So the great auction is hotting up.
The political parties are already trying to outbid each other and the election hasn’t even been called yet.
The present government has been in power for ten years now. During that time, our country has been under the influence of a lot of external factors. The Global Economy has been doing well, so of course our government has been taking credit for that. Interest rates are still relatively low thanks to the European Bank. Our government is blowing about that. Fuel prices took an enormous hike, but of course our government said that that was outside their control.
So if things in the world are going well, our government pats itself on the back and says look how well we are doing. If things aren’t going well, the government says there is nothing it can do.
On the domestic front, things are in pretty poor shape. This government has had ten years of the highest prosperity this country has ever known. The coffers are awash. They have billions to spare. We are one of the fastest growing economies in the EU. So why are we in a mess? The government promised us all sorts of things ten years ago, and again at the last election. They were hollow promises.
They now say they are going to reduce taxes. They have been saying that for the last ten years. They are going to sort out the health service. They haven’t sorted it in ten years, so why should anything be different now? They are going to introduce a couple of thousand more Gardai. They had ten years to do that.
Why are they promising to sort out things now? They had ten years and failed abysmally.
They have squandered millions in useless enterprises. Punchestown, the Bertie Bowl, Electronic Voting, Tribunals, the list goes on and on. They revel in corruption. We have heard all about the backhanders and the brown envelopes. We have seen our Taoiseach crying on television for God’s sake. How pathetic was that? This is the same Taoiseach who said he had appointed people to top positions, not because they had paid him [which they had] but because they were friends of his.
And what about the so called opposition? They have been ghosts for the last ten years. We have heard little or nothing from them, or about them.
Over the next months, the opposition parties will be shouting about how they have the answers to all the problems. But all they are doing is providing their own little tweaks to situations that will have much the same [i.e. no] effect.
What we need are radical thinkers. What we need are new ideas.
There is no point is throwing billions into a health service that patently doesn’t work. What we need is for someone to come in and dismantle it entirely and start from scratch. We have the hospitals, the specialists, the nurses. Just overhaul the massive bureaucracy that is wasting the money.
With regard to crime, I would suggest they stop f*cking around with new laws. We seem to have a new law each week. All we have to do is enforce the existing laws. And examine the root causes of crime, not the crime itself.
We have a housing crisis that is mainly outside government control. Property owners are going to cash in so prices are going to rise. But there are things the government could do. As a small example, why not apply stamp duty to the vendor and not the purchaser? It is the vendor who is making the profit and it might make them think about the price they are setting.
Sadly, the people of this country are going to do what they always do. They are going to be bought by the petty auctioneering. Or they are going to vote for someone because “he’s a grand lad” [probably because he shook them by the hand at a funeral]. Or they are going to vote for a party because it is a family tradition.
We are going to end up with the same people who sit in the Dáil doing their crosswords while people die for want of healthcare. The same people who are going to swan off on junkets while schools have to put up with rat infested damp buildings. The same people who are going to claim massive salaries, allowances and pensions while autistic children have to go abroad for a chance of any sort of education.
What we really need now are the likes of Jack Lynch and Garrett Fitzgerald – people of integrity and with no history of scandal and corruption
Who will I vote for? I don’t know. I will examine the individual’s policies and will probably end up voting for the Independents. I have lost faith in all the major parties.