Updated: 31/08/17 : 04:55:54
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Parties double standards show on ID cards

By Eugene McGloin
Political Editor

THE STATUES in Sligo have had their their say on the so-called ''Public Services'' card.

So also has Regina Doherty; she has been shooting off her sixpence-worth all week.

The silly season has another few hours to run but Doherty (easily) gets the gong for the silliest contribution(s) to the 2017 silly season.

Heavy Handed

Then, Fianna Fáil put the boot into her, politically speaking, yesterday, Wednesday.

Their speaker Robert Troy explained that over two million have the card already.

He said Regina Doherty was ''heavy handed'' and ''negative.'' To say the least.

Let me declare a couple of interests: I have a Public Services card for several years now.

The man who did the photo and signature in the office at Cranmore could not have been any more helpful. 

I need that card to avail of, say, the bus service in Sligo town and elsewhere.

I seldom, if ever, use that card and prefer to pay cash where I can.

It's a personal decision to make a tiny, tiny contribution to a State brought to its knees by banks and national politicians.

For Doherty or Troy, if they make contact, I'd be happy to outline how I save their likes €7,000 in a good year and multiples of that in a bad year, healthwise.

My attitude has more to do with the civics spirit taught in Summerhill in the Sixties by Fr Peadar Lavin than any Government Minister or Opposition speaker.

No Choice

As I approach Pension age I would also like to see excellent services like the Sligo town S1 encouraged and enhanced, for example.

Every day in the south, Citizens -- given NO CHOICE -- have to produce their ''Public Services'' card. 

I've seen a man on crutches refused a service because he didn't carry his Pass Card. Everywhere. Every Day.

In reality, an ID card has been sneaked in the back door. That's different from a so-called 'Public Services' card. Those are the issues on which Dail politicians, plural, are diverting attention.

Clip Letters

We have no idea, none whatever, what WILL be stored in future on that microchip. 

Can you imagine the Fine Gael government of the 1970s having a card like this one?

One of the high-profile Cabinet members in that outfit used to clip readers letters from the pages of national papers, such was his paranoia.

That cowboy outfit was driven vehemently from power in this State in June 1977.

But what is this gibberish from Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil about the current card being ''mandatory'' but not ''compulsory.''

How many angels dance on the head of a pin? That's an easier puzzle than their gibber. 

That debate about two words recalls a famed set-to at Leitrim County Council. 

In stepped Jimmy McHugh, a few scoops on him, to explain to a colleague the difference in council jobs advertised as ''temporary'' and ''permanent.''

''You,'' he said, pointing to the councillor, '' are thick and ignorant and that's permanent.

''I'm drunk but thankfully that's only temporary;'' game, set and match to mid Leitrim.

Stop Moaning

Finally, could Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Fein and others stop moaning and whinging about possible computerised British checks whenever we cross their frontiers, post 'Brexit.'

Every single day in the south we clock computerised tabs on the 'comings and goings' of some of our own citizens.

That happens WITHOUT any political party ever properly explaining (a) what info exactly it is we clock, (b) where it is stored, (c) who accesses it, (d) when and how.

The several significant private abuses of the Garda Pulse system, as alleged by whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe, come to mind. 

So, my message to the main parties here in the South: Shut your gobs until you treat all the citizenry as equal stakeholders in this society. That does not happen.

Link: See Sligo Today 30/8/2017.

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