Running from the job


It is shocking to see how little responsibility for political action is being taken by this Government. This morning the Environmental Protection Agency (remember the phrase ‘independent from government’) has given Shell free rein to build their oil and gas refinery (and, worryingly, a combustion plant) near Bellenaboy in Co Mayo. Chances are we won’t hear a peep from Minister Gormley on the issue and if we do he will say something like: ‘this decision is subject to over 100 conditions and regular inspections and is independent of my department’. And the local people Minister: do they want it?

Before the weekend we had both the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health both saying that they could not possibly keep on top of all of the screwed up analyses of cases of breast cancer in the country. I mean for God’s sake, it is not as if they are in charge of the health service or…..wait a minute! Isn’t this why the HSE was set up? To take the politics out of the provision of public health? That would explain why RTE bowed to Departmental pressure and refused to persist with a ‘debate’ on health on the Late Late Show. To be honest, if the Minister is now effectively deciding who can and cannot be a guest on Kenny’s show, why bother with the thing at all?

Last night Alan Dukes was on Newstalk’s late night show. (It’s a wonderful way to get to sleep, Declan but it’s not Vincent Browne-radio.) Ordinarily I have little in common with the former FG Minister. I think what he has to say on European matters is mostly tosh because he believes the big lie: the EU must be good for people in Europe because it is the EU. There’s no need for vision, just evoke Schumann and everything will be ok. Anyways….the bould Dukes was decrying the fact that the HSE was established in order to ‘get local politics out of health care’ for the public. Now we find that politics is front and centre in every little sordid local and national decision about the provision of equitable health care systems. ArchDuke Alan went on to say how accountability has been extracted from local decisions in order to create a smokescreen for the development of private health care. Every other week I hear about Harney opening up this clinic or that facility and I am tending to agree with Dukes.

Get back and take control of the ministry Mary. It’s your job and I would have been fired months ago if I had wilfully neglected to take control of the work that had to be done and for which I have been given a mandate by the electorate.

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