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Interview with Independent Senator Lynn Ruane July 8, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

…in Hot Press. Jason O’Toole conducted it and it’s an interesting read. She’s had a wide range of experiences – arguably wider than many of her colleagues in the Seanad – in relation to being a single parent, drugs and so on. Also some useful observations on decriminalisation of drugs – marijuana yes, Class A drugs not so much. But she’s actually quite equivocal about the first. And commendable honesty and uncertainty over other issues too:

What are your thoughts on legalising prostitution?
Another one were I flip/flop depending on who I speak to. One minute I speak to someone that wants to legalise it and I go, ‘Yeah! That’s the best argument I’ve ever heard’. And then I hear someone that is like, ‘No, we can’t legalise it’, and they give me their argument and I also understand that.

But what of her role as Senator?

Improving the situation of education in poorer areas is a big thing for me. The progression rate of working class kids on to third level education is something that I want to have an impact on. Third-level funding has been stripped to the bone. Third-level is really at crisis point and nobody’s talking about it. The Minister and the government have to understand that if we want to have good graduates with good outcomes for the country, we need to reinvest in our third-level system and not allow industry become the leader in it

What is striking is how the word ‘left’ isn’t in the interview whereas the term ‘working class’ is – four times seeing as you asked. Again, well worth a read.


1. dmfod - July 8, 2016

That’s very quick for her to be reconsidering her position on drug decriminalisation – in the Seanad debates on the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2016 only a few weeks ago she argued strongly for decriminalisation of possession of much ‘harder’ drugs than marijuana and even argued it’s not really possible to distinguish between addicts and dealers.

Maybe that’s ‘commendable honesty and uncertainty’ – or maybe it’s wanting to have it both ways and agree with whoever you’re talking to…

Liked by 2 people

2. WorldbyStorm - July 9, 2016

Or maybe not.


3. gendjinn - July 9, 2016

I recommend checking out several HBO documentaries – Hookers on the Point I & II, Pimps Up, Ho’s Down & Black Tar Heroin (also interesting for catching SF at the nadir of the dotcom bust exodus – SF seems to change radically & completely every 7 to 10 years).


4. Ghandi - July 11, 2016

But isn’t she really talking of a welfare class rather that a working class, also this fixation about 3rd level from her and others as if that’s the be all and end all of everything. Many people have no inclination for 3rd level and are not academic, a far greater concentration is needed on primary and second level. Also many of those who are going on to do degrees on the access programme are doing social degress, nothing that will get them a job outside of the poverty industry. A further point is that the access programme awards those who have messed up first time round and does nothing for those who for instance didn’t get the points needed and went on to work in some other job, they have to go in as mature students and pay their own way.


Dubliner15 - July 11, 2016

She actually says in the article that she supports the decriminalisation of ALL drugs, but on supports legalising hash.


WorldbyStorm - July 11, 2016

She does indeed. I was wondering when those who criticised her would bother to enquire as to what the article actually said as distinct from what they decided it had said.

Here’s the relevant quotes:

What’s your take on legalising drugs?
I’m completely behind decriminalisation.
Like the Portuguese model?
Yeah, yeah. It’s a bit of an odd way to look at it, but legalisation does make sense, in the context of revenue and in terms of keeping drugs safe and regulating them.

But you’re undecided on legalising Class A drugs?
I’m just concerned. My main issue is that the drugs trade is born from poverty and inequality and legalisation on its own doesn’t solve that. So it’s like: what happens when we legalise it, to actually ensure that people are given a fair deal in communities? But decriminalisation is ensuring that the addict is not punished for being an addict and for having possession.
There’s a huge cost to dealing with it as a criminal issue.
If you look at the prison system, the amount of people that were caught with possession of drugs that are backlogging up the court system and the prison system is crazy. It’s 100 grand a year to house a prisoner. if you were to ringfence that and invest it in treatment and care instead – which can be done – it would make so much more sense to me.


dmfod - July 11, 2016

WBS July 11th: “I was wondering when those who criticised her would bother to enquire as to what the article actually said as distinct from what they decided it had said.”

WBS July 8th: “Also some useful observations on decriminalisation of drugs – marijuana yes, Class A drugs not so much. But she’s actually quite equivocal about the first. And commendable honesty and uncertainty over other issues too”


WorldbyStorm - July 12, 2016

My paraphrase was ambiguous and incorrect but from the quotes in the interview she raised concerns about class a drugs in a way that she didn’t about marijuana. I still think that is honest and commendable. You may differ about that but you launched straight into a political attack on her sight unseen as regards the text of the original interview. You didn’t bother to ask whether I was misreading it or had misinterpreted it or discover what she actually said in the interview – given I didn’t do more than give a brief paraphrase indicating greater concerns. Nor did you indicate any but the most cosmetic uncertainty as regards your conclusion (indeed not even that since you’d already decided in the same initial breath she was “reconsidering her position”) as you leaped to the most negative possible interpretation you could find. Just straight in.


dmfod - July 12, 2016

Jeez it’s hardly my fault you misrepresented her position! That’s all i had to go on given the article is not online. I’m glad to see she’s sticking to the pro-decriminalisation position she articulated in the Seanad.


WorldbyStorm - July 12, 2016

Actually you had more than me to go on since I was unaware of her Seanad contribution. And if you were equally unaware of it and just riffing on my incorrect paraphrase that would be fair enough, but you did know and despite that you went straight into a direct attack on her motivations. I’m all for belligerence and gotchas – directed against the right, but not at those those on the left however undefined their left approaches (and given that I did raise her lack of use of the term left I’m far from unwilling to critique her approach).


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