Tag Archives | useless politicians

Political Representation – Comparing Cabinet Ministers vs EU Commissioners

I was struck by this comment earlier this week by Daragh Lally on Twitter-

If you were to take the Irish Government – Senior and Junior Ministers – nearly every county in Ireland is represented. That is, unless you live in Sligo, Wexford, WestMeath or Longford.

Then again, we’ve always known that our own form of Irish government is unweildy as well anyway – discussed here previously. Europe has 27 commissioners and could be considered unweildy, but we manage to run our country with 35 junior and senior ministers – proof positive I guess, that more isn’t always better.

So, end up like WestMeath or Sligo on Friday if you don’t vote yes. Or is that if you vote no. But wherever you’re living, make sure you vote, one way or the other.

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Anyone conned by the sacking of 5 junior ministers?

You may have seen the front page headline in the Irish Independent yesterday morning telling us that the 5 junior ministers who are losing their jobs will get a severance package of €53,000 each.

Apparently that’s the compensation they’ll receive over two years for losing their position.

You got that?

So, in order to cut costs, we’re cutting 5 ministries, but still paying all the associated costs for the next 2 years.

I’ve written about this political chicanery and smoke and mirrors tactics regarding junior ministers before – here and here.

There’s no coincidence that the Taoiseach announced the sacking of the junior ministers on the night before the budget – trying to make us think that the politicians were going to feel the pain as well.

Apart from the fact that the govermnet have already back down on pretty every other cost saving measure announced in the budget related to politicians.

And as I said in the original post, it’s not like there are any other savings whatsoever from removing these 5 junior ministers.

The offices that they used will still be a government expense – they couldn’t get rid of them now anyway if they tried.

And the junior ministerial staff will still be kept on and reallocated (or to sit around and do nothing) since the civil servants won’t be losing their positions.

And all to save how much money? €250,000 over 2 years? The same amount spent on government jets?

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The character that takes command in moments of crucial choices…

With thanks to the Execupundit, I loved this Quote of the Day for Saturday, January 17th:

The character that takes command in moments of crucial choices has already been determined by a thousand other choices made earlier in seemingly unimportant moments. It has been determined by all the “little” choices of the past – by all those times when the voice of conscience was at war with the voice of temptation, [which was] whispering the lie that “it really doesn’t matter.” It has been determined by all the day-to-day decisions made when life seemed easy and crises seemed far away – the decisions that, piece by piece, bit by bit, developed habits of discipline or of laziness; habits of self-sacrifice or self-indulgence; habits of duty and honor and integrity – or dishonor and shame.

Were you thinking about how our Irish politician pissed away the good times of the Celtic Tiger and how their cushiness and inaction during the good times makes them seemingly incapable of handling the bad times we’re experiencing now? I know I was when I read this first.

But what surprised me most was who actually said this in the first place. Ronald Reagan. I can’t really say why I was so surprised, but maybe it was because the same man said this:

My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes.

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What a pile of ‘bolics

Symbolic gestures that is!

My post last week, When the going gets tough, the junior ministers start walking, was a bit of a rant against politicians and the pointless proposals to reduce the numbers of junior ministers “in the national interest” in the “current economic climate”.

It seems, following last Saturdays editorial coverage of the story, that not only do our politicians take the Irish people for complete idiots, but it seems that the opinion writers of the Irish Times and Irish Independent think we’re dumb enough to believe that such gestures would actually make us think that the politicians were doing something positive.

The Irish Independent thinks that the whole thing is “A cause for cheers not jeers” while the Irish Times told us that “Cutting Ministers of State would be important symbolic gesture“.

‘Bolics is right!

Lets be clear about this, as I said last week and repeated by Junior Minister for Labour Affairs, Billy Kelleher, (who believes he should keep his job, and salary, and staff, and perks and privileges) – “I really do think we are getting side-tracked from the real issues.”

Show us that this government can make the right and hard decisions in the countries interests (and not just the banks and developers) and we’ll appreciate the gestures, and then we can come back to getting rid of junior ministers and unvouched expenses and all the rest.

