Thursday 29 September 2016

The Yates anthology: FG to mirror Tory tactics

Published 09/05/2015 | 02:30

Sometimes it's good to treat yourself
Sometimes it's good to treat yourself

Keep your Las Vegas Mayweather/Pacquiao mania. You can't beat a British election count for an all-night bout. The best 'knock down, drag out' entertainment comes with non-stop declarations, building to early-morning career combustion. Among the heads that should roll are an entire coterie of failed pollsters, who didn't detect a Tory gain of 20 seats. The so-called "neck-and-neck" battle transpired to be a Labour disaster.

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The two decisive factors that won it for David Cameron were the economy and the Scottish nationalism surge. Enda Kenny's strategists will seek to mirror the same link. Expect lots more rhetoric here about budgets for "working people" and policies that create extra numbers "at work". Fianna Fáil should watch out for long memories.

The story of the campaign was the Scottish National Party's success. Pundits presumed this would automatically result in a hung Parliament, leaving them holding the balance of power in Westminster. English voters resented these cuckoos in the nest having it every way - independence for them, while dictating policy. Tactical voting to prevent this was the decisive factor.

The North's DUP, with eight seats, are an ideal ally for the Conservatives as predictable attrition from recalcitrant backbenchers diminishes Cameron's slim majority. Hence the prospects of a Brexit referendum emerge centre stage.

Merkel may yield ground to Britain on EU terms to defuse a No vote threat, but any plebiscite is inherently unpredictable - with serious downside risks to us if the Brits were to leave the EU.

Live, let live

Another week of aerial bombardment on our lifestyles. It's more than grumpy old men (like me) can endure. Daily, yet another "survey says..." we eat too much, the wrong things, and definitely drink too much.

The latest assault comes from World Health Organisation, predicting that by 2030 Ireland will be worst nation of fatties in Europe.

Child obesity has to be confronted head-on. But, let's face it, the Body Mass Index is too crude a measurement. Nobody mentions the final reality check - we are all going to die anyway, thin or otherwise. Life is for a living. I like salt on everything. Cheese and cream add flavour to bland food. Mashed potatoes must have butter.

Can anyone swim against this tide? Mature consenting adults, who aren't binge drinkers, need a little slack. Ivan says: If you want to avoid the tyranny of the health police avoid smoking and take regular exercise (walking & swimming).

Singin' the Blues

I must confess I'm an authentic 'Blue Shirt'. No, not FG. A fan of the blues - Manchester City, Leinster Rugby and latterly Dublin footballers, despite my yellow-belly heritage. End-of-season tables mean managerial accountability. Jim Gavin is safe enough facing into the championships with a hat-trick of national football league titles.

Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini, in failing to win any trophy and due to the extreme expectations from billionaire owners, faces the sack if a suitable successor becomes available.

But what about Matt O'Connor? Rugby, despite the era of professionalism, refuses to round on head coaches. Many fellow Leinster supporters talk freely of O'Connor's limitations. It is unacceptable that this blue team, brim full of talent, hasn't reached the knock-out stages of Pro 12 top four. Scrapping for European Champions Cup qualification is humiliating. Inept performances against Munster were painful.

Rugby journos/pundits pull their punches about O'Connor's dull 'kick-away possession' tactics, rugby league style flair-less back play and overall team regression over two seasons. When the same players are playing for Ireland they give far more. Will we have to wait until after the World Cup before something happens? Blues fans privately agree a change is essential, sooner rather than later.

Irish Independent

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