Another former Minister writes… about water April 27, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Pat Rabbitte in the SBP argues that:
So it was all about water. Water and one-upmanship. Eight weeks of foot dragging and pious rhetoric about new politics. All designed to camouflage the real purpose. It has been a demonstration of the worst of the old politics. Political posturing pretending to offer a choice of minority governments, when in reality what has been going on is jockeying for advantage in preparation for the next election.
There may well be something in that. Though some will smile at the following:
The FG cave-in on Irish Water is a set-back for the party and the country. It is a snub to the LP which politically bore the brunt of the fallout from the original decision.
I’m sure that last was high in the reckoning of FG at this point in time.
What’s fascinating is that Rabbitte confuses political priorities with politics. Or attempts to make a distinction. So he argues that ‘nobody can rationally believe that water is remotely the biggest problem facing the country’ and goes on to praise Irish Water. But surely he realises that it is token of something much broader, the manner of government and the policies of the last two administration during the crisis.
That he cannot or will not see this is educative, is it not?
Again he seems like so many unable to countenance that Irish Water (or any future body) should be funded from taxation. As always I find this inexplicable. He writes;
Revenue raised from assets will be further diminished – by how much we don’t know. Therefore, other services badly in deed of increased investment since the financial crash will suffer.
And on he goes:
For 30 years the trade union movement led a campaign to broaden the tax base and ease the responsibility on the shoulders of ordinary workers and income taxpayers. Introduction of the pretty tax and a charge for water measures designed to broaden the tax base.
Interesting that, for there’s a contradiction there. If water charges were tax measures then why not have them placed on taxable income in a progressive (in both the technical and other sense) manner rather than having them as fixed charges that took no account of income. And how was this measure designed to ease the ‘responsibility’ on ordinary income taxpayers? He does not, cannot, explain that.
The EU water directive makes plain that there must be a charge for water.
Ah, so that’s an answer of sorts. But again, why was there no effort even to bring in a modicum of progressivity into the equation?
Anyhow, he does seem to realise that water is merely an aspect of something larger:
The public protests are only partially to do with water. Water happened to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was seized on by the Trotskyist left who provoked SF involvement and latterly FF boarded the bandwagon.
But apart from confusing the involvement of various forces in a way that suggests his read of matters isn’t quite as correct as he seems to think, he also appears to not understand cause and effect and be blaming the “Trotskyist Left” and SF for actions his own government and its predecessor oversaw! That’s quite some trick.
But then one could alter his words and suggest that what he writes about is only partially to do with water. It is perhaps better seen as indicative of a view point from within the government, and the LP component in particular, that despite experience became so utterly detached from political reality in this state that it mistook certainty for correctness, lack of choice for virtue and resistance and dissent for vice.