Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Double Standards’ Category

Extend Health and Safety Authority powers on social distancing in Irish Workplaces – The Bad Example of Keeling’s Company

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Paul Murphy TD :

If you walk more than 2km from home you face a jail sentence.

Yet companies forcing workers to work shoulder to shoulder without PPE face no inspections, no enforcement, no fines.

The Health and Safety Authority must start investigating complaints of companies breaking the Covid-19 guidelines. They should start with Keelings.

The Irish Examiner Reports :

TDs have called for extended powers for the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) in order to ensure social distancing in work places.

There is currently no state agency which has the statutory authority to carry out workplace inspections to ensure that appropriate physical distancing measures to protect against the spread of Covid-19 are in place.

Confusion has arisen over who would monitor sites after Rise-People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy says he was “passed from Billy to Jack” while trying to ensure that fruit producer, Keeling’s workers in Co Wexford, who have been flown in to Ireland from other states in the EU for seasonal work, could adhere to guidelines for their own safety.

The HSA has said that currently it has no powers in overseeing the Covid-19 guidelines, despite Business Minister Heather Humphreys stating in the Dáil last week that she was “talking to her officials about it”.

Previously, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said the HSE would oversee such guidelines.

However, the HSE Environmental Unit has reportedly stated to Mr Murphy that it is not their role either.

Mr Murphy written to Minister Humphreys to urge the Government to reconsider the issue as a matter of urgency, as a number of worksites, including 35 “essential” public housing construction sites, have restarted work with government permission, while others expect restrictions on other construction and other workplaces will be loosened when the current run of guidelines runs out on May 5.

— Read on www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/call-for-extended-hsa-powers-on-social-distancing-996293.html

Some people may be surprised that a government headed by Fine Gael Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is unwilling to take action against the Keeling’s Company – an explanation can be found in this image :

Taoiseach Varadkar Campaigning With Owners of Keeling’s Fruit Picker Company in 2015

The Fine Gael Government was lobbied in February 2018 by Keeling’s Boss, the Chief Executive Caroline Keeling, who wants tax laws changed so that her family’s personal profits can be dramatically increased. Read the rest of this entry »

Can Words Force Covid-19 Nursing Home Action? Right To Die With Dignity – Right To Work With Dignity

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The direct testimony below broadcasts the horrible reality of nursing homes. The political establishment sugar-coats the phenomenon. This helps the owners to financially, socially, and politically benefit from a sick system.
I saw my mother waste away for three years in a nursing home, and chose to see the reality. It is an an approach that focuses us on the need to fight for better alternatives for us all in the very near future.

We need a system where we all have the right to die with dignity. Workers in these institutions have a right to live with dignity. These two principles go hand in hand.

The source is the Facebook Page of Honor Heffernan – a nursing home worker courageously offers direct testimony – we must support and encourage others to do likewise – it is the only effective way to confront and solve this crisis. In Ireland “Right to Die With Dignity” Legislation is very long overdue – it is now an overdue emergency. – John Meehan

I got a call from the owner of a nursing home this week desperate and crying. All of her permanent staff were sick or in isolation and the agencies had no nurses available.

I arrived on Friday morning- supposed to be the 2nd nurse with 5 HCAs to support 24 residents. Instead what transpired was I was the only nurse with 3 HCAs as the other agency staff failed to show.

I had never been in this home before, so I didnt know the residents or how to navigate around the home.

The author continues :

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“ Dialysis Machine Shortages Lay Bare Wider Threat From Covid-19” – Bombshell Story from the Financial Times, April 7 2020

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A bombshell story appears on the same day that most Mainstream Media Outlets Worldwide are Over-Blitzing readers about the British Prime Minister staying in hospital.

Leading London hospitals are running short of vital equipment in intensive care wards, including blood dialysis machines needed to treat patients suffering from coronavirus-related kidney failure, according to a leaked memo. The shortages, which go far beyond concerns about the lack of ventilators and protective equipment, emerged from a conference call of some 80 senior National Health Service doctors. They illustrate the way Covid-19 can damage much more than the lungs and respiratory system in patients who become seriously ill — affecting the kidneys, heart and occasionally even the brain. The 1,000-word memo, seen by the Financial Times, is written by Daniel Martin, head of intensive care for serious infectious diseases at the Royal Free Hospital. It paints a picture of doctors and nurses still scrambling to develop treatments for coronavirus as the shortages bite.

The Financial Times Uses Excellent Editorial Judgement – Covid-19 Can Trigger Multi-Organ Failure – Critical Shortage of Dialysis Machines in the British State – “Johnson remains in hospital” a minor story
Read the rest of this entry »

Acting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar the Volunteer Doctor – Celebrity Distraction, Hindrance to Health Services?

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A worker asks us if the celebrity actions of the Irish Acting Taoiseach are a help or a hindrance to the war against the CoronaVirus Epidemic.

Seriously. What worries me is not Leo the Doctor, but Leo the Taoiseach.

I think the discussion on whether he worked as a Doctor and has the experience or not is not the real issue. This ‘fact’, whatever it is, has very little value, if any at all, in terms of our situation, our lives and the state of the health system and the country as a whole.

