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Decriminalisation of Drugs

We need to learn from the experience of Portugal where drug use was decriminalised in 2001 if the user had no more than a 10 day supply. Sexually transmitted diseases and deaths due to drug use decreased dramatically. There has also been a 60% increase in uptake of treatment programs as of 2012.

At the time drugs were being decriminalised there was a fear that there would be more drug users and with that more crime. The opposite happened.

The tax payer also benefits with the decrease in costs of incarceration and the war on drugs.

Drug use should be discouraged without imposing penalties.

We need drop in centers with a staff of psychologists, doctors and peer support workers (themselves former drug users) offering clean needles etc, sandwiches, coffee, clean clothing, toiletries, rapid HIV testing, and consultations – all free and anonymous.


We need to understand the causes of crime, and social exclusion (where one feels left behind in society) is an important factor as are socio economic factors. We need to invest in outreach programs and community policing and recognise the needs of vulnerable youth who feel ostracised and are easily seduced by the camaraderie of criminal gangs. For this we need to invest in community projects and self-help schemes. However, the causes are deeply rooted which is why we must always be aware of the needs of the less privileged in our society.


Agency Workers

Terms and conditions for HSE staff need to be improved while the use of agency staff should be kept to a minimum rather than waste necessary funds. A cap should be placed on the use of agency staff to cut down on cost over runs which undermines permanent staff pay and conditions. However, agency staff play an important role in maintaining balance in the system.

Mental health

People should feel that informal services are easily available without stigma, such as counsellors and traditional healers. Those on lower incomes should be offered these services free of charge. We also need to invest in youth centers, rehabilitation centers, arts and crafts and any kind of facility that engages individuals with others in a creative and holistic way and promotes self-care.

No single service setting can meet all population mental health needs. Support, supervision, collaboration, information-sharing and education across the different levels of care are essential to any system.


School Buses

I don’t believe insisting everyone takes a bus is practical or socially acceptable. However, I do believe people should be incentivised to use school buses and that they do offer a great solution to all kinds of environmental problems (including traffic congestion) as well taking the burden of transporting children to and from school from parents.

Public Transport

In a perfect world all buses would be electric. However, we have to calculate the cost of changing to electric and weigh that up against the savings in carbon emissions. If the net effect justifies the cost as opposed to other carbon saving schemes then we should invest immediately. However, rural areas still depend on cars and we should consider more subsidies to convert to electric cars for individuals in these areas as opposed to those living in towns. We cannot guarantee public transport in these areas as it is simply not cost effective. Public transport should be reduced in cost to discourage people from using private transportation. Services should be developed on this basis to ensure they can achieve sufficient numbers leading to significant savings in carbon emissions. Reduce the cost to the optimal level.

Q. What’s you view on hunting?

A.Thanks for the question. Naturally I wish no unnecessary pain or distress on any human or animal and would be quite upset if that were the case. However, I lived for 3 years in Botswana and during that time spent an evening in the Chobe game lodge camped on a perimeter along with many other visitors. During the night I heard a lion roar and it was a life changing experience. I am so grateful I was privileged to have that experience as a 24 year old. The game park I understand is subsidised by hunting permits that are very specific in what can be hunted and the funds from these permits contribute to the upkeep of the park, while the hunting itself maintains sustainable numbers of various animal species. At one point Botswana had a serious issue with an explosion in the elephant population which had to be brought under control. So hunting is without a doubt a very positive thing for the Chobe game park and made it possible for me and others to be there while enabling various species to survive. Even without humans, animals are subject to hunting by other animals such as the Jackal that preys upon the antelope and other species. I would imagine a gun-shot would be more merciful than a pack of Jackals and that it is better to live with a full belly than to die of weakness and become vulnerable to other animal predators. So the question requires a fuller understanding of the ecosystem and the issues around conservation as well as the manner in which hunting is carried out. For example the income from license fees could be used in the conservation of species that are under threat while the manner in which hunting is carried out framed in such a way that does not inflict unnecessary suffering. I hope that answers your question? Please feel free to like the post if it suits you as that would help me to reach others.

