Sunday Paper digest

Like Bernie, I scan the Sunday papers. Helpfully in work we have a reading room with all Sunday papers available for reading – though I still tend to scan the papers online on Saturday night.

Here are the best news/opinion articles I found today:

Shane Ross: FAS: the €20m-a-week quango

Shane Ross calls for FAS to be the centre of government cutbacks. And with good reason. The quango wastes huge sums of money. God knows what scandals will be uncovered at the agency.

SSHH. FAS is in the wars. And billions of euro are at stake.

Whisper it. The national training and employment agency is the object of murky allegations. Inquiries are uncovering odd antics. People are asking: what does FAS do with its €20m a week?

The answers are disturbing.

Brendan O’Connor: Gang of clueless ministers need to get real and meet those in the know

Mr O’Connor seems to have lost the run of himself. His latest rant borders on the insane. It is worth reading just to see how wrong he is. Richard points to an article by O’Connor from last year that is almost the opposite of what he is saying now.

See the Property Pin discussion on it.

Jody Corcoran: Don’t believe me, John? Believe this: repeating lies is bad news

Jody is suing The Phoenix over a recent article that said he sought a job at the Department of Education. Here he rants away rather badly. Made me chuckle for its sheer vanity.

Cliff Taylor and Niamh Connolly: State agencies to be abolished in reform move

The Post gets sight of what agencies face the axe.

David McWilliams: Central Bank must finally show leadership in the face of crisis

The Central Bank needs to do a helluva lot more.

Vincent Browne: Does Brian Cowen really know what he is doing?

Loses it over Lenihan, Cowen and government incompetence.

Cowen seems to have been unnerved by the Lisbon defeat. He has seemed unsure, vacillating and unsettled since then. His performances over the last few days have been his worst, aided and abetted by Lenihan.

Did you see Lenihan at that Japanese company function last Thursday, going on about how the company, which has been here for 20 years, had not yet ‘‘come of age’’? How Irish people don’t get the vote until they are aged 21? Scary, wasn’t it?

This can’t be shrugged off on the basis of a slip of the tongue – we all misspeak from time to time, but this was not of that order. At the time of making that remark, he believed the voting age was 21.

I must digout that Lenihan reference.

Eamon Quinn: Plan to bail out first-time buyers not a runner – NTMA

Some sense from the NTMA.

Johann Hari: ‘As the world’s oil dries up, the lies will begin to gush to gain control of Venezuela’s supplies

Hari makes no sense to me here. He seems to believe that Chavez is some kind of benevolent leader and that elections do a democracy make.

First they announced Chávez was a dictator. This ignored that he came to power in a free and open election, the Venezuelan press remains uncensor­ed and opposed to him, and he has accepted losing a referendum to extend his term. When that tactic failed, the oil industry and the politicians they lubricate shifted strategy.

Hari glosses over the referendum to extend his term. The details of which would scare any democrat. Democratic institutions make democracies, free and fair elections elect people to those institutions, which have a mix of checks and balances. When those institutions are undermined by leaders, democracy itself is undermined – free elections or not.

Any articles you found interesting? Leave a comment.

3 Responses to “Sunday Paper digest”

  1. Paddy says:

    You’re saying that Chavez IS a dictator?

    But elections (which Chavez has won) do a democracy make?

    Makes no sense. But perhaps you’re American….

  2. Gavin says:

    No I’m not American, but I don’t see how that’s relevant.

    Are you arguing that elections by themselves make democracies? Or does informed consent make democracies? Or do strong institutions make democracies?

    And yes, I am saying that Chavez, like Putin, is not a democrat in the traditional sense. I am saying that like Putin he has tried to undermine the constitution of Venezuela, and the institutions that make up a democracy.

  3. Your Sunday Paper Round would be an excellent piece of online commentary and a few guys in Dublin wonder if you’d come online for a panel discussion as a regular Sunday event.