I did a piece on the E-Skoot for The Sunday Independent recently and they did a little re-writing in the process. Normally, as Hall and Oates once said “I can’t go for that, no can do”, but this time I decided to let it go.
The word they wanted to insert was ‘eccentric’ – as in, if you didn’t mind driving this E-Skoot thing around “looking a bit eccentric”, then the scooter was fine. “Eccentric” has not been my experience though.
There has been much debate in recent days in Ireland about new laws designed to make cyclists more compliant with the rules of the road. Introduced by Minister Pascal Donohoe, the law calls for a €40 fine for cyclists who break red lights, travel on footpaths and travel the wrong way up a one-way street.
The restriction on cyclists being on footpaths has been limited though, because it is thought that sometimes, for safety reasons, cyclists need to mount footpaths (for example in school environments). So they have limited that law and handed it over to Garda discretion by creating the offence: “Cyclists driving a pedal cycle without due consideration for others”.
It would seem that if the moral dilemma between death and life-saving drugs can be made acute and public enough, the government is compelled to pay any price charged – even if it means reducing other health services to other vulnerable people.
After the Health Service Executive agreed this week to provide the Soliris drug to patients suffering from rare blood conditions at a cost of €430,000 per patient per year, the HSE’s chief executive Tony O’Brien called the cost of the drug ‘astronomical’, while the Minister for Health, Leo Varadker, has said that the drug is ‘not cost-effective’ at that price. Continue reading