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 (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review

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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Tue May 13, 2008 11:45 pm

cactus flower wrote:

Smile Is that supposed to be Mary? Nice work, cactus.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Tue May 13, 2008 11:55 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
I know Curran very slightly. Efficient and intelligent. And a formidable vote getter. He'll go far, one way or another.

Yep, he was in fact the first TD elected to the current Dáil. He'll certainly go far, at least as long as Brian Cowen is Taoiseach! My bet is that he'll be a full Minister if the expected Fianna Fáil/Labour coalition, after the next election, comes to pass.

FF/Lab... I wonder if that will be the case... I'd have thought that the current little arrangement might do well enough again if the numbers are there... PDs excluded of course assuming they implode further... and I'd bet that there'll be a lot more Independents after the current rash of deals.

It's my view Fianna Fáil will lose a dozen seats at the next General Election, but Fine Gael won't make sufficient headway(ie, stay below 55), so an FF/Lab seal will become the best option out of the new Dáil.


Quote :
Completely agree. Curran will go far under Cowen's regime...

So we'll have two Ministers in this constituency, not bad for us DMWers!

I tend to agree with you as regards the scenario you paint above. But, now we know that the indo's will do the deal and that the government (any government will deal with multiple indo's). That might change things again. But yes, the math might stack up with an FF/Lab coalition... or an FF/GP/SF coalition. I think the latter might be more likely for a couple of reasons, not least because it would require fewer cabinet seats to be handed over by FF...
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Tue May 13, 2008 11:57 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
The promotion of Barry Andrews intrigues me. I think it's a move to keep manners on Mary Hanafin. They're the FF representatives of Dún Laoghaire. If Hanafin causes a huge fuss for Cowen, he can easily drop her and replace her with an enhanced Andrews.

I feel Cowen is using the Ministers of State as daggers in the back of potentially rebellious senior ministers.

That hadn't struck me, but I guess it's very possible. Another two reasons. One it appeals to a certain middle class demographic that may be heading west (or to the Greens) with the demise of the PDs. Two, and related to that, it maximises the opportunity for retention of seats there.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Tue May 13, 2008 11:57 pm

How can you vote for change at the next election if Labour, Green, SF and the PDs are all seen as potential FF coalition partners? The only way to vote for change is to vote for FG. There are 2 possibilities:-
a) the electorate decides that it is impossible to get rid of FF and the FG vote stagnates
b) the electorate decides to vote for change and the FG vote and seat total surges

I think that Labour are going to be in a very awkward position as the next election approaches. They are going to find it very hard to get past their core vote if FG can make Change the theme of the election campaign - and after 15 years of FF govt it shouldn't be hard to do that.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed May 14, 2008 12:00 am

DeGaulle wrote:
How can you vote for change at the next election if Labour, Green, SF and the PDs are all seen as potential FF coalition partners? The only way to vote for change is to vote for FG. There are 2 possibilities:-
a) the electorate decides that it is impossible to get rid of FF and the FG vote stagnates
b) the electorate decides to vote for change and the FG vote and seat total surges

I think that Labour are going to be in a very awkward position as the next election approaches. They are going to find it very hard to get past their core vote if FG can make Change the theme of the election campaign - and after 15 years of FF govt it shouldn't be hard to do that.

I'd sort of agree with you, and sort of disagree with you. The FF plus anyone dynamic is certainly possible. But it's also possible that if the left got its act together a third option of Labour/SF/GP could coalesce, presumably after the election as a major bloc in any future government... Re FG. Not going to happen. I think they've peaked. And after all, if they couldn't do it at the last election with a wounded Ahern casting a shadow across FF, and a profoundly unpopular PD, why on earth should their prospects be better in the face of the much less tricksy Cowen and co, newly rehabilitating FF for the middle classes... or at least those parts that FF haven't reached already through their proxies in PD.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed May 14, 2008 12:01 am

WorldbyStorm wrote:


That hadn't struck me, but I guess it's very possible. Another two reasons. One it appeals to a certain middle class demographic that may be heading west (or to the Greens) with the demise of the PDs. Two, and related to that, it maximises the opportunity for retention of seats there.

