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Interview with Eoghan Murphy TD October 26, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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In the latest edition of Hot Press, conducted by Jason O’Toole. A very educative one too. Is Murphy, a remarkably youthful 34 and junior Finance Minister at that, positioning himself as a liberal alternative to potential rivals? Hard not to be believe it, given the concentration on social issues by him.

He’s against the Swedish model in relation to prostitution – that is arresting men who pay for sex and argues that:

We don’t have the resources to police prostitution. We don’t have the resources to police the women in prostitution. We definitely don’t have the resources to police the people who are purchasing, because it’s obviously a much larger number. I don’t see it as a solution.

He is pro-repeal of the 8th and pro-choice. And this is an interesting way to answer a comment in regard to transgender equality which offers – I guess, a rather liberal view of the world.

What are your thoughts on transgender equality?
It was a coffee shop that served alcohol – a daytime place. Frequenting a lady boy bar is how this might sound – and I’m afraid I’m just not cool or dangerous enough for that kind of life! To be totally honest, it’s not something (transgender) I understand a huge amount. I don’t have any transgender friends. But it’s important that everyone’s happy. That’s the most important thing – that people are happy and healthy, right? The government is there to support happiness and to make sure you’re able to be happy and be free, you know? One of the main responsibilities of the State is to protect the minority against the majority. [my italics – was] So, transgender people are definitely in the minority and we’ve got a responsibility to protect them and make sure that they have the same rights as everyone.

But what of politics (and by the way his own path into politics was an unusual one, it quite literally involved a chance meeting with one E. Kenny)?

Any regrets about the budget?
One of my regrets is that we didn’t increase the excise on cigarettes by more. I used to love a cigarette with a pint. I still crave for them sometimes. But they are just killers and the destruction they cause to people’s lives is terrible. We just need to tax them out of existence. Also, we should probably get rid of any VAT on condoms. They say the evidence doesn’t support the idea that this might lead to more condoms being used. I know education has a lot to do with it. Still, condoms would be free ideally, and available everywhere. Too many people are taking too many risks these days.

Hmmm… anything worries the Junior Minister about say any other policy?

As junior finance minister, you’ve an active role to play in the Apple tax controversy. What is your take on this €13-15 million tax demand? I don’t think it
should happen. It’s hard not to think that there’s a political motivation behind it – there’s politics in everything. But it’s a power grab by the (European) Commission to interfere with our domestic taxation affairs – and that’s wrong.
Is the fear that the EU is going to attempt to impinge on our tax policy generally?
No. The European Union can’t. I think this part of what the problem with the debate in the UK
was over Brexit – people were raising fears over the kind of powers the EU has, when it doesn’t have them.

And so it goes. He may be somewhat off message on the aforementioned social issues, but what is his position on the economics? He doesn’t say. One has the feeling that he is deliberately schooled not to.

It’s genuinely interesting both for what is said, and what isn’t.

By the way, this is great…

Are you an atheist?
I think I’m agnostic, but I don’t know.

Indeed.

Comments»

1. Ian - October 26, 2016

I always got the impression of Murphy as very Toryesque economically right wing – In the last government – he wanted much harsher austerity and to produce Tory style statements on where tax is spent – something that was discusssed here before

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2. Geraldus Galwensis - October 27, 2016

The tail end quote: “I think I’m agnostic, but I don’t know.” reminds me of the stage Irish philosophical declaration: I’m an atheist, thank God.

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3. lamentreat - October 27, 2016

Ha, that “agnostic” one is priceless. Sums him up perfectly: sitting on the fence even about sitting on the fence.

Liked by 2 people

eamonncork - October 27, 2016

Bit like the line out of Christopher Hampton’s The Philantrophist: ‘My trouble is I’m a man of no convictions . . . at least I think I am.’

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