Water, Water Everywhere
Irish Water is possible the biggest PR disaster in Irish political history. The government should have threaded more carefully to keep the Irish people on side. Many people across the country are as happy as they can be to pay for water, however the way in which the government introduced Irish Water has even the strongest supporter of the government feeling a bit annoyed at the carry on at the top of Irish society. Irish Water's expenditure to the ordinary person goes far beyond what they expected and to have to pay for what many feel are indulgences of the political and social elites. This leaves many with an empty feeling in their stomach, and for many it proves that change hasn't happened since the government entered office in 2011. The government should be as annoyed at the carry on in Irish Water as the public and should set about insuring that money is spent on the very things they want pushed into the media, the need to fix leaks and pollution in the water supply.
Pat Rabbitte's assertion that RTÉ are leading support againist water charges, possibly doesn't stand up, but perhaps that's the balance of RTÉ as many commentators of the far-left have pointed out to RTÉ's lack coverage of the protests, which many view as pro-Irish Water and pro-Government. The last example of that is the Protest held in Dublin where RTÉ put the protest being attended by just 30,000 to 40,000, while Irish Water protestors put it at 80,000. Meanwhile Government TD Patrick O'Donovan suggested that RTÉ would rather watch pigs fly up O'Connell Street than deal with local issues, one could suggest this is a swipe at RTÉ's coverage of the water protest the previous Saturday.
Firstly Irish Water shouldn't be a Public Relations fiasco, Public Relations should have nothing to do with it. In 2011 on agreement of setting up Irish Water the government should have set up a plan to fixing as much of the leaking pipes and pollution as possible before handing the keys to Irish Water. Irish Water's only role (if any) in this process should have been to provide grants to the local authorities to carry out the work. Once leaks and pollution of the water had been taken care of, then Irish Water should have set about providing the dreaded meters and introducing water charge bills. This approach might not have been as much of a kick in the teeth for the public.
The bad management of Irish Water must also have people feeling low, clearly the former Minister messed up and for that achievement he was given a golden hand shake and the role of Ireland's Commissioner at the EU, indeed a position that he would not hold only for many on the far-left who successful campaigned to keep that position at the heart of Europe.
Labour's low showing in the polls is down to this and this alone. Calling for RTÉ to Inform, Educated and Entertain is all well and good, but it would be remiss of RTÉ not to inform its audience of the money spent by Irish Water on Consultations.
This information can educate the population as to how rings are run around Government Ministers by the Civil Service who spend their time insisting that the cart goes before the horse.
No one needs to know about water conservation more than the Irish Public, but the Irish public don't go around leaving taps turned on, overly flushing toilets or running the tap to watch their teeth. These are basic water conservation techniques shown on RTÉjr, but then Pat Rabbitte as minister couldn't even make a decision on that channel when asked.
No the political elite are running water down the drain and the public are just far too sensible not to ignore their complete lack of understanding.