Yesterday in the Dail there was a lot of accusations, heated exchanges, angry finger wagging and gesticulating as the Minister for the Disappeared continues to insist on leading with his chin.
It’s Austerity Doh’a
As the Dail sits to ponder the budget and how best the Fine Gael/Labour coalition can screw Irish society’s most vulnerable, those likely to be hardest hit should not be too ungracious in their deliberations. They should give some appreciation to Big Phil Hogan’s troubles. While the rest of us can sit in our one shirt grumbling Phil has the problem of deciding which of his week’s supply of blue shirts to wear on any given day.
And while we can stay at home bemoaning our impoverished state, apprehensive about the budget cuts, big Phil in the service of the nation has to struggle so far from home in Doh’a on rotten red wine while having to support the burden of some female who arrived unsolicited on his shoulder. As if he hasn’t enough to carry already.
This is hardly virgin territory for the man termed ‘the Blueshirt Bully. In June Phil ran up €9000 during the course of a one day trip to Luxemburg. He and four of his cronies stayed in a five star hotel. Such was his worry about the poor back home that he toasted their health with a round that ran to €47 ‘which should have been subtracted from his expenses, but was not deducted until the Sunday Independent queried the charge.’ In the first sixteen months after taking office he and his government buddies ran up a €92,000 bill jet setting. A lot of good work there no doubt being performed by this public servant. Big amounts to worry about whereas for us its a mere tenner here or €2 here. With what other than deep begrudgery could the welfare junkies be harsh to him?
To top it all off, in an act of solidarity with those struggling to make ends meet with their mortgage upkeeps he refused to pay service charges on his luxury apartment in the Algarve.
Sometimes, just occasionally, the thought has to be entertained that Robespierre did some things right.
Rafa and Rasputin
Rafa Benitez has taken on the job as Chelsea coach. A brave man, a foolish one, maybe even a desperate one. Roman Abramovitch doesn’t like 'failure' even when to the rest of us it is hard to distinguish from success. Benitez, if he is not to sink in the quicksand that has enveloped Stamford Bridge, must not only outmatch teams he must also overcome Abramovitch.
The greatest failure at Chelsea football club is not any of the nine managers who have laboured under the whip of the Russian oligarch, but Abramovitch himself. Each of the the managers under his reign as Czar has managed one failed team. Abramovitch has managed eight ‘failed’ coaches and seems poised to find fault with a ninth. He is as much a delinquent as any of the fans from the Chelsea Headhunters gang.
Each cat has nine lives. When it is time for Rafa to go, Rasputin should go with him.