Posted on 25th September 2021

Slane Castle

Covid has deprived me of good ole Rock & Roll so I was pleased to sit down and watch Liam Gallagher’s set at the Isle of Wight Festival on Sky.,  The man has it, the swagger and the presence of a real Rock & Roll star.  It was captivating stuff, then to hear that he had fallen out of his helicopter completed the picture.  Now if only he and his brother were to get back together that would really be steaming it.  Good thing to dream about in the future.  I like dreams.  That is where Slane started.

In the alternative world of geopolitics, the main form of entertainment is France and President Macron’s extreme discomfiture with the Aukus security pact between the U.S., Australia and the United Kingdom.  I have a certain affection for France since I met my wife in Epernay in 1984.  There is so much to admire in its culture and plenty of romance and intrigue in its history.  On our last visit to Paris, we got to appreciate the grandeur and the drama of the Napoleonic era.  People may consider that the British are suffering from a loss of empire.  The French, a former colonial power, feel they have a certain position in the order of things.  Imagine then when they discover that the Aussies, the Brits and the Americans have done a deal behind their backs to exchange nuclear submarine technology, causing the Aussies to cancel a huge contract with the French worth €60 billion, to build conventional submarines.  France recalled it’s Ambassadors from Washington and Canberra and the French Defence Minister accused Australia of “lies and duplicity”.  Macron must have been apoplectic .  Perhaps my amusement at the thought reflects the fact that I think the French President has an exaggerated belief in his own importance.  All of this revolves around the rising military power of China and the desire of the Western Powers to contain it.  Quite what effect this will have on France’s strategic thinking I’m not sure but it may strengthen its desire for an EU army, which as a neutral country we should be opposed to, but God knows what way a future Fine Gael led government would jump on that one.  Mind you, according to the opinion polls, it could be Sinn Fein that is calling the tune on any future military involvement.  Where does NATO fall into all of this ?   Sacre Bleu.  Interest times ahead.

Wasn’t it with a sense of relief that Micheal Martin as An Taoiseach chaired the session of the UN Security Council on the links between Climate and Security.  Somehow if “Leo the Leak” was sitting there after the unseemly fiasco over the makie-up job at the UN for Katherine Zappone, it might have been an embarrassment for the Irish nation.  Instead we have Micheal Martin, steady, quiet competent and on top of his brief,   a leader of Fianna Fail to whom no scandal has been attached, arguing the case for a cause with which we can all readily agree.  Now if only his party can get some traction on Housing and Health, he might prove all those pundits wrong.

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