Mick Wallace Would be good if #mainstreammedia held #FiannaFail + #FineGael to account for voting for a terrible #CAP that aband… https://t.co/RFUXVmKnea
Mick Wallace The #EU needs to do more to stop the Collective Punishment of the people of #Tigray - This is a form of Genocide b… https://t.co/G5c6hiCa2q
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: The lack of concern shown by the #EU for the people of #Venezuela has been shocking and says much about their so called 'E…
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: #EU says they're interested in Dialogue - So why don't they talk to #Syria ..? They say they're interested in Rule of Law…

Dail Diary

Mick WallaceNot an easy week. Many people would say that I wouldn’t be content if it wasn’t complicated. I beg to differ. My financial problems with the banks have been well aired long before now – I was on Prime Time nearly three years ago explaining that I couldn’t pay the interest on development land loans and claimed that most builders were in the same boat, despite protestations to the contrary. When the government nationalised Anglo Irish Bank I challenged Finance Minister Brian Lenihan on the madness of such a move but he insisted that the majority of the main lenders in Anglo were paying their interest. It was not true. The news of ACC Bank placing a receiver against the assets mortgaged to them against money loaned broke on Tuesday at lunchtime. Phone lines were busy – Aindréas Doyle doing most of the talking. Experience has taught me lots about the press, and how they function, I decided to give no newspaper interviews and confined myself to speaking on RTE’s Drivetime with Mary Wilson, RTE television news, South East Radio, and TV3’s Tonight with Vincent Browne. When I speak live I am in control of the message, when I speak to a journalist in the papers I lose that control. They have the opportunity to report the news in an honest fashion or they can choose to twist it to suit their own agenda. As the week progressed, the papers showed their colours. Taking their information from the Mary Wilson interview on RTE Drivetime, they reported the issue as they saw fit. Some did so accurately, others lazily, some falsely, some both. When companies refused to deliver fish and bread to the Wine Bar Restaurants and others proceeded to cut our credit terms because of lies they read in some papers, I decided to issue a press statement, which went as follows:

“To clarify issues relating to the appointment of a receiver by the ACC Bank to the assets held by that financial institution, I should make it clear that it does not affect the standing of the construction company, M&J Wallace Ltd., otherwise known as Wallace Construction. The company has dealings with four of the major banks and continues to work with the remaining three. Wallace Calcio which runs the wine bars and coffee shop, is a separate company and is not affected by the action of ACC Bank. Likewise, the Wexford Youths football club, based at Ferrycarrig in Wexford, is leased from the construction company and its survival is protected by that same lease.

As I have admitted more than three years ago, the construction company has suffered badly due to the financial crisis but it continues to do its utmost to work towards its survival. I have not given interviews to any newspapers in the last week, despite some choosing to quote me in error.”

Surprise, surprise, the papers were less interested in printing the press statement – it wasn’t as juicy as the stuff they could make up themselves. It did manage to throw some cold water on the subject as the media moved on to the next story. But don’t hold your breath, part two is coming soon to a newspaper near you. Meanwhile, back in the Dáil I had an opportunity to discuss the Finance Bill in relation to the Jobs Initiative – here are some extracts from it, better to keep it short to retain your interest:

“I reassure Deputy Durkan that I too am very keen to stay in Europe. I am also an optimist at heart and believe everything is possible but I also believe we should get a fair deal from Europe which is not the case at present. I say to the Deputy that when a person goes into a bookie’s office and backs a horse, if the horse does not win, the person loses. I agree with him on that point. However, if a person bought bonds in a bank and lost on them, that person would still get the money back under the present arrangement. That is a bit different.

There are many elements I like in the Finance (No. 2) Bill, especially the VAT proposal which will be an enormous boost to the hotel and restaurant industry. I believe in the principle of investment. Investment stimulates an economy whereas austerity drains it. Unfortunately, we are probably not getting as much investment as we would like and are getting much more austerity than we would like. Unfortunately, too, austerity probably hits the less well off in our society more than anybody else.

There is a big problem in regard to getting things moving in this country, namely, the lack of a banking system that functions. We were told about a strategic investment bank. Perhaps it is still on its way but it is really needed. Bank lending is a problem - banks are not lending. They do not see our businesses as safe to lend to and do not believe in them. I read an article in the Financial Times today about the HSBC in Britain which stated that in the first quarter of the year HSBC’s lending volumes rose by €28 billion. The writer asked where most of that money had gone. It went to the fast-growing markets in Asia: “in stark contrast to western markets like Britain and Ireland, where, more than two years after the peak of the financial crisis and despite repeated agreements with governments to boost the availability of finance banks are still reluctant to lend to businesses”.

