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May 1 Legal ground to be set for Water Charges in Ireland

category dublin | politics / elections | news report author Monday April 30, 2007 16:50author by Mick Butler - CFSD Report this post to the editors

On Tuesday May 1 at the Carlton Hotel on the old airport road in Dublin, a conference that will be "open to the public" will set a part of the legal foundation for the introduction of water metering and charges on domestic dwellings. Minister Dick Roche will be in attendance.

Ray Earl of the Institute of Engineers in Ireland told the Pat Kenny show this morning that the Water Framework Directive International Conference takes place in the Carlton Hotel. Ray told the listeners that the "polluter pays principal" will apply to domestic water use and chages will be introduced as required under EU Directive. Ray also told listeners that the conference is open to the public.

Members of CFSD who have been plugging away at the poster ban wondered why there were no posters up advertising this important event. We phoned the Engineers Institute, they were not too perturbed and they also told our man that there was a charge of 475 euros for the three day conference. They told our man that DCC were involved in the conference. Councillor Joan Collins told our man she knew nothing about the conference and Councillor Collins is on the relevant enviornment committee of DCC, so is Dessie Ellis, Bronwen Maher etc.

author by Mick Butler - CFSDpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 17:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If memory serves me correctly the legal mandate under the EU Directive stipulated that a consultative process had to be undertaken before 2006. What a stroke by these boys, Bertie off to the park and all efforts at postering in full swing, candidates out on the stump and a quiet conference near Dublin Airport is called, to give an appearance of legitimacy to what is required under the Water Framework Directive. Later on; Hey Presto : water charges are part of the domestic budget.

PS : The man on PKenny said nothing about the 475 euro charge for attending the meeting, just that it was "open to the public" !

author by Mick Butler - CFSDpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 18:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For those who want to know more you can ring the Institute of Engineers in Ireland 01 664341. Also wfdimplementation.eu. The venue; Carlton Hotel is 8667500.The meeting is in the Function Room Collinstown Suite.

And is not Dicky (Roche) a tricky boy, learning from the "most cunning of them all".

author by Aquamanpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 18:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The EU Directive as enacteded by the DAil does not make it necessary for charges to be introduced. A Government may try and introduce such charges, if that happens then it will be necessary to oppose them.

But it doesnt help to build opposition by spreading incorrect information. Incidentally the EU Directive doesnt allow for privatisation either. It is the current Water bill that holds the danger of privatisation.

These people can discuss whatever they wish at their conference, but they wont be able to privatise water.

author by Aquamanpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 18:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I went to the website and this is what it says:

In an effort to coordinate and compound the knowledge and experience currently developing to meet these challenges within and amongst Member States, Ireland is hosting a three-day conference on implementing the WFD. Speakers will include international experts on WFD measures, costs, institutions, communications and decision support systems.

Its an information conference. It doesnt have any decision making powers. Its organised by the International Water Association and by the Institute of Engineers, now these might be unsavoury bodies but they do not have any stutory powers.

To ensure that readers are not misled, I will provide a programme overview here:

Programme Overview

Conference sessions address some of the most challenging elements of developing and implementing effective and durable programmes of measures in European communities.

1st May: Session 1 - Measures

The Conference will open with various Member State representatives detailing their efforts to assess their own currently required water management measures and estimate these measures’ implementation rates and relative effectiveness in achieving WFD water status objectives.

1st May: Session 2 - Costs

Session 2 speakers will present their States’ techniques for estimating least-cost combinations of these and other additional measures and assessing how the costs and economic impacts of programmes of measures will likely be distributed amongst the major economic sectors & regions.

2nd May: Session 3 - Institutions

The third session will be a discussion of the existing jurisdictional institutions that may require incremental changes or comprehensive revisions so that hydrological considerations can play a more integral role in river basin management and planning in the future.

2nd May: Session 4 - Communications

The final speaker session will address how to engage local stakeholders during the data collection and analysis process and then communicate to all interested parties what analysis was done, why it was done, and what it all actually means in terms of estimated impacts to their water resources, economies, and communities.

3rd May: Session 5 - Decision Support Systems

In Session 5, the role of decision support systems in promoting unrestricted communications in the development of water status objectives and programmes of measures will be addressed. This session will also feature demonstrations of WFD decision support systems currently under development in Holland and Ireland.

3rd May: Session 6 - Discussion & Conclusions

A professionally facilitated discussion between Conference participants will be held at the conclusion of the series of presentations. During this Session, the more complex issues arising out of the previous discussions will be addressed, and where possible, conclusions will be drawn.


The full programme is available here:
http://www.wfdimplementation.eu/Programme.pdf

If you access it you will see that 20 minutes is provided for a talk on The Polluter Pays Principle by Sue Scott of the ESRI. Hardly a conference devoted to introoducing domestic water charges.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 21:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"But it doesnt help to build opposition by spreading incorrect information..."

Correct. So stop doing it. Your unsubstantiated opinion does not count as information.

Readers may remember, in the story we published some months back (last November) http://www.indymedia.ie/article/79249 that we gave information with regard to the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive. We pointed out that public consultation was supposed to have been enacted and achieved by the end of 2006 and that this had not occurred. We also pointed out that this phase was a necessary componant of the Directive and that without it, the Directive could not be implemented. One can only conclude that this conferance is the 'public consultation' process, considering that implementation of the directive is going ahead. Add to this that the public are invited as long as they can cough up the €475 to attend. Considering that DCC are in charge of the whole project that will split Ireland in five River Basin Districts and the fact that Cllr. Joan Collins has actively been following the issue of the European Water Framework Directive, and all that goes with it, for well over a year now, it is astounding that she only find out about this the same time as the rest of us. Talk about stealth!

Aquaman might note that from the cut and paste he did, that: "The third session will be a discussion of the existing jurisdictional institutions that may require incremental changes or comprehensive revisions so that hydrological considerations can play a more integral role in river basin management and planning in the future." Could this possibly be something to do with the boards to be set up via public consultation as required in the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive? I consider this to be a direct substantiation, that this conference is indeed the public consultation demanded by the Directive.

Aquaman is now spinning the idea that myself, CFSD and others are saying that this conference will somehow enable water charges and privatisation. This is grasping at straws, and it shows that Aquaman hasn't got the first clue as to what he's talking about, or indeed what it is that we are talking about. The directive states categorically that charges are to be implemented by 2010. That's proof of the charges. The fact (as was pointed out in the original article) is that many private companies are partnered into the Directive and its implementation, shows beyond reasonable doubt that the privatisation process is well started and indeed that it is the goal. Check out this comment for more info http://www.indymedia.ie/index.php?obj_id=53&story_id=79...74161

If one goes to the following comment http://www.indymedia.ie/index.php?obj_id=53&story_id=81...91627 which was added a few days ago to the story http://www.indymedia.ie/article/81980 one will note that lots of events are lining up in a very convenient fashion. I would challenge the likes of Aquaman, who seems intent on missing the point, to specify a single reason why Irelands biggest business organisation, Chambers Ireland, is pushing for charges if they are not to get a piece of the pie as he keeps imagining and then posting as 'news.' Aquaman might note that 'polluter pays,' isn't the only catchy phrase used. 'User pays,' is another catchphrase.

author by Goblinpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 22:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Aquaman is either a vested interest (perhaps a more radical member of the Green Party) or is a lazy cllr on some local authority who let this slip past him and is now scrambling for cover by calling us alarmists.

Spare me mate, you can sit on your hands and allow all this to pass you by but I won't.

author by Aquamanpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 10:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Correct. So stop doing it. Your unsubstantiated opinion does not count as information."

Its not unsubstantiated. This conference has no decision making powers.

"One can only conclude that this conferance is the 'public consultation' process, considering that implementation of the directive is going ahead."

Thats unsubstantiated seeing as the conference is not being held by a public body.

" Considering that DCC are in charge of the whole project that will split Ireland in five River Basin Districts and the fact that Cllr. Joan Collins has actively been following the issue of the European Water Framework Directive, and all that goes with it, for well over a year now, it is astounding that she only find out about this the same time as the rest of us. Talk about stealth!"

The conference is organised by 2 private groups. I would be interested to read Councillor Collins views on the matter. You are merely dragging her name in to back up your unsubstantiated musings.

"Aquaman might note that from the cut and paste he did, that: "The third session will be a discussion of the existing jurisdictional institutions that may require incremental changes or comprehensive revisions so that hydrological considerations can play a more integral role in river basin management and planning in the future." Could this possibly be something to do with the boards to be set up via public consultation as required in the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive?"

Its only a discussion. Itdoesnt claim to be part of any such consultation.

"I consider this to be a direct substantiation, that this conference is indeed the public consultation demanded by the Directive."

You may think so, but its just your unsubstantiated opinion.

"Aquaman is now spinning the idea that myself, CFSD and others are saying that this conference will somehow enable water charges and privatisation. "

Well if you scroll back up the page thats what CFSD appear to be doing.

"The directive states categorically that charges are to be implemented by 2010. That's proof of the charges. "

No. The Directive as enacted into Irish Law does not allow for domestic water charrges.

"The fact (as was pointed out in the original article) is that many private companies are partnered into the Directive and its implementation, shows beyond reasonable doubt that the privatisation process is well started and indeed that it is the goal. "

Sigh. The Directive does not alow for privatisation. Only you and a handful of others believe it does. None of the left organisations agree with you. They see the current Water Services bill as containing the danger of privatisation.

". I would challenge the likes of Aquaman, who seems intent on missing the point, to specify a single reason why Irelands biggest business organisation, Chambers Ireland, is pushing for charges if they are not to get a piece of the pie as he keeps imagining and then posting as 'news.' "

They are pushing for domestic charges because they want business water users to pay less.

"Aquaman might note that 'polluter pays,' isn't the only catchy phrase used. 'User pays,' is another catchphrase."

Indeed. I believe that farmers, factories and business people should pay water rates. I am opposed to domestic rates.

author by Goblinpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 10:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Aquaman, stop talking like you are the voice of the left. You are not. You do not speak for them.
And there are far from a handfull who see the danger. Now if you want to continue naively believing that you have a total grasp of this Directive and see no danger, off with you. I and many others will continue to inform as developments arise and no amount of dismissive tripe from you will stop that.

Open your eyes man.

The Greens where only on Matt Cooper last Tuesday saying that the EU water directive contained a provision for domestic water charges. You are the only one who seems to think that water charges are absolutely ruled out by this directive.

Like everything else done by stealth, the government are not going to put this up on 600 foot billboards for all to see. They will sneak it in, under any number of guises, Users pays, polluters pays, conservationism and a whole host of other soundbytes.

Your appeasement stance is only aiding them in that regard.

Now if you dont believe water charges are coming, thats fine. But dont shout down those who smell a rat.

author by Aquamanpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 11:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The Greens where only on Matt Cooper last Tuesday saying that the EU water directive contained a provision for domestic water charges."

Thats their opinion. But the Directive does not make domestic charges compulsary. I dont think I am the voice of the Left. I am merely pointing out that no organisation on the Left agrees with the proposition put forward by SR. Now it could be that they are wrong and everyone is out of step except Sean.

"You are the only one who seems to think that water charges are absolutely ruled out by this directive. "

I never wrote that. My point is that domestic water charges are not compulsary under the directive.

