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Double Standards In High Places

A new law governing persons who are observed smoking in cars where children are present, has been approved by Health Minister James Reilly and will come into force, if passed by government, with effect from possibly July next.

Smoking

Under this new draft legislation, to be completed by the end of January, passengers as well as drivers will face fines of €3,000, if they are observed to be smoking in a private or commercial vehicle, where children are being transported.  Forest Éireann, a group who represent the views of consumers who choose to smoke, say the ban and fine amount to government bullying, especially in the context of people who are totally guilty of ruining this country financially, both while in government & in opposition.

Hayes-ReillyThere are presently one million smokers in Ireland, which is equal to a third of the adult population and smokers contribute €1.5 billion per annum to Revenues in tobacco duty alone.

The Irish Cancer Society, who now welcome these latest plans, have continued to support the government in increasing legalised tobacco taxes and by doing so, in reality, also now indirectly support Irish criminal gangs, who openly sell cigarettes, focusing directly on young people, thus making it easier for children themselves to take up the habit.

These sellers of illegal low cost tobacco cost the Irish Exchequer an estimated €581,963,500 in VAT and excise last year, equivalent to €1,594,420 per day.  These easily available illegal cigarettes have been found to contain up to six times the level of lead, five times the level of cadmium and three times the level of arsenic found in ordinary cigarettes. These cigarettes also contain  rat and mouse droppings, dead insects, floor sweepings and dust.

It is understood, under this latest proposed legislation, Gardaí (If we still still have any available & working by the summer) will be allowed to rely solely on their visual evidence, when cases come before Irish courts.

Meanwhile, talking about children, in the same crisis-prone Minister Reilly’s area of responsibility, teachers who report serious issues of continuous child neglect, to the Health Service Executive (HSE) are being completely ignored. This is despite last November, the children’s rights referendum having passed by a narrow margin of 58% in favour, versus 42% against and hailed, “A historic day for the protection of children in Ireland.”

Still I suppose anti smoking fines can generate easy indirect taxes, especially in a State which continues to be governed by overpaid & pampered union representatives, working mainly in the HSE & Public Service, for decades.

Cyber Bullying

Definition of Cyber Bullying: Use of communication technologies that seek to intimidate, control, manipulate, put down, falsely discredit, or humiliate the recipient.

Meanwhile South Tipperary TD Deputy Tom Hayes, has been appointed by the government to investigate cyber bullying. This is the same Deputy Tom Hayes who was involved in playing the ‘pizza prank phone call,‘ on Tipperary constituency colleague Deputy Mattie McGrath, a humiliating & intimidating event, publicly now referred too as ‘Pizzagate.’

You will remember five overpaid TDs, including Tom Hayes, rang the Tipperary Independent TD, pretending to be from a Pizza Takeaway Restaurant and said they too didn’t like banks and would send food to support McGrath’s worthy sit-in.

McGrath at the time was taking part in a protest at a ‘Friends First Dublin bank,’ in support of an impoverished farming family, when the call was received from the Dáil Éireann Bar. (I often wonder why the Minister for Health James Reilly hasn’t taken action to close this Dáil bar, especially given his governments policy in tackling our drunken culture.)

In “The Nationalist,” newspaper, (dated 3rd January 2013) this same South Tipperary TD Tom Hayes, chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communication, stated he was concerned about the growth of cyber bullying and abusive remarks generally made on social media. “People have to be made accountable for what they are saying. Members of the public across a wide section of Irish life are being subjected to bullying and harassment. Politicians are just one group of people affected by this. The fierce problems this issue is creating is very evident and it is of huge concern.”

How right you are Deputy Tom, & as my old Granny (God be good to her) used to say, “To err is human, to blame it on somebody else shows management potential, and when you decide to ridicule stupid people, sure remember this: Without them, you’d only be average.

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