Any Other Business

It’s going to be an interesting week in Dáil Éireann.

Desperate not to cut back on their holiday time,the government has opted instead to cut debating time, and plans to guillotine several bills into law by Friday.

Among the highlights:

check The blasphemy clause in the Defamation bill, making it illegal to say naughty things if god botherers take offence. There’s been little mainstream media comment critical of this preposterous law, possibly because they don’t want to jinx the long awaited libel law reform. Coming soon: Sedition act to outlaw anti-Fianna Fáil songs.

check Repeal of those pesky British intrusions into the Irish way of life. Who needs a right to trial by a jury of one’s peers anyway? Dermot Ahern has a much better idea: allow hearsay Garda evidence to be admitted as evidence in a star chamber hearing.

check The Lisbon treaty revisited. Expect a couple of months of confusion, befuddlement and bizarre claims as each side lines up to explain loudly how the treaty and the constitutional wording mean… well, anything you want it to mean, really.

Still, I shouldn’t complain. With the Silly Season due any day now, the stress of the nation should ease considerably for a while.

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