Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Four Seasons Harvest? Four Generations Harvest!

The Merits of Going Organic 

That sheen is because the one on the left is coated in plastic wax from a new Laois Recycling Plant: Trifol.
Back into the food chain of all places. The one on the right is from Harmony Hall

The Organic Trust stipulates that it takes 6 years to get organic certification because it only takes that long to eradicate all trace of chemicals. I say 'only' because imagine our whole landscape, in just six short years, if we started nation-wide now. We only have to say goodbye to the jobs we did not want anyway and take up the extraordinary gift of participation in this system change. 

Maybe You're Already There

Maybe during the pandemic, you have put the time in, in the garden, setting up a subsistence-plus lifestyle, just in case: Enough vegetables, fruit, nuts, beans and berries to feed your household and potentially surplus to sell or exchange when you really get going. Small food producers are going to be heralded as central to Ireland’s food security and supported. Manufacturers will be asked to revision their practices. Innovators will be expected to generate useful products and responsible technology.

Organic apple cider vinegar, vodka and syrup from Highbank Organic Orchards, Kilkenny

Get With the Programme

There is so much work to be done, well paid and recognized. Just think, from green design, to horticulture, on the land too for natural agriculture, to retrofitting, repurposing and developing education materials, in line with the knowledge we need everyone to have. Everything you have studied, looked into in your own time, experienced and dreamed of was preparing you for this moment. Decide what you’re going to do and create an action plan and road map. 

Organic Vegetable and Fruit box from the Castlecomer Road 

We weren't born yesterday

None of us are starting a new journey, as if we were born yesterday. We have interests, skills and priorities. We even have possessions. Cars that could be converted to waste chip pan oil or biodiesel, or ethanol, or even converted to electric. Other people have nurtured plants and crops that in the past would only be successful in warmer climates. We needed sheltered growing spaces first to protect from frosts but not so much now with global warming. Instead, we need them to be robust to withstand the erratic weather and destructive storms. Let’s not just aim for a ‘four seasons’ harvest, where there’s something to eat in the garden all year around. Let’s press on and aim for a ‘four generations’ harvest so there’s something to eat for our children and our children’s children.

Yes that's my New Directions radio show episode on going organic and vegan and it didn't end there!
At Harmony Hall we started to teach raw, vegan  food prep too
where consumers get to benefit from the full vitamin and mineral profile of the ingredients, detox from processed foods, toxins and addictive sugars and yeasts,  nourish every cell, easily absorb the lot and everything delicious without needing a huge plate full 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Financing the Gossamer Web of Life Instead of the WWW. of Technology

"Gossamer" is something super fine and delicate — like a spider web or the material of a wedding veil. The original gossamer, from which these meanings come from, is the fine, filmy substance spiders excrete to weave their webs. Biodiversity is gossamer-like, wings and leaves of a fabric  so sheer as to be almost see-through.

Sprayed reeds led to grass-sick land

You might ask where is the money going to come from to support this emerging social economy, carbon tax on top of everything else? No! Focusing on tax is always going to be seen as punitive for us, here in the country, where we need our cars and to manage an acre or few acres of land. Think instead of how many incentives are on their way; solvent businesses, rewards for protecting our environment and future, democracy, fairness, food sovereignty and a tangible rise in our quality of life.   

Making sheltered growing spaces = microclimates supporting avocado, olive and orange trees as well as seed beds for the usual suspects kale, beetroot, edible pansies, cauliflower, chard and beyond. 

Yes, there is about to be more money for sustainable and social projects. Crucial services that had to fundraise before will now get the stable funding they need. How though? System change isn’t only about implementing positive initiatives. It requires also that destructive practices stop and this will be surprisingly lucrative. For example, if the bill is passed to ban hare coursing, the public money that went to the Greyhound Board can also be ring-fenced for Ireland’s recovery. Think about the EU subsidies that farmers must pay out mainly for veterinary pharmaceuticals and agricultural chemical companies. Imagine that the farmers get to keep that money and produce clean food; high welfare, free range, organic becomes the norm. Imagine, no imports being allowed that would undermine our producers. 

