Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ming the Demagogue

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Ming told a cheering crowd of 700 at a meeting of the TCCA, “we must succeed because if not it will be more than turf at stake when they next come calling for your land”.

The secret of the demagogue is to appear as dumb as his audience so that these people can believe themselves as smart as he is.  LESS

Karl Kraus

Monday, January 14, 2013

If you had to describe the current situation in Ireland in one word, and you don't have to, I'm not holding a gun to your head, then I think there's only one word for it, 'Disappointing', with an obligatory capital 'D'.   

Barrack Obama has not set the world economy on fire though his liberal use of drones has set fire to parts of Afghanistan and Iraq.  In fact civilian deaths from drones now outnumbers the dead of 9-11.  Thank God a "Liberal" Nobel Peace Prize winner like him has won the White House.

Over here there dream team of Kenny and Gilmore, Labour's Way, Health Care reform, Bondholders being burnt on O'Connell Street, Bailouts and rescues is all too disappointing.

There is no light in the tunnel, what light there is are the headlights of the oncoming train of yet more bad news as the Irish economy stagnates, spinning its wheels in the mud of a recession.

We have tried cutting our way out of the recession.  We've cut and cut and there's so much cutting of the poor and the vulnerable that even the IMF has seen enough blood.

Hope has become a dirty word thanks to Obama.  'Yes we can!' turned into "No we can't!" and Labour's Way turned out to be Enda's way.

We need something to look forward to.  A crack of light in the dark.  A hint that somewhere to east the sun will rise again.  Above all we need leadership, something that Enda Kenny cannot give us, stability yes, a consensus approach yes, but not real, stand with me leadership.  

Unless Michael D deploys the army and dismisses the Dail we are going to be leaderless for the foreseeable future.



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Don't get fooled again!

Bookmark and ShareThe reform of local government will not put people first but rather it
removes people even further from local democracy.

The current ratio of councillors in Ireland is 1 per 2,336 making
Ireland the 2nd most under-represented people in the EU.

"Putting People First" doubles that ratio to 1 per 4,800.  An
Unprecedented reduction in any EU nation.

Maybe that is not a big issue in major urban areas but when you
consider the geography of rural electoral areas like that of the
Westport Electoral area were just 4 county councillors serve an area
bigger than County Louth you get an idea of just how distant local
councillors will be.

Add in the fact that regional assemblies are being cut from 10 to 3
and the democratic deficit really starts to add up.

The Dual Mandate is also be be ended and councillors elected to the
Municipal Councils will automatically serve on the county council,
thereby concentrating even more power in the hands of a smaller amount
of people.

Town Councils like Westport, redressed that balance, delivering
services like planning, water, housing, recreation, tourism and social
initiatives at the lowest level, that nearest to the citizen.

The government is also abolishing or merging Town Councils, Borough
Councils and City Councils which have existed separately for centuries
in the interests of savings only, taking in no account the historical,
economic, cultural, social and morale impact of such a move.
Meanwhile Dublin is to be left as 4 separate local authorities for no
good reason.

In short this is not a plan of reform.  It is a plan of budget cuts, a
reduction of local democracy on a scale never seen in a modern
European nation and a further centralisation of local government.

The myth is promoted that this is the first major reform of local
government in a century but it is exactly that, a myth, big reforms
were promised with the Better Local Government Act 1999 and again with
the Local Government Act of 2001.

Don't get fooled again!

