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 Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?

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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:08 pm

johnfás wrote:
cactus flower wrote:

Share ownership is a matter of public record. I can't understand why no journalist has taken the trouble that Kathleen Barrington took in this instance, to find out who the major shareholders in Anglo Irish Bank are.

If you hold below something like 1% you can hold through nominees... the members of this 'Golden Circle' seemingly held 1% each so they could have held all the shares through nominees accounts. Consequently the register of shareholders will have something like the name of a Stockbroking firm rather than the personal information.

I thought the 1 per cent related to the single loan transaction, not to their total shareholding.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:11 pm

I'm not sure to be honest, don't know alot about that particular area of law. Perhaps someone who knows about that particular area of the law will clarify.

However, I was under the impression it related to your shareholding.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:19 pm

The Pin - why did Cowen remove Stamp Duty on CFDs ?
http://www.thepropertypin.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=18909


That was pretty dodgy wasn't it? Dodgy in the sense of course that it could have been a careless decision originally leading to something of a half-disastrous scale in the medium term.

Sean Quinn ended up with 15% of Anglo didn't he? This was too much for one fella to have without having to declare it. If he needs some moolah all of a sudden for one of his other industries then he alone could half liquify Anglo ...

Couldn't he?
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:24 pm

johnfás wrote:
I'm not sure to be honest, don't know alot about that particular area of law. Perhaps someone who knows about that particular area of the law will clarify.

However, I was under the impression it related to your shareholding.

Me too. I did not have the "ten" particularly in mind. I would be more interested to know if anyone in Government, or close family members, had shares. Richard Bruton is the only TD that I know for certain had declared his interests as an owner of Bank shares on the Register of Interests.

This seems to me to be a very serious allegation, and one that was not cleared up satisfactorily due to the inability of Cowen and others to remember what if any his direct involvement was.

Quote :
... no Minister or Minister of State should engage in any activity that could reasonably be regarded as interfering, or being incompatible, with the full and proper discharge by him of the duties of office."

The Ethics in Public Office Bill, 1994, proposes to give legislative effect to these principles and will oblige all T.D.s to disclose shareholdings in excess of IRP 10,000.
Opposition Deputies drew attention to a written answer to a Dail question, given on the 18th October, by the Minister, which indicated his intention to grant a mining licence to Arcon"with the minimum of delay."

On Tuesday, 25th October, when the Minister came before the Dail to apologise for his shareholding he was faced with a new allegation from the Opposition, that he had interfered to have an environmental impact report altered so that Arcon would secure planning permission from Kilkenny County Co. for a lead and zinc mine at Galmoy. Phil Hogan, T.D. (F.G.) produced two versions of the report, which showed that the sentence "This [the design of a tailings pond to hold dangerous waste] is a significant issue which cannot be resolved by appropriate planning conditions or regulatory requirements. " Mr. Hogan charged that the Minister had caused the report to be changed. The Minister angrily denied the charge and challenged anyone to repeat it without the protection of Da/il privilege.

While the Minister's apology in relation to his shareholdings was accepted, controversy continued all week over the Hogan allegation. On the 26th Deputy Cowan's department briefed journalists that the Assistant Secretary in charge of mining exploration, Mr. Brendan Tuohy, was taking full responsibility for the deletion. He felt that the sentence was open to misinterpretation, and had drawn this to the attention of the consultants who had agreed that it ought to be deleted. At no stage was the Minister consulted by Mr. Tuohy. He had informed the Secreatry of the Department, Mr. John Loughrey, but he was not aware if he had then discussed the matter with the Minister. Kilkenny County Council and the firm of consultants both confirmed this version of events. On the Order of Business in the Da/il Mary Harney, T.D. charged that that the Taoiseach, the Chief Whip, Noel Dempsey T.D. and the Minister had met as a result of which "pressure was put on [Mr. Tuohy]."

While the Opposition ended the week considering whether or not to put down a motion of no confidence in the Minister, Fianna Fa/il and Labour Ministers rallied to Mr. Cowen defence in the face of charges for which, in their view, no evidence had been provided. Mr. Cowen continues to insist that he was not "to his knowledge" informed of the alteration of the report."



