Fine Gael/Labour messed up every one of their initiatives
Published 07/03/2016 | 02:30
I voted Fine Gael/Labour last time but could not this time, as I lost confidence in their ability to deliver real change and effective policies.
They have messed up every major initiative, bar the bailout, which, thankfully, was the Troika's remit and not theirs. Their solution to the acute and fundamental problems in health was to waste valuable tax revenue on implementing universal GP care for children, irrespective of how wealthy their parents may be, while elderly are lying on trolleys in A&E and waiting lists are growing prohibitively.
Then they go and waste more of our tax revenue creating a monopolistic Irish Water with huge costs that include excess staff, gold-standard salaries, lucrative bonuses, benchmarked increments and millions spent installing meters all before a drop of water has been treated.
Then, there's the property tax. By basing it on value rather than the size of a property, they have created another monster that requires a huge resource to manage, has widespread regional inequalities, and has resulted in elderly pensioners on fixed incomes facing increasing tax demands, as the houses around them increase in value outside of their control. Is this what 'Keeping the recovery going' means? If it wasn't for the Troika, they would have messed up the recovery also.
Dalkey, Co Dublin
FF-FG mediation is needed
In 1998, when it looked like there was never going to be a meeting of minds between Republicans and Unionists, we brought in a miracle worker called George Mitchell. He made everyone realise that the only way forward was to park the past and look to the future.
Who is the person to broker a deal between the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael?
It is time for those two brothers to seek mediation, for the sake of the next generation.
Kingswood, Dublin 24
FG and FF like identical twins
It is hard to see an arrangement between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil working, not because of differences between them, but because of similarity of policy and numbers.
Both are centralist with slight deviation to Left and Right, and joint fear that working together, either might succumb to the other's guile.
While Fine Gael has the numbers, Fianna Fáil has the cunning; the craft and "glickness" to steal whatever credit is merited while heaping blame, which, in difficult global economic conditions, is likely to be in ascendancy on the other.
Like almost identical twins, they will connive and plot for favour of the electoral parent and, based on past experience, there can be only one winner. If formation of stability was not so important, this would be fascinating manoeuvring to watch.
Tubbercurry, Co Sligo
George Hook too sensitive
I see George Hook has threatened to sue Irish Rugby outhalf Jonny Sexton over some comments.
As someone who has often courted publicity with his sometimes controversial remarks, Hook should perhaps be a little less sensitive. He relies on players like Sexton plying their trade so he can ply his. As a frequent critic of Sexton's play, should his own brand of journalism be considered beyond criticism?
Hook would be well advised to take Sexton's criticism on the chin and leave medical diagnoses and prognoses to medical experts who have actually examined Sexton. Sexton is also entitled to receive and act on such medical advice privately, without journalists butting in.
Blessington, Co Wicklow
'Doyle' not 'Dawl'
May I suggest, in the context of Micheál Martin's projected Dáil reform, that elected deputies of all persuasions learn to pronounce the name of the parliament they've been elected to?
It must be the only parliament on the planet where elected representatives seem challenged by this.
It's called Dáil Éireann or briefly the Dáil. Very simple really and yet, aided and abetted by RTE interviewers who should know better, we hear speaker after speaker "dawling" this and "dawling" that until you're forced to wonder about the other points being "dawled" in the spiel they expect their audience to relate to.
Here's a tip for slow learners: next time you think "dawl" just say "doyle" instead. That way, you get the phonetics right and you might even get to pass as a fluent Gaelic speaker.
It's a no-brainer really.
Taoiseach has too much power
I hereby propose a template to resolve the current political impasse and provide a much more inclusive and democratic government.
The Dáil should elect an interim Taoiseach, who agrees to form a government on the following basis:
The members who vote for the interim Taoiseach agree to support a government for the full term. These members should be randomly broken into a number of groups equal to the number of cabinet seats, including the interim Taoiseach.
Each group should elect a minister, who can be replaced at any time by a two-thirds majority of their group.
These ministers should then elect a Taoiseach, who can again be replaced at any time by a two-thirds majority of the ministers. The Taoiseach then allocates portfolios to each minister, who consults their group in all matters relating to their portfolio.
By doing this, the Taoiseach is subservient to the ministers, who are subservient to their groups and who, in turn, are subservient to the electorate.
This system gives equal status to all elected members and equal opportunity to become Taoiseach. The present system, which has failed us, confers too much power in the Taoiseach and compromises the ministers who can be removed too easily.
Castleknock, Dublin 15
McGregor is only mortal
Conor McGregor has been like a lightning bolt. His confidence and chutzpah have propelled him to the top. But he is a mortal.
I hope that he can bounce back the stronger for knowing that conviction and character are more durable then flash suits and trash talk.
He's talked the talk, now it is time to walk the walk a wiser man, back to the top.