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Your letters, your views...
Delaying signing bills into law not acceptable
In which banana republic did the following happen?
A bill passes through both houses of parliament and is signed into law by the president.
There it lies for four years until a scandal embarrasses the government into implementing it.
A further three years passes before another scandal brings out the fact that the one section of the bill that the government did not implement is the one giving the regulator investigative powers!
Finally, after seven years, the bill is fully implemented.
Surely what is needed here is an overarching law to the effect that, once a bill has been signed into law, it must be implemented within a set period of, say, 90 days.
Let’s boom again, like we did last time
Statistics supplied by the CSO (Central Stupefied Office) shows that the Irish economy grew by 200% for the last quarter. Also, full employment was recorded, with everyone back to work. Sales figures for new Mercedes cars have reached record levels. Tour operators have been inundated with people wishing to avail of five-star holiday trips to Dubai. Pubs can not keep up with drinker’s thirsts.
Restaurants require a month’s booking in advance. Banks have had to hire printing machines to keep the safes full of cash.
A spokesman for the CSO was quoted saying tongue in cheek: “Paddy no longer wants to know what the story is?”
Who cares? Happy Celtic Tiger times are back again!
Education funding must be sorted
In reference to the Cassell’s report on higher education funding, you rightly agree with the report’s claim that the present model will no longer serve.
You further assert that the issue of replacing the current system of funding cannot be delayed.
In regard to both of these observations, I am in complete agreement with you.
The problem as I see it, is that these issues have to be addressed in the political arena. Judging by the response to date, there is already evidence that some parties have already pre-empted the outcome by publicly ruling out certain options.
Given the present composition of the Oireachtas, this effectively eliminates the possibility that the issues will be fully and objectively considered. If this happens then a possible best outcome for the benefit of all the citizens may be sacrificed on the altar of populism.
This would be a most unfortunate development and should be avoided.
At the very least, we are entitled to get a comprehensive and open debate prior to any decision that might eventually emerge. Past experience in other areas shows that unless there is mature acceptance of certain economic realities, then either bad decisions or none (in this case, itself a bad decision) are taken.
Given your clearly stated position on these questions, I contend that you (and all of us) have a clear duty to call attention to any party (or individual) that would seek political advantage by frustrating the taking of the best decision for the future of our country, in this vital area.
Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman has a go at us here in Ireland and at what he calls our current state of “leprechaun economics”. He seems to have missed our past celtic tiger state of leprechaun economics which bankrupt the country.
Given his writings in the meantime supporting the Greek government’s actions he seems to prefer Greek tragedy economics.
Greece is on its third bailout since 2010. Whatever about the past, we hope that at the present time there is a bit more to look forward to in our leprechaun economics than there is in the failed Greek tragedy version.
Perhaps one of the clearest manifestations of the ubiquitous and insidiously desensitising effect of gaming on the X-Box generation is the complete lack of respect for their surroundings.
This disconnect has come into sharp focus with the current GPS-driven craze, Pokemon Go, which has witnessed hoards of individuals (including bizarrely, adults) descend on global places of veneration in a desperate attempt to capture these animated creations (World News, July 14).
This desecration was at its clearest when custodians of Auschwitz-Birkinau, one of the most horrific reminders of man’s capability to torture, murder and dehumanise was included on the Pokemon Go GPS system.
The heartbreaking sight of hundreds of teenagers ignoring the sacred site where 6m Jews were slaughtered by a debased Nazi ideological race plan forced the on-site officials to release the following Twitter comment “Do not allow playing#Pokemon Go on the site of our memorial and similar places. It’s disrespectful on many levels”. What a sad comment to have to make.
Dr Kevin McCarthy
Reason why hare coursing ban failed
Michael Barrett (letters July 14) has misread the outcome of the vote on Maureen O’Sullivan’s bill to ban hare coursing.
It failed, not because hare coursing enjoys massive public support in rural Ireland (which it doesn’t), but because the party whips obliged TDs to oppose it. I can assure him that had there been a free vote the result would have been much closer, if not a victory for the anti-blood sport cause.
Hare coursing now depends for its survival on the crutch provided by party whip system.
He refers to the Green Party’s fate at the 2011 general election as if the loss of its six Dáil seats was directly related to its stance against animal cruelty/field sports. In fact, five of the six Green TDs who lost their seats resided in constituencies where no hare coursing or fox hunting took place. It was the Green Party’s involvement in a government that was perceived, rightly or wrongly, to have devastated the economy and sold out our national sovereignty that drew the electorate backlash.
Thankfully, the Greens are now back in the Dáil, and this is good for both democracy and our hard-pressed environment.
Regarding the alleged 300,000 people engaged in field sports in Ireland, only a tiny fraction of these are involved in hare coursing and fox hunting. More than 90% of them are anglers and shooters. There was a 23-year gap between the two Private Members votes that aimed to ban hare coursing. I can assure Mr Barrett that he won’t have that long to wait for the next one.
John Fitzgerald (Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports)
Faster than a speeding car
Dublin City Council’s plan to reduce the speed limit reminds me of the day I was driving in a 30km/h zone in the capital. I spotted a friend of mine walking. When I stopped to give him a lift he rejected my offer with, “I’m in a hurry”.
Fianna Fáil has reverted to type thereby showing the leopard really has not changed its spots.
Last week it insisted that Joe O’Toole was unfit to chair the commission to examine how water might be paid for, as he expressed his personal views on the subject.
Yet the FF chair of the Oireachtas committee saw no inconsistency in expressing her “personal” rejection of one of the options proposed by the Cassells team that has spent two years investigating issues involved in third level funding.
Shades of the principle once enunciated by an old FF luminary namely “the futility of consistency”! Back to the future with a vengeance.
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