Sinn Féin’s Dismal Showing….

sinnfein.ie

Above is a screenshot of the Sinn Féin website which is @ sinnfein.ie .They have taken a drubbing at the local and European elections, losing 2 MEPs and host of councilors (81 now-out of previous 159) in the local elections. So what has gone wrong with Sinn Féin ??

They seem to have lost touch with their own voters or they have become disillusioned with Sinn féin. Don’t think Sinn féin’s stance on the Abortion referendum did them any good and was a “unnatural” position for Sinn féin to be in. Maybe toning down the women’s lib abit might help it doesn’t seem to a vote winner some how.

The main problem seems to be them failing to get their message across to voters or what Policies they stand (United Ireland obvious )for to voters. A quick perusal on the internet and this political party stands for Abortion, All Ireland Soccer teams and allowing the diaspora to vote in referendums (including a Border Poll) and Presidential elections. Two tier health systems which only serve the rich hardly get a mention, affordable housing for our young people another issue which needs to be dealt with, they are many others which might be a vote puller for them. You can see their polices at https://www.sinnfein.ie/policies

 

Their side of the fence is increasing crowded also with the independents sharing a lot of their polices and their points of view. So increasing competition is a fact of life. One thing that might help is if they stopped cozzing up to Fianna fail and Fine gael and put the booth into them instead … Fianna fail left the “state” almost bankrupt and largely squandered the boom, Fine gael on the other hand gives a $350 million maternity hospital to the nuns as “sole owners” and pays a whopping €1.7 plus billion for a children’s hospital that originally was to cost €450 million. These “cost overruns” show that you wouldn’t hire Fine gael to build your house at any time. Both establishment parties stand for two tier health systems, the rich paying the least and in a international downturn will encourage you to move somewhere else and that is just for starters. So there is a lot of work for Sinn fein to do if they want to avoid their usual manoeuvre of “one step forward followed by two steps back“. I actually have a lot of issues with this particular party but see a bigger picture for now anyway.

How Time has moved on….

 

Sinn Féin took a drubbing in the European and Local elections at the weekend but the news isn’t all bad. Here is Eileen Paisley wife of loyalist Dup firebrand Ian Paisley now thinks that the Partition of Ireland was a “wrong division”  and she would accept a United Ireland if there was freedom of religion . We should surely manage that ! Maybe a referendum on a United Ireland might go our way in the next five or ten years.

Ireland’s partition perhaps ‘a wrong division’, says Eileen Paisley

United Ireland acceptable to Eileen Paisley – if there is freedom of religion

On Nama and RTE “Newspeak” Reporting.

Was watching RTE (this crowd owe me millions in unpaid damages) news at six o’ clock this evening and saw a piece about Nama repaying the “state” some €2 billions euros this year and possibly another €2 billion next year before its wound up likely next year also.

This was reported as positive news, while any repayment of funds is welcome the RTE news reporter didn’t give a overview of how much has been gotten back by Nama. Nama took over € 74 billion in defunct loans from the five major banks, its borrowed money which was kept off the books and it is all owed by the taxpayer it is private debt made public.

One has doubts whether it will stop there either as the national debt or state debt stands at over €211 billion that’s €45,000 for every man, woman and child in the “state”. This debt was recklessly brought on by a Fianna Fail government who despite the “boom” left the country in a far worse state than they got it in 1997. We owe a lot more- €40 billion in late 90’s to over €211 billion in 2019 and haven’t got that much to show for it.

Don’t think Nama is on the books either here. The running of Nama doesn’t inspire confidence as they sold their northern loan book for €1.5 billions when it was worth over € 5 billion. Someone made a “killing” there, i’m sure that’s not the end of it either.

So any one out there know what the “sums” are on Nama ??

Big loss, break even or a gain ?

