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Here's How is Ireland's political, social and current affairs phone-in podcast. You can air your views by recording a message on on our voicemail line, and presenter William Campbell will play the best calls in the show each week.
Contribute your views to the Here's How Podcast - dial +353 76 603 5060 and leave a message, or email your recording to podcast@HeresHow.ie. All views are welcome, and two- to three-minute with a single clearly-argued point are preferred.
Find full details and tips on how to leave a good message at www.HeresHow.ie/call

Here's How ::: Ireland's Political, Social and Current Affairs Podcast William Campbell

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Here's How is Ireland's political, social and current affairs phone-in podcast. You can air your views by recording a message on on our voicemail line, and presenter William Campbell will play the best calls in the show each week.
Contribute your views to the Here's How Podcast - dial +353 76 603 5060 and leave a message, or email your recording to podcast@HeresHow.ie. All views are welcome, and two- to three-minute with a single clearly-argued point are preferred.
Find full details and tips on how to leave a good message at www.HeresHow.ie/call

    A Step into the Dark

    A Step into the Dark

    Janie Lazar is the chair of End of Life Ireland.


    Some people have said some things about my level of political insight, thanks to them, even if I don’treally think it’s that impressive most of the time. Actually, whatever level of insight that I do have, Ithink is just down to two habits. One is, when you’re discussing any topic, to clearly define what isthe actual problem that you are trying to solve. The second is, if you think of, or hear of a solution,you consider if it’s implemented, ‘what happens next?’ or ‘then what?’. Basically try to anticipate thesecond-next step, as well as the next one.Debates on politics and social issues often take the form of saying X is a problem, we should do Y tosolve it. What some people maybe miss out on is, if you solve problem X, or if you take action Y, ifthat happens what will happen as a result of that?I suppose the average person isn’t really required to think out their position on the West Lothianquestion or the Congress of Vienna, but there are some topics that are very common in populardiscussion, debated from bar stools and office microwaves up and down country, where peopledon’t seem to do that, which is fair enough, but sometimes it seems that our politicians, ourjournalists, the people who are actually paid to do this, their debate isn’t of a much better quality.I was thinking of this listening to Mark O’Halloran on the Mario Rosenstock Podcast a while back, Imentioned this interview a couple of podcasts ago, it’s worth hearing what he had to sayPermission to own a catThat’s not the greatest tragedy that comes out of the housing crisis, but only because there aremuch bigger tragedies out there. It does though, I think, bring home to people who don’t have tothink of those difficulties, what it is like if you do; how the other half lives.A little bit later Mario Rosenstock interjects saying that people like Mark should be given more credit– literally and figuratively – by the banks.Now it’s not the job of either Mark O’Halloran or Mario Rosenstock to be experts on macroeconomicpolicy, but what they’re saying links in with a theme that can be seen often in social media, andsometimes in from professional journalists and elected politicians.Basically saying that someone is being denied a mortgage for what seems like an unfair reason, andthat the banks should be forced to give them the loan if they, for example, have shown that they areable to pay in rent an equivalent amount to the repayment, or saying that the government shouldgive or that group a tax break money to allow them to buy a house, or a grant to take account of thefact that they can’t get help from wealthy parents or whatever.These might seem like good ideas for the individual, they could potentially allow an individual to buya house, but they just don’t work at a society level.If you pass a law that says that the bank has to give a mortgage to Mary Murphy of 21 High Street,that might suit her, but you can’t make laws like that, laws apply to everyone, or at least everyone ina particular position. And if you make a law that says that the bank has to give everyone, or eveneveryone in a particular class of person, a mortgage, that doesn’t change the number of housesavailable.All that would do is allow some people who are after a house to outbid some other people who areafter a house. It might change who gets those houses, it might, but it mightn’t, because the originalpeople might be able to outbid them back. The thing that is certain not to change is that there would

    be an equal number of people who need a house but don’t get it. And the one thing that would becertain to change is that whoever ends up with the house would be paying more for it.

    • 1 Std. 6 Min.
    Uncivil Liberties

    Uncivil Liberties

    Josie Appleton is the director of the Manifesto Club.


    You might think that you’re not familiar with the CE symbol, but you probably are, I’m sure you’ve seen it thousands of times. I can’t show you a picture of it in audio format, but the symbol is two semi-circles, the first one making a C, the second with an extra line to make the capital E, and CE stands for, conformité européenne meaning conformity with European standards, and you’ve seen and ignored that symbol on a thousand different products, electronics, toys, basically any manufactured consumer product.

