Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fianna Fail grounds next Government

Somewhere in a dark bunker in the Department of Finance, a few political mandarins are rubbing their hands with glee - as they have just got one over on Fine Gael!!

In three words - The Government Jet!!

Yes, the hallmark of excess in Government, the not-so-humble Government Jet has had its fair share of knockers.

And now that Fianna Fail is intent on doing everything it can possibly to to make life for Fine Gael/Labour in power as difficult as possible, it has decided not to replace the Jet when it goes to the aircraft hangar in the sky.

Just two years ago, the Government had three Air Corps aircraft at their disposal. One has been decommissioned and now the Gulfstream Jet will not be replaced.

To be fair to our Air Corps, they have gotten fierce value out of the Gulfstream Jet. It has the most air miles on it than any other similar Gulfstream Jet in the world.

But all good things come to an end and the end of the runway is coming closer for the Jet.

That leaves the Government with the use of just one aircraft, a much smaller one, which from hereonin will be used to fly Ministers to Europe for meetings.

This means that the new Government won’t have a decent jet - capable of holding more than 10 people and one that can fly around the world - at their disposal.

And if they want one, they will have to make the highly unpopular decision to buy one.

And these babies don’t come cheap!!

So what happens now? Well commercial travel is the only way forward and for some reason, I don’t think our new breed of Ministers will be travelling cattle class!

Considering all the officials that normally accompany a Minister on an overseas trip, that is a serious wad of money that will be spent from the taxpayers purse on business class airfares.

What many people don’t seem to take into consideration is that we - the people of Ireland - own the Government Jet.

Not only was it a plush overseas taxi for our politicians but it also served as a training craft for our excellent Air Corps.

So its demise is a loss on a number of levels - a loss for the pampered politicians, a loss for the next Government and, above all, a loss for our Air Corps.

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