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.

Time for a rethink, changes, a clean sweep?

Student Life #2

Well what have the last few months taught us about good old Ireland politically? It has taught us that wholesale change is needed from the top down through the system, the civil service and the semi-state. Our councils should govern their local areas and our Parliament (the Dail) should take care of national issues.

We have way too many TD’s the number should be dropped from 166 to a number around the 100 mark. They are paid too much and their wages should be pared down. Ministerial and the Taoiseachs wages need to be drastically cut. My belief is that the maximum number of terms a TD has in the Dail should be 3 or even 2 terms. This lessens the chance that they will just coast in the position they are in and hopefully they will actually make an effort to serve their country. Also to cut out the almost incestuous tradition of Political dynasties no direct relative of a standing down TD be allowed to run in the same constituency without a one term break from the TD standing down and the relative running for election. This includes where a TD passes away during his term. This of course would not be needed if the next proposal came into effect.

The most radical reform I would like to see brought in would be constituencies be redrawn according to population and people to vote on parties and not individuals. The parties will have a list of candidates from where they will fill the seats they have won after the elections. This cuts out the politics of personality from elections and ensures that people will vote based on the policies of the parties involved. It also means that those elected don’t have to worry about the local GAA pitch or if Auntie Mary can get planning permission for the extension of her home and allows them to concentrate on their actual job which is National issues and planning ahead so the country is prepared for the hard times and in a position to make the most of the good times.

This process needs to occur in the civil service and semi state bodies as well. Cut the number of upper management, clear out the vast numbers of superfluous middle managers (especially in organisations like the HSE who have people guaranteed jobs where they have no work!) and set up the organisation based on the needs of the twenty first century and not the 19th century.

These are changes I would love to see happen, I doubt they will. The current bunch of incompetents will fudge their way around the issues and avoid making the hard decisions. What they fail to realise is that leadership sometimes dictates that you have to take the hard and unpopular decision to ensure you move in the right direction for the future.