Some things I've learned....

(1) An Engineer can do with 10 cent what a fool can do with a Euro.

(2) "Puff" - unimportant; insignificant; unworthy of study by engineering students; waste of time

(3) It's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're stupid than to open it and prove them right!

(4) Blockwork people and concrete people can never work on the same site... Apparently they don't like each other....

(5) It's official; I'm fantastic!

Wednesday 13 June 2007

Green War!

Tonight, the Green Party will vote whether to enter coalition government with Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats.

The full summary of the proposal is below:

* Set a target for reduction of 3% per year on average in Irish greenhouse gas emissions.
* Mandate the Dept of Environment to publish an annual report setting out progress on meeting climate change targets.
* Review and renew the role of the EPA
* Establish Climate Change commission
* Introduce Noise Bill
* Require carbon offsetting of all official air travel in support of urban forests.

* Dramatically accelerate the growth of renewable energy sources in the electricity, heat and transport sectors of the economy. One third of all electricity consumed will come from renewable energy by 2020.
* Devise a price support scheme to support and encourage investment in the development of wave and tidal power.
* Introduce new national building standards in 2007 to ensure that new housing has 40% lower heat energy demand than existing building standards and revise them again in 2010 to achieve a 60% target in further years.
* Introduce new National Attic and Wall Insulation Grant Scheme worth €100m.
* Ensure that the ESB installs a new smart electronic meter in every home in the country which will allow people to reduce their bills by cutting back on unnecessary use of electricity.
* Work with the European Commission and other national grid operators to develop an offshore wind farm grid connection system to power the rest of Europe.
* Provide substantial financial support to improve the energy efficiency of existing public housing and assist those on low incomes to avoid fuel poverty.

* Multi-criteria analysis of all transport projects to take into account environmental factors on a whole project basis.
* Bring into being a National Transport Regulator after bringing into being a Dublin Transport Authority.
* Substantially improve and expand the Luas service in Dublin.
* Establish and support the work of the Dublin Transport Authority to oversee strategic planning, infrastructure, services, fares, routes and traffic management.
* Reopen Western rail Corridor from Ennis to Claremorris.
* Opening the Navan rail line.
* Opening Cork-Midleton rail service, provide a commuter rail service between Galway and Athenry.
* Conduct feasibility studies, to be completed within two years, into the Luas-style light rail systems in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.

* Commit to an additional €350m per year on new service developments in education.
* Provide each child with special needs with the right to an individual Education Plan. In case of autism the Plan will enable them to benefit from a range of teaching approaches.
* Ensure education in road safety is provided at different stages of the school system.
Expand the number of adult literacy training places by 4000.

Taxation Policy
* Setting up a Commission on Taxation to examine the balance of how taxes are collected, the value of taxes reliefs and the introduction of environmental taxes.
* Changes in VAT in relation to environmental goods and services.
* A carbon levy to be introduced during the lifetime of this Government.

Social Partnership
* Environmental organisations to become social partners.
* Comhar - The National Sustainability Council - to become part of the National Economic and Social Development Office, and given an enhanced research role.

Extraordinary Rendition
* The Irish Government is completely opposed to the practice of extraordinary rendition. To that end, the Government will encourage and support An Garda Síochána in the investigation an enforcement of these Statues. It will do this by making resources available for specialised training in the provisions of those Statutes to members of An Garda Síochána and by other means as may be required by An Garda Síochána in order to ensure effective protection for the dignity of all persons within or passing through the State. We will ensure that all relevant legal instruments are used so that the practice of extraordinary rendition does not occur in this State in any form.

Electoral Reform
* Establish an independent Electoral Commission to take responsibility for electoral administration and oversight. It will also take charge of the compilation of a new national rolling electoral register. It will take over the functions of the Standards in Public Office Commission in relation to electoral expenditure and examine the issue of financing of the political system.

Local Government Reform
* We will reform local government making it more transparent and more responsible to its customers. A Green Paper on Local Government Reform will be published with in six months of coming into office. This Green Paper will examine proper balance of power at local levis between the Manager and the elected representatives, the issue of directly elected Mayors/Chairs, the establishment of town councils in those towns that have shown significant population growth in recent years and the provision of quality customer service to the public.
* Directly elected Mayor for Dublin by 2011.
* We will review the operation of local government legislation to ensure that the decision making processes in local authorities are rebalanced in favour of the democratically elected representatives of the people.
* Ensure that there is an acceptable 'buffer period' before civil servants or local government officials can take up employment in related areas of the private sector.

The negotiating team has to get its members to approve the draft; its failure to make progress on the Shannon stopover and the hospitals co-location plan could make this difficult.

In relation to Shannon, the stopover will continue but assurances have been given that the Irish military can carry out inspections when seen fit into the practice of so-called extraordinary rendition.

Fianna Fail have already accepted the deal unanimously, and the 3 Independents Michael Lowry, Finnian McGrath and Jackie Healy-Rae have all signed agreements with Bertie Ahern to vote for him tomorrow.

So even without the Greens, it now is certain that Bertie Ahern will be elected Taoiseach for the 3rd successive time.

Till they search and invent such intelligent weapons, that kill each other like the Gears of War!

~The Damo

EDIT @ 22.40: Green Party have approved the document with a majority of 86% and Trevor Sargent has resigned as party leader. He has said however that in the spirit of cooperation he will second the nomination of Bertie Ahern as Taoiseach but will not accept a cabinet position.


Catherine said...

Yeah, they're screwed. Dick Roche's final decision to plough through the Tara monument was just a slap in the face, and Gormley doesn't seem to be doing anything about it. Eugh. I cannot see this working out. I mean, the PDs and the Greens in the same government?

Damien Kelly said...

The Greens knew that was going through, he didn't just do that 'on the spot'. Let's face it though, it's not the like the PD's are in any REAL position with 2 TD's, plus they can leave and the government will still be in majority anyway!