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What a new Government needs to do


bokonon

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2007
Messages
417
(Note: The endemic corruption in Ireland has brought us to the brink of disaster and yet it remains to be addressed comprehensively by any opposition party. Tackling corruption should be a major manifesto point in the next election and a major policy programme for the next government.

I posted the piece below last week at the tail end of a dying thread. I received some feedback pointing out that the topic of corruption is so important that it requires its own thread, and suggesting that this post could be used as a good enough opener for such a discussion. Apologies to those of you who have read this post before.)


At the next election FF will be obliterated for destroying the country. And so far it appears that Labour will be puppets of the trade unions and FG will change the names on the doors and sit on the seats they've so long coveted and carry on business as usual.

It is shameful that neither FG or Labour has shown any inclination to do what is desperately needed - to renew the state. Instead, the opposition parties wallow in the safety of the shallows hoping that political office will drift to them from the sinking ship of state. Neither FG or Labour has the balls to be onboard helping with the lifeboats, let alone organising the mutiny. As the citizens go under, FG and Labour spectate in quiet cowardice, fearful of losing the prize: vanity portfolios and ministerial pensions. We need leaders and fighters, not rotated officeholders.

The challenge for Ireland is nothing less than a complete root and branch replacement of the nation's body politic. When our children look back on 2011/2012, they should see that we made use of the crisis and addressed the corruption that permeated society. (Our children will deserve this much, because our children as adults will still be paying for Bertie's iniquitous policies. Even more stark is the reality that, such is the tyranny we have cultured, if we do not act now then our offspring are condemned to live it all out again in their turn. Your sons and daughters will also vote for names like Creed or Quinn or Lenihan. They will work hard for the businesses of some Fitzpatrick or Fingleton, rent from people called McNamara and Carroll, and they will be force-fed a weekly lunch of muzzy pap on the romances of a younger Ronan or Dunne.)

The permanent government, all government departments, all quangos, the gardai, the judges, the courts, the banks, the church, the health service, the public service, the media, all these - and more - are rancid with sinecures, nepotism, cronyism and Ba'ath-like corruption.

The manifesto of the next government should be specific, forthright and clear: We will remove all traces of the noxious blight called Fianna Fail; We will challenge directly the vested interests; We will apply justice for all; We will fix the state. Such a necessary position is evidently beyond all our current representatives. If they were civilly-minded they would be clamouring to oust the corrupt government, instead they wait complicitly in line for their turn at power. No wonder so many new parties are springing up.

If the opposition cannot confront this disease now, at a time of crisis when the populace is crying out for change, when unpopular decisions will be accepted and when Fianna Fail is already scattered before it, then the state is doomed to remain permanently infantile.

So do Fine Gael or Labour want to tackle the state's endemic corruption? And if they want to, will they? And if they will, can they achieve it? Unfortunately I have seen no signs whatsoever, I have heard no speeches anywhere to tell me that either party has the will to do the necessary job. I don't even know if they've thought about it.

It's pretty hopeless and it will be business as usual. FG and Labour will carry on, waiting their undeserved turn, saying nothing too provocative or "brave" because they prefer cosy safety to actual leadership. Then the coalition will assume the controls and with fresh vigour it will drive us further into the mire.
 

MPB

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
4,465
It is indeed time for FG and Labour to stand up for this country. Do they have it in them? I hope so but I doubt it.

I have said this many times before, if they do not get it right after the next General Election, the Govt that comes after them will not come to power by way of a General Election.
 

MsAnneThrope

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Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
1,818
Tackling corruption should be a major manifesto point in the next election and a major policy programme for the next government.
Will contribute some more to this during the week but the first point you make there is so important you'd think it's a no-brainer for them.