"It is immoral that people get more than €200,000 for any State job in this economic climate."

Believe it or not, the Irish Government is in a privileged position in that it owns a couple of banks. I might prefer if it did not but it does. We must stop asking the banks to lend money to us and must tell them to do so, given that the State owns them. It would be a great boost to our economy to have again a banking system that functions.

The biggest problem with the Finance (No. 2) Bill is the pensions element. A great number of people have telephoned me to express serious disillusionment with what has happened. One might claim that 0.6% does not seem to be very much but that amount is calculated on the full value of a pension each year. What really worries people is that may only be the beginning; it may not be the end. It will be perceived as the thin end of the wedge. For the past number of years we have talked a great deal about the need to encourage people to begin a pension. It is difficult enough to do that because one is asking people to store away money for 30 or 40 years in the hope it will be there ultimately when it is really needed. When something like this happens it dents people’s confidence and there is no doubt that confidence has left many people. It was bad enough that many pensions suffered badly because of the recession but it was a new phenomenon to find that the Government would raid them. This will have a really negative impact on trying to persuade people to invest. We have an aging population and we need to work at persuading people to have pensions. Robbing them is not a good idea.

If we are not going to rob the pensions where will we get this €1.9 billion? Deputy Peter Mathews spoke very well today. He suggested there must be a negotiated restructuring of €75 billion; €50 billion with the ECB and €25 billion with the bondholders. He suggested the money should be cascaded down and invested in the economy to deal with household debt…In the short term, while we wait for the Europeans to see some sense, salaries over €100,000 must be dealt with. An annual income-linked wealth tax of 1% on assets valued over a million would bring in €1.2 billion. The wages, benefits and pensions of Deputies and Ministers are outrageous and there are people with State jobs getting over €500,000 per annum and still we are cutting Resource, Language, and Learning Support teachers in schools. It is immoral that people get more than €200,000 for any State job in this economic climate.”

Later in the week, I had an opportunity to speak on an Agricultural motion before the house. My father was the proud owner of 86 acres of land so I do have an agricultural background and I have dabbled in the industry myself in the past. I have raised chickens, pigs, sheep and calves and I’ve leased land to grow sugar beet. I also tend to wine plants in Italy where I am gradually learning that good wine is made in the field, not the cellar. I was amused during the election campaign when I stopped to speak to a farmer at the side of the road. “Looking for votes are you” he said, “You must realise that none of the farmers will vote for you because they think you are a communist”. Life is full of surprises. My contribution was as follows:

“We are all fairly well aware that we are short on indigenous industry and very dependent on multinationals to provide employment and to drive the export market. Of the indigenous industry, farming accounts for approximately 60% of exports and it plays a significant role in the domestic economy. There is little doubt that the deal the farmer gets from supermarkets leaves much to be desired. I note the farmer’s share has changed in a number of years. The report, Equity for Farmers in the Food Supply Chain, states:

The farmer’s share of the retail price has declined significantly in the major commodities over the last 15 years. For example, since 1995 the farmer’s share of the retail price for liquid milk has declined from 42% to 33%. For cheese, the farmer’s share has fallen from 34% to 20%, for pigmeat from 51% to 27%, and for beef from 60% to 50%.

The multiple chains have grown stronger in this country. Successive Governments have allowed the small shopkeeper and small farmers to be pushed out. We are familiar with the practice of hello money which enabled farmers and producers to put their products on supermarket shelves but this practice has been banned. However, it is alive and well today under a different name. They call it advertising marketing contribution. This allows the multiple to dictate who will survive and who will not, with the result that many small farmers have been driven out of business. They are unable to compete. The person who grows 10,000 tonnes of tomatoes has a significant advantage over the person who grows one or two tonnes of tomatoes. There is no fairness in the system. This country has an obligation to protect agriculture which is the one of the few decent indigenous industries we have.”

Running out of space as usual. Just to mention a few things squeezed into a busy week – still pressing on Education cuts with parliamentary questions, met a lively group of girls from Holy Faith, New Ross, got to Gorey to look good in pink for a charity ‘Buy My Dress’ sale, got to London to see Barcelona perform poetry in motion, and got to Ferrycarrig to see the Youths robbed by Shelbourne.

