Vincent Browne’s Educational Needs

Vincent Browne writes in the Irish Times “It doesn’t matter how long the Oireachtas is closed. The fact is it plays no meaningful role in our society.”

What an overblown silly statement.

The last thing that they did was to pass the Civil Parnerships Bill which is sure to make a difference and play a meaningful role for many people. So Vincent, I would throw that back at you for revision if I was your editor or referee.

On the other side, Browne’s criticism that TDs play virtually no role in formulating the budget is true and must be reformed. Fine Gael may have a New Politics Policy to reduce the numbers of TDs and eliminate the Senate.
But there seems a much more pressing need to make the government and the public service more accountable to the people. This means the removal of whipping for nearly all votes in the Dail. I have spoken and written about this before but clearly it is the major need. Extending the role of the Senate into investigations and enquiries of many subjects and also examining the role of European Directives and developments on Irish Law and Life is necessary.

Politics is the art of the possible and lobbies do have considerable power.
Just look at reversal of pay cuts in the senior civil service and the power of that small group is patently obvious.

Vincent Browne has good instincts on poverty. Again the art of the possible comes into play. He should try to get elected in Ballymun or Darndale and see how he gets on. After attending a hundred nights at meetings of Safety Forums, Residents Associations, Church Groups, School meetings, sports club meetings, youth club meetings and special meetings of the City Council Area Committee on Parks/Elderly/Anti-social behaviour/drugs counselling/anti-drug counselling/housing voids/development/ rejuvenation of villages/Credit unions etc Vincent will be more understanding of the difficulties of democracy where people have a say and curmudgeons are plentiful.

Anyway Vincent – you have more bottle than most.