Monday 26 September 2016

Our politicians are only interested in one thing - being in power

Published 06/05/2016 | 02:30

Micheál Martin and Enda Kenny Photo: Barbara Lindberg.
Micheál Martin and Enda Kenny Photo: Barbara Lindberg.

I am struggling to see how I can take Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael seriously as candidates for running this country.

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Micheál Martin and his party were preparing the introduction of water charges as far back as 2010. In the recent elections, however, they decided to oppose water charges in an attempt to gain votes and claimed they would abolish Irish Water. When they didn't get enough votes they went into negotiations about forming a government with the claim that they would scrap water charges for five years. Then they backed down to only postponing the charges for nine months. In other words, they keep changing their position, doing whatever it takes to get back into power.

Enda Kenny and his party spent the past few years doing everything wrong they could possibly do wrong with the introduction of water charges, starting with calling it a water charge in the first place. Throughout the election they kept saying they were behind the flawed system they had introduced. When they didn't get enough votes, all of a sudden they were prepared to talk about winding down Irish Water. Just like Fine Fáil, doing whatever it takes to stay in power.

Oh and, of course, while they were busy making a total mess of Irish Water, they forgot about their promise to overhaul health insurance, which no doubt was a reason for many people to vote for them five years ago.

Both these parties are proving that politics has nothing to do with the best interest of the country. Politics is all about getting and staying in power.

Ronald Vallenduuk
Address with editor

Politics, as you like it

Politics has now become more a theatre of frolics, more conducive to Vaudeville then real life. What emerges is a nasty game of back-biting and name-calling.

One could compare a school game of ring-a-ring-o'roses and 'do you wanna be in my gang?' or 'I won't play with you!' An expensive waste of space which belongs in Jurassic Park.

Back here in the real world, anyone with half a brain knows governments are run behind the curtain by faceless Eurocrats, and these politicians are merely puppets whose strings are yanked by their masters for a bit of craic.

Elections are more like stand-up comedy, and not to be taken seriously. William Shakespeare, in my view, wrote this quote expressly for politicians.

"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts... Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything."

Politics for politicians, as they like it.

Anthony Woods
Ennis, Co Clare

Martin changes tune on water

The history of the water charge issue and Micheál Martin's role in it is interesting.

It was in the December 2009 budget speech that Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan announced that preparations for water charges were being made. That was followed by the National Recovery Plan in 2010 which included the installation of meters in 1.2 million homes connected to the public water mains supply.

The €85bn EU-IMF bailout in November 2010 said that water charges will be introduced in 2012 or 2013 and the responsibility for water will be transferred from local authorities to a new water utility.

The bailout was necessary because the country had gone bankrupt due to the decisions of a small number of its most powerful citizens during the pre-2009 boom years. Among that small number was Micheál Martin. Among the people who supported the introduction of water charges in 2009 and 2010 was Micheál Martin.

He has played a role in creating the conditions in which water charges were thought necessary, played a role in setting them up and has recommended that they be paid.

Given all that, his recent decision to oppose water charges and to make their suspension a condition of his support for a minority government is ironic.

A Leavy
Sutton Dublin 13

Group schemes to pay twice

An early 'thank you' to all those on group water schemes who pay water charges. Now that water charges are to be abolished (suspended), funding will have to be found through increases in income tax.

Those on group schemes will also pay the income tax increases so a big 'thank you' for subsidising our public water system.

Mick Hannon
Clones, Co Monaghan

Enda's N-word gaffe

Your political correspondent wrote (May 4) on Gerry Adam's N-word gaffe: "If this was the leader of any other political party, senior colleagues and grassroots members would be quick to distance themselves from his statement".

He may have forgotten that the leader of Fine Gael, Enda Kenny, did use the N-word while entertaining his company in some hilarious situation. No senior members of the party distanced themselves from the gaffe; no party members went on record to distance themselves from the N joke.

Furthermore, the Irish Independent wrote no editorial condemning the incident, nor did it waste columns of print from their correspondents, political or otherwise.

Brendan Ryan
Ferbane, Co Offaly

I don't know if it's the naked trampolining with his dog or the sleeping with Teddy which might be having such a hilarious effect, but Gerry Adams is what we would call in the old days a man who, whatever he says, should just say nothing.

Robert Sullivan
Bantry, Co Cork

Recently Mary Lou McDonald told us all she was "scarlet for Micheál Martin". I wonder what colour she is for Django Gerry this week - puce, perhaps?

Anthony O'Leary
Portmarnock, Co Dublin

Roll-out of...home offices?

I am an IT worker from Galway city. My home is relatively small and with three children I don't have space for a separate home office.

It is my opinion that people in rural areas are unfairly advantaged space-wise and us urban dwellers are being left behind in this high-tech age because we do not have access to home offices.

I personally think it is an absolute disgrace that the government has not rolled-out home offices to people in urban areas who do not have space to do essential IT work from home. My hands are tied here.

I mean, it's not like I chose to live where I did, is it?

Colm Lohan
Galway city

Irish Independent

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