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 Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie

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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:38 pm

eoinmn wrote:
I had been misinformed. Edo, I'm sorry for saying Fine Gael paid for "professional" postering.
And impressed, I have to say.

No worries Eoin - in a way I wish we did have the resources to have professionals to do postering - some thing I always think about when Im 30ft up a ladder trying to tie a poster in the howling rainy gale at 10.30 at night at a busy intersection with a punch of self righteous genuises holding the ladder underneath me " Yeah a bit more to right Ed, its not really straight Ed, you can't see from this angle Ed" Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:02 am

It doesn't look like we've a paddle for the creek we're up at the moment - would public sector pay reform do any of the magic they're talking about on that programme ?

Jim Power will boost sales of prozac tomorrow anyway. Borrowing 13 billion next year ..
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:51 am

Jim Power was on Vincent Brown last night. I think VB's show is getting better and better. You can also tune in for your dose of debate whenever you want rather than having to wait for Monday for Q&A.
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:59 pm

Strategically, if there is a strategy, it looks to me as if Cabinet decided to go for the old and the sick in this budget with a view to a budget hitting public services in a few months time, when they know there will be no denying virtual national bankruptcy. That way they would be able to say - "you take your share like the old, the young and the sick did". They presumably anticipate there would be no public sympathy with the public sector unions.

The old and the sick are not proving easy to pick off and Government is culpable for the overspend.

I am really struggling to understand what is going through the heads of the two Brians. Zhou - why is this Government so adamant that low income, vulnerable groups should be hit disproportionately?
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:06 pm

I don't think they are trying to hit low income, vulnerable groups disproportionately. Harney quoted some figure that the top 1% pay 27% of all tax. That is impressive and shows progress. Obviously the levymeans they will pay more again and particularly if they earn more than €100K.

Social Welfare, schools building and health have not been cut whereas these areas have seen exponential growth in expenditure over the last number of years. Teachers have been cut and health expenditure is to be stabilised. The reason these areas have been attacked is because they are the biggest expenses for the country and the places where the smallest cuts will make the greatest difference.

The fact of the matter is that the medical card system for the over 70s is unsustainable (as a result of a McCreevy stroke combined with the doctors' unquenchable greed). The Government had to change it and thereby compromise the principle of universal health care for the over 70s. This is called reaping what you sow. Ignoring the problem would be just another stroke to avoid reaping what was sown. Perhaps if it is means linked they can renegotiate with the doctors and bring back universal care, or perhaps if we can get public service only contracts those doctors can eventually (in 20 years time) be entrusted with the care of the elderly.

I think class sizes have been cut while schools building has been increased because the Government feels that we can struggle by with less teachers whereas schools building will protect children's health and help the economy in the very important short term.

Personally, I have paid a lot of tax over the last few years in stamp duty, in PRSI and in income tax. I have also taken a substantial drop in income this year. I am happy to pay more tax and I am happy for the working poor to be excluded for the measures. By the same token, I work hard and am successful and have put my fair share into the economy and into the tax coffers and I don't see why others who can afford to pay something, such as rich pensioners, many of whom made a fortune out of property on the backs of the young first time buyers (including me), should be exempt from chipping in.

To be honest, I suspect the reason that some OAPs don't want to be means tested is because they know that their personal accounts don't stack up over the years and the revenue will be asking where a lot of their mney went. They are afraid that past misdemeanours of peculiar accounting may come back to haunt them. With that said, I agree with the principle of universal entitlement to medical cards for the over seventies providing we aren't being screwed by the medical profession.
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:11 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
The fact of the matter is that the medical card system for the over 70s is unsustainable (as a result of a McCreevy stroke combined with the doctors' unquenchable greed).

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
With that said, I agree with the principle of universal entitlement to medical cards for the over seventies providing we aren't being screwed by the medical profession.

The Irish Medical Organisation negotiated a deal in the best interest of its members given the prevailing circumstance. That is what they were charged with doing, just as IBEC represents its member's interests and Trade Unions their's. The Government, not the IMO, caused the problem, as they decided to rush the negotiations in order that they could use the grant of free medical care to over 70s in order to secure a favourable outcome in the forthcoming election.

