Posted on 24th March 2018

Slane Castle

I have to say I finally got a good laugh out of Brexit when I opened my newspapers on Thursday.  There is outrage amongst British Conservatives that their brand new shiny blue passports which will be issued post Brexit are going to be made by a Franco-Dutch company.  If anything was designed to reflect Brexit it was this, and the thought that these iconic documents are going to be made by a European company must be enough to drive any self-respecting Brexiteer around the bend.  Sir Bill Cash is already on record as saying “ it is symbolically completely wrong”.  I can’t wait to hear leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees Mogg on the subject and Nigel Farage might be entertaining.

The subject of passports and identity leads me on directly to the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal.  Thank God, I say to myself, I was never tempted to go on Facebook.  I try to protect my privacy and this whole “LIKE” thing irritated me.  However, one thing is crystal clear, internet giants like Facebook need to be reined in and Mark Zuckerberg in particular needs to be held to account.  Knowledge as we all know is power and companies like Facebook have access to vast , almost unfathomable, amounts of data.  It is, quite frankly, terrifying to contemplate how such information could be manipulated and abused.  Our government in particular has a specific responsibility in this regard.  Under absolutely no circumstances must they be cowed by the power and influence of the tech giants.  Yes, we value the huge investments they have made in our country but this should not make us shy of introducing regulations to curb their activities.  Perhaps our government might take note that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has opened an investigation into Facebook.

From the manipulation and abuse of data to the double-speak of Sinn Fein.  Not for one minute am I impressed by the three month suspension of Senator Maire Devine for her slur against murdered prison officer, Brian Stack.  He was a servant of the State.  She serves in the Oireachtas.  If she had any sense of honour she should resign.  Mary Lou Mc Donald does not come out of this with distinction.  If she really does want to put the past behind her, she has to cast the shadow of the gunman aside.  Otherwise Sinn Fein projects an image of a party only partially committed to democracy.

Finally to Trump.  Oh, how I wish it really was the end.  Stormy Daniels, resignations, but just a feeling that Mueller is tightening the noose.  I have always believed that following the money trail will reveal the truth.  Perhaps when the Taoiseach went to the White House he should have asked the President about all the Russian money put into Doonbeg.  Now that would have been a piss-take.

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