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Towards a Just Society

Restoring a sense of Justice is central to coming to terms with the crisis that has engulfed our community. People feel a deep sense of injustice.

The security of families has been torn away – the value of savings liquidated, the prospect of jobs dashed, the possession of the family home put in jeopardy – all as a result of actions in which people justifiably feel they played no part.

The failure of the systems which people were assured would protect them has aggravated the sense of injustice, and made all the keener because no one has been held accountable. Read the full story

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An essential foundation stone in any plan of economic renewal must be to re-invent government. The challenge is to create a new model of government that is smaller, better, and gets things done. This wont be easy but I believe Fine Gael has shown how it can be done.

The case for radical reform of our model government is compelling. It failed to protect the country from ruin. It has become too big and expensive. It didn’t deliver on any of its big plans. It has now lost credibility at home and abroad and Ireland is now locked out of borrowing markets.

Delay in undertaking structural reform has made the crisis worse and the longer it is delayed the worse it will get. It props up waste. It damages competitiveness. It forces taxes up further. It forces cutbacks at the frontline.

The Irish Times levels a number of criticisms at Fine Gael’s policy. It accuses Fine Gael of being “light on implementation details”. In fact, rarely has a document been more explicit. It details:- Read the full story

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I built my speech in MacGill around the facebook comment that it is the concerns of the citizen of today that should inspire reform in this republic rather than the founders from a distant past. I have put the full version of my speech and press release up on my website for anyone who is interested. The week long Summer School seems to have been a big success. The need for electoral reform got a considerable airing. I confess to be a sceptic. In my view the reason why the Dail is not more effective, is because it has lost its authority over the years. It plays no role in the shaping of budgets. It plays only a miniscule role in the shaping of legislation. It has been robbed of its investigative powers by the courts. The recommendations of its all party committees are ignored. These are the things that should be changed to give Dail deputies a proper job to do, rather than starting first with a reform in the electoral system which will leave all those underlying defects in place. Anyhow the Irish voter has shown themselves to be quite fond of our PR system in multi seat constituencies. The idea that in future TD’s will be remote from the voter, and that Ministers will be experts drawn from business or the universities may not fill them with any warm glow. I was more taken with the comment by Eddie Molloy that Ireland suffers from “Implementation Deficit Disorder”. None of the big strategies that get announced at glitzy launches are ever fulfilled, but no one ever takes responsibility. Accountability with consequences wouldn’t be a bad start to the Programme of Reform that people clearly crave.

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