Paddy Murray: Ireland comes up Trumps compared to other places
WE have less than 24 hurs to save the world.
Fair enough, Hillary Clinton isn’t exactly Mrs Personality. And, yes, there are some unanswered questions about money and influence and emails.
However, the alternative is a man who boasts about assaulting women, brags about not paying his tax, makes a virtue out of not paying his suppliers, has been bankrupt four times, has lied throughout his campaign, has denied making statements which are available to see on film, has insulted women, blacks, Mexicans, Muslims, his charitable foundation spent its money paying off his debts, buying statues of him and spent only five per cent on real charity, he faces multiple assault allegations, he despises immigrants, he admires Vladimir Putin and he’s prepared to start a nuclear war.
As if it weren’t bad enough already.
Because if we get Trump, he will join Putin, the incompetent (so far) Theresa May and her buddy Boris, Turkish president Erdogan who has incarcerated 70,000 of his own people, the lunatic Kim Jong-un in North Korea and dictators, insane or otherwise, in Iraq, Iran, Algeria, Angola, the Central African Republic and Zimbabwe, for God’s sake, with Mugabe.
Even South Africa, once looking hopeful, is now run by the corrupt president Jacob Zuma.
Look around. Belarus, Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Eritrea, Somalia, Gambia, Eithiopa, Cuba, China, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan...
In South America, corruption is endemic. Things are so bad in that socialist Nirvana Venezuela that they’ve even run out of jacks roll. And don’t get me started on Central America and Mexico.
Sure, you can look at Canada, Australia and the Nordic countries for a bit of sanity and a reasonable standard of living.
And there’s somewhere else.
Here. You’re in it.
And even if we do have problems, it’s hard to argue that in Ireland not better off than most.
It's going by so fast
I WAS delighted, on Thursday, to receive the award of Popular Newspaper Columnist of the year. (There was no award for Unpopular Newspaper Columnist of the year, which is probably just as well.)
The annual newspaper awards were handed out in the Mansion House by Minister Frances Fitzgerald, the National Lottery’s Dermot Griffin and Vincent Crowley of NewsBrands, which oversees and organises the event.
Of course, I’m well used to winning awards. I won Young Journalist of the Year in, eh, 1975. And now this. Just the 41-year gap.
I wonder what 2057 holds for me?
An offer you can't refuse
THANK God the gardai didn’t down tools. And batons. And handcuffs. And pepper sprays.
It could have been a disaster. Or else, well, maybe not.
There were two possible outcomes if the garda strike had gone ahead.
Firstly, there might have been a series of major crimes, tragedies even. And the gardai would have been blamed, rightly or wrongly. They would have damaged, forever, their relationship with the public.
Or maybe nothing might have happened. And in that case people would have said, sure what was the fuss about? We don’t need all those gardai and, sure, there’s nothing for them to do half the time.
Golden rule when I was a union official many years ago: if you’re offered something, anything, take it. One per cent pay rise? Thanks very much. An extra day’s holiday? Yes, we’ll have that.
And you accept it, lock it away, make sure it’s secure and then…
Well, and then you go back and say: we’d like to talk about the other four per cent and the extra holidays.
Never say no to an offer.