From some other beginning’s end.

It’s been a grand half-decade, hasn’t it? We’ve covered off quite a bit I think. Giant grannies stomping through Limerick, incredibly sexy new toys, elections both local and presidential, global affairs, domestic affairs, naughty websites and powerful professions. There’s even been a bit of helpful advice. We’ve covered the big stuff, the usual stuff, the foreign stuff and the ridiculously local stuff. Somewhere along the way a couple of ideas managed to slip in under the radar too.

Anyway.

Enough of all that. Five years is long enough to do anything, I think. Thankfully I’m lucky enough to be part of a new group of writers whose skills far surpass my own. You can have a look at what we’re up to here: http://www.soapbox.ie . I don’t do guarantees, but I promise more of the good stuff and less of the silly stuff.

Massive thanks to fellow contributors Calliope Mansfield, ContributorX, and Boutros-Butress Galling for showing that there may actually be a few like-minded ranters out there that are up for a new challenge.

Incalculably large thanks also to my tiny editor, not least for having to hear the frequently unedited verbal ranting long before it gets anywhere near a keyboard.

And most of all, thank you all for reading, liking, sharing, discussing, commenting, refuting, correcting, arguing and provoking. It’s been superb fun for me, and I hope you’ve enjoyed yourselves as much as I have.

Nighty-night, dolls

Blumpkine.

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From some other beginning’s end.

Can we repeat the original question please?

It’s all been said at this point really, hasn’t it? The country’s losing the run of itself. The No camp are letting the masks slip with increasing frequency, sending horrific abuse in every direction (including, in bed-shitting style, their own). The Yes camp are motivated, mobilised, and beyond terrified of defeat.

I could have spent plenty of my paragraphs and your time extolling the importance of equality and progressing the nation, but I won’t.

I could rant for a while about the clear lies and misdirections being thrown at you all year by the Ionas, but I won’t.

I’ll make this really, really simple.

They’re our friends.

LGBTQ people across the country are our friends, our coworkers, and our family. They’re a part of this country just like everyone else, except that the institution of marriage isn’t available to them simply because of who they love.

They’re being told on a daily basis that they’re bad parents, lesser people, and unworthy of equality in our country. They’re being told this by homophobes, bigots, religious demagogues and utter, utter bastards that want to return us all to a time when Ireland was a “catholic country”. Children at the hands of deviants, unmarried mothers sent to slave camps, that kind of jazz. And these bastards say our friends aren’t worth defending, that they must remain second class citizens.

To which I say very simply : fuck yourselves.

They’re our friends, and they need our help. They don’t have the numbers to win this alone. And so, it falls to us to help them. We must vote. We must not be too hungover, too lazy, in the wrong place, not really bothered, or unregistered. We cannot lose this. The rest of the world is watching, fully aware of the Ireland we’ve emerged form over the past 3 decades. They’re watching and they’re cheering us on, pleading with us to get this right for the sake of progress everywhere.

They’re our friends, and they’re relying on us. You and me and everyone else that can think for themselves and realise that the question is simply one of marriage equality, and all the shit that’s been thrown is merely a distraction.

They’re our friends, and they need us.

Don’t let them down tomorrow.

Vote yes.

Can we repeat the original question please?

D’you who grinds my gears? You, No side (by Boutros-Butress Galling)

