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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: July 21, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

    Politics podcast: July 21st

    Mary Minihan

    In this week’s Politics podcast, Mary Minihan talks with Labour Party TD Joanna Tuffy, Sinn Féin’s Pádraig Mac Lochlainn and Fianna Fáil’s Charlie McConalogue about the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll data, Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s speech on the Cloyne Report and the race for the Áras.

    icon for podpress  Standard Podcast [31:43m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download
    • Sweet SF says:

      Sinn Fein have chosen a candidate…Don’t say I never tell you anything…You’re welcome don’t mention it…!

    • Brenda O'Connor says:

      Praise and congratulations to Kenny and the irish People from Boston, Massachusetts, USA. I am proud that Ireland is standing for justice and truth. Jesus did the same when he challenged the money changers in the temple. You are doing His work – work that the leaders of the church failed to do. He is the Good Shepherd – Rome aided and abetted the wolves. For Shame!!!

      Well done Ireland.

    • Patricia Taylor says:

      I am a practising Catholic, a seriously practising Catholic. Unless the Church listens to its people, and I don’t hold much hope of this, our church in Australia, as we know know it now will die, and I have no doubt that something grander, more enlightened and more Christlike will emerge.

    • Scarecrows of the Stipe says:

      “Ireland is standing for justice and truth”

      Abandon all hope ye who enter the Erris Peninsula as the principles of justice and truth are nowhere to be seen. The rule of the land has been replaced by the rule of Shell and the greed of politicians like Enda Kenny….

    • Cécile says:

      Apart from its being entirely contrived out of blatant misrepresentation of the writings of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Enda Kenny’s very carefully rehearsed outburst directed at the Holy See and the Pope and clearly designed to curry favour with a people almost bereft of Faith (and viciously angry in the aftermath of having embraced mammon and lost it) is one of the worst cases of diplomatic blundering in the 21st Century. I am absolutely certain that no good will come of this unwarranted attack on the Magisterium of the Holy Roman Catholic Church by Enda Kenny/his handlers and it is my intuition, sadly, that this will draw down Divine justice on this country. It completely amazes me how many so-called “practising Catholics” seem to have completely lost all understanding of their religion.

    • Erris go bragh says:

      Good man…I know the area well I have out laws in Aughoose one of the most beautiful places on earth until Shell moved in and f*cked iot up…I remember being there when that **** Ahern visited it was the worst day for Erris since An Gorta Mor…

    • peterb says:

      EK’s speech was generally well directed – it’s a pity it contained a few minor inaccuracies and out of context quotes. It also failed to refer to the major failings of the State and its agencies in relation to the protection of children.

      The Irish people know that there is no other viable political alternative at present so Fg/Lab are going to get a fair bit of scope. However they cannot keep extracting taxes from joe citizen to fund an inflated, inefficient, uncompetitive and overpaid public sector. The country needs to regain its cost competitiveness but it cannot be soley achieved through the private (wealth generating) sector.

      If Norris can secure a nomination it would seem his victory is assured…. no?

    • olackmac says:

      ‘You are Peter, and on this rock I found my Church. The gates of hell shall not prevail against it’.
      ‘You are doing His work – work that the leaders of the church failed to do’

      ‘Unless the Church listens to its people’
      ‘Grant that may not try to be understood, but to understand’

    • Just a Joke says:

      Scarecrows is dead right, justice & truth is nowhere to be seen, what with politicians insisting on paying themselves many times the wage of an ordinary citizen, insisting on huge expences for travelling a few miles up the road to work in the Dail (up to €12k pa for a Dublin TD), all of which ensure they and their families are well coushioned against the sever reduction in quality of life for citizens on the average income arising from all the new charges & tax credit reductions they are imposing.

      One wonders at times if the average Irish citizen is lacking somewhat in inteligence, given how they are codded time and time again at election time into swapping FF for a combination of FG & Lab & visa versa, on the basis of promises in opposition that are never fulfilled in Government, and why they do not insist on, and enforce in the courts if necessary, Government fulfilling its constitution obligation to act in accordance with fair procedures.

