He's Gay

Dublin Bikes

I am irritated that Dublin Bikes registration requires (a) a post code, which we don't have yet in this city and (b) a mobile phone number. I am also irritated that a subscription is renewed automatically. The word "cancel" does not appear in the conditions.

I am pleased to see that the company will use a customer's contact details only to contact the customer, and then only in relation to their subscription and the service.
He's Gay

Melon, but not cauli.

Trying to do research on d'internet on growing the Sweetheart variety of melons (specifically: in containers) in the week before St Valentine's day produces a lot of noise.
He's Gay

The state's objective with tax is?

If I am reading a short enough report from the Department of Finance correctly, my government's objective is to get the wealthy to pay 20% tax. And this is while others, not in that high-pay category, are required to pay 41% on a significant dollop of their income.

WTF. Or please tell me I have misunderstood the report.
He's Gay

While we are voting

Seeing as we will be getting out those ballot boxes in the autumn, could I suggest we put this on the agenda?

Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 2009

________

As initiated

________

 

 

 

________

TWENTY-SEVENTH AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION BILL,

2009

________

Mar a tionscnáodh

________

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.    Amendment of Article 35 of the Constitution.

2.    Citation.

 

 

________

TWENTY-SEVENTH AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION BILL,

2009

________

BILL

entitled

AN ACT TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION.

      WHEREAS by virtue of Article 46 of the Constitution any provision of the Constitution may be amended in the manner provided by that Article:

 

      AND WHEREAS it is proposed to amend Article 35 of the Constitution:

 

      BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

 

1.–(1) Article 35 of the Constitution is hereby amended as follows:

 

(a) in the Irish text – [...],

 

(b) in the English text –

(i) the insertion of “except as provided for in section 6” after the word “office”, and

 

(ii) the insert of the following section after section 5–

“6 The remuneration of a judge may be reduced during her or his continuance in office only when and to the same extent that a reduction in pay is applied to a significant proportion of workers who remuneration is supplied from public funds.”.

 

2.–(1) The amendment of the Constitution effected by this Act shall be called the Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution.

 

(2) This Act may be cited as the Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution (Putting Manners on the Judiciary) Act, 2009.

 

_______________________________________________

AN BILLE UM AN SEACHTÚ LEASÚ IS FICHE AR AN mBUNREACHT,

2009

TWENTY-SEVENTH AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION BILL, 2009

________

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

________

Purpose of Bill

The Bill is designed to amend the Constitution in order to achieve the following purpose: To make it constitutional for the pay of members of the judiciary to be reduced provided that this is done in a way and at a time that is similar to any reduction that applies to other public sector workers.

He's Gay

An election observation

Before the European and local elections, my councillor friend and I were discussing the state of the nation over a beer, as you do.

He made the point that Fianna Fail's dominance in Irish politics has had two characteristics: (a) when they do lose power, they have been out of office for only one term; (b) they have a TD elected in every constituency. (I was told about 20 years ago that there was a sort-of exception to that at some stage in the 1960s or 1970 in Dublin South County when their sole sitting TD died and they didn't keep the seat in the bye-election.)

It is the second of these that interest me here. It is true of the Dáil that FF have a seat in every constituency, but it is not true at other levels of the Irish political system.

The first shock to the soldiers of destiny that I know of was when they did not get a party nominee elected in the single-seat constitutency that is the presidency (when Mary Robinson was elected).

My councillor friend and I both noted that the Lucan electoral area has been a bit of an anomaly in that it did not return a FF councillor five years ago (and I note here that Lucan repeated that snub to the soldiers again last week).

What has interested me, though, is how that pattern is now much more widespread. Anybody with an interest in Irish politics probably now knows that the party has no seat in the European Parliament constituency of Dublin. And it has occurred in a number of other places at the level of local authority electoral areas, particularly in Dublin. Here is a list of the electoral districts for city and county councils where Fianna Fáil got no councillor elected last week:

In Dublin:
(Fingal County Council)
Balbriggan

(South Dublin County Council)
Lucan

(Dublin City Council)
Ballyfermot-Drimnagh
Crumlin-Kimmage
North Inner City
South-East Inner City
South-West Inner City

(Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council)
Ballybrack
Blackrock

In Wicklow:
Baltinglass
Greystones

In Limerick City:
Limerick City North
Limerick City South

In Cork county:
Midleton

In Carlow county:
Borris

In Waterford City:
Waterford City North
Waterford City South
  
A map of the Dublin local authority picture can be seen here.

I don't know if any of those are continuations of previous patterns (Limerick or Waterford cities, possibly). And I suspect that one or both of Midleton and Borris might have their FF-Councillor-free status because of the wonderful concept of the "Independent Fianna Fáil" councillor the party manages to create every so often when a disgruntled member leaves it (or vice versa, as one such departee described the separation). Nor do I know if there have been the other (presumably outlier) instances over the decade since the party was first elected to power in 1932.

In any case, it seems to me that we have just witnessed the first widespread signs of the next fundamental shift in Fianna Fáil's dominant status.