The Blog Round…

Thanks for the crowd sourcing ideas from yesterday… I’m holding fire until I make my decision (there’s half a dozen good ones there to choose from). From the wreckage of last week’s Irish budget, new proposals emerge, but Dan asks why Fianna Fail did not have a aggressive (progressive) game plan on Medical Cards back in December 2001 when Charlie McGreevy announced a fast order deployment (before the 2002 general election):

What was wrong with simply progressively extending the threshold for the card and the benefits associated with it year by year? Oh I forget we were due a general election and McCreevy reckoned the older members of our society could be bought off. And if you look at the raw polling data he was dead right.

Ciaran Cuffe, one of the few Green TDs without an official position in the government, warns that for all the hand wringing over the budget, this is just the beginning. Like the banks, no one is entirely sure show big the whole in the nation’s finances really are:

There may be a ten billion hole in the finances, and the hundred million euro mentioned in the context of medical cards is perhaps only 1% of the gap in the nation’s finances that will need to be filled in the near future. It begs the question as to whether we should continue to provide tax relief at source on mortgages and also on private medical insurance. The sooner we have a full reality check on the state of the nation’s finances, the quicker we’ll recover.

– And in Letterkenny, close to the ground where STV elections are won or lost, Damian reckons it should never have happened in the first place..

– George Osborne is stuck in a big deep rather sticky pile of do do, and Robert Peston reckons Rothschilde is in hard and is not going to let go. Things he won’t be heard to say: “I’m a pretty straight sorta guy”…

– Guido thinks there’s personal animus between the BBC man and the shadow Chancellor and throws yet more suspicion of dirty tricks into the ring

– At the very least, Mark Pack reckons Osborne’s been caught playing a double game. Lesson no 1, don’t mess with Mandelson

– Free market purist David Vance lays into George Monbiot for looking to what David describes as Roosevelt’s New Deal to mobilise an environmental workforce…

– The Curious Capitalist argues that given the potentially catastrophic damage the various bubbles are likely to wreck the era of the passive central banker is over

– Jeff Peel on why it’s all Labour’s fault

– Mick Hall flags up tonight’s scheduled parliamentary debate on Abortion provision for Northern Ireland. It looks set up for the chop, but if remains on the order paper, we may live blog it here at Slugger…

– Chris defends Sinn Fein’s support for bailing out the Irish banks

– Horseman has an intriguing essay (really, go read it!) on why nationalists need to care about Northern Ireland’s prosperity if political unification of the island is ever to come about (note to Conor)…

  • Ann

    What was the content of the posion being dripped dripped dripped into Osborne’s ear about Brown, if there is such ‘posion’ out there about the PM which would affect him in office, then the British public should know about it.

    The fact that a conversation took place between the tories and non British citizens about money is not a crime. So what if a conversation took place, no money has changed hands.

    Preston is a sleaze, he keeps referring to witnesses being produced if this goes to court, it is already in the court of public opinion, Rothschild via Preston should produce his witness or shut up. Without the witnesses coming forward to back up what Rothschild and Preston allege, this is nothing more than he said she said, a non-story.

    George Osborne has vigorously defended himself, if a little awkardly. I think he opened his mouth to the press and didn’t realise he’d been swimming with some very foul fish. Mandelson is at the heart of this. Key words in this story are aliminium, aliminium, aliminium.

    The main wrong for Osborne was in opening his mouth and breaking the rule that what happens on tour stays on tour, and theres a good post on Osborne and why conservatives should man the barricades for him, over on Iain Dale.

    The Monibot article is good, the only problem I have with it is that I don’t see the sense in paying a group of idle inteligensia to sit around predicting one hundred years into the future…

    Shortermisim has its drawbacks but paying people to act like mystic meg is an absolute joke. Good round up mick.

  • Dewi

    Difficult to keep up – don’t know if you have seen this from Matt Wardman:

    Slugger’s unbelievable market penetration~ Pretty impressive!

  • Mick Fealty

    I had Dewi. I was planning a thoughtful response, till you beat me to it!

  • Dewi

    Sorry Mick – you can still beat me to the “thoughtful” bit though…..

  • Ann

    That is indeed an intriguing article from horseman, only one comment to make on it really, and it’s this. Isn’t it a pity that nationalists/republicans didn’t catch on to the idea sooner, it would have made events here much more pleasant and different to what they were.

    Instead of wrecking the place and making it ungovernable, and having ‘economic targets’, they’d have had to build them up.

    Some how it would be difficult to envisage how that would have fitted in.

    By failing to bring down the northern state by either violence or neglect, it could actually bring about its extinction by prosperity.

    Doesn’t it make the mind boggle?

    A new direction, with new leaders, a new political formation, and a strong commitment to making Northern Ireland work – preparing it for re-unification – is worth discussing.

    Sounds good but utopian.

  • joeCanuck

    OK. One last entry: BlogBuzz

  • Dewi

    Far 2 kwl 4 skwl Joe!!

  • dunreavynomore

    “Chris defends Sinn fein……” NO HE DOESN’T. He disagrees with their decision to back the plan to assist the banks.

  • Mick