Thursday, 14th December 2017
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Who remembers THAT letter?

“What letter?” I hear you cry!

In May last year, I wrote about a certain Neville Chamberlain’s political faux pas, which defined his office as Prime Minister of “Blighty”. On the 30th September 1938, after a meeting with

Chancellor Adolf Hitler, Chamberlain returned to England, via Heston Airport. He exited his “Corporate jet” waving a letter from his now BFF, announcing that there would be, “Peace for our time.”

Chamberlain, in those few brief minutes, was claiming that he had singlehandedly stopped the prospect of Armageddon. He had prevented World War II.

Scroll forward just under twelve months, to the 1st September 1939, which we now recognise as the

“Official start date” of WWII. For all

Chamberlain’s letter waving and pontificating, there was no substance to Chancellor Hitler’s letter. In fact we now know, that the letter was used to stall for time, to allowing Germany to build even bigger military forces. More disturbingly, this hand typed A4 piece of embossed paper, meant that the

European powers could “Legitimately” stand back, empowering Germany to make some significant land grabs.

Recorded history is a great reference point and I would advocate that we all every now and again, dip into it to see the journey we have taken.

On 6th May 2016 we, particularly in Waterford, became very excited about a similar piece of correspondence. A letter from the then Minister of Finance, John Noonan TD, was waved to us, by our own Junior Minister Halligan. This declared that a second Catheterisation Laboratory had now been signed, sealed and delivered for Waterford and the wider South East. The funding and building of the second laboratory was cast in stone. Written into that mythological document, “The Programme for Government”. Fine Gael, supported by a few Independent TDs, would construct our Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

We should have been very wary of such claims and promises. History has taught us to be cautious of people waving letters. But then again we somehow choose to learn so very little from our immediate past.

“Subject to a favourable recommendation from an independent clinical review of the needs of the region....” in the first paragraph of the Minister’s letter. This should have set alarm bells ringing. We were told that this review was merely a formality. Boy were we sold a banana boat with no paddle!

14 months later and we are in reality, no further forward. We’ve yet to see foundations being dug to build a Catheterisation Laboratory. This would give us access to the very basic rights to appropriate emergency care.

The political fudge, to appease the Waterford/SE hordes, was to provide a mobile laboratory. This too was also given lots and lots of PR spin. Yet many, many weeks have passed since this unit was supposed to find its way to Waterford, for the month of June. We are led to believe that

September is now the promised landing date for this unit – maybe we should club together and buy

Minister Harris a sat nav?

What is for sure is that Fine Gael, with its Independent Alliance support foundations, could sign off on the procurement, build and delivery of a Catheterisation Laboratory for Waterford and the South East, at the stroke of a pen! Far too many do not see Waterford and the SE as a priority, certainly Leo and Simon don’t.

There is, in all honesty, NO need for people to be asking for other parties to threaten this and threaten that, if the lab is not delivered. Let’s face it, the opposition parties are only interested in getting into power and not bringing down a Government. Asking the people to vote at another GE is not on the cards. There is NO appetite for this type of political revolt. Anyway, we only have two opposition TDs in Waterford, so in the Number’s Game, we’re zero/zilch!

OUR issue is that we need politicians who are prepared to box clever, whilst driving OUR agenda. We need people in power, representing us, who can forge alliances and work the dark, dingy corridors of power in the Dail.

OUR Political talent pool is just too small to make any real difference. Maybe next time around?

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