Election 2020 -No Change

This is a delayed comment on the election which was held on 8th February. The outcome was good for Sinn Fein but they  didn’t run enough candidates to gain a outright victory.

What has happened is that the establishment parties have merged, blocking Sinn Fein from forming a Government. This was bound to happen when both Fianna fail and Fine gael lost support. There was little between the establishment parties for a long time as both are a collection of gangsters i.e alot of taxpayers money ends up in a politician’s bank account ( a secret one at that).

A Sinn fein government wouldn’t be that much different from the establishment, maybe some people are naive to think that, but they would be some movement on the North at least.

Varadkar and Martin have stymied that with their coalition of the “unwanted”. People are bound to pay more taxes, get less services and have living standards squeezed. While all the time the rich pay less and take out more. You could talk about  government inefficiency/waste/ blatant corruption  till the cows come home but nothing will change in the immediate future. Irish politics is a puppet show at best.

Life under Lockdown.

 

www.who.int

Well we are at lockdown for the  last 6 weeks and it hasn’t been much fun. Nearly everywhere is shut and there is restrictions on how far you can travel, can’t go to Ballybunion on a sunny weekend and so on. Television is the usual crap when was it any good anyway. They could put on a few films won’t cost that much but not RTE apparently.

The Government has extended the lockdown/restrictions until May 18th and a gradual easing from then on. Schools are to remain shut till September, gyms, swimming pools remain closed until July i think. Builders can go back to work, so too can gardeners, garden centers and other people who work outdoors but have to keep the “social distancing” up or take other precautions.

Business’s have piled the pressure on the Government to reopen many Business and ease the restrictions. The economy has taken a major hit with the lockdown and the Government has a quiet a bill for paying for laid off employees and furlough workers. I think that most “shops” could reopen and take precautions like the supermarkets are doing, Perspex screens, staff to wear masks, hand washing and so on. Bars / nightclubs / cinemas could check the temperature of patrons before admission and so on. It is a bit over the top to keep them closed . I think now is a go0d time to get any DIY done. .

Medical bills are enormous too with privates hospitals being commandeered for the duration of the crisis. There is the possibility of reinfection during the summer or reemergence of the Corona virus in the autumn, they will have to assess the risks. Not all countries are doing lockdowns and may act as reservoirs of the disease. A effective vaccine is really the only solution. Talk is of a vaccine in late September/ October at the earliest more likely next year.

A word must be said to people who lost someone/ had their time cut short or who got sick, they have my sympathy for what it is worth.

https://www.who.int/

Corona Virus Pandemic .

Well you would want to be on another planet to miss all the commotion about the Corona virus that originated in China and has spread to the rest of the world.

It is seemingly a deadly disease that effects the airways and lungs of infected people. There is no vaccine for  it at present and no drugs to alleviate the symptoms. Measures taken to contain the virus rely on isolating people away from possible carriers of the disease and hoping that the virus dies out in the containment period. To this effect the government has ordered the closure of schools, pubs, gyms, restaurants, night clubs and so on. The airline industry is being mothballed with the lack of people travelling and lot of hotels have closed down. All in an effort to contain the virus.

Despite this the level of new cases is averaging over a hundred cases a day and it is not believed to have peaked. It is now  past the containment phase and onto the delay phase. Ireland (32 counties) is more or less in lock down along with a number of countries in Europe. The Government (along with a lot of medics ) has warned the population to follow the guidelines given out otherwise we will have a Italian situation on our hands in about two to three weeks. Government also promises to crackdown on pubs flouting the virus ban.

How long will the containment take ? Possibly longer than the 29th March and maybe beyond Easter through to May. Elderly people are especially vulnerable and so are people with underlying conditions or who suffer from other aliments but the Corona virus will infect both young and old.

Measures will have to taken to stop the eating/ slaughter of wild animals in places like China, Africa. As diseases are jumping the species barrier. The matter of why they failed to contain the virus will also need investigation.

No one knows what the death toll will be, Hopefully it will be small.

My sympathies to any one infected by the virus or who has lost someone to it.

Links of Interest

https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/

https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/ .

 

Leader’s Debate II

Just a quick note on the Leader’s debate on RTE 1 last night, It wasn’t anything new, it was a rehash of previous stances on housing health and economy in general by the three leaders. Both LeoVaradkar   and Michael Martin tried to gang up on Mary Lou McDonald leader of Sinn fein but got no where with her.

Miriam O’Callaghan tried to trip up  Mary Lou McDonald on the killing of a Paul Quinn in South Armagh which they claimed to have no involvement but it bounced off Miss McDonald who was well able for the biased interviewer,

Nothing to get excited about there in the debate. Though its amazing to see how the establishment covers up for it self and drags up the past on someone else.

