Thursday, March 15, 2007

Well, most ministers have now departed like the Four Evangelists to the furthest corners of the World to spread the Gospel according to the Bert.

The press relief justifying this was purgatorially long (nine pages for a press release!). Of course, that immediately aroused suspicions on the basis that the Government doth protest too much.

It was full of spurious claims and half-truths. An inedible concoction stuffed with cheerful prose and garnished with pious piffle.

“A unique even in the global calendar.”

“An unrivalled opportunity to promote modern Ireland overseas.”

Phrases not included: Junket; Jolly; knees-up; waste of taxpayers’ money.
The second worst part of it is the selling of each event as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to promote trade.

Batteen O’Keeffe slaving away for us in Ho Chi Minh city. If Timmy O’Malley didn’t make it to Osaka, sure wouldn’t the whole of Ireland’s lucrative export potential to the Far East slip down the drain.

The worst part of it was the following line.

“The Taoiseach and Ministers this year will highlight the global threat of climate change and the urgency of acting together to meet this challenge.”

Yeah, sure. With 18 long-haul destinations around the globe (each involving delegations of between four and six) there is no better way to highlight the threat of climate change. See Liam Reid’s story on carbon footprints in the Irish Times (subscription)

What hypocrisy!

When the news of Tony Blair's family holiday to Miami last Christmas was made public, he was forced into stumping up the cost for offsetting the carbon emissions of the long-haul flights. It didn't cost a huge amount, a few hundred quid sterling (see Guardian story on it here). Similarly Irish government ministers flying to far-flung climes should be made stump up to offset their carbon footprints. And that should come from their pockets and not be another freebie that we suckers have to eventually stump up.


Adam said...

The problem is, however, that politicians offsetting carbon emissions through money from their own pockets is the same as taking a handful from the exchequer (except with an additional step in between) - they're wages are from the public coffers after all.

Harry McGee said...

That's very true, Adam. Chiefly, it's the gesture that counts - complelling them to put their money where there mouth is.

Dan Sullivan said...

adam, at least it would be less money for many of them to be wagering on horses.