[lbo-talk] Irish politicans (was Abortion in the Irish courts again)

Jason lists at moduszine.com
Thu May 17 04:14:55 PDT 2007

Maybe it was just someone like Tracey Emin. I can't remember.

On 2007-05-17 10:19:26 +0100 Wendy Lyon <wendy.lyon at gmail.com> wrote:

> Well, at least their name makes it clear what they're all about. Down
> here we're dealing with an agency that lists itself in the Golden
> Pages under various names including "A Choice for Women" and "British
> Alternatives", lists phantom associated offices in London, Liverpool
> and Manchester, and generally presents itself as an abortion referral
> service. Of course once they've got a woman in their offices the
> horror videos come out.

That's really interesting. I didn't realise they'd resorted to such underhand tactics.

If you don't know what to do you can find it very difficult to get information so I'm quite annoyed to hear that. In the end I phone Bpas and they recommended a sane group in Belfast but I only knew about Bpas because I'm interested in politics. My friend really knew of nowhere to turn.

> Hmm. I can see that when it comes to regulating individuals'
> activities, but I can't see how anyone on the left can argue that
> fewer laws are needed to regulate businesses, corporate bodies and the
> like. Most of what's wrong with this country can be directly linked
> to the carte blanche given them by the government over the years.

Do elablorate. I'm naturally inclined to agree with you (in theory, if not in practice) but I'd appreciate it if you could give a few concrete examples.

Some recent stuff bothers me. My LA, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, has recently passed localised building regs demanding a 40 per cent energy reduction in the home. This follows Fingal LA which requires a 60 per cent drop plus some component of renewables. For a start, this is not the business of local authorities and is an example of the Green party (and Labour to a degree) using the council chamber to circumvent national politics.

Anyway, next year's revision to Part L of the building regs will make a 40 per cent drop mandatory (60 per cent if Labour and the Greens get their way).

This is ostensibly to curb the shoddiness of Irish housebuilding, something that is undeniable. However, all I can see it as increased cost to the housebuyer as if houses aren't already expensive enough here. This despite claims from the Green party that it won't affect cost becuase developers will pay less for the land. Nonsense. The land has already been bought, often more then ten years ago, and the developers are never going to absorb costs.

Conversely I see no legislation protecting tenants.

As far as I can see the vast majority of legislation here punishes ordinary people and little else.

> Well, you could probably say the same about most of the smaller
> parties, couldn't you?

You could and I do. I'm am against proportional representation for that reason. Tiny groupsicles like the Progressive Democrats or the Greens whinging their way into government.

> But I think it's important not to tar all
> independents with the same brush. You have your Jackie Healy Raes, of
> course, but you also have people like Joe Higgins (effectively an
> independent in the last Dáil, although probably not the next) and
> Catherine Murphy - who I'm sure do as much constituency work as the
> Healy Raes but also manage to consistently raise issues of national
> importance.

You don't think Higgins will keep hi seat? I thought the Socialist party had broken the habit of a lifetime and actually got themselves a base.

Nevertheless, I don't think that an independent can ever do as much as even a smallish party. The Workers' and Unemployed Action Group didn't seem to go anywhere either.

> She went away, wrote to the
> Council and they came out to do the work. But they did a terrible job
> - so he won't vote for her. Hopeless, isn't it?

That's brilliant. Some politics...

> There was the whole Frank Connolly thing too. And then the Government
> has the gall to complain about links from the Moriarty Tribunal. But
> then nobody ever said politicians weren't supposed to be hypocrites.

Yes, but the PDs are particularly irritating. In my dreams they mutate into what they actually claim to be - unrepentant economic and social liberals. A dose of that would be preferable to McDowell's grandstanding or FF/FG petty moralism.

> I don't really think it makes that much of a difference. A Fine Gael
> victory would at least have the effect of giving FF a kick up the
> arse, although it would probably form such a hopeless government that
> FF would come back with a huge victory and then repeat it in every
> election for the next 20 years ... all over again.

Yes, that does seem to be the pattern. Don't know how much, or what kind of, kick it woulf give FF, though - a party that has long specialised in posing as both radical and conservative simultaneously. Do you remember a few years back it looked as though FG were finshed for good. Enda Lazarus.

All the best, Jason.

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