Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Get your election on – Leviathan US Election special on November 4th

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Leviathan are running an election night special on Tuesday November 4th and it looks like it’s going to be BIG.

MN: Union Members Attend Franken Rally in St. Paul
Photo owned by aflcio2008 (cc)

Leviathan Political Cabaret marks its relaunch with a very special and unique event which will capture all the excitement, elation and despair over the course of one night as it becomes clear who will lead the United States and, arguably, the Western World, for the next four years.

The event will be hosted by author, economist and broadcaster David McWilliams with a rolling panel of experts, academics, American ex-pats, politicians and commentators. American exile Richard Delevan will man the blog desk, monitoring online activity and analysing leaked exit polls, rumours and breaking news.

There will be expert analysis of the media coverage of the campaign and polling day with live big-screen links to Fox, NBC, CNN and others. Paddy Cullivan will report live from New York City with subversive commentary and music and some very special guests. Free Wi-Fi will be available for live blogging.

Tickets €25 available from

Neither Fine Gael nor Labour were willing to comment

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

on the case — due to the fact that many of their TDs and senators also employ family members in their offices.

John McGuinness’s son is on 43k per year after being appointed his personal secretary. He is also a councillor with Kilkenny Town Council so he gets a salary on top of the 43k too.

Also of note:

Earlier this year, it emerged that one in five TDs and senators is employing a relative at taxpayers’ expense. Some 31 TDs and 11 senators currently employ family relatives, including wives, husbands, sons and daughters, out of a total of 226 politicians in the Dail and Seanad.www

The posts are not publicly advertised and carry salaries of up to €45,000.

As I stated last week, they’re all the same when it comes to things like the above or when it comes to the yearly reporting of expenses they bled from taxpayers. None of the parties will complain or speak out.

Fianna Fuck You

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

As translated from the gob of Brian Lenihan. Anyone who disagrees with him is unpatriotic too.

Hello European Commission folks!

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Seems my mug and that of Cian and Damian (and my wonderful Macbook Air) are on the front of the European Commission website at the moment. (Massive screencap here)

There’s a news item about the conference on Saturday. EC seem happy with how it went. Small screencap:
European Commission Blogging

I can smell the whiff of crayons being taken out of boxes right now as letters of complaint get written. Perhaps.

EU Conference on Social Activism Online in Ireland – Take aways

Monday, October 6th, 2008

EU Conference Dublin
Organise, Activate and Influence: Social Activism Online in Ireland

EU conference

Hopefully the next few months will show that people have organised, activated and influenced as a result of the really good conference that was held on Saturday in the EU offices in Dublin. A huge congratulations must be given to Philippe, Ruth and Cian for doing so much work and putting a really good and diverse day together.

Zack was brilliant and insightful as usual and it was nice to meet him after chatting on GMail Chat for years and I was very impressed with Damian O’Broin‘s presentation. You can see it here. He’s one of the best Irish presenters I’ve seen. He should get into training people on how to do it right. (Seriously Damian, most Irish business people cannot do it right. Teach them.)

I met loads of bloggers and non-bloggers too and had a great chat, gossip and bitch with Keith Martin about politics. He’s fairly normal for a guy that’s into politics. That’s rare! The networking was really good and it was great to see a lot more non-political people at it and there was a good gender balance at it. In the audience at least…

There were many views about Irish blogging from people that didn’t blog, some constructive, some moronic. Oh yes, nothing is WRONG with Irish Blogging just because an area isn’t covered by bloggers. We’re not the public service. A gap in the market doesn’t mean all other markets are wrong.

What I would love though is maybe for a group, perhaps the EU, to run an event where members of the media talk and train people to do research the way journalists do, how to verify sources and turn gossip into hard facts or find out what they have will never hold. Bloggers could become an R&D army for journalists if those journalists guide them on how to do it. The vast vast majority of bloggers want nothing more than attribution, they don’t want to be in the papers writing their own columns, they prefer the freedom of a blog. Why not up the quality of all media by getting the amateurs to up their game?

I’d love to see more Europeans come along to the next event and show how they’re using blogs and social media for political and campaigning uses. Be great to see Simon Dickson asked to talk about his work with the UK Gov and Downing Street. Blogs, vids and Twitter for example.

A fantastic event, I don’t want to wait another two years for another though. For those that went or were interested in this, what would you like to see if there is a future event?

Photo above is by Red Mum and some brilliant ones from the day are here.

Where’s me laptop?

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Ruairí Quinn aka Quinn Kong* to those in the Labour inner circle has been asking all the Govt Departments what IT equipment they lost so far in 2008. Interesting reading.

Here’s the list:

Dept of Taoiseach:

No computer, desktops, laptops or other data devices, such as blackberries and memory keys, have been reported missing or stolen from my Department to date in 2008.

Dept of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

My Department’s records indicate that to date in 2008 one laptop has been reported stolen, one laptop reported missing and one BlackBerry device reported stolen. None has been recovered or found. There have been no other computers or data devices reported lost, missing or stolen during this period.

