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 Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government

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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:39 pm

I agree expat girl. Confidence needs to be maintained in the banking sector. Cowen should tell everyone that the army will be available to do duty at any post office in the country at short notice.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:57 pm

I am facing a far more serious problem as I intend to have plenty to say on the emergency budget. The details are of minor concern but on P.ie I have referred to Linehan as Mini Me Magic Arse. Happy enough with that but now I regret not calling him Canute.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:15 pm

youngdan wrote:
I am facing a far more serious problem as I intend to have plenty to say on the emergency budget. The details are of minor concern but on P.ie I have referred to Linehan as Mini Me Magic Arse. Happy enough with that but now I regret not calling him Canute.




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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:44 am

I phoned the office of An Taoiseach to check the date of the "State of the Nation" speech. Horror! There is not going to be one. The press officer's response to my query as to why not was

"We all know the State of the * Nation."
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:29 pm

cactus flower wrote:
I phoned the office of An Taoiseach to check the date of the "State of the Nation" speech. Horror! There is not going to be one. The press officer's response to my query as to why not was

"We all know the State of the * Nation."

Yes, but we want to know the state of the nation as seen by Fianna Fáil. Just for the laugh like..
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:44 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
I phoned the office of An Taoiseach to check the date of the "State of the Nation" speech. Horror! There is not going to be one. The press officer's response to my query as to why not was

"We all know the State of the * Nation."

Yes, but we want to know the state of the nation as seen by Fianna Fáil. Just for the laugh like..

EVM - I think that was the official FF viewpoint. silent
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:50 pm

This is beyond a joke: no State of the Nation Address, no Economy debate, and now this:

Quote :
26/09/2008 - 16:17:22
The Government is coming under attack after it was learned that the Taoiseach and three Ministers are to brief business leaders on the economy.

The event at the end of next month will see members of the business community pay to attend the conference.

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said it is unethical for people to get access to sensitive Government information simply because they can afford it.

Should we club together and send someone, or should we follow the example of the Property Pin people and picket it?
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:58 pm

Whatever they say will be leaked.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:12 pm

johnfás wrote:
Whatever they say will be leaked.

This is making me realise that I don't understand Irish governance at all.

In England the Houses of Parliament are where people turn to for accountable government

In France its the Elysee Palace and in the US its Congress, the Senate or the White House

In Ireland it seems to be a plate dinner at the City West Hotel.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:15 pm

Just don't kid yourself that we have accountable democratic government and you won't end up disappointed Very Happy.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:18 pm

What's the sense in this behind-closed-doors effort? They want to keep the panic level down or they want to share the vitals with their friends? This is not just unethical, but insulting and should be illegal - keeping information from people like that in an open Democracy should be unconstitutional.

It's a small and tight coterie who run this country after all.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:37 pm

Quote :
Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore has criticised the Government’s participation in a privately run business event next month, which offers participants the chance to discuss the economy with the Taoiseach and senior Ministers at a cost of up to €1,950 per head.

The event, run by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a worldwide research and consultancy company, is billed as a business ‘roundtable’ with the Government and takes place in Dublin at the end of October.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Tánaiste Mary Coughlan, Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan and Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan are listed as speakers on the conference website.

“It appears that those who are willing to cough up €1,950 to participate in this conference will have far greater opportunities for discussions with Brian Cowen, Brian Lenihan and Mary Coughlan - the three Ministers responsible for economic policy - than are normally available to most members of the Dáil,” Mr Gilmore said.

“I have no problems at all about government Ministers meeting with business people from at home or abroad, but I have very strong reservations about government ministers participating in what is essentially a commercial enterprise dressed up as some sort of public forum.

“It seems that the government is now intent on privatising debate on the economy.”

Mr Gilmore said the decision of so many ministers to participate in such an event “at a time when they have refused to allow the Dáil to have a comprehensive debate on the economy suggests a skewed set of priorities”.

The conference website says the roundtable “offers an exclusive chance to explore the key economic issues with government leaders, Irish business executives and experts from the Economist Intelligence Unit”.

It says issues such as the Government’s key policies for tackling global and domestic challenges to the economy and how the Government can work with businesses to attract more foreign investment.

