Tag Archives: Philip O’Connor

Outside It’s America.

A podcast covering 50 states in 50 days.

Journalist and broadcaster Philip O’Connor writes:

I was in the Hilton Hotel in New York where Donald Trump’s campaign was based on election day 2016, and the result shocked everyone – that shouldn’t happen if the media and journalism had done its job.

But it didn’t.

A major part of the reason for that was that nobody listened to ordinary American voters whose ballots decided the election.

So this time around, instead of sitting at a desk rewriting press releases or talking to academics and other journalists and regurgitating opinion polls that turn out to be wrong, I’m going to hit the road through all 50 states for 50 days and see what they have to say.

I’m going to visit diners and laundromats, gyms and gas stations, main streets and city halls to find out exactly what they are thinking and what will influence how they cast their votes.

To do this I need support, so I’ve started a Kickstarter campaign (see below), and there are sponsorship opportunities available.

For €10 (or a measly 20c per episode) you’ll get 50 podcasts, plus an e-postcard from the road every week, and €35 will get you a daily email. For €500 you can sponsor a whole episode, and if you have a big brand and want to sponsor the whole series, then I’m all ears.

The media business is broken, and this is me trying out a new way of making it viable while bringing you something unique that nobody else can or will do.

On November 3, I’ll be in New York, on the ground as the votes are tallied.

Join me.

Outside It’s America – 50 podcasts, 50 states, 50 days (Kickstarter)

Kungstradgarden, Stockholm, Sweden yesterday

in Sweden, there are no enforced lockdowns, the economy remains open, and citizens are free to travel and enjoy the attractions..

However, it’s not business as usual, as Philip O’Connor, in Stockholm, Sweden, writes (full column at link below):

Sweden’s decision not to lock down its society has put it in the global spotlight.

Commentators and journalists are asking, not unreasonably, what the Swedes know that virtually every other country doesn’t, but to describe the situation in the Scandinavian nation of ten million as “business as usual” is not accurate; Sweden’s lockdown is imposed not on the state level, but at the individual, and the effect has been felt on every aspect of life.

While Norway and Denmark closed schools and in some cases closed borders, and insisted on quarantining those who had been abroad, Sweden took a much more low-key approach.

First, gatherings of over 500 people were banned, binning the possibility of ice hockey playoffs or starting the sports leagues that were due to get under way in the spring.

Workers who could were instructed to work from home, and those who don’t enjoy that luxury were told to stay at home if they displayed any symptoms whatsoever.

As the disease gradually spreads and the death toll rises, so too do the demands for individual responsibility; the size of gatherings has been cut from 500 to 50 and commuters have been asked not to use public transport at peak times.

Table service in bars has become the norm, and fast-food restaurants have taken to taping off seats and tables so that people do not sit too close together. S

hops have been told to restrict the numbers on their premises and that queues should be controlled to enable people to keep their distance.

But still some activities go on. In Vasaparken, not far from the Spice Of India Restaurant, the winter ice is long gone, and swarms of kids of all ages play football on the artificial turf at lunchtime, watched by teachers and youth workers in fluorescent vests….(more below)

Genius Or Gamble? Inside Sweden’s Covid-19 Crisis (Philip O’Connor, Our Man In Sweden)



Last night’s homeless statistics revealed a total of 10,305 people had accessed emergency accommodation in the month of March.

Philip O’Connor writes:

Last month, to mark the fact that 10,000 Irish people found themselves officially homeless, I published an interview I did in Helsinki with Juha Kaakinen (above).

Juha is the man behind the policies that have seen homelessness in Finland drop drastically since they were introduced (see graph, centre).

These are tried, tested and successful solution that are working in a country with a similar population to Ireland’s.

Now, a lot of political people follow me on Twitter, and I know they have seen this interview – not only that, but Juha has also been to Ireland to speak on this very subject.

The figure that originally prompted me to publish the interview in full has since risen to 10,300. Of them, over 3000 are children.

The only logical conclusion one can draw is not that Irish politicians are ignorant of how the problem of homelessness must be solved. It is that they are very much aware of what they need to do, but they choose not to.

To put it bluntly, the people in power in Ireland are ideologically opposed to doing what is necessary to solve the crises of homelessness and housing. That’s fine – Ireland voted for them, and we have to own our democratic choices.

But whether you are a politician in a power or a voter heading to the ballot box, from the moment you hear what Juha Kaakinen has to say, you can no longer say that you didn’t know.

Philip O’Connor is an Irish freelance journalist living in Stockholm. You can support his work by visiting his Patreon account here

Last night: 10.305

 Dublin City Councillor with Social Democrats Gary Gannon and journalist Philip O’Connor

Stockholm-based journalist Philip O’Connor, of the blog Our Man in Stockholm, will be contending the selection convention of the Dublin Social Democrats branch for a run at the European Elections this May.

Social Democrats Dublin City Councillor Gary Gannon is also seeking a nomination to run in the European Elections for Dublin.

It follows reports in the Sunday Business Post on March 3, 2019, that it was understood Mr O’Connor was “in talks” with the party.