  1. He is paid and uses his authority as the leader of the country, not as a volunteer Doctor.
  2. As a volunteer Doctor, his actions or his help is no bigger or smaller, no more or less significant than thousands of other healthcare workers. Why this big fuss, big media headline?
  3. Why, because the mainstream media is on this “let’s be positive at all costs” trip. Leo has now a new PR machine.
  4. We just got defective Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shipped from China. Total incompetence.
  5. Nurses and other workers in hospitals are not fully protected in terms of PPE. Listen to nurses.
  6. Student nurses are NOT paid as we believed to be the case. Fact.
  7. Private hospitals are NOT nationalised as we believed to be the case.
  8. Workers are facing serious problems, in terms of ambiguity of definition of essential/essential services, health and safety other challenges from bosses. Listen to workers.
  9. People in homeless hubs, hostels, or in overcrowded family conditions – cannot self- isolate.
  10. Asylum seekers in Direct provision are living in extremely dangerous conditions.
  11. Doctor Leo Varadkar the Taoiseach still targets the poorest, lowest paid workers in his latest statement (See the IT piece today)
  12. People are extremely worried about piling up rent and utility bills.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bluebottle Alert – British Prime Minister Johnson and his Health Minister Hancock Have the CoVid-19 Pox – Schadenfreude Moments

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Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, and Matt Hancock, British Health Minister, Got the Pox – “Ten Blue Bottles Sitting on a Wall; And if One Blue Bottle Should Accidentally Fall?; There’ll be Nine Blue Bottles Sitting on a Wall…”

New British Tory Party Logo

British Tory Bluebottle : “Bluebottles, like other flies, are often found on refuse tips, rotting animal matter, dirt and dustbins. They commute from filth to food and carry bacteria on their legs, feet and bodies.
Remedy
Keep dustbins clean, with tight lids and away from doors or windows.”

How did Johnson and Hancock become infected? A detective supplies a big clue

Shaking with Shock or Schadenfreude?

Schadenfreude :

Schadenfreude is a complex emotion, where rather than feeling sympathy towards someone’s misfortune, schadenfreude evokes joyful feelings that take pleasure from watching someone fail. This emotion is displayed more in children than adults. However, adults also experience schadenfreude, though generally concealed

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schadenfreude?wprov=sfti1

A Charming Photo

Statement on the Irish government’s response to COVID-19 in Direct Provision – MASI

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Irish State Racism in Action

Direct Provision Centre, Milltown-Malbay, County Clare

The Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland is appalled by the discriminatory response to the Covid19 pandemic in Direct Provision. On the 20th March 2020, MASI asked members of the public to email Minister Charlie Flanagan with a simple ask: protect asylum seekers in Direct Provision by ensuring that they are able observe all the Health Service Executive guidelines on social distancing and self isolation, particularly for asylum seekers 60 years of age or older, people with pre-existing health conditions, and asylum seekers in shared and crammed bedrooms, and other congregated gatherings such as canteens during meal times.

This is because asylum seekers around the country are following news and updates from the Health Service Executive on what measures they can take to protect themselves and people around them from the Covid19 pandemic. The guidelines were also posted on notice boards in Direct Provision centres and efforts were made to translate them into some foreign languages. However, the HSE posters on social distancing are useless to an asylum seeker sharing a tiny bedroom with a stranger or as many as 7 other strangers, having to use communal bathrooms and congregate in a canteen for meals 3 times a day. MASI was not surprised to learn that an asylum seeker in a hostel styled Direct Provision centre contracted the virus. We are pleased to hear that he is doing well.
— Read on www.masi.ie/2020/03/27/statement-on-the-irish-governments-response-to-covid-19-in-direct-provision/

See Also : https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/03/26/ciuin-house-carrick-on-shannon-county-leitrim-gombeen-state-racism-in-ireland/

Prince Charles of Britain Has a Pox

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Mike Finn Sympathises

The Gaff of British Prince Charles

Ciúin House Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim – Gombeen State Racism in Ireland

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Donal O’Kelly’s article should be circulated far and wide – Action is Necessary.

Ciúin is a word I love. It’s the Irish word for quiet. It has a peaceful, secure and sleepy feel to it, ideal for a lullabye. Suantraí. Ciúin, ciúin, a stór .. as baby closes her eyes .

Last May I used my facebook page to highlight the fact that Ciúin House Carrick-on-Shannon, the then newly-opened emergency accommodation centre for asylum seekers, had just received 38 male international protection applicants who’d been transferred from Hatch Hall Direct Provision centre in Dublin. Hatch Hall was being converted into a luxury hotel. Ciúin House was accommodating these people on a general basis of two per room. It had a sign and a book in the reception hall that everyone had to sign. The sign said that all residents had to be in their rooms by 10pm nightly.

I met three of the residents on their second evening in Carrick-on-Shannon. I know about the curfew because the men, all in their thirties or thereabouts, wanted to get back to Ciúin House in case there was an unknown penalty for not observing the curfew. I dropped them back at 10pm sharp.

After the facebook post drew a lot of public attention, the curfew was dropped. The owners at first said it was a language misunderstanding, then that the note only referred to not using the washing machine after 10pm. It was neither of those things. It was a curfew. And the owners obviously considered they had a right to impose it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Essential profits, replacable union leaders.

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The Coronavirus Manifesto by Gene Kerrigan, 'Sunday Independent', 22nd March 2020.

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“IMAGINE the chaos if the nurses went on strike right now, for higher pay and better conditions. They won’t do it, of course, but if they put their personal interests above all else, now would be the time to pull the plug.

Instantly, their every demand would be met.

Of course, in human and social terms, it would be disastrous — not to mention selfish and immoral.

Which is why the nurses won’t do it.

In fact, in the face of the Covid-19 assault on our lives, the opposite is happening. Retired medics are lining up by the tens of thousands to re-register and put their skills to use in the common good.

They and the existing workforce step without hesitation into the frontline.

And our gratitude is huge and transparently genuine.

This is the politics of community.

So, tell me this: why, in normal times, do we force medics and other essential workers to fight for every extra cent in pay, and every piddling improvement in conditions?


A range of other undervalued workers have kept us afloat in recent days.

The shop workers and transport workers, the pharmacists, the cleaners, the armies of those who produce and distribute. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by tomasoflatharta

Mar 22, 2020 at 1:38 pm