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 (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review

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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:58 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
That's very accurate about Micheál Martin and Dermot Ahern anyhow.

Quote :
Sport, Arts and Tourism: Martin Cullen - NOT SURE. PRESS NOT INTERESTD IN HM SO HARD TO KNOW WHAT HE IS UP TO.


Is this news and views from the inside Zhou ?

Nope - just my own back of an envelope analysis. Thought it would help get things back on topic.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:01 pm

Good stuff.

The Greens are holding out surprisingly well ... I'm not convinced about Eamon Ryan and the Eirgrid usurpation of the wires and machines from the ESB though. The ESB is an enormous beast.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:02 pm

Yes, the Michael and Dermot show is most likely in the rehersal stage right now. Ahern is someone that Cowen should be very wary of. I think the best performer in the cabinet is probably Batt O'Keefe. I don't agree with everything that he's done (how could you) but he seems to have the balls to stand by his convictions and he negative publicity obviously does not concern him. He's 63 so one would assume that this is his last spin on the merry go round.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:12 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
That's very accurate about Micheál Martin and Dermot Ahern anyhow.

Quote :
Sport, Arts and Tourism: Martin Cullen - NOT SURE. PRESS NOT INTERESTD IN HM SO HARD TO KNOW WHAT HE IS UP TO.


Is this news and views from the inside Zhou ?

Nope - just my own back of an envelope analysis. Thought it would help get things back on topic.


Appreciated Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:33 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Quote :
Is there anything that you think could be done within the Education budget to save money without damaging education ?
Paul Gogarty identified ways to save having to cut so much by cutting back other areas (dog racing ?) and maybe we should dig out what he said in the Dáil last week. This is a sick attack on the fabric of our society and as I said before, the Greens will be crippled because of this if it continues on much farther beyond this. And deservedly so. The pillars of their philosophy are

social justice
pacifism
widening of democracy
sustainability

I believe a lot of the above if not all cannot be healthily delivered without a decently-functioning education system along with plans for future education. I keep putting learning on a par with productive work for the future and I even think this should be a vital part of an international money deal so that the valuable institution of learning and education could be protected internationally as it is in the Bill of Human Rights. Loans for education and facilities should be cheaper for example, could be one thing that could be negotiated worldwide.

For the moment though I'll settle for a Green lecture by members of the party to the TDs which might have some effect.

Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan are a disaster for the country. There are a lot of people saying that a General Election would be too disruptive. I don't agree, because I think that there is a fundamental problem in that the two Brians are identified with the government policies responsible for the ongoing wreckage, and are in denial about its origins. Because of that, and their attachment to the property developers, they are incapable of either saying what the problems are, or doing anything about them. If, for example, they use the Pension Fund to recapitalise the banks, it will be an admission that they have put the whole country into hock by overindulging property interests. Instead, they seem willing to preside over destruction of the productive industry and employment of the country on an unprecedented scale.

We can't afford to keep them.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:27 am

cactus flower wrote:
Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan are a disaster for the country. There are a lot of people saying that a General Election would be too disruptive. I don't agree, because I think that there is a fundamental problem in that the two Brians are identified with the government policies responsible for the ongoing wreckage, and are in denial about its origins.

I can't think of a policy that Brian Lenihan has been associated with that falls into this category. Can you?


Last edited by Zhou_Enlai on Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:30 am

I know the system allows it, but personally I think its deeply undemocratic that Cowen (and G.Browne) became leaders without having a proper mandate. They(the Brians) should go to the country with teh cuts and put it to the opposition to see if they can do any better. If not its going to get worse until the agony becomes unbearable.

Mary Harney texted Gormley that the worst day in govt was a 1000 times better than the best in opposition. But what would she know. She only governed in the good times. Garrett Fitzgerald and Liam Cosgrave would have smiled at that one.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:35 pm

It is a parliamentarty system in Ireland, ergo the Government has a proper mandate as long as it maintains a majority in the Dail. If Tommy Broughan could get a majority then he would have a proper mandate.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:38 pm

We don't have a presidential system, we have a parliament. In recent times people seem to have become confused by the parliamentary system because they are watching too much American television. I am quite happy that we have a parliamentary system as it stops the usurpation of power in a single, or small collective number of, actors. It was perfectly legitimate for Cowen to take control in the manner than he did - people gave a mandate to their local TD who then acts on their behalf in the Dáil in electing a Taoiseach.

Both Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern attempted to frame election campaigns as if they were presidential type campaigns - they were not - and I would imagine their successors, given their lack of personal popularity, are likely to focus more on the party.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:34 pm

Respvblica wrote:
I know the system allows it, but personally I think its deeply undemocratic that Cowen (and G.Browne) became leaders without having a proper mandate. They(the Brians) should go to the country with teh cuts and put it to the opposition to see if they can do any better. If not its going to get worse until the agony becomes unbearable.

Mary Harney texted Gormley that the worst day in govt was a 1000 times better than the best in opposition. But what would she know. She only governed in the good times. Garrett Fitzgerald and Liam Cosgrave would have smiled at that one.

