When election time comes around I will be eagerly awaiting what I expect will be a doorstep diatribe of meaningless fawning waffle from politicians tip-toeing around the real issues of our time.
I am not a member of a political party but I will, as always, make sure to cast my vote based on the performance of this Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil/Independents “coalition” government; and the performance of the members of the opposition both in public debate and in the Dáil.
Whilst it is unrealistic to expect the majority of the electorate to go to such lengths it is realistic to expect that the majority will see that there is not one but a herd of elephants in the room.
The privatisation (giving away ownership) of the nation’s natural resources at the expense of the public purse is one such elephant which to this writer is bordering on criminal negligence and should be classified as such in law.
Not only does it represent a huge loss of ongoing revenue to the public purse but it represents a gross abdication of responsibility of the cabinet and government in not achieving, if not complete public ownership then a public/private partnership with a controlling majority by elected representatives of the citizens of Ireland together with a fair and equitable decision-making policy within that partnership to ensure a steady flow of revenue to our exchequer into the future.
Could it be that the abdication of such responsibility simply makes for a smoother ride on the gravy train?
Surely a complacent electorate has not forgotten the break-up of Telecom Éireann and the giving away of ownership of the Corrib gas field to Shell for a song.
The most recent being the handing over of ownership of our vital communications fibre broadband network to little-known American interests costing our exchequer ongoing billions of euro into the future with little or no debate about the identity of the purchasers nor of the security aspects of this reckless giveaway.
This is the government working against the people and contrary to that common good which is the first principle of our Constitution.
How can we be sure that all communications traffic on this network will not be filtered through, let’s say, an interested party in Langley, Virginia, and by extension GCHQ in the UK?
Given the shenanigans exposed almost on a daily basis on the internet and world wide web it would be naive to think of this as conspiracy theorism.
Will future public and private enterprises have trust in a vital communications system the ownership of which has been handed over to foreign interests?
What about Corrib gas? Would it be too much to ask that a question be tabled in the Dáil as to how much revenue has accrued to the public purse since production began more than three years ago?
The government’s pillar party Fianna Fáil controversially handed ownership of the gas field to Shell. Perhaps the long-standing members of Fianna Fáil — Micheál Martin or Willie O’Dea — might find out for us.
Will the electorate remember the near-million people waiting for healthcare and the homeless which makes nonsense of the much-vaunted growth and performance figures and corporate tax-take.
So much for the protection of the common good which is the backbone of our Constitution.
Vision for the future is not in short supply in Dáil Eireann. It is non-existent.