Archive for the ‘Comment’ Category


Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor, I beggar, is the news of the day,
A world champion in a weight division, and in another cut down like hay,
A fighter in a sport they call UFC,or if you prefer  Mixed Martial Arts,
Where all contenders come from the world, come from all her parts.
Now many see McGregor as  a cur, buffoon, an obnoxious little chap,
To him that matters little, as he puts his life and country on the map,
He’s successful in his field, and his field requires pain,
So I’ll just simply laugh at those, that have never had to train.
Now he lost a fight, against Nathan Diaz, before he ever entered the Octagon Ring,
And I’ll tell you why, and I cant believe, he missed this simple thing.
I’ll elaborate, slowly, for I think this is important indeed,
And McGregor if he reads this, may well grow from this seed.
I’ve fought a battle, near killed, by result of an accident,
So I know what pain/struggle/failure has meant
And yes, I’ve felt that fear and used it, to motivate me once again,
The difference is , and he knows this, you never call people other names
The fight game is unique, accepted, and I understand the ‘sell’ of the fights,
But the lesson surely for McGregor is,  the bloke  that spoke less, won the speaking rights.
We all can see through the ‘razzamatazz’ , and as much as it feeds our thirst
The Guy, who said  ‘he’d bury him’ finished second, didn’t finish first.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like this guy, I like his depth of dedication,
He doesn’t get to be where his without pain and humiliation.
I suspect he’s probably worked harder than anyone we could know
A 120 hour week at least, between all the media  side show
So what is it, what I’m trying to say…? Well let me put it as straight as this..
Conor McGregor lost to Diaz for he bought into the bullshit of showbiz.
How do I know? Oh I know… and I’ve fought every step in the dark,
Having a punch up in an octagon…..?  Jaysus a bloody walk in the park
True champions do the work, on the field of play,
They seek not to belittle any, for they know it comes back biting some day,
True Champions, face all challenges from a place of respect,
Otherwise they just become, a showbiz puppet that showbiz will reject
So I beggar, Conor McGregor…knowing your financial worries may well be no more
If and when you decide to pick yourself up from the floor,
You’ll truly represent the Irish, by respecting your adversary..
Seems like a winning formula,
 as to celebrating adversity
So keep working hard, keep being the best you can,
Keep the faith, the desire, to represent your master plan,
I’ll just leave you with this,
‘Pussy’  ‘Skinny’ ‘Fat’  are words that can bury
And if you’re an Icon, then know your words can be to those that never want to fight in a playground,
Very , very , scarey….
Voicey

 

On Friday October the 4th, 2013, the Irish people are being invited to cast a vote on two constitutional amendments.

The first proposal will ask ‘if you agree to the abolition of the Seanad’..The second will seek permission for a ‘Court of Appeal and other changes to the court system’.

In order to minimise confusion, we shall address the first proposal only, which is the issue of the Seanad, the Upper House of the Parliamentary system.

So let’s begin,

Essentially, the FG/Lab Coalition Government, are leading this charge to abolish the Seanad, on the basis of cost and efficiency. The Yes campaign claim that abolishing the Upper House will save 20 million euro, the No side claim the figure is closer to 8 million euro. Either way, holding the referendum is reportedly costing the taxpayer 14 million euro. However, the cost argument, is neither well founded, transparent, or accurately proven. Neither side has accurately produced figures in a clear accessible documented form, that will allow scrutiny by the very people being asked to cast their voice on a potentially massive constitutional change.

Nonetheless, let’s work with the Government line, that the Seanad is costing the taxpayer 20 million euro year on year. The Upper House consists of 60 Senators:

  • 11 nominated by the Taoiseach
  • 43 elected by five panels representing vocational interests namely, Culture and Education, Agriculture, Labour, Industry and Commerce and Public Administration
  • Six elected by the graduates of two universities: – three each by the National University of Ireland and the University of Dublin (Trinity College)

The No campaign have recently stated that over 500 recommendations, additions, and amendments to Bills, have been conducted by The Seanad since the formation of this current Oireacthas (parliament).

