An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Thursday, June 02, 2005  

The Week in Review

V. busy all week so hope this summary acceptable. Spent the early part recovering from a weekend trip to the in-laws. Was so exhausted went to bed at 7.30pm on Tuesday. I indulged myself in the DVD of the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice (all 6 episodes of Colin Firth doing his fabulous repressed-in-love act). So superb I then read the second half of the book AGAIN. Without doubt best love story EVER. The men were so decisive about being violently in love - and ardently admiring the women. Major sighing.

On the current affairs front the major story was the Prime Time expose on the dreadful treatment of old people in the Leas Cross nursing home. The usual statements were made promising that something would be done. What irks me is that Fergus O'Dowd FG TD has been pursuing this issue for years and everyone just ignored him. His bigggest obstacle was the Freedom of Information Act. Maurice Manning's (also FG) Human Right's committee issued a report on the situation back in 2001 and it too was ignored. Why is it only when something is on the telly that a political reaction is finally generated. The meeja mutter about the uselessness of the opposition, but the opposition is raising the issues. The meeja ignore them until one of their own puts it in the headlines.

Aside from the political reaction you really have to wonder what is going on in the Department of Health. I could understand the cover-up over the pensions being paid to nursing homes because everyone is always in a panic about money. But officials in the Dept of Health were being made aware by relatives and people like Fergus O'Dowd that patients were being ill treated and they just did nothing. Was there no compassion at all? Was the lack of action also financially motivated? If the private nursing homes didn't pick up the slack the knock-on effects in the public system would be too much to bear?

At the back of it all is corrupt old FF and their tax breaks to nursing homes encouraging the developers to move in. John Aherne (not Ahern) the owner of Leas Cross is a well known F'n'Fer. Is the scale of FF patronage such that officials would know not to make too much trouble for a mate of Bertie's in north Dublin? I'm not saying that they were told to back off, but FF have been in power so long that its probably a reflex now not to interfere with known supporters for fear of the phone call.

Is this issue like that of the deaths on the roads? Somewhere in the pysche of the populace there is a willingness to accept a certain amount of nastiness in the country. They are terrified of giving up FF because they associate them with the money in their own pockets, even if FF's time in government merely correlated with the Celtic Tiger? I am truly coming to despise the electorate. I have no confidence at all that a coalition will win the next election.

In the meantime Bertie got a soft interview on the Late Late show (so much for Pat Kenny's political revival noted last week) and he's on the front of the RTE Guide with the daughters. Has no one noticed that he NEVER does a political interview? The only time we see him is giving a one liner on the way in or out of a meeting. Where is the outrage and demand amongst the fourth estate for some accountability from him? Its not there because the government are spending money getting them all pissed at the races and in Farmleigh. They've all just been subsumed into the system and swallow the spin doctors lines sneering at all politicians and encouraging people to believe that they are all the same. They are not.

Anyway, I have to get a bloody charter flight at an horrendous hour to get to the sun in lovely Majorca. Last year we were able to go at a reasonable hour on a half-empty scheduled flight with Aer Lingus. They cancelled it because the route was loss making. Helloooo? Reason no. 56b to keep national airlines even if they don't make a profit!!!! Willie Walsh has made our journey a misery. We are going to be the people that everyone else hates because the toddler will scream the whole way there because he should be in bed. Still, its only 2.5 hours......
Back next week.

posted by Sarah | 17:26 2 comments
Reason no.56b :
You'd like the taxpayer to pick up the tab for your holidays ?
Wouldn't we all
In all fairness, you'll still end up paying for the half empty air fungus flight through your taxes. That spendthrift attitude is regressive, as it would ultimately mean that less wealthy people won't be able to afford sun holidays.

It's better that we have a government that tries to get value for money for taxpayers than one who squanders it.
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