Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Dick "The Cock" Roche: Racing Against Waste

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Minister Dick "The Cock" Roche has said that Ireland will not purchase electricity from nuclear sources (hear it here, at about 3'30" in). In response, Padraig McManus said that it was impossible to tell how energy coming through the interconnector from Britain had been generated.

Unlike Mr McManus, who is the Electricity Supply Board's Chief Executive, Minister Cock Roche actually knows something about electronics. He's the Minister for Electronic Voting, after all. That major project cost about €54,000,000 to set up and current estimates are that it costs €700,000 a year - that's about €1917 every single day - to store the machines.

Energy imports: The Minister is an expert at moving other people's resources around the place


The significance of the scheme is clear when you consider that you can buy a hospital for about €50,000,000 (the price paid recently for Mount Carmel, in Churchtown, Dublin), and that €700,000 would pay for another ten of the minister's new Lexus 450H GS ministerial cars. When a minister is entrusted with such a huge amount of money to spend on a system that might or might not work, and probably wasn't really needed in the first place, it can only be a sign that he is awful big and important.

"The Cock" Roche is also head of the department in charge of Race Against Waste.




The Minister is reportedly concerned that MI5 or maybe MI6 might attempt to infect Ireland's electronic voting system with nuclear waste. "It's like a computer virus only electrical," a source close to the minister said. "The interconnector could be used to send nuclear waste out of Britain and into Ireland. They could contaminate our whole democracy with radioactive waste." Responding to an objection from the Irish Institute of Physics that this was "absolute garbage", The Skanger's source stated, "The Minister has employed management consultants who think otherwise."
They don't like it up 'em: Consultants have alerted the Department to numerous dangers, each of which will require further consultation


The consultants fear that the East-West Interconnector between Arklow in County Wicklow, and Caernarfon, North Wales, could be used for surreptitious dumping of waste. "The British Nuclear Group made what they called a paperwork error," our source recounted, "And couldn't account for 26.9 kilograms of plutonium. Who's to say it's not in Ireland somewhere?" Minister Martian Luccen, a nearly fan of electronic voting, was unavailable for comment on account of being stuck in traffic.
Is this the future of voting in Ireland?


A confidential government report, seen by The Skanger, suggests that the effects of the nuclear waste could be reduced if voters were issued with protective equipment to insulate them from the radiation. The report reads:

"Moderator blocks can offer some protection against neutron radiation. The blocks reduce neutron velocity, creating thermal neutrons. Moderators can be made of beryllium, but a safer and more cost effective solution is graphite. Our proposal is to issue each voter with a graphite-core voting tool coated in a natural and biodegradable heat-protective layer sufficient to resist the thermal neutrons for the duration of voting."



These voting tool (pictured) would be used to press the buttons on the minister's voting machines.

The voting tool has a graphite core.

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