I would therefore blame the Government, not the medical profession. The medical profession sought to maximise their own interest, that is what all professions do and more power to them.

Anyone who thinks doctors have an unquenchable greed, that the average General Practitioner is rolling in cash, or that running a medical clinic is a walk in the park, is clearly not sharing a house with a doctor.
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:22 pm

I don't think that doctors are rolling in money but the ones I have come across are certainly not short of a bob and are very interested in money.

If you think that the doctors are correct to at every turn maximise their own interest in their dealings with the state then you agree with people behaving as if they have unquenchable greed (even if you think their souls are cleaner than that). It is the same old story of using the market excuse to avoid moral imperatives.

In my view, if you are providing a service which is paid for by the state, i.e., all your fellow citizens, and if you are in a dominant position, such as doctors and some civil servants are, then ethically you should charge a fair price rather than an exorbitant price.

It has been documented that surgeons who coud not treat public patients subsequently treated them more quickly through the treatement purchase scheme. GPs are not in the same league as that but they are acting like a cartel.
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:12 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
I don't think they are trying to hit low income, vulnerable groups disproportionately. Harney quoted some figure that the top 1% pay 27% of all tax. That is impressive and shows progress. Obviously the levymeans they will pay more again and particularly if they earn more than €100K.

Social Welfare, schools building and health have not been cut whereas these areas have seen exponential growth in expenditure over the last number of years. Teachers have been cut and health expenditure is to be stabilised. The reason these areas have been attacked is because they are the biggest expenses for the country and the places where the smallest cuts will make the greatest difference.

The fact of the matter is that the medical card system for the over 70s is unsustainable (as a result of a McCreevy stroke combined with the doctors' unquenchable greed). The Government had to change it and thereby compromise the principle of universal health care for the over 70s. This is called reaping what you sow. Ignoring the problem would be just another stroke to avoid reaping what was sown. Perhaps if it is means linked they can renegotiate with the doctors and bring back universal care, or perhaps if we can get public service only contracts those doctors can eventually (in 20 years time) be entrusted with the care of the elderly.

I think class sizes have been cut while schools building has been increased because the Government feels that we can struggle by with less teachers whereas schools building will protect children's health and help the economy in the very important short term.

Personally, I have paid a lot of tax over the last few years in stamp duty, in PRSI and in income tax. I have also taken a substantial drop in income this year. I am happy to pay more tax and I am happy for the working poor to be excluded for the measures. By the same token, I work hard and am successful and have put my fair share into the economy and into the tax coffers and I don't see why others who can afford to pay something, such as rich pensioners, many of whom made a fortune out of property on the backs of the young first time buyers (including me), should be exempt from chipping in.

To be honest, I suspect the reason that some OAPs don't want to be means tested is because they know that their personal accounts don't stack up over the years and the revenue will be asking where a lot of their mney went. They are afraid that past misdemeanours of peculiar accounting may come back to haunt them. With that said, I agree with the principle of universal entitlement to medical cards for the over seventies providing we aren't being screwed by the medical profession.

So do I. I think that income taxes are the way to differentiate: this messing with means testing is humiliating and people will fall through the net. I totally agree that costs need to be kept under control - we seem to pay way over the odds for pharmaceuticals compared with other countries. I'd love to know how Spain manages to sell them a fraction of our prices. It is worth going there to stock up on asthma meds or anything for chronic illness. They also treat a lot with very basic generics like asprin. You don't see the shelves of ineffectual but brightly packaged cough and cold cures over there. Doctors are also (sorry lads) paid way too much.

Having said that, this is the first time I've seen Irelands' recent tax changes described as progressive. I wonder what the figure is for the top 30-35%?

Capital spending I think your assuming has been maintained in order to soften the construction crash. There is a certain sense in that, at least for 12 months, but the problem is so much of the capital spending is poor value for money. There is a sore need for a serious value for money review/priority review of the NDP.
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:33 pm

Doctors are entitled to earn a large salary - they have achieved alot, worked very hard and are very well educated. That is the way the world works. That said, I think you would be surprised at what the average General Practitioner earns.

