Avoiding wacky taxes

I was on radio in late June talking about the media and the election. Fellow-guests Kevin Rafter of the Tribune and Fionan Sheehan of the Indo amply demonstrated that journalists like to think they do a good job and can get testy about criticism. As it happens, I think those two guys are sharp and do their jobs very well: my criticisms are mostly about how those jobs get defined.


Clearly, it seems to me, among their duties is setting limits on debate. For example, on the previous occasion I was on a radio show with Sheehan, in May, he described the view that corporation tax should perhaps be higher than 12.5 per cent as “wacky”; he pronounced this less as a personal opinion than as a political judgment. So how would the Irish Independent deal editorially with someone holding such a view?

The question leads us inexorably back to the Green Party. Now the Greens have shampooed themselves flakeless and jumped through the media hoops – and accepting for the moment that Tara, Shannon, Rossport etc were understandable sacrifices given a weak negotiating position – can they possibly have an impact on the one issue they continue to flaunt with such impassioned, desperate commitment, global climate change? For example, given the overwhelming ideological-power nexus, can Eamon Ryan ensure that dirty ESB plants are closed down rather than sold to private operators?

And if they do manage to reduce Irish emissions, would the tiny effect on the global environment be worth, say, enduring more regressive taxes or putting up with nuclear energy – among the few “solutions” that our corporate/media elite would accept from a Green Party with such scant popular backing?