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 (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review

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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed May 07, 2008 10:50 pm

Hermes wrote:
Ibis wrote:
I believe the usual objection to such ideas is that they are undemocratic.

Surely it could be argued that presently the results of our democratic process are in themselves undemocratic, particularly so with regard to representation?

I don't mean to be unkind, but for example, our current minister for health would make a better poster child for the health service than she does a minister.

You'll never have a fully efficient machine, that's a given. If needs are met and rights respected etc. we come closer to a democracy imo.

I believe the idea is that Ministers are currently accountable to the people by virtue of needing to be voted into the Dáil. Obviously, that's meaningless if people don't then vote on the basis of their performance as Ministers, of course...
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed May 07, 2008 11:03 pm

Ibis wrote:
I believe the idea is that Ministers are currently accountable to the
people by virtue of needing to be voted into the Dáil. Obviously,
that's meaningless if people don't then vote on the basis of their
performance as Ministers, of course...

I hear what you're saying. I agree. Currently, the blame can be laid squarely at our feet. I dunno whether the problem is apathy or whatever. But to recognise the status quo and see that the machine is malfunctioning due to being enabled by the status quo should imo be incentive to try to repair the machine, rather than an excuse to joyride around in it. This problem is not insurmountable. Fair enough the solutions may be a lot more complex than my somewhat averaged brain is spewing out, but there must be a solution. Currently there's no recognition even, of this problem, never mind an attempt to fix it.

AT wrote:
Why? In 2002, Ireland's life expectancy was 75.1 for males and 80.3 for females. Linkk.

In 2007, after 3 years of Harney as Minister, that was 75.3 and 80.7.

Death rates in Ireland, are amongst the lowest in Europe

And our health service has improved rapidly according to the Euro-Canada Consumer Health Index.


Maybe this extra lifespan should be measured in "trolley time." elephant
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed May 07, 2008 11:16 pm

Edo wrote:
at least we would have more choice than the fossilised gene pool that is Dail Eireann.

It always amazes how people can be so cutting about public representatives but never issue a harsh word about the people who elect them.

If you could write some sort of computer programme that analysed the hopes and desires of every member of the electorate and produced 166 names from that pool to serve as a representative body, you'd probably find that it wouldn't be substantially different from the membership of the current Dail.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed May 07, 2008 11:19 pm

DeGaulle wrote:
Leaving Harney in health is really an abdication of responsibility.

By what metric?
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 12:08 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
DeGaulle wrote:
Leaving Harney in health is really an abdication of responsibility.

Why? In 2002, Ireland's life expectancy was 75.1 for males and 80.3 for females. Linkk.

In 2007, after 3 years of Harney as Minister, that was 75.3 and 80.7.

Death rates in Ireland, are amongst the lowest in Europe

And our health service has improved rapidly according to the Euro-Canada Consumer Health Index.


Harney will be remembered as one of the great Ministers of modern times. She's doing great.

The raised life expectancy in Ireland I would suggest Ard-Taoiseach is a result of increased incomes and better housing conditions rather than anything to do with medical care.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 12:18 am

seinfeld wrote:
Edo wrote:
at least we would have more choice than the fossilised gene pool that is Dail Eireann.

It always amazes how people can be so cutting about public representatives but never issue a harsh word about the people who elect them.

If you could write some sort of computer programme that analysed the hopes and desires of every member of the electorate and produced 166 names from that pool to serve as a representative body, you'd probably find that it wouldn't be substantially different from the membership of the current Dail.

Isaac Asimov had a story about a future representational system, and I quote from wiki:

Quote :
In the first Multivac story, "Franchise", Multivac chooses a single "most representative" person from the population of the United States, whom the computer then interrogates to determine the country's overall orientation. All elected offices are then filled by the candidates the computer deems acceptable to the populace. Asimov wrote this story as the logical culmination— and/or possibly the reductio ad absurdum—of UNIVAC's [a real early mainframe] ability to forecast election results from small samples.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 12:27 am

cactus flower wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
DeGaulle wrote:
Leaving Harney in health is really an abdication of responsibility.