Doctors might have a minor duty to act in the national interest, possibly when we are in this situation, but the fact remains that they got themselves a good deal at a time of economic plenty. It isn't the role of the medical profession to possess economic foresight, that is the role of Government. I think it is quite time we stopped wanting to hold lobby and interest groups to account as if they are in Government and time we stopped treating Government as if it were only a lobby group. It is they, not the IMO, or any other organisation, who are paid to get the best deal for the country. The Government quite simply didn't, they rushed it, it was an election ploy and they are now paying the price.

The medical profession acts as a profession - I don't necessarily believe that total market conditions should be applied to professions. If you have absolute competition it is a race to the bottom, as it is in all competitive environments, and that is particularly dangerous when it comes to certain professions. I would rather pay my doctor 50 euro than have them cut corners owing to pressure to see patients and targets to meet - I think we have seen what damage that does already in the banking industry.

General Practitioners are not public servants, they are self employed persons who do an element of contract work for the State. We ought to think of them like that. There are thousands of General Practitioners who would much prefer to be public servants, the opposition is as much from the Government (if not more) than it is from the profession in doing this. Take my mother as an example. She is a General Practitioner, works morning sessions (although mornings inevitably carry over to 4pm most days) in an inner city practice where she is required to do almost half of her sessions through French. Owing to the fact that the Government refuses to allow job sharing of a GMS contract or the granting of a GMS contract on a part time basis my mother is required to act self employed and be paid on a session by session basis by someone in the practice who does have a GMS contract. This of course means that whilst she spends the vast majority of her time seeing medical card patients, and essentially working for the State, she gets absolutely no pension entitlements from the State in recognition of that. There is a huge proportion of the General Practitioners in this State in the same situation. Do you not think they would rather be public servants? Of course the Government doesn't want them to be, they would have to provide my Mother, and thousands of particularly female doctors like her, with a medical pension and that would cost them a fortune. Isn't all one sided you know.
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:55 pm

Well, the Consultants certainly don't want to be public servants. They want to cripple the public service sending people to avail of private hospital care.

Many GPs would like to be public servants as public health docors are grossly overpaid for what they do. Are you suggesting that the doctors treating medical card patients should have a state pension too? Should all the private architects, engineers, barristers, self assessing business men and planners who submit plans to the council for approval get state pensions too. Really, that just reminds me of the publican who told me they were charging €7 a beer in Belgium and they should be getting the same in Ireland.

Every profession can only push it so far before the Government with the backing of the public clips their wings. The doctors are the same and it is quite possible the IMO will mend they ways to some extent now that the public finances are in trouble. I would not be surprised if the IMO got real and acted fairly, but it remains to be seen.

I don't like the idea of price gouging to milk the state in times of plenty, getting "government cheese" as 50 cent calls it. That attitude of taking the maximum amount of money from the state whether you are genuinely entitled to it or not disgusts me in all its forms. I group it with people who have falsified income to get grants to people spending county council mature learning grants on cars to people robbing stationery and toilet paper out of hospitals and government departments. It is the piggy-backing stealing attitude of hundreds of thousands of people in this country in all professions. I genuinely look down on those who pursue it (makes me feel like an FGer:)).

To suggest acting as a cartel constitutes acting as a profession is a new low for how professions are viewed, though I do admit that many professions have sought to maintain their monopolies. There is a lot more to acting as a profession including ethics and social responsibility and putting the well-being of those who put their trust in you first at all times. I am sure many doctors do that a lot of the time. I am sure they are talented and they deserve good pay. I respect many doctors (and there are those of them I respect very little). However, all those positive points do not excuse the IMO's and the consultants' little bit of corrosive greed.
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:03 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Having said that, this is the first time I've seen Irelands' recent tax changes described as progressive. I wonder what the figure is for the top 30-35%?
The word "regressive" is all I hear lately. It is the new "sustainable". I thought I would throw in a progressive to get the pot boiling - part of my new aggressive style Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:11 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:

Many GPs would like to be public servants as public health docors are grossly overpaid for what they do. Are you suggesting that the doctors treating medical card patients should have a state pension too?