Those are other possibilities, but I think Cowen wants to preserve the unity and calm of the Ahern era by keeping the top brass of Martin, Hanafin, Ahern, Dempsey and Coughlan at an equal enough level so that none can rise to topple him.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed May 14, 2008 12:15 am

Are you all forgetting the imploding economy ? Surprised
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed May 14, 2008 12:23 am

cactus flower wrote:
Are you all forgetting the imploding economy ? Surprised

Less of the hysterics. The economy is not imploding. Industrial production remains high, the exchange-rate out-look has stabilised, the stock-exchange has also stabilised and the housing market is re-structuring apace. This year will be relatively bad, but, after having three years of 5%+ growth, we can afford an off year. The economy will resume trend-growth in 2009-10 and the housing market will resume growth in 2011. Meanwhile, companies emanating from places this, this and this will be part of the story of growth elsewhere that drives our economy forward.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed May 14, 2008 12:41 am

WorldbyStorm wrote:
DeGaulle wrote:
How can you vote for change at the next election if Labour, Green, SF and the PDs are all seen as potential FF coalition partners? The only way to vote for change is to vote for FG. There are 2 possibilities:-
a) the electorate decides that it is impossible to get rid of FF and the FG vote stagnates
b) the electorate decides to vote for change and the FG vote and seat total surges

I think that Labour are going to be in a very awkward position as the next election approaches. They are going to find it very hard to get past their core vote if FG can make Change the theme of the election campaign - and after 15 years of FF govt it shouldn't be hard to do that.

I'd sort of agree with you, and sort of disagree with you. The FF plus anyone dynamic is certainly possible. But it's also possible that if the left got its act together a third option of Labour/SF/GP could coalesce, presumably after the election as a major bloc in any future government... Re FG. Not going to happen. I think they've peaked. And after all, if they couldn't do it at the last election with a wounded Ahern casting a shadow across FF, and a profoundly unpopular PD, why on earth should their prospects be better in the face of the much less tricksy Cowen and co, newly rehabilitating FF for the middle classes... or at least those parts that FF haven't reached already through their proxies in PD.

Regarding FG, I'm don't really think they've peaked, although whether they can reach the same levels as under Garret is quite another issue. I think a lot of the problem last time was that they were simply coming from too low a base. Starting with 51 relatively young TDs is a lot better than starting with 31 average TDs. Possibly Enda did not come across as a Taoiseach too well to floating voters (seeing Ivan Yates on TV3 on Sunday makes you realise what a loss he was to FG), but I think that the main problem, which will not occur next time, was that they didn't have enough credible TDs to be potential ministers, and that a fearful electorate stuck with the devil they knew.

As for Ahern's shadow, I think that as long as the McDowell was in govt with him, effectively endorsing him, he had an effective shield against FG. Ahern's shadow may be cast over the next election too, depending on what the tribunal reports.

As for Labour/SF/GP, I just cannot see it happening. What's in it for the Greens - they are now FF's preferred coalition partners? I also don't think the Greens are really a left wing party
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed May 14, 2008 12:43 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Are you all forgetting the imploding economy ? Surprised

Less of the hysterics. The economy is not imploding. Industrial production remains high, the exchange-rate out-look has stabilised, the stock-exchange has also stabilised and the housing market is re-structuring apace. This year will be relatively bad, but, after having three years of 5%+ growth, we can afford an off year. The economy will resume trend-growth in 2009-10 and the housing market will resume growth in 2011. Meanwhile, companies emanating from places this, this and this will be part of the story of growth elsewhere that drives our economy forward.

Yes dear. Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed May 14, 2008 12:53 am

cactus flower wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Are you all forgetting the imploding economy ? Surprised

Less of the hysterics. The economy is not imploding. Industrial production remains high, the exchange-rate out-look has stabilised, the stock-exchange has also stabilised and the housing market is re-structuring apace. This year will be relatively bad, but, after having three years of 5%+ growth, we can afford an off year. The economy will resume trend-growth in 2009-10 and the housing market will resume growth in 2011. Meanwhile, companies emanating from places this, this and this will be part of the story of growth elsewhere that drives our economy forward.

Yes dear. Rolling Eyes

I sense you don't believe me. The OECD predicts 4.2% GDP growth next year, a smaller BOP deficit, a reduction in both the inflation and the unemployment rate; they are hardly the hall-marks of an imploding economy.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed May 14, 2008 10:00 am

DeGaulle wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
DeGaulle wrote:
How can you vote for change at the next election if Labour, Green, SF and the PDs are all seen as potential FF coalition partners? The only way to vote for change is to vote for FG. There are 2 possibilities:-
a) the electorate decides that it is impossible to get rid of FF and the FG vote stagnates
b) the electorate decides to vote for change and the FG vote and seat total surges

I think that Labour are going to be in a very awkward position as the next election approaches. They are going to find it very hard to get past their core vote if FG can make Change the theme of the election campaign - and after 15 years of FF govt it shouldn't be hard to do that.

