Real democracies and referendums

By Anthony Sheridan

(Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Sky UK)

In a functional democracy like the UK the will of the people in a referendum is supreme no matter how inconvenient or disruptive the outcome is to the ruling political class.

In a dysfunctional democracy like Ireland the will of the people in a referendum is supreme only on the strict condition that the outcome is in line with the wishes of the ruling political class.

Independent Alliance TDs must decide: The people or the corrupt regime



corruption (1)

By Anthony Sheridan

Every Irish citizen elected to public office and in particular those who are granted ministerial power have a decision to make:

Support and cooperate with the corrupt political system that has evolved over the past number of decades – or – challenge that system and risk having to pay a high price.

Sadly, the vast majority of elected representatives have so far opted to support and cooperate with the corrupt system resulting in enormous damage to the well being and interests of Ireland and its people.

Today members of the Cabinet will meet to discuss the European Commission’s decision that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits of up to €13 billion to Apple.

A decision by the Government to appeal the Commission’s conclusions will not serve the interests of the Irish people.

Fine Gael ministers will, as always, support the corrupt system.

Members of the Independent Alliance, as listed below, will have to decide whether to support the corrupt system or act in the interests of the Irish people.

Copy to:

Denis Naughten

Shane Ross

Katherine Zappone

Finian McGrath

John Halligan

Sean Canney

EU Discussion: How corruption affects young people

Received a message from Meabh about a discussion taking place in the European Parliament in Brussels today (Discussion here). The discussion will centre on how corruption affects young people.

Corruption and fraud worsened the eurozone sovereign debt crisis. With more transparency, young people might not be suffering as much.
These are the thoughts behind the next Connect.Euranet debate that will take place in the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels on September 19, 2012, at 12h00 CEST. Broadcasting live from the heart of the EP, students from the University of Vigo, Spain, Radio Moreeni of Tampere, Finland, Trinity FM Dublin and Radio Kampus Warsaw will ask MEPs and other VIPs what the EU is doing to tackle corruption in their institutions and across all member states.
People attending this debate.

De Rossa's claim on eliminating poverty has some credibility

In fairness to Proinsias De Rossa his claim regarding the elimination of poverty has some credibility.

It is estimated that when his TD, ministerial and MEP pensions are added up he will have an annual income of €91,000.

This should provide De Rossa with some small measure of protection against poverty.

Should his pension pot prove inadequate he can always earn a bit extra by joining the ranks of ex politicians who regularly feature in the media lecturing impoverished citizens on the need to make sacrifices for the greater good of the country.

Cardiff's pack of wolves gets him the job

Depressingly, the incompetent Mr. Cardiff has been gifted his fat cat job in Europe.

Two Irish MEPs who voted against Cardiff were interviewed on Today with Pat Kenny.

Socialist MEP Paul Murphy said that Ireland needs someone on the Court of Auditors with a record of independence and with a capacity for uncovering corruption.

Somehow I don’t think Cardiff fits that particular bill.

The one good thing to come out of this disgraceful saga is the emergence of that very, very rare phenomenon – a straight talking, principled Irish politician.

Nessa Childers is under no illusions about the consequences she may face for taking a principled stand on this matter.

The Labour Party is likely to exact a heavy price on her for failing to run with the pack of wolves that supported Cardiff.

Here’s what she had to say on the matter:

This is what happens when you voice an opinion. It felt like a pack of wolves had burst out of the undergrowth on top of me.

I began to see that something was going on at the highest levels of government to do with Mr. Cardiff and what happened was an attempt to stop me and two other MEPs from voicing our opinions.

I think that has very serious consequences about the way government operates in Ireland.

Ireland should ensure it remains under the protection of the European sharks

The European Union was never designed to deal with the current global financial crisis.

The initial idea was to create a loose confederation of states that agreed with and cooperated on a range of mutual interests like finance, environment, trade, law and so on.

The creation of a single currency was a step too far for such a loose confederation.

It was overly optimistic to think that a large group of nations with widely divergent interests, expectations and political sensitivities could all operate as a single unit within a single currency.

If the single currency never existed the various countries of the EU would have struggled through the current crisis with varying degrees of success and failure.

Ireland, for example, would have been destroyed while Germany would have remained strong.

That’s all academic now because the Euro has become not just critical for individual European countries but is also a critical factor in the health of the global financial system.

The decision by the majority of European countries to forge ahead with a separate treaty was the only alternative to a complete collapse of the Euro and perhaps the entire EU project.

Ireland should now do everything possible to ensure it signs up to the new treaty.

That means no drawn out referendum campaign and no quibbling about retaining our corporation tax at the present rate.

The reality is as simple as it is brutal.

The UK, although a big shark, now finds itself alone in a big sea full of other big sharks only too eager to gobble it up if necessary.

Ireland, as a tiny fish, in that big sea full of sharks should do all in its power to ensure it remains under the protection of the large group of European sharks.

Cardiff rejection: The fallout

UK Independence Party MEP Marta Andreasen is one of the strongest objectors to the appointment of Kevin Cardiff.

Here’s her response to Cardiff’s rejection with my own comments.

The evidence was self-explanatory.

Correct, but only to politicians/countries where accountability is taken seriously. That is, countries where the common good is put above cronyism.

Kevin Cardiff’s reward for his blunder would have been a six-figure salary in an EU institution.

Such rewards/strokes lie at the heart of how things are done in Ireland.

It would have been a farcical appointment.

Correct but farce and embarrassment for Ireland doesn’t bother our gombeen politicians so long as their friends are looked after.

An auditor’s credentials must be beyond doubt.

This is not, and has never been, a requirement in Ireland.

Had he been given the job any integrity the Court of Auditors had would have laid in tatters.

The presence of the word ‘integrity’ in this sentence puts it beyond understanding for most Irish politicians.

Arrogant and incompetent Cardiff rejected by European Parliament

I’m absolutely delighted that Kevin Cardiff has been rejected by the Budgetary Committee of the European Parliament.

Irish MEP, Nessa Childers is to be congratulated for her courage in standing up to the highly aggressive bullying by the obnoxious Proinsias De Rossa and other members of the Labour Party.

Ms. Childers has submitted a complaint on the matter to the Labour Party but she’s very unlikely to get any satisfaction from that quarter.

I think she might have a better chance of justice if she was to submit a complaint to the European Parliament.