A response to Putting People First

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  1. Ireland is the 2nd most underrepresented country in the EU when it comes to local government.
  2. The ratio is 1 councillor per 118 per head of population per Councillor in France, 250 per head of population in Sweden and 350 in Germany. This rises to 610 in Spain and 1100 per head of population in Greece and Belgium.
  3. This plan proposes to make this situation worse by increasing the ratio from 1 councillor per 2,336 to 1 councillor per 4,800.
  4. According the McCarthy Report and the AMAI the total saving from abolishing 75 town councils and 700 councillors is just €6 million; that’s a saving of just €80k per council.
  5. This is a further centralisation of power into the hands of fewer councillors which was criticised in the 1991 Barrington report on local government reform.
  6. The average salary of a town councillor is €4,400 before tax.
  7. The total expenditure on councillors, salary, expenses, conferences, study trips, accounts for less than 1% of the total budget of a Town Council.
  8. Town councils are the lowest most effective level of local government, most responsive to the needs of their constituents.
  9. Repeated studies have shown that Town Councils are more efficient and effective than city or county councils.  Source: The Case for Town Local Government in Ireland in the 21st Century' by UCC.
  10. The abolition of Town Councils is directly contrary to the Principles of Local Agenda 21 and the EU principle of Subsidiarity as enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty.
  11. The report seeks to remove Town Councils, Borough Councils and City Councils which have existed separately for centuries in the interests of savings only, taking in no account the historical, economic, cultural, social and morale impact of such a move.  Meanwhile Dublin is to be left as 4 separate local authorities for no good reason.
  12. No effort has been made to differentiate between effective, efficient and successful councils and other less effective councils.
  13. No new powers have been conferred on councillors.
  14. The raising of new taxes such as the Property Tax is to be handed over to the Revenue Commissioners (Irish Times 23 October 2012).
  15. The fact that the Revenue are responsible for collecting tax means that central government can decide to withhold or alter funding to local government.
  16. Town Councils are already accountable and transparent with regard to finances as a Budget is published every year detailing the council’s spending.  This budget is audited by the Local Government Auditor.  (Compare the budget of a Town Council and County Council to see which is the more transparent.)
  17. Town Councils are already accountable and transparent with regard to planning as they publish a Town Plan every 5 years which as a completely public process and which is overseen by the Dept of the Environment.
  18. Councillors are to be removed from the planning process even further by the removal of their powers under Section 140.  Section 140 is the provision whereby Councillors have the last say over the Executive and is an important piece of legislation which ensures that local government is not solely the purview of unelected officials. 
  19. Planning is to become the sole purview of unelected officials and opens up the possibility of a whole new era of corruption out of sight of the elected councillor.
  20. The new municipal councils are just enlarged Local Area Committees not true councils in their own right.
  21. The fact that the councillors sit on both municipal area council and City/County Council is proof that it is just a further centralisation of powers was criticised in the 1991 Barrington report on local government reform.
  22. The majority of the 75 councils to be abolished are outside the major cities and conurbations and as such they balance out the power and investment that goes into cities like Dublin, Cork, Limerick etc by providing a voice to their areas as well as acting as lobbying organisations with the state, semi state companies, service providers, councils, regional bodies and groups like the IDA and the Tourism Bodies.  The abolition of these councils will silence whole areas of rural Ireland.
  23. The loss of 75 Town Mayors is a huge loss of prestige and pride to local communities who like having someone to look to for Civic Leadership and to welcome VIPs and investors in their community.  It is an end to all Civic Honours currently hosted by these Mayors.   
  24. Town Managers and County Managers will still run the system although they will be called CEO’s councillors will not have the powers to hire or fire them as they do in all EU systems of local government. 
  25. Staff's loyalty always lies with their direct employer, which always ensure the executive and CEO will have final say. 
  26. County/City Council CEO will always have influence over his employees even if they work for Municipal Councils.
  27. Executive Functions will still exist allowing the CEO to act as he sees fit and with no democratic accountability.
  28. The proposed abolition of Town Councils is directly contrary to the pre election policies of both Fine Gael and The Labour Party which both committed them to strengthening and empowering local government.
  29. The proposed abolition of Town Councils is not a policy of the Programme for Government.
  30. The number of Regional Assemblies is to be cut from 10 to 3, another reduction of democratic representation and on rural areas.
  31. No direct election of representatives to the remaining regional assemblies compounds the democratic deficit and weakens the authority of such assemblies.
  32. No direct elections of Mayors for those councils which will still exist.
  33. This new reform system is not used anywhere else in the EU.  It is not the introduction of an existing, successful, tried and tested form of local government from another similar sized EU country. 
  34. This is not a plan of reform.  It is a plan of budget cuts, a reduction of local democracy on a scale never seen in a modern European nation and a further centralisation of local government.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Michael Ring, Miriam Lord and an inflatable dildo

2nd Poll

Tomorrow's Sunday Independent Milward Brown Poll: FG 37, Lab 20, FF
16, SF 12, Ind 12, Green 1

SBP Red C poll

FG: 39% (+1), Lab: 17% (-3), FF: 16% (+1), SF: 12% (+2), Grns: 2%
(-1), Ind: 14% (nc). Full analysis in Sunday Business Post.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fianna Fail's new clothes

Micheal Martin has today unveiled Fianna Fail's new clothes.

He has also announced plans to airbrush Charles Haughey, Albert Reynolds, Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen from all the photos at Fianna Fail HQ.