In the same newspaper, journalist Hugh O’Connell reported that Mr Gannon had threatened to quit the party if it decides to withdraw support from its local election candidate Ellie Kisyombe, following a report in the Sunday Times on February 17 concerning Ms Kisyombe’s background.

Mr Gannon told the newspaper:

“If Ellie is not a candidate for the Social Democrats, then neither will I be.”


Pics: Philip O’Connor and Gary Gannon

Previously: Deep Purple

“I thought this morning, maybe there is something to President John Connors, because of what that would mean to young Travellers, and young working-class people from Darndale and Coolock and Blanchardstown and Ballymun…”

John Connor (middle) following the vote surge for Peter Casey (top)

The ‘Our Man In Stockholm podcast with Sweden-based, Irish journalist Philip O’Connor meets actor and human rights activist John Connors (top) to discuss Peter Casey’s second place in the Presidential election, the media’s attitude to travellers and a possible tilt at the Áras in 2025.

Our Man In Stockholm

Previously: Frankie Gaffney: The Trouble With Travellers

Top pic: Rollingnews


Michaella MCollum

Further to Michaella McCollum’s interview on RTÉ 1 last night following her release on parole for a drug smuggling conviction in Peru.

Journalist and broadcaster Philip O’Connor writes:

The following questions need to be answered, promptly and thoroughly:

1. Who initiated the story/interview – was it Michaella, the journalist on the ground, the RTÉ news desk, a book publisher, PR agency or similar?

2. Did Michaella, her family, her foundation or any other party connected with her receive any sort of compensation (including, but not limited to, cash, flights or accommodation) in return for her co-operation?

3. Did Michaella and/or her representatives promise RTÉ or their representatives exclusivity? If so, what did they receive in return?

4. Were there any demands or requirements made by Michaella or her representatives as to where, when and under what circumstances the interview would take place?

5. Did Michaella and/or her representatives refuse to answer particular questions, or seek a list of questions prior to the interview? If so, did RTÉ accede to those requests? Did the journalist on site decide the questions to be asked or was he instructed by the news desk?

6. Is there more than one take of any of Michaella answers to the questions posed?


Public interest demands that RTE answer questions on McCollum (Philip O’Connor, Our Man In Stockholm)

Michaella McCollum: Peru drug smuggler tells of ‘moment of madness’ (BBC)

Philip-OConnor1[Philip O’Connor]

Further to the Iona/ John Waters Saturday Night Show apologia.

A missive from Team Panti.

Philip O’Connor writes:

Rather than being cowed by legal threats, surely the media has very valid questions to ask – starting with exactly who Iona represent, and where they get their money.

The views expressed by Iona – especially in relation to gay people – are very much at odds with the liberal secular society that Ireland has become. Indeed, Rory O’Neill suggested that the only time he experiences homophobia is online or at the hands of Iona and Waters.

When they’re done with that, they can ask why Iona is given so much room in the media. In any other country in the world, an organisation as litigious as Iona would never be asked to participate in anything. Nor would anybody else with their solicitor on speed dial.

When all that is over, perhaps someone would sit down and ask David Quinn, Waters et al to explain how their utterances – perceived by many outside themselves and their supporters as being homophobic – are acceptable.

For Iona, Quinn and Waters, it might be a hard sell. Take this quote from an interview with Waters:

“This is really a kind of satire on marriage which is being conducted by the gay lobby. It’s not that they want to get married; they want to destroy the institution of marriage because they’re envious of it…”

Now if you believe – as Waters suggests earlier in that interview – that marriage is a fundamental building block of society, then he is essentially accusing the gay lobby (many of whom are presumably gay themselves) of trying to destroy it.

How, exactly, is that not homophobic?

Is it reasonable to suggest that gay people are, in trying to secure equal treatment in the eyes of the law, trying to destroy the very fabric of society?

No, it isn’t.

So what should they have done?

Well, if he disagreed with the apology, O’Connor – a columnist with the Sunday Independent and thus not without either power or a platform to exert it – should have resigned.

In the interests of public service, RTE should have stood by its man. If they were to go to court – as evidenced above, examples of the irrational fear of homosexuality displayed by both Waters and Iona are not hard to find – they wouldn’t be without hope of winning.

But it is the Irish Times and the rest of the media that is probably deserving of the most criticism. It is one of the functions of mass media to provide a platform for debate, but yet again they have abdicated this responsibility.

It may be expensive to defend oneself against even the most frivolous of libel accusations in Ireland, but the price for not doing so is the ability to report and to comment without fear or favour.

The views expressed by Rory O’Neill are not those of RTE, but they are those of many people in the gay community.

His airing them on an RTE programme is the very point of public service, and of mass media in general – to provide a platform for debate and scrutiny, and for holding people to account.

It should be remembered that Ireland has, since its inception, struggled in terms of holding those in power to account, whether it be politicians, religious leaders or captains of industry.

All have at various points used the solicitors to muzzle reporting and debate.

But in the end, all of them were eventually caught with their Pantis down.

Caught with our Pantis down (Philip O’Connor, Our Man In Stockholm)

Earlier: Alternatively

Thanks Philip

Meanwhile…on #teampanti

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Via Mark O’Halloran, Panti, WellNowUniverse, Anthony Finucane