So using the Government (unsubstantiated) figure of ’20 million’ , that means, that each Senator comes in at a cost of 333,333 euro, or that each Bill has cost approximately 40,000 euro.

Alas, to use such mathematical factors would be to miss the point though, for the more accurate figure is the cost to the individual taxpayer. In a workforce of circa 1.8 million people, the Seanad works out to cost the individual taxpayer a very manageable 11 euro per person, year on year. (based upon the Government position of an unsubstantiated, or transparent costing, of the figure of 20 Million euro).

11 euro a year?  The price of a cinema ticket and popcorn? The price of a couple pints? Less than the monthly cost of a TV License? One fifth of one G.P. appointment? The price of a decent 12 inch pizza?  …….and we are being asked to abolish it on a basis of cost?

It is clear the cost argument just doesn’t hold up, when using the highest figure of 20 million euro, which by the way is 0.03 cent per day.

So it must be the efficiency factor then, surely…? Alas, as efficiency is more often than not tied to a cost coefficient this seems to be an argument with little legs to support it.

No,the elephant in the room of spin, (and let’s remember that when it comes to ‘spin’  the Dail (Lower House) appears to be streets ahead in this art, than the Seanad ever has been),  is the role of Democracy in our society.

Is the Seanad a perfect Democratic institution? No, not by a long shot. Is it a Democratic institution? Yes. technically speaking. Is its abolition a Democratic strengthening move? No, it cant be, when its purpose is fundamentally to be a watchdog over the Lower House, as has been proven through its debates, amendments, recommendations, etc..

It’s abolition will bring less democracy, and the Lower House will become less accountable.

The Government proposes to ‘replace’ the Seanad with ‘citizen committees’ when it comes to reviewing Bills, etc. Now, this may appear to be a noble exercise, however, firstly, we haven’t been given any notion of what these committees will cost the taxpayer, secondly, we have not been clearly informed of who will make up these committees, and thirdly, not one member of these committees will be accountable to the public. So we may in fact  be left with the vista of legislation being informed by unelected political cronies,..ergo, less democracy, unaccountable and uncosted.

Reform to the Seanad is definitely required, the removal of Taoiseach appointees, and the direct election by all citizens of the State, are but to name just two, although there are many more other changes to be discussed, albeit, we are not being asked to reform, we are being asked to abolish.

Getting rid of politicians because we don’t like them, cant trust them, have been ‘nailed to the cross’ by them,  or because it is a rare chance to give them a ‘bloody nose’, is not a very good reason to abolish a fundamental house of Democracy, they are reasons to exercise your vote to hold them to account at each election.

To put it into a contemporary context:

In Nairobi this week, criminals killed many innocent people, they holed up for a while, but were eventually removed, dead or alive, however the shopping centre was not bombed into history, just because it was an unsavoury place for a while….. its lower levels and upper levels were kept intact,

 

However you choose to cast your vote on the 4th of October, is your choice, all that is asked is at what price?

As shown, 0.03 cent a day will be your saving, if you choose to abolish the Seanad,

 

But at what cost?

 

Voice

 


It may be safe to presume, that most humans enjoy sport, whether it be on a professional level or a social level, a participating level or a viewing level. Either way, sport seeps into the veins of all cultures.

It finds the need of the being like water finds the pathway to the sea.

It will flow through us all, no matter how resistant we may be, it will gift us, and hurt us, for that is what sport is….a kind of hard earned reward…sure, what other walk of life can you apply the expression of ‘No Pain, No Gain’ to as definitively?

Sport has saved many a soul, and has harmed less than the saved. It seeks, and at times, demands excellence, it invites the best that you can be, it offers individuality, and teamwork, all for the pursuit of exploration, searching, desire…….for each and every one of its participants, it offers happiness, knowing that sadness will always be a non compromised 50/50 when it becomes competitive. Somehow, its vein of happiness is never waned, no matter how many players take its field.
And so,

This week we saw a Professional soccer player, Luiz Suarez, of the Liverpool Football Club suspended by the Football Association for 10 matches due to his actions of biting another player on the field of play in an off the ball incident.

