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A bird's eye view of the vineyard
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Clare - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970
Author Kieran Allen speaks on The Corporate Takeover of Ireland, Ennis meeting
Tuesday October 02, 2007 12:48 by FrankP - People Before Profit Alliance
Wednesday 3rd October, 8.30pm Glor, Ennis organised by People Before Profit Alliance
People Before Profit Public Meeting
Kieran Allen Author of ‘The Corporate Takeover of Ireland’
Speaks against the Privatisation of Health and the closure of Local Hospitals
Wednesday 3rd October, 8.30pm Glor, Ennis
Kieran Allen, author of The Corporate Takeover of Ireland, published by the Irish Academic Press will speak in Ennis this week.
On Wednesday 3rd October, UCD sociology lecturer and author Kieran Allen will address a public meeting on the Corporate Takeover of Ireland in Glor, Ennis at 8pm.
The meeting is organised by the People Before Profit Alliance.
The book, which is based on two years of research, details how corporate influence has progressively undermined democracy in Ireland.
The citizenship model, which guaranteed certain social rights, is being replaced with that of a consumer who ‘shops around’ to exercise choice.
The result is a lessening of the quality of public life and erosion of transparency in favour of a corporate model of governance.
Some of the examples the author cites include:
• The growth of lobbying activities by big business. Major policy decisions such as the development of Public Private Partnerships were the results of lobbying by IBEC and the Construction Industry Federation. The decision not to proceed with a ban on alcohol advertising to the young followed an intense lobbying campaign which was paid for by the drinks industry.
• The outsourcing of governance to bodies dominated by figures that are close to the corporate elite. The author argues that a pattern has emerged whereby figures from the business world play an increased role in ‘outsourced’ authorities such as the National Roads Authority or the Health Services Executive.
• A revolving door between the political and business elites. Former figures from the political elite increasing re-cycle themselves as non-executive directors of large corporations. Similarly former attorney generals and government department secretaries re-emerge as key corporate executives.
The author argues that the growth of corporate influence is having a detrimental effect on Irish society.
One of the chapters, for example, is called ‘Catching Them Young’ focuses on the commercialisation of childhood.
Here it is argued that
• The Food and Drinks Industry have waged a successful campaign to prevent a ban on junk food advertising being imposed.
• Companies such as Tesco and the AIB are leading the field in commercialising the school environment through fake ‘philanthropy’ and sponsored educational materials.
• Ireland has developed a de-regulated form of childcare which ranks among the worst in Europe for cost and level of service.
Kieran Allen is the former head of the School of Sociology in UCD and currently a senior lecturer in the school. He has written four previous books including The Celtic Tiger: The Myth of Social Partnership (Manchester University Press) and Fianna Fail and Irish Labour (Pluto Press).