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Government must be held accountable for blackmail clause

"The European train will be leaving the station on January 1, 2013 and the Irish people should be on board." So declared Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dail on Wednesday morning in response to a question of mine relating to the Referendum on the EU Fiscal Compact which the government has been obliged to call. The Taoiseach was speaking in Irish as it was ‘Lá na Gaeilge’, with Leaders’ Questions in Irish. However, the impression he was trying to convey was false in any language, which is that rejecting the Fiscal Compact would somehow mean not continuing as a member of the European Union or indeed as part of the Eurozone.

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Why this really is an Austerity Treaty

The opening salvos of the debate about the Fiscal Treaty from the right-wing political parties and the establishment media have attempted to ridicule the argument that this is an Austerity Treaty. Leo Varadkar called on the Socialist Party not to "lie about the treaty and what it's about" (quite a serious charge, especially considering it's over a week since I wrote to him seeking a public debate and have received no reply!).

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Labour’s shame at privatisation of bin service

Since the privatisation of the household bin collection system within the functional area of Dublin City Council kicked in last month, it has been one shambolic controversy after another. The threat this week by Greyhound Waste, which was handed the service by Dublin City Council, that it would not collect the bins of up to 18,000 householders who had not paid a fee in full and upfront is but the latest issue to emerge.

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Finance bill – ordinary people continue to pay for crisis

The government’s newest job creation gimmick revealed in the Finance Bill just published, really does point up its policy bankruptcy in dealing with the crisis of mass unemployment in the State. The huge tax break offered to senior executives earning up to half a million Euro per annum, who work for transnational corporations and would be prepared to move here for one year, is supposed to attract some of the ‘brightest and best’ to come and do something to create jobs in this economy.

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Olympics 2012: London – a tale of two cities

The Olympics will be staged in London this summer. The Con-Dems and their big business friends expect that the Games and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in June will bring tourists, consumer spending and profits. But perhaps most importantly, they hope they will deflect the attention of London’s working and middle class from the severe austerity and economic meltdown that will actually be the main features of London in 2012. They are hoping to emulate the policy of the Ancient Roman emperors to keep the masses in check.

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