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Thread: What a new Government needs to do

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    Default What a new Government needs to do

    (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.

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    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.

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    Politics.ie Member MsAnneThrope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bokonon View Post
    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!
    We all love animals. Why do we call some 'pets' and others 'dinner'?

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    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.

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    We need politician reform, not constitutional reform. What is affecting Ireland today is a spiritual crisis, not a financial one.
    We have got as much as we are going to get out of Europe; it is, now, time to leave!
    EUROPA CONVENTUS DELENDA EST!...Whistle out the marching tune.....27

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    Quote Originally Posted by bokonon View Post
    [i]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....

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    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.
    We all love animals. Why do we call some 'pets' and others 'dinner'?

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    Politics.ie Member Flynnster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bokonon View Post
    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?

    Quote Originally Posted by bokonon View Post
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by bokonon View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MsAnneThrope View Post
    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.

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    Politics.ie Member Flynnster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MsAnneThrope View Post
    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.

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