herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Sun, Star Wars and silly Shannon invasions - and then the UN get involved

In a week when the sun split the stones and certain city centre parks resembled Mediterranean pleasure gardens it'd be nice to think that the news was of a totally frivolous nature.

Naturally, there were quite a few stories about the place to emphasise the sheer absurdity of life on our part of this island.

On the positive side we had the reports that Skellig Michael off the coast of Kerry is to feature in a section of the forthcoming Star Wars movie.

Down in Shannon there was the altogether pathetic sight of TDs Mick Wallace and Claire Daly donning hi-viz jackets and making their way to an American transport plane in order to 'inspect' it for arms, and promptly having their collars felt as a result.

The sight of two elected representatives of our parliament behaving like gormless students was hardly the most edifying event of the week but, of course, the keyboard crusaders of the Indymedia mob lapped it up.

kip

Meanwhile, Lord Mayor Christy Burke only managed to get himself into the papers once over the past seven days, proclaiming that O'Connell Street wasn't a dangerous kip but a place he'd happily stroll down "at noon or at midnight".

Now maybe you'd chance it if accompanied by some of Christy's former comrades in the IRA (Christy, of course, having been behind bars back in the day for loving Ireland just a little bit too much) but personally I'd quietly ignore our First Citizen's advice on this one.

Best of all though was the fair bit of attention we had from that venerable body that is the United Nations.

No, they weren't looking for us to continue our long and noble tradition of supplying troops for peacekeeping missions around the globe, rather they were giving out to us on a variety of subjects. Huh?

First we had former President (and current UN envoy) Mary Robinson tut-tutting on a couple of radio programmes about our attitude to climate change and how it was the most serious problem facing the world.

Really? One would have thought that overpopulation in Africa, pollution in China and centuries-old Christian communities being hounded out of Syria and Iraq by the Islamist savages of ISIS might have better occupied the two-term Uachtarain but no, we'd better go Green as soon as possible.

Or else.

Then we had the UN taking Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to task about the way we treated women in the Mother & Baby homes.

Nobody is denying that what happened in those places was horrendous but to be lectured by the UN, whose General Assembly's president is from Uganda (where gay sex can be punished by life in prison, by the way), is simply ludicrous.

To compound the sheer uselessness of this once-revered organisation they also took us to task about how our abortion laws were too restrictive (perhaps someone should have shown them footage of debates around the last couple of referenda to put them wide on this one) and urged us to pass laws making it illegal to slap children.

bureaucrats

Such subjects are surely a matter for a civilised sovereign country to decide for itself, not to be lectured on by an unelected group of freeloading bureaucrats.

Would they lecture Saudi Arabia about their attitude to womens' rights and the savage punishments meted out to 'adulterers'?

Would they hell. One set of rules for us, quite another for the Islamic world.

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