As for the conference, its merely an information conference. Overpriced, they are held all the time on a wide range of topics. It has no decision making powers.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 11:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wonder would 'Aquaman' like to name a singular public figure or otherwise (as long as the person isn't an imaginary friend of his) who agrees with his point of view? That is, someone who has said publically that charges or that privatisation is not on the way. Or is he as per usual, vocalising by using his sphincter?

author by Aquamanpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 11:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The crudity of the abuse you use show how poor your arguments are. If the EU Directive allows for privatision, then why are the LP, SP & SF opposing the current Water Bill saying that it is the one which contains the power to privatise?

Why didnt they oppose the EU Directive bill on the grounds that it was introducing privatisation? Outside of the Dail, the SWP, WP, ISN, WSM didnt oppose it on these grounds either. Perhaps they were all wrong and you are right.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 11:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I see that you have failed miserably once again. Is there not one person that you can name that agrees with you, and says that neither charges nor privatisation is on the cards, or indeed either?

You again spin that I and others are saying that the European Water Framework Directive means privatisation and charges. I've answered this many times already, most noticably on the initial thread. The Directive allows for privatisation and charges it does not mandate privatisation eventhough it allows for it and encourages it to a degree. I'm not surprised that Aquaman and his goldfish-like mind and memory forgets this. The European Water Framework Directive is a fine piece of work, on paper. However, it is flawed, in that it allows a corrupt shower of bastards, like our government or their replacements, to cherry pick and interpret it as they will. There's a better explanation than this short snippet on the original article for readers who'd like to have this point properly clarified.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 11:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Isn't it coincidental that water privatisation became a national issue shortly after myself and Elaine wrote about it?

Do you think we got lucky?

Are we psychic?

Maybe we're both. Maybe we psychically picked up on privatisation, but the signal was confused and we lamped onto the wrong legislation?

Whatever. The fact is that we are now closer than we were when we initially broke the story. However we have gotten further away from 'Aquaman's' fantasies that he posted under a variety of names. That is to say, that privatisation and charges are closer rather than further away.

author by Aquamanpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 11:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Glad to see that you have eased off on the abuse.

"see that you have failed miserably once again. Is there not one person that you can name that agrees with you, and says that neither charges nor privatisation is on the cards, or indeed either?"

I never said that charges were not on the cards nor did I say that privatisation wasnt a possibility. I pointed out that the EU Directive did not allow for privatisation or mandate compulsary domestic charges. You dragged Cllr Collins name into the debate but does she share your opinion?

"You again spin that I and others are saying that the European Water Framework Directive means privatisation and charges. I've answered this many times already, most noticably on the initial thread."

You keep changing your position on it. Its there for all to see.

" The Directive allows for privatisation and charges it does not mandate privatisation eventhough it allows for it and encourages it to a degree. "

Thats a big big change from your original position. BUt it still doesnt explain why LP, SF, LP are saying the current Water Bill is the one that allows for Privatisation.

"I'm not surprised that Aquaman and his goldfish-like mind and memory forgets this."

I forgot nothing. This is your typical tactic of belittling anyone who disagrees with you.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 11:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You keep on back stepping. You keep saying that only I and a few others believe in privatisation. Name one person who disagrees with me other than yourself?

You keeps saying that because leftist organisations haven't been singing the same song that I've been singing, that they disagree with me. Name a singular organisation on the left who has said that water privatisation is not on the way?

You marvel at my abuse, but glibly miss the point of it. You have trolled each and every article I've published, with one or two minor exceptions, for the last six months. With regard to the water issue. You have not once offered any actual information to the story, but your shite accounts for close to half of the tens of thousands of words in print. You have only ever disagreed, you've never once said that you know of anyone who agrees with you either. You are like a fucking record that nobody switched on or indeed wanted to switch on.

author by Aquamanpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 12:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You have returned to the abuse again. You think that anyone who disagrees with you is a troll.

You keep changing your opinion on privatisation. Again I ask you: Why Are Labour, Sinn Fein and the Socialist Party opposing the current Water Bill on the grounds that it allows for privatisation? Why would they do this if the EU Directive Act allowed for privatisation?

I guess everyone is out of step except you.

I am ready and able to oppose domestic charges and privatisation but I'm not going to tilt at windmills. I dont remember you playing a prominent role in the previous campaign against domestic water charges or against ther bin tax, but perhaps this time you will lend a hand.

This conference is just an information event, nothing more.

author by Jim O'Sullivan - Community Alliance-Sligopublication date Tue May 01, 2007 12:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This conversation reminds of the privatisation of refuse services here in Sligo. It went through a stealth process too. First we had the Council levying indefensible high charges. (they were so outragious that had a sitting councillor bothered he/she could have easily exposed the executive of engaging in theft) Then the usual propaganda followed that the cost was so high because of ineffecient councill workers and the less well off were not paying "their share". The solution was then of course privatisation. Throughout the process that led to privatisation, we were accussed of giving out misleding information (Ring a bell) told that the private sector would reduce costs etc etc. I distinctly recall one councillor stating that privatisation will never happen and that we were exaggerating the situation.

Well we were right to be concerned. Not only have we in Sligo got a fully privatised refuse collection service, we enjoy the highest cost in the country per bin lift and shamefully, there is no waiver for our pensioners and those on welfare and fixed incomes. And interestingly, the "pollutor pays" phrase was lifted out of an EU document as a defence by local government representaives.

Anyone who has not been comatose throughout the term of the present government must know that central to it's policy is privatisation of all servcies. To privatise you must first have in place charges or a structure that will allow charges to be applied. It requires a vested interest or the mind of a flat earth theorist to construct an arguement on the issue.

author by Goblinpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 12:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is also misleading for you to suggest that The EU directive does not allow for privatisation, it just doesnt mandate it. There is not a hope in hell that the EU would draft a directive that specifically prohibits privatisation. The EU has some of the strictest 'competition' laws in the world. But if I am wrong I would like to see the exact piece of legislation within this directive that prohibits privatisation. Nor have I heard anyone on the left claim that it prohibits privatisation or water charges.

I will take the Greens interpretation of what is permissable in the Directive over yours. They have invested alot of interest in this and are essentially pro-water charges on the grounds of conservationism so they would be on the look out for anything that would further their agenda.

author by Aquamanpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 13:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"I will take the Greens interpretation of what is permissable in the Directive over yours."

And I will take the LP, SF, SP interpetation over yours and the Greens ;). I never claimed that the EU Directive prohibited water privatisation, nor did anyone else to my knowledge. In any case we are both opposed to privatisation.

Maybe we should just agree to disagree on this aspect. Lets concentrate on fighting Privatisation and/or Domestic Charges when the threat becomes real.

author by Goblinpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 13:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Aquaman, at 11:40 you said “I pointed out that the EU Directive did not allow for privatisation or mandate compulsary domestic charges”

That is a declaration from you that the EU water directive prohibits privatisation. Or are you going to get into semantics over the subtle difference between “not allowing” something and “prohibiting” it?

Either way you contradict yourself with your last post by saying that “I never claimed that the EU Directive prohibited water privatisation”.
You clearly did and you called us alarmist for suggesting otherwise.

You have also amended your position on the rest of the Left by adding “nor did anyone else to my knowledge”
So now you admit that the LP, SF and SP are all aware that the EU Water Directive allows for Privatisation, which curiously enough is also the position of the Greens. So it appears they ALL see the possibility of of privatisation in this Directive and finally, at last, so do you.

Thank you.

I have no problem getting my hands dirty in the fight against Privatisation because as far as I’m concerned, its already started.

author by Aquamanpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 14:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was trying to be friendly and to find common ground but you seem to see that as a weakness to be exploited.

So...

"Aquaman, at 11:40 you said “I pointed out that the EU Directive did not allow for privatisation or mandate compulsary domestic charges”
That is a declaration from you that the EU water directive prohibits privatisation. Or are you going to get into semantics over the subtle difference between “not allowing” something and “prohibiting” it?"

There is a difference between allowing something and prohibiting it. I honestly do not believe that the EU Directive gives legal grounds to allow privatisation. Nor will you find anything in it that prohibits privatisation. I cannot see your point.

"Either way you contradict yourself with your last post by saying that “I never claimed that the EU Directive prohibited water privatisation”.
You clearly did and you called us alarmist for suggesting otherwise."

I never said it prohibited privatisation. Point to where I did. I merely said it didnt allow it. Why were LP, SF, SP opposing the latest bill if the previous one allowed privatisation?

"You have also amended your position on the rest of the Left by adding “nor did anyone else to my knowledge”"

No, I'm attempting to engage in polite debate.

"So now you admit that the LP, SF and SP are all aware that the EU Water Directive allows for Privatisation, which curiously enough is also the position of the Greens. "

No. I do not. No rational person could read that into what I wrote.

"So it appears they ALL see the possibility of of privatisation in this Directive and finally, at last, so do you."

No. You are being silly trying to twist my words. It really doesnt pay to be polite with you.

author by Goblinpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 14:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Touchy.

“I never said it prohibited privatisation. Point to where I did.”

I already did, but in case you missed it, here it is again.

"Aquaman, at 11:40 you said “I pointed out that the EU Directive did not allow for privatisation or mandate compulsary domestic charges”
That is a declaration from you that the EU water directive prohibits privatisation. Or are you going to get into semantics over the subtle difference between “not allowing” something and “prohibiting” it?"

Project all you want Aquaman. You were caught out, move on.

author by Aquamanpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 14:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Aquaman, at 11:40 you said “I pointed out that the EU Directive did not allow for privatisation or mandate compulsary domestic charges”
That is a declaration from you that the EU water directive prohibits privatisation. Or are you going to get into semantics over the subtle difference between “not allowing” something and “prohibiting” it?""

It is not. I can only assume that you have a poor grasp of the English language. I wrote: "I pointed out that the EU Directive did not allow for privatisation". In my opinion there is nothing in the EU Directive which allows for privatisation. That is not the same as saying that the Directive prohibits privatisation. You have a rather faulty grasp of reasoning and logic if you presume otherwise.

The readers will make up their own mind on this. Have a nice day.

author by Goblinpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 14:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Poor grasp of the English language?

Not allowing something is the same as prohibiting. You said the EU Directive did not ALLOW privatisation.
I have shown you twice where you said this. If the EU Directive does not allow privatisation, privatisation cannot take place.

Theres nothing difficult to comprehend what you where saying. But just to help you out on this I have provided the Oxford Thesaurus' interpretation of what you meant. Note the Antonym.

Thesaurus:English (UK) Prohibit (v.) Forbid, Veto, Bar, Ban, Outlaw. (Antonym) ALLOW

Now I think it is clear for all to see that it is you who is grasping Aquaman. Your annoyed because you slipped up and contradicted yourself.

author by Aquamanpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 15:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Not allowing something is the same as prohibiting. You said the EU Directive did not ALLOW privatisation."

You are misunderstanding, willfully or otherwise. I meant that there is no provision in the EU Directive which allows for Privatiation. But equally there is no prohibition on Privation in the EU Directive.

It is possible for a Law not to contain provisions which allow privatisation ie they do bring in legal measures to make privatisation possible, but also not to have prohibition clauses. That is the case with the EU Directive.

