9 July 2009 Edition
Stealing Sinn Féin’s clothes?
IT’s strange how if you wait around for long enough, other people start to adopt your arguments. The Government has adopted Sinn Féin’s proposal for a job retention fund to protect workers in small and medium enterprises, although at less than the 300 million we proposed. Mary Harney has indicated a willingness to take on board Sinn Féin proposals on standardising pension tax relief, which we’ve been arguing since 2006.
This week Eamon Gilmore told the ICTU conference that in power, Labour would introduce legislation to provide for collective bargaining rights for workers. Not sure he checked with his boss, Enda Kenny, but if he wants to figure out how to do it he should look no further than Deputy Arthur Morgan’s Trade Union Recognition Bill, published in 2008 by the way.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Plagarism’s not far behind!
Lisbon re-run is attempted hoodwink
The Lisbon Treaty which Irish voters will be asked to vote on in October is exactly the same as the treaty rejected by Irish voters last year. If you want proof look no further than what the EU Council said on the matter. It said that the “Protocol will clarify but not change either the content or the application of the treaty of Lisbon.”
Having closed down the Forum on Europe, the Fianna Fáil/Green Party government is rushing legislation through the Dáil with virtually no time given over to debate to try and ensure a ‘Yes’ vote.
The ‘Yes’ crowd are dragging out every B-list celebrity they can find to endorse a ‘Yes’ vote. Professional soccer players are entitled to their own political opinions but why should we value them above those of anyone else? It is a tacky charade.
For all these reasons it is imperative that all those who successfully campaigned against the Treaty in the last referendum come out again and campaign as hard and as efficiently against this attempted hoodwink.
Baile Átha Cliath 3.
ON Tuesday the Belfast Newsletter reported Peter Robinson telling thousands of Scottish Orangemen that unionists are now ‘setting the pace’ and that Dublin was no longer ‘calling the shots’. The same day the Irish Times, reporting from the North-South Ministerial Council meeting, said that Dublin was putting nine million euro into road projects across the Six Counties and co-ordinating asset sales through NAMA with the Northern Finance Department. Bit of a contradiction there.
However, two and a half years after the decision by Sinn Féin to support policing in the North, devolution of justice and policing powers is still unresolved. The future of the Irish Language Act and the regeneration of Long Kesh are more uncertain than ever with the appointment of Nelson McCausland as Minister for Culture. While Minister Conor Murphy has managed to push the introduction of water charges back, we are arguably no closer to seeing them abolished. Despite overwhelming, cross-community, support for a Bill of Rights for the North, unionism still opposes the extension of basic human rights to its own community.
If unionists are not exactly ‘setting the pace’ we need to look to see what more republicans can do to move it along.