Letter to Phil Hogan – Hints for the future

Dear Phil,

I know your form. You don’t take shit from anyone. Well sometimes
‘merde’ flies and even Ryanair would be discombobulated.

On the premise that only futility and frustration lies in looking back
and asking why, the future must be asking how do I do what I must do
but do it correctly?

Correctly means making the household charge easy to pay. There are
about 600,000 heads who still have not paid this tax. I have received
two letters in the post on the issue and that is a waste considering I
paid in January last. But Phil, my neighbours along Glasnevin Avenue
have given me some verbals on the issue of NOT being able to pay in
the Post Office. I have listened to many Fine Gael people complain
that the lack of direct use of the Post Offices has been a source of
complaint to them. Now Phil, most of those people spontaneously
complaining to me are FG Tories – Cons with a Big C not whinging
Liberals.

So Phil, as the BB that you are, it might be an idea to swallow hard
and say – “Mea Culpa” to the people and organise that the Post
Offices can take the money ( €100 + fine) plus a note of the address
and get on with it. A little humility might suit the occasion. Yea, I
know that Humility and Sack Cloth is not your style Phil but ask
Cuddihy, Senator Nailer and your pals do they think I am off the North
Wall on this one. I don’t think they will tell you that Phil.

The property tax must be introduced and it must be easy to collect and
transparently fair. I am around long enough to remember Gilmore and de
Rossa turning off the water tax by dumping Labour. I got dumped but
for a good wet cause. You can just about get away with a water tax if
the number of children and total family numbers are factored in.
Fairness must be transparent or you will be toast. The big Dail
majority will be irrelevant because Labour will rebel as will your
backbenchers who will be ‘as lathar’ after the next election as part
of the human surplus to requirements in new constituencies.

So Phil, never mind the civil servants or the clueless right wing nice
boy advisers- get real and ask as many on the ground heads as you know
for their backstairs opinions on what is a fair water tax. Here are a
few names in Dublin. Get a flunkey to arrange an audience with a few
of these real heads. Vincent Jackson, Christy Burke, ex councillor
Michael Donnelly, Kevin Humphries TD, Dermot Lacey, Catherine Byrne
TD, Rebecca Moynihan and me if you wish. If you ask the FG crowd, most
will be so busy seeking your posterior that the truth, if unpalatable,
will be the first casualty. This is on the basis that upsetting Phil
Hogan is a career damaging move in FG. By the way Phil, the south
Dublin Middle Class may be sounded out by checking with your own
banker TD in Dublin South. Simon Coveney is so impressive in
Agriculture that he can give you a steer for the country.

How to deal with mortgage defaulters is a major problem. You make have
to set up a scheme to take equity in their houses in exchange for debt
cancellation through state funding indemnity of banks. I’m sure Colm
McCarthy can give you the best theoretical solution and then you can
finesse it. If you don’t they will be unable to pay the house tax as
well as the mortgage. Now, that would be a horrendous mess.

Other problems are in this order (1) National Leadership – tell us
what is going on and where we are trying to get. (2) Arrange internal
opposition to pressure the EU on write-offs because without that we
are ….ed in so far as staying in the Euro is concerned. (2) The
Health mess can be sorted if Reilly is asked to talk to people like
me, John Barton, Shane O’Neill, Joe McKeever and a few others (3) No
more fantasy speeches like Beal na Bla (pace John A Murphy). (4) No
advisors paid over 100 K (5) if they don’t like it well, well see yis!

Never trade high pay for redundancies! Stop the stupid policies in the
Public Sector. Don’t give away natural resources and get on with
producing and exporting energy.

Finally, I will write the prescription for the Reilly File. But Phil I
am tired from huge amounts of work not a whinge just a fact.

At the end of the Phil, the Irish people want good government
irrespective of party label. The graveyards are full of the faithful
departed and their replacements are less likely to Blue Red or Green.
Just a thought Phil.

Best regards,

Bill Tormey