Political Notes for this week

My politics this week-end.

1. The killing of 14 million people in Europe by the depredations of the Stalinist Communist regime in Russia and the evils of the National Socialists in Germany which are detailed in a book review of Bloodlands in the Irish Times by Robert Gerwarth provide me with a gentle reminder of why the European Union is a necessary invention.

2. The Irish Times also carried a review by Colm Keena of a book on the subject of international capital exploiting countries where they do their business on the issue of tax avoidance. Allowing this to continue unfettered is a crime against the citizenry of many industrialised countries. The British government made some inroads into the tax avoidance schemes of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands but the Caymen Islands, Bermuda, Jersey and DUBLIN feature large in the world of tax avoidance.

3. Senate abolition or reform – I say reform and change its role and the way its members are elected.

4. Since November last, 31 cars have been vandalised at Tolka Vale apartments on the Finglas Road. Last night, last night 22 cars had windows smashed and contents stolen. Residents are under siege. This is further to the systematic harassment at Prospect Hill apartments at Tolka Valley road/ Finglas road which has been a problem for the past two years.

5. Bed Crisis in hospitals – this will get worse until there is a match-up between supply of beds in public hospitals with 80% occupancy and the demands of audited medical care in A&E. The question of acute medical admission units and immediate access to labs and imaging are also issues as are the availability of acute chest pain units.

6. VHI – the crisis in the state insurer is inevitable. It reflects the lack of an effective policy of risk equalisation and also the expense of private hospital care. The state ramping up the cost of “private care” in public hospitals probably precipitated the crisis earlier that it would otherwise have happened.

7. Homelessness in the Dublin City centre needs to be addressed by councillors again. The report by Nicola Cooke in the Sunday Business Post about the growth in demand for the Simon Community and Focus Ireland is worrying considering the passage of the homeless policy through DCC last year and the whole debate around Cedar House.

8. Election campaign under way. Bill is the only Champions League standard candidate in Dublin Northwest. Fianna Fail have been relegated having written off the country and Deputy Shortall car-crashed on TV3 on the economy. It truly now is a case of “It’s the economy stupid”