The Leader’s Debate (RTE)

Rte.ie

Just watched the leader’s debate on RTE tonight. It wasn’t surprising in any way, as no one got landed with a “killer blow”.

They talked about housing mainly and how they planned to build up to 100,000 new homes as social/ affordable homes for our young people who are trapped in their parents home as they cannot afford the crazy prices of houses particularly in Dublin. All the participants indicated that they would greatly increase the number of houses being built. Surprisingly no-one asked why this hadn’t being done already as both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael where effectively in government together for the last four years.

So one has to take all the promises being made with a pinch of salt. Both Mary Lou McDonald (Sinn fein) and Richard Boyd Barret ( People before Profit) put in good performances with Richard Boy Barret making the comment that selling up to €40 billion in Nama properties to developers and vulture funds wasn’t the way to solve a housing crisis.

Mary Lou McDonald mentioned  that Fianna Fail crashed the economy whilst in office and Fine Gael builds the most expensive Children hospital ( at estimated €2.4 billion it certainly is) in the world.  The National Broadband plan doesn’t get a mention at a staggering €3 billion-  3 times the price that Eir/Eircom said they would do it for .

The Greens want to cut the suckler herd by 50% so to cut emissions of methane though they would compensate farmers for the lost production. The other participants disagreed with the Greens on this. More Gardaí were promised to tackle crime, organisation of special units and so on.

Leo Varadkar stressed that you need a strong economy to fund all these commitments and that Fine Gael was the party to deliver this “strong economy” .

Michael Martin was busy attacking Sinn fein on the fact they had voted for the retirement age to be 66 in the North.

General view on the debate was that they were no outright winners or losers in it. Though Sinn fein’s Mary Lou McDonald came out the best.

More would want to be asked about Corporation tax and the fact the banks don’t pay any despite being bailed out by the taxpayer. Other companies like companies like Google don’t pay any tax while making immense profits, though I forget the company that was mentioned in the debate. More has to be done on fair taxation for all.

See the leader’s debate here

https://www.rte.ie/player/series/claire-byrne-live-leaders-debate/SI0000006738?epguid=IH000383124

National Debt Clock.

commodity.com

I came across this on the AN SIONNACH FIONN blog in the comments section, its from someone called “Get Real” debating what to do with all the civil servants in a 32 county situation.  The national debt is quite a sizeable sum of at least €228 billion and that doesn’t include Nama. Well over 50k for each of us -every citizen of the state that’s all thanks to Fianna fail profiteering from being in government. So can we afford a rerun of Fianna fail in government, I think not.

here’s the link

https://commodity.com/debt-clock/ireland

On the Looming Election.

Well here it is election time and its come sooner than we thought. The money was on a May election but fianna fail seem to have pulled the plug on fine gael.

Well what’s to say that there isn’t much of a choice really, two pretty uncool conservative parties that are very similar in policies and very much against the interests of Ireland.  Fianna fail is know for its rampant corruption and the fact that they nearly sunk the “state” while  in power. The people of Ireland got the national debt increased fivefold or more to over €211 billion and that’s not including Nama which has reputely lost €47 billion of the original €74 billion set aside for bad debts owned by banks and builders and property speculators and so on. Nearly “scuttled” the Republic of Ireland with what they did.

Fine gael on the hand makes dodgy deals with state contracts paying 3/4 times the estimated price on items such as the National broadband plan which could have been done for about a billion euro according to Eir/Eircom. Instead the contract is given to a American firm with no experience or expertise in providing rural broadband. Its all payed for by the taxpayer who is treated like a slush fund by corrupt politicians. The National children’s hospital is also way over budget for no particular reason.

Well that’s my view on Fianna fail/ Fine gael everything costs a blooming fortune and you wonder where it all goes ? The other parties are much smaller players than FF/FG and likely to go into coalition with either of the two above. No change  to 26/6 counties is what Boris Johnson wants and is very likely to get.

As usual RTE ( who owe me money for Colm and Jim JIm ) are trying to “skewer” the result by only having  FF/FG leaders in the final debate. Attempting to lead the “electorate” a lot RTE.

So who gets my vote ?

  • A party that will end partition.
  • End the two tier health service.
  • Affordable housing for our young people who can’t get a house without paying silly money for 3 bed semi detached house.
  • Efficient use of people’s taxes.
  • More public transport to carry people where they want to go.
  • Cut down on pollution and increase greener alternatives.

That’s just for starters but does any party measure up ? We will soon find out.