Why? In 2002, Ireland's life expectancy was 75.1 for males and 80.3 for females. Linkk.

In 2007, after 3 years of Harney as Minister, that was 75.3 and 80.7.

Death rates in Ireland, are amongst the lowest in Europe

And our health service has improved rapidly according to the Euro-Canada Consumer Health Index.


Harney will be remembered as one of the great Ministers of modern times. She's doing great.

The raised life expectancy in Ireland I would suggest Ard-Taoiseach is a result of increased incomes and better housing conditions rather than anything to do with medical care.

So you anticipate that life expectancy will decrease now that incomes are following?

What housing conditions existed in 2002 that were having a significant impact on life expectancy?

How do you explain reductions in waiting times for acute care?

How do you explain higher rates for cancer survival?
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 12:36 am

seinfeld wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
DeGaulle wrote:
Leaving Harney in health is really an abdication of responsibility.

Why? In 2002, Ireland's life expectancy was 75.1 for males and 80.3 for females. Linkk.

In 2007, after 3 years of Harney as Minister, that was 75.3 and 80.7.

Death rates in Ireland, are amongst the lowest in Europe

And our health service has improved rapidly according to the Euro-Canada Consumer Health Index.


Harney will be remembered as one of the great Ministers of modern times. She's doing great.

The raised life expectancy in Ireland I would suggest Ard-Taoiseach is a result of increased incomes and better housing conditions rather than anything to do with medical care.

So you anticipate that life expectancy will decrease now that incomes are following?

What housing conditions existed in 2002 that were having a significant impact on life expectancy?

How do you explain reductions in waiting times for acute care?

How do you explain higher rates for cancer survival?

Given the fact we are spending over 10 times more on Healthcare now than 10 years ago - its the least I would expect.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 12:42 am

Edo wrote:

Given the fact we are spending over 10 times more on Healthcare now than 10 years ago - its the least I would expect.

I don't think anyone disputes that there are still a lot of problems, and that we haven't had much in the way of value for money, but pretty much every independent analysis of our health outcomes points to improvement since the establishment of the HSE.

The establishment of the HSE is in fact specifically referred to in the EHCI Report:

"The Health Service Executive reform seems to have started
improving a historically dismal performance. Still severe waiting-list
problems and less than fantastic outcomes."
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 2:12 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
DeGaulle wrote:
Leaving Harney in health is really an abdication of responsibility.

Why? In 2002, Ireland's life expectancy was 75.1 for males and 80.3 for females. Linkk.

In 2007, after 3 years of Harney as Minister, that was 75.3 and 80.7.

Death rates in Ireland, are amongst the lowest in Europe

And our health service has improved rapidly according to the Euro-Canada Consumer Health Index.


Harney will be remembered as one of the great Ministers of modern times. She's doing great.

The statistics you quote are nonsense, AT. For example. death rates are a factor of the age of the population - the Palestinian Territories have a deathrate half that of Ireland.

If you want some more statistics, why not look at the European Health Consumer Index 2007 here: http://www.healthpowerhouse.com/media/Rapport_EHCI_2007.pdf -- Ireland has the longest waiting times out of 29 countries in Europe.

Regardless of the statistics, I don't think that a tired politician, with no political future, who would probably have preferred not to stand for election last year, and who would have ceded her job as a minister to a party colleague had the PDs retained a few more seats, is the person to be in charge of the huge and ever-growing, virtually unaccountable bureaucracy that is the Health service. Her position as Minister for Health is a convenience for FF and nothing else. The fact that she has been left in health is a sign that Cowen is not taking charge of the government. I see him more as the chief secretary of the civil service rather than as Taoiseach.

Mary Harney will be remembered for created a monster, (the HSE), and for nicer hospitals for the better-off (colocation).
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 12:09 pm

I hear a lot of talk of senators being promoted to cabinet, what senators would ye like to see there? I only remember Harris suggesting that a cabinet post was only right and proper for him when he became a senator.

