Thursday, 27 September 2012

Senators oppose abolition of the Senate shock

The picture on the left  is not  of Enda Kenny.

Not convinced?

For proof please read on...

Group opposed to Seanad abolition seeks reform
RTE, Wednesday, 26th September, 2012

The Government plans to hold a referendum on the future of the Seanad.
A group of members of the upper house has published the report, saying its aim is to stimulate debate about the chamber's future.

The group includes Seanad members Katherine Zappone and Feargal Quinn, former senator Joe O'Toole, political commentator Noel Whelan and former justice minister Michael McDowell.
The report was prompted by Government plans to hold a referendum on the abolition of the Seanad.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Senator Zappone said the Seanad had, for many years, not maximised the role envisaged for it in the Constitution.

She said it could play a "deeper role" in scrutinising laws from Europe and creating legislation at European level.

On the cost of running the Seanad, she said: "The kind of figures that are thrown out in relation to how much does the Seanad cost are exaggerated."

Ms Zappone said it costs around €10m a year.   She said that with the calibre of people in it and the changes they are promoting, it could be very good value in terms of the future.
The Seanad is to debate the document, perhaps as early as next week

Kenny wants to Enda the Senate shock
Gombeen Nation, Tuesday, 20th October, 2009

Enda Kenny may well have the personality and charisma of a newt, but he deserves credit for his proposal to abolish the inherently undemocratic body that is the Senate (or Seanad).

Kenny has shown an ability to surprise in the past, such as when he called for Gaelic to be made a non-compulsory school subject – attracting predictable howls of protest from Ireland's powerful Gaeliban (Irish Language lobby).

So let’s look at the Senate, the chief purpose of which – like the British House of Lords – is concerned with giving privileged, but otherwise insignificant, blusterers some kind of nominal function and Gormenghastian status.

Eleven of the sixty blusterers are appointed by the Taoiseach (prime minister) of the day. One example being Sunday Independent bore and waffler Eogan Harris, who was rewarded with a senatorship by Bertie Ahern for defending him and his dismal Government on the eve of the last election… just when some sections of the electorate where showing faint signs of getting wise.

A further six are “elected” by the graduates of TCD and NUI. Naturally, given the self-perpetuating nature of the entrenched class system and third level education in Ireland – populated as it is by the middle-class brats of the well-off (whose fees are paid by the taxpayer) – this too helps ensure an innate conservatism.

Finally, 43 blusterers are elected by “Vocational Panels”, which for the life of me, I cannot figure out. But let’s just say it involves sitting Dail members, selected council members and others, arranged by “vocational interest”. And some people here had the neck to give out about Lisbon and the EU??

Today’s Irish Times reports that the salary of a senator is €70,135, topped-up by a further €45,000 in “unvouched expenses”. They sat their privileged bottoms on the Senate benches for only 93 days in 2008, and the whole charade costs us a whopping €25 million a year to run.

Kenny is talking about calling a referendum to abolish this elitist talking shop. Bring it on.

Note the disparity between The Irish Times' €25 million to run the Seanad and the senators' group's €10 million estimation. "Only €10 milliion" we are supposed to think, I suppose. And what about the self-declared "calibre of people" boast?

Kenny has a history of backing down when faced with powerful lobbies. He renaged on his promise to make Gaeilge non-compulsory for the Leaving Cert when fronted by Conradh na Gaeilge, Irish Language teachers, Gael Linn, those who run Irish language colleges in the Gaeltacht, and those who run student accommodation there. Expect him to back down yet again on this one. 

Kenny is a spineless character who has failed to deliver on his many election promises. 

Apologies to newts in the earlier blog above.

They, at least, have backbones.


DB said...

GM. Did you really think FG and Labour would be any different?

Did Enda and Eamo object to FF inflating the bubble with as you say your self property tax breaks. Who called Halt?

The Irish, and the politicians they vote for, are corrupt.

Honest, thinking, Irish are like hen's teeth.

Dakota said...

Ireland is one the most deeply conservative nations on the planet. Its thought processes are culturally genetic. Peel back the facade, and you'll find a box of worms. The PROMISE to abolish the Seanad is well past its SELL BY DATE.

The alternative to Governance (there is NO political alternative) in this country GM is growing more ominous everyday.

Why don't the coalition erect a 1000 meter sign (through an EU loan, of course) in the midlands just declaring the reality that Ireland is a CORPORATE TAX HAVEN and the population are merely SERFS?

The Gombeen Man said...

@ DB. Deep down, DB, I suppose I didn't. And as for corruption, what about O'Reilly's two medical centres in his very own constituency? More of the same. As you say, these people were very quiet about tax breaks when in opposition. Burton is the only one who said anything at all against them.

@ Dakota. Yes... and serfs, by their nature, are compliant and unquestioning. BTW, answered that email my man... think it might be on the blink. Thanks for the tip on that post.

Dakota said...

"Burton is the only one who said anything at all against them." I only remember one "Member" of the Dail speaking up GM, and it wasn't Burton. I do remember a lot of paper shuffling and opportunist gibberish. Votes of No Condidence were as rear as Oirish sincerity.

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes, she did Dakota - believe it or not. I remember remarking on it at the time... So it seems there were two members of the Irish Parliament who actually spoke out on the subject. Who was the one you have in mind?

Dakota said...

"Who was the one you have in mind?" Was it none other than a FFer John Mc Guinness? Yes a FFer!I'm not sure, I do vaguely recall his comments on the BUBBLE...
Whether or not they did, GM, there was no motions of No Confidence in the successive FF Governments of the time, on the economic decisions made...Two Geniuses hey? Oh yes, but the problem I see with Burton getting to critise the antics of FF, is, when she got into power, she not only renegade on all her own promises, she - and the rest of the coalition - just continued on the previous Government's policies...SABOTAGING and UNDEMINING ECONOMIC CONFIDENCE...It mignt be great CRAIC but it's also GUBU

The Gombeen Man said...

It's bizarre, D. No doubt about it.

It's Ireland.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading Evana Backic prof at law in trinity was in the senate. I started to think She has about 200k from triners every year and another 70 k from the senate. God knows how much shew makes from private consultancy work. someone like Evana could really be told to stick to the lecturing. One state salary is enough. That goes for anyone else in state employment. Roll on the revolution.