Diversify so that there is always something in flower for the pollinators and making a 4-seasons harvest possible

It is a win win win; Our health improves, the hare and other wildlife re-establish themselves, biodiversity comes back to keep the crops pollinating, even the worms, our master composters, return. On what authority do I speak? I have completed Masters studies in Business and Education but most applicable of all was the Master Composters training I did with Carlow County Council, run by Stop Food Waste. Soil supports 95% of our food production and yet it amounts to less than a coat of paint in thickness if spread around the whole planet. This film of 2018 shows what happens when drought or other severe weather events, over-grazing and chemical practices demonstrate how the living soil is not invincible. 

There are many subsidies that have come to our attention and therefore to our public representatives’ attention. With the majority of people unanimously behind them, we now have a critical mass in government to decide that those misdirected subsidies and monies lost through tax breaks, for destructive industries, should be used to support social and environmental enterprises instead. This money can be ring-fenced too like carbon tax to ensure it goes to good use. 

For the first time in Ireland’s history and maybe it’s the same for all countries, we can legislate for both nature and nurture. Our nature drives us to adapt for survival. It turns out that it’s our ability to nurture rather than exploit that may yet achieve it.  

Saturday, June 27, 2020

We have Eamon Ryan as Minister for Climate Action - Good News!

Maybe It Was Not a DIY Phenomenon, 
Maybe We Just Made The Transition

Climate action is something we all want. In the last couple of years we’ve been out on the streets demanding change. Thankfully we now have a strong posse in the Dail, including twelve specifically Green TDs planning a sustainable economy, through interest-free lending and cooperative businesses – which are owned by the people that work there and profits are shared. 

Seedlings and avocado trees at Harmony Hall

The policies being discussed will also mean that the labours of love you put in at home, during the lock-down, can reap rewards. New Housing policies intend to make it possible to earn a little extra money for renting the loft or garage you’ve just done up, so that you’re not means-tested as you are now, while being allowed to offer B&B without risking your income support. 

Girl power patio

Common dilemmas can be resolved at policy level. There’s going to be at least 150,000 homes built for social housing, on public land. They will be built around natural parks with meadow areas, allotments and orchards, designed to high spec insulation and non-toxic materials. Planning will observe energy saving factors and public transport availability. They will be so affordable, in the Cost Rental scheme where low-income families can realistically hope to buy their home, if they want to, for the exact price it cost to build.  
Property Developer - Frances Micklem

In every shape and form, there’s a fine-toothed comb been run through every system and policy that has not been working, in negotiations and in Green Party policy groups, of which I am a participant in several.  Already an abundant harvest is taking place of reforms that will correct everything from unfair competition in all sectors to the prohibitively high cost of taking legal action when you need to. 

The reason we voted in so many of the green party public representatives was that we needed a party to lead this change. What’s more, we have the backing of Europe, as there is the global push to meet climate action targets. That makes it a good time to be alive. We have nearly the makings of a democracy. We have potentially a shared social vision for a better quality of life now and a future for the next generation. I think we should join in, in every way we can.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Ireland's Government Negotiations = Nuremberg Trials Part 2

The Programme For Government
What a truth telling exercise! Unprecedented!

Speaking for myself, as storyteller, Frances Micklem: Let me reiterate that voting either way for the Green Party to enter a coalition or not is totally valid. 
What is actually important is for everyone to remember the Truths they exposed. The work that has been done has never been done before in any government in any country. All the questions have been raised about how the country is being run and how that can be changed in every sector to meet the needs of society and protect the environment. This didn't take place in a pub or a social justice forum. It took place in the halls of the Dail, with each party present with equal influence. 

Focus your imagination only on Fine Gael's contribution to those negotiations; they must have been fighting tooth and nail against climate action, against animal rights, against social housing, against clean food against public health. The only things they were 'for' were to protect the profits of damaging industries, to refuse taxation, all 'for' offering immunity and fostering relationships with those governments and industries committing crimes against humanity. Showing blatant disregard for ordinary people, let alone their habitat. 

If there is any concern about a lack of respect, in calling the Taoiseach Leo rather than Mr Varadkar, in the script, it is explained in this great Ben Harper song Excuse me, Mister. "I'm taking the Mr.
from out in front of your name, 'cause it's a Mr. like you that puts the rest of us to shame." Full lyrics at the bottom.

Just imagine if we had been watching the government negotiations on TV, all through the lockdown.

 Eamon Ryan said he wished they had recorded them and I do too.
The series could have been called: 

‘Nuremburg Trials Part 2. The Irish people representing all humanity: Victims of unethical human experiments and coerced research under National Socialism’. 