I'd sort of agree with you, and sort of disagree with you. The FF plus anyone dynamic is certainly possible. But it's also possible that if the left got its act together a third option of Labour/SF/GP could coalesce, presumably after the election as a major bloc in any future government... Re FG. Not going to happen. I think they've peaked. And after all, if they couldn't do it at the last election with a wounded Ahern casting a shadow across FF, and a profoundly unpopular PD, why on earth should their prospects be better in the face of the much less tricksy Cowen and co, newly rehabilitating FF for the middle classes... or at least those parts that FF haven't reached already through their proxies in PD.

Regarding FG, I'm don't really think they've peaked, although whether they can reach the same levels as under Garret is quite another issue. I think a lot of the problem last time was that they were simply coming from too low a base. Starting with 51 relatively young TDs is a lot better than starting with 31 average TDs. Possibly Enda did not come across as a Taoiseach too well to floating voters (seeing Ivan Yates on TV3 on Sunday makes you realise what a loss he was to FG), but I think that the main problem, which will not occur next time, was that they didn't have enough credible TDs to be potential ministers, and that a fearful electorate stuck with the devil they knew.

As for Ahern's shadow, I think that as long as the McDowell was in govt with him, effectively endorsing him, he had an effective shield against FG. Ahern's shadow may be cast over the next election too, depending on what the tribunal reports.

As for Labour/SF/GP, I just cannot see it happening. What's in it for the Greens - they are now FF's preferred coalition partners? I also don't think the Greens are really a left wing party

Difficult to know re your last point, although there is something in it - and I think you're dead right, FF must be more attractive to the GP as it stands than a merely potential left alliance. Still, I wonder whether the electorate cares overly much about numbers of potential credible TDs when deciding on governments. A counter argument is that FG has now, and presumably will be, not had power since 1997. That's 15 odd years in 2012. The ranks of those with Ministerial experience are thinning there. Worse again think of all those TDs moving towards the end of their electoral careers (or thinking of throwing in the towel due to lack of advancement in 2007) who were persuaded to hold on for one last push. Sure new people will come up, but... I'd suspect we'll see at least some attrition there. Another thought. FG may well hold 50 odd seats. No mean achievement. But what of Labour and others who're meant to make up the numbers in a putative FG led government? That side of the spectrum is now so split, and so easy for FF to pick and choose from that it makes it very difficult for FG to gain power except in much larger and variegated coalitions, say including SF as well as the GP and Labour. Would FG be that inventive - or hungry for power? They were in 48. But 2012?

I agree with you that the PDs provided a sort of shield, but perhaps not the one you propose. Isn't it more likely that the PDs managed to mop up a section of the middle classes who would be averse to voting FF particularly under Ahern, who nonetheless wanted FF led government. Granted the PDs are gone, but there is some evidence that some of that vote has decamped towards the GP.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed May 14, 2008 11:34 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Are you all forgetting the imploding economy ? Surprised

Less of the hysterics. The economy is not imploding. Industrial production remains high, the exchange-rate out-look has stabilised, the stock-exchange has also stabilised and the housing market is re-structuring apace. This year will be relatively bad, but, after having three years of 5%+ growth, we can afford an off year. The economy will resume trend-growth in 2009-10 and the housing market will resume growth in 2011. Meanwhile, companies emanating from places this, this and this will be part of the story of growth elsewhere that drives our economy forward.

Yes dear. Rolling Eyes

I sense you don't believe me. The OECD predicts 4.2% GDP growth next year, a smaller BOP deficit, a reduction in both the inflation and the unemployment rate; they are hardly the hall-marks of an imploding economy.