On the day, the referee spoke to Suarez, and took no action, perhaps as he did not see the incident, the bitten player, Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, showed the bite marks to the referee, and no action was taken. The game continued.

All’s fair in love and sport……to paraphrase…

After the match, video evidence and the position of ‘no action’ taken by the referee, allowed the FA to investigate the incident, which resulted, after a week of press and media, in a 10 match ban.

Liverpool FC fined their player, their ‘star’ player’. It is suspected the contractual allowance is two weeks wages, however, that is the only action they have taken. They released a statement which more or less said…..’they will await the decision of the FA…’…..

Now this is where sport finds the sea as it travels thru the muddy sandbanks, and becomes a murky water…

The FA and Liverpool FC and Mr Suarez have disgraced the game……….and inturn have disgraced sport.

In no code anywhere in the world is ‘biting an opponent’ part of the laws of a game. Surely, every contracted player has a clause in their contract that states they must not bring the game ‘into disrepute’……..? and if so…then the contract has been broken by the player…..and if not, then why not…..?

Kicking a man while he is down is no great accomplishment in life, however, neither is biting a man when he is beating you in the challenge. Counselling, rehabiltation, emotional management skills, are all worthwhile pursuits when someone has erred, and are to be encouraged.

So are Sanctions.

As a lover of many different codes of sport, I honestly feel all parties concerned have insulted all those mothers and fathers that wash jerseys on a Monday, that stand in rain on a wind swept Saturday, that drive 40 miles to the only indoor court each Wednesday, that pay their entrance fee every other Sunday, that buy the boots whilst the puddle finds its way inside their well trodden shoes,
You see parents, communities, clubs, allow that river of hard earned reward to flow,

And a precedent has been set……

The Sanction given to Luis Suarez is a 40 million euro decision….apparently thats how much he is worth on the market.

A career threatening ban would have been more appropriate, it would have sent a message to the player, the club, to all.
As anyone that has ever played a game, watched a game, supported a team, there are some things that are just simply unacceptable on the field of play, and biting an opponent is one of them.

It is a cowards act.

All i know is this, the message sent to this player,
has left,

A Foul Taste In my Mouth.

Voice.


“Sitting on the sidelines of observation, occassionally beckons comment, sitting on the sidelines of humanity, occassionally beckons comment, sitting in my sexuality and having to defend it, occasionally beckons reposte” —-Anonymous

Gay Marriage………woah!

Let me state clearly from the outset………I am Hetro, I dont run around declaring ‘that’ at… every turn, it is just what I am, I like the opposite sex, and the sex with them…..so I become confused as to what it is to be Gay, for I have never been at a gathering, party, or occasion, that my sexuality needed to be announced, behaved, or open to comment,….however, the one thing that I do know, we are who we are….

The Gay Marriage debate, has allowed me to shift any prejudices that may have existed in my own mind, and I stipulate that these beliefs, are not about whether Adam loves Steve, or Adam loves Eve, no they were constitional beliefs….that is…..if a same sex couple wish to marry, then how are Hetrosexual couples threatened by this constituionally?

So lets walk….

Apparently, Adam and Steve can engage in a ‘Civil partnership’…so where’s the problem…?
Surely Civil Partnerships cover all accession rights, child rights, etc……or do they?

I shall allow the legalities of Gay Marriage find their way, for the greater discussion appears to be a moral one…

Hearing discussions about Marriage is for Procreation, and therefore Gay Marriage is a contradiction to such a concept, is, to say the least, misguided, unitelligent, and prejudicial.

Marriage is about commitment to a betrothed love. Nothing more, nothing less.

I have known people that have married, and never ‘procreated’ and yet their partnership under law still held, so ‘procreation’ is a non arguement.
I have also known marriages that have broken down , that have ‘procreated’…and as a result have effected the offspring in a way, that has conflicted them for their formative years,…..
I have also known terrific Hetro people…that have apparently ‘procreated’ successfully….
And they have ‘Procreated’
Gay Children…..

So this debate, becomes not a human debate, but a religious debate…..vested interests voicing, as is their right to do so,
However, let’s listen to all the voices, the tone, the invitation to acknowledging , the agreement, the knowing that either way, either side will still exist…..

