Here something the Government announced in the last two weeks which has gone down like a lead balloon. No wonder with the news that the Government was splurging out over €3 billion euro with its private partner investing only €220 million initially . The deal is so lopsided In the fact that the private contractor gets to own the rural broadband network after 25 years and the state/ public gets to own nothing after the same period. Basically the public has nothing to show for all the money they have invested. The Government has sought to defend their plan but its not the vote getter they had imagined.
This Government has showed little enthusiasm for the public interest with contracts like the National Maternity Hospital to have the nuns as “sole owners” despite the public paying over €350 million to build it, also the National Children’s Hospital at record overspend at € 1.4 billion and counting upwards .
So why are we basically giving over €3 billion away?
There is loads of projects that need to be done but there is “no money” there to do them or so we are told. Everything seems to cost 3-4 times what they would cost anywhere else. The National Broadband plan is quite pricey and there is cheaper alternatives .
Another point to make is that whose job is it really to roll fibre broadband ? The answer is that its Eircom/Eir’s job to roll out broadband anyway and they have been allowed to bail out on people living in rural area’s and cherry pick by just connecting the towns only.
Its not good practice and eircom/eir shouldn’t have be allowed to “cherry pick” as they have. They (Eircom/Eir )are the national phone company and its the phone network that is being upgraded. Eircom/Eir collect the line rental and should be able to supply broadband services such as video calling, cable tv, music streaming etc … over the new fibre optic rural service to help finance the cost. The present “modus operandi” of Eircom/Eir and people in rural Ireland won’t be connected to a phone service. It shows what a disaster the Eircom privatisation really is.
Making the news this week is one Julian Assange of Wikileaks who was arrested by London police this Thursday after Ecuador waved his asylum they had previously granted. Assange long a thorn in the side of US intelligence services faces extradition to the United States of America where a sample charge of attempting to hack into US Defence dept. computers and obtain classified material, more serious charges are likely to be brought after extradition.
What to make of Julian Assange and Wikileaks ? Whistleblower ? Frontman ? Truth outer ? Journalist ? Guess it depends on what side of the fence you are on. He published a account of War Crimes committed in Iraq , US state Dept diplomatic cables to their embassies across the world, an Archive of Hilary Clinton emails however they were obtained. Wikileaks getting involved with USA Presidential election in 2016 was a mistake, no thanks were likely from the Republican party and he irked US intelligence services plenty.
The truth is a scarce commodity with the press- newspapers, TV , radio and online media. Its tends to be half the story a lot of the time, omission and out and out lies quiet a lot do. The establishment won’t be long in “shutting you up”.. they will dig dirt on you, invent it if necessary and there is always out and out intimidation and murder.
Mr Assange made himself a target and they concocted a rape charge in Sweden to “get” him. One wonders if Mr Assange knew the risks of what he was doing and if his sponsor will be able to “protect” him from lengthly incarceration and possible execution. They will have to make quiet a fuss to protect him. Truth is scare but needs telling, possibly from people like Julian Assange. One hopes he survives the present episode.
No real news on this front, with the health minster Simon Harris surviving a vote of No Confidence thanks to Michael Martin and his merry men in Fianna Fail. Strange that Fianna fail said they didn’t have any confidence in Owen Harris yet because of Brexit they say he must remain untouched. It also looks like we will not be getting any money back as they have ruled out retendering the project so they doesn’t like there will be any way of scraping back “cost over-runs” that newspeak for “kiss the money goodbye suckers “.
Though so form of cover up will be attempted some accountancy firm will be given the task of drawing up a report which will be illegible and no-one will be able to understand it. It will be all quiet then and so much for their explanations. Some one will be laughing all the way to the bank on this one that’s for sure.
Well here is a review of a product which I don’t normally do. There is always a first time I suppose. This “device” is supposed to clean your ears better than a cotton bud with its “Auger” shaped tip but unless you got ears that could grow vegetables you are better to give it a miss. I actually bought the product and it arrived today nearly eight weeks after I purchased it online. What arrived was worth €0.50 I say very basic packaging, that’s my fifty cents worth anyway. It didn’t get out any ear wax after much trying and felt like they had seen you coming with this one. All spin basically.
The health sector has not been quiet over the last few weeks, with nurses striking for more pay and better conditions and the news that the new National Children’s Hospital is way over budget. The meaning of “way over budget” is an understatement with the report that the builder alone has tacked on over €391 million in extra payments. These charges have been described as “cost overruns” (that’s newspeak for money disappearing through the floorboards or back-handers or whatever you want to call it .. like corruption or stealing money from taxpayers) by the Government and their media lackeys. My background is in farming but I would know a little bit about getting things done on a budget.
Seemingly those in government know nothing about money management or know very little yet have been given the country to run. Those who ask for money for well-intentioned projects are always told there is no money there for them. There would want to be some explanation for these “cost over-runs !!!!!!!” as the price of building materials hasn’t gone up significantly neither has the wages of the builders so why are these enormous charges been added on ? Some explanation is required here.