Thanks for that interesting link to the Economist

Outlook for 2008-09

The Economist Intelligence Unit expects the coalition, formed in mid-2007, to remain in office over the outlook period. There is a limited risk of the arrangement collapsing, with the Green Party the most likely to withdraw.
Apart from environment-related policies, we do not expect the current administration to push for any significant reforms, largely because of differences on policy and the power of vested interests to block change.
With a slowdown in growth on the one hand and an increase in the euro area inflation rate (to 3.2% in January) on the other, the European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to keep interest rates steady at the current rate of 4%.
GDP growth is expected to slow sharply in 2008, mainly because of the ongoing slowdown in the previously overheated property sector. If the decline in house prices were to accelerate, a recession would be likely.
Unemployment is expected to rise over the outlook period, as the construction sector shrinks, but inflation and the current-account deficit will both fall


Do you have a direct link for the OECD Report ?
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed May 14, 2008 2:07 pm

A link here to an interesting Indo article by Shane Ross, in which he portrays Brian Lenihan as a McCreevy style Minister for Finance, about to seriously axe current expenditure. If Brian Cowen has appointed him perhaps that has answered my question as to how serious Cowen's 'equality and community' noises.

It looks like a hard man - soft man act.

LINK TO SHANE ROSS ARTICLE
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Wed May 14, 2008 2:58 pm

cactus flower wrote:
A link here to an interesting Indo article by Shane Ross, in which he portrays Brian Lenihan as a McCreevy style Minister for Finance, about to seriously axe current expenditure. If Brian Cowen has appointed him perhaps that has answered my question as to how serious Cowen's 'equality and community' noises.

It looks like a hard man - soft man act.

LINK TO SHANE ROSS ARTICLE

Interesting article... the only issue I'd have with it is that he suggests Lenihan (at only 49!!!!) may be too old to be Taoiseach. Now I know that the trend internationally has been for younger politicians, but John Mc Cain is 72, Clinton must be hitting 60.... and the youngwans elected the last time (Blair in the UK and Bush in the US) have done their respective nations no good IMHO

Chief amongst my criticisms of them was their ignorance of history and their eagerness to go to war.....

It is supposed, according to the Dart ads anyway, to be anti-ageism week soon.... let's hear it for age and experience. I for one would not want anyone in power at the moment who doesn't clearly remember the 1980s..... Celtic tiger cubs need not apply for MY vote!!! (although I have to admit, I'd probably support Obama if I were in the US at the mo. Cool )
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 15, 2008 12:52 am

expat girl wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
A link here to an interesting Indo article by Shane Ross, in which he portrays Brian Lenihan as a McCreevy style Minister for Finance, about to seriously axe current expenditure. If Brian Cowen has appointed him perhaps that has answered my question as to how serious Cowen's 'equality and community' noises.

It looks like a hard man - soft man act.

LINK TO SHANE ROSS ARTICLE

Interesting article... the only issue I'd have with it is that he suggests Lenihan (at only 49!!!!) may be too old to be Taoiseach. Now I know that the trend internationally has been for younger politicians, but John Mc Cain is 72, Clinton must be hitting 60.... and the youngwans elected the last time (Blair in the UK and Bush in the US) have done their respective nations no good IMHO

Chief amongst my criticisms of them was their ignorance of history and their eagerness to go to war.....

It is supposed, according to the Dart ads anyway, to be anti-ageism week soon.... let's hear it for age and experience. I for one would not want anyone in power at the moment who doesn't clearly remember the 1980s..... Celtic tiger cubs need not apply for MY vote!!! (although I have to admit, I'd probably support Obama if I were in the US at the mo. Cool )

Well Obama, although remarkably youthful, is 46 isn't he? Or is that too young?
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Thu May 15, 2008 2:26 am

WorldbyStorm wrote:
DeGaulle wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
DeGaulle wrote:
How can you vote for change at the next election if Labour, Green, SF and the PDs are all seen as potential FF coalition partners? The only way to vote for change is to vote for FG. There are 2 possibilities:-
a) the electorate decides that it is impossible to get rid of FF and the FG vote stagnates
b) the electorate decides to vote for change and the FG vote and seat total surges

I think that Labour are going to be in a very awkward position as the next election approaches. They are going to find it very hard to get past their core vote if FG can make Change the theme of the election campaign - and after 15 years of FF govt it shouldn't be hard to do that.

I'd sort of agree with you, and sort of disagree with you. The FF plus anyone dynamic is certainly possible. But it's also possible that if the left got its act together a third option of Labour/SF/GP could coalesce, presumably after the election as a major bloc in any future government... Re FG. Not going to happen. I think they've peaked. And after all, if they couldn't do it at the last election with a wounded Ahern casting a shadow across FF, and a profoundly unpopular PD, why on earth should their prospects be better in the face of the much less tricksy Cowen and co, newly rehabilitating FF for the middle classes... or at least those parts that FF haven't reached already through their proxies in PD.