You are now being extremely silly and are making a fool of yourself. If it wasnt for your comments on other topics I would write you off as a troll.

author by Goblinpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 15:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Im sorry aquaman but you made several posts that suggested it was impossible for privatisation and water charges under the EU Water Directive in your rebuttals to Sean Ryan

Such as

"No. The Directive as enacted into Irish Law does not allow for domestic water charges"

"These people can discuss whatever they wish at their conference, but they wont be able to privatise water"

"Incidentally the EU Directive doesnt allow for privatisation either"

“I pointed out that the EU Directive did not allow for privatisation or mandate compulsary domestic charges”

You then said that this just was your opinion, but YOU used the EU Directive as a document that backed up that opinion.

Furthermore ambiguos statements like this "It is possible for a Law not to contain provisions which allow privatisation ie they do bring in legal measures to make privatisation possible, but also not to have prohibition clauses" are of little use to anyone as they can be interpreted any number of ways.
It is precisely the indistinct nuance of legal terminology that allows and indeed breeds such confusion.

But on a point of information, there is no prohibition clause in the EU water directive which specifically points to Privatisation. If there is show me.

Alas I digress, for it appears I was mistaken, for now you except that Privatisation and indeed domestic water charges are possible under the EU water directive. Which means we are in agreement.

Please tell me I have understood you correctly this time.

author by Aquamanpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 15:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I really have no more to say. Nothing in the EU Directive prohibits privatisation, but equally nothing in the EU Directive sets out a legal framework to allow Privatisation. I dont think these ideas are particularly complex or contradictory.

As I said, several comments ago, the Indy readers will make their own minds up.

Th Th Th Thats all folks!

author by Goblinpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 15:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good, then we agree that the EU directive does indeed allow privatisation. Thats all I really wanted you to admit. Now that you have, were done.

author by Aquamanpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 16:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Good, then we agree that the EU directive does indeed allow privatisation. "

Back to school. I admitted no such thing.

"Thats all I really wanted you to admit. "

I didn't.

"Now that you have, were done."

You are not going to win by twisting my words. Why not quit being juvenile and just agree to disagree? Thats what adults do.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 16:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Nothing in the EU Directive prohibits privatisation, but equally nothing in the EU Directive sets out a legal framework to allow Privatisation..."

Which translates into: the Directive does not prohibit privatisation and at the exact same time the directive contains nothing that allows privatisiation to occur.

A contradiction that Aquaman offers with righteous indignation, time and time again, ad infinitum and ad nausea. Despite the fact that private companies already have their sticky hands well into the implementation of the Directive. Talk about muddying the water and then getting upset about it when folks point this out.

Aquaman has said nothing, and he's continued to say it, thinking that screeching would be a substitute for rational debate. He keeps asking why I do not respect him. The simple answer is that respect is earned and to give it away for free is to negate its value.

author by Goblinpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 16:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Aquaman you said at 13:28 “I never claimed that the EU Directive prohibited water privatization”

So which is it, It prohibits privatization or it doesn’t. It can’t to both despite what you might have anyone believe.

And you have the gall to say I’m the one who looks foolish. Sean Ryan already dismissed you as a troll. I’m beginning to see why, you simply will not admit to anything and are using divisive falsification eddies to perpetuate your endless tirade about nothing. You then attempt intimidatory-sophism where you try to suggest that the intent of the Directive was beyond me. And then you finish off with a laughable allusion to my puerility. I’m sorry Aquaman, but you are fooling no-one.

Now back to the issue at hand.

The Directive does not allow privatization but doesn’t prohibit it either? Is this is the position you would have us all believe is actually what the EU water directive has intended in its legislation?

If so, will you please show the exact piece of legislation in the Directive that specifically disallows privatization, but doesn’t prohibit it either?

Nobodies twisting your words Aquaman, your doing that all by your self

author by Aquamanpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 17:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Which translates into: the Directive does not prohibit privatisation and at the exact same time the directive contains nothing that allows privatisiation to occur.

contradiction that Aquaman offers with righteous indignation, time and time again, ad infinitum and ad nausea"

No contradiction at all.
The EU Directive:

1. Does not alow for privatisation.

But also:

2. There is nothing in it that prohibits Privatisation.

A bill can be passed regarding the regulation of Air Transport. The bill may have nothing in it which prohibits the flying of aircraft into Liberty Hall, but that does not mean that it allows for the flying of aircraft into Liberty Hall.

Do you understand that plain English?

"Aquaman has said nothing, and he's continued to say it, thinking that screeching would be a substitute for rational debate. "

Disagreeing with you is not screeching. I have pointed out that the conference mentioned in this thread is solely for information purposes

author by Goblinpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 17:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Now thats what you call muddying the waters.

I suggest we move on from Aquamans nutty understanding of what can and can't be done within EU legislation and continue to work together to prevent privatisation from happening. I will certainly post any developements as they arise and will not continue a discourse with this clown on any other matter.

If he is opposed to privatisation he has a funny way of showing it by sleepwalking right into it.

If he can't see the dangers in this Directive then he is of no use to anyone.
Many a hapless politician has said, dont worry, theres no scope for this to happen. Then Bam. It happened.

Aquaman can come on here till he's blue in the face. Until he shows me the exact piece of legislation that disallows privatisation in this directive his words are meaningless. And while he is trotting out an apologist line, the privateers are carrying on with their plans to privatise. They dont see any obstacles to privatisation, because people like aquaman haven't shown them any.

author by Mick Butler - CFSDpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 21:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The reason I put this piece up was to alert people to what appears to me to be a significant stroke being pulled by Government the day after a General Election is called. Prior public consultation is a stipulation of the Directive, I have no recollection (has Acquaman ?) of announcements or advertisements re this issue of public discussion and consultation.

It is not stretching the imagination to presume that Roche and the Government did not want this issue being discussed in an informed and high profile manner. I never said that this public meeting in a relatively obscure hotel in a back road near Dublin airport ,had any statutory powers. There may be an informed debate and exchange of ideas out there, many of the participants may be genuine in their desire for a frutiful exchange of ideas and information, alas this is taking place out of the gaze of public attention and will it be billed at a future date as "public consultation" ? Very likely I would suggest .

I also see that a 20 minute talk on the "polluter pays principle" is cited by A Q man as illustrating the harmless nature of the event. Well look at it this way the, 20 minute chat can "show" that such information was aired and is on the official "record". There is your public consultation ! and it was even covered briefly on the national broadcaster the day before the event, albeit minus the mention of 475 euros entry money.

The con seems to be working nicely as MSM gets into a flap about Ahern's kickbacks etc and not a word that domestic water charges may well be coming soon to your door.

PS : If AQ man is serious about opposition re the possible future in this area, I do not see why he is in a spin over this information and reasonable conclusions being drawn from same, especially given this Govt's record of stroke,nod and wink, everywhere from the treetops of "North Dublin" to Rossport, Tara, etc

author by Aquamanpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 10:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just because I disagree with you it doesnt mean that I'm spinning.

This conference is purely an information affair organised by two private organisations. You have produced no evidence to show that it is part of any statutory consultation process. It has no decision-making powers.

No point in tilting against windmills.

author by Goblinpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 10:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fine, in the interest of moving this debate forward we all accept that you disagree with us on the issue of privatisation. The disagreement is duely noted and will be kept for future reference.

It is unnecessary to keep posting the same disagreement over and over again. We heard you the first 15 times both on this and other threads where you forcefully denied the possiblity of privatisation.

Now unless you provide a direct link or irrefutable evidence that privatisation is not possible under the current reading of the EU water framework directive it would appear you have nothing else to add to this debate.

So Aquaman, as I said your rejection of our interpretation is on record and has been accepted so we can assume we will not be hearing from you unless you provide the requested link and information.

author by Aquamanpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 10:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"It is unnecessary to keep posting the same disagreement over and over again. "

Many comments ago I suggested we Agree to Disagree. You were the one who insisted on continuing the debate.

"Now unless you provide a direct link or irrefutable evidence that privatisation is not possible under the current reading of the EU water framework directive it would appear you have nothing else to add to this debate. "

Ever hear about the difficulty in proving a negative? Why dont you just show how it makes privatisation possible and if that is the case why have Labour etc opposed the Water Services Bill on the basis that this is the legislation which contains the danger of Privatisation. ;)

Now why not agree to disagree? That means both parties letting the disagreements rest.

author by Goblinpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 11:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Oh for Gods sake Aquaman, It is not up to me to prove if the Directive allows for privatisation. I have precedent to look to for all the evidence I need. Not one EU directive ever has ruled out Privatisation. Not one.

They privatised in England. There was nothing within EU statute to prevent it there. Likewise there is nothing in this Directive that can prevent it here. There is simply no way on earth the EU would legislate to prevent a member state government from privatising any of its resources or any of its Public Services if it so wished.

Many states within the EU already issue domestic water charges and have allowed privatisation in this sector. So tell me Aquaman, why would these governments MEP’s draft a Directive that would prohibit something that has already taken place? Water charges and Privatisation are accommodated within the remit of this directive. They are not mandated or compulsory, but that is by no means a reason to get complacent. The Privateers are currently working toward privatisation unabatted and unhindered by this or any other Directive.

That is something that Sean, Mick and I have been highlighting on this thread all along. It was this assumption that prompted you to reply and say that privatisation couldn’t happen and that we are alarmists. All you can do is pluck rapidly thrown together rebuttals off the top of your head. "Double negative?" Will you give me a break?

You have been asked to provide proof that this Directive prevents privatisation because it is you and only you who is suggesting that this directive specifically does that.

Leave the Labour Party, the SP, the SWP out of this. They are not specifically saying this Directive prevents privatisation. You are.

So that’s all we want Aquaman. That’s all anyone who is reading this thread will need to agree with you and dismiss us as alarmists. Proof that what we are saying regarding Privatisation could not happen.

So prove it.

author by Aquamanpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 11:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Act like an adult: Agree to Disagree.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 13:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'Aquaman'

You keep saying that what we believe is only confined to a handful. It seems, if one is to follow your logic, that everyone else must agree with you (even though I don't see them here or in the other articles).

You Keep speaking as if you speak for every activist in the country, and that your opinion represents every leftist organisation.

Name one organisation or person other than yourself, who has said that the European Water Framework Directive does not allow for privatisation of the water services in Ireland.

Just one. Naming one person or organisation would go towards substantiating your opinion. You don't even need to confine yourself to Ireland. I have backed up my opinion and haven't confined myself to Ireland. For example in the very first article, I pointed out that the Dutch government had put a promise in writing to their people, that the water services would always remain private property, specifically because legislation like the European Water Framework Directive allowed governments much leeway and allowed for privatisation.

Just one person or organisation - name please.

author by Aquaqmanpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 13:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Name one organisation which supports your view that the EU Directive introduces Privatisation.

I have answered all of your questions, you may not like the answers, but they are all you are going to get. Please quit the repetition. I am not going to be browbeat into agreeing with you.

At 13.07 on Tuesday I suggested we agree to disagree. At this stage your constant repetition of the same points amounts to Trolling. I might also point out that I posted on this thread prior to you; you pursued me here.

author by Watcherpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 13:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just a comment without wishing to cross the debate, but it struck me that if Aquaman is anti-privatiastion ,charges etc, why does he always get embroiled in a fight with those of like mind.
Strange person or vested interest?

author by Aquamanpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 13:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Because I believe they are spreading incorrect information. In my opinion this Conference is nothing other than an information event. It is organised by 2 private organisations who have no role in running any Public Consultations. Nowhere in its publicity material do the organisers claim that the conference in any way fulfils a Statutory Public Consultation Role.