    I mentioned cycle helmets on the podcast a few weeks back, that they are designed to protect a cyclist from a fall to the ground, but not from being hit by the driver of a car. Those design standards are codified in the conformité européenne system, and you’re not allowed to make, import or sell any products in the EU that don’t meet those standards.

    The products are inspected, when they pass they get to display that CE symbol, the consumer doesn’t get children’s toys covered in lead paint or, hopefully, mobile phone batteries that blow up.

    It is true that regulations like this have the potential include malicious requirements that some country sneaks in, to try to favour their industry over another country. James Dyson, for example, complained that the ratings for vacuum cleaners were done in a way that disadvantaged his invention, but the regulations are agreed by the EU as a whole, and everyone gets their shpake.

    Official CE logo

    The regulations are necessarily very complex, because they cover thousands of different products, and they can be very technical, and they were one of the prime rhetorical targets of the Brexit campaign, including people like James Dyson, you probably know this script by heart, the Brussels bureaucrats tying up our business up in unnecessary red tape.

    This is Brexit, the Movie a glossy, professionally-produced video put out on YouTube by right-wing film-maker Martin Durkin as part of the Brexit campaign, it’s typical of the rhetoric at the time.

    It’s very typical of the Brexit campaign in the sense that Martin Durkin has no regard for the truth, in this segment all the things that are mentioned in the voiceover appear in the stylishly-filmed routine of ‘regulated man’ getting up and having breakfast, with nifty graphics listing all the relevant regulations over each item. Except, they’re not necessarily relevant, as John Oliver observed at the time.

    It’s not explicitly mentioned in Brexit the Movie, but most of the regulation that they were talking about here are the CE regulations, and ‘freeing Britain’ from this burdensome regulation was a core objective, and a core selling point of the Brexit lobby.

    So, after much delay, what was called the UKCA, standing for UK Conformity Assessed, UKCA was launched on 1 January 2021, with the validity of CE certification to expire in the UK as of 31 December 2021, so a one-year transition period. Basically, the British government created their own standards agency to set their own standards independently,

    • 55 Min.
    Guilty Speech

    Guilty Speech

    Pauline O’Reilly is the Green Party spokesperson on Education and Higher Education and Senator and the cathaoirleach of the Green Party.


    I heard Mark O’Halloran on an old episode the Mario Rosenstock Podcast recently, he talked very articulately about how the housing crisis affects him, how he as a man in his 50s has to ask someone’s permission to get a pet cat. I totally sympathise with his position, sometimes it’s small things like that which capture so well the dysfunction created by the housing crisis.

    I’m sure some left-wing party is writing up a bill as I speak called something like the Tenant’s Right to Pets and Animal Companionship Act 2023. In fact, Sinn Féin is actually proposing a bill to make it illegal to ask for sex in return for a tenancy. That sounds horrific, I’m not convinced how widespread a problem it is, but if it even happens once, that’s obviously unacceptable.

    But consider this – do we have a problem of supermarket workers demanding sex in return for groceries? Is that even conceivable? In Ireland, it’s not, but in recent years, there have been scandals of aid workers in both Somalia and Haiti, in the midst of famine, demanding sex for food. The conclusion is obvious. That can only happen where people are so desperate – be it for food or housing – where people are so desperate that they are vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

    So it’s particularly insane that you get some people, particularly in the left, saying things like ‘we don’t have a housing crisis, we have a renting crisis’.

    We do. We have a housing crisis.

    And we get people, again primarily on the left, saying that ‘We can’t build our way out of the housing crisis’. Yes we can.  That’s exactly what we need to do. We need to build. We need to build suitable homes in suitable locations, and we need to build them in vast numbers.

    If you really need it to be proven, you can look at the figures. Ireland has by far the lowest number of dwellings per 1000 people in Western Europe, those are figures from the OECD.

    And there is good reason to think that even those figures miss just how bad the situation in Ireland is. Those figures from the OECD are from 2020, but they only had access to Irish figures up to 2019. Now, to get the number of dwellings per capita, you obviously divide the number dwellings by the number of people. 

    But Ireland is the only Western European country with a sharply increasing population; so those figures from four years ago understate the current population.