Micheal Martin's policy announcement

Micheal Martin's policies

"I'm very glad you asked me that for at this point in time
In the circumstances that prevail it is in the pipeline
Infrastructural implications interfaced with lines of thought
Which lead to grassroot viabilities which at this point I'd rather not 
Enunciate in ambiguity but rather seek to find 
Negotiated compromises which are the bottom line
So in the interest of the common good then you need have no fear
I have the matter well in hand I'm glad I've made things clear"

Red C Poll results

Red C FG 35 - 2 Lab 22 + 3 FF 17 - 1 SF 13 + 1 GP 2 -1 Ind 11 nc

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Greens are going!.wmv

Check out this video on YouTube:

Crystal Swing

Crystal Swing are a real band?

No brother and sister should sing to each other like that!

Talk about a close family!

-- Post From My iPhone

Ireland's new national anthem

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Jim Corr to assume interim leadership of Fianna Fail

Jim Corr is to assume the leadership of the Fianna Fail party until a new leader is elected, it has been announced today.

Corr (46) found fame with his sisters in the folk/rock band "The Corrs" in the 1990s when he came to the attention of Brian Cowen and FF when he played in their tent for tenners which were tucked into his underpants by tipsy cabinet ministers and their developer friends.

Corr succeeds Cowen following his resignation earlier today.

Corr says he is very comfortable with the job as he knows there is no way that FF are organised enough to be involved in any plans for a New World Order saying "these guys can't even agree among themselves never mind the CIA, Royal Family and international Jewry, though a few of them do look a little like the Lizard People behind 9-11."

Corr's main priorities will be 
  • keeping the FF party together long enough to elect a new leader
  • helping to rebrand the party as a realistic option for the March elections
  • keeping Batt O'Keeffe away from the Lizard People
  • wrapping tin foil around the heads of the cabinet so they are no longer being influenced by "the EU".
  • Mass Dubunking

Meanwhile Cowen's main priorities will be
  • carrying out his duties as Taoiseach
  • keeping a firm hand on the levers of power
  • drinking and singing sad songs
  • keeping a firm hand on his pint
  • more singing
  • keeping a firm hand on the bar
  • keeping his dinner down
  • finding his way home
  • crying
  • making rude calls at 4am to Willie O'Dea and Micheal Martin
  • more crying
  • falling asleep on the stairs in just his underpants

Radio moment of the week

Wednesday's Liveline (RTÉ Radio 1, weekdays) featured predictable wailing about the profane language ofMrs Brown's Boys , starring Brendan O'Carroll, and The Savage Eye , with David McSavage. Joe Duffy dissected the merits of the two TV comedies. Duffy said McSavage was a good actor but was sniffy about his fans in the press. "All the TV critics and The Irish Times love David McSavage and his right-on humour," said Duffy, "but they don't like Brendan O'Carroll because he's too mainstream."

Duffy then delivered the coup de grace: Mrs Brown's Boys got 760,000 viewers, The Savage Eye only 130,000. The public's verdict is the only one that matters to a mainstream figure such as Duffy.

Political Quote


Time to act?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sunday Independent poll,

Labour 29%
Fine Gael 27%
Fianna Fail 8%
Sinn Fein 8%
Independents 11%
Don't knows 14%
Greens 3%

Des Bishop

Des Bishop,  is there nothing he won't whore out to keep his career going?  The latest wheeze is to parade his dying father around as part of his act, as a "tribute".  RTE should take his career off life support and let it die with dignity.  No more car crash TV please.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Micheal Martin- Survivor?

Micheal Martin may yet get his chance to lead the Fianna Fail party....but only after it is defeated and its former leaders are gone will he inherit the prize.

But Martin will be an Admiral Donitz leading a doomed organisation still trying to exert power and prestige it no longer has.

Like Hitler's successor Martin will be in charge of nothing with nothing to do but arrange the surrender and wind up of the party.  Whatever dreams he held of leading a real government or even effecting change will be gone forever when Brian Cowen leads Fianna Fail into the valley of death on March 11th in one last crazy calvary charge at the cannons.

But this time it won't be the Light Brigade who fall, it will be the Heavy Brigade, some of whom, Harney, Ahern, Dempsey, Cullen, O'Keeffe have already fallen from their horses to join the likes of liar Beverly "Licence Fee" Flynn.

Cowen will charge onwards even as his officers openly question his ability to command and other disloyal troops try to make their own way by distancing themselves from the party, but it will be too late for them.

They are surrounded by their enemies, outmaneuvered, under-gunned and out of ammo in a war of their own creation.

Cowen has even been betrayed by his former Minister of Defence and Propaganda chief Willie O'Dea.  It is too late to fire him, as he already did that and he now lacks the power to string him up with piano wire.  All he can hope for is that O'Dea is shot down with him and the rest on March 11th.

In the meantime Martin waits for the bomb to drop in the hope that he survives and is appointed Furher upon Cowen's demise.

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