Wednesday 17 January 2018

Reform not part of Kenny's 'MO'

Madam – Your young Mr Kerrigan, (Sunday Independent, June 16, 2013), does not like Seanad Eireann. Nor does he like the class of political animal (low life?) such as the undersigned, who not only struggled for years to wriggle through its doors but actually succeeded twice. Not through nomination as a Caligula's horse or through the effete and perfumed (but seriously effective) university constituencies but actually through those crony-infested 'main' panels. But let's ignore me for the moment and the fact that my mandate to be a part of the ruling classes (and participate in the legislative process) came from elected public representatives, whose functions (as set out in legislation) include the election of 43 of the 60 senators.

Where Gene is absolutely on the ball is in suggesting that the issue has, or will, become a referendum on Enda Kenny. The referendum on the Seanad is not just about cutting off a part of our institutional structures. It is about accepting or rejecting an antique style of politics beyond which, sadly, Mr Kenny and the dominant elements in his Cabinet cannot and will not progress. Into the 21st Century.

Within days of Mr Kenny's launch of his entertaining drag-hunt for the corpse of a moribund Seanad, it transpired that that Seanad, far from 'doing nothing' and doing it elegantly and soporifically, had amended, several hundred times, essential legislation which, in the words of Noel Whelan (barrister as well as political commentator) "had been passed by the Dail in an inadequate, incomplete or incorrect manner".

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