Surely there can be more than one point of view amongst those who are opposed to privatisation. You might just as well ask why Mr Ryan and the Goblin are disagreeing me with me if they are anti privatisation and charges. Do you think they are strange persons or vested interests?

author by Goblinpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 14:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sean, I think we should agree to dosagree with AQman and move on. He is a lone voice and therefore irrelevant.

The fact remains that we agree that Privatisation AND the introduction of domestic water charges cannot be prevented by the legislation within the EU Water Framework Directive. The Greens have studied this document scrupulously and have arrived at the same conclusion. They will use any legislative backing they can to push their water charges agenda. Hence their avid interest in it.

In addition neither the Labour Party, the SP, SF, SWP or any other party of the left have claimed that this Directive prevents privatisation.

By the way this Directive has been ratified since Dec 2000 by the European Parliament. It largely went under the radar.

It is obvious that private companies will now actively pursue initiatives to get into a revenue stream up till now that had been denied them in Ireland. That is what they do. Nobody needs to be convinced that Privateers will not exploit every opportunity afforded them. Anyone who does is largely beyond convincing anyway such is their naivety.

Water is a highly lucrative commodity and has the potential for vast amounts of profit due to its vital nature. The EU directive is pushing initiatives on Member governments to adopt measures that conserve what it calls 'a scarce resource' and has implementation policies under such names as ‘Bathing Water Directive’ and ‘Urban Waste Water Directive’. It is simply breathtaking naivety to suggest that these measures will not include charges and a transition to the private sector.

I contend again, that we leave AQ man to his naivety. By the time he realises the danger there’ll be a bill already in his Letterbox.

Mick, any word on the Conference?

author by Seanad Reporterpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 15:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This was debated in the Seanad yesterday (1 May 2007). Here are some interesting excerpts. You can read the full account at :
http://debates.oireachtas.ie/DDebate.aspx?F=SEN20070501...H5#H5
and at the following pages.

Mr. Ryan (Lab): I am glad we are doing this and hope it can be enforced and policed in a reasonably sensible and humane way because, as I keep saying, water is a scarce resource. There is a sensible debate to be had which does not necessarily involve going down the British route of privatisation and brutal charging or retaining the status quo where vast quantities of expensively treated water is used to flush our toilets, for instance, when other types of water would do just as well.

Mr. Roche: I share Senator Ryan’s aversion to the concept of privatising water. If there was ever one innovation in public administration that was introduced in our nearest island and which we should never emulate, it is privatisation of water supplies because it has been a disaster. I was happy, therefore, to accept an amendment No. 55 on Committee Stage in the Dáil which inserted an additional provision in section 27 to provide that any function of the Minister or of a water services authority under the Bill may only be transferred to another party provided that democratic accountability for the function concerned is maintained.

I also moved amendment No. 86 to provide that, notwithstanding the contracting out of particular water services to a third party under section 40, the contracting water services authority to whose benefit the service is being provided will still retain responsibility under this Act for ensuring it complies with our requirements. The purpose of this amendment was to put beyond any doubt that the introduction of a DBO arrangement for the delivery of water services on behalf of a water services authority could enable the water service in question to be privatised, in other words, to prevent the DBO system becoming a way for local authorities to wash their hands of their responsibilities and move away from it.

Any proposal relating to privatisation would have to be provided for under further legislation and it is a concept to which the Government and I are vigorously opposed. A bad mistake was made on our neighbouring island and we should never follow that route.


Mr. Roche: Government policy on water charges which provided only for charges for non-domestic charges and prohibits charging for water services provided for households for domestic use is not affected. Neither is the new provision intended to be capable of enabling existing policy to be changed.

I take this opportunity to make it clear that any proposal of any future Government to reintroduce domestic water charges would require additional legislation. That is not a runner in so far as this Government is concerned. Unlike existing legislation which simply authorises water service authorities to charge for water services, the proposed new code obliges water authorities to charge non-domestic users for all associated costs.

So a much more interesting event was taking place yesterday dealing with Water.

author by Goblinpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 15:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

First off, Seanad Reporter. Minister Roche? You believe a word that comes out of his mouth? I think thats all that needs to be said there

Anyway Sean, Mick and Jim

http://www.wfdireland.ie/

Click what’s new on the left column then Ireland article 5 WFD

This is an old NSR (Ireland) Report from 2005. It is the latest National Summary Report I am aware of. Chapter 5 is titled The Economic Analysis of Water Use and reads like a stockholders annual dividend report.

Section 5.2.2 States that domestic abstractive water use exceeds that of both Agricultural and Industrial sectors combined.

The argument is continually forwarded that the Agri/industrial sector is charged rates because of its massive draw on water resources, now it seems that the same argument will be used, particularly by pseudo-conservationists to lobby a charge on domestic use.

Section 5.3 Is titled Assessment of Costs and Cost Recovery of Water Services.

This section deals with the financial costs of water services and is less that flattering to Local Authorities indicating significant receipt shortfall across Public Water Supplies with the exception being the ‘Private installation’ subgroup or Group Schemes.

The message being Public = Bad, Private = Good.

It also illustrates that national legislation CURRENTLY prohibit direct charges for the Domestic Sector. Nothing about the WFD prohibiting or preventing charges here.
Continuing on from this the report highlights a growing trend of budget shortfalls which increased from €54.4m in 1999 to €95m in 2003. It estimates that it will cost in excess of €4 Billion to finance water services between 2004 and 2012

The document goes on and calls for cost-effectiveness, cost incidence/impact and cost benefit and to co-ordinate with Member States to monitor methodologies and approaches and pilot test these methodologies here.
Many member states levy domestic water charges and many have a private water services sector.

It would appear obvious that you do not have to scratch very far beneath this Directive and any supplemental reports to see that Privatisation and water charges are a very real threat.
The Government are making the case for privatisation and water-charges with reports like this and are applying neo-liberal free market thinking as a possible solution.

The conference mentioned above will be looking at all this as their way into what it will become a water services industry and will be lobbying government to affect change based on what it will call blatant incompetence within the Public Water System and chronic overspends to facilitate it.

It has happened in many other countries and it will happen here.

http://www.wfdireland.ie/

Click what’s new on the left column then Ireland article 5 WFD

author by Seanad Reporterpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 15:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Oh, dont trust Roche but even Roche can't get arounf an act of the Oireachtas. This is what Section 105.—(1) of WATER SERVICES BILL 2003 says:

105.—(1) A water services authority shall not charge for water
supplied to or discharged by—
(a) a household, which is used by that household for domestic 4
purposes, or
(b) a person, other than another water services authority, providing
water services to a household for domestic
purposes.


That looks clear enough to me.

Related Link: http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2003/5703/b57d03d.pdf
author by Goblinpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 16:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bills can be amended. Very rapidly if need be.

Current legislation is only that, Current. They privatised the bin services in a clandestine manner, they can do it with water.

There were those who said there was no danger of bin services being privatised. Yet here we are paying for bins with the current minister up to his neck in ineptitude, cronyism and clientelism pushing for an incinerator on psuedo-conservsionist grounds.

Multi-national companies are in the water business. Vested interests closer to home will see lucrative profit-making possibilties in water, they will do what do and lobby for a slice of the cake, especially now that conservationism has become electorally trendy.

I think seeking reassurance from the likes of Mr Roche and a piece of current legislation is to underestimate the underlying agenda of both the EU and the Government and their ability to enable it.

Privatisation is central to that agenda and who better to change an act of the Oireachtas than the Government?

author by Aquamanpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 16:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are desperately grasping for straws. There is no legal provision for domestic charges. Actually a bill approved by the Dail last week and the Senate yesterday specifically rules out domestic charges. They may be on the agenda in the future sometime, but not now.

Be sensible and get involved in real struggles rather than tilting at windmills.

author by Seanad Reporterpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 16:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This a 135 page. At times the language is quite complex. So its worth reading in detail.

But the following sections appear to give some protection against Privatisation.

Section 31 (12) (a) Notwithstanding any provision of this or any other enactment,
a water services authority shall not enter into any
agreement or arrangement with another person, other
than with a group water services scheme or another water
services authority, for the provision of water services
jointly with or on behalf of the authority which—

(i) involves or may involve the transfer of the water
services authority’s assets or infrastructure, or any
part of such assets or infrastructure, to that person,

or

(ii) prohibits the transfer to the water services authority
of assets or infrastructure, or any part of such assets
or infrastructure, provided by the person as part of 5
such agreement.


Section 40 (7) Whenever a water services authority enters into an agreement or arrangement with another water services authority or another person under subsection (1) or (2) or section 32(1)(j) for the provision of water services on its behalf, the first-mentioned water services authority shall, notwithstanding the agreement or arrangement, continue to be responsible for the compliance of those services with the requirements of this Act.

author by Goblinpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 17:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They privatised Bins. Very quickly. They amended the legislation, very quickly to facilitate this.

I cannot for the life of me consider privatisation a non-runner based on current DOMESTIC legislation when the Government itself is has commissioned reports advising the utilisation of what is considered 'best practice' in other member states. This best best practice includes domestic water charges and Private sector involvement. The wheels are moving. No-one has said that privatisation has occured, no-one has said that water-charges have been implemented. But the process in underway and the public being groomed. Conservationism is the new buzzword and water the new resource to be conserved.

It will be much harder to do this if an informed oppostion is in place and ready to challenge the Government. Pinning your hopes on a post water-charges public outcry and a resultant outburst of protest as what happened in the 90's is a perilous strategy. More and more people are being persuaded to think that water-charges are becoming increasingly necessary.

Quoting legislation is irrelevant in the face of what happend in the Refuse sector. Quote me the legislation both before and after privatisation took place. The bill was amended in an afternoon and the goverment rode out the protest. Local authorities where threathened with disolution if they did not agree their book of estimates. The same will happen with water

It seems lessons have not been learned and the vested interests will be counting on this complacency.

As for AQ mans snide remark is doesn't deserve comment. Hes asleep and will stay asleep.

author by Aquamanpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 17:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You say I am asleep, well I say you are dreaming. The Oireachtas passed an Act yesterday which specifically prohibits domestic water charges and you are still going on about the danger of them being introduced.

The Act also seems to give protection against privatisation. But I'd like to hear the opinion of some legally qualified people on that. And I'm not talking about McKenzies Friends.

If you really think there is an urgent danger of charges being introduced then why dont you try and set up a campaign against Domestic Water Charges? See who turns up!

author by Goblinpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 17:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

AQ man has jumped onto S. Reporters bandwagon and has switched from the WFD protecting us from privatisation to our own highly corrupt and discredited Government.
Strange postion for someone from the left to find themselves having blind faith in FF and the PD's I must say. Seeking solice in this government? Mindboggling!!

You are trying to discredit a very real threat on the same basis that the very real threat of refuse charges was discredited. Astonishing!!

I'm sorry Aquaman but if you want to remain rooted to reactionary activism go ahead. I intend to be pro-active and continue to highlight the dangers from both the WFD and vested interests.

author by Aquamanpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 18:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"AQ man has jumped onto S. Reporters bandwagon and has switched from the WFD protecting us from privatisation to our own highly corrupt and discredited Government. "

I never said the WFD protected us from privatisation. Quit lying.