An Environmental Impact Statement is an expert technical document and is intended to be completely neutral and professional. It is part of the planning application and must by law be prepared by the applicant, who would employ professional and highly qualified environmental scientists/experts to compile it. The planning application is decided by the Local Authority and An Bord Pleanala. The idea that a critical conclusion of the EIS was interfered with by a Civil Servant in the Department responsible for issuing Mining Licences, of which Brian Cowen, was Minister and also owner of undeclared Arcon shares, I find grotesque, unbelievable bizzare and unfortunate in the extreme.

The environmental consequences of the release of thousands of gallons of sludge contaminated with heavy metals would be horrific.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:14 pm

Looking at Brian Cowen's bizarre handling of the Banks, the question of whose interests he operates in has begun to keep cropping up in my mind. The question of what kind of man Brian Cowen is, and whose interests he represents, given the critical state of the nation is an urgent one.

This blog has an answer to digoutday's original question about Brian Cowen and land near Dublin Airport:

http://www.soldiersofdestiny.org/communionmoney.htm

Quote :
The same day too the senior bosses in Aer Rianta told the Mahon Tribunal that they suspected some county councillors were being corrupted when they suddenly began rezoning lands around Dublin airport for commercial use.

Former Aer Rianta general manager Brian Byrne told the Mahon Tribunal individuals were "chancing their arm" in the context of the development plan and coming up with half-baked ideas.

He said: "Headless chicken proposals, including one to build a hotel in the middle of a red safety zone at the airport, emerged at this time. It was developer driven, it was madness and it made no sense."

He said a marked change came over the councillors in 1993 and there was hostility towards almost everything Aer Rianta was trying to do.

"We couldn't understand it. I think we were a bit naive. I assumed we were all playing for Ireland," he said. He said he did not know what was behind the hostility.

"Some of the councillors such as Cllr Joe Higgins (Ind) and Bernie Malone (Lab) would have indicated to us that there was something untoward going on in relation to other councillors but what it was we didn't know," he said.

Mr Byrne added that one expression used was that the councillors were leeches on the body of the country.
"There was something suspicious because this should have been a win-win because were the State body looking to grow commercial activity.

"We had generously invited councillors to the airport to keep them abreast of what was happening and they were hostile to our needs. I couldn't understand it," he added.

Mr Byrne said that it had been a stated policy that the council should co-operate with the airport. There was land adjacent to the airport which was zoned agricultural which the airport authorities had earmarked for expansion.

"We were running out of space and it was critical that we acquired those lands," Mr Bryne said.

Frustrated

Mr Byrne said he had made a presentation to councillors emphasising how crucial it was for the airport to expand. Although they had 2,500 acres, passenger traffic, stagnant at two to three million a year, was now increasing.

Aer Rianta were extremely frustrated at trying to deal with the councillors.

"We were now seeing councillors making representations about lands 30 miles away from where they lived."

When the councillors voted overwhelmingly to re-zone the 24 acres at Cargobridge Mr Byrne said he asked Labour councillor Sean Ryan for an explanation and Mr Ryan told him he had felt compelled to vote for the proposal as it would create 400 jobs.

A VITAL policy document which could have blocked Dublin county councillors from rezoning land at Dublin Airport was not issued in time to prevent the vote going through.

And yesterday former general manager of Aer Rianta Brian Byrne said he could only assume that the then Minister for Transport, Brian Cowen, had decided not to issue the document "for reasons best known to himself".


But former Secretary General of the Department John Loughrey said it was his judgment call to issue this document, which was not a ministerial policy document but came from the department.

Aer Rianta had asked the Department of Transport for help in trying to fight the rezoning of 24 acres at Cargobridge.

This was land which Aer Rianta felt was necessary for the continued expansion and development of airport facilities.


But although the policy document was prepared on August 8, 1993, it was not issued until October 6, 1993, six days after Dublin Co Council had voted overwhelmingly to rezone the land.


The decision by Mr Cowen to give the business consortium which owned the Cargobridge lands a right of way through the airport lands after the rezoning went through encouraged others to think that it could be considered "fair game" to acquire land near the airport and then apply political pressure and to assume that they could be successful, Mr Byrne added.

He told the Mahon Tribunal that the right-of-way decision by the minister had a devastating effect on the management at Dublin Airport.

Abandoned

They had played it straight up the line and felt they had been abandoned for reasons which they could not understand and they were not at all happy.

"Somebody decided at a very high level that this was going to happen," Mr Byrne added.

He said that Aer Rianta had a close relationship with the Dept of Transport.

The 24 acres at Cargobridge was the last parcel of land available to the airport, and that was why it was so important.