Mary Coughlan is a complete non-entity. Farmers will be unhappy to see her promoted but just glad to be rid of her. I'd have preferred to see Hanafin get her promotions, she's done a lot more and has handled education well for the most part. And she hasn't that permanently glum puss.

We all knew loyalty was going to be a feature with Cowen and Coughlan was close to him. It could have been worse, he could have given Dempsey finance!

I think Micheál Martin is a good fit for foreign affairs. I can't help but wonder what Tom Kitt did to deserve demotion.

I was surprised, and my granny horrified, to see Harney stay in health. Whatever about her accomplishments (and it's a mixed bag at best for her, in my opinion) she has little in the way of a democratic mandate, with her party being minnows. Bertie kept her on because he never changed things if he could help it, but more was expected of Cowen. Perhaps he didn't want to resemble Gordon Brown too much and go too far down that 'change' road.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 12:31 pm

DeGaulle wrote:

If you want some more statistics, why not look at the European Health Consumer Index 2007 here: http://www.healthpowerhouse.com/media/Rapport_EHCI_2007.pdf -- Ireland has the longest waiting times out of 29 countries in Europe.

Nobody is arguing with our absolute position re. health outcomes. We have problems.

The point that has been made, and which is backed up by the report you cite, is that our relative position has substantially improved during Harney's tenure.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 12:35 pm

Watching last night's Oireactas Report, I was quite disappointed re. the unceremonious nature of yesterday's events.

Firstly, the Taoiseach offers his resignation by reading from a script. Then the new Taoiseach rattles off another script during which he sounded like he was about to have an heart attack, and then the leader of the Opposition refers to an EU Commissioner as 'Mandelson', which was unbecoming of parliamentary debate.

The whole thing was completely devoid of any form of gravitas.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 12:44 pm

It has been reported that Tom Kitt will be stepping down after the next election. I wonder will TK Jnr consider making a go of it. He has the same gregarious personality and has an interest in politics. He also has released an album ("Kitt Happens"), like his brother. More likely that John Laharte will take over the Kitt team in South Dublin though.


Last edited by Zhou_Enlai on Thu May 08, 2008 1:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 12:45 pm

DeGaulle wrote:
I don't think that a tired politician, with no political future, who would probably have preferred not to stand for election last year, and who would have ceded her job as a minister to a party colleague had the PDs retained a few more seats, is the person to be in charge of the huge and ever-growing, virtually unaccountable bureaucracy that is the Health service.

That makes her ideal for the job.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 12:47 pm

seinfeld wrote:
Watching last night's Oireactas Report, I was quite disappointed re. the unceremonious nature of yesterday's events.

Firstly, the Taoiseach offers his resignation by reading from a script. Then the new Taoiseach rattles off another script during which he sounded like he was about to have an heart attack, and then the leader of the Opposition refers to an EU Commissioner as 'Mandelson', which was unbecoming of parliamentary debate.

The whole thing was completely devoid of any form of gravitas.
What did you want, a ritual beheading? Bertie to dress up as winter and be slain by Cowen who then copulates with MacAleese on the hill of Tara?


Last edited by 905 on Thu May 08, 2008 12:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 12:50 pm

905 wrote:
seinfeld wrote:
Watching last night's Oireactas Report, I was quite disappointed re. the unceremonious nature of yesterday's events.

Firstly, the Taoiseach offers his resignation by reading from a script. Then the new Taoiseach rattles off another script during which he sounded like he was about to have an heart attack, and then the leader of the Opposition refers to an EU Commissioner as 'Mandelson', which was unbecoming of parliamentary debate.

The whole thing was completely devoid of any form of gravitas.
What did you want, a ritual beheading? Bertie to dress up as winter and be slayed by Cowen who then copulates with MacAleese on the hill of Tara?

I can't imagine why anyone would have to read from a script to resign as Taoiseach.