So, this is where we find ourselves, the only clear debate on the marriage referendum so far, took place on the Late Late show. Super. A saccharine chat show was the only debate that maintained a semblance of discipline. It was the utter antithesis to the cacophony of Dunphyesque screams on Primetime and the Vincent Browne Hit Parade. What has become obvious is that the No side have clearly employed Bernard Hopkins as their strategist. They set out to spoil the fight from the outset and will cry foul at the ref when it isn’t going their way. ‘BULLY’, ‘I’M NOT A HOMOPHOBE YOU FAGGOT’ and so on. The trend continued on Tuesday’s Primetime. Instead of touching gloves and throwing a few range finders, the Iona Golgothan threw a dummy and much like the flies in a Trocaire ad, went straight after the children.
Like many a commentator I was vexed at the tautological bile oozing from the No camp. So much so, that I was reduced to head-butting a child that I purchased from a Monaghan girl. Sure, why not buy local I said to myself.
So, let’s do it to it. The No side are right. This battle does not have anything to do with marriage. Gasp! This is a battle for equality and the slow agonising death of catholic hegemony and discrimination. I don’t give a shit about the children, fuck em, what have they done for me lately? The Monaghan gurgle factory that I head-butted crumpled with no fight at all sure. Little fuck.
I have heard the No side argument twice this week and I am at an utter loss as to why they want to persist with it as a tactic. Quinn, Sinott, Finegan, Waters and King were unanimous in their prescient dread of a hypothetical regressive judge who cannot hypothetically discriminate against a same sex couple from adopting a hypothetical child because of the new law. That’s a tough one to put on a poster alright. They are openly campaigning to keep discrimination at the core of our justice system. Do they not know that there will always be an underclass to demonise?
The No side cannot but run with their: ‘Please, won’t somebody think about the children’ ploy, because there are only so many ways of saying that they just don’t like queers playing happy families. It is this fear of not being allowed to say what they think, that has reportedly forced many No voters to operate an underground railway. If there is a large cohort of No voters keeping schtum, then these people are far worse than the vocal No voters. If a person wants to vote No, but is too ashamed to say it publicly, then they must intrinsically know that, they are being discriminatory just for the sake of it. So please, spare me the cries of bullying you cowards. As for those of you who are voting No because you’re angry at Enda or pissed at a vocal Yes voter, get off my planet.
I accept that a few of the Yes side advocates are smug, loud and too educated for their own good, but their hearts are in the right place, even if some of their mouths have been swapped with their posteriors. The yes side shock-troops need to pick their battles. There are a lot of well-meaning, but confused older voters who just don’t know where they’re at. Biting their heads off for their indecisiveness and insulting their religion is no way to win them over. All of us on the Yes side must respect those who have seen and felt the church at its strongest but still have the minerals to question everything they have been taught. They need to be coaxed gently and not have their religious beliefs scoffed at. It is they who have paved the way for this irreverent generation.
Before I sign off and buy some more children, I just have to have to point out a couple more things to the No lads. You do not have any right to discuss biological imperatives or use the word fact as a preface to any bullshit you espouse. Your objections are based upon the internalised doctrine of an organisation that denied evolution (1). The No side are also constantly referring to article 41 in their arguments: The state recognises the family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of society and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law. There is no mention of what the family unit actually comprises of. There is no caveat stating that ‘de gays can’t play’. Waters kept referring to the word ‘natural’ in the article as if it was some sort of code from stargazing homophobes, who knew that their ideal parchment was going to be sullied in future times. On a banal level the No argument is based on a blind allegiance to heteronormativity. On a deliberate level, the No argument is the spiteful ideology of an arrogant cabal who have decided that they know what’s best for hypothetical children and who are really pissed off that the gays want to play with their toys. Oh, if you noticed that little (1) next to an aul sentence in the above text it’s for the No lads, it is an acknowledgement that I cited something from an article that has been peer reviewed. You know, fact checked and widely endorsed.
Oh fuck, forgot, I was reading a passage from a secondary school history book and I interpreted from the text that Lemass and De Valera said: ‘Vote Yes’ Prove otherwise, g’wan. They also said that as a nation we have allowed the abuses in the church, forced adoptions, laundries, Haughey and Bertie. Don’t be the generation that denies citizens their rights.
Reference
Betts, J.R (1959) ‘DARWINISM, EVOLUTION AND AMERICAN CATHOLIC THOUGHT, 1860-1900’, Catholic Historical Review, 45(2)161-185, Historical Abstracts.

D’you who grinds my gears? You, No side (by Boutros-Butress Galling)

Molly Bloom

They’ll say they’re worried about the children.

They won’t say they’re worried about the children of single parents. They won’t say they’re worried about the adopted kids. They won’t say they’re worried about the kids being raised by their grandparents,or an aunt or uncle, or an older sibling. They won’t say they’re worried about the kids in foster care. They won’t say they’re worried about the kids already being raised by loving gay parents. Because they’d prefer you forget any of those kids exist. Those kids do exist, and they’re doing fine.

They’ll say their institution is being threatened.