It is my Department’s policy to invoke the facility to remotely erase all data from a BlackBerry device as soon as it is reported missing, and immediately cancel the subscription with the service provider. In the case of the stolen BlackBerry it was not possible to do this locally and the device was disabled by the service provider at my Department’s request.

So if a Blackberry is stolen you wipe the data from it LOCALLY, as in if it is nicked but the robber is there with you, you wipe the data? No remote wiping then?

Dept of Finance

To date in 2008, one memory stick has been reported stolen and has not been recovered. I understand that no sensitive or private data was compromised with the loss of this device.

Dept of Health and Children

To date in 2008 there has been one item of ICT equipment reported lost, missing or stolen. This relates to a Blackberry which was stolen from a member of staff. It has not been recovered. I understand the device was password protected and that no sensitive or private data were compromised with the loss of this equipment.

Dept of Transport

There have been eight instances of laptop computers, data storage devices and memory sticks that have been reported lost, missing or stolen from my Department to date in 2008. These instances included five laptops and three Blackberries. Of these, four laptops and one Blackberry were subsequently recovered.

Dept of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Dept of Foreign Affairs

In the period in question two Department owned laptops have been stolen and one Department issued USB memory stick was lost. None of these items have been recovered to date.

These devices did not contain any sensitive data and both laptops were encrypted.

Dept of Arts, Sport and Tourism

Dept of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs

I am informed that no such devices were reported lost, missing or stolen to date in 2008.

Dept of Social and Family Affairs

The following data devices, owned by the Department, were reported stolen or lost to date in 2008:-

Two Laptops – (1 house break-in, 1 office break-in)

Two Desktops – Buncrana SWLO

None of these devices have been recovered.

As all client data is held on central databases, no client data is held on the stolen computer desktops.

Laptops can be used to access centrally stored client information through a secure remote log-in. No client data is retained on the laptops after the remote session ceases. Similarly, the Department’s e-mail system retains its data in a central location although it can be accessed through a secure remote log-in.

Dept of Defence

Dept of Environment, Heritage and Local Government:

To date in 2008, three laptops and one external hard drive have been reported stolen and have not been recovered.

No sensitive or personal data was stored on any of these devices.

Dept of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

There have been no reported losses of desktop PCs or memory keys in my Department to date in 2008. There have been two Blackberry devices lost, neither of which was recovered or found.

There have been no reports that any sensitive data has been compromised by these losses. The level of personal information relating to members of the public processed within my Department is very small.

Dept of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

5 Laptops reported stolen

Dept of Education and Science

In 2008 to date no desktop computers, laptops or blackberry devices were reported lost, stolen or missing. One USB memory key was reported lost but was subsequently found. No sensitive or private data was compromised.

*May in fact be a total lie.

McCain suspends Letterman appearance, Letterman pays him back

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Makes lots of sense too…

Conor is on the Late Late this Friday

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

This Conor. The last time I tuned into the Late Late and Pat the Plank was to watch another set of brothers – Patrick and John Collison. Monsieur Prendergrast will be on along with his brother Daragh to talk about Civil Partnership and how it affects his parents, Ann and Bernadette.

It’s great to see real stories from real people around this area and not people wanting to boost a political career or play political games. I couldn’t personally give a damn about marriage or marriage equality, I’d want equal tax rights and family rights if I was in a longterm relationship with someone of the same sex. It seems that most of the campaigns around the issue of gay rights forget about the kids and rights of and access to the kids. Without going too off the topic, the rights kids have now even if their parents are legally married are crap and the father and mother have different rights too.

Campaigning for gay couples to have a clone of marriage is backwards and it makes me think all these campaigns have never talked to the many people like Conor and his mums or real non-textbook heterosexual couples and their kids and the issues they face.

Disclosure: I’m one of those gays, apparently I’ve been too ambiguous about that. I’ll now go back to protecting the Kylie Wikipedia entry.

Blogging and Social Media Conference, Dublin, Oct 4th

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Organise, Activate and Influence: Social Activism Online in Ireland

EU conference


In October 2008, the European Commission Representation and the European Parliament Office in Ireland are acting as facilitators for a conference in Ireland. A number of independent bloggers have provided guidance on what they would like to discuss and who they would like to hear speak.

The theme of this event is: Organise, Activate and Influence: Social Activism Online in Ireland. On the day we will discuss ways in which civil society can harness the power of the blog and increase debate on a topic as well as enhance activism. What role does it really have in Ireland and where does the future lie.

Check out the schedule. Zack Exley will be there. European Commission Vice President Margot Wallström will do a video introduction. Simon McGarr will do a talk on Defamation and the Internet. Damian O Broin will talk about opinion mobilisation. I’m on a panel with Harry McGee in the afternoon.

Even were I not speaking, I’d be attending. Why not register to go? Limited places.

The FG school of branding

Saturday, September 6th, 2008