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mickWeeks 4, 5 and 6 have just come and gone and I must admit that things are busy. In my efforts to maximise my potential to contribute to the parliamentary process, I strive to speak each day in the chamber. I am interested in most subjects, and trying to cover one or two each day means a lot of preparation in terms of research. I am not interested in reading manuscripts in the Dáil – referring to notes is fine but reading out written transcripts should be illegal, except for Ministers – I like to speak on my feet and so it’s important to organise things in my head in advance. If one is to speak with any degree of passion and from the heart, you cannot just read out what you have to say. Week 4 was dominated by the Moriarty Tribunal and its findings into the behaviour of T.D. Michael Lowry and businessman Denis O’Brien, in relation to the phone licence. The manner in which both individuals cast dispersions on Judge Moriarty in their efforts to undermine the case against them left a lot to be desired – here is a part of my Dáil speech: “I was somewhat taken aback at the manner in which Mr. Justice Moriarty and the Judiciary have been called into question. This is a dangerous road to follow. The Judiciary in Ireland is an independent and fair system. It may not get all the answers right but it is worthy of our respect. If we are not going to respect its decisions, what are we going to do? It would not stack up anymore. The core of any democracy has to be respect for what a judge decides or has to say. It is not good for us that people with influence, whether political or financial, are able to challenge the legal system with such brazenness. It is something we have to think about. I am surprised that the Government is not more outraged about this matter. We should be angry this is happening. It must seem to the ordinary people there is one rule for them and another for the people who have influence. Is this the way it is supposed to be? Is this how it will stay? We heard a great deal about change during the election campaign, which was my first. As I travelled around to listen to people I observed an appetite for change. Fine Gael and the Labour Party have promised significant change but I am taken aback they are not more outraged. I am disappointed the Chamber is not full. The Moriarty tribunal and its report have serious implications for our society. Does it not matter enough? If they are serious about making this Parliament work in the manner it should or organising our society properly, can they show a bit more interest? Can they be here? We have a huge responsibility. The people put us here. They expect us to run this country in an honest fashion, to make honest decisions and to care. We have to forgive them for thinking we do not care. This is an opportunity to show that perhaps things can change.” (29th March 2011) Given that a wealthy businessman like Denis O’Brien was able to buy favours from a politician is not good, but hardly a surprise to us given the manner in which this country has been run for a long time. It is also worrying that the businessman got such an easy ride from the Irish media – after all, Judge Moriarty did say that he bribed a State official – but given his huge power and influence on Irish media, should we be surprised? I challenged Taoiseach Enda Kenny on this issue, relating to political donations: “The Taoiseach promised a number of reforms and it will be great if he is able to implement them. He referred specifically to donations. If someone wants to give €100 to a politician running for election, we should know who he or she is. People who pay pipers call tunes. Through money, businesses big and small can separate the electorate from the Legislature. Money comes between them. This is not good and we should stop it completely rather than introduce half measures such as bringing it down to this or that limit. Let us do away with the practice completely. It is not the way to run a proper democracy. Perhaps I am naive or too idealistic but I believe things can be different.” (29th March 2011) I also addressed the Universal Social Charge issue, the unfairness of it and the damage it is doing, not just to ordinary people but also to small and medium-sized business. Week 5 was dominated by the ‘Bank Reorganisation’ and the EU-IMF bailout. I disagreed very strongly with the manner in which the previous government dealt with this, and I am certainly disappointed by the way the new Coalition has continued on the very same path, despite promises to the contrary. Here’s a section of my Dáil speech: “I find it amazing how little difference there is in what the new coalition is up to in terms of dealing with the banking crisis and what the Fianna Fáil Party did prior to it taking office. Fine Gael Party and Labour Party Members should have the courtesy of bowing to Deputy Lenihan when they meet him in the corridor because they seem to agree with absolutely everything he had to offer. I have noted a few of the nice quotes made during the election campaign. Fine Gael’s banking strategy, Credit Where Credit is Due, which is part of its five point plan, states: “Fine Gael was the first