Now for the news reporting, the journalist who was reporting the item on Nama presented it as “good news” without the overview. He presented it “1984” style as in the film “1984” the chocolate ration is cut from 30grams to 25 grams but they report it as “chocolate ration up to 25 grams” hurray ! The journalist’s  report was very similar to “1984” newspeak. That’s my observation anyway.

Giving emigrants the vote

 

In light of the European and Local Council elections to be held on Friday 24th May, here something that was to be put to a referendum a few years ago and that is a vote for our emigrants. Ireland (republic) is out of step with our European neighbours in not allowing our emigrants the vote whilst they are away. The English for example allow their citizens/subjects to be absent for up to 15 years whilst still having the vote in United Kingdom elections.

Ireland eschews any form of giving representation to emigrants, Governments in the Republic are know to fear a emigrant vote would lead to their dismissal and alternative governments being formed. Indeed successive Irish governments have encouraged Irish people to leave and seek a livelihood elsewhere in Europe or perhaps the World. (Successive Irish governments have practically shoved Irish people “out the door” by establishing employment offices abroad and encouraging people to leave like ~RTE’s “Better off abroad” , “Making it down under” and so on.)

This is all to cheat people out of a days wages and to ensure that establishment parties are not held to account for the way they run the country.  The Landlords of old never had it as good , but we are stuck with the “political landlords of Fianna fail and Fine Gael”  for the present anyway. Perhaps the culture of Tweeddledee and Tweedledum represented by Fianna fail and Fine Gael might be coming to an end but I have my doubts.

 

 

 

 

On the National Broadband Plan- Worst Deal Ever…

See the source image

 

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.

 

 

Nurse’s Strike, New Children’s Hospital & the Health Service.

independent.ie

irishexaminer.com

 

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.

 

On Brexit…

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.

BBC.com/news

Excessive Waiting times at UHL / Regional Hospital Limerick.

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.

On a Border Poll/The Good Friday Agreement at 20, 1918 Election and the First Dáil 1919.

Sinn Fein have been making noise about a Border poll for a while now, it is also the twentieth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, the hundredth anniversary of the 1918 election and in a few weeks that of the first Dáil.

What is one to say  I’m not a fan of the Good Friday Agreement which I see as having conceded rather a lot to Unionists and to the British Government. Unionists/ British Government obtained the “consent” clause in the Good Friday agreement which necessitated the approval of the unionist community to any changes in the “North” and copper fastened the Gerrymander which they call Northern Ireland.

Incidentally the British never needed the consent of the Irish people to partition Ireland, for treaty Ports, oath of allegiances to the British monarch and so on. So why do we need theirs ?

Ok back to a Border Poll, Sinn Fein feels the time is right for one, shifting population trends in the North will a put a catholic/nationalist “majority” in a few years and Sinn fein feels they will vote for a United Ireland . One wonders, asking the Unionists to vote for United Ireland is a tall order indeed ! But one feels that a section of unionism will make a deal when it comes to the point.

The major road block to a United Ireland is however is London which has a conservative government and which will not countenance a Referendum on the North joining the rest of Ireland. The “English” have been down on the Irish for centuries and looted the country for as long.

Then there is the puppet show in Dublin to overcome, all of this to put Ireland back together.

One feels to have realistic chance of winning a referendum in the six counties, is that one will need to be In government in the south and have access to the chequebook to win. My feelings are that one will have to offer something to win, perhaps a Nhs type healthcare in the south, changes to the tax system, money for infrastructure in the North and so on. Something to offer I believe is a necessity, coming empty handed or a situation where the population of the North would lose out could possibility end in defeat.

One is out to win not to lose, it is likely to cost a bit but Ireland would be way stronger United ! It would be a better investment than “Nama” and the bank bailouts that fianna fail signed us up to. Only time will tell what course Ireland takes in the next ten years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_Irish_general_election

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/some-unionists-are-thinking-the-unthinkable-about-living-in-a-united-ireland-1.3725241

 

Election 1918 Wikipedia.org