Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy. ~Ernest Benn

Recent Articles

Robbery with a Fountain Pen

This article appears in the July issue of Irish American News.  It was written just before Leo Varadkar surprised no one at all by indicating that he was to be a case of “Out with the old, in with exactly the same…”   It’s a bit messy-looking, to be honest.  In fact, I’m surprised they haven’t already been moved on, just in case they frighten the tourists. It’s just off Galway’s central Eyre Square; so it should be disconcerting to see the homeless settling themselves down for the night, spreading out their few belongings and huddling up in the doorways.  It could give people the wrong idea; it could make a lie of the oft-repeated boasts about the country being in ‘recovery’. ‘Let’s keep the recovery going’, crowed Enda Kenny and his motley sideshow in an endless loop last year.  Until it dawned on even those as disconnected from reality as our lot, that perhaps it was a more than usually ignorant soundbite. I’m talking to an eleven-year old boy and his gran – or ‘Nan’, as he calls her.  She tells me that for some reason he has suddenly become concerned about the people down here that he sees waiting listlessly for evening time.  So, since they only live ten minutes’ walk from the Square, up in Bohermore, they thought it would be an idea to make up some soup and sandwiches, hand them out. It’s a lovely thought to come from a kid.  Empathy is in short supply these days and I hope that it doesn’t get knocked out of him as he enters the pragmatic grown-up world that doesn’t have much time for such things. Come to that, neither do some of the many keyboard warriors, the new breed which haunts the internet.  Later on, I’m looking... Full Article →

The Black Monday Murders Vol. 1

The Black Monday Murders Vol. 1: All Hail, God Mammon “If you are going to earn more…if you’re going to earn real money, accumulate real power… then that is done on the backs of others.  Call them workers, call them proles, even call them slaves, I do not care.   Just know it is they who you will sacrifice for your gain.  “We finance culture.  We buy entire nations.  But even that is just manifestation…it’s not real power.  It doesn’t even hint at the deeper lure.”     At some point in history a group of families have given themselves over to the Gods of Money.  They are going to remain insanely rich and powerful, come what may, and one of the very minor aspects of the deal is that it will require a lot of blood sacrifice.  But that isn’t too bad, because it’s mainly the ‘slaves’ that will take the brunt of it.  Us, in other words. Although in fairness they’re not exactly averse to also trampling over the dead bodies of each other into the Bargain… Maybe if I’d read this at any time other than the last week in May, here in sunny Ireland (yes, you read that right—the sun is shining!) I would have dismissed it as just too far-fetched, even for me. But this is the week that Ireland once more celebrates the fact that white collar criminals live by different rules and don’t go to jail here.   Barring a few unimportant stooges, they simply don’t go to jail – ever. The banking cartels are our betters; it doesn’t matter that they have proved themselves totally incompetent and witless, running the country into the ground and — with the compliance of a bought government and a timid media — left us with a debt that... Full Article →

Rituals of the Past…?

Appearing in Chicago’s ‘Irish American News’ of June 2017   Did I realise how important they were then?  Those rituals, those ‘rites of passage’ from father to son ’way back in the 60s and early 70s.  As a kid, did I place much stock in them? Yes, I think so.  At some, not fully mature level – whatever that is – I guess that I did.  After all, they were important enough to help shape me into what I am now.  At least, the good parts of me; the bad parts came from other influences, certainly not my dad.  And he would never have thought of them as ‘rites of passage’.  He left school at 13 to work down the mines, which he hated; and later, to escape the pits he joined the navy. He was a great reader, my dad, which he passed onto me.  And he was self-educated; the best kind of education, I sometimes think.  I suppose he thought of those rituals as just something that, as a father, you did. I’ve been thinking of him a lot this week: my dad and the importance of communication, verbal and non-verbal.  It’s probably because I had been on the Darkness into Light walk, which was raising money to help in suicide prevention.  There was a lot spoken that morning on the necessity for communication. He wasn’t a man for the pub, my dad.  So my later weakness in that direction didn’t come from him, that’s for sure.  Any free time he had, we were bundled into the car and off somewhere – if not to the beach on a sunny day, then it was to enjoy glorious Nature, which he had a great love for.  Some of my happiest memories are walks with him through the woods whilst... Full Article →