So what do three of the above have in common at the moment? To me they represent why Fianna Fail is no longer fit to govern.
- O’Dea lied under oath, and was forced to resign.
- Coughlan thinks young people emigrate for fun and theres the whole Hanger 6 debacle
- Ahern was cheerleader in chief for O’Dea and he is the Justice Minister!
This government is beyond itself. It is out of ideas. It has no idea what it should be doing. Of all the cabinet Ministers, the only one I think that is trying to do their job is Brian Lenihan. While I dislike the idea of NAMA, at least he is trying to do something to fix the country, none of the other ministers are!
We have a government where a minister can be brought down by a tweet. Two parties desperate to stay in power because one will be out of power and the other will possibly be wiped out at the polls.
The government has gone stale, Cowen has the opportunity now to embark a wide-ranging cabinet reshuffle with his only constraint being the Green Party. What they want, only they know, though the Evening Echo is suggesting that Dan ‘tweet’ Boyle could be elevated to Cabinet.
Where does that leave the rest of us. Well there is the possibility of the Dublin Mayoral Election this year, through which Dublin residents can tell FF and Green Party what they think of them. You will have the Dublin South By-Election (2 years in a row, is that a first?) and you also have the Donegal South-West Bye-Election. Of course there will also be the Childrens Rights Referendum, but the popularity of the Government won’t come into that, hopefully! Then next year you have the Presidential Election.
I dont think FF or the Greens are going to do well in any of the upcoming elections. Dublin South is more then likely going to go Labour, Donegal South-West is probably going to Sinn Fein (I’m sticking to my prediction!), and the Dublin Mayoral election will probably go to Labour on Fine Gael transfers (just like the 1990 Presidential Election!).
Unless the Government gets its act together it will go from crisis to crisis as it is now. It seems to just get over one thing when something else crops up. They need to think quick, the boom is long and Ireland needs solutions now.
Its that or be wiped out.
So Fine Gael’s Senator Eugene Regan made a formal complaint to the European Commission about NAMA.
He claims the ‘scale and scope’ of the scheme is disproportionate to the size of the Irish economy, transfers too much risk from the banks onto the Irish taxpayer and does not contain sufficient safeguards that Irish depositors and borrowers will not be forced to pay for the huge mistakes by Irish banks.
Now I think most people would agree with that, but why go crying to the EU now? I thought the Government claimed they cleared this with the EU? Then again they never produced the proof.
The submission can be read here (PDF)
“Fine Gael has grave concerns about the NAMA scheme and the implications it will have for each and every citizen of the Irish State. We opposed the NAMA proposal in the Dáil and Seanad, along with many others, but Fianna Fáil and the Greens forced their ill-advised plans through regardless. Our concerns persist and we have highlighted them is this submission. They include the lack of transparency, flawed valuation methodology, no guarantee of credit flows from banks and inadequate burden-sharing between the banks and the taxpayer.
“The complaint to the Commission calls for the exclusion of Anglo Irish Bank from the scheme and the divestment of non-core assets of Bank of Ireland and AIB to ensure that the focus of each institution is on the provision of credit to the Irish economy.
“The Government has so far presented EU approval of NAMA as a formality and I am asking the Commission to critically examine the bankers/ developers bailout known as NAMA with a view to limiting its scale and scope so that the cost to taxpayers and the State can be minimised.
“While the choice of asset relief scheme is decided by member states, the scale and scope of the NAMA project to be undertaken by the Irish Government, as set out in the draft NAMA business plan, is entirely disproportionate to the size of the Irish economy and budgetary resources and threatens the financial viability of the State itself.
“The scheme also ignores key guidelines issued by the European Commission in relation to transparency in the valuation of assets and the risk-sharing element which sees the taxpayer shouldering most of the burden. Furthermore, the unrealistic assumptions in relation to the ‘long-term economic value’ of assets will unquestionably have a severely negative impact on the Irish State, and its people, for generations to come.
Most of the above we have heard before. But is Brussels willing or able to do anything about it? NAMA is passed. Its law. I know Fine Gael couldnt raise it before it was passed with the Commission, but still is it not a bit late? A bit of crying over spilt milk?
I cant see Brussels telling the Government to undo NAMA, but we see what happens. But we will be waiting I would say!