- Jun 2, 2007
And who would "examine the need for such an organization"? Oh, we'll set up a quango to do that... There you go again.... In order to either set up or close down organisations, or parts of organisations, best practice would be to examine the need for such an organisation.
OK, it is obvious that the politicians are supposed to "examine the need". And it is also obvious that the FF-Greens won't do so.
What about the opposition? Well, surprise, surprise, Fine Gael has already done much of the work on this. In early 2008 they released a big report about the proliferation of quangos and how so much money could be saved by abolishing or amalgamating them. I was somewhat impressed at the time, and I did a follow-up myself: see here.
Now I didn't really expect FG to do a lot more about it, bearing in mind their general uselessness. But it is striking that not only have they done nothing about it, they have actually deleted all traces of the quango critique from their website.
I suppose it fits in with FG's pattern of behaviour -- the party that's smart enough to know that going into government these days is a poisoned chalice. So, rather than land any heavy blows on their opponent, they adopt a pretend-belligerent, "hold me back" attitude, hoping (like FF!) to put off the day of reckoning -- the general election -- as long as possible.
While it is clearly a colossal failure on the part of FG, I should reserve my serious criticism for the FF-Greens' failure to abolish forthwith most of the quangos, starting three years ago. Instead, the government parties busied themselves looking after their friends while the national debt mounted fast. Like there was no tomorrow. Utterly criminal.
Note how the Wikipedia page on "Quango" has a special section on Ireland:
Ireland in 2006 had more than 800 quangos, 482 at national and 350 at local level, with a total of 5,784 individual appointees and a combined annual budget of 13 billion.