So allow me the space to explore this…….I’m Hetro, born RC, and have kids, and usually as obedient to constituional decrees….
And let’s allow Steve,or Eve, the same……He’s/she’s Homo, Born RC, no kids , and usually obedient to constituional decrees,

So where does the conflict belong?

Being Roman Catholic?i

Surely not……..didnt Jesus welcome all?

All I know is this……..I got married once, and it didnt work out, that’s not unique, there are many that have walked that road, I marrieed for love,

To someone that I thought I was compatible with,
We split, and our sexual orientation has never changed…….
Marriage is about Love,
And no goverment should ever prevent that, no Christian should ever oppose that, and no society should ever exclude that,
no matter what form it comes in,
Marriage makes me Gay…….

Voice


As the continuing austerity measures roll on, it is leaving in its wake a wash of disbelief, despair, and utter hopelessness. The latest of these cuts is the abolition of the Mobility Allowance which, although not defined by legislation, was set up to assist people who were disabled and who would ‘benefit from a change in surroundings’
Further information on this allowance can be found via this link from the citizens information site.

Mobility Allowance:

http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/travel_and_recreation/transport_and_disability/mobility_allowance.html

Now before we go into the reasons why this allowance has been removed, lets just take a look at the effect of such an act.
The allowance is provided by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and therefore by extension comes under the office of the Minister for Health, Dr.James Reilly.

The effect of removing this allowance from people that have already been approved for such a supporting payment has to be frightening to those recipients to say the least. However, there is another effect that bubbles away in this sickly cauldron of the cut and slash policy brew, and that is, the effect of how such thinking permeates throughout the greater societal demographic.

In an ideal world, everyone would happily get along with their lot in life,making the best of their situation, and endeavouring to improve it whenever opportunity chose to present itself. Governance, as we know,is far from perfect, however, it should also attempt to carry a similar ethos, which is, to try to improve the lot of its people. It is such pursuits that engages society, franchises its people, empowering them in the knowledge that a reasonable equity and fairness will become manifest through honest contribution.

Unfortunately, this act of removing support from people, that I for one would not ever wish to exchange lifestyles with,has had the opposite effect.

Besides, the emotive bursts of anger and sadness, society is also left with the question of ‘how’. How have we come to this?
How have we, as a society, come to the place of, seeing those in need as being low hanging fruit on the economic burning bush?

This allowance is classified as 208 euro at the high rate, or 104 euro at the low rate, per month. An overall cost apparently of 10.6 million euro per annum to the taxpayer. in a workforce of circa 1.8 million people, the cost is 5.88 euro per person, per year. or if you prefer, more or less the price of a pint.

The price of a pint?

So, we as a society, have come to the juncture, whether we like to admit it or not, that our disabled people will lose a much needed supportive allowance,that even the most hardest hit I believe, would be happy to sacrifice the price of a pint for. How in the name of God, can our elected representitives even think this is acceptable?

They say they have removed the payment upon advice that it is discrimiatory to people over the age of 66, so is paying an 18 year old less unemployment benefit than a 25 year old, as is seeking Gender Quotas.

Oh yes, it is discriminatory all right.

And disabling.

All for the price of a pint!

Voice


Yet again Ireland finds itself arguing the toss over the issue of abortion.

There is no doubt it is an emotive issue, and for that reason alone, I have always tried to avoid any discussion around this issue over the internet, until now.

For as both sides continue to put forward their side of the discussion, we seem to lose track of the fact that as each day passes, and we moralise in debate…….Mary still boards the ferry……

So lets take a look at the current state of play in this never ending debate.

The tragic passing of Mrs Savita Hallapannavar has brought this issue into sharp focus, and one wonders if her very traumatic death had never occurred, would we be any closer to legislation…

The Irish government have been obliged to legislate for abortion in certain circumstances for over twenty years. The fact that successive governments have failed in this duty, regardless of its content or context, has been lamentable to say the least, and negligent and incompetent to be generous. Whatever we may think about the incumbent administration, at least they are taking up the mantle and attempting to address their duty to the constitution voted for by the people of the land.