party to argue that it was unfair for the Irish people to shoulder all of the losses of our banks, and that it was right that investors who had lent recklessly to the banks should also share in the pain.” The document goes on observe: “It is neither morally right nor economically sustainable for taxpayers to be asked to beggar themselves to make massive profits for speculators.” It is hard to credit that this is the party that has given us the medicine that we have got for the past week.” (6th April 2011)   I am convinced that the country will not be able to repay these debts, bailing out dead banks to the tune of €70 billion is irrational, but sadly the new Coalition lacks the courage to challenge the might of the ECB: “We were informed in the past that the European Union is supposed to be a family of nations and that we all look after each other. We were also informed that if one country got into trouble, the others would provide assistance. There was supposed to be a spirit of fellowship among the member states. I am not sure whether we have put the question regarding burden sharing in strong enough terms. In general, European politicians are generous and they would be sympathetic regarding the massive problems the Irish people are facing. I accept that those who run the ECB are incapable of being sympathetic towards us. If, however, we pressurise European politicians, we may obtain some comfort from them. They must be made to realise that we are in a crazy predicament. The dogs in the street know that this deal is not going to work out. At some stage, our colleagues in Europe are going to state that they will provide us with assistance. If, however, we accept their policies in the interim, the less well-off will suffer most. It is crazy that we are providing money to reckless banks while the numbers of learning support teachers and special needs assistants are being reduced. What we are doing to the young people of this country is unreal. It is all being done in the interest of paying back reckless investors who made mistakes. People invested poorly in banks that were not well run. The essence of capitalism is that one makes one’s gamble and one accepts the results. One wins some and one loses some. However, the investors to whom I refer are all winning. That is incredible.” (6th April 2011) Each grouping in opposition is allowed to put forward a motion in Dáil Private Members Business whenever their turn comes around and the Technical grouping used the opportunity to recommend a referendum on the bailout – surprise, surprise, it was defeated when put to a vote, but we managed to make our point to the chamber and the people. An extract from my speech: We were told the deal Fianna Fáil came up with was not workable. The Tánaiste, Deputy Gilmore, insisted it was not workable. From their words we know most top economists believe it is not practical. God knows, we have a good idea it is not fair. Professor Honohan, the Governor of the Central Bank, has been very open in telling us that on the issue of fairness the deal does not rate very highly. It is hard to credit that the most vulnerable in our society will be hung out to dry in order to satisfy the problems of the financial institutions. The banks had their stress tests. Perhaps the State needs them now because a number of people on the other side of the House told us the State is bankrupt. If it was not bankrupt before now there is a great chance that putting the bank debt with the sovereign debt will put us into the area of insolvency. A private company is deemed to be insolvent when its liabilities are greater than its assets. This debt certainly puts us into that place. If a private company went to the bank that bank would look at the company’s potential for future profits and would say that if the company’s future profits could cover the current losses perhaps it might do business. However, one would have to be very optimistic to see us paying the bills. Any private company that continues to borrow money when it is insolvent is regarded as trading recklessly. In my opinion, this Government is now trading recklessly. It has been argued that this motion does not merit a referendum. Article 27 of the Constitution states that an amendment of the Constitution is applicable when a Bill “contains a proposal of such national importance that the will of the people thereon ought to be ascertained”. I believe most people in this country would agree this is an issue of massive national importance. This Government has spoken a great deal about having a new approach to politics and more openness… If this Government is serious about engaging the citizens of Ireland in a democratic process and about giving them a say in how they are governed it should have the courage for a referendum on this issue.” I began week 6 by highlighting to the Taoiseach the difficulty faced by mortgage holders, especially given the new interest rate increases, and more are likely to follow. I enquired if the government might consider mortgage debt relief for those who bought property between 2004 and 2008, rather than just kicking the can down the road with temporary relief. On Wednesday morning (April 13th), I