Digest – September 19 2010

Here ye, hear ye… yadda yadda yadda…


Sara Burke on HSE spending on agency nurses and recruitment moratoriums

The C&AG cites the HSE’s own internal audit which shows that agency staff exceed the cost of employing nursing staff by 36.5% and he clearly implies that this is not the most efficient use of tight resources. Yet internal HSE figures for 2010 show that up to July of this year just under €30 million has been spent on agency nursing and €37 million on other agency staff, doctors, allied health profs etc..

This practice continues because if health managers want to keep services open they have no other choice to keep services safe, but it clearly highlights the blunt instrument that the moratorium is and the constraints its putting on the health service. It impacts on the quality of nursing care but also we are also seeing its impact on closed wards and reduced services.

Read this by Shane Ross: Humiliated, not humbled.

Anglo’s bosses immediately stood on their heads and pledged to promote the dreaded “wind-down” — the solution that they had been bad mouthing less than 24 hours earlier.

On Tuesday their mission was to keep Anglo alive; on Wednesday, to kill it.

Dukes lamely pleaded that the final solution was a “variation” on Anglo’s plan. Which it was not.

Will we now see the resignation of non-executive directors Dukes, Kennedy, Keane and Eames? Their pipe dream is in tatters. Rejected by the markets, the Commission, the Government — and undoubtedly by the people.

Not a chance.

The non-executives are humiliated but not humbled. Nothing has changed. Bankers sit tight, stand on their heads and take the money.

New location, old culture.

Miriam Cotton on women in politics, gender and merit.

John McHale on the mechanics of bond buy-backs.

Gerard O’Neill on illiberal democracy via Spiked! magazine.


TPM on a wacky American school textbook policy.

GQ magazine on a slightly eccentric Bin Laden hunter, Gary Faulkner. 7,000 words, print it and read it at lunch. The article is good enough to eat.

GQ: “You have been described as everything from a hero to a crackpot. What are you?”

Faulkner: “I’m a little of everything. I’ve done crack, I’ve done crank, I’ve done coke, I’ve done pot, I’ve done everything in the world out there.… You know, I’ve been to prison, I’ve been shipwrecked, blown up, shot, stabbed. My story does not just start here; it started when I was 5 years old, the first time I tried to hot-wire a car…”

P O’Neill picks up on a cracking Ireland-related quote from the House of Commons transcript.

Important FOI decision in UK on cabinet documents.

Marc Ambinder, politics editor at The Altantic; ‘Newt Gingrich is so off, he’s not even wrong‘.

Quality thinking alert; Glenn Greenwald on the misguided reaction [by both right and left] to Tea Party candidates.


A little video myself and two others shot of the Liffey Swim last Saturday. Probably could have done with upping the volume of the voices a little more in the edit, better listening with headphones. Colour balance maybe too. I’m a newbie, advice appreciated (I did the interviews mainly). Shot on three DSLR cameras, with two GoPro Heros mounted on kayaks (Go Pro Heros are amazing pieces).