Re: General Election Thurs 24th May

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Issues indeed but to what extent is our educational system a shambles? The primary system seems quite good, as do secondary and third level. There are deprived schools out there but perfection is an aspiration that most likely will never be achieved accross the board.[/quote]

We have the highest pupil-teacher ratio in Europe at primary level. We also have areas of high growth in Fingal and West Dublin where there are huge towns being built or expanded without any schools. In Laytown this year the primary school was in a prefab in Fairyhouse racecourse or somewhere I think.

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For what its worth I think the current government have done a reasonable job for the majority of people in the country, I don’t see a huge talent gap between them and the opposition though so it doesn’t really bother me what happens. An old man once said about a change of government “Same circus just different clowns”. A bit simplistic but not too wideof the mark.[/quote]

I’d be half-tempted to agree with that if FF weren’t obviously up to their necks in corruption. FG aren’t squeaky clean obviously but FF deserve to be taught a lesson.

I suppose I find it a bit worrying when guns are found in a car along with a bunch of Sinn Fein posters. Fianna Fail haven’t reachd that level - yet

Well we have the second highes class sizes in the European Union and our primary schools are terribly underfunded. Schools now have to get their PE equipment off Tesco or Super Valu by collecting tokens rathler than getting funding off the Department. No support has been given to Educate Together Schools despite the increasing multi cultural nature of our society. Primary schools are now in football dressing rooms in one of the richest countries in Europe. A shambles? Yes without a doubt.
I agree that there aren’t many ideologic differences between the two proposed governments. This administration has been a shambles imo and even a FG Labour coalition would at least be less corrupt and maybe even have a bit of accountability. If the Greens are put hold the balance of power however there would be big changes. For example if they hold like a position such as transport no longer would we have such an inefficient public transport system. They might take unpopular rsuch as halting building of motorways but I think they couldn’t be accused of not having values or principles.

Our local primary school was infested with rats and nothing was done about it for years. There have been several similar instances across the country. I even saw one case where there a converted toilet was been used as a classroom. That is only in the last year

Yet you’ll do your best to ensure Minister Hannafin and her cronies are back in power.

Just as a matter of interest, would the principal not think of calling someone like Rentokill deal with that?

Of couirse he did but the point is that the school was in such a state so as to allow this to happen

I’ve explained my reason for voting for the local FF TD. I’m not going to do it again

Thats fine but don’t go on complaining about health service, schools if your not doing anything to change it.

I don’t believe that FG/Labour will do anything different

If you did believe they would be better would you vote for them even if there was no representative in your area? Is there any party which you think would be good in government?

That’s where I have the problem. I don’t particularly support party politics as in one/two party(ies) in complete power. I beleve more in the individual candidate.

So I wouldn’t vote for them if they didn’t have a representative in my area

And that’s why we get the governments we get. That’s why Ivor Callely gets elected and that’s why Ray Burke, GV Wright, John Ellis, Ivor Callely, Beverly Cooper-Flynn etc. all get elected. People turn a blind eye to corruption but still complain about the governent. You can’t have it both ways. Either have the moral courage to refuse to vote for a prick who took taxpayers’ money to save his own party’s stint in government or don’t. But I can’t understand how you can then complain about the state of anything in this country when you are knowingly voting for an arsehole like that.

Not a rant just at you farmer by the way - the same applies to anyone else who complains about the government but votes for a politician who looks after the constituency.

Hold on

What is wrong with voting for a politican that is local and that is more likely to look after things in your area?

Agree entirely rock. The very reason politicians you mentioned get elected is because of attitude of people like farmer who vote for individuals because they look after the area. I often wondered how such an incompetent shower like the current FF PD government are even close to getting re-e lected. Now I know. Parlon will ‘look after Laois-Offaly’ but our health serice will still be a disgrace. Jacky Healy will get elected and ‘look after the people of Kerry’ but our schools will still have to wait ten years to get a building.

When you know that your local politician is corrupt but vote for him anyway then I don’t think you can have any cause for complaint about how this country is run. If you want to have an insular attitude about the way you vote then that’s your prerogative but it dampens your opinions on the country’s problems somewhat.

I know you might defend the guy’s actions and come up with all manner of excuses but to me it boils down to this:

  • You know he’s corrupt. You know what he did was morally wrong and an absolute abuse of taxpayers’ money. You choose to turn a blind eye to this.

This is the same local politician who did nothing about the rats in the school by the way.

[i]For anyone not familiar with the Ellis case in summary:

Ellis was on the verge of being declared bankrupt after a cattle company he owned was declared bankrupt. National Irish Bank instigated proceedings against him (after a number of cheques bounced) and Ellis found a small sum of money to pay off a fraction of the debt and they mysteriously relented.
Then the local mart started legal proceedings against him too because he owed them a pile of cash. Charles Haughey gave Ellis IR27k (a not insignificant sum in 1989) to stave off the bankruptcy claim. If Ellis was declared bankrupt then he’d be expelled from the Dil and FF would lose their majority of one. This money was paid from the Taoiseach’s Allowance.
Ellis paid off some creditors at this stage - and left 80 farmers to whom he owed money. Of those only 5 (I think) were in the Sligo-Leitrim constituency. He bought off those in his own constituency.

I haven’t even mentioned his very strange dealings with a corrupt Pakistani bank.[/i]

With all the sport on the box yesterday I completely missed An Taoiseach’s statement clarifying certain matters about his personal finances. I read a few reports online earlier and the whole thing seems to have passed by without much ado with all the parties basically accepting his explanation and wanting to move the campaign on to the issues at hand. Seems strange that it can go from one extreme to the other - serious shapes being thrown last weekend and then little controversy at all 7 days later.

I think McDowell has handles the whole thing terribly. He wants his cake and eat it as well. He was going on about pulling out of government because of Bertie’s finances to show that he has some morals. He then said that he would wait for Bertie’s statement knowing full well whatever Bertie said he was going to back so that he could stay in government.

I think he has been the main reason for the up-and-down media coverage of the affair

Christ Farmer I’m even agreeing with you on this thread too.

McDowell has controlled this story - certainly over the past week and a half. He said he wasn’t happy with details he was hearing, then he let the world know he was about to pull out of government, then he changed his mind and said he wouln’t pull out but there were serious questions to answer, and then before he even heard the answers to those questions he accepted the fact that Bertie had answered them and said he wasn’t the judge of whether Bertie had a case to answer or not.

This was all orchestrated by McDowell to get more publicity for his party at a time when they’re suffering in the polls.

By the way for those who don’t buy or read the Sindo there was one serious admission from Bertie in his statement that the PD’s no longer seem concerned about for some reason. Back when all this stuff leaked last August about the gifts from Manchester businessmen the one question everyone kept asking Bertie was - why were there no tax implications for receiving the cash. He denied the money he received was a gift thus telling everyone he wasn’t liable for tax and so he paid none.
In the meantime he’s been back to his accountant and has paid money to the revenue to cover tax liabilities on those receipts. Obviously he was never going to pay a penny in tax if the whole thing wasn’t made public and the Taoiseach of this country had to be persuaded by the media to pay his proper taxes.


Good poll for SF today - back to where they were a year ago, which I think is as high as they’ve been in the ratings (10%). Greens are strangely slipping in the polls - I think a lot of people might have said a few months ago that they’d vote green and then when they got some non-entity of a local candidate they’ve switched away again.

Worse news for FF obviously. Two polls this week have shown a fairly substantial drop in their support.