They won’t say their institution isn’t the one being voted on. They won’t say our institution has nothing to do with theirs. They won’t dare mention the difference between their church and our state, because they genuinely believe there shouldn’t be a difference.

They’ll say we’re oppressing them.

They won’t say that they’re fine with others being oppressed. They won’t say that they’re asking the republic to collectively tell a portion of its sons and daughters that we don’t want them to be a part. They won’t say that they’re happy for a percentage of our neighbours, coworkers, friends and family to remain second-class citizens in their own homes. They won’t say that they want every gay person in Ireland to walk down the street facing public rejection of their love for each other for the rest of their lives.

They’ll say they’re being victimised.

They won’t say that they’ve corrupted our courts and our media to the degree that nobody can be accused of homophobia – under any circumstances – lest the power of the courts lay its gaze on the accuser. They won’t remind you that it’s still legal for educators to be dismissed for their beliefs, or who they are.

They’ll say that civil partnership is “enough”. 

They won’t remind you that they fought just as hard against civil partnership. They won’t openly say that they get to be the ones that decide how much equality is enough for people that aren’t like them. They won’t say that it’s their decision how much of anyone else’s life gets to be lived out in the open. They won’t say that this is another terrifying step in the direction they don’t want the country to move in, the one called “progress”.

They’ll say they’re not homophobes.

They won’t say that this is how they remind us that for all our flirtation with an Ireland no longer reliant on parochial authority figures to tell us what to do, how to think and who to be, they still see themselves as being more important than everyone else. They won’t tell you that homosexuals are just the latest in a long, long line of sections of society that the Church has needed to make feel small just so everyone knows how big they are. They won’t say that this is about the chosen people being more important than anyone that reads a bit too much new testament and not enough Leviticus. 

They’ll say no. 

And we’ll scream “yes”.

Molly Bloom

Charity Regulator Reply to yesterday’s mass complaint

All,

Yesterday in our hundreds we made our feelings clear on the Lolek Ltd. tax-free charity status. As many of you will now have seen from the copy-paste reply email, the regulator doesn’t seem particularly interested in ending this scam. Here’s the reply that was sent to me today:

Dear Jimi,

I refer to your recent complaint regarding Lolek Ltd (Iona Institute).

Please note that the Charities Regulatory Authority is not currently
resourced to undertake investigations; the current focus of the Authority
is on the development of the Register of Charities.  Part 4 of the
Charities Act 2009, which provides for the investigation of the affairs of
charitable organisations, has not yet been commenced.

Campaigning and lobbying activities are an important part of the work of
many charities. However, it is important that charities are aware of the
restrictions that charity law places on this aspect of their work. It is
acceptable for charities to carry out campaigning and lobbying activities
where these activities are directly related to the advancement of the
charitable purpose or purposes of the charity. Charity trustees should have
regard to this when they are making decisions about how and when the
charity for which they have responsibility might carry out campaigning and
lobbying.

Best regards,

Brenda R. Ryan
Charities Regulatory Authority

Disappointingly, this seems to state in simplest terms that the CRA is not bothered with performing all of its functions right now, focusing entirely on a single one that’s been 6 years in the making. I’ll be asking why the rest of the 2009 act isn’t in place yet and who has the power to actually perform any sort of oversight on “charities” in Ireland if not the regulator.

What’s even more worrying is this passage :

However, it is important that charities are aware of the
restrictions that charity law places on this aspect of their work. It is
acceptable for charities to carry out campaigning and lobbying activities
where these activities are directly related to the advancement of the
charitable purpose or purposes of the charity. Charity trustees should have
regard to this when they are making decisions about how and when the
charity for which they have responsibility might carry out campaigning and
lobbying”

Having never dealt with Breda before I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt that she thinks I’m stupid as opposed to just sending a veiled “PFO”, as the above translates as “yes, charities should behave themselves, and i’m sure someone should make them”. In other words hand-washing of the highest order.

Frankly I don’t really need to be told there’s a problem with Lolek. Lolek do. And from the above, it’s fairly clear that the regulator wants to do everything apart from actually regulate.

More to be posted as replies are forthcoming.

Jimi

Charity Regulator Reply to yesterday’s mass complaint