Important news for everyone in Ireland who objects to paying for water. Irish Water are paying thousands of pounds per day to EY “management consultants ” from London and also paying for their hotel accommodation in the Shelbourne and Intercontinental hotels in Dublin.
Establishment/Irish Examiner journalist Daniel McConnell tweeted the above comment in response to the Irish Water debacle in Louth and Meath.
What’s really amazing is the apparent ignorance of journalists like McConnell when it comes understanding the real, underlying reason for the rebellion against water charges.
Journalists such as McConnell are apparently incapable of going beyond the economic collapse of 2008 when analysing the on-going, historic changes in the political landscape.
They appear to be completely unaware that the water charges campaign has little to do with water and everything to do with the dramatic and continuing collapse of the old corrupt political regime made up principally of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the now almost extinct Labour Party.
Since the 1992 election when Dick Spring reneged on his promise to rid Irish politics of the disease of corruption by joining forces with the criminal politician Haughey, the Irish people have been progressively losing faith in, not just the political system, but the State itself.
This undeniable and obvious rejection of the old regime is there to see in election results for all those not wearing establishment blinkers.
Those wearing blinkers such as McConnell appear happy to analyse the political scene under the simplistic and insulting (to citizens) idea that it’s all down to an ignorant people, angry with austerity, being led astray by evil Trotskyists.
Residents in East Meath and Louth, including Remi Olukokun (pics1-4) originally from Nigeria using the traditional African method to carry water.
Large parts of counties Meath and Louth have suffered a water shortage due a burst pipe.
Environment Minister Eoghan Murphy (above) faced questions from residents…
On the issue of communication of information to the people who have been affected, the minister said there has been a question around communication and lessons for the future about how to communicate better.
The minister has pledged to fix the issue as quickly as possible.
He said that he has made it clear the Irish Water needs to replace this particular piece of pipe which is vulnerable.
He said it is a particularly critical piece of infrastructure and the 2.2km stretch of pipeline will be prioritised for repair.
From top, left to right: Charlie McConalogue TD, Barry Cowen TD, Jim O’Callaghan TD during government formations talks last year; Derek Mooney
On Monday, Derek Mooney speculated on the possible outcome of a deal between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael suggesting water charges were dead for both parties.
While the agreement on the future funding of domestic water as hammered out at the Oireachtas committee is not a bad one – the issue now is more about the process and the path to its arrival.
It proves the truth of the old adage, usually attributed to Bismarck: if you want to keep your appetite then there are two things you should never watch being made: laws and sausages.
The Committee report does include an important climbdown from the government that now accepts that there should be a future referendum on the public ownership of Irish Water.
The fate of individual metered water charges was sealed politically at the last election and sealed technically at the committee with the evidence given by the officials from Scottish Water.
Scotland does not have individual metering, the charge comes from the council tax (in our case from income tax) and they are held to be in compliance with EU Directives.
Most discussion at the Committee since that evidence has been a proxy battle between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael fought on extremely narrow grounds via lawyers and competing legal advice.
The outcome was a draw nil all draw, not that the result matters too much as the crowds had been so frustrated and irritated by the carry-on on the pitch that they stopped watching and went home ages ago.
The only outstanding questions are: why did no one in Government look at the Scottish model before now and what was all that furore and activity between 2011 and 2016?
Expensive wasted water under the bridge it seems.
Derek Mooney is a communications and public affairs consultant. He previously served as a Ministerial Adviser to the Fianna Fáil-led government 2004 – 2010. His column appears here usually every Monday. Follow Derek on Twitter: @dsmooney
Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen (top) and Fine Gael’s Martin Heydon (above) address media following the final vote on the Draft Report of the Joint Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services.
The Dáil will today debate a motion on the final report while TDs will vote on the motion tomorrow.
The deal includes several Fianna Fáil concessions including a commitment to install water meters in newly built houses (see triumphant Irish Independent editorial below).
Anybody who is blessed with an older sibling has, at some time in their childhood, heard the “Mammy Says” half instruction half plea for you to do as your older sibling wants.
It’s a childhood thing, a tactic of coercion, a ‘you must do as I tell you because an authority figure agrees with me that you should’ power play.
Ultimately, it’s a sign of weakness, proof that the bossy older sibling has lost control.
This is exactly where Fine Gael are at in the Water Commission. Like overindulged toddlers in true blue babygrows, Fine Gael are throwing the rattle, the soother and the blankets out of the water charge pram.
They clutch to partisan EU opinions and legal advice as though they were handed down on Mount Sinai. They tell us that the Attorney General is infallible on water charges even as former Justice Minister Shatter calls for her head on foot of the Fennelly Commission report.
Fine Gael’s lack of humility, their ‘sore loser’ foot stamping, is an ignominious spectacle we are all forced to endure.
They lost the water charge argument at the last election, even the party faithful want it off the table as an issue. There are far more pressing problems piling up to be addressed.
Stop playing the spoiled brat Fine Gael, you lost, move on, LET IT GO.