Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

Jason’s Diary

Posted by Jason O on Jun 28, 2011 in Jason's Diary |

Broadly speaking, I believe in the theory that you have to pay well to get the best. Yet, curiously, this rule only sort of half works in Ireland, judging by this story. We have two universities in the top 200 globally (Here) although we just barely fail to make the top 75. Yet we’ve over 1000 lecturers on €100k a year. Really? For that sort of spend on talent, should we not have a least one in the top 25?

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The reason Fine Gael are less than enthused about reforming local government, and very cool on letting local authorities set the household charges that will fund, you got it, local authorities. Here. It shows a shocking lack of imagination on the part of the coalition, in that if they were to devolve household charges to county councils after the 2014 local elections, it would probably be Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein councillors (and future Dail candidates) left running them, and having to make the calls themselves on taxing and spending locally. Fianna Fail, because of Brian Cowen’s innate caution bordering on paralysis, let Labour and FG break through in the last local elections, and then use them as a blame-free platform to build Dail profile. The coalition needs to ponder this.

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Nice to see someone with a bit of imagination in politics.

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A very depressing piece here about the EU et al by Martin Kettle in The Guardian.

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Brendan Howlin continues to surprise with his new department. They’re providing some fascinating data here. Hat tip to Jane Suiter.

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If the government are smart, they’ll allow the new Independent Fiscal Council to cost opposition policies independently. After all, if the coalition is going to be bound by it, why not make the opposition?

3 Comments

Michael
Jun 28, 2011 at 3:04 pm

On your local election point- I think you are making a few big assumptions. One is that FG and Labour will automatically lose support and control of councils in 2014. The second is that this support will go to SF and FF. I think these are pretty wide assumptions and they are most dangerous for FF supporters underestimating the challenge of re-building their party.

The other thing to bear in mind is that there may be a much smaller gap between the local elections in 2014 and the following general election, but who knows how this might turn out.


 
Michael
Jun 28, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I should say though that I agree with local government reforms, but for the sake of better government, not sneaky politics :)


 
Jason O
Jun 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I don’t think it’s a wild assumption to make, that FG and Labour will not reach the same level of support. It’s possible that, for example, pissed off public sector Labour voters may not even vote. Bear in mind that FF at its worst got only 2% less than Labour at its near best. As for sneaky politics: One issue I have with Irish politics is that the Opposition are always encouraged to be reckless because they don’t have to take responsibility for anything. I’d like to see Joe Higgins and Richard Boyd Barret run a county, and put their heavy business tax policies into play, and deal with the consequences of businesses moving out to a low tax county.


 

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