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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

Monday Sanity Break, 29 May 2018 – Ireland endorses legal abortion.

Opinion polls said it would be a close run thing, but in the event it has been a clear win for ‘Yes’ to the proposition that Section 8 of the Irish Constitution that prohibits the ‘no questions asked’ abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. Women voted 70 % ‘yes’ and men slightly less. Young people overall higher 'yes' than the average but only people over 65 said ‘No’. (These figures come from exit polls but the actual count will be available shortly.)

‘Ireland throws of the shackles’ said one newspaper; ‘Ireland joins the modern world’ said another. The general result seems to be well supported and the government is resolved to fixing the constitution by year’s end.

A more interesting issue concerns Brexit’s implications for the ‘Two Ireland’ situation. The peace agreement after the Irish ‘troubles’ allows Northern Ireland to leave Britain and join a united Ireland if the people of northern Ireland vote to do so. Perhaps the joining of the modern world will spark interest in this further reform. If Britain joins Brexit – a policy some people are beginning to doubt – the border in Ireland will be a difficultly and may make people very irritated. Watch this space.

Australian newspapers seem to be detecting a sea change in Australian politics. Messrs Turnbull and Morrison seem far more confident. Bill Shortcake (as Henry calls him) is facing a big problem if, as some commentators believe, a majority of Labor pollies plan to bring the refugees from Manus and Naru to Australia, presumably to free them into our nation. In my view this would immediately reopen the people smuggling trade and then what happens? And the latest news says a poll shows a strong majority of Aussies want company tax cut as planned by the government, or in some cases sooner.

Henry’s Irish trip has reached Sligo, with help from the Garda to find our accommodation for tonight. The recent experience has been less confusing as we overcome jetlag and become more used to Irish ways. People seem generally pleasant and tourism is running strongly as the weather is warm and sunny.

As soon as possible Henry will write another installment in the ongoing saga.


Fiona Prior visits Sydney's Vivid 2018. More here.

Sporting life.

We returned to our room in time to see Real Madrid score its third goal egainst Liverpool in what seems like the World Cup of Futball. Liverpool’s (German) goal keeper was blamed for weak attempts to block two of the Real Madrid goals, and he seems destined for the chopping block.

To Henry’s untutored mind however, at 2-1 down Liverpool looked a far weaker team, perhaps partly because their best player, Mo Salah, was substituted off early in the game after a bad injury.

After Caaaarlton!’s pathetic performance last weekend against Melbourne, Henry was almost too pissed off to look at the latest results. But Caaarlton!’s narrow win over Hawthorn was a very pleasant and welcome occurrence. It may even by worth watching the replay. (correction, narrow loss to Geelong - I must have dreamt Hawthorn result.)

Image of the week.

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