She occupied the office of the Minister for Good News,announcing one American tax trick call centre after another. Hardly "governing".
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:42 pm

Slim Buddha wrote:
Respvblica wrote:

Mary Harney texted Gormley that the worst day in govt was a 1000 times better than the best in opposition. But what would she know. She only governed in the good times. Garrett Fitzgerald and Liam Cosgrave would have smiled at that one.

She occupied the office of the Minister for Good News,announcing one American tax trick call centre after another. Hardly "governing".

In fairness, she has been at the centre of some of the most difficult Government crises in a Department that nobody else appears to want. Facing down a Nurses' Strike in the weeks running up to a general election is any minister's nightmare. I am not a Harney fan and would not be sorry to see her go but I think the above posts are incorrect.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:49 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan are a disaster for the country. There are a lot of people saying that a General Election would be too disruptive. I don't agree, because I think that there is a fundamental problem in that the two Brians are identified with the government policies responsible for the ongoing wreckage, and are in denial about its origins.

I can't think of a policy that Brian Lenihan has been associated with that falls into this category. Can you?

That is a fair question. On looking back over Brian Lenihan's career, he is a legal professional who was "Minister of State for Children" from 2005-2007 and then Minister for Justice for a few months in 2007 before promotion to Finance by Brian Cowen. Lenihan appears to have no form in economy or finance whatsoever. It is not surprising that he is completely out of his depth.

I would have to amend my original statement to say that Brian Cowen is solely responsible for the wreckage.

Who are the Government's economic advisors, Zhou?
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:23 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Who are the Government's economic advisors, Zhou?
That's a good question. I don't know myself. Morgan Kelly certainly stuck the boot into them in his last article in the Irish Times. It's interesting that Bertie took unofficial advice from a stockbroker during the currency crisis. I hope things aren't as haphazard as that now. If I were Lenihan I would get my advisors to sit down in a meeting with Morgan Kelly so I could watch how they dealt with each others arguments. I think that recapitalisation would be the last throw of the dice for the Government and it is not a decision that they will take until they know what it will mean. Morgan Kelly criticises rashness and then preaches waste. Hindsight is 20-20 vision and some are suggesting that a further looming CDO crisis could wipe out the benefits of recapitalisation. Others are saying that we will benefit from the recapitalisation by other EU countries and the UK. Let's hope BL's advisors will be the smartest of them all.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:32 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Who are the Government's economic advisors, Zhou?
That's a good question. I don't know myself. Morgan Kelly certainly stuck the boot into them in his last article in the Irish Times. It's interesting that Bertie took unofficial advice from a stockbroker during the currency crisis. I hope things aren't as haphazard as that now. If I were Lenihan I would get my advisors to sit down in a meeting with Morgan Kelly so I could watch how they dealt with each others arguments. I think that recapitalisation would be the last throw of the dice for the Government and it is not a decision that they will take until they know what it will mean. Morgan Kelly criticises rashness and then preaches waste. Hindsight is 20-20 vision and some are suggesting that a further looming CDO crisis could wipe out the benefits of recapitalisation. Others are saying that we will benefit from the recapitalisation by other EU countries and the UK. Let's hope BL's advisors will be the smartest of them all.

I share that last hope, although I would say "our" advisors rather than Brian's, as we are all in their hands. In the current maelstrom, small fish are expected to be gobbled up or disappear. Ireland used to benefit long ago from an occasional cloak of invisibility. Perhaps we should be trying to cultivate that again. Membership of the euro, provided the euro lasts, is no harm at this stage. If we had a currency of our own it would have been hammered by this stage.

How would the Irish banks benefit from recapitalisation by the other countries of their banks? Surely they are in competition with the Irish banks?
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:44 pm

Well, I suspect that we wouldn't be too upset if a UK bank decided there was value to be had in taking over an Irish Bank. Also, if UK Banks such as HBOS can provide retail banking liquidity for working capital for profitable companies and so forth then the Irish economy will benefit, Irish Banks might be able to at least sell impaired assets, and the failure of an Irish Bank might be less apocayptic which could soften the cough of the Irish banks. I don't know, but these may be considerations.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:52 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Slim Buddha wrote:
Respvblica wrote:

Mary Harney texted Gormley that the worst day in govt was a 1000 times better than the best in opposition. But what would she know. She only governed in the good times. Garrett Fitzgerald and Liam Cosgrave would have smiled at that one.

She occupied the office of the Minister for Good News,announcing one American tax trick call centre after another. Hardly "governing".

In fairness, she has been at the centre of some of the most difficult Government crises in a Department that nobody else appears to want. Facing down a Nurses' Strike in the weeks running up to a general election is any minister's nightmare. I am not a Harney fan and would not be sorry to see her go but I think the above posts are incorrect.

Everything Harney does in the Department of Health is dedicated to following the core principles of a failed ideology for the benefit of commercial interests. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion on Harney, but I think more and more people are seeing her for what she is; a dedicated servant of the interests of private capital. She is also part of one of the most unsettling conflicts of interest in Irish public life.
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