Russia’s richest man, an oil baron, has been given a jail sentence for tax evasion. In America today, he’d have received oil concessions in Alaska. He is reputed to have siphoned $1b of taxpayers’ money. Asked to comment, a Dublin crime boss, speaking from his headquarters in Merrion Square dismissed this as ‘loose change’.
Eoin Parsley, asked whether he’d negotiate with Sinn Fein after the election, suggested they should receive the same treatment from the British Army as did the people of Iraq. Is he the only one not to see that British and US troops in Iraq are just entering the same sort of ‘campaign’ from which we are struggling to emerge?
Pamela Anderson reports that her son came up to her the other day to ask, “Are you Pamela Anderson?” That the actress is suffering from the incurable Hepatitis C forbids further caustic comment.
“There is no disgrace in trying to kill people in the coolest way possible,” says the Hollywood lionised director Quintin Tarantino, on his new film Kill Bill (trash!).
“I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind leaving you for Camilla”, the Greek Duke of the German royal house of England wrote in a letter of 1996 to Princess Diana, it was revealed last week. Is it treasonable to allege madness in the heir to the throne, even if you are speaking about your own son?
Single mum of two, 42 year old Marina Guinness confessed to a secret love. “Martin McGuinness is so gorgeous. He’s been my pin-up for years,” she said, supplying her address for good measure. Weird, sure, and scarcely worth column space except that she is an aristocrat and heir to the Guinness millions. [No, I’m not publishing her address!]
Dr David Kelly; then the Americans exposed a top CIA operative to undermine her whistle-blowing Ambassador husband; now it’s the turn of the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan. His ‘crime’? He criticised the Uzbek’s appalling record on human rights. There was a time, a long time ago, that we sent our best abroad as Ambassadors, to show ourselves in the best possible light to foreigners. Now, nothing but the worst will do!
Half of the Republic’s electorate regard politicians as corrupt and self-serving, according to a Sunday Tribune survey. Just 5% thought them honest and efficient. Presumably the other 45% couldn’t be bothered expressing any opinion about them.
One has to agree with the ‘abused’ organisation One in Four, that the Republic’s government commission established to probe institutional abuse over decades, must be reinstated. The people should not have to accept on face value, the Christian Brothers’ Order statement that 95% of Christian Brothers had worked in ordinary day schools, at times for up to 40 years, without allegation or hint of complaint against them. Should a commission conclude this, I for one could accept it. I and many like me suffered nothing more than the occasional ‘six of the best’. Without having read or known of any systematic inquiry into the Newry Brothers, I am prepared to believe that we were fortunate over the years to avoid the perverted brutes among their number. I remember some excellent teachers, paradigms of virtue, leaders of boys and men, and Socratean philosophers like Br B Liston.
But at the end of the day, it’s what that other 5% got up to that destroyed the vision of Edmund Ignatius Rice. Orders of nuns were not immune and clearly not either many of our priests of days gone by. But all their public statements are shrouded in legalese and caveats. If the organised Church is to survive, we, the laity, need a clear statement of intent, and a guarantee that the Church at all levels is free from the brutes. I read recently in a newspaper the following guarantee:
“The pledge of the Diocese of Bridgeport remains firm – that there is no priest or deacon or religious man or woman in active ministry in Fairfield County who pose a threat of any kind to any young person”, said Joseph McAleer, spokesman for the diocese.