A Bill was passed yesterday prohibiting water charges and you somehow see that as making water charges more likely. That is sheer paranoia. It is a totally irrational opinion.

"You are trying to discredit a very real threat on the same basis that the very real threat of refuse charges was discredited. Astonishing!!"

How is it a threat? It is illegal for Councils to intoduce Domestic Water Charges. If the intention was to introduce water charges why would all parties support a bill which outlawed them? Please show some common sense.

If you really think there is a threat of Domestic Charges then just set up a campaign. I dont think you will need a very big hall.

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 18:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Aquaman, the purpose of this posting was to draw attention to the conference so that activists can keep an eye on what is happening and particularly to underline the possibility that this government, that has a policy of privatisation, may seek to satisfy a requirement for consultation to be met in a manner that most people will miss.
It would be odd that a person of the left would take the word of this government on anything and to lend credence to what Dick Roche says is at least mischevious. Roche is an arch right winger who would have no qualms privatising water. I don't believe that a single word he uttered in the Seanad was indicative of his view but rather was stated with one eye firmly placed on the election. These people Aquaman, are not fools and I have no difficulty with the assertion that should this government be returned to power, there is a great danger that water will be privatised within the next term of office. And this of course will be done for our benefit, to prevent any repeats of the Galway disgrace etc. etc.

You state the following,
"In my opinion this Conference is nothing other than an information event."

What if your wrong? Do you think it rational to make statements that may be wrong yet may distract from what is really going on. Odd behaviour for someone opposed to charges and privatisation and would have one believe that they understand political workings.

You finish,
"Surely there can be more than one point of view amongst those who are opposed to privatisation. You might just as well ask why Mr Ryan and the Goblin are disagreeing me with me if they are anti privatisation and charges. Do you think they are strange persons or vested interests?"

I cannot see how there can be more than one point of view among those that are opposed to privatisation. And part of the campaign to keep water in public hands must be to vigorously question every move that this government, or their friends in the private sector, make.

But your most recent posts really do take the biscuit. Do you realise that you are actual suggesting that this government and the likes of Dick Roche are now the guardians of public water.
I think on mature refelection, you might conclude that that is stretching it a bit.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 20:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think we're getting somewhere.

Thanks for your posts Seanad Reporter, they're quite informative. I'd not read it all previously and I'll get to cheking the full texts this weekend.

When one reads between the lines, I think rather than protect us from privatisation, it allows for it. Allow me to explain why.

In section 31(12)(a) including sections (i) and (ii) we are told that a water authority may not confer its duties or assets to anyone or any body that isn't either a group services scheme or another 'water authority.'

What is a 'water authority?'

Is Anglican Water for example, such a body?

What legislation exists to prevent such an organisation being described and recognised as a 'water authority?'

Section 40 (7) seems to at first sight, strip any person or organisation of power. It looks like a second lock has been put on the box that holds the holy relic of ownership of what is currently public water. One gets that fuzzy warm feeling.

However, on closer inspection of Section 40(7), we see that this is all about having authority to decide that practice is being complied with. For example the original authority would be able to define what constitutes acceptable water quality and hold the second authority to this definition. Look at what constitutes water quality in Galway and other places presently. Damn it look at Limerick County Council's attempts to railroad the folks in Pallaskenry and Kildimo, into accepting water which they promised to improve so that it would only be at the level of 50% pollution - They even went to the High Court in this matter!

As for the act of the Oireachteas (I gotta read this one in its entirety too), but from what's been said here, I can conclude that:

i. If for example, Anglican Water was recognised as a 'Water authority' it could not charge a person in a household, for water supplied or discharged. It could however charge the first named authority (whatever council) for this. Surely the council would find a suitable name for the charge that they would levy onto the person in the household to recoup their loss? For example couldn't they lump the bin charges and the water charges together and call them something like 'essential services' charges. Afterall they couldn't very well label them either bin charges or water charges.

ii. The charge for water supply or water discharge cannot be levvied on the householder. However, is it not possible if indeed not probable, that charges for maintenance of these services be charged and that this bill be calculated with regard to the ammount of usage of this service, by using for example, a water meter.

Either way what needs clarification here is what constitutes a 'water authority.' Councils for example forking out cash for what was public water to a private company is an example of privatisation, regardless as to how the public absorbs these charges and eventually pays up. Maybe this definition is contained in the rest of the text? If so I'll find it. Regardless, I reckon this is something that needs further thought and discussion.

Privatisation could be a nightmare abolished and banned in a very simply worded law that would always allow the public to trace ownership of water back to a simple premis. Someone write some legislation stating something along the lines of: Drinking water and water treatment in Ireland will always belong to the Irish public and the bodies that maintain these inherant rights will also remain public property.

I don't see this here.

author by Aquamanpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 10:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"It would be odd that a person of the left would take the word of this government on anything and to lend credence to what Dick Roche says is at least mischevious."

i dont take Roches word. Where did I say that I did?

"Roche is an arch right winger who would have no qualms privatising water. I don't believe that a single word he uttered in the Seanad was indicative of his view but rather was stated with one eye firmly placed on the election. "

Indeed. But the bill passed does not promote Privatisation.

"These people Aquaman, are not fools and I have no difficulty with the assertion that should this government be returned to power, there is a great danger that water will be privatised within the next term of office. "

And if they try to do so they must be opposed.

"You state the following,
"In my opinion this Conference is nothing other than an information event."

What if your wrong? Do you think it rational to make statements that may be wrong yet may distract from what is really going on. "

Of course its rational to state my opinion. Very few people are ever 100% certain that they are right. The fact is that this is a conference organised by 2 private organisations. It is not part od any public consultation process.

"Odd behaviour for someone opposed to charges and privatisation and would have one believe that they understand political workings. "

Not odd at all.

"I cannot see how there can be more than one point of view among those that are opposed to privatisation."

What? Are you some kind of Stalinist? Is it only your opinion that will be heard? Different people will have different approachs. Some people were claiming all along that Domestic charges were going to be introduced. The Seanad opassed a bill on Tuesday which outlaws domestic charges.

". Do you realise that you are actual suggesting that this government and the likes of Dick Roche are now the guardians of public water."

That is a downright lie. I suggested no dsuch thing.

However a Bill has been pased by the Oireachtas, supported by all parties,which prohibits domestic water charges.

This Bill may also provide protection against Privatisation. But I'd like to read some opinions on that from legally qualified people.

author by Goblinpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 10:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ya know I cant help but wonder if Aquaman was of the same opinion before they privatised the Bin Service. Did he rely on current legislation and sleep well at night knowing they could never privatise the bins.

Is this why he is against having information passed into the public arena where people can make up their own minds and not have raving trolls like aquaman make it up for them.

If you oppose privatisation then why are you trying to be a calming appeasing voice telling one and all that there is nothing to see here, move on, trust the legislation, trust your elected representatives. Sure we all know they have our best interests at heart.

And your fall back position of the Dail passing a Waters Bill that wasn't even amended in the relevant area since 2003 shows you have faith in the govermnent that they are protecting this resource against privatisation. A government which has a privatisation agenda. Once I again, I submit that is an extraordinary position for someone of the left to take.

I would rather be wrong about this and be alarmist and kick up a stink- just to let the government know that they are being watched- than have you be wrong and have privatisation amended on to some services bill and rushed through the dail before an effective opposition is even aware of it.

To that end, I hope you are right, I hope this conference is nothing more than what you claim it is. But as you are fond of saying. That is your opinion. You have made it. Allows others to have theirs.

I have no intention of getting into a repititive drool that is no doubt boring the pants off other readers. Especially with your point and counter point style which adds nothing to the debate just has it going round and round in circles

I agree to disagree and I hope it is you who is saying I told you so in the future.
I just fear with the Greens being pivotal in the next government that water charges are on the horizon.

author by Aquamanpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 10:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I will ignore the abuse and lies which you repeat time after time. But you have displayed your real ignorance in the piece below.

"And your fall back position of the Dail passing a Waters Bill that wasn't even amended in the relevant area since 2003 shows you have faith in the govermnent that they are protecting this resource against privatisation. A government which has a privatisation agenda. Once I again, I submit that is an extraordinary position for someone of the left to take."

The bill was amended on many occasions, even as late as last week in the Dail and amended again on Tuesday in the Senate. If you had bothered to go to the links provided by the Seanad guy you could have read that.

In any case a Bill was passed on Tuesday which prohibits Domestic Charges and seems to provide protection against privatisation. Therefore it is irrational to suggest that there is an imminent danger of Privatisation or of the introduction of Domestic charges.

author by Seanad Reporterpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 11:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am but a layman so I want to make it clear that I claim no legal expertise. I would not mind if a good barrister, solicitor or even an Honourable Judge were to join us here and provide a learned opinion. (As long as they don't charge us)

"What is a 'water authority?'"

Under section 2 of the Act it says a Water Authority is County Council or a City Council.

"Is Anglican Water for example, such a body?"

As its not a Council I would say no.

"What legislation exists to prevent such an organisation being described and recognised as a 'water authority?'"

It would require legislation to allow it to take place. The only existing legislation in the area defines a Water Authority as a City or County Council.

Regarding backdoor charges for domestic water. I do not see how this could happen. There is a section of the Act which prohibits charges for domestic water. There is no section which allows for domestic water charges. It is difficult to see how any attempt to bring in charges by the backdoor could succeed, they are specifically banned in the Act. no attempt to bring in such charges would survive a legal challenge.

Here ends my learned opinion. Where do I pick up my €2,000 a day fee?

author by Goblinpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 11:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I never said the Bill wasn't amended. I said the Bill was never amended in the 'relevant area' which was posted by Seanad Reporter since 2003, namely the section that deals with water charges.

Here it is again

This is what Section 105.—(1) of WATER SERVICES BILL 2003 says:

105.—(1) A water services authority shall not charge for water
supplied to or discharged by—
(a) a household, which is used by that household for domestic 4
purposes, or
(b) a person, other than another water services authority, providing
water services to a household for domestic
purposes.

This was not amended in the Dail last week nor has it been since 2003.

Seems it you who isn't reading anyone’s posts.

So in finishing, you believe there is no danger of privatisation or water charges. That’s fine and that is your opinion. As I said in the last post I have no wish to get into semantics and descend into name calling.

So are we not agreeing to disagree anymore?
So in finishing, you believe there is no danger of privatisation or water charges. Thats fine and that is your opinion. As I said in the last post I have no wish to get into semantics and descend into name calling.

So are we not agreeing to disagree anymore?

author by Aquamanpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 11:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You obviously didnt even go back to the previous versions of the Bill. This is the first version which contains a very different Section 105:

105.—A person guilty of an offence under section 171 or 172 of
the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959 committed after the commencement
of this section shall, in lieu of the penalties specified in
section 50 of the Fisheries Act 1980 and section 25 of the Act of 1990
be liable—
(a) on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding \3,000 or
imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or
(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding
\15,000,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10
years.


You can find it here:
http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2003/5...s.pdf

Heres Section 105 in the Water Services Bill 2003 as amended in Select Committee . Still a rather different section.

105.—The Schedule to the Housing Finance Agency Act 1981
(inserted by section 17 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) 5
Act 2002) is amended by inserting ‘‘Water Services Act 2004’’ after
‘‘Water Supplies Act 1942’’.