      Can the exemption limits & scales of applicability of reductions in tax credits, Universal Social Charge (USI) & reductions in public service pension entitlements be considered a reasonable and proportionate response to addressing our curent financial difficulties. Given the major discrepencies in regard to serverity of impact for low, middle, & higher income earners there would seem to be grave doubts as whether any of these measures would pass Constitutional muster if challenged by a citizen in the Courts.

      One begs to wonder what, if any, quality proofing exists in Government in terms of ensuring its actions meet Constitutional muster and why ordinary members of the Dail & Seanad, in particular opposition members, are not questioning the Constitutionality of these and other actions of Goverment. Government is after all responsible to the Dail & Seanad for their actions and they are legally required, to act within the limits of the Constitution.

      For example, in the case of the proposed Household Charge, can any politican consider the proposed charge to be reasonable and proportionate given the differing serverity of impacts it has in the following cases:

      - Single or widowed person living alone in a small privately owned terraced house and whose sole income is less than €30,000
      - Single or widowed person living alone in a council property with an income of over €60,000
      - Married and living in a small privately owned terraced house and whose income is less than €30,000
      - Married and living in a council property with an income of over €60,000
      - Single or widowed person living alone in a privately owned detached residence and whose sole income is less than €30,000
      - Single or widowed person living alone in a privately owned detached residence with an income of over €100,000
      - Married and living in a detached residence with an income over €100,000

      The answer is quite simple, if you are have a salary & tax free expenses package of circa €120,000 plus p.a. the imposition of a €100 household charge has little or no effect on your quality of life but if your sole income is €30,000 its a very different matter. Everybody agrees the budget defecit needs to be addressed, but it need to be made in ways which are both reasonable & proportionate and our Government needs to understand that as things stand the average income earner just does not have any discretionary spend, so there is no point in calling on him or her to spend, spend, spend. To address these needs, exemption limits & scales of applicability of, reductions in tax credits, Universal Social Charge (USI) & reductions in public service pension entitlements, all need to be revisited.

    • peterb says:

      @ 5 Cecile – You refer to EK misrepresenting Benedict – he quoted out of context – but you make no mention of the fact that the RCC over many centuries has misrepresented the message of Christ which it claims as its raison d’etre. Ironically the RCC has managed to do a greater disservice to Christianity than anything else I can think of. You state that we are a people almost bereft of faith – surely this is testament to the abject failure of the RCC to promote and bring people to the message of Christ. Since the Council of Trent (and before) the culture propagated by the magisterium is one obsessed with control and power through rules, regulations, guilt and abuse. Ireland of the 20th century was a microcosm and excellent example of this. Faith is reliant on cultivating the spiritual as well as the intellectual/knowledge dimensions, something the RCC has totally ignored and indeed avoided doing. Vatican II was designed to address this and increase the role of the laity in the church – 48 years later and it remains partially implemented with a segment of the clergy wanting its full implementation, another its complete reversal and others who don’t care or do not know what they want – a mess. Practising Catholics have not lost all understanding of their religion – they never actually understood most of what it is their faith is predicated on. It meant that they did as they were told rather than questioning or criticising – and that was wrong. The RCC never promoted use of the Bible in the way the reformation churches do and there is no Sunday School tradition – so how are the faithful supposed to properly understand their faith? To try and blame a speech by EK for the shambles that is the RCC and Christian faith in Ireland today is totally and utterly disingenuous and is to conveniently overlook a great number of many pertinent issues and problems. Blind defence of the RCC is of no use – it’s the head in the sand approach that will fix nothing.

