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Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week May 29, 2011

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
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Ignoring headlines like Fitzgerald Represented All That Was Best in Ireland isn’t easy, especially not when any stories that point out how spectacularly he mishandled the economy and how he personally benefited from the “understanding” of the banks go out of their way to genuflect before his greatness before doing so. There is, however, more than enough stupidity to allow us to pass over such matters quickly.

In third place, James Fitzsimons twists Richard Bruton’s planned act of class warfare against the lowest paid workers into, you’ve guessed it, an assault by the evil public sector fat cats against the Most Oppressed Private Sector Ever.

What is even more worrying is that the minister can be so unfair to the most vulnerable in the private sector. Meanwhile, public servants continue to be insulated from the full impact of the recession? The Government, which is part of the elitist public sector establishment for pay and conditions itself, is willing to allow pay and conditions in the public sector to adjust slowly with the passage of time.

In second place, Anne Harris weighs in on the debate on the Republic’s corporation tax with this beauty

For your information, Eamon, the French small and medium businesses do not give a fig for us or our corporation tax. Nor does their government. Just as during the Second World War when all they cared about was the coffee in their cup and the sugar in their coffee, now all they care about is corporation tax and the quality of their life.

The French don’t care about anybody but the French. And the only people they kowtow to are the Germans. They always did and they always will. And when it all falls down (like it did with Vichy) they will say they (the Germans) made us do it.

Remember, the Sunday Independent is the voice of fearless pluralist cosmopolitanism that seeks to put the unpleasant aspects of history behind us, and that combats divisions left by past conflicts. Only when it comes to the Queen of course.

Marc Coleman wins this week, and picks up an additional award for barefaced cheek, in a piece arguing that the solution to Ireland’s problems is to be more like Israel, and tell the yanks how it really is and what they must do for us.

This is a country so similar to Ireland that it inspired my book, The Best is Yet to Come, on how we could learn from it by using our demographic muscle — both intergenerational and diaspora aspects — to pull ourselves out of the crisis.

I’d have thought that The Best is Yet to Come is something he’d have wanted us all to forget about, but apparently he’s proud of it.

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1. fergal - May 29, 2011

Who do the Irish “kowtow” to ? Parasites,war criminals,tax dodgers,greedy multinationals,sacred bondholders,property speculators,talentless artists…
No,we kowtow to nobody,we’re fearless,innovative and original.When our banks went belly-up we told them where to go,when the IMF_ECB were invited in we told them where to go too when France and Germany wouldn’t go after their banks we told them what to do(throw money at them and make the taxpayers pay for it)
This corporation tax thing is a right pain…labour continues to pay a higher tax rate than capital.
Didn’t Dany Cohn-Bendit claim at a European parliament conference that McGreevy(remember him) only had one word in his vocabulary..deregulation.He then explained that our problems wer “a failure of neo-liberalism”.Pity his Green friends here never made theses connections.
We’re not really in a position to give lessons to the world,are we?Isn’t there quite a bit of xenophobia in Harris’s piece?Blaming an entire people for the “sins” of the past,claiming to know what an entire people wants,and conveniently forgetting over 50 years of cordial Franco-German relations.
The Sindo could invite Dany to write a piece for them…but what would he know isn’t he half French,half German,of Jewish extraction and a Green to boot!

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2. Pidge - May 29, 2011

I’m surprised the eerie “pretty girl on the cover” story didn’t get a mention. Just plain weird.

http://bit.ly/kbx5rm

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WorldbyStorm - May 29, 2011

Very odd… something unpleasant about it all.

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crocodile - May 30, 2011

Bad taste in about 3 different ways (Cheesy picture of a 15-year-old; advertising for mummy’s shop – and using the death of another child as a hook for an x-factor style ‘plucky kid’ storyline).

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3. Bartholomew - May 29, 2011

Can that possibly be real? A 15 year old aspiring model uses the death of her boyfriend as a publicity opportunity, or is it her mother? That’s how it reads to me.

It brings to mind something that’s been exercising me for the last few days – and apologies Garibaldi for being off-topic. This comment belongs on the thread a week or two ago where people were discussing (half-jokingly) indoctrinating their children in left-wing ideas, but I can’t find it.

I’d be interested in anyone’s reaction to the following, and also whether they have experienced it themselves.