“X case and the letter of the law” http://www.irishexaminer.com/analysis/x-case-and-the-letter-of-the-law-184761.html

“Government will legislate to allow abortion in line with X Case ruling” via The Journal.ie http://www.thejournal.ie/ireland-to-legislate-for-abortion-721493-Dec2012/

In the meantime, Mary still boards the ferry…….

So what are the deeper arguments?  The Anti-abortionists, or Pro Life lobby, as they prefer to be known, claim that any abortion is abhorrent, often citing religious beliefs, the greater good, and that nobody in their right mind would consider such an act, the more extreme elements suggest it to be murder of the innocents, either way, they appear to be not for turning, under any circumstance. And in any democracy, they have that right.

The Pro Abortionists, or Pro Choice Lobby, as they prefer to be known, suggest that abortion is a right of a woman, to choose, to recognise her choice may not be yours or mine, but hers, and that any prevention of that choice could have a detrimental effect upon both mother and child in the long run, either way, they appear to be more open to the concept of the individual as a contributor to the greater good. And in any democracy they have that right.

In the meantime, Mary still boards the ferry……

This current debate has descended into Doctors speaking in the House of the Oireachtas stating such things as ‘I need to know if I will not be jailed, or that suicide is never a treatment for abortion, it has seen Clergymen and Athiests give their point of view, it has seen spurious arguments declaring the highest court of the land was wrong, it has seen emotive claims that this legislation will be the ‘slippery slope’ and ‘open the floodgates’ without providing a predicitve figure or estimate, it has been manipulated to avoid the substansive issue, that is, that under the European Courts of Human Rights the Irish Government must legislate…….

“….European Court of Human Rights ruling which deemed the absence of legislation in Ireland to be a breach of human rights.”

In the meantime, Mary still boards the ferry……

Let’s be clear, it is presumed, the majority of us would have to travel a long way to find someone who would see abortion as a first option, and therefore, by way of extension, can understand that any such decision has been arrived at with great trepidation and thought by the women who arrive at this choice.

Their reasons may be manifold, and they are their reasons, not yours, nor mine, simply theirs.

The question that raises is this……will either lobby group be there for the woman who cant have an abortion in Ireland when she is in her hour of brokeness…or is she left alone in her decision?

We dont have to like the legislation, we dont have to trumpet the legislation, all we have to do as a nation, is implement the legislation….

In the meantime, Mary still boards the ferry……..

Voice

“The ‘Blow In’ Sod”

Posted: January 5, 2013 in Comment
Tags: , , ,

Today, this Saturday,January 5th of 2013, I attended my second funeral in three days….

Thankfully, these funerals, were of elderly folk, people that had lived an age, reared a family, survived all changes that every decade presented them. I am certain, that I may never know the hardships that they endured, and often think, my hardships are just wee hiccups compared to theirs, alas, we perceive as we do…..

You see for me, the first funeral, was of a man I had never met, but of a man whose sons I have been fortunate enough to know well. There was never any reason for me to meet their Father, nor he me, that is the way rural life in Ireland is,when you are a ‘blow in’ , ye shall meet,when ye do…..

Yes, it is in the vales and rises of rural Ireland that I dwell, a small village, that used to boast a corner shop/post office, a church, and a two pubs, and proudly held a population of approximately 300 people.

Today, it has, no corner shop/post office, one pub, and of course the Chapel is still the most prominent structure in the village, although, perhaps, not the most frequented……and the population? Well, it has been gifted the wheels of emigration…..

Nonetheless, there I was today, attending, nay, singing, at a funeral mass of an eighty year old woman, from the village. A woman, that whenever I saw her over the sixteen years of being a ‘blown in’ , always had time for me. She was one of the first ladies that I met when I arrived to this corner of Ireland, and boy, she was simply, the Lady, of the Village.

