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LEO  “THE LICK”-Supported by Fawning Finnian and Hollow Halligan

March 20, 2018 1 comment

Varadkar Licking Up To Trump on Patricks Day

LEO  “THE LICK”-Supported by Fawning Finnian and Hollow Halligan

VARADKAR  in Cringe-making display of forelock-tugging to TRUMP on Patricks Day in the US-Fintan O’Toole ,Irish Times March 20,2018

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Protest Trump’s visit Today  6 June. 6pm at the Garden of Remembrance, Dublin.

At Irish Council for Civil Liberties we believe in human rights and dignity. https://wp.me/pKzXa-13g

We Work Hard every day to protect fundamental rights and we oppose anything that impinges on those rights. This includes racism, misogyny, trans- and homophobia, climate change denial, corporate malfeasance, police brutality and all forms of discrimination.

Trump represents everything we oppose.

His policies are a direct attack on human rights, both in the USA and in the international sphere. His withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council, his denial of climate change, and his refusal to co-operate with international human rights bodies endangers all of our fundamental rights.

That’s why we are exercising our own fundamental right to protest his visit to Ireland.

We are proud to stand alongside our sister organisation, the A Merican Civil Liberties Union, in opposing your dangerous and damaging policies and in standing up for fairness, equality and respect.

—————————————————————-Despite Denunciation of US Policy on Climate Change by President Higgins, Varadkar fails to raise Climate Change With Trump. Trump praises Varadkar as “Great Prime Minister for You”

Irish Examiner: US president Donald Trump has insisted the Brexit crisis is “going to work out” in Ireland’s favour and that he believes the UK’s departure from the EU is going to be “very, very good” for this country.

Mr Trump made the predictions as he said he is doing everything he can to end concerns over a hard border, despite having to be corrected by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar after referring to it as “the wall”.

Speaking during a joint press conference with Mr Varadkar after landing on Air Force One at Shannon airport and before flying out by helicopter to Doonbeg, Mr Trump told Ireland not to worry about Brexit

Full Article From Irish Examiner:  https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/donald-trump-visit-brexit-will-work-out-in-irelands-favour-trump-says-928952.html

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(Forelock Tugging To Merkel to Continue to-day in Germany -Brexit break-up with UK means Varadkar needs to woo Merkel-Derek Scally, Irish Times-see further down)

“The Taoiseach speaks for a country that is being forced by Donald Trump and Brexit to think deeply about its place in the world and how it negotiates its most crucial international relationships: those with the United States, Britain and the European Union.

Instead, we got from the Taoiseach a cringe-making display of forelock-tugging sycophancy. His message was that Ireland should be loved in Trump’s United States because Ireland is really, truly American: US ’R’ Us.”-Fintan O’Toole 

Fintan O’Toole: No, Taoiseach, Irish values are not American values

Fintan O’Toole Irish Times  Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Leo Varadkar does not often give set-piece speeches about Irish public values. Perhaps it is just as well.

Last Wednesday he gave one in Washington DC. It was outstandingly silly even by the standards of the boilerplate banality typical of gala dinners. For this speech comes when Ireland is at a very important juncture in its modern history.

The Taoiseach speaks for a country that is being forced by Donald Trump and Brexit to think deeply about its place in the world and how it negotiates its most crucial international relationships: those with the United States, Britain and the European Union.

Instead, we got from the Taoiseach a cringe-making display of forelock-tugging sycophancy. His message was that Ireland should be loved in Trump’s United States because Ireland is really, truly American: US ’R’ Us.

Before we come to the speech’s silliness we must acknowledge its gutlessness. An Irish leader speaking in the United States cannot avoid the subject of immigration. The test of basic decency is whether this address extends to today’s immigrants, who are under attack from a president who makes cynical and relentless use of the same nativist hatreds that were turned on the Irish in the 19th century.

Varadkar failed this test ignominiously. He hailed the US as “a country that welcomed migrants from all over the world – Jews, Catholics, Irish – and so many more who were drawn to your beacon of hope”. This is doubly evasive and therefore doubly shameful. The use of the past tense evades the present. And those weasel words “so many more” render invisible the Mexicans, the Muslims, the real people who are the current objects of Trump’s abuse.

