Dr Haass said he continues to believe the final blueprint he negotiated with the Stormont parties is viable.” (BBC March 12th)
There will be no return to fighting in Northern Ireland for a long time to come. Of course the odd dissident republican operation shall be allowed to proceed by MI5, who know every move the dissidents make, but there will be no large scale bombings or acts of terrorism. The people wouldn’t stand for it.
Haas misses the essential point of Northern Ireland violence on a major scale; it has always been in response to unionist oppression. There is no real unionist dominance now and as long as we can keep a reasonable level of fair play for the minority then there is no reason for violence. Dissidents are merely people who want to fight for some cause that no one believes is relevant any longer.
But we should all have joined the police. The fad for claiming for hearing loss on this island began back in the late 80s and early 90s when Irish soldiers used the fact that ‘the government had failed to provide ear protectors during firing exercises, as was required under regulations dating back to the 1950s.’
Now the old hands of the RUC are at it, fair play to them. The final bill could stand at almost a quarter of a billion pounds. Over half the money paid out shall go on legal fees.
I hope it doesn’t come from the Block Grant, but alas it does.
In a debate in Stormont, Sinn Féin West Tyrone MLA Declan McAleer asked Justice Minister David Ford if he was aware "of the growing level of public frustration at the cost of this scheme to the public purse?"
In response, Mr Ford said: "It is an operational issue for the chief constable, it is administered by the PSNI and not by the Department of Justice, and as it is an operational issue, responsibility lies with the chief constable."
The minister pointed out that the first £12m of the cost each year would be funded by his department, with the remainder paid by the treasury at Westminster.
The payments come on top of the Patten redundancy scheme for RUC officers, which cost almost half a billion pounds.
That means the combined bill for compensating officers for hearing loss or early retirement could come to around £750m.
Just think how many schools could have been built and nurses paid good salaries with £750m.
If Mr Haas wants a slightly easier task than trying to solve the insoluble Northern Ireland flags and marches issue, he could always take a flight down under and help the New Zealanders sort out their little flags issue.
“In a speech in Wellington on Tuesday, the prime minister, John Key, promised a vote in the next parliamentary term on whether to keep the existing design, which features the union jack and four stars representing the southern cross, or replace it with an alternative, such as the silver fern on a black background or a version of the Maori koru.” (Guardian)
The koru is a symbol form before the whites landed in New Zealand which is a bit like a Celtic design and symbolizes new life. What’s to stop us in this season of St Patrick, coming up with a design that shows the Shamrock and a few green fields in the background and calling that the new Northern Ireland flag.
Look at the trouble we would save, let alone the money. With all the extra money we could pay more to the old RUC men for their hearing loss.
On the subject of RUC men, do you remember Constable Arbuckle? Constable Arbuckle was the first RUC man killed in the troubles. He was shot on the Shankill Road on October 11, 1969, and when a loyalist gunman was found guilty of his shooting, the killer got what was then an automatic death sentence for shooting a policeman. The sentence was commuted to life in prison. Constable Arbuckle came to mind when I read about a hangman in Sri Lanka.
Seemingly the new hangman got scared when he saw the gallows:
Commissioner-General of Prisons Chandrarathna Pallegama reportedly said that the new hangman – “got shocked and afraid after seeing the gallows, which came after several days of training.”
The hangman had written a letter saying he wanted to resign and had failed to report for training since Monday.
Sri Lanka has not carried out a judicial execution since 1976 but has over 400 prisoners on death row.
The authorities want to have an executioner ready in case hangings resume. Not a bad place to be on death row, a country where the hangman is afraid of the gallows. I am glad that hanging is no longer acceptable in most countries. It should only be allowed in the most extreme cases.
What these cases are I would not like to say.
That is bad enough, and as you would expect our local British Banks are well represented in the banks being sued. But it gets worse, a lot worse.
“The British Bankers' Association (BBA) has also been sued by the regulator - the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
‘BBA participated in the alleged scheme to protect the revenue stream it generated from selling Libor licenses and to appease the Panel Bank Defendants that were members of the BBA,’ it was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.
The FDIC alleged that the banks mentioned in its lawsuit rigged the rate from August 2007 to at least mid-2011.”
Incredible when you think about it! What the Americans are saying is that the whole British Banking system was geared to fiddling interest rates to make money for the banks. These are the men who walk the corridors of power, lording it over the rest of us and sharing the spoils of ill gotten gains among themselves.
Oh, and by the way, we, as mere mortals in the land, are supposed to take these people seriously. But alas, not even the government ministers themselves are taking these people seriously. Michael Gove is the first to break ranks.
“The education secretary, Michael Gove, has attacked the "preposterous" number of Etonians in David Cameron's inner cabinet and, in the process, taken aim at the chances of Old Etonian Boris Johnson succeeding Cameron as party leader after the general election.
He described the concentration of Old Etonians as "ridiculous", adding that such a bastion of privilege does not exist in any other rich country,” said the Guardian.
Cameron himself went to Eton, and the many Old Etonians in his inner circle include Oliver Letwin, the minister for government policy; Jo Johnson, the head of his policy unit; Ed Llewellyn, Cameron's chief of staff; and Rupert Harrison, George Osborne's chief economic adviser.
The favourite to be the next leader of the Tories is Boris Johnson. There are moves afoot to find frizzy haired Boris a seat in the next parliament so that he can succeed Cameron when he is pushed out by the men in grey suits.
Bankers who treat the rest of us as slaves and politicians who are full of nepotism and cronyism; do you think it has anything to do with Lent?
A thought has been coming to me lately and I’ll share it with you.
How is heaven so different from this world? Strange question, but think about it. Can heaven be like this place? If it is anything like this it could not be heaven.
In heaven everyone shall be equal, really equal, in a way that we cannot even begin to understand. The Orangeman and the Fenian, the black and the white, the bankers and the little people, the old Etonians and the old boys from Hackney Comprehensive, shall all be utterly equal.
And before we enter heaven we shall all accept each person as equal. Our purgatory may be nothing else than coming to see and deal with our prejudices and learn that even the little black starving child in Africa has as much dignity as the white child in Eton prep school.
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