The gas chambers: supplied by Bayer Monsanto. 
Transport to concentrations camps: Animal Body Parts' Larry Goodman, Kepak, Queallys, Kerry group and Glanbia etc via the Food Industry and  
Gestapo farmers doing their bidding
A nation enslaved by poverty, illness, fear and addiction – Yes footage of all those queues at Macdonalds and Penneys would have been shown in evidence, with their complicit blindness to the people, animals and poisons in supply chains.
The negotiations would have been a gripping court drama. 

Protected Disclosure Case

Erin Brockovich (or rather the series' like-minded Irish heroine) gets up and says
I don't remember any other party going in to government demanding and negotiating for comprehensive changes like these. Yes, the final Programme For Government might be a case of controlled opposition, no one can take away the truths that have been told and the agreements that have been enshrined in the programme. 
Nazi Doctors: 
You are accused of racism in not supporting the Occupied Territories Bill, the historic anti-apartheid Irish Bill to ban criminal Israeli settlement products, (currently the illegal annexation, open air imprisonment, of Palestinians) that our community and tens of thousands across Ireland have fought hard for, since 2018.
Leo replies. Guilty as charged but it was Simon Coveney's idea
Pacifism and Neutrality:
Fine Gael, you are accused of being a pro-Israel lobby group in with the US government, against Europe, ensuring racists and war criminals profit from crimes committed in Palestine and the Yemen. And complicit in all the Wars where we provide the stop off for US war planes.  
Leo replies. Guilty as charged but I think that was Simon Coveney's idea too.
We have the choice, because of our Neutral status and the Lisbon treaty, not to take part in Security and Defence but you have refused both the Green Party, Fianna Fail and public will to protect Ireland's neutrality. 
Leo replies. Guilty as charged but it was Simon Coveney who got us so deep in that a year or two ago.

You are accused of avoiding climate action and any commitment to reduction in carbon emissions. Intending, instead, to put Ireland further in debt paying the fines for not taking action, under the pretext of mitigation.
Leo replies. I suppose yes, guilty as charged.
You are accused of dishonesty in your agreement with the Green Party, in your commitments to climate action outside the term of the government. You demonstrate an intention to neglect your responsibility and not honour it when the time comes.
Leo replies: Guilty as charged, I confess to even saying publicly that Fine Gael have only discussed changes for the second half of the decade because the Greens won't be in government by then.
You are committing fraud by giving the agricultural sector arbitrary preferential treatment in rating biogenic methane differently from other emissions, against scientific proof they are equally damaging.
Guilty as charged. I hoped voters would believe me on a trust me, I'm a doctor basis that all those pollutants and chemicals in food are safe for people and the planet.
Against the Public Narrative: 
You are increasing live exports rather than ending it. You are increasing the herd rather than reducing it. 
These should not be seen as violations that the Greens are agreeing to, as much as violations by Fine Gael that the Green Party have exposed during the negotiations. Don't shoot the messenger!
Against smaller farmers and Rural Ireland: You have not sought fair prices for farmers.
Do you confess to 100% social justice failure in your term of office?
Do you confess to pretending to meet the commitment of 20% organic through 1) making small farms go organic or not work their land at all. Meanwhile, 2) you intend to put no cap on herd numbers or feeding/housing/waste regimes in intensive farms?
Leo replies. Guilty as charged. But can I say in my defence, like I did to Paul Murphy TD in regard to the Emergency Payment: Rich people get paid for the work they do, like myself, and poor and/or rural people get paid commensurate to the useless articles they are.
Against national narrative:
You intend to keep hare coursing and greyhound industry financed.
You continue to allow fur farming.
Leo replies. Guilty as charged.
You have increased homelessness to 10,000 Irish people in your last term of office.
Now you intend to sell off public land and disempower local authorities further in providing homes.
How do you plead?
Guilty as charged but those private developers have said they're going to build lots of fine homes and they are surely the best people to do it.
Perverting the Course of Justice:
You are charged with withholding evidence of Ireland's trade and security deals, how do you plead?
Leo replies: Guilty as charged and we were particularly pleased with our success in this. It was mainly achieved by Simon Coveney's brother being head of RTE so we could easily control the media.

