Saturday, February 21, 2009

100,000 voices speak-let's make them 100,000 votes for change

Today the workers of Ireland spoke in a way they haven't for almost thirty years. Workers from North and South, public sector and private united in telling our Government to take a hike. I joined Trade Union colleagues and fellow Labour members from Kilkenny and all over the country in what was an unprecedented show of unity. To a person every worker I met had no problem playing their part in the recovery of our economy but fairness was the word on everybody's lips. In David Begg's words it's time for those who made the mess to pay. Now it's time to make this Governent pay. Public sector workers can't continue to vote for Fianna Fail and the Greens and expect anything to change. We have the alternative and workers need to realise that without changing your vote, you change nothing.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Quote of the day-on the fiddle

Having a day out in the big smoke today and quote of the day goes to an employee of an establishment near the National Concert Hall. Having enquired about the music on offer tonight, he smiled. It's the National Symphony Orchestra sponsored by Anglo Irish Bank says he." Probably a FIDDLE concert". Having listened to Ulick MacAvaddey's bullshit on
Pat Kenny, a bit of common sense was a welcome relief.

Support the National Demonstration-Show the Fat Cats

This video says it all. Let's join the ICTU national demonstration on Saturday and show the fat cats and their buddies in Government, particularly our own Junior Minister John McGuinness, that we will not sit idly by while the Anglo Ten, Seán Fitzpatrick, Quinn, Dunne or whoever get off scot-free while we as workers pick up the tab for the mess they've landed us in.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cill Chainnigh Beo-Welcome to Kilkenny Alive

A very warm welcome to a new online newspaper, Kilkenny Alive which hit cyberspace today. Already thousands of people have clicked into this new service. Two very experienced journalists, former Kilkenny People editor, Seán Hurley, and former Kilkenny Voice editor, Jimmy Rhatigan are behind this vneture and I wish them well.

I missed their launch last week as I had slightly more romantic things to do on the 14th of February, but I have decided to support the venture by taking the main ad space on the home page. If you're coming to this site from the ad, you're very welcome. If you log on to the new e-zine facility on my main website, I'll keep you up to date on my campaign. Meanwhile happy reading of Kilkenny Alive. The more diverse our local media is, the better for all of us.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Straight Talking-Eamon calls it on the pension levy while civil servants decide to take action

Here is Eamon Gilmore's speech last night proposing the Labour Party's motion calling for the rejection of the Government's proposed levy on public servants. Our case has never been that public servants shouldn't contribute to the recovery of our economy, despite the fact that they had precious little to do with the mess we now find ourselves in. It is the total unfairness of the Government's remedy that Eamon highlights here.

This unfairness is why I will join the thousands of other civil servants, gárdai, nurses, prison officers and others on Saturday at the national demonstration in Dublin. We hope that many private sector workers will join us on the basis that they will be next. We must not allow this rotten Government to row back on the working conditions that our trade unions have fought for for generations.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Something different-giving the dates to the GAA fans

Great fun today outside Nowlan Park, the home of Kilkenny hurling and named after a great Kilkenny patriot. I had just received a good leaflet with all the Kilkenny fixtures for the year in hurling and football (I know, I saw the result against Waterford today!) for 2009. Thanks to Alan for the idea by the way!!

I must say they went down really well and there was great craic and comment on the poll during the week. There's a real confidence amongst our own supporters but also a real sense that others are rallying to us-and some of them very unexpected!

So onwards we go. I'll be back at the same venue in two weeks time for the Tipp game doing the same thing-come along and help if you can. In the meantime, the last of the calendars will be gome tomorrow and with them some of the new campaign/recruitment leaflets.
Of course equally importantly Kilkenny squeezed out a tight one-point win against the Treaty men. Tús maith go dti seo.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Reflections on a crazy week- Let's fight to make it different

Tonight I watched Brian Lenihan who's supposed to know what's going on in our country and economy and Eamon Gilmore on the Week in Politics programme and I saw why the people I've met on the street are really connecting with the Labour Party and its leader. Putting it simply, Eamon wiped the floor with Lenihan in a calm, rational and yet really passionate way. In that he has been joined by Joan Burton, who's now coming across as the only really knowledgeable voice on the economic front. It took her questioning to discover during the week that the pension levy would be tax deductible and therefore would bring in far less than the Government pretended.

Put simply this has been a week which typifies all that is rotten about this Government. The politics of the soft touch has seen people like myself and others on far lower rates of pay than mine scapegoated by this Government.

Of course our local Junior Minister John McGuinness started the softening up process months ago with his mean-spirited attack on public servants. The media has fallen for this spin hook, line and sinker, making it so easy to attack us this week. The unfairness of it all was brilliantly described by SIPTU's Jack O' Connor on Wednesday when he said that a public servant on €40,000 would now pay an extra 7% of their salary effectively in tax, while a self-employed hospital consultant in a private hospital would pay an extra 2% on a salary of €250,000 a year. Worse still the property developers and the bankers who brought us to this mess get off scot-free.

I for one hope that my colleagues across the public service now revolt. We don't mind paying our share in a difficult situation but let's see others bear the pain also.

For now it's time for us to organise to get this shower out. This month Labour are asking you to get involved. If you're in Kilkenny please contact me to join the Labour Party and get involved. If you're anywhere else click here to sign up. The time for talking and criticising is over-the time for action is now and you can play your part.

Bí linn agus is féidir linn