How dare Varadkar try to bully the nurses over Brexit, as though the mess were their fault. And how dare the spin machine make out nurses are greedy. A staff nurse starts at €29k and it takes 15 years before getting to €45k. Some, but not all, of the points I made to the Taoiseach this afternoon. I call on all who can to get down to the picket nearest them tomorrow and stand with the nurses.

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SIMPLE QUESTION: WHAT LABS FAILED US? My 5th time to ask this in the Dáil – still no answer. Its important because 221 women, some of whom are dead, some dying, need not have developed #CervicalCancer. Outsourcing women’s health care to the cheapest bidder in the ‘marketplace’ was a POLITICAL DECSION and it has to stop. Yes, bad management and incompetent governance practices made a bad situation worse, but bottom line is the political choices made by successive governments who refuse to ANSWER FOR THEIR ROLE in the catastophe that is the cervical screening scandal. And now 6000 women need to be retested because of more imcompetent HSE/Dept of Health management decisions. What are they like??

 

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JOBPATH IS AN ABUSIVE RIP-OFF. As a private company it’s given public money for thwarting the lives of people looking for work. I had the opportunity to question witnesses at a Dáil committee reviewing an investigation of Jobpath and it was infuriating. The video here is brief – just my own comments and questions to the witnesses, but you can check the Oireachtas website for more testimony. Try committee room 4 on 17.1.19 at around 11am

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Before Xmas I queried the Minister about the numbers of people refused carers’ allowance initially, who are then forced to appeal (which takes months) before being accepted. I also asked about the dramatic rise in the numbers of people penalised under the Jobpath scheme from 63 in 2015 to 5,681 in 2018. She responded defensively (a lot of waffle is cut from this video clip) but bottom line is FG could care less about the vulnerable in society

 

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Lord Deben (aka John Selwyn Gummer – Chairman of the UK Committee on Climate Change) was a witness at a Dail climate change committee. I had the opportunity to put a number of issues to him about environmental concerns here, before Xmas. All his responses were too long to include here but his defence of fracking is. That’s Tories for ya!

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Very proud to be able to speak on the 100th anniversary of getting the vote in 2018. The right to vote was hard won by revolutionary action; it brought us formal democratic rights, but now we need REAL DEMOCRACY. So instead of a tiny elite deciding how the wealth and resources in society are divvied up – we all get to have a say – ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY. Speed the day!

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