You can find it here:
http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2003/5...s.pdf

Heres Section 105 in the Water Services Bill 2003 As Passed by Seanad Eireann 1 July 2004.

105.—The Schedule to the Housing Finance Agency Act 1981
(inserted by section 17 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) 5
Act 2002) is amended by inserting ‘‘Water Services Act 2004’’ after
‘‘Water Supplies Act 1942’’.


You can find it here:
http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2003/5...s.pdf

Heres Section 105 in the Water Services Bill 2003 as amended in the Select Committee on Environment and Local Government :

105.—(1) A water services authority shall not charge for water
supplied to or discharged by—
(a) a household, which is used by that household for domestic 5
purposes, or
(b) a person, other than another water services authority, providing
water services to a household for domestic
purposes.


http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2003/5...d.pdf

Yes it was finally inserted by the committee on 22 November 2006. Amendments accepted at committe stage have to be approved by the Dail. This ammendment was accepted by the Dail on 25 April 2007.

The Senate then had to approve all amendments to the Bill since it was last before them in 2004. This took place on Tuesday 1 May.

You really were just parading your ignorance in your previous comment. All you had to do was to go to the Oireachtas website to check up on these details.

author by Goblinpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 11:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Place all the faith you want in the legislation AQman. You believe it protect against privatisation and water charges I do not. These are matters of opinion, are they not?

Or are you are not agreeing to disagree anymore

author by Goblinpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 11:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

By the way, I said section 105 wasnt amended since 2003. You still havent proved me wrong. All you've shown is that is has been sustantially amended prior to 2003.

But all matters of opinion.

Again I ask are not agreeing to disagree?

author by Aquamanpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 11:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Please cop yourself on. Do you now accept that you were totally ignorant of the legislation actually passed? You seemed unaware of the stages it went through or of how and when it was amended.

Abusing me wont make readers forget that. Go and actually read the legislation. Its obvious that you are broadly ignorant of its contents at present.

To suggest that there is a danger of Domestic Water charges being introduced at present is to say the least eccentric. All parties supported a Bill which prohibits domestic charges. This Bill was only passed last Tuesday! Find another windmill to tilt at.

author by Aquamanpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 11:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"By the way, I said section 105 wasnt amended since 2003. You still havent proved me wrong. All you've shown is that is has been sustantially amended prior to 2003. "

I am now beginning to doubt your ability to post a truthful comment. I have shown you:

1. the original bill in 2003.

2. the Bill amended in 2003

3. the bill amended in 2004.

4. the bill amended in 2006.

5. the 2006 amendments were accepted by the Dail on 25 April 2007 and by the Senate on 1 May 2007.

author by Goblinpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 12:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Again it is your opinion. As was your opinion that you claimed the WDF prevented Charges and privatisation.

You believe the current legislation is enough to wring your hands of raising public awareness and the dangers that lay instore. You quote legislation, I say it is irrelevant due to the speed that it can be changed. You say we have nothing to fear, I dont agree. You call me irrational, I say I'm being prudent. You place faith in government parties to be our watchdogs on these matters I do not. You trust the mechanisms of government despite the number of times it has shown how it can shaft the populace with ease, I dont.

I say it is irrational to have someone use governemnt legislation to try to shut up citizens who are wary of the government.

But again. They are all matters of opinion.

I'm just intrigued by the vigour and energy you place into shutting me up?
Why are you so intent in trying to discredit or rubbish those who see a danger here?
I still say you are behaving like the establishement in your efforts to appease. That is clear to all.
You accuse me of abuse but whos dishing out the abuse and name calling now?

Do we agree to disagree or not? It was you banging on about being an adult after all.

author by Seanad Reporterpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 12:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When a disagreement is taking place and you wonder who to believe then its always a good idea to check out the facts for yourself.

Were the amendments passed by the Dail and Seanad (dont say Senate!) on the dates given? Well why not visit Tithe an Oireachtas. You will find it at: http://www.oireachtas.ie/

To have a look at the Dail debates you should go to:
http://debates.oireachtas.ie/DDebates.aspx?Dail=29&Type=DAL

For the Seanad:
http://debates.oireachtas.ie/DDebates.aspx?Dail=29&Type=SEN

For legislation:
http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=/documents/bill...3.htm

Finally for the Water Services Bill 2003 you go to:
http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=/documents/bill...t.htm

This is quite useful as it gathers together everything that happened to the bill between 2003 and 2007. The piece below gives some of the headings from the link above. They cover the various versions of the bill and how it was amended. They also provide links to the debates in the Dail and Seanad and at committee stage.

When you access this information you will be able to differentiate between fact and opinion regarding the bill.

Seanad Éireann
First Stage
Presented 12/12/2003
27/01/2004 Order for Second Stage
Water Services Bill 2003 as initiated and Explanatory Memorandum (in PDF format)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Second Stage
27/01/2004

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Committee Stage
16/06/2004
29/06/2004 resumed
Water Services Bill 2003 as amended in Committee (in PDF format)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Report and Final Stages
01/07/2004
Water Services Bill 2003 as passed by Seanad Eireann
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dáil Éireann
Second Stage
05/10/2004
06/10/2004 resumed
06/10/2004 resumed
19/10/2004 resumed
20/10/2004 resumed
03/02/2005 resumed
03/02/2005 Referred to Select Committee
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Committee Stage (Select Committee on Environment and Local Government)
22/11/2006
List of Proposed Committee Stage Amendments
Water Services Bill 2003 as amended in Select Committee (in PDF format)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Report and Final Stages
25/04/2007
25/04/2007 resumed and Final Stages
List of Proposed Report Stage Amendments
Water Services Bill 2003 as passed by Dáil Éireann
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Returned to Seanad Éireann
01/05/2007 [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final stages
List of Amendments made by /Dáil / Seanad Éireann
List of Proposed Amendments to Amendments made by Dáil/Seanad
as passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas (in PDF format)

author by Goblinpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 12:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is no disagreement over what is allowed under the bill. I have never said the Bill allows for Privatisation or Water charges- although a Legal expert’s opinion is required to establish any possible loopholes- there always are. In fact in one of my posts I said as much at 15:46 yesterday

"It also illustrates that national legislation CURRENTLY prohibit direct charges for the Domestic Sector."

But pointing to the legislation alone is a red herring as i keep pointing out it can be changed and changed rapidly if need be.
This thread was started to make aware a 'Conference' which could be stroked by government as being a 'Public Consultation' as required under the WDF. It then turned into a debate over whether we were being irrational about this and where accused of scaremongering and alarmism.

The WDF was used to back this up and now the Water Services Bill.
The message clearly being 'shut up you loon it’s a non-issue'

Well I’m sorry, I will not shut up. I will not find solace in government legislation.
I thank S Reporter for going to the effort of posting it but just like the bins it can change just as fast.

I think it extraordinary that someone who claims to be a leftist activist trusts this government on such a huge issue as to actually defend its critics and doubters on a point of Legislation and on the word of Dick Roche. And he asks me to cop on?

I have already stated that I hope aquaman is right, I sincerely hope he is. But I wont shut and go away because he thinks I'm wrong.

Now are we agreeing to disagree or not?

author by Seanad Reporterpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 13:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You certainly sound like an angry young man! Perhaps I misinterpeted what you wrote but I thought you were saying that whether or not the Bill was amended was a matter of opinion. You also implied that the bill had been amended prior to 2003; this is impossible as the Bill was only intoduced in 2003.

But I hope I have cleared things up. The Bill was indeed amended over a four year period and (finally!) passed by the Seanad on Tuesday of this week.

Those are the facts.

As for opinons, even though a bill was passed this week prohibiting domestic water charges, you have every right to believe that such charges are about to be introduced. One thing that might make your opinion unconvincing is that all parties agreed to the adoption of the Bill.

This of course could be a conspiracy. All of the parties might have agreed to the bill while they secretly intend to introduce new legislation after the election to bring in domestic charges and privatisation.

The only problem with that scenario is that none of the parties, not even the PDs are calling for privatisation. The Greens are wobbly on charges but they would not be able to force such a policy on larger partners.

So none of the parties would have a mandate to bring in charges or privatisation. Should make it easier to defeat any attempts to inroduce such policies.

But its your opinion and you are certainly entitled to it.

author by Goblinpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 14:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think anyone who is not angry at this government has been asleep for the last 5 yrs. As to my age a rather pernicious presumption on your behalf Seanad Reporter that is a bit unbecoming to what I would consider a very reasoned voice.

In any case, no harm. In terms of clearing things up you have posted the contents of the Bill which really no-one was disagreeing with. And you did misinterpret what I wrote when you thought I was saying that whether or not the Bill was amended was a matter of opinion.

I was saying that whether or not we are protected from Charges and Privatisation is a matter of opinion. Perhaps as I said a legal expert could route out any loopholes and see if it is copper-fastened shut against it. Even so that does not change the fact that it can change, very fast and very quietly if need be.

This does not require a conspiracy at all. Political history is riddled with U-turns on policy especially at election time. While I’m sure Labour and the joe Higgins maybe happy with the bill I’m am equally sure they will remain vigilant to the dangers of Privatisation and won't consider the matter closed. FF and FG intentions do not merit comment. They will do what ever relevant vested interest instructs them to.

Here lies the danger. I believe with climate change, global warming, eco-issues etc etc coming to the publics attention it is prudent to ensure that vested interests don’t piggy-back any conservation issues that may arise about this ‘Scarce resource’ and bring water charges up as a means to conserve it. I believe that vested interests are pushing various parts of WDF through, like the installation of domestic meters in all new houses, so as to have the infrastructure in place to facilitate charging. I don’t think this is off the wall hypothesizing. I think it a reasonable assumption and one to be wary of. I think this conference in Dublin airport will be cited as the public consultation process. I don’t believe it has statutory powers, but what consultation process does?

I have read reports commissioned by the government sent to Brussels under the remit of the WDF. I have posted what I consider to be the start of the government laying down its road to charges by citing budget shortfalls, non-cost-effectiveness and that the shortfalls are growing on an annual basis. It is the classic case for privatization. These reports estimate the cost of water services to rise to €4 billion by 2012. That is not chump change and is huge draw on the public purse. I think together with the environment and the predicted economic downturn, the government will push for water charges.

Theses are all reasonable assumptions in my view and are certainly not irrational conspiracy musings.
And I see no harm in sharing them on this forum as have others of a like mind.
I think it prudent and socially responsible to hold the governments every move to the highest scrutiny particularly with the PDs steering fiscal policy.

On your last point I agree that parties do not have a mandate to implement water charges, but they didn’t have a mandate to implement bin charges either.

As is said before I sincerely hope I’m wrong and that Aquaman is proved right in the fullness of time. I would have no problem at all if he came back on and gloated ‘I told you so’.

I have agreed to disagree with him. I respect his opinion. It was him dismissing me as an alarmist and having no merit that got my back up.

This will be my last post on the matter on this thread.

Thanks again Seanad Reporter for your insightful and considered posts.

Regards

Goblin

author by Seanad Reporterpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 15:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

" think anyone who is not angry at this government has been asleep for the last 5 yrs. As to my age a rather pernicious presumption on your behalf Seanad Reporter that is a bit unbecoming to what I would consider a very reasoned voice."

You seem angry against anyone who disagrees with your exact opinion. A trait of the young but admittedly not just the young.