The one-day conference will also explore whether Ireland can “continue to be an international centre for business processing, competing with lower-cost countries such as India”.

How ministers plan to reduce inflation to bring it in line with other European countries is also listed as a topic for discussion.
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0926/breaking58.htm
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:44 pm

Register here!! Its on at the Conrad, October 30th. Ooh look: there's Eamon Ryan on the Programme too.

http://www.dubchamber.ie/template_events_list.asp?event_id=372

10:45 AM Break

11:00 AM Creating a more competitive economy: transition to a new phase of development
Discussion with Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Brian Cowen

How to navigate out of the current downturn and return to a higher growth path?
Does Ireland have the right response to new globalisation pressures?
How will new and emerging markets affect Ireland’s international competitiveness?
How will Ireland's position in Europe evolve following defeat of the referendum on the Lisbon treaty?
Can Ireland retain its low rate of corporation tax?
Questions and discussion


1:00 PM Lunch

2:30 PM Entering more challenging times
Discussion with Brian Lenihan, Minister for Finance

How to respond to the challenging short- and medium-term fiscal outlook?
Can Ireland remain within or close to the deficit ceilings in the Stability and Growth Pact?
Can government policy help to reverse the decline in property values and reinvigorate the construction industry?
Can Ireland learn from other countries on public services reform and capital investment programmes?
Questions and discussion


4:00 PM Break

4:15 PM Where next for the Irish model: ensuring the right environment for business
Discussion with Mary Coughlan, Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment

How can more Irish companies compete on a global scale?
What can government do to contain business costs?
Getting the best return for Irish business from increased R&D investment
Is the Irish labour market flexible enough to allow a rapid return to full employment?
Can Ireland continue to attract foreign investment?
CAP reform and world trade talks: Ireland’s position
Questions and discussion


5:30 PM A sustainable energy future: challenges and opportunities for Irish business
Discussion with Eamon Ryan, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

How can government help business to remain competitive given rising energy costs?
Can increased competition in generation and distribution help bring power prices in line with EU averages?
Is a carbon tax necessary now that energy prices are at historically high levels?
Enhancing Ireland’s energy security: is nuclear an option?
New opportunities for Irish businesses in sustainable energy production and technologies
Questions and discussion
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:47 pm

The three musketeers all in a single place. Best time for a coup.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:01 pm

It'll hardly be as prestigious but it's cheaper:


http://www.ennischamber.ie/asp/section.asp?s=28
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:36 pm

I've registered for a place at the Economist Forum. Shall we raffle it off?
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Sat Sep 27, 2008 1:32 pm

Not a single mention of our famous 'knowledge economy' in the Conrad programme above.

Have they accepted it for the bullshit meaningless phrase it always was ?
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:18 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Not a single mention of our famous 'knowledge economy' in the Conrad programme above.

Have they accepted it for the bullshit meaningless phrase it always was ?

The programme seems to be a long list of questions. No chance of us getting a hint about the answers unless we pay up first. If they have the answers, why aren't they bringing them to the Dail. If they don't have them, people should get their money back.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:01 pm

So this is it: it was given not to the Dail ( why am I not surprised?) but to the CBI - IBEC Dinner.

Address by the Taoiseach, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., to the CBI-IBEC Joint Business Council Dinner in Trinity College Dublin on Thursday 2 October 2008 at 6.00 p.m.

"Ladies and Gentlemen.

We live in perilous times. The former Chairman of the Fed, Alan Greenspan has described it as a once in a century event. This crash manifested itself for the Irish economy this week in the call we had to make and the decisions we have implemented so far. As we meet this evening, the global challenge has clearly translated into a sizeable one for our domestic economies, North and South.

In my time in politics, this island has overcome enormous challenges. The resolution of decades of bitterness, division and strife in Northern Ireland seemed beyond us for a long time. It proved not to be, as tonight’s event demonstrates in a very practical way. Of vital importance, throughout the troubles was the leadership - of business people of different traditions who worked together forging links and engaging in dialogue,- of the medical professionals north and south who established the Corrigan club in the 1970s;- of those sportsmen and women who played with an against each other; and - of Irish people from all areas of this island who just refused to countenance the inevitability of conflict and so forced the change that we have come to accept and appreciate so much.

When we face into the current financial and economic crisis, let’s reflect on that.