challenged Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore about the lack of real concern on the part of Angela Merkel – the person calling the shots – for those countries on the periphery of Europe like Ireland. Now that she is in fear of her own electorate, she is behaving like a good German rather than a good European – a short-term strategy which will be bad for Ireland and Europe in the long-term. That evening, during the debate on the Education and Training Motion, I addressed the issue of the education cuts which are threatening to have a devastating effect on primary school children all over Ireland: “It is very worrying that the new Government does not seem interested in reversing the cuts introduced by the previous Government. God knows that the young people who will suffer the most from this are the least culpable for the financial crisis in which we find ourselves. If we do away with resource teachers for travellers and hit learning support and language support teachers over the next few years, this will have a dramatic effect not just on the kids who would have been getting the special attention, but every other kid as well due to the extra load being put on teachers. The cuts in child benefit have also caused problems for many of these people, because parents would have used some of this money for books, shoes and uniforms, so they are going to suffer a double whammy. It is hardly rocket science. All of the research shows that the investment in youth has to be the best of all. It shows that for every euro spent on a young person the State saves a minimum of €8 before the child becomes an adult. Even if one did not have a social bone in one’s body, it makes good business sense to invest in youth. Saving €24 million in this regards when the visits of Queen Elizabeth II and President Obama will actually cost more simply beggars belief in terms of where our principles lie. The Irish Penal Reform Trust has emphasised the importance of tackling educational disadvantage, instead of throwing money at the results - crime, poverty, addiction and social exclusion. In fairness, if the Government cares at all, this is something that should not happen.”   On Thursday morning (April 14th), I spoke on Suicide Prevention, the divergence of opinion about its causes, and how best to deal with it. I stressed the need for our government to maximise the opportunities for our children to develop into good communicators and healthy individuals, physically and mentally. Hence, the huge importance of reversing the planned cuts to Resource Teachers for Travellers and Language Support Teachers. I raised the same subject on Thursday evening in the Dáil with Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald and she seemed sympathetic to the problem. On Friday evening, I attended a huge demonstration in Clonroche where teachers, parents and children were highlighting the unfairness of the cuts proposed by the new government. When are the interests of the ordinary people going to be put before those of big financial institutions? On Saturday, I had a number of meetings at the Wexford Youths football complex, covering a range of topics – a Go Karting track for kids in New Ross, the prospect of developing sports tourism in Wexford, a meeting with Tina Whelan (principal of Taghmon Primary School) regarding the education cuts, a meeting with Fr. Jim Fegan and Paddy McKiernan about the state of play at Wexford hospital, and a meeting with some people from the Motorway Action Group – Liz James, John Purcell, Tom Ryan, and Tom Rossiter who are not just worried about the nonsense of building a motorway bypassing Wexford in this economic climate, but also the unfairness of selecting a particular route and sterilising the relevant land for that route for years to come, even though it might never be used for that purpose. The NRA and the HSE seem to have something in common, Fr. Fegan and Paddy McKiernan were pointing out the lack of accountability, transparency and fairness in their dealings with the HSE. Wexford General Hospital is essential to a huge disadvantaged population, giving it importance on the basis of need, but it also scores on the basis of merit as it ranks in the top 5 in Ireland in terms of performance. The notion that there might be cuts to its A&E or Maternity units is nothing short of ridiculous and would amount to a crime against the people of Wexford. One suspects that the HSE and the NRA are organisations which have grown too powerful, are self-perpetuating, and too seldom represent the interests of the people. How do they function? Who is making the decisions, and on what basis? are all questions that I intend to research. Lastly, to follow on from my last article when I stressed my desire to deal with issues that concern the community at large rather than individual cases, here is a list of people from the four corners of Wexford who are interested in linking with the people. Contact Details Aindréas Doyle Leinster House Kildare Street Dublin 2 Ph: 01 618 3287 Email: mick.wallace@oir.ie Mick Molloy Gorey Eoin Leacy Blackwater Síle Mhic Réamoinn Droichead an Chaisleáin Robert Kehoe Galbally Mary Sheehy Ferns Maurice Roche Screen Anne Jordan Enniscorthy Eileen Wallace New Ross

