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Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week November 27, 2011

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
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Before we get to the stupid statements, just to note this laughable effort. Back at mere stupidity, today is an anti-public sector day. Thus Daniel McConnell offers us this.

However, it is very easy to argue with the continued adherence to the illogical and grossly unfair Croke Park agreement, which guarantees that one of the most sheltered sectors in society remains insulated from the worst effects of Ireland’s economic firestorm.

Did I miss the part where public sector workers have not had large cuts made in their pay? Did I also miss the part where the heroes of capitalism in Ireland were bailed out by the state that they claim should stay out of the market? Or do I simply not live in a world created in the mind of Milton Friedman and bearing no relation to reality?

Marc Coleman provides us with a new understanding of the role of class, wealth and power within society.

There are two narratives about which “side” to take; the “haves” versus “have nots” and “public” versus “private”. But if you ask me, the “haves” are not those with money, but those with power.

Maybe that should have been a new misunderstanding of the role of class, wealth and power within society.

Brendan O’Connor has identified a different problem.

And that is why this story tells us everything we need to know about this Government. Suddenly we understand why old people will be booted out of their homes, why special needs children won’t be allowed to go to school, why hospitals will be shut down, why everything will be sacrificed before they will touch a hair on the head of the public sector pay. It’s ideology, stupid.

It is indeed ideology Brendan. Just not the one you think it is. It’s the one you share, not the one you despise.

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Comments»

1. ivorthorne - November 27, 2011

Looks like Aengus got lazy this week.

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Starkadder - November 27, 2011

Isn’t Aengus Fanning reportedly in poor health? It’s rumoured
he may be stepping down soon. It’ll be interesting to see what
happens when he does- Fanning has been editing
the “Sunday Independent” for longer than anyone except
Hector Legge .

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ivorthorne - November 27, 2011

Maintaining its current standards probably wouldn’t be much of a challenge.

While I suspect that the new editor will come from within the paper’s current ranks, it’s close to impossible to tell exactly what changes that woud bring. It’s pretty clear that they write what they’re direct to write. Perhaps we might be shocked to discover that Carol Hunt and co have more varied and rounded views than we ever imagined,

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2. Shay Brennan - November 27, 2011

Apparently the man being groomed for the top is Brendan O’Connor. I think I read that in the Phoenix, just in case you think I have the inside track at the Sunday Indo.

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ivorthorne - November 27, 2011

Is The Phoenix worthy buying regularly?

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Oireachtas Retort - November 27, 2011

Would think so. They have been good on some things this year. At least a month ahead on trouble at Newstalk and dissatisfaction with Gilmore within Labour. I thought the piece on Betty’s visit was very good.

Anything critical of the inside deserves support in this country.

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Blissett - November 27, 2011

Think it has disimproved recently, but still quite good, and the only magazine of that type on the market, can be quite incisive on occassion

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EWI - November 27, 2011

It depends on how good their sources are on the issues of interest. For example, their coverage on all things Air Corps was excellent and very well-informed for some years…

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3. Starkadder - November 27, 2011

I’d like to see Matt Cooper get a shot at editing another
Sunday newspaper, but I suspect that’s not likely. He’d
probably give the Eoghan Harris clicque in the Sindo the
boot.

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Crocodile - November 27, 2011

During the week the BBC’s flagship 10 o’clock news had a feature on Ireland, a year after the troika moved in. What did they consider most worthy of note, that their UK audience would find most surprising? Why, the deep and repeated cuts in Irish public sector pay! Cuts which, if we are to believe the Sindo and Newstalk, never happened.

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WorldbyStorm - November 27, 2011

Well to the Sindo they never did because they’re not in the public sector and clearly only know people in its upper reaches. But any of us working with it, as I do on contract, know that the fantasy about ‘average’ as distinct from ‘median’ wages paints a very different picture. And as always what gets lost is how poorly paid people on median and lower wages in the private sector are and that’s nowt to do with the public sector.

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Crocodile - November 27, 2011

I’m a long way from the upper reaches of the public sector, but those few highly paid public servants that I do know actually feel very hard done by, as the people they see as their peers in the private sector have taken hardly any drops in income, compared to them.

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WorldbyStorm - November 27, 2011

That’s a fair point too. I’m no fan of excessive wages but the gap between higher level public sector and higher level private sector wage is stunning. And to be honest the argument that since we can do something about the former we should and not worry ourselves overly much about the latter doesn’t cut it for me.

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Shay Brennan - November 28, 2011

Not sure Cooper would be any better. His deep love of Michael O’Leary, angry-middle-aged man persona ‘just what do these women’s rights activists want?’ and brown-nosing of sports stars is a bit off-putting.

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4. Crocodile - November 27, 2011

The Sunday Times has even stupider things to offer this week. In the ‘News Review’ section alone, you can see Niall Ferguson’s reasons why Ireland will rejoin the UK in 2013 and read how Jeremy Clarkson’s quest for a suit with long enough trousers showed him how it felt to be a black South African under Apartheid ( I’m not making this stuff up).