None of this is meant to diminish the extent of the problem we now face. I am quite sure no one in this audience is under any illusion about how grave a financial crisis this is. We face an unprecedented financial crisis, much of it rooted in the excesses of the United States money system but we have major problems across Europe, and Ireland was never going to be immune.
There has been a rapid slowdown in the global economy arising from this turbulence in global financial markets and the credit squeeze, faltering economic growth in the major economies, exchange rate shifts and the sharp rise in oil prices.

No one yet knows what the full extent of these adverse developments will be or how quickly stability can be restored to the financial and equity markets worldwide. The facts are simple. We’re an open economy. We depend on exports as a major driver of our economic success. This inevitably means that our exposure to these international factors is greater than for many other economies.The greatest challenge right now is to manage the economy through this international downturn which is likely to continue for some time yet.

The can - do attitude that has characterised our success before this economic shock will be all the more necessary in the weeks, months and years ahead, as we chart a strategy for national recovery.

When times were good, we invested wisely in schools, roads, public transport, communications and housing, giving us one of the highest rates of public investment in Europe. We have dramatically increased the State pension for our elderly, child benefit for our working families and we have significantly reduced the tax burden, particularly for the lower paid and those on average incomes. We have increased the number of Gardaí, teachers, doctors and nurses serving our people. The average industrial wage has risen substantially while the tax bill paid by workers has reduced. At the same time, we halved the national debt in our first ten years in office and there are now more than two million people working in the country despite rises in unemployment during the past year. Our first priority must be to protect that progress to the greatest extent possible. While we must not overstate the difficulties we face, equally, we must not underestimate our challenges and the necessity for decisive action.

The rapid decisions made by the Government this week, demonstrate the seriousness of the situation we now face and how decisive action is imperative. We did not take our decisions on the banking sector lightly. There have been those who have criticized our decisions. I understand that. But the intervention was absolutely necessary.

In my first budget speech as Minister for Finance nearly four years ago, I referenced that economic growth was not an end in itself. It was only of benefit if it led to a better society for all. This is what concerns me as a politician. It follows that the difficulties within the financial markets concern me only in so far as they are the bedrock on which the economy is built. We need a robust banking system. Protecting it in the manner and on the scale we have done this week is not something government does lightly. It is certainly not something that is done as an end in itself. It has to be done in order that we can have a functioning economy.

If our financial system is not functioning, activity gradually grinds to a halt. So this is not the end of the story. Any of you who have been trying to get lines of credit in recent months and who have found the banks, in effect, closed for business should now see a change. Your legitimate, well-planned and costed business ideas can now, and must now, be banked. We did not make the move we made in order to "prop up" an ailing system. We did not support the banks in order to protect the reputations of institutions and individuals who needed protection.

We chose this course because we have an economy to protect and to grow. That is what we are responsible for. But make no mistake. The Government and the Oireachtas have done our bit - with the notable support of the main opposition party - and now it is up to the banks to respond. Too many good businesses have run into difficulties in recent months because the banks stopped doing what they are there to do. Business, just like banks, need access to capital. In today's world, more than ever before, great prudence needs to be applied to determining which opportunities to finance but not having access to capital should no longer be used as cover to avoid doing business.

This is not a free guarantee. Banks who choose to avail of it will pay a substantial fee for the use of the State’s excellent financial standing. That standing has been carefully and painstakingly built by the people of this country and it will not be put at risk. This is effectively an insurance scheme which gives lenders and depositors confidence in our country and in our banking system. In the event that the insurance given is not called upon, the Government finances will benefit from the levy charged for the guarantee. In the event, that any losses arise from the guarantee scheme, the Government will ensure that they are borne by the banking sector rather than the taxpayer.

There has been much comment internationally about greed being at the heart of the sub-prime problems in the United States. Greed is a human failing and it has not been absent in Ireland. There is no doubt that it has contributed to the huge problems in the financial services industry which faced us last week. Government had to act to stabilise our financial system. People’s jobs and livelihoods were at stake. Without a stable banking system, we have no economy and no prospects. That is how serious the situation was.

There is no doubt that this is a defining moment in our nation’s history.