Good soundness is a result of proper nutrition and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are various. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the perfect treatment variation for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to remember about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile dysfunction, including many blood pressure medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may turn on erectile disfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

Mick WallaceAfter a few weeks in the Dáil Chamber, you’d think I’d be settling in at this stage. I’m not so sure. Maybe it should be important not to ever get too settled in a structure that is in much need of change. Despite all warnings to the contrary, I have had the privilege of speaking in the chamber every day since it opened – being part of the Technical Group of Independents has certainly worked out well with regard to gaining speaking rights. Many times during the election I was told that, as an Independent, I would find it difficult to get opportunities to express my point of view in the chamber. Obviously, influencing the decision-making process is another challenge but, for the moment, I am prepared to give the coalition the benefit of the doubt when they say that they will certainly engage with us Independents. Following my opening speech, I addressed the issue of Constitutional change and the manner in which the coalition might deal with it. In the Labour election manifesto, prior to February 25th, it was made clear that they would include ordinary people and civil society groups in the Constitutional Convention, but when it came to the coalition’s Programme for Government, the Labour promise was very much watered down with the terms ‘ordinary citizens’ and ‘civil society organisations’ disappearing. If the government  are serious about Constitutional change, it is imperative that they behave in a democratic manner, which means involving the people, and preventing the process staying too much ‘in house’. We’ve had many reports on Constitutional change before, but they amounted to very little as they remained an exercise internal to the existing system. My third speech related to the government’s backing for the Western powers bombing of Libya. Sadly, the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan have still to be learnt by many in public office. I refuse to accept that dropping bombs on people from the sky is a good way of introducing them to democracy. The US and its allies have been very selective about where to introduce no-fly zones or begin a bombing campaign. Sarkozy refused to support the people’s revolt in Tunisia and Egypt but couldn’t wait to bomb Libya – not because he actually cares about civilians in Libya but more likely because he sees it as a way of improving his chances of re-election in France next year. Why didn’t these civic-minded leaders think of introducing a no-fly zone over Palestine in 2009 when Israel was bombing the ‘living daylights’ out of it? Or Bahrain and Yemen in the last few weeks where civilians were being shot on the streets by American-backed dictators? On the following two days, I managed to speak on the risk of nuclear energy as so clearly demonstrated by the crisis in Japan recently, also spoke on the lack of honesty in much of Ireland’s approach to world political affairs, before eventually getting around to the latest scandal in Irish education with the reduction of learning support teachers through the removal of Resource Teachers for Travellers and the Visiting Teacher Service for Travellers, as well as the cap imposed on the number of Special Needs Assistants. I visited a national school in Clonroche to try to understand the extent to which a school can be decimated by savage cuts of this nature. The school’s learning support system is being reduced from two and a half teachers (one teacher is shared with another school) to one – placing a massive burden on the staff of a school that is clearly very well run, and run in the spirit of vocation to the children rather than just a job. I challenged the Minister of Education, Ruairi Quinn, to consider the madness of this measure –  research has shown that for every euro spent on children, the State saves €7 before that same child becomes an adult. Even if you didn’t have a social bone in your body, from an economic point of view, investing in children makes for good business. In between the Dáil business, I had a good meeting with Miles Deas and James Nix in relation to the Wexford bypass in particular and Transport policy in Ireland in general. Miles and James have carried out some serious research on the issue and it is certainly deserving of our attention. They’ve looked at the manner in which the projected traffic volume figures for the Wexford area have been measured. They argue that the numbers have been exagerrated and this undermines the need for a Wexford bypass, aside from the fact that the State surely has better things to be doing with its money in these times. They also stress the need for reform in the way funding decisions are made regarding which transport projects to prioritise, and also the importance of amending cost-benefit appraisals for transport projects. I intend to address these issues in the Dáil at the first opportunity. I managed to make it down to Enniscorthy for the meeting on rates where almost 500 business people of Wexford turned up to express their grievances. Being a rate payer myself in a climate where rates bear no relation to the economic situation that we are all struggling to survive in, I can certainly understand their plight. It is a pressing issue that our new government needs to take a sensible approach towards – and quickly, before more and more small and medium size businesses go to the wall. Lastly, I was able to squeeze in a meeting on Sunday afternoon after football training with a group of people from the different parts of the county who are interested in helping me to link with the people of Wexford. As I’ve said from the start, I intend to deal with issues that concern the community at large rather than individual cases. We need to address the root causes of the problems that prevail in our society, and work towards improving the quality of services provided for all. Rome was not built in a day, but it was started...

