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New Dail, new dawn?

dail_01Plonk in the middle of a debate between Irish economists (Prophets of Doom v The Rest), the April Working Notes, from the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice (New Dáil, New Dawn?), adds an ethical voice. Ray and Maurice Kinsella pinpoint the absence of any sense of the common good from the corporate capitalism of our bankers. If we are to see a fresh start, a sense of ethics must be embedded in banks’ organisational structures; otherwise history will repeat itself.  This April issue also analyses the place of justice in the new Government’s mammoth task in tackling taxation and unemployment. On another front, the JCFJ has welcomed the Government’s decision to review the Thornton Hall superprison project, which it has consistently criticised as a misuse of public money.

JCFJ Press Release

UCD Professor of Economics, Morgan Kelly, in The Irish Times, Saturday 7 May 2011, predicts economic ruin and bankruptcy. Aligned to the economic crisis is an ethical crisis in Irish banking. Ray and Maurice Kinsella in the latest issue of Working Notes: New Dáil: New Dawn? argue that the origin of the banking crisis was born within a relativistic and consumer-driven form of corporate capitalism, which excluded any understanding of the common good.

The writers suggest that there is a real need ‘to embed a sense of ethics within organisational structures, incentives and relationship’; otherwise there is a cyclical risk with history repeating itself. This issue identifies other challenges over the lifetime of the new Dáil in relation to taxation, unemployment and economics. The various authors identify the need for greater solidarity and stronger values needed in the underpinning of policy and decision making. The new Government’s Programme for Government includes many references to values such as social solidarity and equality; espoused in the Programme is a commitment ‘to forging a new Ireland that is built on fairness and equal citizenship’.

There is no doubt, however, that the Government faces an extremely difficult task in attempting to bring about such a society, in particular, finding a just way to resolve the economic crisis facing Ireland. View Working Notes: New Dáil: New Dawn? (April 2011) and all previous Working Notes articles on www.jcfj.ie. It is also available in hard copies.