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Election 2020 — a time to focus on the real issues

If you want to understand the word “Establishment” in Ireland, just take note of the coordinated messaging around the upcoming election.

We have a housing emergency with 4,000 homeless children and more than 10,000 homeless in total.

The highest number of people on hospital waiting lists ever (700,000+), and 350 people dying on trolleys every year.

5,400 preventable deaths every year related to economic inequality and 2,900 excess deaths every winter (highest in EU).

The highest class sizes in Europe and not enough schools for children (ave class size in EU is 20, in Ireland it is 25).

Underpaid nurses and frontline public servants and more workers in poverty now than ever before (110,000 compared with 91,000 in 2012).

The worst performer in the EU in tackling carbon emmissions.

Women dying from the Cervical Check scandal (associated with outsourcing and cutbacks).

Mismanagement of the economy with an overspend of €2.1 billion on a chidrens hospital.

€3bn spent on a national broadband plan that hands a contract to a political party’s mates.

€500m spent on water meter installation; millions spent on a special communications unit.

€67 million spent on the public services card fiasco; a €40 million tax cut for millionaire executives (KEEP and SARP schemes).

A carbon tax on grannies heating their homes but not applied to the airline fuel of Denis O’Brien flying to Malta to avoid his taxes in Ireland.

€7.5 million spent on legal fees for the Irish government in trying to avoid receiving €13 billion from Apple.

No corporation tax for banks who charge the highest interest rates in the EU.

A Taoiseach who openly and knowlingly lied in a debate on national television about Northern Ireland homeless figures and Berlin rent freezes.

But the top story of the week in the run up to an election, an election that could potentially lead to the first ever non-FF/FG government, isn’t about housing or health, it’s about an apology for comments made in 2007.

I am not undermining the importance of those comments or the case, nor saying that there shouldn’t be an apology, but isn’t it interesting that almost every media outlet has all of a sudden become obsessed with one incident and forgotten almost all of the above.

I’m sure they’re all just extremely compassionate and will continue their crusade for truth and justice long after this election is over…

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