Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Great Big Bluff

The trouble with the leaders debate tonight is it included only three leaders. In a democracy, where other entities are not given equal scope in front of the national broadcasters camera's be they Green, Sinn Féin, leaders from the United Left or Independent candidates in the hunt for a seat for in the national interest, the exclusion is grossly unfair.
If we, the electorate, are not given access to what the other leaders stand for and how they react to difficult questioning against those RTE deem worthy of the country's top job, then how can the judgement calls people make on Friday be fully informed and fair.
It's part of a wider issue, best left for another day.

Who won it?
From a debating point of view Martin won that one. Enda got one up on Eamon by taking Booker's silver medal on the evening.
Enda appeared well schooled and a tad more confident and deflected a lot of time making Michael Martin look bad based on his record as a cabinet member over the past 14 years. He highlighted at every opportunity Mr. Martin's shortcomings in his various briefs and at times Eamon weighed too. I think I even spotted Enda and Eamon looking to each other for approval on a few occasions.

What difference did it make?
None. Meanderings of little or no promise.
'You'll be no tanaiste of mine,' Enda said silently in his head.
'Smug hoor.' Gilmore retorts, also in his head.
'Answer the question, Enda?' Micháel says loudly.

Micháel Martin is trying to save his party. I think he will. For now.
Where Ireland goes in the next few years will determine the political landscape of this country post the 2016 celebrations.
I think many are being duped at the moment, blinded by anger and perhaps the shock of what has happened here over the past 4 months. But of course this goes back to the days before Lisbon 2, from that moment on, its been meltdown.
The EU and the IMF now suck the marrow from our countries bones in the form of penal interest rates, crippling us with austerity measures and throwing segments of society into further chaos.
It paves the way for a fire-sale of state assets on the cheap to people who just will never have enough. We've already handed over our gas and oil fields and you can only imagine the banter in the EU and the UN in the years to come at our expense. The ribbing may be merciless. Not only are we sending our educated people to the four corners for other countries to benefit from them, but the pillage goes deeper than that.
The bigger picture is to obvious to ignore any longer. But unfortunately it will be. People are just not informed enough and the people informing them are not up to a competent job. Be that through sections of our educational system, (literacy stats are a national disgrace and a scandal) and certain media outlets don't help matters either.
It's time RTE was split up into regions, with regional people charged with concentrating on regional issues, and regions benefiting from revenues generated. Again it will take time, but it must be part of a new Ireland whenever we set the ball rolling properly about how we are going to get to there.

Just a day or two left now. I intend to worm in and out at dawn on Friday at the polling station. Two preferences will be given based on candidates, not parties. After that, you're guess is as good as mine. But I'm not seeing significant changes in the next five years in my imaginary crystal ball. None that's going to restore our national pride anyway. Not anytime soon.

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