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Vested interests September 15, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Not a bad piece in the IT by Oliver Callan where he notes a range of vested commercial interests, including insurance companies, the meat industry, investment funds who own rental property, and so on and how for example:

Last year when the media presented evidence of dual-pricing rip-offs, the government ordered a review. It took over a year and confirmed last week what we already knew, that insurance companies are ripping customers off with dual pricing. They were doing it yesterday, they’re doing it today and they’ll do it tomorrow. The Minister responsible, Sean Fleming, pledged action . . . in 2021. Why not just ban it now? He felt another stage of review is needed. The insurance industry wins a few more months (or maybe years) to keep making money.

And he points to others:

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien, a fierce opponent of Eoghan Murphy’s housing policies, continues his predecessor’s policies in office. In July 2019, he labelled co-living “bonkers” and called for a total ban, making it a promise in Fianna Fáil’s election manifesto. Guess what happened when he became the Minister? He ordered a review. In the meantime, his hated co-living projects progress, its developers benefiting from the inaction that will drive up the price of land in a recession.

He’s correct that the pandemic, at least until the last government buckled towards the end of its term demonstrated that:

When the Government must act, it can, without the need for reviews and delays which harm citizens but empower wealthy businesses.

Still. One comment BTL points to another vested interest that has flexed its far from inconsiderable muscles this last while (and the current issue of the Phoenix has a scarifying takedown of this too and is well worth a read), that being the drinks industry, particularly in the guise of pubs.

Consider the utterly bizarre situation where against a background of rising cases in the state, and particularly in Dublin, the vintners and indeed the media (not least the IT – as per its ‘longest lockdown in Europe’ headline about ‘wet’ pubs) have clamoured for a reopening that flies in the face of everything that is known about the transmission of Covid-19.

As Callan notes:

If you want to know who holds the real power in Ireland, don’t look at what governments do, but what they don’t do.

And who they don’t do things to or against.

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