Just to announce an exciting new Dublin Opinion competition open to everyone who thinks they can provide an answer. A smashing Argos cutlery set (see picture of the sparkling lovelies above) will go to the first person who can come up with an alternative to the concept of lobbying to explain how power and political influence work in Irish society.
But first, before you provide your alternative to “The Lobby” as an explanation, please read these two extracts from recent reports in the Irish Times.
“The Government’s eventual position on both issues dovetailed exactly with that put forward by the financial industry’s lobbyists, who supplied position and research papers; suggested draft legislation; and commissioned consultants’ reports.”
Published Monday 8th of Oct.
“So a majority of farmers stand to gain from the changes, but they’re mostly in places like Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Longford, Clare and Galway. More recently, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney gave the Dáil even starker figures: “Under a national flat rate, although the overall allocation to Ireland would not change, around 76,000 Irish farmers would gain an average of 86 per cent on their current payments, while around 57,000 would lose an average of 33 per cent.”
Yet Coveney is standing with the IFA in opposing changes that would benefit a majority of farmers.
Why? Because the IFA is a brilliant political lobby – so good that even TDs from counties which stand to benefit from the changes keep their mouths shut.”
Published on Tues 9th of Oct.
Answers on a postcard to the usual address…..