No one seems to be taking responsibility here. You would not be allowed to have these “cost over-runs” in the private sector so why are so many of these capital projects costing 3/4 times the price of work elsewhere. It seems that taxpayer’s money is meant to disappear somehow. Corrupt practises abound.
Take the case of the “National Maternity Hospital” the government was going to gift over €300 million in a new hospital to the nuns till people kicked up about it. Wisely so. My view is that the new Children’s Hospital should be put out to tender again as a way of controlling “cost overruns“.
As “over-runs” such as this are grounds for dismissal in any case (the builder in this case or the project management ). Maybe our health minster Simon Harris would stick to journalism. We need better politics and better people in politics perhaps someone who has experience in running a business. What’s running the show at the moment will not do.
Just having a look at the Irish times website and one story caught my eye – a sixty five year old man from Meath was found on the job with a prostitute in a brothel in west Dublin. Gardaí arrested the man in question and was subsequently fined €200 at a court in Dublin. The prostitute remained nameless under legislation passed in 2017 the so called “Nordic model”.
This legislation criminalise the “buying” of sex from prostitutes while the prostitute gets off scot free. So what is it ? I thought sex was a act between consenting adults with both parties being responsible. Seemingly now it is just the man who is to blame. The legislation seems to be enacted to please man hating feminists who seek to control others and want to reduce men to less than equal human beings while making them pay for it all.
They is a great deal of hypocrisy about Sex in this country, quite a lot of it from feminists, maybe they would do something constructive and shut up.
British Prime minster Theresa May is making news with her deal she struck with the EU being voted down by MP’s in Westminster parliament. She (Theresa May) faced a revolt by members of her own conservative party who felt the Brexit “deal” didn’t give the Brits enough and believe that more can be got.
What has it got to do with us you say ?A lot considering the amount of trade between the two countries (Ireland/England) is of a two way nature . Many Business’s fear a “No deal” will increase costs, red tape and lead to containers having to be checked before entering Britain. Irish Agriculture may find increased competition from low cost countries like Brazil and Argentina as Britain may make trade deals with someone like the Mercosur bloc and others. So it effects us.
Britain never really in favour of the EU , finally voted themselves out 52-48 % in 2016 with immigration being the issue that won it for the Leave side. If Britain keeps to the March 29th deadline they are now likely to crash out of the EU, which is not really in anyone interests. The Brits have really rocked the boat this time but they are big enough to weather the storm. But likely to take some losses in the process. Whatever arrangements the Brits finally agree to or not agree to will effect their economy to some degree.
Another side effect of Brexit is the possibly the re-introduction of some border checks up in the North of Ireland. At present the border is non existent, it is a open drive all the way up. Nationalist parties and border communities have campaigned hard for no border checks to reintroduced and seemingly have got Dublin and the European commission to listen which makes a change for once. However Unionists in particular the DUP have kicked up a fuss wanting the exact same arrangements as Britain. Worse May’s government relies on the DUP for votes in Parliament and is likely to support Unionist’s/DUP ignorance of historical and geographic location. So they may(!) be trouble down the line.
Personally I have a lot of issues with the EU especially their conduct in the Lisbon treaty campaign/ Colm and Jim Jim Dj’s broadcasts but still believe that pulling out of the EU altogether is a mistake. The world is getting smaller and places like Europe face increased competition from China, India, Brazil etc… That doesn’t forgive the EU for being a boss’s club or the “race to the bottom” on workers rights, conditions and pay. Maybe one day we will change the EU to becoming more a people centered organisation. That’s a Maybe, a big one. A after thought is that on my journey through life, I saw a notice in a factory telling Workers that it takes seven times the effort to get a new customer than to keep a old customer. So that is something the English might take note of.
I got to spend my time on Christmas eve waiting in A&E in the Regional hospital Limerick, the person I was waiting with had a swollen leg which they found very sore. I took over from my sister at about 6.30 pm and proceeded to wait till 1.15 am Christmas day. The A&E dept. was fairly full on arrival but managed to get through the double doors to relieve my sister. I thought the maximum wait times was three hours but on arrival was told I could possibly have to wait 7 .5 to 8 hours to be seen.
The staff looked like they were busy but they didn’t seem to merit any prizes for efficiency either. It was along wait and the vending machines didn’t work either. Surely they could cut down the waiting times some what, I believe they were down to three hours years before and patients should be seen in a 3 hour time span, waiting up to 8 hours it is too long.
They should hire more doctors or nurses to alleviate the workload or send non urgent cases to an out of hours gp service. Also more wards should be opened up to stop patients ending up on trolleys for the night. There is a lot of mismanagement in hospitals and the public service seems to be very badly run. One wonders how all the money is spent and if it is spent wisely which I very much doubt. Time for improvements here.