Cleaning up Ireland won't happen overnight and may even take a generation in some areas. If the current Opposition parties, and the new parties being formed, don't see this as a genuine priority and prepare for the task then we're doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past and make future generations pay for even more than they're currently being made to pay for. And that's already a lot!
 

motorheed

Active member
Joined
Jun 7, 2010
Messages
196
Get out of the single currency and ignore the EU's unaccountable institutions from now on. They need to take the country back for We The People.
 

kerdasi amaq

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 24, 2009
Messages
4,690
We need politician reform, not constitutional reform. What is affecting Ireland today is a spiritual crisis, not a financial one.
 

the_rebubblican

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
Messages
344
FG and Labour will carry on, waiting their undeserved turn, saying nothing too provocative or "brave" because they prefer cosy safety to actual leadership.


Great Post bokonon.

The opposition is caught in the headlights of opportunity but in the context of a failed system. They must break it apart. Reduce TDs to 100. This will end the ability of some TDs to specialise in Gombeenism which has such a hold over TDs that all must engage in this kind of politics even those who have the stature to help in leading the nation.

Abolish the Seanad-totally discredited.

Abolish a lot of the councils-incubators for local stroke politics and innefectual. Restructure city and county management to include the democratic process not centrally controlled from Dublin. Give power back to local elected office through elected mayors and a new County office.

Corruption and the circles of influence are endemic in Ireland. Where people can pool influence and a pot of money together through restrictive practices you can be sure in whatever area it exists. This culture must be broken.

Liberalise professions, open up markets to entrepreneurs and employees such as the restrictions on entering teaching.

Clean up the HSE with its silo culture and tackle extraordinary consultant wages.

Ensure equal opportunity in education with an aggressive programme to break the cycle of poverty in poor areas ensuring every kid who needs/wants a break has a mentor.

Fair taxation with an emphasis on weighting tax fairly from low to high earners. Do not be afraid to tax business (including corporation tax) but do it fairly.

Tax property-inevitable, it will have to come, the madness of 1977 must be undone.

Place all expenditure in the civil service and semi states (including quangos) under perpetual audit to examine efficiency through an independent entity with effective power. The nebulous expenditure of the state has benefitted very few including thise employed by the state only. When the average wage in Poolbeg is 125k, average ESB wage is 90k and the Ceo gets 750k then the party is over.

Reduce politicians wages to relative realistic levels on an international basis.

Reform the Dail so that in extremis the Taoiseach can be impeached and is accountable to the Dail. Reform Dail procedures.

Extinguish FF-at the moment through its inadequate response to a crisis which threatens the Republic the opposition have not stood up to protect it and they are ironically keeping this awful cabal of "mé féiners" on life support because they are so poor. FF is a cancer on the body politic.

That's a start, here's to the Republic that has been denied us for over 90 years....
 

MsAnneThrope

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
1,818
We need watertight legislation to allow for the immediate firing of any public or civil servant found to be corrupt, and automatic relinquishment of all entitlements, bonuses, built-up pensions etc. Only when this is in place will crooked workers seriously consider the implications of their dodgy actions. This country has absolutely no chance of cleaning up its act until such measures are introduced. Just a few examples:

  • Gardai found to be assisting criminals or tampering with evidence
  • Prison officers involved in drug and/or mobile phone smuggling
  • Customs officers assisting with drug smuggling
  • Councillors taking bungs for rezoning
  • Public representatives breaching rules for, or falsely claiming, expenses
  • Train or bus drivers drinking before or on the job
  • Public workers operating private businesses from their workplace
  • Awarding public contracts dishonestly to cronies, perhaps for a kickback
  • Selling personal data to private companies, such as insurance companies
And so on and so on. Right across the board. Let them all know, without a shadow of a doubt, that loss of office/job and all pay and pension entitlements will be automatic for anyone caught. In addition they must be barred for life from ever being able to get another job anywhere in the CS/PS.
 

Flynnster

Active member
Joined
Feb 5, 2007
Messages
128
At the next election FF will be obliterated for destroying the country. And so far it appears that Labour will be puppets of the trade unions and FG will change the names on the doors and sit on the seats they've so long coveted and carry on business as usual.
Are you presenting this theory of yours as fact? What is your definition of "obliterated?