    And as per the last two censuses, Ireland has hundreds of thousands of dwellings that are being left vacant for various reasons, so those figures significantly overstate the number of dwellings available to live in. Both of those factors, more people and fewer dwellings indicate that the OECD figure, bad as it is, significantly understates the problem in Ireland.

    Another factor is that other Western European countries tend to ha...

    • 1 Std.
    Gravy Trains and Spin Cycles

    Gravy Trains and Spin Cycles

    Repeats on podcasts don’t always make a lot of sense, but if you are subscribed, you’ll know that I put up a podcast from 2019 into the feed again last week; the podcast was an investigation into RTÉ and their relationship with the AA which supplied them with AA Roadwatch, the erstwhile traffic news segments.

    The issue that I focussed on was that the supply of staff and studios for RTÉ quite clearly met RTÉ’s definition of a sponsored programme, and quite clearly breached RTÉ’s rules against accepting sponsorship from political lobbyists, and against accepting sponsorship from businesses with an interest in the content of the sponsored programme, and against allowing the sponsor to have any say in the content of the sponsored programme.

    In that podcast I said that the response of RTÉ to my questioning was basically stonewalling. I asked them about breaching sponsorship rules, they said that it wasn’t a sponsored programme. I pointed them to their own criteria of what counted as a sponsored programme, and that AA Roadwatch clearly met those criteria, and at various stages they promised to get back to me with answers, they promised to tell me what exactly AA Roadwatch was if it wasn’t a sponsored programme, I sent many reminders over months, but they never did.

    Since that podcast was first released, AA Roadwatch was scrapped by the AA.

    One of the reasons that I repeated that podcast was because of the current corruption scandal within RTÉ. The mission statement that we have for this podcast, Here’s How is to cover things that are under-covered in other Irish media, and the current scandal is a lot of things, but I don’t think that it is under-covered.

    That said, I think that there is an aspect of this that is getting, to say the very least, less coverage than it deserves. Inevitably, there is a temptation to cover the glitzy aspect of this story, when it relates to TV stars, it’s difficult not to get caught up in the sordid details, and I think that a wider story is being missed because of that.

    Kudos to Imelda Munster, Sinn Féin’s Louth TD who did a better job than most in trying to nail down Noel Kelly, the agent of Ryan Tubridy and other RTÉ stars who is at the centre of this scandal.

    What Imelda Munster was trying to nail down there was exactly how this dodgy deal got agreed. The secret payments were being routed through Renault Ireland to disguise their origin, and were paid on foot of invoices which did not bear Tubridy’s name, obviously to try not to attract the attention of anyone who might ask awkward questions.

    Kelly, you hear there is trying to shrug his shoulders and say ‘nothing to do with me, guv’, and points to a memo to the agreement from RTÉ, to him, instructing him not to include Tubridy’s name on the invoice, as though he had no idea why they might say that, when they all were perfectly aware that Tubridy had gotten stick in public over his salary, and none of them wanted these secret payments to leak out.

    There Kelly and Tubridy are trying to maintain the line that the secret payments were not really from RTÉ. Now, I’m careful about the defamation laws on this podcast, but I have no hesitation in saying that’s a lie. To the extent that they are claiming that the secret payments originated from Renault Ireland, Noel Kelly is lying, and Ryan Tubridy is lying.

    The money was essentially laundered through Renault Ireland to disguise its origin, to hide the fact that this was a payment of RTÉ’s money – taxpayers’ money – that was not being included in the publicly-declared salary for Tubridy.

    And they weren’t the only people lying.

    • 1 Std.
    Once Again for Those at the Back

    Once Again for Those at the Back

    I think that it’s about time to hear this edition of the podcast from 2019 again.

    Dr Michael Foley is professor emeritus at the school of media at TU Dublin – formerly DIT – also a member of the NUJ’s Ethics Council, and has been invited by the International federation of Journalists and UNESCO to write a syllabus on journalism safety and ethics.


    Because of the detailed nature of the podcast, I sent a rough cut of the show to Neil O’Gorman of RTÉ in advance for his comments a couple of days before publication, and invited his comments. Below is Neil’s response, with interjections in italics from myself.

    Thank you for sending in advance. I have three comments/asks:

    Given that your podcast is themed around bias and journalistic ethics, it is both misleading and unethical to not disclose upfront that the conversation with me was recorded without my knowledge. It is essential that you highlight this at the front of the piece in the interests of full disclosure and potential impact on my professional reputation.