"In any case, no harm. In terms of clearing things up you have posted the contents of the Bill which really no-one was disagreeing with. And you did misinterpret what I wrote when you thought I was saying that whether or not the Bill was amended was a matter of opinion."

You quite clearly wrote that the Bill had not been amended since 2003. When that was shown to be incorrect you claimed the bill had been amended before 2003. Its there in your comments for all to read. You also wrote that the Bill had not been amended in the Dail last week or in the Seanad this week. Its all there in black and white in your comments.

Thats another reason why I thought you were a young man: the need to be right at all costs. The trouble is your previous comments are there and will not go away.

"I was saying that whether or not we are protected from Charges and Privatisation is a matter of opinion. "

Thats not how I read it. Given your other contibutions on the amendments and your lies about what you wrote, I'm sorry but I do not believe you.

" While I’m sure Labour and the joe Higgins maybe happy with the bill I’m am equally sure they will remain vigilant to the dangers of Privatisation and won't consider the matter closed. "

Who said the matter was closed? Its just not likely to be on the agenda in the near future. Joe Higgins and the Socialist Party played an important role in the defeat of the previous water charges. You can be sure that he will sound the alarm if there is any threat of domestic charges or privatisation being introduced.

author by Goblinpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 15:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ah Seanad Reporter has now gone from allowing me my opinion to calling me a liar. From reasonable to abusive in the blink of an eye.
Hmm I'm sure he will now stick doggedly to the fact that I didn't read his post fully and that I made a rather glaringly inaccurate statement through haste about the WSB.

Maybe hes not the considered opinion I thought he was.

I have already said the bill can be changed quite quickly as well. No comment on that?

You are turning a mole-hill into a mountain SR and are using my mistake as a reason to rubbish everything I've said. Very grown up indeed.

In the wider debate its actually irrelevant when the Bill was amended and I apologise to all for not knowing the bills amendment timetable. I should be consigned to the gulags for such ineptitude.

In terms of privatisation and charges though, what does it matter? My points on my last post still stand. Seanad Reporter just chose to ignore them

But I do recognise that cherry-picking point and counter-point style you've now adopted so I'm not quite sure who I'm talking to here.

Dishonest indeed.

author by Seanad Reporterpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 16:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

" have already said the bill can be changed quite quickly as well. No comment on that?"

It can but new legislation would be necessary. I see no sign of that happening.

"You are turning a mole-hill into a mountain SR and are using my mistake as a reason to rubbish everything I've said. Very grown up indeed."

No mole hill. You lied about three seperatrethings which you posted.

"In the wider debate its actually irrelevant when the Bill was amended and I apologise to all for not knowing the bills amendment timetable. I should be consigned to the gulags for such ineptitude."

You didnt just not know the time table. You went on to deny that you ever posted comments questioning it. But all you had to do was to go to the site to get the facts. But you dont seem to interested in facts. The information was actually on this page showing when the amendments took place.

"In terms of privatisation and charges though, what does it matter? My points on my last post still stand. Seanad Reporter just chose to ignore them"

I answered them. I pointed out that if there was a threat that Joe Higgins would be the first to alert us.

"But I do recognise that cherry-picking point and counter-point style you've now adopted so I'm not quite sure who I'm talking to here."

I disagree with you therefore I must be part of the conspiracy against you. Suddenly I become sinister, an enemy of the people.

"Dishonest indeed."

You certainly are.

author by Goblinpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 16:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Anyone any news on the conference and how its going. I dont think anyone was silly enough to pay €475 in but theres absolutely no word on it on any media.

Will be most interested in what being discussed.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 16:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

With regard to Seanad Reporter, I still haven't read the relevant texts fully enough to offer either a rebuttal or agreement to his/her effort.

I have been skimming the water services bill though, with regard to the European Water Framework Directive. Thus far and again I admit I'm nowhere close to reading it all, I say at the very least this bill allows for water charges (I have already dealt with privatisation with regard to the WFD but will put it into context with the material that Seanad Reporter has suggested over the weekend - so I won't focus on privatisation in this comment).

With regard to the Water Services bill, it is interesting to note the following:

WATER SERVICES BILL 2003

30 (3) When carrying out his or her functions under this Act, the Minister shall have regard to and take full account of:

(a) the principle of recovery of the costs of water services as provided for in Article 9 of the EU Water Framework Directive;


According to the Water Framework Directive Pricing Policies have to be in place by 2010. Article 9, entitled Recovery of costs for water services, reads as follows:

1. Member states shall take account of the principle of recovery of the costs of water services, including environmental and resource costs, having regard to the economic analysis conducted according to Annex III, and in accordance in particular with the polluter pays principle.

Member states shall ensure that by 2010

- that water pricing policies provide adequate incentives for users to use water resources efficiently, and thereby contribute to the environmental objectives of this Directive,

- an adequate contribution to the different water uses, disaggregated into at least industry, households and agriculture, to the recovery of the costs of water services, based on the economic analysis conducted according to Annex III and taking account of the polluter pays principle.


Okay, so we have the minister bound to recover the cost of water services to business, households, and agriculture.

Business and Agriculture have had the meters fitted and they will all be billed for their water by early next year - many are already, eg. the farmers in Sligo.

How does the minister (who is also a 'water services authority') intend to recover the cost for households?

I'm sure the likes of Aquaman will say the farmers and business will pay for it. Which is fair enough, even if it is quite meaningless. You see the WFD wants charges for two reasons, cost effectiveness and the principal reason, efficient use of water. If someone else foots the bill for households, what incentive is there for householders to use water efficiently?

author by Mick Butler - CFSDpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 16:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good evening all. I am not in a position to fork out the 475 Euros for the event. I did however phone the Engineers Institute today, the woman I spoke to on Monday was not available, but I spoke to a man who dealt with queries about the event known as the WATER FRAMEWORK DIRECTIVE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE .

My principal questions related to the status of the event, ie did it constitute "public consultation" as required and mandated by the above DIRECTIVE and did Dublin City Council or the Dept of Enviornment have a function or any input into the conference (which was I remind all concerned "open to the public" as we were told on RTE radio). The answer to both questions from the gentleman Mr Eamon Cue was that he did not know.

From a quick look at the site www.implementation.eu one can see that "Special Acknowledgments" are given to several bodies including the Dept of Enviornment and DCC, Several DCC officials were in attendance and participated. Yesterday lunch was even hosted at Clouds Restaurant by The IRISH CONCRETE FEDERATION.

Such public spirit by a concrete company, would'nt it touch your heart ?

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 17:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Laois Nationalist put up an interesting article titled, 'No to privatisation,' around four hours ago.

It seems that two Fine Gael Councillors, James Deegan and Willie Aird, are suspicious that there may be an attempt under way to privatise water in Laois. The article is reporting on a meeting that took place last Monday. The article does not mention if these two Fine Gael politicians have had their fears allayed by events since last Monday.

http://www.laois-nationalist.ie/news/story.asp?j=25944&...=news

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 17:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ah, now I know how the bastards will introduce charges.

In Kildare, a new set of bye laws have been introduced, that allow authorities to enter your home to inspect and ascertain if you are wasting water. You can then be dragged into court and fined.

The Kildare Nationalist has the story and tells us that these new bye laws will come into effect on the first of June this year.
http://www.kildare-nationalist.ie/news/story.asp?j=2557...=news

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 17:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Your water supply can be cut off if you refuse to comply.

author by Watcherpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 17:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Goblin, Sean etc, it is obvious that Aquaman and Seanad Reporter are one and the same. You are caught in a web constructed by the spin of an apologist for the current goervnment...there is an election campaign going you know. In any event you sure as hell don't need the permission of the likes of these to remain vigilent and to alert us when you see skullduggery afoot. Keep up the good work it is very much appreciated by those of us with little time. Alas the only way that we can be sure to protect water is to have a party of the left in a position of influence in the next government.
By the way has Aquaman etc noticed the u-turn of the Fianna Fail party on stamp duty. All done in 24 hours. Does he think that this crowd would bat an eye-lid introducing privatisation amendments if they are in government come June?

author by Seanad Reporterpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 18:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Watcher such paranoia makes you look odd. Because I disagree with you I am a supporter of FF/PDs?

Seán, there is no scope for charging for domestic water supplies under this act. It cannot be done by Bye Law. Charging for wasting water is entirely different. There have always been penalties for that. Especially in times of drought. You could always be fined for watering your garden or washing your car if there was a water shortage. And rightly so too as far as I am concerned.

Domestic water charges are not possible at present. Seeing as the the Act which prohibits domestic charges was only passed on Tuesday it would take an odd frame of mind to think that theres a secret plot afoot to reintroduce them.

author by Mick Butlerpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 18:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I put my last piece up in a hurry and of course the concrete body refered to is a "FEDERATION" a conglomeration of companies and not one company. It's website states it is "a proactive organistion for the Irish aggregates and concrete industry.." I hope they hosted a nice lunch for the people working out there on the old airport road.

Is it not better again in knowing that several construction companies could display such altruism ? I am sure Minister Dickie Roche, who took valuable time off from the canvass, to grace the meeting with his presence, was heartened by such public spirit by construction companies who are probably better known down at the Galway tent. But there you go; even construction companies can move in mysterious ways.

author by Seanad Reporterpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 18:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I went to the Dept Environment website. This something interesting, the reports due by 22 June 2007. We should watch out for them and get copies. If they are not on line straight away then ask your TDs for a copy otherwise they might try to charge you.

The next major output of the Water Framework Directive will be the publication of reports by 22 June 2007 on an overview of Significant Water Management Issues for each river basin district. Their publication will be followed by a period of at least 6 months of public consultation. Draft River Basin Management Plans will be published for public consultation in June 2008. The final River Basin Management Plans will be published by 22 June 2009. These plans will include programmes of measures to be implemented, in order to achieve the water quality objectives identified for each River Basin District.

http://www.environ.ie/en/Environment/Water/WaterQuality...tive/

Just checking the Environment website. I cannot find any email addresses on it. Maybe you would have a look.
http://www.environ.ie/en/

We could ask them if the Conference had anything to do with the consultative process for the WFD. They are closed for the night but heres their phone number: 888 2000.

I found Dicks email add! minister@environ.ie

author by Watcherpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 19:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Seanad Reporter comes back with, "such paranoia" and "Because I disagree with you I am a supporter of FF/PDs?"

Now where did we come across such phrases before. I smell rat !!!

author by Aidan Burkepublication date Thu May 03, 2007 19:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Seanad Reporter is obviously Aquaman. Aquaman ran into trouble on the EU water directive so he comes back as Seanad Reporter. Oldest sock puppet trick in the book.
I had a good read through this thread and some good points where raised. I find it completely plausible that the government will try it on with water-charges. Why wouldnt they?

I find it odd though that Seanad Reporter has now becomed concerned about it after abusing those who raised the possibility of charges in the first place. I just cant take him seriously.

author by Jim O'Sullivan - Community Alliance-Sligopublication date Thu May 03, 2007 19:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The purpose of this post was clear and simple, to alert those concerned with these matters that the conference arranged may require some attention. Whether you agreed that the conference was relevent or not, the good intentions of the post are clear. If Aquaman believes that the conference is a benign assembly of the curious, then fine. If he weanted to post that that was his position he should simply have done that. But he most certainly did not confine himself to expressing his position . He entered the dicussion by making the following scurrilous accusation,

" But it doesnt help to build opposition by spreading incorrect information."

