all right

Occasionally adding corroborative details to add verisimilitude to otherwise bald and unconvincing,
but veridicous accounts
with careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination.

18 March, 2015

St. Patrick’s Embarrassment

Ireland, March, 2015,
a pub with the usual Irish decorations…
Declan:  Ah, Paddy, you seem glum; what’s upset you, lad?
Patrick:  Oh, Declan, I can’t enjoy my usual six or seven pints of Guinness tonight because I’ve heard in passing that the Australian PM might have implied, or at least said something that could be so interpreted, that many Irishmen are hard drinkers or, at least, that they enjoy a drink now and then.  Or that they might.  Or something.  It’s a vile and bigoted defamation,  I don’t mind telling you.
Declan:  That is a perturbation, Paddy. So would you care to have another ball o’ malt? 
Patrick:  Well, just one more, then, to console myself, but I’m sure that I shan’t enjoy another whiskey with an e tonight (though I shall doubtless drink a few), and I’ll be having no more than four pints of Guinness, I’m that flustered and solely grieved. 
Declan:  Curse that evil Tony Abbott!

How did this sad situation come to be?  We must look at the historical record:-

Australia, March, 2009,
a pub decorated, it seems, with an assumption that the Republic of Ireland encompasses the entire island, and ignoring Ulster…
Dave:  Did you hear what Kevin Rudd said, Gazza? 
Garry:  No, Davo, what did he say? 
Dave:  He began by saying, and I quote, “it is customary on St. Patrick’s Day for politicians to lay claim to their Irish ancestry, however tenuously.  To wax lyrical on the bonds of history that tie Australia—and in fact one in ten Australians who come from Erin’s shore—with Ireland itself and to so kiss the blarney stone on a night such as tonight that in fact we see fact itself form a seamless bond with folklore and fiction—so that by night’s end, courtesy of a Guinness or two, you’ll all be believed that in fact you are led by a lady called Anna O’Bligh and that her opponent is Liam Patrick O’Springborg.
“Such is the power of Guinness.”
Garry:  Ah, what an orator!  He has a touch of the real Irish in him! 

March, 2012,
a pub with the usual “Irish” decorations…
Dave:  Hey, Gaz, you hear what Julia Gillard said? 
Garry:  No, Davo, what did she day? 
Dave:  She said, and I quote,
“Could you have a larrikin without Irish emigration?  The answer is no.
“And if we’re more English than we like to admit—well, we’re not nearly as Irish as we would like to be.
“This year I took the opportunity to make the Federal Cabinet just that little bit more Irish.
“I already had that fine Sydney Irishman Tony Burke, a grand representative for all the Irishmen who’ve been in the great south land for a century or more.
“But this time, I thought two was better than one, and if I could get one who came out here on a boat “himself, all the better. […]
“Patrick O’Farrell reminds us of the United Irishman Joseph Holt—a true political prisoner—sent here after 1798 and who found himself farming near Sydney, and he said in 1803:   ‘My usual time to commence to sow crops was the first Monday after St. Patrick’s Day, it requiring a few days to get the men sober’.”
Garry:  Ha!  What a wit!  She has a touch of the real Irish about her! 

March, 2015,
a pub with the usual “Irish” decorations…
Dave:  Gaz, you won’t believe what our retarded PM said! 
Garry:  Oh, Davo, what was Tony Abbott’s latest gaffe? 
Dave:  The creep ended his foul St. Patrick’s Day speech with a feculent slur; he apologised because, and I quote, “I can’t be there to share a Guinness or two or maybe even three”.  He thereby unjustly and slanderously suggested that all the Irish are drunks and rascals. 
Garry:  Wow, what an embarrassment to our country that illiterate bastard is!

UPDATE (19 March):  see Andrew Bolt’s “If That’s a Gaffe, I’m from Ireland”:
How deranged have the Tony Abbott haters become?
Sydney’s Lansdowne Club of Irish Australian businessmen had invited people to come “enjoy a Guinness or three” at its annual St Patrick’s Day lunch.
Abbott couldn’t make it, but sent a video in which he said this was “a great day for ... everyone who cares to come to a party”.  He was sorry “I can’t be there to share a Guinness or two or maybe even three”.
See anything offensive there?
Yet a ninemsn report claimed immediately Abbott’s speech had “backfired” by focusing on “stereotypes around drinking”, with “Irish business leaders” calling it “patronising”.  In fact, the “business leaders” was one person, unnamed.
Why the exaggeration?
But that was all the media Left needed for yet another pile-on.
“Abbott’s cringe-tacular St Patrick’s Day video”, crowed one Sydney Morning Herald headline.
“The rise and rise of Tony Abbott as an international laughing stock,” gloated another […].
The ABC news grimly reported the offence Abbott had allegedly caused before finishing its TV news with its own St Patrick’s Day tribute—with shots of, yes, Irishmen drinking Guinness.
But here’s the full measure of these hypocrites. Abbott is hanged for merely saying he’d like “a Guinness or two or maybe even three”.  Yet not one journalist attacked the Labor prime ministers [Rudd and Gillard] who actually accused the Irish of being drunks.

08 March, 2015

A Great Walk This Easter

During this Easter members of Tasmanians for Proper Footpaths will be walking from Launceston to Hobart along the route of The Great Heritage Highway Walk of Easter, 2016. The double aim of these walks is to promote Tasmanian tourism (particularly along the Heritage Highway) and to publicise the advocacy of safe footpaths between Hobart and Launceston (and, ultimately, between all Tasmanian cities and towns).
This year’s walk will begin on the morning of Thursday morning, 2 April, at the Launceston Town Hall and will end on the afternoon (or evening) of Tuesday, 7 April, at the Hobart Town Hall.