Regarding FG, I'm don't really think they've peaked, although whether they can reach the same levels as under Garret is quite another issue. I think a lot of the problem last time was that they were simply coming from too low a base. Starting with 51 relatively young TDs is a lot better than starting with 31 average TDs. Possibly Enda did not come across as a Taoiseach too well to floating voters (seeing Ivan Yates on TV3 on Sunday makes you realise what a loss he was to FG), but I think that the main problem, which will not occur next time, was that they didn't have enough credible TDs to be potential ministers, and that a fearful electorate stuck with the devil they knew.

As for Ahern's shadow, I think that as long as the McDowell was in govt with him, effectively endorsing him, he had an effective shield against FG. Ahern's shadow may be cast over the next election too, depending on what the tribunal reports.

As for Labour/SF/GP, I just cannot see it happening. What's in it for the Greens - they are now FF's preferred coalition partners? I also don't think the Greens are really a left wing party

Difficult to know re your last point, although there is something in it - and I think you're dead right, FF must be more attractive to the GP as it stands than a merely potential left alliance. Still, I wonder whether the electorate cares overly much about numbers of potential credible TDs when deciding on governments. A counter argument is that FG has now, and presumably will be, not had power since 1997. That's 15 odd years in 2012. The ranks of those with Ministerial experience are thinning there. Worse again think of all those TDs moving towards the end of their electoral careers (or thinking of throwing in the towel due to lack of advancement in 2007) who were persuaded to hold on for one last push. Sure new people will come up, but... I'd suspect we'll see at least some attrition there. Another thought. FG may well hold 50 odd seats. No mean achievement. But what of Labour and others who're meant to make up the numbers in a putative FG led government? That side of the spectrum is now so split, and so easy for FF to pick and choose from that it makes it very difficult for FG to gain power except in much larger and variegated coalitions, say including SF as well as the GP and Labour. Would FG be that inventive - or hungry for power? They were in 48. But 2012?

I agree with you that the PDs provided a sort of shield, but perhaps not the one you propose. Isn't it more likely that the PDs managed to mop up a section of the middle classes who would be averse to voting FF particularly under Ahern, who nonetheless wanted FF led government. Granted the PDs are gone, but there is some evidence that some of that vote has decamped towards the GP.

I suppose what I am trying to say regarding the size of FG's parliamentary party is that last time round Richard Bruton was almost the only potential minister on view from FG whereas this should not be the case next time around. Also, the bigger FG party means better opposition spokespeople, stronger opposition to the govt on an ongoing basis which will bring more publicity and attention to the party, and more credibility as a potential main govt. party.

I think it is only logical that anti-FF voters should tend to move to FG from Labour and the Greens, with the Greens being partially compensated by some former PDs - whether this will help FG if it comes to coalition negotiations is another question.

Regarding the fragmentation of the opposition, an interesting straw in the wind (perhaps ominous for Labour) is that before May last year, every Red C poll put Labour/GP/SF ahead of FG. Since the election, every Red C poll has put FG ahead of Labour/GP/SF.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:46 am

A six month progress report on the individual Cabinet members might be timely. There's a list in the first post.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:45 am

I`m one of the teachers who`ll be unemployed with a mortgage (negative equity) thanks to this government. Thanks a lot fellas. That`s FF`s reform of the public service sack the youngest and most energetic teachers, increase discipline problems in school, hit the most at-risk students within the education system and the subjects needed to create the environment for getting out of the current recession. My collective report on them is that they`re a disaster. They voted for this muck. When they introduce a bill/ referendum abolishing the Seanad, reducing the number of county councillors/ county councils, reduce the numbers of TDs and (Junior) Ministers then I`ll swallow the line that my unemployment was needed.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:52 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Are you all forgetting the imploding economy ? Surprised

Less of the hysterics. The economy is not imploding. Industrial production remains high, the exchange-rate out-look has stabilised, the stock-exchange has also stabilised and the housing market is re-structuring apace. This year will be relatively bad, but, after having three years of 5%+ growth, we can afford an off year. The economy will resume trend-growth in 2009-10 and the housing market will resume growth in 2011. Meanwhile, companies emanating from places this, this and this will be part of the story of growth elsewhere that drives our economy forward.