He said he did not know that lobbyist Frank Dunlop had been retained by Michael McGuinness of Neptune Freight, one of the Cargobridge consortium members, or that Mr Dunlop had been speaking to the minister about the Cargobridge consortium.

Aer Rianta had written to the Department trying to get the rezoning revoked, either by getting the Minister for the Environment to use his powers under the 1963 Planning and Development Act or by means of a judicial review.

But Mr Byrne said he did not know that Mr Cowen had decided to grant a commercial right of way across the state lands to Cargobridge.

Former Secretary General of the Department of Transport John Loughrey said that he was less than impressed with the case being made by Aer Rianta that development at the airport should be confined to them.

"My concern as accounting officer of the Department was that Aer Rianta had failed the litmus test in 1991 when they could have acquired this land by CPO [Compulsory Purchase Order] and they now they wanted the sledgehammer of ministerial direction," Mr Loughrey said.

Seems like a lot of incompetence in aer Rianta, gave Cowan an opening to appease the cronies/speculators,and even the Dept of Transport(mr Loughrey) threw in their lot with the land owners/developers in this instance.A sorry mess indeed.


The blog suggests that Brian Cowan was influenced by contact with Frank Dunlop, although no evidence is given.

As with the Arcon case (Tony O'Reilly, main shareholder) the issue here is not just a bit of extra residential zoning, but a major planning decision of national significance. The potential for safe, efficient and commercially coherent development of the country's main airport appears to have been recklessly ignored.

I think De Loughrey's statement was pretty despicable.

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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:20 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Looking at Brian Cowen's bizarre handling of the Banks, the question of whose interests he operates in has begun to keep cropping up in my mind. The question of what kind of man Brian Cowen is, and whose interests he represents, given the critical state of the nation is an urgent one.

This blog has an answer to digoutday's original question about Brian Cowen and land near Dublin Airport:................

The blog suggests that Brian Cowan was influenced by contact with Frank Dunlop, although no evidence is given.

As with the Arcon case (Tony O'Reilly, main shareholder) the issue here is not just a bit of extra residential zoning, but a major planning decision of national significance. The potential for safe, efficient and commercially coherent development of the country's main airport appears to have been recklessly ignored.

I think De Loughrey's statement was pretty despicable.

--------------------
You'll have to do a lot better than that CF. The blog from which you quote is run by a self confessed tax dodging anti FF lunatic who has to live outside of Ireland in case the revenue get their hands on him.
Apart from that what's your sudden interest in trying to blacken Cowen?
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:36 pm

tonys wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Looking at Brian Cowen's bizarre handling of the Banks, the question of whose interests he operates in has begun to keep cropping up in my mind. The question of what kind of man Brian Cowen is, and whose interests he represents, given the critical state of the nation is an urgent one.

This blog has an answer to digoutday's original question about Brian Cowen and land near Dublin Airport:................

The blog suggests that Brian Cowan was influenced by contact with Frank Dunlop, although no evidence is given.

As with the Arcon case (Tony O'Reilly, main shareholder) the issue here is not just a bit of extra residential zoning, but a major planning decision of national significance. The potential for safe, efficient and commercially coherent development of the country's main airport appears to have been recklessly ignored.

I think De Loughrey's statement was pretty despicable.

--------------------
You'll have to do a lot better than that CF. The blog from which you quote is run by a self confessed tax dodging anti FF lunatic who has to live outside of Ireland in case the revenue get their hands on him.
Apart from that what's your sudden interest in trying to blacken Cowen?

I'm feeling that its hard to see public interest at the centre of Government's current actions. Sometimes people confuse the interests of friends with the common good. Up until now I gave BC the benefit of the doubt and put it down to his politics and personal limitations. That is getting harder to do, so I've been taking a detour to see if he has any form in working in golden circles.

In both of the cases that I refer to it appears that higher civil servants working to Cowen behaved imo appallingly. There is no evidence that Cowen was directly responsible, but both cases were on his watch and ultimately were his responsibility as Minister. The public interest does not seem to have been at the centre of decision-making on either occasion.

I would be interested to know if you have reason to believe the blog has got the facts wrong.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:50 pm

I don't think there is any suggestion that Cowen is anything other than
clean. You can gripe with some justification about his uncritical
support for Ahern, but insinuating he is some way bent without even the
slightest indication as to why is not on. The man is clean.