Q. What’s you view on Immigration?????Housing,Homeless,Getting ripped off by Insurance Companies such as 123.ie

A. Immigration has brought great benefits to this country and enriched our culture in numerous ways. We need the diversity it brings if we are to be a member of the global community and address some of the shortfalls in our own culture. As a people we have migrated in our millions worldwide with barely a stitch on our backs. We of all people should know the value of respect for others while at the same time working to ensure those who would abuse the system are caught and dealt with swiftly. It’s much easier to project our sense of injustice onto strangers than open our eyes and see the real culprits: corruption practised by our own. As for housing and the homeless, the real issue is the need for reform in politics to prevent government from bailing out banks and handing a generation of debt to its people thus laying the groundwork for social unrest and a rise in reactionary behaviour. That is why my politics is the politics of reform to help lay the groundwork for a better society. As for the insurance industry: It needs to be liberalised to put an end to what looks like price fixing by making it easier for foreign players to enter the market. We can give up all hope or we can slowly bit by bit build a better foundation for our society to function upon.Otherwise special interests will continue to exploit the weaknesses in our system to their own advantage.

Q. They all say the same promise this promise that and then they get in and do nothing this country is in a mess its run by corrupt criminals hospitals and housing homelessness is a disaster town’s being destroyed by I’ll bred animals police officers have no respect nor power no matter what they promise none of them will ever be able to fix all the wrongs.

A. It does look bleak at times and you wonder if its worth the trouble but I am a firm believer that politicians can make a difference if they sincerely act to clean up the causes of abuse by ensuring greater transparency of day to day business as well as acting to tighten up the rules around political governance such as lobbying for example. Otherwise you can get criminals running for office as its a way to exploit legal corruption without getting caught. Sometimes the system simply sucks people in. My focus is to identify the loopholes based on existing research by Transparency International and to put together proposals that I intend to promote in such a way the council, I hope, will be keen to act (or certainly encouraged) once they see whats at stake, in order to be part of the solution, as they would recognise to not act would be to maintain the status quo, which the public in general do not want. It won’t solve all ills but it will be a start. The cleaner politics becomes the better the quality of representation we will get imo. Hopefully positive change can help to stimulate and encourage a healthier society suffering from far too much financial and social trauma. A lot of what we see as dysfunctional in our society is simply people trying to cope with their baggage imo. But your are right to be disheartened. Abuse of power is an ugly thing when you are a vulnerable member of the community not protected by good governance. It takes clear focus on the part of politicians to succeed and not get sucked in to the game.

Q. What’s your view on local traders objecting to any new development that what’s to setup business in town and create employment for people, the dog on the streets know who they are.

A. Thanks for the question. In my opinion we need a development plan which caters for the future while protecting the best of the past and making the town a more enjoyable place to be. Ardee for example is struggling to get on its feet with some developments in limbo. However it’s heartening to see the number of new coffee shops that have opened and the potential for the castle to play a key role in the regeneration of tourism built around walking tours and new relationships with tour companies for example. (We badly need the bypass.) Coffee shops are part of the new economy along with services and tourism such as we see in Westport being one of the ways to enliven a town with all the ancilliary services it brings. We have so much in our area that we can capitalise upon but totally ignore. Familiarity breathes contempt it seems. Times are changing and new modern development can actually benefit the town center if planned properly. We need to recognise how both can benefit one another rather than one destroy the other undermining its own best interests. Town center degeneration is not socially acceptable. So in order to achieve this balance I believe that planning permission for modern developments could be made less difficult if the council were to give complementary incentives for the promotion of business in the town center such as a reduction in rates and taxes breaks (which should be considered in any case). Both of these could in part be paid for from receipts of any income derived from any new development. I believe development should be handled carefully and organically with social provisions included and monitored to ensure it is successful rather than having a simple slash and burn policy that benefits the few when actually the few can benefit even more if they work with what is already there. Obviously shop values in the town would be affected. So a special development tax on the sale of land should be considered to build a town center revitalisation fund (which would include rates and tax breaks and subsidised business enhancements) to offset any potential losses by local traders as it is really the value in their businesses that is being exploited by the development of the land and that is not quite fair in my opinion nor desirable.

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