My six year old is in senior infants, and his class is about to do a six week course (half an hour a week) in something called ‘Junior Achievement’. The letter he brought home says that this programme ‘brings business volunteers into the classroom to teach enterprise skills’. It’s sponsored by a range of corporations under their rubric of ‘corporate social responsibility’, and the list of sponsoring corporation on their website (www.juniorachievement.ie) includes such paragons of social responsibility as Anglo-Irish Bank. The site lists hundreds of participating schools.

The website and the letter to parents are vague about the content of the programme, but a look around a few primary school websites shows that, for example, fifth-class primary students (ten and eleven year olds) have a module called ‘human resources’!

I can see some point to this in second level, and school-leavers should certainly know how markets and capitalism work. But at senior infants, it’s downright creepy.* If ‘business’ grabs hold of them at that young age, then what hope has social democracy got in this country, let alone socialism?

* Mind you, as a parent, I’m not too worried – we brought up our children as atheists, and their religion classes haven’t made a dent in that.

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make do and mend - May 30, 2011

I recently received a new education in Irish education these days.

The push to highlight capitalistic ideology in education seems somewhat systemic. I recently dropped out of an introductory ecology class. While revising for the biology module before starting classes, I went over intercert and leaving cert science material where ownership and responding to business owner’s needs were subtlely weaved into the curriculum.

The ecology biology module itself was a disaster. The student mix was composed of people who’d just recently finished science leaving certs through to a majority who were sciencephobic. Our very first lesson in biology was on why GMO biological advances were good for society, and it was chock full of fairly advanced chemical and biological processes.

The sciencephobic folk went ballistic. I asked the teacher on the quiet who composed the curriculum. It comes from a central authority in Dublin and there is no room for deviance. The only way to contact the central authority is by an e-mail address with no reference to any person. Having e-mailed them with concerns about the material, the teacher (very qualified) never received a response.

Needless to say, while plagarism was verboten, gaming the system became the order of the day.

The lead teacher had a phd and his dissertation was on ecological tourism. One bought ecological solutions from entrepenuerial capitalists, and encouraging millions to fly into Ireland to look at a bog is environmentally friendly.

“Human Resources” is an ideologically charged term in itself. In my day we studied Humanities. I don’t remember people being considered a resource like oil, media slick packaging or manure. Maybe De-Humanising Resources is a better title, given how our govt and their International advisors treat working people.

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sonofstan - May 30, 2011

Re: ‘Human resources’

A particular bugbear of mine is the way that ‘social capital’ has crept into the language, even of the left, as if it were an entirely apt metaphor for friendship, family, community etc. – that such things can only be understood as having value if we call them ‘capital’.

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LeftAtTheCross - May 30, 2011

Bart, I haven’t received any letters home myself for any primary school courses of that nature. If I did I would be straight onto the school principal, the parents committee and the INTO union rep’ in the school, to find out how and why such a course was being imposed on my kids? If no satisfactory action was forthcoming I would be taking my kids out of the class for the duration just to make the point that ideological indoctrination is not part of the deal. It’s bad enough having them brainwashed as RCs but I would certainly draw the line at this.

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ejh - May 30, 2011

There’s going to be a lot of this about, especially in the UK – I read Justin McKeating (or Chicken Yoghurt) saying how he was having to send his kid to an “academy” whose speciality was “entrepreneurship”. As well as withdrawing kids, I’d assume people would publicise this stuff whenever they see it.

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Northside Socialist - May 30, 2011

My kids have these pro-business propaganda sessions in school too. I suppose I will have to wait a long time until ICTU provide educational modules for the benefits of trade unionism etc.

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Bartholomew - May 31, 2011

Thanks for the responses folks. I went to see the principal and ‘expressed my reservations’ as forcefully as I could. They’re trying it out for the first time this year, so at least they’ve had some pretty negative feedback from one set of parents. Anyway, this scheme has been going since 1994 in both primary and secondary schools, but this is the first time I’ve even heard of it. Worth keeping an eye on.

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4. Pope Epopt - May 30, 2011

Doesn’t the Israel model require a nuclear arsenal? And neighbours with a lot of fossil fuel that rightfully belongs in the tanks of the West? Perhaps Coleman knows something we don’t – a secret enrichment project in Waterford IT?

And as a base for despoiling the Arctic – well Canada does that doesn’t it?

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make do and mend - May 30, 2011

“…fossil fuel that rightfully belongs in the tanks of the West?”

Pope, would that fuel belong in our pvt. vehicle petrol tanks, or the more explody type tanks used by the liberation forces of the !free! markets? :-)

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crocodile - May 30, 2011

Bumper sticker I saw on a Hummer in new York during the first Gulf War: ‘What’s our oil doing under their sand?’

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