Leo Varadkar’s parents met through, and continued to cherish, the most un-American institution in the world, the British National Health Service

This spinelessness is the context for the rest of the speech. The core of what the Taoiseach had to say was that Irish values are American values, plain and simple. This matters because it goes beyond toadying. Varadkar’s point is not merely that the United States is great. It is also that Ireland has no values of its own, that it takes nothing from its long pre-Christian and Christian cultures, nothing from Britain, nothing from Europe – but everything from the US.

US president Donald Trump and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during the Speaker’s Lunch at Capitol Hill in Washington DC, during the Taoiseach’s St Patrick’s visit to the US. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

No one would deny that the United States has been a major influence on Ireland, just as Britain has been a major influence. But imagine the Taoiseach had said that Irish values are British values, that everything we aspire to and hold dear is British. If you can do that you can begin to appreciate how self-abasing this speech was.

Here is the Taoiseach’s core point: “American ideas and American values that spread around the world meant that a young boy growing up in Ireland, with an Indian father and an Irish mother, could dream of one day becoming the leader of his country, believing that the time would come when people would be judged on their principles and their ideals, on the content of their character and the quality of the work, and not on their sexuality or the colour of their skin. These are our Irish values today . . . These were American values before they were ours.”

Almost everything in this is nonsense. Leo Varadkar’s parents met through, and continued to cherish, the most un-American institution in the world, the British National Health Service. Varadkar himself benefited from another un-American value: a cheap medical degree. (The annual cost of medical school in the US is between $35,000 and $59,000.) It was not American values that made it possible for a privileged, highly educated son of the Dublin professional classes to become Taoiseach: we’ve created those privileges of class and gender all by ourselves.

Does the Taoiseach really not know that it was the European Court of Human Rights, in the Norris case in 1988, that forced Ireland to decriminalise homosexuality?

As for not judging people on the colour of their skin being an American value before it was an Irish value, it is hard to know which is worse: the ignorance of modern US history and the contemporary realities of racial oppression, or the implication that we Irish were all racist savages until the Americans showed us how to respect black people. And as for American values making it possible for gay Irish people to be treated as equal citizens, does the Taoiseach really not know that it was the European Court of Human Rights, in the Norris case in 1988, that forced Ireland to decriminalise homosexuality? Who does he think drafted the European Convention on Human Rights? Richard Nixon?

All of this could be written off as a mere embarrassment were it not a return to a previous ideological template: Mary Harney’s claim in 2000 that, “spiritually, we are probably a lot closer to Boston than Berlin”.

There is ideological method in this daftness: we are to understand ourselves as rugged individualists in the American mythological mould, not as soppy Europeans whose self-reliance has been sapped by luxuries like public healthcare. Varadkar actually claimed that American “individualism” “inspired Irishmen and women to fight for freedom” – a ludicrous travesty of the collectivist national and social ideals for which they actually fought.

But at a time when we are in effect choosing a European destiny his imprinting of the Stars and Stripes on the Tricolour is even sillier than Harney’s. Just as we take a decisive turn to Europe the Taoiseach tells us that we are nothing if not American.

© 2018 irishtimes.com

 

Forelock Tugging by Leo “The Lick” To Continue in Germany To-Day

Brexit break-up with UK means Varadkar needs to woo Merkel

Derek Scally Irish Times Tuesday, March 20, 2018,

Last Friday, as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tilted at imaginary windmills in Washington, Berlin rocked its way into St Patrick’s Day. In the legendary Berghain club, the peeling gold paint on the ceiling quivered as Ireland’s Candice Gordon delivered a knockout set.

Like Joan Jett fronting Thin Lizzy, she bellowed:”You know my time has come . . . Destiny hold me closer/It’s inevitable/It’s only you.”

Timely thoughts for Varadkar on his inaugural Berlin visit today to begin his wooing of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

As Ireland’s decades-old political and policy dependency on London comes to a sudden end in Brussels, Ireland is nursing a mighty Brexit hangover.

We need new partners in Europe and Germany, Dublin has decided, is to be one of them. The key question now is: why should Germany – or Merkel – care?

It’s a good sign that Merkel, scarcely a week into her fourth term, will welcome Varadkar with full military honours for a working lunch.

