The Green’s have got out of the blocks fast and got one of their major idea’s in the process of being implemented. The idea of a directly elected Dublin Mayor and more power to local councils. And this has been hailed in many quarters as a good thing. But I think it is a bad thing giving more power at a local area. If we look at all the tribunals in this country most of the corruption has come from the councillors. Most counties in Ireland have county development plans which outline where the county is going and how to plan for future growth. Where developments should be. But ask anyone from down the country what to do when you don’t get planning permission for a house and the answer is the same. Have a word to the local cllr.
The Local cllr knows that his job is in the line if he doesn’t sort out the planning permission and with a this and a bit of that the house gets planning permission. With many cllr’s doing that the development plan gets basically displaced. So what do we learn from that? In essence what we learn is that the further away the politician is from the people the less he is likely to bend the rules on a nod and a wink.
So what is the government going to do? They are going to give these people more powers. In an effort to give “power to the people”. In Ireland we don’t have the great civic mindset of our European Neighbours. We have a strange Mé Féin approach to life. Not entirety selfish we certainly don’t wish our neighbours poorly but we look out for our own interests first. It is not so much I guess as selfish but that we don’t see our selves leaving in a community where people’s lives are dependent on each other. We see our selves as individuals brought together not as a collective group to help each other but as a group brought together by pride in the 5 miles radius (or so) that we exist in. Be it exhibited by tidy towns or GAA.
Take houses in the countryside on of the big issues outside urban areas. People see it as an attack on themselves that they are being denied planning permission not as decision to try bring order to service provision for the community. They don’t The belief is that a local community knows what needs to be done to solve the local communities problems. Thing is community Ireland doesn’t exist in that way. The way community works in that way is that the community works as a homogeneous unit after the same goals. But in fact they rarely do.
So this idea of bring the power closer to the people will not bring the collective wisdom of the people to bare on local issues but instead just result in more nod and wink politics.