The permanent government, all government departments, all quangos, the gardai, the judges, the courts, the banks, the church, the health service, the public service, the media, all these - and more - are rancid with sinecures, nepotism, cronyism and Ba'ath-like corruption.

The manifesto of the next government should be specific, forthright and clear: We will remove all traces of the noxious blight called Fianna Fail; We will challenge directly the vested interests; We will apply justice for all; We will fix the state. Such a necessary position is evidently beyond all our current representatives. If they were civilly-minded they would be clamouring to oust the corrupt government, instead they wait complicitly in line for their turn at power. No wonder so many new parties are springing up.
And in this paragraph alone you have alienated the vast bulk of the voting public in Ireland & that is the very reason why FF, FG & Labour are the parties of choice for middle Ireland. Sadly your revolution is doomed to failure because you aren't bringing the people with you in my view. What you are looking for like so many others here is a warm & fuzzy dictatorship where democracy only works when it suits your purpose

If the opposition cannot confront this disease now, at a time of crisis when the populace is crying out for change, when unpopular decisions will be accepted and when Fianna Fail is already scattered before it, then the state is doomed to remain permanently infantile.

So do Fine Gael or Labour want to tackle the state's endemic corruption? And if they want to, will they? And if they will, can they achieve it? Unfortunately I have seen no signs whatsoever, I have heard no speeches anywhere to tell me that either party has the will to do the necessary job. I don't even know if they've thought about it.

It's pretty hopeless and it will be business as usual. FG and Labour will carry on, waiting their undeserved turn, saying nothing too provocative or "brave" because they prefer cosy safety to actual leadership. Then the coalition will assume the controls and with fresh vigour it will drive us further into the mire.
It is entirley hopeless because Irish people by their very nature accept corruption as part of their lives. We are always trying to "one up" the system and until we accept that reality and decide to change as a country we are going to continue to vote for the chancers & cute whores.
 

typical

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2010
Messages
575
Let them all know, without a shadow of a doubt, that loss of office/job and all pay and pension entitlements will be automatic for anyone caught.
The fact that this isn't the case is beyond stupidity, you'd think that would be fundamental, it sickening.
 

Flynnster

Active member
Joined
Feb 5, 2007
Messages
128
We need watertight legislation to allow for the immediate firing of any public or civil servant found to be corrupt, and automatic relinquishment of all entitlements, bonuses, built-up pensions etc. Only when this is in place will crooked workers seriously consider the implications of their dodgy actions. This country has absolutely no chance of cleaning up its act until such measures are introduced. Just a few examples:

  • Gardai found to be assisting criminals or tampering with evidence
  • Prison officers involved in drug and/or mobile phone smuggling
  • Customs officers assisting with drug smuggling
  • Councillors taking bungs for rezoning
  • Public representatives breaching rules for, or falsely claiming, expenses
  • Train or bus drivers drinking before or on the job
  • Public workers operating private businesses from their workplace
  • Awarding public contracts dishonestly to cronies, perhaps for a kickback
  • Selling personal data to private companies, such as insurance companies
And so on and so on. Right across the board. Let them all know, without a shadow of a doubt, that loss of office/job and all pay and pension entitlements will be automatic for anyone caught. In addition they must be barred for life from ever being able to get another job anywhere in the CS/PS.
If you look at the "law" I'm sure you will find that most of the things you listed are against it, however what you need is a population which demands that the law be enforced and that is the part that is missing in dear old Ireland. Society in Ireland is corrupt and wholly accepting of corruption and that is the difficulty which needs to be addressed.
 

Think.Thank

Active member
Joined
Aug 6, 2010
Messages
125
Is it just me or does anybody else realise that we do now live in the 21'st centuary where we can make collective decisions based on smart ideas generated by "The People" and filtered by computer programs.

If you use Google or Yahoo to refine your internet searches?
If you use Sage or Excell to manage your accounts?
If you use Windows or Mac OS to operate your PC or laptop?
If you use Facebook to network your socialising?
All of which, that you, the user, provide the input to be calculated!

