Well, we have an election in a few days, and it looks like FG may even form a single party government.
FG, like FF, are a throwback to the foundation of the state, a party that came into existance as a result of a civil war almost a century ago.
Einstein I believe once said that lunacy could be defined as repeatingthe same action again and again and expect a different result.
FG and FF have dominated Irish politics since the foundation of the state, voting for either will make no difference, as I have said before our political system is outdated, dynastic and not fit for purpose.
Essentially FF and FG are two cheeks of the one arse, quite happy to give the illusion of choice to a disillusioned public.
What we need is real change, and FG, a party with internal rifts, will not achieve that.
Their proposals at political reform are window dressing, their leader is the son of a former politician as is the current Taoiseach.
I think the worst aspect of FG is that they wish to privitize state assets like the ESB in order to continue the bank bailout.
It is hard to get an actual accurate picture of how much it will cost, upwards of 40Bn Euro, and that is not our debt. The tax payer should not be expected to pay for the gambling debts of reckless bankers and speculators.
If there is to be real change, to break from the perpetuation of a two party system and all their vested interests, we need to go to a list system, reducing the amount of constituancy politicians and electing people for national office on a national basis, not select people by accident of address and their standing within a particular political party.
The only long term solution to our current problems is to adopt Amhran Nua policies on electoral reform.
In the short term, to deal with our incredible debt the next Government has to take immediate steps.
1 - Publically refuse to use the ECB/EU credit card facility of Nov 2010 on the grounds of it being self defeating.
2 - Take emergency steps to balance the budget, immediately: The government has spend 2-3 years looking at potential cuts so there should'nt be a mystery of where to find them. Lead from the top: bonfire of the quangos and luxuries. It wont save all the money but it will set the example.
3 - Resolve the banks immediately with a take it or leave it offer to creditors to take equity or nothing. Not as a bluff. As a reality. The only government interest should be maintenance of a payment system. Cite EU commitment to competitive markets free of state support.
4 - Reverse NAMA: Write off the "NAMA" bonds in exchange for giving the banks full ownership of the NAMA SPV in proportional ownership.
In refinancing the banks, a mechanism must be developed to re-finance from the bottom up - i.e. within certain perameters, the family home, the primary residence, must be secure - given that, mortgauges could be partially bought by the Government and the % of the residence would in essence become a council house.
5 - Having finished up with the bank crisis and removed the uncertainty over the states contingent liabilities, start concentrating on growing the economy by tackling the sheltered sectors and vested interests that act as a drag on real economic activity.
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Galway Cartoon Festival 21-30 October 2017
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