Following last week’s sensible statement, this week we’ve gone for entertainment. First, worth a look is John Bruton yelping about recent coverage he has received in the Sindo. Secondly, John Drennan ripping Bruton to pieces.
Far indeed from representing an isolated outbreak, this multi-pensioned, triple-jobbing, privately educated, happy owner of hundreds of acres of the finest Meath beef-fattening land has been an enthusiast for the delights of austerity for decades.
Everyone, of course, is aware that outside of accidentally becoming Taoiseach, Mr Bruton’s sole claim to notice consists of his status as the Finance Minister who brought a government down in 1982 over the bright idea of putting VAT on children’s shoes.
Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week May 5, 2013Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
Can’t do this properly this week unfortunately, so just a quick example that we’re still all in it together.
How many people on seemingly high salaries did we hear saying things like that they couldn’t afford to take pay cuts, that it just wasn’t possible? Which seemed odd. Until you thought about debt. Debt is the great common denominator. And the more you were earning, the more debt you were given; the more debt you were given, the more assets you were able to buy; the more assets you bought, the more assets you had collapsing in value.
The debt of the super-rich who gambled on buying multiple properties being in no way different from that of working class people struggling to pay the bills of course.
Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week April 28, 2013Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
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CL and Dr X have already picked up on our old friend Marc Coleman. Beyond the man himself, I thoroughly enjoyed Brendan O’Connor’s piece (not a sentence I ever expected to write). The squirming as he seeks to explain away the fact that most people think the vote against Croke Park II was a good thing reminds me of an animal trying to gnaw off its own foot to escape. Here’s a taste.
It was a very telling intervention, and also, in a way that Jack didn’t intend, it was very pivotal. When Croke Park II was voted down, there was not the kind of widespread fury from the private sector that you might have seen before. While people might have disagreed with the decision, they understood it too, in a certain way.
“in a certain way”. You can see the pain as he typed it.
Apologies, but we’re all awol and haven’t had a chance to catch up with it… any contributions gratefully accepted…
Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week April 14, 2013Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
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A clear winner this week, despite being run close in some ways. Hard to single out one particular bit from this week’s winner, but here’s a taster. RDE is angry at President Higgins and his comments on the death of Maggie Thatcher, specifically his ignoring her
helping to bring about a peaceful transition to majority rule in South Africa.
It gets sillier. I think. There comes a point where degrees of silliness are hard to distinguish.
Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week April 7, 2013Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
Perhaps the clearest illustration of this comes from the VAT tax take. At €3,299m for the period, VAT receipts are a mere €8m up on the same period of 2012, a rise of just 0.2 per cent. As predicted in this column a year ago, the revenue impact from the rise in the VAT rate to 23 per cent has all but petered out.
Not the stupid statement of the week, but the sight of Marc Coleman congratulating himself on his clairvoyance certainly made me laugh.
Jody Corcoran pulls back the veil just ever so slightly.
To which the suggestion must follow: the outsourcing of a State service to the private sector is almost anarcho-capitalist in intent, a political philosophy, by the way, which has some merit.
Von Mises anyone?
Carol Hunt wheels out some hoary old chestnuts in favour of Croke Park II.
There are three very good reasons to become a teacher, goes the old chestnut – June, July and August.
Sadly, for parents up and down the country trying to pay for childcare, summer camps, anything to keep the kids occupied during those long, and often rainy months, Minister Ruairi Quinn hasn’t yet set his sights on tackling this ancient anomaly.
Meanwhile, the teachers of Ireland would seem to have an awful lot of time on their hands (well, it is the Easter holidays) as, in the manner of bored, spoilt students, they hissed, booed, heckled and waved badly drawn caricatures at their Education Minister during their annual conferences. Or at least the INTO and Asti did; for variety, the TUI preferred the tactic of a threatening, combative silence.
I’m sure Ruairi Quinn was terrified. And, for good measure, Eoghan Harris has a go at them too.
Back in the Eighties, I helped set up a pressure group called the Committee for the Development and Expansion of the Public Sector. I wrote a pamphlet called ‘Public Servants for the Public Service’. I was the media adviser for the successful Teachers Unite campaign.
So why did I become a critic of the public sector? Three reasons: benchmarking, recession and the public sector’s retreat from reality. Benchmarking turned public servants into a privileged caste.
Nothing to do with his retreat from socialism of course.
Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week March 24, 2013Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
Eilis O’Hanlon has an interesting column this week, sparked by the fact that she has had to cancel her family’s health insurance due to its soaring cost. This must be a very sickening and traumatic moment. However, there’s no excuse for drawing the following conclusion.