The priest today, paid her a most beautiful tribute, when he said,    ‘She was in the church as often as the altar itself…’

And here she was, encased in a pine box, with her family near by, and a congregation that had only been seen in the same numbers two days before, and on Christmas Eve before that…

The funeral mass came and went, her sons carried her with pride, to her rest, and the many, gathered in the local hall, for tea and ‘sangwiches’….

It was only when I went out for air, that I saw one man, down by the grave, shovelling clay, back into the grave, a local chap, a mate, near the same age, that I realised, hang on……this is done by us…..

So I walked down, in my Sunday best, took off my coat, and picked up the spare shovel…….One became two, became three, became six…….in no time, ‘Kitty’ was laid to rest……

It was in this sharing, that I remarked to the other lads….”I think this knocks the ‘Blow in’ off me………”

Either way, It was a pleasure to lay clay upon a Lady

 

Voice

 

“The Silent Right”

Posted: September 27, 2012 in Comment

It is a civil right to remain silent, so they tell me,

Sure, it is one of the first things that the police services the world over say to you upon arrest..

And then on the other side of the coin, is the right to speak, the Freedom of speech..a valuable, and non negeotiable right in all correct thinking societies. Thus the Conundrum….we have a right to say nothing and to shout it from the rooftops…….Now, we as Human beings can legislate all we want, but we can only do that…we can’t make Silence or Speaking Out compulsory…we can only legislate for choice somehow.

So it transpired that about 2 years ago I decided to enter the realm of twitter, an incredible internet forum that allowed for exchanges of views, information, laughs, and opportunities to meet some great people. I initially started out on twitter as a Voice of protest, to the impending doom and gloom that we were experiencing financially now,alas, my protestestations may have been heard, but we still have the doom and gloom!!!

Ce la Vie.

Those 2 years have been incredibly rewarding, I have met some extraordinary people, some incredibily beautiful, kind hearted people, some fantastically inspiriational people, some people that have blown me away with their intelligence, be it academic, or humanistic, or both..and all through ‘the twitter’……and on very, very, rare occassions have I ventured from the virtual to the tangible world with some of these people. And I have never regretted it , except for once……..

You see, someone was following my account, and I was happily exchanging as you do in said forum, I was just trying to be a decent guy and be open to all conversation, debate, etc……good,bad , or indifferent….and this particulat tweeter began to contact me via DM…..no major problem with that….but sought my help…..without going into too much detail aroung the specifics…..I offered my phone number as this person seemed in need and for some reason chose Ol Voicey…….It appeared no one else would listen…..I did what I could, as I believe most decent people would do, and offered what I consider to be reasonable advice….and then when that advice was declined, informed Said Tweeter, that there was nothing else I could do….

I began to feel uncomfortable, something wasnt right, as usual with Ol Voicey, I tend to trust first and doubt second……and happily do so to this day by the way.

And so to cut a long story short, this resulted in some strange experiences that I had no desire to encounter, or would wish upon anyone else…suffice to say, phone calls that tend to suggest my terminality will be arranged are not my cup of tea.

All this was a year ago.

This person has appeared on my timeline since, and has tried to engage me, under a different account name, and I have just chosen to express my right to remain silent, to not engage, sure, the same thing happens to all of us on twitter, but apparently my right to choose how and who I engage, is not appreciated.But recently I was sent a link by this tweeter, and I have decided to Stand Down my twitter account. I know that this is sketchy in detail, but all I can ask you is to respect my decision for now.

If I may paraphrase @LeoTraynor’s blog…..I seek not to prosecute, but to be let to go about my business without hassle

And so, as much as this blog may sound confusing,which I can understand,due to lack of specifics,

I herby express my right to The Freedom of Speech to Be Silent from the Rooftops…

It is my Silent Right

Peace to all, and for those that have taken the time to show support, thankyou…..you know my appreciation is heartfelt

Voice


I know we can do this,

July 28th, 2012

What will we achieve? Tangibly, we may never know, all I know is, it is worth doing.

So please allow me to explain how this came about,

I have been privileged to be able to present a radio program that seeks to explore social and political issues, and have covered many varied topics in the past.Some of these have been Institution abuse, Ireland’s Drink Culture, Referenda Debates, Domestic Violence, The Household Tax, Drug Abuse, Marital Separation,Depression, to name a few….. and so, I hope to be able to bring you more of the same in the future.

