Why Manchester United are losing games

I post a lot on twitter about Manchester United. I’m a fan since the mid 80s. I think the moment that sealed the deal for my 8 year old self was watching Norman Whiteside’s FA Cup final goal against Everton.

The drama of the moment was everything that I’d come to love about Utd, even though for much of the early years my fandom, they were far from a great side. They had some great players but were by no means the finished article and so it was difficult to tell which team would turn up.  Would they win comfortably or lose embarrassingly. There were enough moments of both to keep you guessing. Then there was the Irish connection with players such as Kevin Moran, Norman Whiteside and the masterful Paul McGrath.

The Ferguson years started inauspiciously. Ferguson had gotten the job on the back of a collapse by Ron Atkinson’s 86 side that had looked like title contenders at the start of the season until they struggled to win a game. Perhaps the dismissal of Atkinson was hasty but much was expected of the young scot who had taken lowly Aberdeen to the European Cup Winners Cup title a few years prior.

economics finance politics

The Joy of Self-Employment in Ireland

An ironic title as such joy is largely confined to the freedom to pick your work hours that exists in a quite limited sense if you’re providing services to people and you have to fit around their schedules.
Let’s look at the positive side:

  1. You’re the boss. Customers or clients may harass or harangue you but at least the boss won’t bully you.
  2. You have some flexibility regarding place and time of work that you may otherwise not be afforded as a PAYE worker.
  3. Expenses. You get to factor in some expenses associated with a home office into your tax bill. More on this later.
  4. Job security in the sense that you are ultimately responsible for whether you have it rather than a VP or SVP with no personal stake in your life deciding you need to be downsized because your division doesn’t look good on his spreadsheet or you’re at a grade where his costings suggest he could bring in someone younger to bugger up your job.
  5. The sense of achievement that comes with making it on your own.

Marriage Referendum – own your prejudices

I’m writing this post in response to “GAA Star” Ger Brennan’s op-ed piece in the Irish Independent explaining why he intends to vote No in the upcoming marriage referendum in Ireland. This piece has attracted a lot of commentary on social media, most of it negative. This was picked up the

Mr. Brennan added the following comment

Coupled with the antagonizing view from the ‘Yes’ campaign that if you are even slightly ‘No’ or even thinking about it, that you are a homophobic and that you are anti-gay, which for me is not the case.

So with due respect to his athletic abilities, I’d like to point out why I think Mr. Brennan is in denial about his prejudices. Nobody is suggesting that Mr. Brennan isn’t entitled to his opinion but, by writing an article about his opinion in a national newspaper, he is setting himself up as a spokesperson for the No side. He’s also advocating for the no side and, therefore, trying to convince others to vote No rather than simply defending his position. So he should absolutely expect that he’ll face criticism for his comments.  I sincerely hope nobody attempts to harass or intimidate Mr. Brennan but he must expect criticism, much of it harsh.