Pub Talk: Ed's Balls, Slipping Niall, And A Directionless Cat

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It's easy to get bogged down in the daily grind and miss the stories that are going on around us – but fear not, you won't be left out of the loop in the pub tonight thanks to our handy guide to this week's hot topics.

The Cat On The Stairs

Is it going up the stairs, is it going down the stairs? Okay, so it’s a few days old at this point – and it hasn’t reached anything like the ubiquity of that bloody white and gold dress (yes, white and gold), but it’s an interesting one all the same.

Personally I can see it both ways, but I’ve heard enough people on Twitter sticking rigidly to their view to know that it has all the ingredients of a contentious pub brawl.

Good stuff.


Ed Miliband's Salacious Past

They say politics is showbiz for ugly people, and nobody takes this more seriously than UKIP leader Nigel Farage. His display in the televised debate earlier in the week was comical, to the point where he insinuated that there was a raft of HIV-positive migrants swarming over to England in order to leech off the NHS.

Sure, Nige. If you say so.

Meanwhile SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon stole the show at the debate, but her momentum was later damaged by revelations of an informal pact with the Tories – but the most entertaining moment of the campaign so far, somewhat predictably, came courtesy of the Daily Mail.

Yesterday, the paper ran a front page teaser to a story about Labour leader Ed Miliband’s love life – but rather than revealing a salacious string of affairs or hidden pregnancies, the fanfared feature simply pointed out the fact that Miliband… well, dated a few different girls before eventually settling down with his wife.

As with so many things in life, The Guardian’s Stuart Heritage puts it best.

An Emoji Once Again

These are the things that matter, people. And while we are, of course, excited about all the new faces and the multicultural icons and so on and so forth, we’re really excited (and terrified) by the long-awaited inclusion of the Irish flag.

This little icon is going to see some wildly inappropriate usage over its days. Pearse, Connolly, Collins, Dev… look away now.

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The Masters... And Niall Horan's Moment Of Shame

We’re into the second half of golf’s most brilliant individuals tournament, and so far we’ve seen a masterclass from the 21-year-old American Jordan Speith – and a very mixed bag from man-of-the-hour Rory McIlroy.

Coming into day three, the Irish grand slam hopeful retained some hope with a cracking back nine. He’s still 12 shots behind the leader, but McIlroy knows that anything can happen in the last two days at Augusta – and he touched on his infamous 2011 demise with some grade-A passive-aggressive trolling directed at Speith.

“It's really, really impressive. I think a few guys can still catch him. It will take, obviously, something extraordinary from myself to get up there, but you never know. I know better than most people what can happen with the lead around here.


Attaboy, Rory.

Oh, and if you’re not into golf – even for the Masters, you weirdo – then you can always enjoy this clip of Niall Horan slipping while caddying for McIlroy at the Par 3 earlier in the week.

Polish Protests

The Polish people are currently in the middle of a presidential election campaign, and like so many other countries in Europe, there’s been a resurgence of the far-right, nationalist fringes.

Those fringes come in the form of Ruch Narodowy – and their candidate Marian Kowalski – who are known to use nationalist symbols, black uniforms and (amongst their members) fascist salutes.

They organised events in Dublin this week to target the sizable emigrant community here due to their ability to vote via postal ballot. However, the Cork event was cancelled following huge protests amongst the Polish community here, and the Dublin rally was moved at the last minute to Jury’s on Ormond Quay – a heavy garda presence, naturally, was in attendance.

Kowalski isn’t anything to worry about, polling around the 1% mark, but it was still an intriguing snapshot into the domestic affairs of another country – on both sides of the political divide.


This Terrific Article From Mick Nugent

“Now, when lying in bed with the cats, I remember possibly the most profound thing Anne said while she was dying. We were lovingly cuddled in bed with three of our cats, and Anne said, “You know, I’m really going to miss this.” Then she paused, and corrected herself. “Actually, I’m not going to miss this. You are going to miss this.””

We’re just going to leave this heartbreaking but inspirational piece by Mick Nugent here.

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