Apr 262010
 

So there you have it.  Máire Geoghegan-Quinn decided to hand back her ministerial pension for the duration of her tenure as an EU Commissioner.

Why?

Because of the public outcry.

And how do you measure a public outcry?

Well you don’t, unless you happen to own a TV station, in which case you send out some reedy-voiced cub reporter to interview gobshites on the streets of Ireland.

You’re a middle-aged man standing here outside the dole office and I’m a nervous 23-year-old girlie trying to look grown up.  So tell me, do you feel outraged that MGQ is getting a 100k pension?

I do.

What?

What?

What?

I do.  I feel …

Outraged?

Yeah.

Look, the general public don’t think at all.  We know that, because if they did, we wouldn’t have Fianna Fáil in government and MGQ wouldn’t be getting the hot job in Brussels.  This public outcry is something whipped up by loudmouth  populist gobshites like Joe Duffy as a substitute for genuine analysis.

It’s begrudgery dressed up as social concern, and it shows how low journalism in Ireland has sunk.

Let’s examine it rationally.

Should ministers have a special pension at all?

In my opinion, no they shouldn’t.  It’s a privilege to serve in government, and as we’ve seen with the Bertietron, there’s plenty of money to be made schmoozing after leaving office.

Asking MGQ to relinquish the ministerial pension in the public interest is nonsense.  By taking the Commission job, she’s no longer on the Irish public payroll, and therefore not taking a double hit of taxpayers’ money, save for the minuscule contribution we make to her salary as part of our EU obligations.

Many people retire from one job and take up another.  It’s normal, and would only be objectionable if MGQ was being paid on the double by the State.

But hold on.  Isn’t that what every former minister in our parliament does?  Aren’t they all getting a ministerial pension and a TD’s salary?

Oops!  Now we can see why the FF ministers trampled over each other to say that MGQ should relinquish the pension temporarily.  If they didn’t, public attention would focus on their own cosy little arrangement, while they exhort us to starve as part of our patriotic duty.

The question to be more properly put is this: why don’t all former ministers give up their pensions while they’re receiving a TD’s salary?

You couldn’t have that, though.  Could you?  Next thing you know, they’ll be saying Bertie shouldn’t have a free limo and two chauffeurs to drive him around the country promoting his daughter’s chick-lit novels.

And that, my friends, is why Máire Geoghegan-Quinn was forced to hand back the ministerial pension, for now.  But fear not.  This is a cross-party worry for ex-ministers, and you can be certain that a future administration, no matter what its colour, will find a lucrative slot for MGQ to make up the difference.

Watch this space.

  22 Responses to “Máire Geoghegan-Quinn Hands Back Pension”

Comments (22)
  1.  

    Hear hear Bock. This pile of crap has been making the main news on radio all fucking day and was the number one slot on RTE’s nine o’clock news. What the hell I thought? Is this what is concerning us now? A reject politician’s pension? Is this really worthy of public discourse considering the situation the country is in? Is this the hot topic? I did not hear one person remark on her pension: they had other things to worry about. I’m not defending MGQ but she’s hardly worth the effort that our “independent” “objective” fourth estate is putting in. What is gone wrong with our so called media? I used to think that objectivity, honesty, and the ability to prioritise a lead story were the foundations of good media analysis. Instead we get served with tedentiousness, dishonesty, misdirection and more often these days, downright lies. I wish the hacks would get a grip on themselves.

  2.  

    Bertietron? Bocktron

  3.  

    Come on Bock, you have to admit the government are doing their best to convince the public service, that we are all “sharing the pain”, she (MGQ) is another sacrificial lamb, and they have have lined up a few lately, probably orchestrated with the unions to ease the Croke Park agreement through. The power of controlling the airways, and the written work (wait til they get to you Bock!).

    As for Bertie, the artist my eye. If I hear “going forward” out of Cowen, I have an idea where some of Eamon Ryan’s woodlogs would go.

    Keep up the rant,

  4.  

    How the fuck can a former Minister get a pension and then a TD salary on top of it? Are they on pension or working? Double pay courtesy of the taxpayer? Taxpayer doubly fucked courtesy of the system…… Where else in the world does this happen???? It can only happen in EireNarnia.

  5.  

    You didn’t know this?

  6.  

    I can’t see why the woman is not entitled to the pension to tell the truth. Typical Ireland, back biting and resentment. I’m very dissapointed in Quinn, she should have told them to eat cake.

  7.  