Did he think he was going to fluff his words and end up nominating Enda Kenny as his sucessor?
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 12:58 pm

Hiding behind scripts and papers was Bertie's style.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 1:00 pm

Ministers of State:

MichaelAhernEducation and ScienceInnovation Policy
MichaelAhernEnterprise, Trade and EmploymentInnovation Policy
NoelAhernFinanceOffice of Public Works
BarryAndrewsHealth and Children
JohnBrowneAgriculture, Food and FisheriesFisheries
PatCareyDefence
Pat GallagherHealth and ChildrenHealth Promotion and Food Safety
SeánHaugheyEducation and ScienceLifelong Learning, Youth Work and School Transport
BillyKelleherEnterprise, Trade and EmploymentLabour Affairs
TonyKilleenEnvironment, Heritage and Local GovernmentEnvironment and Energy
TonyKilleenCommunications, Energy and Natural ResourcesEnvironment and Energy
Michael PKittForeign AffairsOverseas Development
ConorLenihanCommunity, Rural, and Gaeltacht AffairsIntegration Policy
ConorLenihanEducation and ScienceIntegration Policy
ConorLenihanJustice, Equality and Law ReformIntegration Policy
SeánPowerJustice, Equality and Law ReformEquality Issues
DickRocheForeign AffairsEuropean Affairs
MaryWallaceAgriculture, Food and FisheriesForestry
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 1:19 pm

ibis wrote:
Ministers of State:

MichaelAhernEducation and ScienceInnovation Policy
MichaelAhernEnterprise, Trade and EmploymentInnovation Policy
NoelAhernFinanceOffice of Public Works
BarryAndrewsHealth and Children
JohnBrowneAgriculture, Food and FisheriesFisheries
PatCareyDefence
Pat GallagherHealth and ChildrenHealth Promotion and Food Safety
SeánHaugheyEducation and ScienceLifelong Learning, Youth Work and School Transport
BillyKelleherEnterprise, Trade and EmploymentLabour Affairs
TonyKilleenEnvironment, Heritage and Local GovernmentEnvironment and Energy
TonyKilleenCommunications, Energy and Natural ResourcesEnvironment and Energy
Michael PKittForeign AffairsOverseas Development
ConorLenihanCommunity, Rural, and Gaeltacht AffairsIntegration Policy
ConorLenihanEducation and ScienceIntegration Policy
ConorLenihanJustice, Equality and Law ReformIntegration Policy
SeánPowerJustice, Equality and Law ReformEquality Issues
DickRocheForeign AffairsEuropean Affairs
MaryWallaceAgriculture, Food and FisheriesForestry

Is the positioning of MOS in multiple departments evidence of the elusive 'joined up thinking'?
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 1:24 pm

I can only presume so, unless Conor Lenihan's job is to integrate civil servants.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 4:22 pm

Tom Kitt was very magnaminous in his remarks to Pat Kenny today. It sounds like Cowen has not stirred up a hornets nest with the Kitts.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 9:41 pm

DeGaulle wrote:


If you want some more statistics, why not look at the European Health Consumer Index 2007 here: http://www.healthpowerhouse.com/media/Rapport_EHCI_2007.pdf -- Ireland has the longest waiting times out of 29 countries in Europe.

That data is out of date, it comes from the 2007 report. The figures I link to are to the 2008 equivalent. The 2008 report captured the substantive improvements being wrought by Mary Harney and her colleagues at the Department. In the 2009 report, further improvements will be captured and Ireland will make further substantive leaps in its standing amongst the world's health services. Ireland is the rising star of world health services. I would estimate we will be in the top 5 in the list before Mary Harney resigns in 2012.


Quote :
Mary Harney will be remembered for created a monster, (the HSE), and for nicer hospitals for the better-off (colocation).

Mary Harney will be remembered for being the first Irish female party leader, Tánaiste, MoS at Environment who banished the smog from Dublin and as perhaps the finest Health Minister Ireland has had since Noel Browne.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 9:42 pm

ibis wrote:
I can only presume so, unless Conor Lenihan's job is to integrate civil servants.

Or differentiate them from first principle private secretaries!
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 08, 2008 9:55 pm

Any views on Brian Lenihan's form and how he will deal with the difficult job he has just been given?
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