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CL - November 27, 2011

‘Ferguson’s proposed ‘Anglobalisation’ of the world was little more than an updated version of American ‘modernisation theory’, first proposed as an alternative to Communism during the Cold War, and now married to revolutionary violence of the kind for which Communist regimes had been reviled.’-Pankaj Mishra,
a debunking of Ferguson and all his works in the LRB.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n21/pankaj-mishra/watch-this-man

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Ramzi Nohra 1 - November 27, 2011

I’m no fan of Ferguson, for the reasons ably outlined here, but having said that the exchange between Ferguson and Mishra showed the latter in a pretty unsavoury light. Fine to throw insults (albeit some probably justified!) not so good at engaging in argument.

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Michael Carley - November 27, 2011

The Ferguson article is available for free on the WSJ:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203699404577044172754446162.html

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EWI - November 27, 2011

Niall Ferguson’s never quite outgrown his schoolboy hankering for the glory days of the Empire in the 19th Century. You get the impression that there’re no maps allowed in his home that don’t show most of the globe coloured pink.

Once you understand this, you understand him and can easily predict what the Ferguson ‘analysis’ will be in any given situation.

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Oireachtas Retort - November 27, 2011

+1

Well at least they made the trains run on time etc..

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Starkadder - November 27, 2011

Ferguson is threating to sue the LRB over the
Pankaj Mishra review:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/nov/26/niall-ferguson-pankaj-mishra-review

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5. CMK - November 27, 2011

There were two more interesting things about McConnell’s article. The first was the incredibly stupid point made by a Fine Gael TD that cuts of 100,000 should be made to numbers in the public sector. If there exists such a thing as a home for the politically insane that guy/gal should be sent there forthwith. However, from the lead up to that statement its clear that such ideas are relatively mainstream within the FG parliamentary party. It takes a particularly cruel and vindictive type of mind to argue that a state with an overall population of 4.5 million, where 440,000 are already on the dole that 100,000 should be added to the dole queues at the stroke of a pen.

The second thing about McConnell’s article was a clear demonstration that for all of their wannabe cruelty and indifference when speaking ‘off the record’, these same FG backbenchers show just what f**king cowards they really are. They obviously love talking tough to the journos and the hacks, but once in the public eye they’re much more conciliatory and cowardly. That the Sindo facilitates and glorifies such cowardice is one more charge that can be added to the indictment of that paper.

While it’s understandable that the Sindo would provide an uncritical forum for these FG wasters, why are Labour facilitating them by staying in government? (I know the answer, but it’s still worth posing the question).

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ivorthorne - November 27, 2011

How confident should we be that these FG backbenchers actually exist and that McConnell isn’t just making stuff up?

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EWI - November 27, 2011

The Sindo would never fib, sirrah!

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CMK - November 27, 2011

Not confident at all, and it had occurred to me. Wouldn’t surprise me, in the least.

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6. JP - November 27, 2011

I’m assuming that when McCarthy filed his copy there was a big heart at the bottom with AF written inside it.

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7. Stephen - November 28, 2011

The Sunday Independent have being unfair in their treatment of public sector workers. I think Laura Noonan’s comment on the frontline some weeks ago that some public sectors are sitting around and doing nothing all day was a disgrace.

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Oireachtas Retort - November 29, 2011

In fairness to Laura, it seems most of her opinions belong to someone else.

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stephen - November 29, 2011

That’s true,she does seem to be the mouth piece of the establishment in Ireland.

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Crocodile - November 29, 2011

On last night’s ‘Frontline’ Niamh Lyons described public sector workers as ‘ protected’ from pay cuts without any reference to pay cuts already inflicted. PK never pursued the point, nor did ‘Labour’ politician on panel. Yet tonight’s channel 4 news details dismay of UK public sector workers at a cap on their pay increases. Cuts would be unthinkable even in a country that’s more indebted than we are.

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8. stephen - November 29, 2011

It is rarely mentioned now that public sector workers have already received pay cuts. The public sector has being made a scapegoat for Ireland’s current financial difficulties. Not all public servants are living champagne lifestyles. The reason why the public service is inefficient is because of the incompetence of Institutions like the HSE and top civil servants.

While many public sector workers have had their pay cut or lost their job, most of the top brass who presided over the destruction of the Celtic Tiger are still in place.

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CMK - November 29, 2011

I’d be wary about bandying about the idea that the ‘public sector is inefficient’ under any circumstances, as that implies that the public sector as totality is inefficient as a totality. Something which is not the case. My experience of working in the public sector, having spent nearly two decades in the private sector, is that it’s staff members are highly motivated, and must respond quickly to an evolving complex society which throws up new demands and dilemmas on a continuous basis.

One of the things that will be lost when things like permanent employment is destroyed in the public sector – which will be largely the case in about ten years time, may fifteen – is the diminishing of ‘institutional memory’. The image of the public sector ‘lifer’ is of a workshy dosser with a nice cosy niche to see him/her through to retirement. While true for a very small number, many ‘lifers’ are committed individuals who range from competent to outstanding at the jobs they do. Being secure in you job for life allows for a greater engagement with complexity and change. When we have a public sector that is dominated by outsourced freelancers and people on year to year contracts, we’ll see the wheel reinvented constantly and the same mistakes made repeatedly but by different people, as there won’t be that institutional member. OK, the upper echelons of the public sector have a piss-poor record, but focusing on that above all else serves to completely obscure the patient, long term, successful efforts of hundreds of thousands of public servants. Indeed, if the UK experience is anything to go by allowing greater private sector involvement in the provision of public services will result in huge additional expense combined with atrocious long term human consequences for the frontline staff and service users.

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