Mick Wallace

Good heartiness is a result of proper nutrition and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are different. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the perfect treatment option for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to keep in mind about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile disfunction, including many blood stress medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may include erectile dysfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

It’s been a hectic few days – of first speeches, disappointing Dáil pints and the setting up of a technical group of Independents – but the important thing for Wexford’s poll-topping new TD is to change the political culture. I’ve been to Leinster House, have spoken in the Dáil chamber, have met a lot of people I hadn’t met before, and I’m still in one piece. Before I decided to run for election, on the way to Vincent Browne’s current-affairs programme on TV3, I did try to envisage just what it would be like if I were elected. Running for election was always going to be an interesting experience but not such a big deal. Getting elected was a more serious matter. Work and challenges have been meat and drink to me for much of my life, but it’s a bit different when you are placed in a position of influence or authority by the people, and almost 13,500 of them at that. I’ve never been very comfortable with the idea of asking someone for anything or, for that matter, of being at their mercy. But I’ve spent the past month travelling the length and breadth of Co Wexford, running from door to door saying, “Will you vote for me? Will you vote for me?”, going on to top the poll, becoming part of a technical group of Independents, and then, on Wednesday, having my first day in the Dáil. In my own head I did occupy that place in the Dáil before I decided to put my name on the ballot paper. I feared that I stood a good chance of success. I have a friend at home in Wexford called Phil Walsh, who has always insisted that he never met fear. My experience was different: I often met it, but I just kept going. Going into Leinster House is a new experience, of course, but, still, it’s not like I’m a green, wide-eyed boy of 25 years old. I’m 55 years of age and I’ve lived a full, demanding, varied and interesting life to date. Every day is just another day, and it’s a good day if I feel well, mentally and physically. I went up to the big house on Kildare Street a few times last week, to organise a few things and meet some of the staff. I had never been inside before, but I had paved the footpath just outside the gates. My first impression was that the place was very formal, a little state of its own within a state. There is a sense of detachment from the real world outside, and I would certainly recommend to potential entrants that they serve their time in the latter before immersing themselves in the former. I don’t do formal very well, and, in fairness to the staff, who could not be more pleasant, many of them have become more casual too as they’ve noticed that I’m a bit allergic to pomp and ceremony. But I do suspect that the different-world feel inside Leinster House plays its own part in the disconnect that so many people in the country experience with that same establishment. On Tuesday we met to put our technical group in place, in order to maximise our speaking rights in the Dáil chamber and put us on a fairer footing with the main parties. It’s a bit shocking that as an individual Independent one could spend five years in the place and never get an opportunity to speak in the chamber. So much for democracy. But given that the notion of democracy, even at local level, is more imaginary than real, I should not be surprised. Setting up the technical group was not a complicated affair. No political allegiances or policy agreements were required, and the wily Joe Higgins knew his way around the detail. For sure, there is a nice bit of variety in the group – that much we could agree on. Wednesday, my first day in the chamber, was interesting. It was crowded both outside and inside the gates of Leinster House, and there was much interest in what I was wearing. The media, and the people in general, are interested in “different”, and I do different better than I do formal. I did wear pink and, at my 87-year-old mother’s prompting, I wore a more regular shirt than usual. Hopefully, in time, the media will be more interested in what I do or say than in what I wear. I did get my say in the chamber too. I wasn’t sure if the opportunity would present itself, but the new Ceann Comhairle, Seán Barrett, was more than fair. In the few minutes I had I managed to make a few points to the Taoiseach-elect: that the notion of taxpayers paying for the bank bailout in order to please the ECB was illogical and unfair, and should be put to a referendum; that the Government should help the house to function like a proper healthy parliament, engaging all of its members, including the Opposition; that political reform was required to address the fact that the people do not feel well served by the political process; that the Government should be mindful of putting the people’s interests before those of big business; and, finally, that at the end of its term the Government should be content to have its performance measured in terms of how it cared for the most vulnerable in society rather than in terms of the strength of our GDP – the true test of a functioning democracy. All told, it was a good day. I wished Enda Kenny well, spoke to many of the deputies from all parties and found most of them pleasant. I thought the seats were very comfortable, but I was disappointed by the quality of the Guinness in the bar. None of my four children came along, as they had other things to be doing and are probably tired of listening to me anyway. Now for the challenge ahead. Walking around Wexford and Dublin I have got so much encouragement from people who recognise me, and most of it is of the “well done,best of luck and don’t let them get you down” variety. It seems a lot of people think that the bureaucracy will prove too much for me, and I’ll either walk or be driven out of the place. On the day I was elected three sitting TDs told me how terrible the job was and I didn’t know what I was putting myself in for, but I was amused by how keen the same people were to get back into the same terrible job. Not for the first time, I’ve raised my head above the parapet. My challenge to the status quo, locally in particular, has not been short of mud-slinging by those who do not seek change. Some people like it just the way it is. I seem to have upset a cosy set-up, and no doubt my refusal to engage in parish-pump politics will keep the home fires burning, while the political slant of the local media will add to the agenda. But I intend to keep my word. Of course I will engage with issues in Co Wexford that should concern me, but I am not going to start canvassing for the next election now, as many are wont to do. When it does come around, the people will decide whether they want me to represent them or not. If they do, that’s good; if they don’t, that’s fine too. I will try to deal with the challenge to the best of my ability, and I will call it as it is. This article originally appeared in the Irish Times on Saturday, 12 March 2011

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