They already do. The point is approximately one third of the profession doesn't get any because they are not entitled to a part time or job shared GMS contract.
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:14 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:

I don't like the idea of price gouging to milk the state in times of plenty, getting "government cheese" as 50 cent calls it. That attitude of taking the maximum amount of money from the state whether you are genuinely entitled to it or not disgusts me in all its forms. I group it with people who have falsified income to get grants to people spending county council mature learning grants on cars to people robbing stationery and toilet paper out of hospitals and government departments. It is the piggy-backing stealing attitude of hundreds of thousands of people in this country in all professions. I genuinely look down on those who pursue it (makes me feel like an FGer:)).

That is absolutely disengenuous. People who are falsifying income are committing fraud, which is immoral as well as criminal. In regard to the medical card the medical profession entered a transparent negotiation with the Government. In any negotiation you will try to get the best deal that you can. The absolute responsibility falls with the Government who rushed the deal, failed to get a good deal and did a very bad one for the State. They treated it as vote winning issue and rushed it through in order to win an election - that was the problem. Had they done it at the start of their next term I would be very confident that the deal would have been very different. Then again they may not have got elected.
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:37 pm

The whole unrest after the Budget is quite something else. Far from being a stabilising force in the economy by giving people an early indication of economic progress in the next year, this budget has turned into a touchstone upon which numerous campaigns have been founded.

I'm personally appalled at the fees situation and will attend rallies and go to meetings and the like to ensure they don't come back. The cut in funding from the CTYI was a cheap move since it saves only €97,000 but will be all the more costly in terms of the opportunities our best and brightest young people are missing.

All in all, a cynical exercise which isn't going to improve the economy appreciably.
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:45 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
The whole unrest after the Budget is quite something else. Far from being a stabilising force in the economy by giving people an early indication of economic progress in the next year, this budget has turned into a touchstone upon which numerous campaigns have been founded.

I'm personally appalled at the fees situation and will attend rallies and go to meetings and the like to ensure they don't come back. The cut in funding from the CTYI was a cheap move since it saves only €97,000 but will be all the more costly in terms of the opportunities our best and brightest young people are missing.

All in all, a cynical exercise which isn't going to improve the economy appreciably.

I agree, Ard Taoiseach: we can do so much better than that - we can reshape whatever we have to do the best that we can. This budget does not do that.
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:50 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
The whole unrest after the Budget is quite something else. Far from being a stabilising force in the economy by giving people an early indication of economic progress in the next year, this budget has turned into a touchstone upon which numerous campaigns have been founded.

I'm personally appalled at the fees situation and will attend rallies and go to meetings and the like to ensure they don't come back. The cut in funding from the CTYI was a cheap move since it saves only €97,000 but will be all the more costly in terms of the opportunities our best and brightest young people are missing.

All in all, a cynical exercise which isn't going to improve the economy appreciably.

I agree, Ard Taoiseach: we can do so much better than that - we can reshape whatever we have to do the best that we can. This budget does not do that.

They should scrap decentralisation, implement pay cuts across the top of the public service, take a 1 year break from paying into the national pension reserve fund, implement an efficiency review of the capital programme and privatise certain semi-states to make up the deficit over the next few years.
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:15 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
The whole unrest after the Budget is quite something else. Far from being a stabilising force in the economy by giving people an early indication of economic progress in the next year, this budget has turned into a touchstone upon which numerous campaigns have been founded.

I'm personally appalled at the fees situation and will attend rallies and go to meetings and the like to ensure they don't come back. The cut in funding from the CTYI was a cheap move since it saves only €97,000 but will be all the more costly in terms of the opportunities our best and brightest young people are missing.

All in all, a cynical exercise which isn't going to improve the economy appreciably.

I agree, Ard Taoiseach: we can do so much better than that - we can reshape whatever we have to do the best that we can. This budget does not do that.

They should scrap decentralisation, implement pay cuts across the top of the public service, take a 1 year break from paying into the national pension reserve fund, implement an efficiency review of the capital programme and privatise certain semi-states to make up the deficit over the next few years.


cheers - to the bold bits.
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:35 am

I heard Miriam earlier advertising Prime Time with the theme of getting value out of the Public Service - watch out for the stats !
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:38 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
I heard Miriam earlier advertising Prime Time with the theme of getting value out of the Public Service - watch out for the stats !