    • peterb says:

      @9 – Totally agree – the salaries drawn by Ministers and TD’s are too high and the system of expenses is a complete joke. So too, it would seem, are the salaries of a great number of senior public servants – 40% higher than the private sector and higher than European counterparts – yet it is the private sector that generates the revenue required to pay these salaries. This week I read of employees at FAS negotiating for compensation in lieu of a 70 day leave entitlement for the two years prior to retirement – I don’t recall one comment from a Government minister or TD and as for the Unions…they’re a total disgrace. There are quangos all over the place many of which do nothing productive, yet these are left untouched. The Croke Park deal is clearly not sustainable yet it sits like a sacred cow. The IMF and EU are to be welcomed because they are going to demand the destruction of the many sacred cows our politicians are afraid or unwilling to deal with. The USC and proposed household charges are indicative of politicians and a Dept of Finance that has no sophistication – these taxes are inequitable and crude. Similarly the system of motor taxation and VRT on cars reeks of complete stupidity by those responsible for its design – highly paid civil servants.

      The fact remains that in the 2007 general election (record turn-out) 42% of the electorate voted for FF – rather than indicating a lack of intelligence in my view it indicates an electorate hooked on a culture of greed and self-interest rather than any sort of principle, honour or even idealism. In many ways the Irish people (not all) are the authors of the current misfortune but rather than taking responsibility they will seek to blame, whinge and moan.

    • Cécile says:

      @ 10 — No amount of currently fashionable revisionism re our religious heritage could convince any true Irish Catholic of any benefit to posterity of the Reformation-so-called (especially as its advancement in England affected us); or indeed be impressed by the snivelling loyalty of one (Thomas Cromwell – later executed) minister of a misguided English king (Henry VIII) with a fondness for fornication; or the political prowess of one (Oliver Cromwell – posthumous execution) who brought about the execution of another English king (Charles I) with his “commonwealth” endeavours – did I not mention that particular Cromwell’s penchant for iconoclasm and torture. In fact, it is my intuition that there is a re-examination of the damage done by the Reformation “in the air” in England at this present time and given the very genuine welcome shown to Pope Benedict XVI on his recent visit there and the surprising number of devout Roman Catholics there, one might not be at all surprised to find that people in England are looking again at why that country broke with Rome. Unfortunately, the Nouveaux Irelandais (no longer nouveau riche) have just about thrown it all away – “it” being the true faith; and the neglect of our architectural Christian heritage is just another type of iconoclasm – a slower, more insidious kind of destruction.
      Peter (Cephas) is the Rock upon which Christ built His Church. One fold. One shepherd. Even the very stones of our religious architectural heritage are crying out to us to keep the faith but the way it’s looking, I would not be surprised if a new Fidei Defensor — this time a Defender of the True Faith rises up in England to rekindle the faith there and we poor Irish fools will be left in the dark with the curse of Cromwell – either one of them.
      The disgraceful attitude imo (recently, following the Cloyne report) of the current coalition government to the Holy See and Christ’s Vicar on Earth is an insult to all baptized Roman Catholics in this country and to all the saints and scholars and ordinary Irish men and women of our troubled history who kept the faith throughout the centuries. That paedophiles infiltrated the ecclesiastical body of the Church and by insidious deviousness managed to fool all round them as they committed diabolical atrocity after diabolical atrocity is probably the worst crisis the Church will ever have to deal with; but we are assured by Christ that the gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church and His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, to whom his enemies have given the sobriquet “God’s rottweiler” is the very man God has raised up at this present time to deal with unspeakable diabolical atrocity.

    • Peter Barrins says:

      @12 – let’s leave the historical hogwash in the past and concentrate on the present.

      I am a baptized Roman Catholic and I am not at all insulted by Enda Kenny’s speech – I wish it had been a bit more airtight. I am, however, deeply insulted and disappoitned by the disgraceful manner in which many Irish bishops and priests have chosen to sabotage the church to which they belong and, as a consequence,Christianity. I suspect that I am representative of a great number of the baptized Roman Catholics to which you refer. Let’s be honest here – the Curia and many members of the clergy have inflicted great damage on the RCC and left many wondering what the RCC has to do with Christ – the basis on which the entire thing is predicated. Pope Benedict denounced the “filth” within the church – Enda Kenny was basically doing the same – different perspectives and aims, but essentially saying the same thing.

      As for the rest of what you have to say – it is, in my view, meaningless balderdash.

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