To accuse those that have a record of opposition to charging and privatisation in this manner was uncalled for belligerence and indicates an ulterior motive. As the post developed, all posts were attacked with the same accusation of spreading incorrect information which is utterly ridiculous given the intention behind the posts in the first place.

As he was challanged he sought to hide behind postings of convuluted interpretions of Acts and a history of there passage. At this stage, Dick Roche and Mary Harney were falling into their caviar such was their mirth as so called opponents of their privatisation policy tore strips off each other with cheap jibes and point scoring.

The recent Act is irrelevent to the concerns regarding charging and privatisation. Any Act can be changed and the opposition cannot stop it due simply to the governments majority. So this nonsense of opposing it when it's proposed is closing the stable door when the horse has bolted. Best to ensure that in the next government there is not a majority that supports privatisation and charges for vital local services. And make no mistake, if this government is returned, water charges will follow quickly and privatisation will not be too far behind. Remember, privatisation requires the imposition of individual charges as a prerequisite.

Any chance that those who oppose the neocon agenda might work together instead of wasting time playing word tennis? Can the ego's be disarmed?

author by W. Finnerty.publication date Thu May 03, 2007 20:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Read this, and then make the sign-of-the-cross:

"These recent events headline the fact that a swarm of financial deal-makers are right now fanned out across the United States (AND IRELAND?), making the pitch to local and state officials, and especially sub-agencies of all kinds (transportation, WATER, museums, parks, and social services facilities), that the only salvation for revenue-short governments, is to sell off public works to private interests. The momentum for this campaign, comes from the fact that the financial system is in an end-phase of speculative blowout. Powerful interests are in a search-and-grab mode for READY LOOT and POLITICAL CONTROL."

The above text has been copied from an article titled "Felix Rohatyn's PPP Swindles:The Mussolini Model for Infrastructure".

The full article, which could just as easily have been titled "Global Orgy of Political, Legal, and Corporate Corruption", can be viewed at: http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2006/site_packages/eco....html

Related Link: http://www.constitutionofireland.com
author by Seanad Reporterpublication date Fri May 04, 2007 10:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Seanad Reporter is obviously Aquaman. Aquaman ran into trouble on the EU water directive so he comes back as Seanad Reporter. Oldest sock puppet trick in the book. "

Wheres your evidence?

"I had a good read through this thread and some good points where raised. I find it completely plausible that the government will try it on with water-charges. Why wouldnt they? "

A bill went through the Oireachtas on 1 May 2007, 3 days ago, which prohibits charges for the supply of domestic water and that makes you think that the government are going to introduce water charges. I really find that illogical and unconvincing.

"I find it odd though that Seanad Reporter has now becomed concerned about it after abusing those who raised the possibility of charges in the first place. "

Who did I abuse? I pointed out that Goblin posted incorrect information on this thread. He continued to claim that the bill had not been amended since 2003 then he changed tack and claimed the bill was amended before 2003. When it was shown that this was incorrect he claimed it was a matter of opinion. He then denied that he made the above statements.

Its all there in black and white. All you have to do is scroll back up and read the previous comments.

"I just cant take him seriously."

I'm afraid I cannot take you seriously either. I dont believe in spreading scare stories. If you do that then you wont be taken seriously if there is a danger of a real attempt to introduce chareges or privatisation. It would be irrational to suggest there is such a danger 3 days after a bill has been passed prohibiting domestic water charges.

author by Goblinpublication date Fri May 04, 2007 11:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

SR/Aquaman says

“He continued to claim that the bill had not been amended since 2003 then he changed tack and claimed the bill was amended before 2003”

I didn’t continue, I made it once and admitted I was in error. It was a rushed mistake that I didn’t study the amendment timetable.

“When it was shown that this was incorrect he claimed it was a matter of opinion”

That is a lie Aiden. Aquaman/SR had posted within a couple of minutes yesterday at 11:45 and 11:54.
My post at 12:02 was a response to Aquaman/SR’s post at 11:45 not his post of 11:54. Cross posting is a common phenomenon on forums like this

So when read in this order it is clear that I didn’t dismiss Aquaman/SR’s post of 11:54 as a matter of opinion. On the contrary I later admitted my mistake.

“He then denied that he made the above statements”

I admitted I made a mistake on the amendment timetable I denied I dismissed the amendment of the bill as a matter of opinion because I never did. Now who’s lying?

Semantics and an attempt at sophism is all Aquaman/SR has to offer.
If he thinks this all this is irrelevant why is he doggedly and obsessively posting on this thread?
It is bizarre behaviour from one who thins we should be wearing ‘tin foil’ hats don’t you think?
You would think he had something better to do with his day if all this is so much speculation and just a conspiracy theory.

He has continually rubbished every attempt to raise awareness on this forum as scaremongering and alarmism and that all this is a waste of time. His fall back position is the legislation and the vigilance of elected representatives. These same reps that let the refuse service be privatised?

All I ask Aiden is that you keep an open mind. Nothing more.

author by Goblinpublication date Fri May 04, 2007 11:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the Update. It is indeed strange that the Minister himself turned up at such an irrelvant 'information' meeting.

And now we have Cllrs in Laois concerned about backdoor privatisation. Was concerned at the piece in the Kildare Nationist more though. A bye-law enabling disconnection is the start of the slippery slope. I liked the allusion to a water police. Sounds apt.

I'm off for a nice relaxing long weekend in Donegal and miles from any internet access so I will touch base on Monday.

Fraternity.

author by Seanad Reporterpublication date Fri May 04, 2007 11:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Poor Goblin he keeps lying. As lie ios piled on lie he becomes more and more entangled in his own web of untruths. But all you have to to do is scroll back up for a sample of his howlers:

"Curious
by Goblin Thu May 03, 2007 10:31

"And your fall back position of the Dail passing a Waters Bill that wasn't even amended in the relevant area since 2003 shows you have faith in the govermnent that they are protecting this resource against privatisation."

"Reading intently
by Goblin Thu May 03, 2007 11:06
This was not amended in the Dail last week nor has it been since 2003."

"Proves nothing
by Goblin Thu May 03, 2007 11:46
By the way, I said section 105 wasnt amended since 2003. You still havent proved me wrong. All you've shown is that is has been sustantially amended prior to 2003.

But all matters of opinion. "

Seanad Reporter
by Goblin Thu May 03, 2007 14:45
In any case, no harm. In terms of clearing things up you have posted the contents of the Bill which really no-one was disagreeing with. And you did misinterpret what I wrote when you thought I was saying that whether or not the Bill was amended was a matter of opinion."

author by Leftwatchpublication date Fri May 04, 2007 11:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Seanad Reporter. Give over will ya. Your last post was absolute gibberish and did little to convince anyone. The fact your continuing this shows how weak your main arguement is when you bog down the whole thread in asides about what is and what isn't a matter of opinion! Nobody cares about that shyte, why are you hung up on it?
Goblin admitted he was wrong and in doing so has shown an admirable trait. You however are coming across like a hagard old crow. Let it go. Your starting to look vindictive and silly.

The point of this thread is to tell people about a conference in Dublin. Your hoo-hah about Bills and so on is of little comfort to those who listened to gobshites like you when we were all told they'd never privatise the bins.

You and aquaman are hacks. There is no way you are committed activists and opposed to privatisation with this type of divide and conquer carry on.

author by SEanad Reporterpublication date Fri May 04, 2007 12:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good to see that I'm annoying you. If you bother to read the comments its quite clear that Goblin lied, lied and Lied. I have written about the water charges.

I was the first to bring the bill on to this thread. Those who were pontificating about charges and privatisation diodnt even know the bill was before the the Seanad. They then went on to deny it had been amended. How am I dividing anything by publishing factual information?

I'm not the one who lied on this thread.

Glad I woke you up. Now off you go and join up with the Chicken Littles who think domestic water charges are about to be introduced.

author by Watcherpublication date Fri May 04, 2007 12:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I see that Aquaman has now fully morphed into Seanad Reporter and visa versa. Calling people, who he tells us he is of like mnd on the substansive issue, liers etc. We have a worm in the rose folks, no mistake. Best ignored and keep vigilent.

author by Seanad Reporterpublication date Fri May 04, 2007 13:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A bill was passed this week prohibiting domestic water charges, those who think water charges are about to be introduced are vbeing alarmist, because I point that out you call me a cretin. Why not try and argue on a rational basis?

author by Aidan Burkepublication date Fri May 04, 2007 14:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Seanad Reporter or Aquaman or whatever your called. You are actually talking out yer arse if you expect any one here to believe you where out on any campaign. You're no activist. Not by a long stretch if you think for one second that the government or any legislation it ratifies provides protection and is to be taken at its word.

You keep banging on about charges and privatisation being imminent? Who the fuck is saying they are?

author by Seanad Reporterpublication date Fri May 04, 2007 14:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Just answer me this, why didnt you see the bin tax coming the last time?"

It was seen coming and a campaign was built against it. When there was no legislation in place or planned to allow bin charges, they were not campaigned against. It would have been rather stupid to do so.

Just as it would be bizarre to campaign against domestic water charges when only this week legislation was passed prohibiting such charges.

But if you think such charges are on the way and that emergency legislation is going to be introduced to allow domestic charges once the Dail resumes then you should do something about it.

Why not organise a conference to oppose the imminent introduction of Domestic Water Charges? Contact the WP, SWP, SP, SF, LP, ISN, CIL, CP and ask them to join with you in your struggle. See how many turn up!

BTW

I live and work 3 - 5 miles from Ballyfermot so I cant join in there. But I'm sure you turn up every day.

author by Aidan Burkepublication date Fri May 04, 2007 14:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Eh i already asked you, who said charges and privatisation is imminent didnt I? Why are you suggesting I organise a conference over something that is not imminent. Thats just silly.

author by Seanad Reporterpublication date Fri May 04, 2007 15:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All you have to do is scroll back uo the thread to see that some people think charges and privatisation are imminent. Heres a selection:

A house divided
by Jim O'Sullivan - Community Alliance-Sligo Thu May 03, 2007 19:51
And make no mistake, if this government is returned, water charges will follow quickly and privatisation will not be too far behind.

Duped
by Watcher Thu May 03, 2007 17:25
By the way has Aquaman etc noticed the u-turn of the Fianna Fail party on stamp duty. All done in 24 hours. Does he think that this crowd would bat an eye-lid introducing privatisation amendments if they are in government come June?

Oh Dear-can't let that go
by Goblin Thu May 03, 2007 15:43
I have already said the bill can be changed quite quickly as well. No comment on that?

Matters of opinion
by Goblin Thu May 03, 2007 12:02
You quote legislation, I say it is irrelevant due to the speed that it can be changed.

The folly of Faith
by Goblin Wed May 02, 2007 16:13
Bills can be amended. Very rapidly if need be.

Current legislation is only that, Current.

author by Aidan Burkepublication date Fri May 04, 2007 15:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No one said Charges are imminent. They are saying the government can and will bring charges. They can do it quickly if need be. That is what the current government are all about.

The thread itself is about a conference which some see as the beggining of the process.

You are defending the governement. Saying they're nice guys and would never pull the wool over our eyes. See how good they are, they even passed legislation. Some activist.

Listen SR, you've been outed, exposed, your a sock puppet and an apologist. And a I just thought you might be just a naive fool. Ah well we all make mistakes.

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