Thursday, September 20, 2012

'Hulk' Hogan bats wide again...

The 'Hulk' Hogan in his usual place.


Government Ministers caught out praising
illegality :

As the Dáil resumed on Tuesday, Environment Minister Phil 'Hulk' Hogan waded in to the controversy over the letters from Clare County Council received by students applying for University and College maintenance grants threatening to withdraw the grants unless information was supplied proving that their parents had paid the so-called "household charge" introduced by Hogan earlier this year as part of the austerity programme of the Government's commitments to the EU/IMF bailout which the State is engaged in currently.

The "Hulk's" bullying attitude was apparent again as he endorsed the actions of Clare County Council as "reasonable" when they were nothing less than a crude attempt at intimidation of students and their parents in another failed attempt to extort money from families already under financial pressure from the severe economic crisis. Swift protest action by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), however, forced the Clare County Council and others who were hinting at doing the same, to back-off of one of the meanest and  most despicable attempts by the Government in trying to enforce the despised and unpopular "household charge". USI's action also exposed the clear illegality of this move which could have been easily made known to the Hulk by his officials before he made his foot-in-mouth statement in Dáil Éireann. Another example of Ministers in this Government showing absolute contempt for the people who elected them and forgetting that they are not members of a sovereign parliament like Westminster, but, subject to the sovereignty of the people under our republican Constitution, Bunreacht na hÉireann.

That a government minister, sworn to uphold the Constitution on taking office, would, in contemptuous ignorance, declare an obvious illegality to be "reasonable" is grounds for having such individual declared unfit for office. But, such is the low standard of our current batch of politicians, this is unlikely to happen anytime soon. The Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, former Leader of the Labour Party and once a respected figure on the Left, joined the controversy in similar vein agreeing with Hogan that the County Council actions were "reasonable", again showing ignorance of the law in that his Department provides the funding for the college grants and the local councils only carry out the administration and have no function or authority to delay or vary the provisions already stated in legislation.

 Ruari Quinn,(Labour), Minister for Education.

Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny was forced to admit to the Dáil yesterday that, as ascertained by USI and their legal advisers, County Councils were acting illegally in threatening to withdraw grants which were not funded by them but by the Department of Education. Nevertheless, there was no apology from Kenny or his ministers for the anxiety and stress caused to the students and their families by this crude attempt at bullying extortion. The so-called "household charge" is itself of dubious legality and will be challenged in the Courts. Aspects of its administration are also illegal due to serious flaws in the supporting legislation. The Government is on a loser in this and the sooner they realise this the better. In particular, the Labour members of the government should give themselves a revision course in the Constitution before they parrot the stupidity and ignorance of the likes of 'Hulk' Hogan.

Áth Cliath/Dublin
MeánFhomhair/September 20 2012

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