    Val — I meant Bertiebot. Your contribution must have stuck in my head.

    Lucky — You’re reading my mind.

    Seconds — Legally, MGQ is entitled to the pension. And furthermore, she doesn’t work for the Irish state, unlike the former ministers who are still claiming pensions and also claiming TD salaries.

  8.  

    Is Bertie getting a pension and salary? Biffo is the fourth highest paid – in a country with just over half the population of London – leader in the world according to Vincent Brown tonight. Vincent is not one for combing the hair or make up on TV I notice.

  9.  

    Bertie is getting a pension and a salary from the State at the same time.

    Check it out here: http://bocktherobber.com/2008/10/irish-pensioner-suffers-from-cutbacks

  10.  

    What a thief.

  11.  

    I may have to assasinate her. She will die having her hair blow dried in one of those bowl things, when the nama angel strangles her with the flex.

  12.  

    Watch this space, indeed, and expect more.

    There will be squabbled over ‘sacrifices’ (that the rest of us would be more than happy to be in a position to make), a few drawn out show trials with lawyers raking it in, and a few of the guilty may even be asked, politely, to leave. Someone, may, after a decade or two has elapsed, actually serve time in goal.

    All of this to distract from our basic need; to feck the lot of them: bankers, developers and associated ‘professionals’, Civil War politicians et. al. out of their position of unaccountable power and give the rest of us a chance. And, while we’re at it, refuse to pay other people’s gambling debts.

    I hope we’re by now sufficiently clear about what’s going on, not to confuse PR, and tinkering at the edges of the problem, with systematic change.

  13.  

    Oh, and expect to hear more about how NAMA has ‘worked’, because some private investors have decided to put money into an institution that is guaranteed risk-free by the state.

  14.  

    Just heard Da Knacker has nailed himself to this cross being borne so bravely by so few and decided to give up his ould pension.

    No bandwagon worth its salt would be taken seriously unless the ultimate jumper got on board.

    Matryrs the lot of them. Will we ever forget what they’ve done to…sorry, for…..us.

  15.  

    Looks like Da Knack had little choice. i didn’t notice him rushing to do it before now.

  16.  

    Who’s Da knack? There’s a lora Knacks around. Is it Dat Knack..The one who can’t read or write or speaka de Engli?

  17.  

    Every cent has to dragged out of them. So Bock, populist or not I am glad they are beginning to moult from
    the heat. They have plenty excess coat to shed. It is a pity that it takes red top journalism to force the issue but nothing else seems to work. What we need is a constitutional amendment to fix politicians and public sector salaries and pensions by reference to the average industrial wage and capped as a multiple of average industrial wage. This would apply especially to judges and hard pressed (retire at 50 on full pension) prison officers and gardai. We badly need some equity in this country or a revolution to bring that about.

  18.  

    Tumbrel, Biffo says any proposals to end ministerial pensions to serving politicians would be unconstitutional , that they can volunteer if they wish. How nice of them! I always thought myself the idea of a pension was for pensioners.. i.e people who were over 65/66 who no longer worked, golden oldies in their hazy lazy days.. seems not in these parts.

  19.  

    Having heard the “unconsitutional” card being played when reduction of the salaries of the Judiciary was first mooted, and now for the compensation packages afforded to government ministers, I have to ask the question.

    If we were (not once, but twice) asked to amend the constitution to allow the ratification of the Lisbon treaty, can we not endure the pain of voting on referenda to accomodate the changes enabling these poor souls to be spared their angst?

  20.  

    FME. You only understand plain English. Not Irish English. In Irish English politicians pensions really means gravy for the boys. Its in the dictionary. A few weeks ago they changed the pension rules for everybody else. You now have wait until 67/68. Didn’t hear a squeek from Biffo or the AG. The AG and the constitution is rolled out to to defend judges and politicians and such luminaries. Didn’t hear a squeek from either when old age pensions were cut. Anyway as Bock says, the grunts must do their patriotic duty.

  21.  

    i’m sure MGQ will be entitled to 4 pensions after her present stint in europe.

  22.  

    Now now. Dont forget your place. They are above us. Their intellect probity and talent deserve to be rewarded. Add work ethic selflessness and an absolute commitment to the common good and you get very special people. The rest of us can only aspire to the levels of greatness they have worked a lifetime to achieve. If they had chosen another path sainthood might have been the reward. Look up in awe and admire – if you can see over the bank balances and wads of notes they somehow accumulate along the way.

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