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Inquiries referendum October 6, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.

I thought this from Meng Die in the Open Thread is well worth posting up on its own… – wbs

I hate to divert attention from the thrilling competition over who is ruthlessly anodyne enough to spend the next seven years twiddling their thumbs in the Phoenix Park but there’s been a worrying lack of debate on implications of the Houses of the Oireachtas Inquiries referendum on this blog or anywhere else.

The wording of the referendum is here. Brendan Howlin has promised to publish legislation on implementation of the amendment before the referendum but he has indicated that it will be up to the relevant committee to decide the balance between individual rights and public interest.
Howlin and others have pointed to the House of Commons investigation of the hacking scandal as an example of a successful parliamentary inquiry. What I think they are actually referring to is all the lovely television coverage they can get by shouting at bad guys. I had great fun watching the interrogation of all those bastards from News International but that’s because it was public theatre. Now, there may be an argument for the cathartic effects of parading our own hate figures in sackcloth and ashes but given the revanchist character of this government – and more so for some of the committee chairs – I have my suspicions that the evil doers will be of the SINDO variety.

Of course, like every other initiative this government have come out with, the referendum is being touted as cost saving measure in that it will provide an alterntive to the gravy trains of the tribunals of inquiry. Instead of that, perhaps we could do something about the excessive gouging done by the legal sector in general – god forbid, barristers could be put on a salary during tribunals instead of a per diem.


1. steve white - October 6, 2011

there’s something to be said for live televised grilling, there really is. #vinb

with the uk its the follow up questions that really are needed and they seen hard to get in there situations

although i fear alot of the committees i do watch with oireachtas members pretending to grill are just talking out the clock.


2. Tomboktu - October 6, 2011
3. Oireachtas Retort - October 7, 2011

I despair over this. Between this, judicial pay and the Seanad referendum promised within 15 months today. There are three nice and easy populist proposals based on saving money but behind each is the strengthening of an already too powerful executive.

Might just be me but the way these two referendums are being managed coupled with the fact they have no real interest in saving money….something stinks.

The Murdoch comparison is red herring imo because whatever you say about the way Westminster operates they still do accountability a lot better then our lot. We have ongoing scandal here equal if not bigger then hackgate but those investigations are kept nice and low key and I can’t see that or anything else willingly played out in public.

This one is also worth a look


“The High Court was wise to stop Dáil committees usurping judges’ functions,[..] Some TDs and senators are angered by the decision, which prevents them adjudicating on Abbeylara”

I hope some of those angered aren’t sitting in cabinet now.


meng die - October 7, 2011

“I hope some of those angered aren’t sitting in cabinet now.”

Whatever about their anger, they were certainly thinking about a referendum since then – http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2002/04/17/00025.asp

I agree Oireachtas Report – for all the claims of radical reform this Dail is already dominated by an overweening executive and the trend is set to continue. Meanwhile, all the talk of saving money is giving the civil service an excuse to scramble back to their old bunkers.


Almeida - October 24, 2011

The rush of all this is salutary. Fine Gael are not a republican party; and if they really had their way, there would be no Irish Constitution at all. So; their agenda is the mongeralisation of the IDEALS of the Irish. If I landed in a foreign country, by accident, and I saw that their Stated Ideals are, to hand people over to 3 year populist power twats; I would be circumspect about that country. A country needs people (and I am NOT A FAN of the legal profession – as it is now) who delve, insight, brood over a pea, take account of world anthropological systems, human frailty, mistakes, and effort and, the most difficult thing nowadays – good-will.
The scary part is – must Judges act (only) within the stated Ideals in the Constitution?


Almeida - October 24, 2011

Seemingly there was a letter today calling for a No vote also; from former Judges, a banker, and ….. Peter Sutherland. duh.
What is that about ? Unless he for once was being a true patriot.


WorldbyStorm - October 24, 2011

Saw that… Hard to know to be honest but doesn’t do shatter et al any good.


4. WorldbyStorm - October 7, 2011

Thanks for those links Tomboktu and Oireachtas… what an indication that little has changed… and not likely to either.


5. meng die - October 7, 2011

The draft Bill’s been published and, yep, it will be up to the committees to decide on the balance between public good and individual rights. Wonderful.


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9. Pope Epopt - October 25, 2011

Another case of FG/Lab taking a pass from FF (sorry the Independents) – the banker/speculator bailout being the most egregious one.

Bertie set the enquiries up in such a way that they would become sickening fattening troughs for lawyers, and put the electorate off the idea of transparency and accountancy. This referendum is the completion of that project.


Almeida - October 25, 2011

Agree. But. He placed the lawyers, transparently, before us ….. …… deliberately. We now see, (he made absolutely certain that there is no way we could miss it), the upper-class Vice-like grip these people, generationally and systematically, hold on the core human need of – Justice; so central in us, that they who attend/mind this altar, understand the massive power they wield; – but in this country, they have wielded this – for themselves.
Anyhow, a Constitution is about: IDEALS. And not about vengeance.
There must be umpteen other mechanisms that can hawk-eye over Judges’ pay. And the same about the Inquiries need.
Now, people themselves need to be ever attentive to this most powerful dimension of the State.


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