Local elections 2019.

The new boundaries for next year’s local elections has been announced. I am sure the political parties are looking at these changes with interest. Local government is an important part of our democracy. I have blogged about the weakness of our local democracy in the past. The county and city councillor like all elected politicians are servants of the citizens. I believe that this role of service should be at the forefront of all people who are involved in politics. Elected politicians should give voice to the people especially those people who are without a voice today.
John O Brien.

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My first book is nearly ready.

Trying to break into professional writing,journalism is difficult. New technology produces new challenges but it also produces new opportunities.

I decided that my first book would express my views on life. It is called Christianity and social democracy. Now I am looking for a publisher. My first book will be in the hands of others now.

I am looking at different funding models to fund my writing and I am available for freelance work too.

John O Brien.

The Sean Lemass tapes and the EU.

The Irish Times published the transcript of the Lemass tapes yesterday. It was an interesting insights into the man and the Ireland he helped to shape. He dealt with different topics in these tapes. He gave his views on the major national and international politicians that he met. His views on the EU was insightful and prophetic.

Lemass believed that economic unity of EU would lead to political unity. The EU was called the EEC when Lemass was alive. But Lemass believed that Britain didn’t fully support the European project. At first Britain sought to subvert the European project from the outside. When that failed Britain began to subvert the European project from the inside. The relation of Britain and the EU has confirmed the truth of Lemass’s insight about Britain and the EU. Lemass believed that the British attitude to the EU was based on an imperial mindset in Britain. Britain had lost its empire but they still falsely believed that Britain was a global power. Again I think Lemass was correct here as well.

Britain never fully accepted the European project and it slowed down European integration. The Lemass tapes shows us a man that could read the signs of the times. These tapes shows that he saw economic unity would lead to political unity. The EU is a peace project.

After the vote on the 8th we still have a housing crisis.

In relation to the 8th vote the people have spoken. But we are still lead by a right wing government. Our public services are still neglected. Government policy still serves the needs of the elite. As far as I am concerned normal politics has resumed. I will not ignore a government that serves the elite. Our 2 tier health system is still in existence. I don’t see any concern by the government about our housing crisis. Insurance costs are out of control. Politics shouldn’t be a contest between liberals and conservatives the economic needs of the people should guide politics. If we don’t change course we are opening up the door to reactionary and revolutionary politics.

Transport policy and peak oil.

Our transport policy in Ireland doesn’t deal with the problems that we will face in the future. The private motor car is for many people a necessity. It is not a luxury. Our transport policy can’t last forever. Cars depends on petrol and diesel to run on and oil is a finate resource. Oil will run out in the future. We don’t know when this will happen but there will be a time in the future when we will run out of oil.

It is stated that if people would live close together in urban areas then public transport could be economical. But the cost of housing in urban areas means that people have to live in rural areas. This means that they will have to buy a car. We have seen that costs for running a car are rising.

These issues I have raised in this blog are not debated on the national media. They should be debated if we are to build a civilization after the oil runs out.
John O Brien

Cost of living in Ireland.

The cost of renting and buying houses in Ireland is too high. The cost of insurance is rising as well. If these costs were to be added to the inflation figures then Ireland would have high inflation. But these costs are not added to the price index and so our official inflation level is low.

People are paying too much for housing and insurance in Ireland. This means that people have less money to spend on other things. These costs are badly affecting the quality of life for Irish people. The burden of these costs are a drag on the economy. The response of the government to our housing and insurance costs has been poor. These costs will harm the Irish economy.
John O Brien.

Neutrality and NATO.

Ireland is a neutral country. This policy is popular with the voters. We as members of the EU may have to defend the EU militarily. I would have a problem with Ireland joining NATO. The reasons I have for my rejection of Ireland joining NATO has nothing to do with the traditional arguments about neutrality. My objection to NATO is due to the fact that Turkey is a major power in NATO. Yet Turkey is allied with Russia. Turkey is at war with the freedom loving Kurds of Northern Syria. I don’t think that we as a people should associate with an organisation that has Turkey as a member.
John O Brien.