We’re in extraordinary economic circumstances. We face stark choices. If we do not make the right ones, it will have catastrophic consequences for the future prospects of our economy. It would threaten the livelihoods of current and future generations of Irish people. We must learn from our past experiences during difficult economic times. I don’t believe the Irish people would want the Government to shy away from the painful decisions we must make now in the best interests of the country.

The rapid deterioration in economic growth that that has occurred, reflects the more challenging international conditions as well as the substantial correction in the property market that we are experiencing. This obviously is affecting tax revenues and over the summer months the weakness in receipts has continued at a pace. In particular, the performance of VAT, CGT and Stamp Duty receipts is disappointing and reflects developments in the property market as well as weaker economic activity. The result is we are now facing a €6.5 billion shortfall in tax revenue. Nobody should harbour any illusion that living within our means will be easy. It will force considerable sacrifice on all of us. The scale of the challenge we face is illustrated by the fact that it would cost every single taxpayer in the country an extra €5,000 to clear this deficit as it currently stands.

The Government and I will not be found wanting in making the necessary hard decisions no matter how unpalatable. Unfortunately nobody will escape the consequences of managing our economy in a manner that will – as much as possible – reduce the impact of the most serious global economic circumstances for almost a century.

Future Economic Strategy

While we face serious challenges, we should also be positive about the future prospects of the Irish economy. A time of serious adversity can be a time of great opportunity. In the cycle of any economy there is a time for renewal and change. The basis for this economic renewal will be the achievements of the past 15 years. We have made massive strides. We have a national infrastructure that is unrecognisable to what we had in the early 1990s. Not everything that could have been done, has been. But Ireland is a much more developed nation than it was 15 years ago. Importantly, the basis of Ireland’s past economic growth is also that which will fuel our future recovery – our people. It is our people that will always be the most critical ingredient in our performance. We have one of the youngest and best educated workforces in Europe. We are investing heavily in research and development and will continue to do so. It is the ingenuity and creativity of Irish people which will drive the next phase of Ireland’s economic development. In the coming weeks I will elaborate further on a medium-term strategy that will go beyond the short-term difficulties that we face.

North-South Economic Co-operation

Recent months have been difficult for the Northern Ireland Executive and today, we again face political uncertainty. However, I believe that the Executive and the institutions, working in the best way possible for the people of Northern Ireland, is the only way forward. The Executive has had impressive achievements – an agreed Programme for Government, Budget and Investment strategy provide a sound basis for progress. The message that Northern Ireland is open for business and that devolution is working is vital for the success of the Northern Ireland economy.

I am absolutely confident that this view is shared by all of the parties and I believe we can chart a way through the current difficulties. This is a very good time for the Joint Business Council to meet. You played a critical role in more difficult days in representing the views of business in a very challenging environment. Now we face new challenges and we need to look forward to what we can achieve together in the years ahead. Ten years after the Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland has emerged from conflict - a conflict that apart from the terrible human cost was deeply damaging to our economies North and South.

In recent years, the political parties, representative groups and the public all have shown their determination to build on the wonderful success of the peace process. And, in so doing, they have raised the possibility that peace and stability will, in time, become the growth and prosperity that people throughout Northern Ireland deserve. For our part, we are determined to play as positive and constructive a role as possible. Our only agenda is one of common-sense cooperation: to improve the quality of life, economic opportunity and public services of all those we represent.

The current economic challenges are faced by all of us on this island - north and south. We all want to be part of an innovative, dynamic all island economy, one that attracts investment encourages entrepreneurs and provides jobs for our hardworking men and women. Sharing these ambitions, we need also to share our abilities and experiences as we seek to position this island as a global leader and successful knowledge economy. There are a range of issues including energy, infrastructure, innovation, public service reform, climate change and energy security, education and skills that are fundamental to our economic wellbeing and the North South and all-island dimensions are fundamental to our future policies.

We will continue to work to achieve progress through the North-South Ministerial Council, and through a wide range of other contacts between key decision-makers North and South.

