Political fallout from the budget

At “Coleman at large” on Newstalk 106-108 radio tonight were Ann Irwin of the National Community Workers Platform, Senator Nial O’Brolochain of the Green Party from Galway, Constantin Gurdgiev of Trinity College, one of the clearest speakers on economics in the country and John O’Donovan as produced and news reviewer on the studio. Donegal By-election winner and now SF spokesman on Finance Pearse Doherty TD and Damian English TD Junior Finance Spokesman for Fine Gael were on the phone. The €90 odd million that the FF crowd got by cutting the carers allowance, the blind persons allowance and the diability allowance when there were simple alternatives was savage. I talked about John Bruton’s coping middle classes that the country relies upon who have got a fearsome pasting and I wonder where will this end. On my way home later I heard the robust defense of himself by Brian Cowen and his claim that the Honohan Report added Anglo Irish to AIB and BoI as systemic to the Irish situation. My memory of that is that Honohan did not do so in the same manner as the two clearing banks. He used an academic definition to include Anglo.

Cowen claimed that “cross collateralisation” was the issue for the banks here when Ivan Yates asked him was Anglo really our Lehman’s. Cowen is good in an argument and he over simplifies to escape from awkward realities. He is verbally dextrous and a verbal bully. I would’nt let him away with it. His record SCREAMS for itself. Muppet. I enjoyed Damian English saying that he was going to work with the Croke Park Agreement to negotiate change in the public sector. Well the ECB/IMF review will see that off the pitch by September. If not, I will be very surprised. I consider the Croke Park Agreement a serious error of judgement by the government. The traded higer wages for jobs in the public sector. Bill would NEVER do that.

Audrey Dean spoke on behalf of St Vincent de Paul Society. This is a wonderful institution in our country and is a shining light on voluntarism.

I pointed out that making voting mandatory should be part of the Fine Gael programme for government reform – New Politics. If the non-voters did in fact vote, the results of elections would be significantly altered. In my area of Ballymun/Finglas, there is a 20-30% gap in the voter turnout in favour of weathier areas.

Pictures are Bill with Constantin Gurdgiev and then with Senator Nial O’Brolochain and Ann Irwin.