The Irish Law distinction between a “gay” and a “homosexual”

Ever wondered what the difference between a “gay” and a “homosexual” is? Thankfully, in Ireland, we have Supreme Court authority on this important distinction.

In his dissenting judgement in Norris v. A.G. [1983] IESC 3; [1984] IR 36,  Henchy J. discussed the campaigns of David (now Senator) Norris and the personality trait that distinguishes the plaintiff from a “mere homosexual”:

His subsequent public espousal of the cause of male homosexuals in this State may be thought to be tinged with a degree of that affected braggadocio which is said by some to distinguish a “gay” from a mere homosexual.

For those readers born after 1878, OED defines braggadocio as:

1. An empty, idle boaster; a swaggerer.

2. The talk of such a person, empty vaunting.

So there you have it!

Save the Department for Culture, Media and Sport: put a Lib Dem in charge!

A recent debate I had with a Liberal Democrat (yes, some people do still admit to it) who wanted to scrap the DCMS brought about a strange sense of deja-vu. I seemed to recall Lib Dems wanting to scrap government departments and posts in the past, yet now they’re in power nothing seems to have been done about it.

As I thought about it some more, it occurred to me that the cabinet jobs the Liberal Democrats wanted to scrap are now all being done by Liberal Democrats!

The abolition of Vince Cable’s Business department (or its predecessor, the DTI) was long standing Lib Dem policy. As early as 2002 then Lib Dem Business spokesman – one Vince Cable – asked:

“Why does it exist? What is its £5bn budget actually for? I very seriously question is it actually a useful level of expenditure.”

Years later Malcolm Bruce re-affirmed this policy, in the process advocating de-regulation of the British economy:

“Abolishing the DTI and transferring its useful functions to other departments will be the biggest single act of deregulation in history.”

Lib Dem Vince Cable now heads up the DTI’s largely-similar successor department.

In 2006 the Lib Dems criticised John Prescott for being a Deputy Prime Minister without a Government Department, saying that:

“he was enjoying a large salary and perks with no clearly defined departmental responsibilities.”

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is Deputy Prime Minister without a Government Department. 

The Liberal Democrats thirst for Mandarin blood didn’t stop at the disembodiment of the DTI and Deputy Prime Minister, they went into the 2010 election pledging to scrap the Scotland Office too, dubbing it a

 “tax-funded campaign manager for the Labour Party in Scotland.”

Lib Dem Michael Moore is now doing a sterling job as the tax-funded campaign manager for the Labour Party in Scotland.

So it seems, for those of us who would like to save the DCMS, the solution to saving it is simple – we need to campaign for a Lib Dem to be put in charge of it!


Hullo and welcome to my new blog. I’m sure most readers will remember me from my brief and spectacularly unsuccessful spell as a Parliamentary Candidate. However I’ve since left the political sphere behind in favour of the wonderful world of academia.

I’m just starting my PhD in the Faculty of Law at Trinity College, University of Dublin. The interim title of my thesis is “What are the inadequacies of Articles 5, 7 & 12 of the OECD Model Convention with Respect to Taxes on Income and Capital in an e-Commerce enabled world?” – I may have to find something snappier.

During the course of my study I hope to analyze our system of global taxation and what we broadly want it to achieve. I will then consider three key elements of international taxation: the taxation of business profits; the taxation of royalties; and the principle of ‘permanent establishment’. I hope to consider the concepts of constitutional and fiscal sovereignty and how they apply to the internet, how to equitably tax business profits and royalties derived from intellectual property with no fixed location, and how to use the global economic system in order to bring about reforms.

I hope to use this blog for three purposes:

  • to share my research into the fields of Taxation, Trade and Constitutional Law;
  • to allow me to condense my thoughts on individual aspects of a broader study;
  • to generate feedback and discussion.

This isn’t a partisan blog in any way. I’m still a socialist, and a member of the Labour Party, but I’m no longer a political animal. As for the Twitter thing I regret that deeply. I’m very sorry for any offence I caused to anyone, and I’m very sorry to all of the people whom I let down. I’m hoping to put that life behind me and move on – and this blog is part of that – so don’t expect me to as *ahem* forthright with my views as I once was.