I have no research team, or major network system that can find me stories, so I rely on a heck of a lot of goodwill and good luck.  I  broadcast on a Sunday, a one hour show, and have often not known what I was going to do by the previous Thursday. Some shows are held with a panel, some are held with one to one interviews, some are held together with cellotape!……the topic dictates the method..thus the name of the show, “The Cutting Edge” , what you hear is on the edge, every time,

You see the type of show that I present, many people say: “Yes, that needs to be discussed”, but the very people that have that extraordinary experience, often,upon an invitation to share their story reluctantly say, ‘Oh, no, I couldnt do that…’

And that is to be respected, no problem with that.

So, a few weeks back, and not for the first time, I decided to discuss Suicide,  an issue that most of us say should be discussed, and yet most of us are reluctant to discuss….

I was privileged to conduct a one hour radio discussion on this subject, which in my eyes, is a rarity. For this topic, as most serious topics of our media today, is given a ‘slot’ to fit the supposed attention span of the listener.

That  is where I tend to differ to the ‘mainstream’, for I like to get down under the skin with my guests, as long as they wish to travel there as well, I ask questions, that allow, not questions that set agenda, I seek for my guest to inform you, not me… for I am just a listener,like you.

And so, on this particular episode, one of my panelists was an amazing young lady named Liz Campbell. She came on to the program to seek volunteers and support  for the All Ireland Skydive Challenge,https://www.facebook.com/All.Ireland.Skydive.Challenge

An event that seeks to raise awareness and funds that help to combat Suicide.

This remarkable young lady, had a passion, a passion that only someone that has traveled the darkness can know, her energy was infectious, her honesty was a gift, her message was simple. (paraphrased)

“I have been there, and I am going to do whatever I can to help others to not go there….”

So here I was, on radio, and found myself struggling for words, committing the greatest of radio crimes…….’Dead Air’.….. The only words I could find were…..”Sign Me Up, I’m in”

Now, it is at this point, that I will categorically state, this is not a stunt……and I hope I have shown that by not mentioning the radio station, or my name, etc thus far………this is just a happenstance.

I met someone that was so passionate about something, that my fear of dying became secondary to my fear of the sorrow of someone else dying. And my empathy and congruence, which I assume is equal to you that reads this, was challenged to be put into action. Not by Liz Campbell, for she respectfully, didnt throw that challenge to me on air, she didnt have to, I heard her, just as a listener,  Tis as Simple as that.

So, here we are, I have signed up to jump out of a plane at 10,000 feet. It isnt a big deal really is it, no one has died in a skydive accident in Ireland as far as the records show, as far as I can gather, so I should be ok, shouldn’t I?

But jumping out of a plane at that height and hitting the ground isn’t the issue, sure, it might be scary, but if I was to ‘bounce’ sure I wouldn’t have to worry would I? Game over.

No, it is the feeling of falling, that has me challenged, for that is a fear that not one of us wishes to face, explore, experience.

For me, this is an enormous challenge, for some years ago, I nearly lost my life, and to throw myself again into an experience that can resurface all of those emotions, is the greatest challenge I have had in years, a challenge I greatly accept, for it will confront possibly all my fears in one defined moment. Game on.

And so here we are, as I opened this blog with a statement saying ‘I Know We Can Do This’

Here is my challenge to you. And You are under no obligation to engage, support or fund, I just seek to invite you to do so, however you can.

The skydive challenge means I must raise funds, they say 500 euro, so for me that is 100 people donating 5 euro each , or 500 people donating 1 euro, etc…. to this cause. If you choose to support me in this, then firstly thankyou, and secondly, this is how you go about it. You can lodge your support  into this account.

Bank:          Bank of Ireland
Acc Name:  Ms Elizabeth Campbell

Ref: #kevq

Acc num:     23285918
Sort Code:   90 60 64

If you have any problems doing this, please let me know either thru this blog, or via twitter @reclaimthevoice , or contact the people, Rosie, Liz or Eddie on the facebook page.

