Just a few minor thoughts on recent topics before I go.
David NorrisThe current smear campaign being waged against David Norris is disgusting. When people like John Waters and David Quinn come out supporting the attacks it only makes me more sure that it is a load of dirty tricks. While I will be voting for Michael D Higgins in the Presidential election I am now more certain than ever that Norris will be getting my number 2.
We the CitizensI went to the We the Citizens event on Wednesday night in Tallaght. While skeptical about anything of great import coming from the events it was good to have a round table discussion with a group of strangers. The event was well organized with a facilitator at each table to keep the conversation on track and make sure it wasn't dominated by a few loud voices.
One thing I think has worked in their favour is the timing. Initially they had hoped to report before the general election in early 2012 but obviously that didn't come to pass. However, with the election there was a sense of the air being cleared and we didn't spend hours giving out about Cowen, Lenihan and the banks. A lot more positive and constructive than it might have been on the original timetable.
Tweet UpThe politics twonks also held a tweetup last Thursday night. As usual, great fun was had debating the ills of the country. It was a bit weird not being on the offensive against the government. Was also nice to meet a few new people as well as the old regulars and there are plans to hold another session towards the end of the summer.
IgniteOn Wednesday this week I'll be giving a talk at the Ignite Dublin session being held in the Science Gallery. These talks are on any topic, last for 5 minutes and have 20 slides that advance every 15 seconds. Considering my lecture overheads normally proceed at the rate of one every 5-8 minutes this is quite a challenge. I have about 10 of the slides done but amn't sure what else to cover. If all else fails I can always repeat! Oh, and the title of my talk is something like "How to (un)successfully run a Seanad election campaign on no money and even less planning" so it is somewhat politically focused.
Water ChargesPhil Hogan has put water charges firmly back on the agenda. As usual Nama Wine Lake were well ahead of the curve with their fairytale. But it is true that water charges, like most consumption and flat taxes, are regressive and in this case particularly expensive to gear up for. Another sop to the building industry?
JLCsThe other major bit of right-wing kite flying being done by the blue side of the coalition is the carry-on by Richard Bruton with the JLCs. Again the work has been done Michael Taft and others on the figures but attacking, yet again, those on extremely low levels of pay is daft. All it does is further reduce domestic demand which has a knock on effect of laying off even more people who's jobs are on the minimum wage or a rate agreed in a JLC. People at the bottom spend to survive - reducing their disposable income just continues the cycle of depression and cuts.
Think that's about it. See you all in a little while. I'll still be hanging out on Twitter if you need to find me.