Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sinn Fein's by-election court case is rank hypocrisy

Sinn Fein is currently in the High Court trying to force the Government to move the writ for the Donegal South-West by-election, which they would be hoping to win with their putative candidate Senator Pearse Doherty.

The vacancy occurs following the election of sitting FF TD Pat “the Cope” Gallagher to the European Parliament in June 2009.

The Government is almost certain to lose the by-election and consequently has been stalling the contest for as long as possible.

While I fully agree that the by-election is way overdue (and is only one of three such outstanding contests), I think it’s rank hypocrisy for Sinn Fein to claim that the absence of one TD in a multi-seat constituency constitutes a democratic deficit, when their own elected MPs in Northern Ireland, each the sole representative in a single-seat constituency, refuse to take their seats at Westminster.

Footnote: A variant published as a letter in the Irish Times

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Joe Duffy's Irony By-Pass operation a success

RTE’s Joe Duffy really took the biscuit last week when his Liveline programme was devoted to litter fines and, in a small number of cases, imprisonment for non-payment of those fines.

Joe was outraged about (a) the cost of the €150 on-the-spot fine and (b) the fact that a person could be sent to prison for such a trivial offence as non-payment of that fine.

It has obviously escaped his attention that there is a large, ongoing media campaign warning people that non-payment of the arbitrary TV licence fee of €160, levied annually on almost every household in the country, will result in large fines and possible imprisonment.

Listening to RTE’s “stars”, earning hundreds of thousands of euros, share with the nation their heartfelt anguish for the plight of the ordinary citizen, I often wonder if an irony by-pass is mandatory in RTE.

Joe Duffy certainly appears to have had one.

Footnote: A variant published as a letter in the Irish Independent