Fake Data Commissioner forced to do her job

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in favour of Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems has placed Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) in a very awkward position.

Awkward because the DPC, as a standard fake Irish law-enforcement authority, now finds itself under pressure to actually do what it has always just pretended to do – enforce law.

The DPC was established to be nothing more than the usual compliant lapdog in assisting our corrupt political/administrative system to manipulate democracy for the benefit of those who rule over us.

Now, because of pesky outsiders like Schrems and the ECJ, this Irish ‘law enforcement authority’ will find it very difficult to respond to alleged law breaking in the traditional manner of dismissively announcing – move on peasants, nothing to see here.

O’Brien adrift in shark infested waters

Oh dear, could it be that ‘poor’ old Denis is in trouble?

O’Brien has cancelled the $2 billion flotation of his Caribbean and Pacific islands telecoms company Digicel less than 72 hours before its shares were due to begin trading in New York.

The failure to float has been dismissed by O’Brien as a minor affair but it is no such thing.

The company built up a debt of $6.3 billion in preparation for the launch so the failure to launch means a good chunk of O’Brien’s money/assets is floating around unprotected in a financial market full of greedy capitalist sharks.

These ruthless sharks, and O’Brien is one of them, can smell the blood of a wounded victim a mile away and will quickly move in for the kill.

In the vicious world of rogue capitalism cannibalism is as common as the greedy exploitation of resources belonging to ordinary decent people.

Irish Times: Living on planet Irish Water

Here are some quotes from an editorial in today’s Irish Times entitled ‘Salvaging Irish Water’.

There is no question of abolishing charges.

Irish Water will remain.

The notion of returning to a discredited, fragmented local authority system is risible.

It would seem that the editor of the Irish Times lives on the same planet as Irish Water and government ministers.

Gender quotas: One form of discrimination to counteract another?

Letter in today’s Irish Times.

I agree with the writer’s opinion that gender quota legislation is nothing more than using one form of discrimination to counteract another.

Sir,

Emer O’Toole (“So gender quotas are sexist? What nonsense”, August 10th) bemoans gender quota legislation “which ensures that (a mere) 30 per cent of party candidates are women”. What would she suggest? A clean 50 per cent perhaps? Not only would such electoral engineering be hypocritical (the introduction of formal gender quotas to address a system of alleged informal gender quotas), but things are not as simple as that.

Emer O’Toole might consider, for example, a scenario where one of her local Dáil candidates is male, who is “pro-choice” and his rival is female, who is “pro-life”. I presume O’Toole would be inclined to vote for the latter? Perhaps we should introduce gender quotas for “pro-choice” female candidates only?

Despite Emer O’Toole’s arguments in favour of gender quotas, electoral engineering is not as discreet a science as she makes out and one must always consider the law of unintended consequence. Moreover, one cannot ride roughshod over what should (and I emphasise should) be an open, meritocratic competition in the name of what is in reality one form of discrimination to counteract another.

Candidates should be chosen on the basis of ability and merit, irrespective of gender. Gender quotas, by their very nature, facilitate and encourage sexual discrimination. Is this not precisely what advocates of gender quotas are seeking to address? They are a short-sighted and misguided solution to discrimination faced by women in running for the Dáil.

Engineering a change in the gender profile of the Dáil will, of itself, do little to remedy its well-documented deficiencies, for example the lack of ability to hold the executive to account, the whip system, the dearth of relevant expertise, groupthink and guillotining.

Yours, etc,
Rob Sadlier
Dublin 16

Irish citizens – going radical

Feck, it’s amazing the amout of people returning to Ireland from all over the world to vote. I’m assuming, hopefully correctly, that most of these people are ‘Yes’ voters.

In any case, it seems to be part of the continuing political radicalisation of Irish citizens, long may it last.

The agony of Prince Charles

After a meeting between Prince Charles and Sinn Fein representatives Gerry Adams said it was a big thing for him, (Prince Charles) but also a big thing for Sinn Fein.

I think it was a much bigger thing for Prince Charles given the heartbreaking event that occurred at Mullaghmore in 1979.

Listening to the Prince speak about the death of his ‘honorary Grandfather’ Lord Mountbatten, it was clear he had travelled a long road of personal agony and regret at the loss to a place of forgiveness and reconciliation.

He and his mother the Queen are, I believe, playing a major but very subtle political role in the Peace Process and in improving relations between the UK and Ireland.

Long may both of them succeed in their venture.

Sean O’Rourke: Missing the climax

Sean O’Rourke was interviewing a gay Catholic man who will be voting No in Friday’s referendum. The man was explaining how he revealed his sexuality to his mother.

He sat in front of her for half an hour before getting up the courage to say the words. Don’t tell dad, I don’t think he’s ready for it yet, he pleaded. Just then his father unexpectedly entered the room.

I was pinned to the radio to hear what happened next but alas, Sean O’Rourke, was not as interested.

Now, let’s talk about the vote on Friday…