Time for change

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If the events of the last few weeks have made anything abundantly clear it is that National Politics in there present form in Ireland are not working. We have a system that appears to be based on “nod & wink” politics, where those with access and influence get everything and the majority of hard working citizens in Ireland are left to rot.

The worst proponents of this type of politics are the Fianna Fail party. I feel now that this is the case because of all the political parties they have been the longest in power. Therefore they have been infected by the parish pump politics disease that plagues Ireland the worst. The cult of personalities and local issues has paralysed our representatives away from helping forge the direction the country is taking for the betterment of its citizens to a sad shell anchored firmly to dealing with local issues.

It’s all very well whinging about this dilemma but what exactly can we do as a nation to fix our National Representative Politics?

How can we ensure that those trusted with shaping an Ireland that will meet the needs of our children are allowed to do their jobs?

The first thing to address is the way personality and local issues seem anchor representatives to the idea that they have to be a “jumped up councillor” to ensure they get re-elected every 5 years. What is needed is to take this blockage away and focus the electorates’ minds on voting for policies and not for single or local issues. Surely that is what our councillors are for?

We have to introduce a list system of election for our National Parliament the Dail in Ireland. Before the elections the parties present a list of nominated candidates. People vote in their constituencies for parties based on their policies and the representatives are filled from these lists. This means a concentration on policies and more importantly it means when the parties are filling important positions like ministerial posts they can choose those most suited to those positions and not someone because that area needs a minister. With this will come a cull of the numbers in our House of Representative to a more appropriate number of around 100 representatives.

The second is the abolition or reform of the upper house the Seanad, which has turned from safety valve to nothing more than a useless talking shop filled with burnt out past their sell by date TD’s and those who couldn’t manage to get elected but were owed “favours”.

I will put more thoughts up in the next couple of days on council reform and on the public service.

The League of Extraordinary Ungentlemen

All changed, changed utterly: A terrible reality is born.

Well after the spectacle of the Government being forced by severely negative public opinion to turn down the ill-thought and farcical offer of the 12 unpaid days of Christmas carol by the bearded combined choir of the ICTU the unions are now revolting.

What makes me laugh is the irony of the likes of David Begg blaming the current crisis on the bankers, politicians and the private sector alone. He was on the board of the Central Bank the very organisation that is supposed to oversee the whole Irish Banking industry. Its an organisation that failed to do its job. Sure all these union leaders have had their snouts firmly in the trough of partnership, feeding side by side with the very pariahs that they now vilify (the bankers, private sector leaders and the politicians).

They also claim to represent the low paid workers of the Public Service but they are just using these people. The new blood in the Public Service is the future of the country and they are being held down due to a service that is based in the Victorian Age that protects the status quo that seems to penalise any innovation or enterprise at all. Basically at odds with the image that we have projected abroad of a country that is an innovator and flexible. They are protecting the lazy.

I see the GRA are polling their members to get a mandate to strike. This action is against the law. What I want to know now is do we have to set up Militias to protect our properties and families if the Gardai are going to refuse to do their jobs.

Finally a message to our so called Government, you have to stay the course now. Face these unions down, if you waver then we are all in trouble both private and public sector.

Irish Fudge

…..and we’re not talking about a chocolate bar here either!

After all the talk about having to make tough decisions and that there will be painful times ahead for the Public Service what does the Government have to offer after days of intensive talks with the Unions on saving the country 1.3 billion Euro on the public wages bill?

Unpaid leave? The Government have bottled it, at a time when decisive tough leadership is needed they have delivered the leadership equivalent of a limp handshake.

As per their normal modus operandi FF are putting their interests ahead that of the country again by using a sticking plaster on a wound that needs major surgery. They are leaving the issue of a bloated Public Sector wage bill to the next government showing again a total lack of leadership or commitment to the future of Ireland. Couple that with the fact that enforced unpaid leave like this will diminish front line services even more, then the ordinary taxpayer is going to reap the pain of this short sighted and weak decision as usual.

With regard to the entry level Public Service workers how do they feel now that they are taking the same cuts as their bloated middle and upper management colleagues who they are subsiding. Sounds like the unions have gotten them a “fair deal” alright.

Cowen is going to go down as the most ineffectual and useless FF Taoiseach that we have ever had backed up by an ever more anonymous Cabinet. Given his competition that is an extremely low accolade indeed.

FF the party of bottlers, gougers, spoofers and in some cases criminals.