    On this same point, was Michael Foley informed that the conversation he has just heard was recorded without my knowledge, particularly as he is presented as an expert in ethics in journalism?

    In the podcast it’s clear from my comments and the audio that I didn’t tell Neil in advance that I would record the call. RTÉ’s guidelines for its own journalists say secret recording is justified where there is “evidence of behaviour, or intention to carry out behaviour, that it is in the public interest to reveal”.

    I emailed Neil at length and made it clear to him that I believe RTÉ, a public body in receipt of hundreds of millions of euro in public funds, have a duty to respond to valid queries. Despite repeated clarifications, Neil refused to respond meaningfully to a several questions regarding RTÉ’s compliance with its own rules. In particular I asked Neil to give a narrative explanation of how RTÉ arrive at conclusions which seem to fly in the face of known facts. Neil declined.

    I feel it is fully justified to use the recording of Neil to illustrate that fact.

    Given that your podcast is themed around bias and ethics in journalism; dismissing responses – fully approved official RTÉ responses – as ‘PR guff’ without sharing those responses is disingenuous and also misleading. In particular, we have stated clearly that this is not a sponsorship. RTÉ is clear on that. Why not let your listeners decide?

    I asked Neil to give an example of any RTÉ response to a question from me that I had not included in the podcast. He was unable to do so.

    Significantly, you present a conversation with me – recorded against my knowledge – as definitive comment from RTÉ. It is not. Rather the conversation raised new issues which I asked you to put in writing and was the beginning of a number of exchanges in which RTÉ – not me personally – responded to a series of questions. These responses do not appear and suggest bias on your part.

    RTÉ declined to answer the key questions that I asked. I fully stand over describing long, non-responsive texts which were sent in the place of answers to my questions as ‘PR guff’.

    I would ask that you take these comments into full consideration before p...

    • 55 Min.
    Heading South

    Heading South

    Uki Goñi is a historian, journalist and author who has lived in the United States, Ireland, and Argentina.


    Sometimes it helps to draw a parallel between two events in the news, but two big recent stories – in Ireland, the scandal of RTÉ lying about Ryan Tubridy’s salary, and internationally the over-before-it-began apparent coup attempt by Yevgeny Prigozhin, those two might seem like they exist on two totally different planes, never to intersect.

    But I think that there might be a parallel. To deal with RTÉ, I think that far too little attention was paid to an anonymous article written in the Sunday Independent by someone that Sindo editors assure us they know the identity of, and who is a senior Irish media ad agency figure. It tells some very important details about how the advertising world works.

    I’m not going to go through the article, but in short, it relates to the Tubridy affair because Tubridy was being paid out of a barter account that RTÉ maintained. The reason that account exists is because of, at the very best, a lack of transparency in the three-way deals whereby advertising agencies book advertising for a big clients on RTÉ, and possibly other broadcasters.

    The agency, theoretically, gets a 15 per cent commission. So some big company has a million euro to spend on advertising, they pay that to the agency, the agency adds value by using their expertise to book the most effective ads for the client’s target market; they pay RTÉ €850,000 euro for the ads, and they get to keep the difference. I’m not sure about the maths there, but I’ll let that go.

    But then, maybe at the end of the month or the end of the year, RTÉ gives the agency a retrospective discount. Based on the volume of ads they bought from RTÉ, RTÉ give them back a percentage of the cash.

    Obviously, unless the agency pays that back to the advertisers, whose money they were spending, that fattens up their commission very considerably. It seems that, in at least some cases, that’s what happened. The anonymous writer says that this practice has been made illegal in places like the US, but not in Ireland. Depending on how the contracts were written, that could constitute breach of contract, or even criminal fraud, but since we don’t have sight of the contracts, we don’t know.

    Why was it made illegal in the US? Think of the incentives that this sets up. Firstly, if the agency is getting undeclared retrospective discounts from the broadcaster, that they can just pocket as pure profit, then the advice of the advertising agency, their expertise that they are selling, should you buy ad space on RTÉ or on satellite channels, on Radio 1 or on TodayFM, that advice could be hugely coloured by which broadcaster gives the agency the biggest retrospective discounts, rather than just being motivated by the best interests of their clients.

    And what about the incentives for RTÉ? This system would create a huge temptation for them to set a very high headline price for their advertising,

    • 58 Min.


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