Derek Scally Irish Times  Tuesday, March 20, 2018,

Last Friday, as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tilted at imaginary windmills in Washington, Berlin rocked its way into St Patrick’s Day. In the legendary Berghain club, the peeling gold paint on the ceiling quivered as Ireland’s Candice Gordon delivered a knockout set.

Like Joan Jett fronting Thin Lizzy, she bellowed:”You know my time has come . . . Destiny hold me closer/It’s inevitable/It’s only you.”

Timely thoughts for Varadkar on his inaugural Berlin visit today to begin his wooing of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

As Ireland’s decades-old political and policy dependency on London comes to a sudden end in Brussels, Ireland is nursing a mighty Brexit hangover.

We need new partners in Europe and Germany, Dublin has decided, is to be one of them. The key question now is: why should Germany – or Merkel – care?

It’s a good sign that Merkel, scarcely a week into her fourth term, will welcome Varadkar with full military honours for a working lunch.

Brexit is far less present in German minds or media than in Britain or Ireland

Varadkar is anxious to make his own the close ties to Merkel he inherited from Enda Kenny, both as Taoiseach and as head of Fine Gael head, a sister party to her ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Post-Brexit refrain

As transatlantic trade ties tense up, he can give her his readout on last week’s meetings with US president Donald Trump. At a joint press conference, meanwhile, he will reiterate Dublin’s post-Brexit refrain that Ireland is not leaving the European Union and will remain an active partner.

Amid ongoing London procrastination on the Brexit border question, where a solution remains uncertain despite Monday’s announcements in Brussels, he hopes Merkel will reiterate – in public and in private – her insistence that Dublin’s concerns are Berlin’s concerns.

Brexit is far less present in German minds or media than in Britain or Ireland. But whenever it comes up the real risks to prosperity and peace are teased out fairly in radio reports, newspaper features and, as recently as last week, a packed panel discussion on an icy Berlin evening. Dublin is pushing here at an open door.

Beyond Brexit shadow-boxing with Britain, meanwhile, lies the growing EU future reform debate as pushed by French president Emmanuel Macron.

On this Varadkar is likely to echo a recent warning by eight northern European finance ministers, including Paschal Donohoe, that talk of a euro finance minister is wishful thinking until everyone – read France – meets existing – read budget deficit – rules. Such talk goes down well with Merkel’s conservative backbenchers, wary of reforms that would cost their voters more money.

Speaking of money, Berlin has in Dublin a rare ally: another capital that has expressed readiness to step up and pay more into the EU budget to fill the hole left by London.

But the Irish recovery – a welcome good news story in Germany – changes the game. Tax avoidance is a poisonous political issue in Berlin

Varadkar knows he needs to build up goodwill in Berlin given another looming challenge. Merkel’s new coalition agreement – carrying the fingerprints of her Social Democratic Party (SPD) partners – vows to take on “tax dumping” and namechecks as prime offenders Facebook, Google and Apple – all with European headquarters in Ireland.

Ireland insists it will not bow to external pressure but its tax regime is a growing blot on its copybook here and is even now a joke in a new Berlin musical that premiered last week.

A Berlin government spokesman insists there is no “link in substance” between tax and Brexit, but well-placed watchers here say the political link cannot be wished away. A decade ago, Merkel rebuffed Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to exploit crisis Ireland’s dependency on the EU to force changes to its corporate tax regime.

Berlin accepted Irish arguments that it would undermine the already enfeebled economy. But the Irish recovery – a welcome good news story in Germany – changes the game. Tax avoidance is a poisonous political issue in Berlin. With France, Germany is working on bilateral corporate tax convergence plans which, a finance ministry officials says, “should cross-fertilise the wider EU corporate tax debate”.

The tax issue is now in play – see Wednesday’s European Commission plans for a “digital tax” on EU turnover. Moving with, and shaping, that debate, rather than tilting at fiscal windmills of yesteryear would indicate in Berlin that Ireland means business.

Three things needed

To do the business here, though, you need three things: ideas, money and the German language.

Minister for Education Richard Bruton returned from his St Patrick’s Day visit here with good ideas that must now become priorities in Dublin. In particular, Ireland should leverage its unique selling proposition – as the only native English-speaking nation left in the EU – to boost school and research exchanges.