The airport lands, if you mean the Cargobridge lands, were lands owned
by a man called Butler, to whom Dunlop was introduced by Ahern's pal
Tim Collins. There is conflicting evidence on whether Collins knew
what Dunlop's role really was, Collins denies it, Dunlop says
otherwise. Dunlop admits bribing councillors to get the thing done,
though it never came about. The hapless developer is one of the few
that Dunlop willingly hands up on a plate as having been aware of what
he was up to, while he still lies to protect the bigger boys. Once the rezoning was through, Cowen granted a right of way. There is no suggestion that there was anything untoward in this, it was the rezoning itself that was wrong. I believe Cowen would not get involved in anything remotely bent, he strikes me as honest, though obviously naively loyal to his predecessor (who has shown how thankful he is by shovelling all the blame towards Cowen for the economic mess - what a brave and honourable man...)
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:57 pm

cactus flower wrote:
tonys wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Looking at Brian Cowen's bizarre handling of the Banks, the question of whose interests he operates in has begun to keep cropping up in my mind. The question of what kind of man Brian Cowen is, and whose interests he represents, given the critical state of the nation is an urgent one.

This blog has an answer to digoutday's original question about Brian Cowen and land near Dublin Airport:................

The blog suggests that Brian Cowan was influenced by contact with Frank Dunlop, although no evidence is given.

As with the Arcon case (Tony O'Reilly, main shareholder) the issue here is not just a bit of extra residential zoning, but a major planning decision of national significance. The potential for safe, efficient and commercially coherent development of the country's main airport appears to have been recklessly ignored.

I think De Loughrey's statement was pretty despicable.

--------------------
You'll have to do a lot better than that CF. The blog from which you quote is run by a self confessed tax dodging anti FF lunatic who has to live outside of Ireland in case the revenue get their hands on him.
Apart from that what's your sudden interest in trying to blacken Cowen?

I'm feeling that its hard to see public interest at the centre of Government's current actions. Sometimes people confuse the interests of friends with the common good. Up until now I gave BC the benefit of the doubt and put it down to his politics and personal limitations. That is getting harder to do, so I've been taking a detour to see if he has any form in working in golden circles.

In both of the cases that I refer to it appears that higher civil servants working to Cowen behaved imo appallingly. There is no evidence that Cowen was directly responsible, but both cases were on his watch and ultimately were his responsibility as Minister. The public interest does not seem to have been at the centre of decision-making on either occasion.

I would be interested to know if you have reason to believe the blog has got the facts wrong.
There are no facts, not relating to Cowen anyway. You say "golden circles", it doesn't take long for muck to stick, does it? That fucker kenny must be a proud man today.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:01 am

Frank Dunlop eh? Did we ever find out which High Court Judge got his/her job off him? For some strange reason everyone lost interest in that pretty quickly.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:18 am

I dont think that Brian Cowen has done anything dodgy - that would require him to show an ability to actually do something - an ability he has kept well hidden up to now.

I can understand why the opposition and others are casting innuendo and aspertions in regard to corruption - because it will be the only way to get the Greens uncomfortable and get the population at large riled up.

Ireland is a great little country like that - competency and ability to do a job are not really required on ones CV - particularly in political circles and the upper civil service and our oligarchy of financial,legal and media masters.

If there is one thing that has made me scream out loud over the last 10 years and in the last 6 months of relentless opening of cans of worms - it is the sheer incompetence,dereliction of duty and complete uselessness displayed by all - as a country we really do think "we are worth it" - despite all evidence to the contrary that would indicate that organising a pissup in a brewery and transport home afterwards for all involved is really a paygrade or two beyond our capabilities - our toleration of uselessness is a national characteristic.

One thing that is become very noticeable to me is the complete absence of engineers,systems managers and the like in our public and civic life - Cowen is in the legal profession - No disrespect to any here - but all a law degree means is that you demonstrated an ability to read outside lectures on your own initiative for 4 years and managed to get to the end of it without developing a serious addiction to any narcotic substances - an arts degree for slow learners if you may - with a bit of practical thrown in at the end depending on which end of the legal profession you wish to pursue. How any of this equips you to run a nation is totally beyond me - you can see it in Cowen and Lenihan - they havent a fecking clue - so they outsource their incomprehension and inadequacy to the civil service - another bunch of all-rounders whose abilities do not include understanding how things work, being able to look at the big picture and most importantly,understanding that everything in life is a series of systems and flows - so they outsource it to legal notaries (accountants and more fricking lawyers and individuals whose understanding of everything comes from books and theoretical models) - thus the reason the Luas doesn't join up, why any IT system for the public service tends to end in massive budget overshoots,massively delayed and if we're lucky it might work - etc etc etc.

