Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

Frances Fitzgerald’s dishonourable discharge from cabinet this week is a symptom in the most classically Freudian of senses.

While the jury is divided as to whether her fall from grace was a result of incompetence or dishonesty, the father of psychoanalysis would argue that the real cause lies elsewhere.

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When it comes to Government there are two kinds of political parties.

There are those who accept the status quo. Their policy agenda may involve some proposals for change. But these can be accommodated within the existing order of things.

Then there are those committed to something more profound. Their agenda can not be satisfied within the status quo. They want to replace the existing order of things with something radically different.

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Historically the Irish left has suffered from two weaknesses – a poverty of ambition and a lack of credible alternatives. These weaknesses, more than anything else, are the reason why the south of Ireland has never had a left wing government.

Last weekend’s conference organised by the five Right2Water trade unions –Unite, Mandate, CPSU, CWU, OPATSI- sought to address these weaknesses.

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The politics and economics of austerity have failed to deliver a fair recovery. However anger or apathy are not the way forward. Opposition to unjust taxes and demands for increased public spending were never enough. We need to promote our workable alternatives to fiscal waterboarding Irish style.

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One thing is clear from recent elections and opinion polls. The cosy consensus of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael no longer commands the support of the majority of people.

After 90 years of corrupt and incompetent Governments, a growing number of people have clearly had enough. They want change.

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Time for a new Social Contract

Posted: September 29, 2014 in Economy, Government

The era of austerity is not yet over but its high watermark has now passed. From here on in budgets will be less painful and less contentious.

That does not mean that there will be no more hardship. The deficit may be on track to meet its EU targets but the debt-to-GDP ratio is still way off course. Debt servicing will continue to absorb what little excess revenue the state has for some time to come.

But the Governments narrative is changing. The hard decisions are now behind us. Fiscal restraint has had the desired effect. Growth –job and GDP- is returning to the economy. We have finally turned the corner.

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There is a lot of talk of Sinn Féin in government these days. Gerry is telling us to get ready. Micheál and Enda are saying no way. The Indo are in panic mode. Things seem to be getting serious.

There is no doubt that Sinn Féin wants to be in Government in the South. But big questions remain, one of which is are we ready?

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