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When the going gets tough, the junior ministers start walking

I don’t often get into the nitty gritty of political commentary, but given much that’s going on at the moment, I feel bound to write this rant. Apologies for the length, but I’d appreciate if you read it and shared your comments.

A junior ministry is for life, not just for the good times!

Our politicians will tell us that they’re elected to lead the country, to make the country a better place for all of us, and to institute change based on their, and their political parties, beliefs.

Wouldn’t it be nice, then, to see our political leaders showing the courage of their convictions and actually leading the country now, in a time when we’re told we’re facing serious difficulties.

Instead, our politicians are going missing, or are trying to go missing.

Last week we had Brian Cowen go AWOL during the Dell and Waterford Crystal announcements. Mary Coughlan only surfaced this week – even though she’s the minister responsible for (un)employment as well as being Biffos deputy.

And this week, we’re seeing 3 (so far) junior ministers saying that in the interests of the country, they’re willing to give up their positions.

I call BULLSHIT!

We’re starting to see the Irish political equivalent of rats fleeing from a sinking ship. If these clowns believed, as they surely would have told us when appointed, that they had an important role to play – why can we suddenly do without them now that times are getting tough?

Surely a junior minister in the Department of Finance (Martin Manseragh) would have an even more important role to play these days than when originally appointed. As for Sean Power, I suppose given recent budget cut backs, being a junior minister at the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform with special responsibility for Equality probably means he actually doesn’t have anything to do anyway. As for Conor Lenihan, I’m not really sure what he does anyway, but I’m sure he told us sometime or other that his job was important – why change now?

Leaders who don’t actually lead

I’m actually going to include in this listing of wishy washy flip floppy politicians another two who are useless to the country at the moment – Brian Cowen himself for trying to give up the use of his brand new Merc because it might look bad, and Beverly Flynn for not keeping her Dail expenses allowance.

Lest anyone think any different, all of the actions by these politicians above are for show – more style than substance – and actions trying to fool the public into thinking that the govenrment are actually doing something. They’re not. They’re spectators on the sideline watching a game where they’re actually supposed to be playing.

The power to change but not the will

If Brian Cowen is really worried about the perceptions of him being driven around in a brand new Mercedes, it’s within his remit to change the rules so that new Mercedes aren’t bought or that less ostentatious cars are bought for ministers at all ranks.

If government ministers are concerned about the payment of a perfectly legitimate expenses payment to Beverly Flynn, then less of the moral pressure and running to the media to complain – use the powers they actually have to change the rules.

These clowns actually came up with the rules in the first place – if you don’t like them, change them. We the public, and the media, might like the rules to be changed, but we can’t do anything about it. Do these same rules mean that Seamus Brennans (RIP) expenses allowance are still being paid to the Fianna Fail party, despite his death for example?

To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not: Let all the ends thou aim’st at be thy country’s

If Martin Manseragh, Sean Power and Conor Lenihan really had the courage of their convictions and truely had the interests of the country at heart (rather than their personal political futures), they’d give up the extra money they receive as junior ministers, and any perks that go with it, but they’d still get on with the jobs that they need to be doing to sort this country out.

It’s not like removing the junior ministry positions is going to reduce staff headcount or costs that much – any staff employed there will only be redeployed rather than being made redundant.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Would anyone like to illuminate our leaders of this concept? Like I said about the budget previously, all our govenrment are doing is tinkering about the edges of the massive problems they’re telling us that we’re facing.

Fair enough, you shower of useless politicians. You’ve told us there’s a problem. We’re saving our money and cutting back on our expenses. We’re focusing on our work, trying to be more productive, and thrashing out new ideas that might being some light to the end of our personal and collective tunnels.

What are you folks doing?

Apart from actually making our lives harder through your myriad of cutbacks across all aspects of Irish life, and starting to borrow against not only ours, our childrens and our childrens childrens futures, what actually are you doing?

Well, last week we were subjected to a week of gnashing of teeth about a minor TDs €41,000 expenses that is within their own power to cut off with one simple decision and signature.  And this week we’re now being distracted further with this pointless smoke screen of removing junior ministries.

Is that it?

How the hell are these people going to be able to come up with the drastic solutions necessary to address the issues the country as a whole is facing?

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