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An idea whose time has belatedly come – a state-run building firm March 14, 2023

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Fascinating to see Micheál Lehane of RTÉ writing on the RTÉ website about a broad consensus growing around the idea of a state-run building firm.

It is true though that Leo Varadkar’s admission [to party colleagues that the State needs 250,000 more homes] was consistent with the prevailing sentiment around Leinster House this week, that the housing crisis will not have abated substantially by the next General Election.

That has led many politicians sitting across from Government to ask the seemingly obvious question: why can’t the State establish its own construction company to help build the 250,000 homes the Taoiseach spoke of?

Lehane mentions Sinn Féin, PBP, Labour, the Social Democrats and Independent TDs like Richard O’Donoghue and Cathal Berry. Again, and already mentioned today, Berry asks:

“If our great grandparents’ generation could construct a massive dam and create a huge artificial lake in Wicklow, called Blessington Lake, then surely we can summon the courage to try something as straightforward as this,” he said.

Here’s the thing. At some point if that consensus firms up even more this will leave Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party looking very exposed, with the mantra that the situation will ‘turn a corner’ sometime in the future simply not being an adequate response.

There’s a further point. The longer that all this is delayed, the longer until it begins to be resolved in any sort of tangible fashion. 



1. Fergal - March 14, 2023

Tomboktu in a previous post somewhere wrote that he wanted to play a part in ending the health care crises … it was a heartfelt sentence which I wanted to respond to, but forgot to…
I feel the same way about the housing/homelessness crises …
Enough is really is enough!
Met up with three old friends recently and I was struck at how angry they were at the housing situation… solid union lads in the building etc but not radicals… they all kept saying that the worst thing is that there are people coining it – the language was much more vivid, of course…
Something’s brewing

Liked by 4 people

Fergal - March 14, 2023

*building game


Alibaba - March 14, 2023

That rings true to me.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - March 14, 2023

Yep. Agreed Fergal. It’s outrageous and it feeds in everywhere and to everything.


Tomboktu - March 15, 2023

Tomboktu in a previous post somewhere wrote that he wanted to play a part in ending the health care crises“.

The first issue of LRB this month has an article by James Butler on the care system in Britain. Although it’s a technically book review, it’s rich with his own research and information. I wish we had an Irish equivalent for that kind of writing – though I don’t know if we have the researchers in universities and think tanks who do the primary research and analysis that commentators and journalists like Butler can use.


2. LMS - March 14, 2023

According to Martin, WBS we have already “turned the corner”: https://www.thejournal.ie/tax-breaks-pre-budget-micheal-martin-6019213-Mar2023/

“Orwellian” is definitely an overused term (especially by rightists who don’t know what it means!) but in a moment where homelessness is constantly breaking record levels, this is an amazing example of doublespeak


Aonrud ⚘ - March 15, 2023

The major downside of the overuse of “Orwellian” is the underuse of “lying”.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - March 15, 2023

+1 LMS it’s incredible he could say such a thing. Some level of detachment at work there.


3. irishelectionliterature - March 15, 2023

It’s just ridiculous that they have let it get this bad and it’s not something that happened overnight. Politically they would be on the side of the homeowner (they vote) rather than renters etc and that would be enough…. unfortunately this issue is impacting almost all sections of society.
They have been doing things in a reactive fashion , like the business of not allowing vultures buy whole housing estates. They didn’t see anything wrong with that until it was publicised.
There’s this new scheme and that new scheme all skirting around the edges of the problem. Even the futility of a lot of houses being leased by Councils for 25 years and getting nothing in return.

Liked by 1 person

irishelectionliterature - March 15, 2023

As an aside, the Government line about Sinn Féins motion to extend the eviction ban to next January is stunningly stupid and insensitive. They are saying that having it happen in winter is cruel! As opposed to the end of March! Can’t see anyone buying it at all.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - March 15, 2023

It is exactly that, crazy stuff.


WorldbyStorm - March 15, 2023

I’m just thinking – I wonder is this where the Martin trick of complaining SF ‘politicises’ things hits the end of the road? It’s their job and of course it’s not just them and this is a genuinely important issue.


irishelectionliterature - March 15, 2023

Think it’s run it’s course with a lot of the electorate already.
I’m beginning to think too, that they didn’t cop how bad the eviction ban could be

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - March 15, 2023

That feels right what you say re them not realising how bad the ban could be. Which suggests they really don’t get it doesn’t it?


4. Tomboktu - March 15, 2023

But, but .. has FFG suffered a sustained loss of support on the housing crisis? Have the convinced enough people in the groups that are open to supporting them that it isn’t their fault but a fact of nature/economics?

I hope this is one of those situations that mathematician might describe with catastrophe theory. (In that context a ‘catastrophe’ is an abrupt change in a system in response to a small change in a variable. They might not be terrible changes that the ordinary meaning of the word catastrophe is used for.) Another little policy tweak (restoring evictions) and bang, support collapses.

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