Extended school exchanges for Irish students here would complement their Stem skills with the German language and open an underexploited world of German universities, engineering giants and multibillion-euro German state research funds. To prove Ireland is serious how about, in return, a “shamrock fund” to finance German researchers who partner with – or research in – Ireland?

Culture is a way of framing new Irish engagement with Germany. But that will mean Dublin extending to Berlin the Irish taxpayers’ multimillion-euro generosity already enjoyed by the Irish Centre in New York and the Irish College in Paris.

A final, crucial sign that times have changed would be to retire the tired tradition of Irish taoisigh visiting Germany like it was a burning house in Berlin: grabbing what they can in a quick in-and-out.

A Taoiseach determined to wed his country to Germany, without spending any time here, looks like a father pushing a doomed, arranged marriage.

© 2018 irishtimes.com

 

Michael Clifford, Irish Examiner: Varadkar gaffe was to find common cause with Trump   

“The reality is Mr Varadkar made one major boo-boo which was finding common cause with Mr Trump.”—“ Criticism of any of these (journalistic) matters is perfectly legitimate if done in a proper context and with the purpose of generating debate on standards and solutions–When it is framed in finding common cause with Mr Trump it takes on a dark hue. The US president does not believe in a free press. He believes in Fox News which acts as his unofficial cheerleader.”.—“ Perhaps the man(Leo) is just still smarting from the demise of his Strategic Communications Unit which was largely created to control the Government’s narrative and, by extension, arguably undermine the function of the media.        Irish Examiner Thursday, July 05, 2018 – 12:00 AM

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Following 12 Mobile Phones-

Nine laptops used by ex-Garda chiefs missing, tribunal is told

Irish Independent, Gerard Cunningham May 10 2018

Nine out of 11 laptops issued to former Garda commissioners Nóirín O’Sullivan and Martin Callinan used over a certain period of time have not been returned, the Disclosures Tribunal has heard.

The tribunal is looking at claims by former Garda press officer Superintendent David Taylor he was directed by Mr Callinan to brief the media negatively on whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe. Mr Callinan denies this.

Supt Pat Ryan, the head of the garda IT section, told the tribunal he had been asked in 2017 to identify all computer hardware used by Ms O’Sullivan from July 1, 2012, to May 31, 2014.

Supt Ryan said five laptop computers had been assigned to Ms O’Sullivan between 2006 and 2010, and these could no longer be recovered. A hard drive from an office desktop computer had been located.

No laptop was assigned to Ms O’Sullivan during her time as commissioner. Two iPads used by her had been located, although one had a fault.

Four out of six laptops used by Mr Callinan could not be located, and one machine had been rebuilt and redeployed.

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Leo Promised “Ethical” Leadership as Taoiseach-Women Have Died Because of Unethical Behaviour of Authorities which Should be Accountable to the Irish State

“I’ll demand of myself and my own Government what, in the past, I insisted of others.”-Varadar

Irish Examiner  05/05/2018

“Mr Varadkar said as much when he made his maiden speech in the Dáil upon being nominated as Taoiseach last June.

He said he wanted a Government that was strong on ethics, adding: “I’ll demand of myself and my ownGovernment what, in the past, I insisted of others.”

“Is it not time for change? For accountability, for leadership, and responsibility?

But you cannot have good ethics without accountability.”

12 Top Garda Mobile Phones Missing!

The Disclosures Tribunal has heard that only three out of 15 mobile phone handsets used by former commissioners Martin Callinan, Nóirín O’Sullivan and former head of the garda press office, Superintendent David Taylor, have been recovered and handed over to the inquiry.

A total of 12 phones, used in the period of interest, have gone missing and cannot be located.

Superintendent Michael Flynn of the Garda telecommunications unit gave evidence this morning that because of the missing handsets, the content of some text messages cannot be recovered.

However, details of phone calls and outlines of texts sent to particular numbers are available.

He said the “billing event” of a text was available but not the content of the text itself.

The inquiry is examining the telecommunications usage of the three individuals during the period when Supt Taylor was head of the press office from July 2012 to May 2014.

One of Ms O’Sullivan’s six phones was found, two of Mr Callinan’s six phones and none of Supt Taylor’s three handsets.

 

 

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