The Verdict

Here comes the cliff hanger! 
We expect someone to stand up and say
You are going down!
The Public look forward to an apology and compensation but are maybe willing to forego retribution and incarceration.  
But no!
The court says: 'Go and settle this between yourselves' and off the 3 parties go for nearly six months' negotiations.
The Green Party have all the cards; the number of TDs needed, the plan, the values, the momentum, the public support (oh no, for some ludicrous reason we have reams of people who purport to caring about the environment, their children's futures, their community, their own health and well-being but have decided on a technicality that they won't back the Green Party in their efforts to be a political arm to that movement.)
Still, the time comes and they go back in to court. The judge delivers the verdict.
'Fine Gael you are sentenced to 5 more years Community Service in government but don't worry, you'll be like those mafia guys in prison with all the power and all the mod cons. You'll still be able to do all the things you were doing before this trial. You will be given a new license to operate under 'A coalition with Fianna Fail and The Greens'
Green Party, this was essentially a 'Protected Disclosure Case' (designed by Simon Coveney). This means that:
You will have to pay all the court costs.
You were the whistle blowers so you will be made to regret challenging the status quo.
 None of the evidence that you have exposed of Fine Gael's misspending of public money and bad practices will pass to the Public Prosecutions Office.
You will be made to sign an NDA, a non disclosure agreement, whereby you concede your votes on upcoming bills, to the coalition.
The court will let you know the costs in due course but they will include...and this is not an exhaustive list: All your hard work, votes, the environment, public health and any chance of a social economy.
These outcomes will be publicised as your fault. This will mean that no authority, legal body, industry or individual will be given or expected to take responsibility for any part of Ireland's failure to make a green transition. 
This case is closed.
Just to reiterate, there are valid arguments either way for the formation of a coalition. 
But don't miss the real point:
The Programme For Government tells us things the public never would have known about Fine Gael's corrupt relationships with Israel and the US, totally out of alignment with the European Union and even more out of alignment with Ireland's Neutrality and recent history of oppression ourselves. It tells us of their corrupt relationships with meat, dairy and agrochemical food industries, hospitals, technological and pharmaceutical imports and exports 
 How Fine Gael stand in complete opposition to climate action, housing action, public health and the core values of every Irish citizen.
Think after you read this courtroom drama, about how Fine Gael did not put any of the preceding court proceedings in to their manifesto. 
Excuse Me Mister
Ben Harper

Excuse me Mr.
Do you have the time
Or are you so important
That it stands still for you

Excuse me Mr. won't you
Lend me your ear
Or are you not only blind
But do you not hear

Excuse me Mr., but
Is that natural oil in the sea?
And the pollution in the air Mr.
Whose could that be?

So excuse me Mr.
But I'm a mister too
And you're givin' Mr. a bad name
Mr. like you

So I'm taking the Mr.
From out in front of your name
'Cause it's a Mr. like you
That puts the rest of us to shame

It's a Mr. like you
That puts the rest of us to shame

And I've, I have seen enough, I've seen enough to know
That I've seen too much

Excuse me Mr.
Can't you see the children crying
You say that you can't help them
Mr. you're not even trying

Excuse me Mr.
Just take a look around
Oh Mr. just look up
And you will, you will see it comin' down

Excuse me Mr.
But I'm a, I'm a mister too
And you're givin' Mr. a bad name
Mr. like you

So I'm taking the Mr.
From out in front of your name
'Cause it's a Mr. like you
That puts the rest of us to shame

It's a Mr. like you
That puts the rest of us to shame

And I've seen enough, I have seen and I have seen
I have seen enough to know
That I've seen too much
I've seen enough, I have seen enough, to know that I have seen too much

See 'cause Mr. when you're rattling
On heaven's gate
Let me tell you Mr.
By then it is too late

'Cause Mr. when you get there
They don't ask, they don't ask what you saved
All they'll want to know, Mr.
Is what you gave

So excuse me Mr.
But I'm a mister too
And you're givin' Mr. a bad name
Mr. like you

So I'm taking the Mr.
From out in front of your name
'Cause it's a Mr. like you
That puts the rest of us to shame
It's a Mr. like you
That puts the rest of us to shame

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Shouldn't We Ask Why Ireland Needs Protecting From Fine Gael?

Dysfunctional Family Metaphor

it is like having a go at your mum when your Dad's just stopped your allowance and kicked you out of the house without any dinner or way of going anywhere safe to stay.
Isn't it mad that the main job of the Green party, PBP and the Independents is to prove that they will and can protect people from the main parties Fine Gael and Fine Fail. Why do we not expect Leo Varadkar, for example, to care about or proactively address any of the things that matter in society? 