Then why is it you use Brian Cowen and his goonies or any other political party for that matter to run your country???

When microsoft or apple decide that their OS's have become too old for the times, they re-write the OS from scratch. Windows is now on version 7 and Mac OS is on 10... Irish politics is till on OS 1.2.8.9.5.4.7.4.8.7.4.7.4.3.78.9.0.8954343 etc....... Press the reset button please because we already crashed.

We NEED and Have the right to a system where we all have an equal say in the running of our country if that is our choice... It has been pointed out many times to me before that we need leadership and not some sort of mindless popularity driven country where Ronald Mc Donnald becomes the president but I argue that the reason the population is becoming more Zombied when it comes to politics is because we have no say and therefore have lost all interest...
Ask yourself?? Why is the X-Factor, Big Brother and all these other reality shows so popular??? Maybe it's because "The People" have a choice in the end result.....

Vote for ideas, not for politicians to come up with ideas!!!
 
Last edited:

Tomas Mor

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
10,389
I think first thing any new gov should do is abolish all those useless quangos, and boards which are only stuffed with political cronies. Also dail committes apart from PAC,a nd one or two others shojuld be scrapped. They werfe expanded by Bertie and are only jobs for de boys who do not make minister or junior ranks. Imagine Paul Gogarty getting E20,000.00 a year extra for chairing some useless committee.
 

MsAnneThrope

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
1,818
If you look at the "law" I'm sure you will find that most of the things you listed are against it, however what you need is a population which demands that the law be enforced and that is the part that is missing in dear old Ireland. Society in Ireland is corrupt and wholly accepting of corruption and that is the difficulty which needs to be addressed.
Fair point Flynnster but when I vote for supposedly democratic politicians I expect them to ensure the law is enforced, prosecutions take place and punishments are meted out where necessary. Do we need to protest at the gates of Leinster House now to ask that the laws of the land be applied, when obvious corruption has been uncovered? It's a political will issue more so than the population's demands. We now need politicians who will walk the walk in this regard and it has to be central to any manifesto.
 

redger

Active member
Joined
May 21, 2010
Messages
166
I think first thing any new gov should do is abolish all those useless quangos, and boards which are only stuffed with political cronies. Also dail committes apart from PAC,a nd one or two others shojuld be scrapped. They werfe expanded by Bertie and are only jobs for de boys who do not make minister or junior ranks. Imagine Paul Gogarty getting E20,000.00 a year extra for chairing some useless committee.
I see your point, but I have an alternative view on it - why not remove all the quangos and instead have those that need to exist replaced by small (5 or 7 member) oireachtas committees. We will be paying the TD's and senators anyway, and at least they are sort-of accountable to the dail, rather than autonomus and unaccountable. Then the meetings of all these boards, being mostly dail committees, will be open and televised (within reason). So, for instance, the board of Fas might end up having 7 elected members, a CEO, Secretary, Treasurer, and the responsible people from the 3 relevant departments. The TD/Senators make up the majority, and its all open to public scrutiny. No outside appointments.

I cannot understand why the Labour party, who have the fewest hostages to fortune, but are big enough and have enough back-room people etc have not put forward a big radical agenda. FG would find it much more difficult to propose a 100 member Dail, as too many of its people would lose out.

I would suggest - 101 TD's inc ceann comhairle so 51 is a majority. All 5 seat constituencies. 25 Senators from party lists voted on election day by the people. Each party has to publish the list in order (like the MEP replacement lists), and every second person on each list (no2, no4 etc) must be a person not standing for the Dail - , and then some agreed method of selecting a further 10 - economists, constitutional experts, maybe minority representatives etc.
 

