Bankrupt? So what, it happens to lots of people!

I have been tracing the story behind the story, as it were; of a vicious spat between Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty, Minister for Employment & Social Protection and an American-based Irish blogger named Professor Catherine Kelly. Now this small tussle should have had the self-starting ability to grow into a scandal; but probably will get all hidden behind the Irish haze which usually springs up whenever a scandal heaves into sight.

Seems as though the good Professor published a blog post stating that the Minister had broken election rules by not stating that she had previously declared bankruptcy, then re-stating bankruptcy and then ‘apologising’ for the error. The post also picked up the story in the Irish Independent that the bankrupt company owed 60,000 euros to the Taxman, and 50,000 euros to AIB bank. Minister Docherty took the ‘high’ road and stated ‘I am not a crook’; and lo and behold, everyone seems to have believed her!

But the kicking point on the Professor’s blog was not just that the Minister had ‘forgotten’ that she was a bankrupt, she had also taken an illegal ‘loan’ from her company, later seemingly repaid, she had not stated that she was a bankrupt in terms of Electoral Legislation when placing her name before the electors, namely the voters of Meath. The Professor also queried why none of these failings were made good, none of the other ranking Media had even commented, and it seemingly all went away with the washwater.

However, the Minister, instead of reaching for her legal man’s phone number if she reckoned she might have civil redress against the Professor for stating and broadcasting the stuff previously pushed under the carpet, seemingly called one of her mates in the Gardai. Two Garda heavies confronted the Professor just before the airport departure gates, and the upshot was that the Professor was ‘cautioned not to Tweet about the Minister’,,,,,,,,’ ‘ as she does not like it’.

The man who questioned me then reintroduced a small notebook and I saw a page of notes that I did not attempt to read. I was asked to sign the page of notes at the bottom. I did as requested, as I was informed I was required to do so before I could proceed to my gate.

When queried, the usual garbage was eased out about It’s a matter for the gardaí’.

I would comment that its a bit more important than that. An Irish Government Minister, miffed at having her dirty laundry exposed, possibly sends the ‘heavies’ to do her bidding? Whatever next?

“Is he reaching for a cigarette?”

So, you are a Pakistani, living in an impoverished village in the Punjab province.

A fully-laden Shell tanker skids off the main road and overturns.

A loudspeaker on top of a local mosque alerted villagers to the leaking fuel, and scores raced to the site with jerry cans, said Rana Mohammad Salim, deputy commissioner of Bahawalpur. You, along with dozens of others, run to the site, and proceed to load the spilled fuel into whatever containers can be found in a hurry. Cars and scooters litter the highway, as the drivers descend on the leaking tanker.

A huge fireball consumes the entire tanker, along with most of the petrol thieves.


However, without anybody being charged for culpability, either from the Shell side of things, the contractor which owned the tanker, which maybe caused the explosion by short-circuited electrics; or any of the 160 dead, because one of them probably lit a cigarette: the Pakistani oil and gas Regulator orders; with absolutely no proof obtained through legal procedures, that Shell pay $2.4 million both in compensation to the families of the dead, and fines.

Bet you’re glad that you didn’t live in a country where someone in a position of direct authority could literally decide who is guilty before anyone has been charged!


I forgot!

Far from the Madding Crowd.

I should begin by stating I am not a great fan of public memorial events, or ‘minutes of silence’ for this disaster, or that Muslim Jihadi massacre: with maybe the honourable exception of Remembrance Sunday (but hopefully with the complete absence of any political presence) or the many local equivalents. I have written before about memorials, I just don’t see the need to pronounce ‘We shall not be divided’ or any other maundering slogan thought up to found a Twitter campaign. I find them distasteful and false.  But I do accept that some events, so terrible that they remain engraved upon the Nation’s conscience, do deserve a ‘look back’; even if it is a ‘Look Back in Anger’. And so it is now 25 years later!

I am a fan of the ‘Law & Order UK’ series; that alone probably types me as square beyond belief, but, that’s me. Anyhow, watched this particular episode, and it rang a bell as big as Big Ben. It involved a man suspected and ready to plead guilty of manslaughter, but it was then discovered he was not who he said he was. I’m not going to go through the whole episode, but it ended badly for everyone.


I wrote, in frustrated anger, back in 2006, of little James Bulger; and the terrible things done to that tiny body, and the ease which both perverted, twisted killers played the legal system which was only too ready to be played; to the extent that both young murderers, released at eighteen; were given total anonymity for the rest of their lives, with new documentation, new lives, washed clean as with Persil. One has been back in chokey twice, for breaking the rules of his licence; for using perverted web-sites and accumulating the worst sort of porn;, but he gets out, free and clear, to grin at the rest of the world.

So, my point is this: It is a fact that both have been given, multiple times, new identities. So if your female relative, or even a male relative who has ‘come out’ to his friends and family; is seeing a new man, somewhere in his mid thirties, and that someone has traces of a Liverpool accent, it would be very, very wise to have a quiet word with that friend or relative: just to discover if the new ‘man in their lives’ is reluctant to talk about his childhood.

Funny things, coincidences!