The reference name of #kevq will just be a way of the All Ireland Sky Dive Challenge deciphering who is raising which funds, if that makes sense, …I have never done anything like this before….so can only ask you to trust my ignorance  on these things……

The All Ireland SkyDive Challenge asks each ‘jumper’ to raise 500 euro, and that is fair enough. I want to raise so much more than that, through your word of mouth, your friends, and theirs etc……I know we can do this.

All funds raised are donated to

Pieta House: http://www.pieta.ie/?gclid=CK3omoj-9LACFYFO4Qod52Ym9Q

Lifeline: http://lifeline-kilkenny.org/

and Ola Gola: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMw5fKK9B3A

For now I will thank you for at least taking the time to read this. There is more to write about this project, but I will save that for another post, and if all you can do by way of support, is to re post this, or re tweet this, then you have done what you can, and it is appreciated. 

July 28th The All Ireland SkyDive Challenge: Suicide Prevention and Awareness

We can do this, and if we cant, then who will?

Let’s all take the #LeapOfFaith

I know we can do this

🙂

Voice


And so, in three short days, Thursday the 31st of May 2012, will see the people of Ireland cast their voice upon the ‘Fiscal Stability Treaty’ or to give it is full name, the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union

The Full text of this treaty can be found here:

http://www.european-council.europa.eu/media/639235/st00tscg26_en12.pdf

 

Now essentially this Treaty is designed to….” strengthen the economic pillar of the economic and monetary union by adopting a set of rules intended to foster budgetary discipline through a fiscal compact…” Article 1.1

Within this Treaty, there is mentioned a ‘facility’ known as the European Stability Mechanism, or the ESM for short. This is the body that the Yes side of this debate continually cite as being important to this vote. That is, they say if we don’t pass this referendum, then we will be excluded from accessing funds from the ESM. So what is it?

A Full Text of the ESM Treaty, which we are NOT being asked to vote upon, can be found here:

http://www.ecb.int/pub/pdf/other/art2_mb201107en_pp71-84en.pdf

and a simpler two page Fact Sheet on the ESM, can be found at this link:

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ecofin/127788.pdf

 

Having read this Fact Sheet over a couple of times……I have observed two things that make me question, what the YES side of this debate have been saying, and inturn what the NO side have been saying……..and that is, this Treaty will utilise secondary markets if it needs to,

Point 1.

“The future ESM ………..will also be able to purchase bonds of beneficiary member states on primary and secondary markets (articles 17 and 18). 

Now , am I correct in saying, we are being told to vote Yes, in order to ‘apply’ to access funds from a ‘facility’ that has yet to come into existence yet, but if and when it does, it will access ‘secondary markets? And the No side are saying, that we can access these same markets without the confines of the Treaty….?

Either way, the ‘secondary’ markets appear to be available……

Point 2.

What is the primary function of the ESM, as in, do we see one thing, and they another, it states:

“Its purpose will be to provide financial assistance to its members (euro area member states), experiencing or being threatened by severe financing problems, if indispensable for safeguarding financial stability in the euro area as a whole.”

Fair enough some may say, but it is this clause, that raises the question, as to…    ‘financial assistance to its members…….’   To do what with the Financial assistance? Is it purely designed to do this?

“…..Besides loans to beneficiaries, it will provide precautionary financial assistance (article 14) and loans to member states for recapitalisations of financial institutions (article 15).”

 

Now, I dont know about you, but this clause, has me wondering where the people come in the pecking order of this treaty…….I could be wrong, however, we have already seen how ‘financial institutions’ have been ‘recapitalised’ and how this has affected the average household…

 

One thing is for sure. The path ahead for Ireland and it’s people is going to be a very difficult one indeed, regardless of a Yes/No outcome. I just hope that whichever way you may decide to vote, that it is done through solid research, and not through the expert opinion of the high stool of your local bar, this Referendum is far to important to be treated with the usual apathetic disdain of politics, it is not about you or I, it is about the future generations of this nation.

 

The People will decide on this coming Thursday, let’s just hope enough of them care to vote.

 

Voice