How about getting value out of RTE - they have a journo in EVERY CITY !!!!! What a Face

Have they not heard of Associated Press?
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:44 am

There's only Mark Little, Myles Dungan, Áine Lawlor, Dobbo, Robert Shortt, and some Gaelgeoir Cailín for a start ..
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:49 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
There's only Mark Little, Myles Dungan, Áine Lawlor, Dobbo, Robert Shortt, and some Gaelgeoir Cailín for a start ..

I heard Fergal Keane out there today.

From the Indo after Super Tuesday:

By Colum Kenny


Quote :
Sunday May 25 2008

It cost €27,000 to send 12 RTE employees to America for the 'Super Tuesday' primaries. Oh no, hang on, it cost €62,000. Oh wait, actually it cost more than that. And that does not include RTE's permanent Washington correspondent, Robert Shortt.

The information emerged in response to a Freedom of Information request from retired army officer William Phillips, who was was irked by RTE presenters' comments on the cost of sending Government ministers abroad for St Patrick's Day, when the station had at least 13 staff in the US for the presidential primaries last February.

RTE first told Mr Phillips that travel, subsistence and technical costs for its coverage of 'Super Tuesday' were €20,000 for news and current affairs, and €7,000 for radio.

Pressed by Mr Phillips, RTE wrote to him to revise its estimates, this time adding on a bill for €28,000 from the European Broadcasting Union for news and technical costs, and a travel and accommodation bill of €4,000 for RTE's internet coverage. By now, said RTE, the cost was up to €62,000, and the broadcaster acknowledged that this did not include labour.

Those who crossed the Atlantic for the 'stalemate' between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were Bryan Dobson and Donogh McGrath from Six One News, Charlie Bird, Cathal Mac Coille and Paul Tanney from Morning Ireland, Fergal Keane and Myles Dungan from RTE Radio One, Fiona Hurst from Online RTE, Mark Little and Tara Peterman, and a two-person crew, from Prime Time.


Last edited by cactus flower on Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:52 am

cactus flower wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
There's only Mark Little, Myles Dungan, Áine Lawlor, Dobbo, Robert Shortt, and some Gaelgeoir Cailín for a start ..

I heard Fergal Keane out there today.

I forgot about Sir Charles Byrd too.

317,000 public servants ... eek What a Face

92,000 work in education

Quangos ?
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:03 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
There's only Mark Little, Myles Dungan, Áine Lawlor, Dobbo, Robert Shortt, and some Gaelgeoir Cailín for a start ..

The Irish speaker doesn`t get a name. Racist Evil or Very Mad So who do you think is going to win the election John McCain or the black guy? Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:07 am

anmajornarthainig wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
There's only Mark Little, Myles Dungan, Áine Lawlor, Dobbo, Robert Shortt, and some Gaelgeoir Cailín for a start ..

The Irish speaker doesn`t get a name. Racist Evil or Very Mad So who do you think is going to win the election John McCain or the black guy? Wink

I've already voted for the coloured chap. Níl aon fhios agam cén ainm atá uirthi.

Jim Power is not making any points - zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Why doesn't our Government/Civil Service publish every goddam feckin penny those departments spend and let the public decide ?
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PostSubject: Re: Prime Time Heckle - The widening hole in the public accounts - carers, ideascampaign.ie   Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:15 am

What about sacking everybody working in RTE who gets more than a hundred grand of year and we could find ways of making programmes that`d be a lot cheaper. For instance we could replace "Who do you think you are?" with a reality show based in Dublin on saturday nights called "What the fuck do you think you`re lookin`at?" We could scrap the Clinic and replace it with the "hospital". It`d only need one set, a waiting room, and you could film it in real time and get about 24 one hour episodes out of it. You wouldn`t have to get many actors either, just one nurse, one doctor and one hundred and fifty extras portraying administrators. How about "The 150 Greatest Disasters of all time." George Lee would probably present it for free he`d be so happy. What about scrapping Fair City and replacing it with a new show called "Leo`s Hands", they`re the best thing in it anyway.
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