The tactical astuteness of Fine Gael TDs opposed to the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill is impressive. Rather than confront Taoiseach Enda Kenny in a single, explosive challenge to his leadership, they have eked out their resistance in the hope of securing legislative amendments or, at least, the prospect of early party forgiveness. By staggering their challenge, they have sought to minimise the offence created. Any doubt has been removed by already expelled individuals who insist they are not members of a cabal and who aspire to represent Fine Gael in the future. While the Bill is being debated, the scale of eventual opposition remains uncertain. On the basis of a recent Irish Times opinion poll, which showed general Fine Gael support for legislation at 79 per cent and opposition at 16 per cent, the defecting deputies could number between six and nine. Public opinion, however, is not always reflected in the pattern of Dáil voting. The tyranny of the party whip and the prospect of expulsion and career damage are powerful conditioning factors while, on the other hand, a free vote encourages outside interests to apply pressure and for TDs to engage in vote-poaching at constituency level. How else to explain the Fianna Fáil vote? Party leader Micheál Martin showed a deal of courage when he spoke in favour of the Government Bill and said it would provide necessary protection for the lives of women and fulfil Constitutional and international requirements. Having secured a free vote, however, his colleagues opted for traditional opposition tactics and 13 out of 19 voted against the measure. If opinion within Fianna Fáil is taken as a template, no more than four TDs should have rejected the Bill on the grounds of conscience. Their actions appear to have been an attempt to target unhappy Fine Gael, Labour Party and Sinn Féin voters while, at the same time, signalling concern with Mr Martin’s style of leadership. Willie O’Dea was quick to declare his support for Mr Martin, even as he struggled to explain his position on the legislation. A Second Stage vote is normally regarded as being on the principles of a Bill. Mr O’Dea supported the principles of the Bill but voted against it, explaining that if a review clause was introduced at a later stage he might change his mind. An equally unconvincing approach was adopted by European Affairs Minister Lucinda Creighton and by a number of her Fine Gael colleagues. They rejected the principles underlying the Bill but voted for it on the grounds that it might be amended. Support for this legislation is remarkably uniform across all political parties. When Catholic Church pressure failed to ramp up Fine Gael defections, a majority of Fianna Fáil TDs went in search of disaffected voters. It’s what drives politics.
Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week In Politics, Ms Creighton said she had concerns about “the whole question of suicide and how it can be defined”.
Her comments come as the Cabinet prepares its response to an expert group report which looked at the options for dealing with abortion under the X Case ruling.
However the extent of any political fall-out will only become clear when the Government publishes its detailed proposals in the coming months.
In a stinging letter, the billionaire who was criticised by the Moriarty tribunal accused Ms Burton of “vindictiveness” and of making a “startling” personal attack on him.
Ms Burton is the second government minister to have received a letter of complaint from Mr O’Brien in the aftermath of his appearance on the New York Stock Exchange alongside Taoiseach Enda Kenny last March. Mr O’Brien also wrote to Lucinda Creighton — but the tone of his letter to Ms Burton — disclosed for the first time today — is harsher.
“I recognise that your political persuasion naturally leaves you unsympathetic towards someone in my position, but I remain concerned at the level of vindictiveness underpinning your remarks,” he wrote.
“That your comments would be endorsed in quick time by your party colleague, Minister Brendan Howlin TD, was an unsurprising display of political opportunism.
“I, clearly, am undeserving of any semblance of fair or balanced treatment. Political expediency demands outright condemnation. It is the easy option.”
The squeezing of the elderly and yet they want more
So far, benefit losses to older people.
The demise of the Christmas bonus,
Implementation of Universal Social Charge
Prescription charges, electricity levy
Introduction of household charge,
Reduction in the Fuel Allowance from 32 to 26 weeks,
Increased tax on home heating fuel,
Reduction in medical card cover for dentistry,
Increases in Vat and Dirt (tax on savings),
Cuts in frontline health and social care services
Rising costs of medical insurance;
Yet to kick in water and carbon tax charges
And yet the ghouls want more
European Minister Lucinda Creighton has said she is extremely confident a deal can be reached to improve the terms of Ireland’s bailout “relatively quickly”.
This Lady has no idea what she is talking about waffle without substance seems to be her level of expertise.
My understanding of improving the terms goes hand in hand with more suffering
Embrace positivity was the advice of Minister of State Michael Ring when he officially opened the Tullamore visitors centre.
Maybe he had too much morning dew when he made that statement. Minister we wait with baited breath for you to deliver positivity. Perhaps it is your wish the citizens should die of asphyxiation.
Strong Support to Make the Country’s Debt More Sustainable
Mr Noonan said Ireland now has what he termed “very strong support at political level” to make the country’s debt more sustainable.
He declined to say what countries might have lobbied the ECB on Ireland’s behalf, but did highly praise International Monetary Fund Chief Christine Lagarde. Did he pay the ugly witch a complement?
He said that the next pressure point is March, when Ireland is expected to pay €3bn.
The minister said he was no in rush to complete the deal as it might affect its quality.
This is no more than the usual bluster, blabber, palaver we expect from Skint Piggy when he fails to achieve the stated aims.
asked if this ‘oul democracy’ was too much to be bothering with … his reply: Democracy … “needs to be managed”, “You need a strong party system and a strong whip system”
This is how the vested interest rules; all the parties follow this practice, and the result is that, in reality, private clubs and inner circles decide everything. This is one of the key ways in which politicians commandeer democracy and leave your democratic rights in the land of nowhere.
This man is a true blue a fascist at heart how well he would sit with the likes of Mussolini and Hitler but then again, I suspect his mould is more akin to that of a trujillisto.
THE government minister Lucinda Creighton has claimed the high-profile chief executive of the Labour Relations Commission (LRC), Kieran Mulvey, is “compromised” when it comes to public comments on the Croke Park Agreement by his own status as a major beneficiary of the benchmarking process.
Ms Creighton was responding to Mr Mulvey’s critique earlier last week of “a junior minister making pronouncements on half-a-dozen issues”.
It’s believed this referred to an interview in which Ms Creighton expressed concerns about the Croke Park Agreement.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent, an incandescent Ms Creighton said that the chairperson of the LRC “does not have the right to tell politicians or political parties what they should say or think”. She said he was “over-reaching his position” and should “concentrate on what he is actually supposed to be doing”.
“Croke Park is not some sacred text that cannot be commented on and criticised,” she said.
“It is a bit rich for someone who was as cosseted as he was by benchmarking to state the Croke Park Agreement is un-breakable,” she added. And she warned that this relationship “compromises his independence and leaves him open to the suggestion that he has a coloured perspective”.
It is believed Ms Creighton was referring to Mr Mulvey’s own submission to the benchmarking process of 2008 where the LRC head secured a 14 per cent salary increase
Health cuts and reduced public sector allowances for new entrants are continuing to provoke tensions in the Coalition ahead of this afternoon’s Cabinet meeting, the first since the summer break.
Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton said yesterday it was not credible for Government backbenchers to suggest the recent announcement of a €130 million cost-reduction package by the Health Service Executive was a surprise.
“Whingeing and pretending that you were surprised by budget figures that were agreed last December is not really credible,” she said in an interview with The Irish Times.