Thursday, May 3, 2007

Election diary: Stamp duty and Bertiegate ok, but what about decent public services?

Stamp duty and Bertiegate are important in themselves but once again we have a general election campaign in which the needs of those who do not have money (or friends to give them a dig-out) or power go unregarded. In last Saturday's Irish Times Magazine, (Irish Times premium content) Róisín Ingle (right) illustrated this well when she wrote about how politicians at election time will sort out everything from urgent passport applications to, believe it or not, getting the pedestrian light settings changed so that the green man will stay on for longer! But Irish style clientelism is a poor substitute for good public services and she made the point very starkly when she wrote: "I was thinking about this when a young friend with cystic fibrosis texted to say she was on a trolley in A&E. But what does she expect? It's election time and our political representatives are busy playing God with little green men."....

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