I'll be looking closely at my candidates in the locals coming up - if any are engineers, managers with real life experience or show any ability to think outside the box - they will get my vote - even if they are FFers - we have enough teachers,lawyers,auctioneers,farmers and others who have made a career out of getting on as many boards and committees as possible to make it look like they are accomplishing something - but in reality are doing diddly squat.

Corruption - believe it or not -is the least of our problems - incompetence and the inability to hold ones hand up and say "Im shite at this" and move on and the constant covering up of that incompetence are what is slowly killing this country - and we are all responsible for that.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:36 am

Did Kenny invent the term Golden Circle ??

By all means correct anything in my posts that is inaccurate. What is the point in shouting "smear" and not dealing with the substance?

Cowen must be assumed honest unless proven otherwise, but he was at best forgetful and negligent, in terms of his obligation to declare the mining shares, and whether or not he knew about the change to the EIS. The actions of the civil servants working to him were very disturbing. By the account of Aer Rianta, the right of way and rezoning created real problems.

There is an ongoing problem of reliance on contributions to politicians from developers: these are not given for philanthropic reasons. People have been given plenty of reason to be suspicious.

http://www.tribune.ie/archive/article/2009/jan/25/government-anglo-and-the-developers/
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:40 am

Aer Rianta bleating is not proof in itself that something is the case. The quote you use yourself says this:
Quote :

Former Secretary General of the Department of Transport John
Loughrey said that he was less than impressed with the case being made
by Aer Rianta that development at the airport should be confined to
them.

"My concern as accounting officer of the Department was
that Aer Rianta had failed the litmus test in 1991 when they could have
acquired this land by CPO [Compulsory Purchase Order] and they now they
wanted the sledgehammer of ministerial direction," Mr Loughrey said.

None of which is Cowen's fault.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:46 am

cactus flower wrote:
Did Kenny invent the term Golden Circle ??

By all means correct anything in my posts that is inaccurate. What is the point in shouting "smear" and not dealing with the substance?

Cowen must be assumed honest unless proven otherwise, but he was at best forgetful and negligent, in terms of his obligation to declare the mining shares, and whether or not he knew about the change to the EIS. The actions of the civil servants working to him were very disturbing. By the account of Aer Rianta, the right of way and rezoning created real problems.

There is an ongoing problem of reliance on contributions to politicians from developers: these are not given for philanthropic reasons. People have been given plenty of reason to be suspicious.

]http://www.tribune.ie/archive/article/2009/jan/25/government-anglo-and-the-developers/


Ah, the Kenny defence "I do not say you did anything wrong, I only ask the question and express what other people might be thinking, I myself of course do not think this"

No, you are correct, Kenny had nothing to do with it at all, it is the merest coincidence and I'm very stupid for thinking otherwise.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:51 am

toxic avenger wrote:
Aer Rianta bleating is not proof in itself that something is the case. The quote you use yourself says this:
Quote :

Former Secretary General of the Department of Transport John
Loughrey said that he was less than impressed with the case being made
by Aer Rianta that development at the airport should be confined to
them.

"My concern as accounting officer of the Department was
that Aer Rianta had failed the litmus test in 1991 when they could have
acquired this land by CPO [Compulsory Purchase Order] and they now they
wanted the sledgehammer of ministerial direction," Mr Loughrey said.

None of which is Cowen's fault.

That is precisely the statement I found disgraceful.

Once an airport is hemmed in by development both its safety and its potential to develop is permanently compromised. John de Loughrey's reason for not acting sounds to me petty-minded and wrong-headed. The issue was not whether Aer Rianta had jumped through a particular hoop, it was what was in the public interest.
Quote :
And yesterday former general manager of Aer Rianta Brian Byrne said he could only assume that the then Minister for Transport, Brian Cowen, had decided not to issue the document "for reasons best known to himself".

But former Secretary General of the Department John Loughrey said it was his judgment call to issue this document, which was not a ministerial policy document but came from the department. Aer Rianta had asked the Department of Transport for help in trying to fight the rezoning of 24 acres at Cargobridge. This was land which Aer Rianta felt was necessary for the continued expansion and development of airport facilities.