Google and Taxes

Just came across this News story online. It says that Google Ireland Holdings paid nearly $50 billion in dividends to its US parent in the last two years and paid absolutely no taxes to the Irish Government on its immense profits. One would ask how they managed to do this? Google employs over 8,000 people in Ireland but that doesn’t justify not paying taxes. Why are they loopholes that allow for this level of tax avoidance or tax evasion really. Everyone is supposed to pay their fair share so as pay for services the Government is supposed to provide. We seem to be at the mercy of predatory US multinationals who don’t pay there fair share of taxes. To be honest I couldn’t manage to pay no taxes so how does Google ? Time to change the laws to stop this level of tax avoidance.

You read the article here.
google pays no Taxes

Bertie Ahern on a United Ireland.

 

Just noticed a post on the Irish News and another post by Maurice Quinilivan on facebook that Fianna Fail have ruled out a border poll or a referendum on Irish unity as policy. Fianna fail claim to be the “Republican party” but took the oath of allegiance in 1926, never delivered on Republican issues and is famous for its sleaze and rampant corruption. One must ask who they work for ? The people of Ireland or Boris Johnson and his Tory/British imperialist conservative party. They (the Tories) are surly delighted at the news from Fianna fail. The southern establishment has much to hide especially when giving out state contracts that cost 3/4 times the price or awarding contracts to companies with no experience and expertise to do the national broadband plan. A lot has to be hidden from a potential United Ireland.

To be honest I believe the time frame for a referendum on Irish unity would more likely be 10 years especially if Sinn fein can get into government or other United Ireland party can get in. I see the introduction of a “NHS” type healthcare system in the “South” as being necessary, along with some changes to the tax system so the people in the north don’t lose out. A few bob to spend would be very handy as well. However Boris Johnson and his tories are likely to put in “overtime” to keep any united Ireland party out. Southern politics is a “puppet show” at best.

 

Here are some links of interest

http://www.irishnews.com/paywall/tsb/irishnews/irishnews/irishnews//news/republicofirelandnews/2019/12/23/news/anyone-believing-irish-unity-will-happen-by-2021-should-go-for-a-trip-in-space-for-a-decade-says-former-taoiseach-bertie–1797547/content.html

https://www.newstalk.com/news/fianna-fail-leader-warns-rush-hold-northern-ireland-border-poll-941895

More on the National Broadband Plan.

Wireless, Home, Router, Adsl, Modem, Broadband

As of today the Government has signed us up to the most expensive broadband plan. Its going to cost a Whopping €3 billion to connect up half a million rural households. It follows a “flawed” bidding process which left only one bidder- investment firm Granahan McCourt which is a US based company in the running… As the rules say the choice of one is not a choice -start the process again. No-one knows why the other bidders pulled out Eir, the ESB and so on, when so much money was involved.

Eir-Eircom said later that they could connect up the remaining rural households for about €1 billion which is at a third of a price of McCourt’s National Broadband Ireland . So it is quiet a steep price for rural broadband.

Another point to be raised is that we (taxpayers) don’t own the broadband infrastructure and are basically shelling out for something we don’t own and the contractor can sell it after nine years and own it outright after twenty five years . Shelling out €3 billion of taxpayers money is extraordinary arrangement when it should be done with private capital in the first place.

Eir/Eircom is the national telephone company it was their job to connect up the nation to high speed broadband, when the company (then Bord Telecom) was privatised it should have been made clear that no “cherry-picking” would be allowed instead they just connected the towns and the countryside was deemed commercially unviable . That shouldn’t have been allowed.

A few years ago Bupa (British healthcare company) wanted to sign up the younger clients but were told their policies would have to be “community rated” meaning the young pay for the old and Bupa would have to give money to other Healthcare companies with older clientele. They subsequently pulled out of Ireland (Rep). Where is the “community rating” for broadband ?

Why was Eir allowed to cherry -pick ? They could have made the costs back by selling digital/online services such as tv, music, downloading etc …

The whole process is costing the taxpayer a fortune when it could have been done for a lot less.

 

Some links of Interest

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/why-is-northern-ireland-broadband-scheme-costing-half-that-of-scheme-here-ask-ff-961435.html?fbclid=IwAR2yycun38SJs9NUF5GKUj6dE3siqNPo8wvxF_Lgu6Bd3HCygBMkAy-qSJg#.Xb4arD6woLw.facebook

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/contract-for-3-billion-broadband-plan-due-to-be-signed-on-tuesday-1.4087081

https://www.independent.ie/business/technology/news/dooley-go-back-to-eir-for-rural-broadband-well-all-save-money-38343155.html