Yes dear. Rolling Eyes

I sense you don't believe me. The OECD predicts 4.2% GDP growth next year, a smaller BOP deficit, a reduction in both the inflation and the unemployment rate; they are hardly the hall-marks of an imploding economy.

Do they know what will win the Grand National next year as well? They couldn`t possibly know what`s going to happen next year. The figures could be based on logic itself, the only problem is that there is a distinct possibility that they are entirely wrong. I`m saying that as someone who thinks that things will eventually settle but we just don`t know when or at what level.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:00 pm

anmajornarthainig wrote:
I`m one of the teachers who`ll be unemployed with a mortgage (negative equity) thanks to this government. Thanks a lot fellas. That`s FF`s reform of the public service sack the youngest and most energetic teachers, increase discipline problems in school, hit the most at-risk students within the education system and the subjects needed to create the environment for getting out of the current recession. My collective report on them is that they`re a disaster. They voted for this muck. When they introduce a bill/ referendum abolishing the Seanad, reducing the number of county councillors/ county councils, reduce the numbers of TDs and (Junior) Ministers then I`ll swallow the line that my unemployment was needed.
This crowd need to go but I won't be happy until the old, the teachers, the students, the nurses the lot join the friggin dots on this. Because if people don't know what to ask for then it'll only be a short matter of time before another set of spanners get into the Dáil to do the same thing at the behest of Ireland's vested interests whoever they are but it is becoming clearer that they are not people who have to worry about being unemployed, having had generous salaries of millions over the last couple of years.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:04 pm

I`ve being saying for the last couple of years that when Fianna Fáil goes it will be as a result of a collapse rather than barely losing power. They`ve done something I never thought possible. They`ve made me consider giving a vote to Fine Gael.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:30 pm

anmajornarthainig wrote:
I`ve being saying for the last couple of years that when Fianna Fáil goes it will be as a result of a collapse rather than barely losing power. They`ve done something I never thought possible. They`ve made me consider giving a vote to Fine Gael.

Very sorry about your situation anmajournarthainig. I hope the Government can be turned on this in fact I think its imperative. I agree that education is the very last thing we should be cutting. We need it more than ever. We spend little compared to other states. We should not be losing the young teachers. There will be no one in the schools who knows how to turn a computer on, apart from everything else. Where is our "Knowledge based" society going to come from. It makes no sense to have paid for the education and training of teachers and then pay them to sit at home on the dole.

Is there anything that you think could be done within the Education budget to save money without damaging education ?
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:48 pm

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.
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PostSubject: Re: (Nearly) NEW CABINET - 6 Months Review   Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:01 pm

Thanks for the sympathy Cactus. The girlfriend will be a similar sort of position, highly trained and unemployed so no wedding for a while.

I would say that money could be saved in education. There is a shocking amount of waste in terms of both time and resources an awful lot of money is being drained away from the most important people in the system .ie the children.

1. End totally mixed ability classes. Cream off the best or the weakest students and then mix the rest. Then I`d cut back on the amount of learning resource education with the schools. This may sound mad to people from outside the school system but so much of it is waste. People might need it for a while but are given it for the entire year. Some people don`t need it at all but because a Pyschologist says that they suffer from a certain condition they are taken out of mainstream classes twice a week for a year, whether or not it is felt that it is needed. On the other hand there are kids, because they don`t fit into certain boxes, that aren`t provided with it whe it is obvious to staff that they need it. I`d cut out the Pyschologist, for an awful lot of cases, and I`d leave it up to school`s discression to decide what kids need help and for how long. Most of the kids with supposed learning problems could be dealt with within a mainstream class as long as the gap wasn`t too bing from the rest of the class. I teach and have taught in learning support classes pretty much since I started teaching and very few of the kids actually really needed it. I`ve also have had the frustrating experience of knowing that certain kids had obvious learning problems but were being cut out of learning support because they didn`t fit certain categories.

2. I`d make it easier to expel students. It would cut down on time, energy, court cases, lawyers and vandalism.

3. Any vandalism within schools should be paid for x 5 by those responsible. If the parents are unable to pay, welfare would be hit. There is a shocking amount of vandalism within some schools. Very little of it actually ends up being paid for by the vandals or their parents.

4. On a different note I also think that attendance records and behavioural records should be available to prospective employers for students in secondary school.
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