Life and death matters best left out of politics

Although the Opposition did its constitutional duty in challenging the Dail’s confidence in the Minister for Health, one local TD made an interesting observation. Sean Fleming, the local Fianna Fail TD, said yesterday he didn’t receive a single angry phone call about the breast cancer scandal in Portlaoise.

“I was inundated with calls when Noel Dempsey did his thing on the holders of provisional driving licences but not a single call about breast cancer diagnosis,” said Fleming.

“People knew the driving licence business was a political c**k-up but they also knew the breast cancer scare was a medical problem.”

Apparently one can gauge the real gravity of an issue by the amount of calls a TD receives about it.

It probably did not occur to Sean Fleming that the public are smart enough to know that whilst calling for a U-turn on provisional licenses is precisely the sort of clientelist exercise at which TDs excel, because it is not a political problem but a managerial one, they are worse than useless when it comes to resolving severe deficiencies in the health service -of which the breast cancer is a direct result. They are worse than useless in this regard precisely because it is a political problem, and one that many have no particular interest in solving, since failure will enable the expansion of a bountiful two-tier system.

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1 Response to “Life and death matters best left out of politics”


  1. 1 73man November 29, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    Good post. I agree that people know an important issue when they see one and no amount of local clientelism is going to fix this one.


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