Manufactured Consent For Greed, Exploitative Industries and Dishonesty

The main parties have somehow manufactured a consent to their inexcusable use of public money, their reluctance (and worse) to tax the harmful industries. We have inadvertently agreed that it's somehow perfectly alright for them to beaver away behind the scenes divvying out four times the going rate for private hospital beds in hospitals owned by their friends...
(I've just had an awful thought: If Larry Goodman's Animal Body Parts and Queally's Meat and More have got into private hospital ownership and they were the gangs at the heart of the horse meat contamination party, we should probably be food safety testing samples for traces of human flesh too! Nothing would surprise at all and it would save them a few quid on getting rid of hospital waste, known in their vocabulary as 'disposal of carcass costs'. They should probably do a head count of their workers too to see if there's anyone missing after the pandemic clusters. Nobody wants to end up in a tin of pedigree chum do they?)

Does it count as 'Negotiations To Form A Government' when the Exiting Government are only protecting Private Interests?

So even during negotiations, they get to be brazenly irritated if someone asks them to do anything at all to protect the environment; propose some climate action; anything at all to promote public health or even allow people to exist properly. They never proffer an answer to the questions on everyone's lips. 'What the hell do you think you're doing and why? They won't even answer a direct question without being extremely defensive and not remotely respectful, let alone empathetic or trustworthy.

Absurd Outcome: People Are Blaming The Wrong Party

On the other hand, it seems to be not alright at all, if an essentially democratic entity large or small can't get a result for the people. It's not so surprising that, in negotiations, the Greens are having a hard time standing up sufficiently to the tidal wave of ignorance, greed, bullying and systemic abuse of power that is everywhere they turn. Why do people choose to call that a let down or compromise rather than notice we shouldn't need to be protected from our acting fine gael ministers...should we?! It's bizarre!!

Monday, June 8, 2020

Teagasc Spending Public Money on Farrowing Crates?!

I was shocked and would like to object whole-heartedly to your current contract on e-tenders, looking for someone to build more farrowing crates. Ireland is moving away from intensive farming. I read in your research of 2019 that a large proportion of sows roll over their piglets in a free pen, more than they do in a controlled pen. Without doing any more research, you could conclude that that means the ‘free pens’ are not sufficiently bigger that the previous ‘control pens.’ At least the research confirmed that piglets were healthier if they did survive in a 'FAT system of free pens...although I thought that 'fitness' levels was too strong a word for an animal that is never allowed to move further than one metre.Teagasc Study Findings

They don't roll on piglets in 'control pens' as they haven't room to stand up

They do roll over piglets in free pens because there is not enough room to lie down

 This isn't the first time we've been embarrassed and let down by Teagasc. You were, only a few years ago, experimenting with the genetic modification of potatoes, which is illegal in Ireland. To avoid detection, you were employing plant pathologists from abroad, Africa and Honduras who would be glad of the work and unlikely to disclose the details. It came to light as I helped one or two doctors with their English before their interviews with you. I believe Minister Noonan and MEP Grace O'Sullivan had to take the matter to Europe to get Teagasc to stop the GMO work. Please confirm that you did in fact stop the GMO work. 

Perhaps it hasn't filtered down yet but farming has a massive role to play in climate action, pandemic minimisation and financially, in the New Green Deal.

I ask you to please revisit your pig management Fetac Level 5 which is so unbelievably popular with 500 participants one year, I noticed, and start teaching them about genuine care, respect and small, high quality, environmentally sensitive farming, commanding high value with local consumers, the stress-reducing benefits of on-farm slaughter. This is, as opposed to how to manage heat-stress in a completely un-natural, inhumane, indoor, over-populated system.

The majority of pigs are confined here and we're the worst in Europe. Although I see that you are most interested in the Chinese system. Like most people, I have seen the 'hog hotels' with piglets going up and down in the lifts and hundreds of thousands of pigs that had to be killed en masse with the swine flu. Even closer to home, up the road there are the AI facilities with twenty thousand pigs each.

I support lots of farmers in the Kilkenny region and they all say that the message from the authorities and government is still to increase animals and yields and no mention of diversifying and natural ways to build soil fertility.  