MsAnneThrope

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Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
1,818
I notice there are quite a few posters from the Opposition parties here today. If they have a moment perhaps they might outline a few of their plans in this area, even if their respective websites don't contain all the details at the moment?
 

bored and fussy

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Joined
Feb 24, 2010
Messages
351
Every time we say something should be done or something should be changed we are told " That would be unconstitutional, or some other such rubbish if it it unconstitutional lets change it and change it fast.
It is becoming a state where you cannot say or do anything,if we open our mouths it is either unconstitutional or racist.
And that is the stock answer from all parties not just the government.
 

kerdasi amaq

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Joined
Aug 24, 2009
Messages
4,690
Why should Fine Gael outline their plans? They wouldn't want Fianna Fáil stealing them.
 

Bleu Poppy

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Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Messages
4,570
I think first thing any new gov should do is abolish all those useless quangos, and boards which are only stuffed with political cronies. Also dail committes apart from PAC,a nd one or two others shojuld be scrapped. They werfe expanded by Bertie and are only jobs for de boys who do not make minister or junior ranks. Imagine Paul Gogarty getting E20,000.00 a year extra for chairing some useless committee.
FG have detailed proposals set out in a policy document published a year or so ago. The McCarthy Report also set out detailed proposals in this regard. But the headless muppets who drive around in the State Cars do not appear to have given directions to their civil servants to prepare the necessary legislation.

Maybe it's something to do with de-centralisation and if your Department officials are gone down the country sure you don't get to meet with the crew to tell them what to do!

The only bodies, organisations, or agencies to have disappeared, most notably, are those which spoke on behalf of the less fortunate.

And if you think that anything much is going to change- Look at the events of the past 24 hours- Labour suggest the abolition of F.Á.S. (which was a very cheap populist shot in any case) But look at the official response "we'll change the name", or words to that effect. What to? Back to AnCO?
 

bored and fussy

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Joined
Feb 24, 2010
Messages
351
They wouldn't want Fianna Fáil stealing them.

Why should Fine Gael outline their plans? They wouldn't want Fianna Fáil stealing them.
If any party has ideas or plans we should hear them. why in the name of god would you keep them to yourself instead of sharing them In the National Interest,
or are they just interested in seeing the country going down the swanee, it will be too late then to have your policies up your sleeve, i have to say i never heard such rubbish.
 

TommyO'Brien

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Joined
Jan 14, 2009
Messages
12,222
I notice there are quite a few posters from the Opposition parties here today. If they have a moment perhaps they might outline a few of their plans in this area, even if their respective websites don't contain all the details at the moment?
Fine Gael has published a list of detailed policy documents over the last three years covering reform of key areas of the economy and society.

Rather than try to summarise a lot of detail - and there is a lot of detail, the biggest document is 101 pages long and goes into detail on the why, the how, the when and the cost of reforming the whole system of government - it might be more useful to give you the link to the documents, so you can read whichever one you wish in your own time.

The link is Policy Collection - Recent Policy Catalogue

You will also find a link to short overall summaries of key policy areas at the moment on the website main page, left hand column, at http://www.finegael.ie/

Put simply, Fine Gael will be proposing the most radical shake-up of the state, the economy, the semi-states, the health service etc in decades, with policies such as 'Faircare', 'NewERA', 'New Politics' etc.

While media attention focused on abolishing the Seanad, 'New Politics' covers vast amount of other things, including

  • fundamental reform of the Dáil Éireann functions
  • new stronger rules on openness and transparency
  • state appointments to be publicly scrutinised, not the subject of quiet appointments
  • Reduction in the size of the Dáil.
  • Strengthening the Dáil's independence from government, and the role of ordinary deputies (eg, in legislation)
  • Fewer, more targeted and more effective committees
  • Longer Oireachtas sittings
  • using the Canadian model of consultative people's assemblies whereby a group of citizens are invited to review an issue outside party politics and offered all professional, academic and other back-up to review an issue or group of issues, and publish a detailed set of recommendations. This system was tried out in other countries, often admit scepticism from politicians, and everywhere worked astonishingly well, as top academics in Ireland and elsewhere who reviewed them reported.
The last time a party offered such a radical reshaping of the structures of government was de Valera in the 1930s. You can read the full details for yourself in 'New Politics' which is in the link of documents above.

I hope that helps.
 
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