Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A long old week

Its been a long old week both personally and politically.


Two major reports on Ireland were published in the last week. Firstly, Peter Nyberg published his report on the banking crisis where he blames pretty much everyone except specific politicians or the ECB. Buying into the school of thought that came out with classics such as "we all partied", it is hard to see what Nyberg really brings to the table in the way of clarity. Maybe in a few weeks, after the report has had time to sink in, I'll be more positively inclined towards it but at the moment it doesn't really do it for me.

Secondly, Colm McCarthy published his followup to his 2009 best selling An Bord Snip Nua report, by coming up with a list of national silverware that would be better off in private hands. While he had the decency to suggest that we should hang on until the market has recovered before flogging our assets, that there is about €5B to be generated by this process. Again, it is a detailed report, but An Bord Flog It does continue the right-wing agenda of privatisation. One would hope that at least some lessons of Greencore and Eircom will have been learned.


Every year in the run up to Easter I find myself in St Patrick's Cathedral for long periods of time. However, it's not because I become a staunch Anglican. Rather, I am heavily involved in the staging of the annual Good Friday concert in aid of the Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups. Over the years I have been bumped up the food chain from stage hand to ticket checker to traffic control and now over the last few years to stage manager where I get to bully talented musicians and singers into doing what I want.

This year the Goethe Institut Choir performed Brahms' Requiem in a very successful evening. However, the first half of the concert was quite awkward from a logistics point of view as the choir performed a Tallis piece from the rear of the Cathedral as opposed to just staying on the staging at the front. However, thanks to the wonders of SMS technology it all went off without much trouble.

The Campaign

I suppose this being a political blog I should comment on the Seanad Campaign. I was on the Coleman at Large panel last Wednesday where we discussed the McCarthy report and the Seanad in some detail. Having done plenty of radio in the past I found it much easier than Vincent Browne the week before. I also bumped into David Norris at the Good Friday Concert where we had a good chat about the campaign and his plans for the Áras.

The count for the DU seats is happening on Wednesday in the Exam Hall, starting at 9:45. I'm still trying to decide what my metric for success will be. Obviously being elected would be the greatest success, but I'm realistic enough to accept that is an unlikely outcome. Initially, I think my goals are to not be the first candidate eliminated, secondly to get into triple figures and then maybe finally to end up further up the rankings than Paddy Power had me (joint 12th). Whatever way this election ends up I've enjoyed being part of the process and learned a lot. As they say if I knew then what I know now I'd have done it all differently.

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