Call me soft-hearted but the national narrative about animal welfare does not define it like Teagasc does; 'to avoid carcass loss'. We're still hoping for the 5 freedoms, which include the chance to display normal behaviours. I am a small pig farmer myself; free range, organic, bedding rather than concrete, fresh air and the pigs have things to do. They are engaged purposefully in rooting, to aerate areas for future crops. Their manure is also gainfully employed for soil improvement. 

We don't want these practices on our conscience; tail docking, teeth extraction, testicle-removal, all without painkillers; animals never seeing daylight. The Irish, like everyone, are being encouraged to cut our meat and dairy consumption; to stem the need for antibiotics, to reduce untreated run off from farms or use it for energy generation. We don’t want unwanted dairy calves driving the price of cattle through the floor. They want small suckler herds, local markets meaning less preservatives in food, no debts. The public know that to build our immune systems, we have to stop the use of chemicals in farming, food and animal feeds.

You're supposed to be leading the way and here I see that again public money is going towards things that not only we can do without but Nature cannot manage.  

Please re-think your "Milk Replacer Feeding System (Farrowing Rooms and Weaner Pens)" public spending. 

Thank you, Frances Micklem

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Ireland's Emergency Payment & Financial Recovery

People will be relieved to hear that Green Party TDs are fighting for us. They aren't going to let the Taoiseach cut the emergency payment. Everyone has been asking me and I got this statement - 

Green Party on €350 Emergency Payment

'Simply ending the only source of income for thousands of people left with no opportunity to return to work, would be against the Green Party's vision for an Ireland of social justice and equity. We believe that we must operate within a model where the social, economic and environmental elements of our society work inharmony for the advantage and betterment of every resident. This is why the Green Party has previously proposed the introduction of a system of Universal Basic Income. We are still supportive of this position. The Party is also supportive of the introduction of a not-for-profit public banking model, along the lines of the Sparkassen banking system in Germany.'

But Green Party, do not let the Taoiseach press on with it before negotiations are finished and a government is formed. Nothing should happen until then.

What about Conserving Water

Environmentally safe companies and dangerously bad ones

Does everyone know this; when there's been no rain, make sure you're using the sort of washing up liquid on the left, not the right (another reason to ensure the masses have enough basic income to buy cleaning stuff without micro plastics in them!) and throw all your dishwater outside on the plants that are valiantly flowering!

Variegated Broom

If you've ever been in a sinking a boat, like we collectively are these days, environmentally, you'll know all about bailing. This is me bailing out water from the sink rather than let it go down the drain. Things are so symbolic these days!

Bail Out
To which EN replies:
I'm doing that as much as I can, & water from washing veg & using bath water to flush the upstairs toilet! it takes more time but feels very satisfying giving water a 2nd use, otherwise I feel so guilty allowing perfectly good water (except for the flouride & too much clorine, but that's a different post!) go down the drain! I visited a water treatment plant on a college field trip & the effort that goes into water cleaning is unreal, we all need to use it wisely all year round

But the TE points out the lunacy of the 

Individual Conservation versus Hotel Waste of Water

All hotels and catering have been closed so far, a hotel wastes so much water per business on full occupancy, the amount is literally unimaginable, and we have irish water telling us not to keep taps running whilst brushing teeth, where is all the water that has not been wasted by the hotels so far ?? apparently water treatment facilities are running dry and drought is near so they say ?? as for covid pay for us it has been a life saver and social protection is absolutely necessary but unemployment is at 26%, percentage is a lump of the entire head count including elderly, pensioners kids and sick, or doesn’t represent the 26 percent out of the work force, there is two way out of this situation in economies 1 - devaluation of the currency via printing free money in this case is euro 2 - inflation which translates in to buying less for your money, in other words rising prices in all products either way this boat is sinking and I think Britain was in the know of something big was coming and they did every trickery in the book so they could jump off of a sinking boat of europe before shit hit the fan so to speak

To Which I reply,

You're right, it is absolutely absurd with water use in hotels and food manufacturers and everywhere, just sluicing down production lines with oceans of fresh water and then chemicals and then fresh water again. If people in India and Africa and indeedmuch of Europe caught us at it, they would break down and cry. They haven't even got enough to drink let alone grow food and Ireland is so toxic and wasteful. It's actually embarassing. And that's just water. Waste as well is horrendous. Pasta Concepts a toxic shock experience in Naas I think waste a whole tonne of pasta every single lunch time. . And the new recycling plant Trifol in Laois melt down dirty plastics into a wax to coat Irish apples in. Same company, different plant, Glen-something Water let their aquifer get contaminated and run low. They started just bottling water from the mains. When the council charged them for their excessive water usage, they claimed it must be a leak, got a JCB in to create such a leak and made the council pay for mending that too! Yes, you've guessed it, the parent operators are meat processors, the Queally's. 125 of so new cases each week of Covid 19, 28 or so hospitalizations each week too. It's mortifying how disgusting and ignorant companies are. I'm planning a little EPA training, see if we can get managers reviewing their resource use! How are you doing?