The Government is disappointed that the Northern Ireland Executive did not meet today and that this has led to the postponement of the North-South Ministerial Council tomorrow. It is hoped that the current issues of disagreement within the Executive can be resolved, as was indicated by the First and Deputy First Minister in Stormont yesterday. We remain in close contact with the British Government and Parties in the Northern Ireland Executive and will continue to offer support in resolving these difficulties

Conclusion

In conclusion, I believe the island of Ireland has a bright economic future. However, none of this can happen without a dramatic response to the short-term challenging economic circumstances. The international circumstances that we now face are unprecedented in the lifetime of this state. Nobody should underestimate the challenges and nobody will be immune from the pain that will have to be endured in addressing them. I appeal to all stakeholders in this economy - unions, employers and others - to stand shoulder to shoulder with me and the citizens of this country as we take some of the toughest decisions that we have had to make in decades.

The Government and I will take the correct decisions for the people irrespective of the political consequences. Above all else, I commit that it will be the future prosperity of our people that will be this Government’s primary concern. This will be put ahead of short-term popular appeal.

I commit to the Irish people - all of my strength and resolve - to lead the country through this challenging period, with determination and strength of purpose.

Go raibh míle maith agat."

Department of the Taoiseach © 2008


If he commits to the Irish people how come he wouldn't give the speech in the Dail?

As this is the only substantial statement I've heard from the Taoiseach since he took office, I think it deserves close study. To make a start, I would ask anyone who can to tell me what they think this means

"In today's world, more than ever before, great prudence needs to be applied to determining which opportunities to finance but not having access to capital should no longer be used as cover to avoid doing business"

Following on from this we had a government statement (in response to the much discussed promo email of yesterday) that no Bank should use the competitive advantage given by the Irish Government Guarantee.

The entire speech asks us to believe that the Irish economic crisis is the result of external causes in the US. Cowen does not take responsibility for a thing.

Does the Government understand anything at all about finance?


Last edited by cactus flower on Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:03 pm

You can get 250 blings off the cost of the Economist thing if you are a member of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce... just in case anyone is being tempted to go along!
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:38 pm

cactus flower wrote:
...

As this is the only substantial statement I've heard from the Taoiseach since he took office, I think it deserves close study. To make a start, I would ask anyone who can to tell me what they think this means

"In today's world, more than ever before, great prudence needs to be applied to determining which opportunities to finance but not having access to capital should no longer be used as cover to avoid doing business"

I think he means that banks should be very diligent about loaning money to business, but should not shy away completely from such loans with the excuse of being unable to fund them ??
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:25 am

Over the weekend rumblings started again to the effect that Brian Cowen should make a State of the Nation address.

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/taoiseach-told-to-address-the-nation-on-crisis-1518418.html

Personally, I felt that this should have been given before the summer recess, and the summer should have been used for planning to meet the changed circumstances, and to prepare a proper budget.

Is it a case of better late than never? Does anyone think that at this stage, a speech would help?
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:07 am

Sam Smyth says the Government has a plan...

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/i-have-a-plan-to-save-country-taoiseach-tells-ff-1546226.html
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:29 am

cactus flower wrote:
Over the weekend rumblings started again to the effect that Brian Cowen should make a State of the Nation address.

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/taoiseach-told-to-address-the-nation-on-crisis-1518418.html

Personally, I felt that this should have been given before the summer recess, and the summer should have been used for planning to meet the changed circumstances, and to prepare a proper budget.

Is it a case of better late than never? Does anyone think that at this stage, a speech would help?

It wouldn't help me particularly, but I think a near-Christmas speech would be a good plan for FF. Assuming Biffo doesn't screw it up, obviously.

I think people feel they sort of know where they are until Christmas, but are viewing the New Year with trepidation. I know I have no idea where the bread is coming from after January, and the prospects are far from bright.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen's State of the Nation Speech - Now Its Pay-Per-View Government   Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:35 pm

Quote :
25/02/2009 - 11:17:31
The Taoiseach is calling on the people of Irelnd to get behind the Government in order to get the economy out of its current difficulties.

Brian Cowen told the Dáil that industrial action will achieve nothing.

Later today Gardaí and taxi drivers will take to the streets in protest over the pensions levy.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is to discuss a national day of protest.

The Taoiseach said we have to pull together as a nation to work our way through the current difficulties.

There is no sign whatsoever from Government that they are prepared to change their unfair and cack handed approach. If Cowen wants us to all pull together he had better put together a programme that is proportionate in its impacts and that protects vulnerable people.
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