Forming a government

 

A chara, – As Fintan O’Toole points out the demand for effective public services is simply being sensible and it is now clear that Ireland needs a whole system shift for long-term sustainability (“Irish voters’ actions are not populist – just sensible”, Opinion & Analysis, February 22nd). This will involve the State stepping up and taking direct responsibility for delivery of social and affordable housing, healthcare and childcare, for example.

Over at least the last three decades, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have fudged, obfuscated and made excuses for not doing this.

This is because they are both ideologically opposed to State responsibility in these areas and also because they support the multiple vested interests in these sectors that have developed to fill the gaps created by government inaction.

There is much media examination of the possible cost of public service investment but nobody speaks of the huge opportunity costs of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael’s chronic inaction on these issues, the true price of which we will never know. Spending on services that should have been delivered by the State is often poorly targeted and inefficient, but again this is above scrutiny as, of course, it’s the market.

We are told, often by media commentators, that State-run public services can’t be done as it will destabilise our open economy. But the opposite is true with continued growth now acutely dependent on a skilled workforce that wants and needs effective public services.

In case people have forgotten, the economy did not overheat and crash because there were too many teachers or doctors or good social housing. Rather it was because of a property bubble and irresponsible banks supported and championed by an arrogant government and an unquestioning media, who told us we never had it so good. However, it is now absurd to suggest that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are the parties to lead and champion strong universal public service delivery. They are not the architects or leaders of State housing solutions, Sláintecare or insurance reform. They have consciously neglected good public services and let great staff wither on the vine or leach to private providers set up to fill the gaps. Where is their pride, commitment and support of public service and public servants?

The solutions of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael will always be full of fudges, caveats and conditions which not only allow them get their excuses in early, but also allow vested interests fill the lucrative gaps. A Sinn Féin-Fianna Fáil coalition would allow both stable government and a real progressive policy agenda to be delivered that the public have voted for. However, Fianna Fáil has clearly put its own selfish party interest before that of the country, and the public will remember that. – Is mise,

DAMIEN BENNETT,

Belfast.

A chara, – The more the media and Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael seek to insinuate that Sinn Féin is some dastardly illegitimate outfit, the more they propel support for Sinn Féin. People can and will judge for themselves. People sought change at the election. They voted for change and transferred their votes for change, and if the democratic process is not respected then the extent of that change will be beyond the current comprehension and digestion of those who actively seek to diminish the Sinn Féin mandate given to it by the electorate. – Is mise,

KILLIAN BRENNAN,

Dublin 17.

Sir, – If it was left up to our younger generation with various different views, beliefs and values, I am confident a government would be already up and running by now, solving the many problems this country has, but no, our current “leadership” continue to embarrass themselves with their ongoing theatrics. – Is mise,

JASON POWER,

Dartry,

Dublin 6.