Paul Murphy TD had shared the situation that Leo Varadkar was trying to cut the emergency payment asap. The Taoiseach's plan was similar in tone to when he was minister for social protection. Back then he implied the majority of people were criminals scamming the system. This time he's saying that people won't go back to any work they can get because they think 'they've won the lotto' with the emergency payment.   TD Paul Murphy asks Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to live on €350 a week before he cuts payment and his pompous response.

Then Paul Murphy TD looked at the bigger picture. What is Ireland's plan for recovery, socially and financially? Here is the apparently innocent article Programme For Government Must Include Fiscal Responsibility, Leo Varadkar Says 

but Paul Murphy points out 

Fiscal Responsibility = Austerity

"Fiscal responsibility" - the establishment's code phrase for austerity. We've had over a decade of it, and we're starting to see their agenda move into action with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil's push to cut the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. 
No party should play ball with this right wing neoliberal agenda - if that means another election to kick these FG/FF out, then so be it.'

To which I respond,
Thank God you're pointing out the agenda. It's not often obvious how economics work and how an idea is waltzed in as if it's inevitable. I read about Greece who was recently celebrated for managing its debt but a real analysis showed that it's only a success if they stay in austerity until 2060. Is that what we want for the future? We need to do our own thing, get public banks (already in Green Party Policy thank God) and recognize our sovereign right for the State to make money to do the things we need to do - ie Public Banks. We also need a universal basic income (also already in Green Party Policy...thank goodness someone has thought this through!) 

Why is the Taoiseach pushing for these devastating moves for the Irish people?

 Is Leo Varadkar a fascist underneath? He was a doctor I remember and I've supported many people through our health care system and therefore in meetings with doctors and consultants and he's showing all the signs of superiority. Oh I know, everyone is lovely and all that and doing their best but we must keep our wits about us. Maybe we really shouldn't have Fine Gael in power still, in any shape or form?

To which JB responded,

They want to keep us under a fiscal cosh forever. From 2008 it was because of the failure of their economic system - the one they said wasn't ideal but it was the only one that worked - that one. Now they see another chance to immiserate and exploit us- this time almost indefinitely. You see I can understand that people borrow money and owe it to a bank. But when *everyone* borrows money who is lending it? When a country like the US borrows 2 trillion no bank can lend that. Only the World Bank. And the World Bank is our bank. It's us. So we're borrowing money from ourselves. In which case: why can't we forgive our own debt? Who would lose out if we did? None of this stuff makes any sense at all: which I think is rather the point isn't it? I don't think it's supposed to.

To which I responded,
The history of when countries gave away their right to create money to private enterprises. That was the first thing, which we can sort out no problem at all by creating public banks and actually nationalizing the existing banks, would be a justified and actionable rebellion right now. The second mistake was that lending used to be based on the ol' golden peg - how much gold a country actually had. Now banks can lend and recoup with interest any amount of trillions they like. What I'm trying to do is set up a public bank here with our water as our golden peg. It's tangible, valuable and it still rains here. It's our greatest resource and the bank's lending criteria would be for operations of food production, social services and conservation that make wise use of it. Even without charging interest, which it shouldn't, a public bank creates money. Because with a bank structure, they can lend 8 times what they have in reserve and just the repayments of that multiple the actual reserves by eight. In Germany, 70% of the market is in their public banks, free of commercial banks/World Bank and associated interest and debt. Credit is a public utility. Debt should absolutely be forgiven I agree. A country needs to be brave to do it but I am the public banking queen and command that we take back the sovereign right of states to create the money needed!!...I do a good bit of commanding but not much has happened yet as a result!! 

Public Bank Proposal I'm exploring this last couple of months and my colleague has been working on for over a two decades: Richard C Cook in Conversation with Yours Truly