But although the policy document was prepared on August 8, 1993, it was not issued until October 6, 1993, six days after Dublin Co Council had voted overwhelmingly to rezone the land.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:52 pm

Interesting coverage of this on Morning Ireland this morning in the David Davin Power interview with Enda Kenny. I can't get the link now - in too public a place to listen back to it and no headphones with me, but the gist was that he had no fact/intuition based reason for asking whether a member of the government is in the Golden Circle - he just did.

I'll post the link later, when I get a chance.

Meanwhile, Edo you're entitled to vote for whomever you choose, but assigning your number one on the basis of the candidate's profession sounds bizarre.

Am I missing an underlying irony or humour here? I don't believe you can be serious...
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:23 pm

It crossed my mind this morning that one explanation for Brian Cowen and some of the incidents described in this thread could be that he is not in control of his civil servants.

Anyone got any fact-based insight into this?

---------------------------------------------

In the meantime: I can't find the rest of this information - any links or sources would be appreciated: the SIPO website is full of information you can only find if you already know where it is.

Quote :
Several major property development companies were amongst those who contributed to a golf classic election fundraiser last year for Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen, according to documents filed with the Standards in Public Office Commission. More...

Brian Cowen apparently refused the Standards In Public Office Commission (SIPO) when they asked to have powers to investigate corporate donations. SIPO have a record of larger donations, but can't make any checks on the correctness of the register - a lot of the entries apparently relate to non-existent companies of which there is no record.

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/gormley-denies-uturn-over-ban-on-corporate-political-donations-1301236.html

The Green Party who made a lot of noise about banning Corporate Donations in Opposition, gave up any urgency on it once they went into Government.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:31 pm

Kate P wrote:


Meanwhile, Edo you're entitled to vote for whomever you choose, but assigning your number one on the basis of the candidate's profession sounds bizarre.

Am I missing an underlying irony or humour here? I don't believe you can be serious...

Whatever about assigning a vote solely on the basis of a candidate's profession, I think the underlying point is relevant. There is an incredible lack of diversity in the Dail; the majority are former teachers. Nothing necessarily wrong with that but it would be nice to have more engineers, business managers, community development officers etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:36 pm

Problem for alot of potential candidates in other professions is that they don't have the job security to try and do it. A teacher can get leave from teaching and be guaranteed their job back when they lose their seat. They could at certain times take a year off to run a campaign and be guaranteed their job back at the end of it using the career break mechanisms. These are not criticisms of teachers but they are indicative that the dynamics of the teaching profession make it more conjusive to standing for political office.

Most people in other jobs wouldn't be able to get the time off work to run a campaign and if they did and were to lose their seat at the next election, few employers would be taking you back. Beyond that, alot of people own their own business and can't run their business and be a TD... something like a pub or a shop being the exception.

The same applies to running alot of the institutions of State... juries for example are notoriously unrepresentative of society. They tend to be skewed towards those not working and those retired.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:45 pm

Yeah that's very true.

I wasn't aware that juries suffered from the same thing. Are employers not legally obliged to release an employee for jury duty? (sorry I know this is off topic)
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:03 pm

unaligned wrote:
Yeah that's very true.

I wasn't aware that juries suffered from the same thing. Are employers not legally obliged to release an employee for jury duty? (sorry I know this is off topic)

A killer for a small business to have to release and pay for a key employee, possibly for weeks on end.
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PostSubject: Re: Brian Cowen: has he done anything dodgy? - What's Is the Record ?   Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:03 pm

There are multiple issues... perhaps it is deserving of its own thread.

1) It is very easy to get excused from jury duty, that could possibly be solved through tighter regulation before excusing people from duty. However, you can't have people on a jury who are going to disrupt.
2) Jury duty is unpaid, which means if you are self employed in any sphere you basically have to get excused unless you are one of the few self employed people who can afford the prospect of a few weeks off work.
3) There is alot of anecdotal evidence of employers putting pressure on employees to seek to be excused from jury duty. Whilst an employer is obliged to pay you while you are on jury duty, they receive no support or reimbursement from the State for your absence from work.
4) All Gardaí, solicitors, barristers, members of the defence forces, and non Irish citizens are disqualified from serving on juries. There is good reason for many of those disqualifications but it does detract from the representativeness of the jury.

There was a report headed by one of the Supreme Court Justices which went into the lack of representation on juries in alot of detail.
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