Monthly Archives: April 2009

Councillors avoid contact with voters


Councillors running in the upcoming local elections are putting flyers through letterboxes marked “sorry I missed you” — but aren’t actually calling to the door. The notes are handwritten in biro, but the doorbell is left unrung and nobody knocks. This happened to me yesterday while I and two other people were in the house (there were two cars outside), and similar stories have been discussed on local radio. I got one from Councillor Tim Lombard of Fine Gael, although I categorically stress that I don’t know which parties the other runaways belong to. Regardless, it’s not very good form from a man whose slogan is “keeping in touch”.

I can understand a Fianna Fáil candidate doing this — that party is likely to suffer greatly in the elections due to economic mismanagement and the emergency budget — but surely Fine Gael would want to do its utmost to capitalise on this. Do they not want to answer questions? Do they want to avoid being caught up in an “all politicians are shits” rant at the doorstep? Or are they not handing out their own flyers and writing the little notes as a way to hide this? I couldn’t see who dropped the leaflet through, just a flicker of shadow at the door.

Has this happened to you? What do you think of it?

Obamania is still running wild

Not content with wanting to solve the economic crisis, withdraw from Iraq, win the war in Afghanistan, and transform US energy policy into one that’s green-friendly, Barack Obama is working on a world free of nuclear weapons. In two 26-minute speeches this week 

the president pledged a drive on nuclear disarmament, possibly bigger than any ever attempted. He spelled out how he would accelerate arms control agreements with Russia, following his first summit meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev last week. The deal to conclude a new arms reduction treaty with Moscow, which would slash stockpiles by about a third was a beginning, setting the stage for further cuts.

In a telling nod to reality, the presidential superhero admitted this may not happen in his lifetime, which is as pragmatic as it is putting the onus of resolution on future generations. Still though, his fresh take on military and security policy is to be commended and supported as much as possible. While the threat of nuclear war is quite small — the greatest potential lies in an Israeli strike on Iran, because despite all the posturing and controversy over the US missile shield, Russia has too much to lose — the possibility of a terrorist or rogue group getting materials is quite real.

If nothing else, Obama’s grand nuclear-free plan would lead to an unprecedented level of international co-operation as nations’ policies are set aside for the greater good.

If he can get it off the ground, that is.