WITH dismembered murder victims, summary executions and perjury allegations becoming embroiled across international politics at the moment perhaps we should be grateful things are a bit dull at home.
Someone in Government will have to carry the can for the low turnout in the fiscal treaty poll, but at least he or she will not be dealt with North Korean-style.
The bizarre, nuclear-armed, Stalinist hereditary dictatorship does a spectacular line in shifting the blame as a report from Amnesty has underlined by showing that some 30 senior regime officials who just so happened to have been involved in stalled talks with South Korea have died in mysterious traffic accidents in the past year as Pyongyang carried out the transfer of power from Kim Jong-il, who died of a (alleged) heart attack in December, to his 29-year-old son, Kim Jong-un.
Now, given that so few people have cars in the impoverished state, the scale of the carnage on its roads must mean that driving badly is the one aspect of self expression allowed there — or that execution by automobile is the order of the day.
At least it makes a change from the firing squad, which is reportedly how then finance minister Pak Nam-gi was dispatched in 2010 following his disastrous handling of a currency crisis.
Luckily, the most Micheal Noonan has to fear from messing up the Greek fiasco is being force-fed feta cheese until he does the honourable thing and stands down.
Canada used to be the most boring country its the hemisphere, but its political scene has now been disturbed in the most gruesome of fashions.
Police in Montreal are hunting a former porn star in connection with the sending of various human body parts to the Conservative and Liberal parties.
Cops said they believe the suspect, Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, recorded the killing and dismemberment of an acquaintance after they found the victim’s rotting torso stuffed in a suitcase behind the suspect’s apartment.
For reasons so far unknown, the victim’s left foot was posted to the headquarters of the ruling Conservatives and a hand was intercepted en route to the main opposition Liberal Party.
Montreal Police commander Ian Lafreniere said: “We’re talking about a very disturbed person. It’s very graphic. We’re still missing parts of the body.”
However, as is unsettlingly usual in such cases, the most chilling quotes come from those who know the suspect, such as Eric Schorer, the manager of the building where Magnotta lived, who said: “He seemed like a nice guy.”
But politicians can sniff out an opportunity to score points in any situation no matter how grim, as proved by one member of the left-leaning New Democrat Party who said: “It’s very upsetting,” before making a not so subtle connection with Tory rule by adding: “It could be just one crazy person that did it, but at the same time we have lots of people unhappy in our country — the way the country is going.”
While Tories in Canada are on the receiving end of criminality, some of their counterparts in Britain are being charged with actual offences themselves.
It might be considered unfortunate for British prime minister David Cameron to have one of his close mates facing possible jail, but to have three of them accused of serious offence reeks of something else.
Cameron confidante Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charlie, an old school chum of the PM, are charged with perverting the course of justice, while the PM’s former press secretary, Andy Coulson, will be prosecuted over perjury allegations.
With his pals facing prison, it is little wonder Dave is desperately clinging on to his beleaguered Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt who was in the dock, sorry, on the witness stand, of the far-reaching probe into the media fallout from the phone-hacking scandal this week.
Cameron needs to hang onto Hunt as he is his personal firewall, preventing himself being fully engulfed by the Murdoch scandal.
While Hunt just about staggered through the grilling, he is now a figure of ridicule, forever to be known as the man who hid behind a tree rather than let journalists see him go into a meeting with BSkyB boss James Murdoch just after the Tories took power in 2010.
Hunt’s description of the event is likely to feature on his (soon to be erected) political gravestone: “I moved into a different quadrangle. There may or may not have been trees.”
Meanwhile, over in the US, the birther conspiracy surrounding where exactly Barack Obama was born has been ripped open again, with suggestions the president lied — but in a completely opposite way from the previous allegations.
The crazies in the right-wing Tea Party have long alleged Barack was born outside the US and is thus ineligible to be president under the US constitution. The claim dogged him for years until he finally produced his Hawaiian birth certificate last summer.
The controversy is back in the headlines after an investigative website uncovered the fact that in 1991 Obama’s then literary agent (whom he shared with no less a cultural phenomenon than New Kids On The Block) published a brief biog of the future president which stated: “Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii...”
The agent insists the mistake was her fault alone, but as Obama can do no right in the eyes of the right, he is now accused of starting the whole birther conspiracy himself by pretending he was born in Africa to make himself seem more “exotic” and better able to speak on trans-racial issues while at Harvard.
Yes, Enda may be a bit boring and too timid to appear on TV debates, but on the plus side, at least he does not hide behind trees or have people executed.