Sargent in trouble now

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So now Trevor Sargent is accused of acting improperly in a criminal case. The Minister of State is the latest in a long line of accusations to have hit the Government. The latest of course being the resignation of Willie O’Dea.

While many would have assumed the Green Party were above all this type of stuff but it turns out, being in Government with Fianna Fail may have taught them some bad habits.

If Sargent was still the Leader of the Green Party there would be calls for his resignation, but as he isn’t I don’t think there will be that much pressure. Of course FF may ask for his resignation to get back at the Greens for forcing O’Dea out, but then that would be hypocritical in the extreme!!

Fine Gael’s Charlie Flanagan has called for his resignation, and the Green Party Chairman, Dan Boyle,  is defending him saying

“I know he’s a decent and honourable man and he’ll act accordingly.”
So there will be no tweet looking for his resignation!
Trever Sargent will make an statement on the matter this evening in the Dáil.
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Argh Strikes!!!

So we were informed today in Class that our teachers are going on Strike next Tuesday. It turns out that teachers in Further Education Colleges, like Cork College of Commerce, are represented by the Teachers Union of Ireland, so they are going on strike for the day as they have handed notice into the VEC. They will be joining the other unions taking part in the National Strike on Tuesday 24th. Also clerical staff who’s union is one of the public service unions will be on strike. So it means no college for me on Tuesday.

Now this wouldn’t bother me much except next month I have two exemption exams in December which I must pass to get into 2nd Year of my course. One of these is in Criminal Law and on Tuesdays I have two classes of this subject and now I am missing out on it!! Its very annoying.

The announcement today brought me back to 2000/2001 and the ASTI teachers strike when I was doing my Junior Cert, now that didn’t bother me much back then, but now I am loosing out on a day when I could be doing projects on software I dont have at home, but have to use in college. Its fair annoying!

Unions seem to be out to get me!

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Blasphemous Libel

Okay so the whole Blasphemous Libel thing has taken off and is a cluster on Irish Blogs and a lot of people are up in arms about it. Some posts are offensive to some people. As pointed out to me on twitter. As blasphemy is a crime according to the constitution, it has never been so in criminal law. But what is Blasphemy?

According to the Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia (On Reference.com)

blasphemy, in religion, words or actions that display irreverence toward or contempt for God or that which is held sacred. Blasphemy is regarded as an offense against the community to varying degrees, depending on the extent of the identification of a religion with the society at large or the government.

It goes on

Blasphemy has been a crime in many religions and cultures, wherever there is something sacred to protect. Socrates was prosecuted for blasphemy, and Mosaic law prescribed death for cursing the name of God.

It also states

Secular modern states often retain blasphemy laws, but they are infrequently enforced.

In South Austrailia in 1977  the Criminal Law and Penal Methods Reform Committee stated that “today it would seem anachronistic to charge anyone with blasphemous libel.” (Law Reform Commission New South Wales, Discussion Paper 24(1992) – Blasphemy). So why are we making it an offence now?

England and Wales abolished the offence of Blasphemy in July last year, and here we are, a secular republic introducing this archane law. Would hate speech not cover this want they want to do here?

My big issue here is that as a non-christian who does not believe in one all powerfull god. Also under Islam, blasphemy is

speaking ill of Muhammad or of any other prophet mentioned in the Qur’an, or to claim that there is more than one god or that Jesus Christ (the son of Mary) is the son of God, or to speak ill of God.

So that means under this legislation a Priest could be taken to court under this law for Blasphemous Libel as it stands.

Its strange considering out own Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution recommended that blasphemy should be dropped from the Constitution here is our Government trying to bring it in.

I am amazed and concerned.

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