Listening to the vox pops on the radio, there was a clear divide between those who considered such demands on households to be perfectly reasonable and those who regarded them as draconian. I couldn’t help wondering if the divide was really between those who have already been making these adjustments to their spending and those who are still avoiding the need to trim their budgetary sails.
It’s only natural for those of us who have cut back sharply to feel slightly resentful when others who expect help with their debts still haven’t.
So much for experience triumphing over ideology.
I’m sure there’ll be more when the rest of the stuff goes online, but I won’t be able to look later. I’m sure though there’s some very silly stuff.
Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week March 17, 2013Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
Shame that this is a report of something said elsewhere some time ago, otherwise we’d have a winner for stupid statement of the year.
However, we have a strong candidate as it is. And you’ll never guess who it is. Our old friend, Marc Coleman.
This island hasn’t got much slack from the European Central Bank on the question of substantive help for our banks. But Cyprus is about to get the go-ahead for a bank write-down on a bailout worth some €10bn. Again the principle of symmetry applies: as soon as it is used to capitalise Cypriot banks, the principle of collective assistance must be symmetrically and retrospectively applied to ensure that the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is also tapped to ensure that Irish banks are recapitalised. That in turn should ease the pressure of the banks in getting tough with those in arrears.
Not only is a “bailout” that costs ordinary savers 10% of their savings something that we can say with safety the people who live in the twenty six counties don’t want, but the 26 counties are not the same thing as “This island”. So it appears that Marc needs to go back and study geography as well as economics.
Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week March 10, 2013Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
Since its relaunch, the now atrocious Sindo website doesn’t upload the bulk of its material until the afternoon. And today, it’s Man United versus Chelsea on the TV [cue outrage from the LoI contingent no doubt ], and there’s no chance I going through the Sindo website this afternoon. So there’s an element of do it yourself this week. Having said that, it looks like we have a clear winner available in the early batch of releases. Step forward Jim Cusack.
Not far from Beechmount is the family home of the man who is believed to be the head of the re-formed Provisional IRA. He has a considerable republican pedigree.
In recent years this man and former Provisional IRA associates has been planning the relaunch of a new campaign. His re-entry into terrorism has stimulated other former Provisionals to rejoin and become active again. The group announced their formation last summer in statements to newspapers in Belfast. Little attention was paid to the statements at the time as there had been several such announcements before as the dissident elements formed and re-formed themselves into factions. There were two groups claiming the title “Continuity” IRA, at least another two claiming the “Real” IRA title and another calling itself Oglaigh na hEireann. The newly emerging group simply calls itself the IRA. It is taking over the disparate “dissident” elements.
So the Provisional IRA is reformed and back in action. Except, reading a few lines down, it’s not really. Nothing like clear reporting.
Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week March 3, 2013Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
Outrage at the Sindo over Phil Hogan calling its journalists “knackers”, and threatening to put manners on them. Shame there isn’t the same outrage when its writers indulge in vile language and still more vile politics. The disappointment evident in this report at the absence of compulsory redundancies in Croke Park II being one example. The appointment of Daniel McConnell as political correspondent doesn’t hold out much hope for a change in political line for the better either (see this week’s winner below).
Eoghan Harris has been reimagining himself again. This time as Cecil Day-Lewis.
But not me. I have had it with Hollywood. But I always wanted to lead the life of Daniel’s father, the poet, critic and crime novelist Cecil Day Lewis, who has long been one of my great heroes.
CDL was the son of a Protestant rector in Co Laois, so I would have grown up in a lovely rural rectory, in lovely countryside playing lawn tennis with lots of lovely Protestant Laois girls, the most loyal women in the world. What’s not to like?
Sometimes you do get the feeling he’s just taking the piss. But maybe not.
John Drennan continues the Sindo tradition of misrepresenting what the electorate actually voted for at the last election, instead interpreting replacing the actual result with what the Sindo wishes it had voted for.
That, however, is no longer the case and the current ailing condition of the Coalition is entirely its own creation. Its first error was to ignore the mood of the country that wanted reform to be imposed with the sort of elan displayed by the charge of the Light Brigade.
At one level, this is silly. At another level, this belief within the media not only infects public discussion, but shapes it.
This week’s winner is Daniel McConnell, showing the lack of memory essential to be a right-wing economic ideologue and prominent Sindo writer.
News of sweeteners, side deals and concessions now threaten to undermine a deal which, while far better for the taxpayer than its predecessor, is far from perfect.
Howlin has described this as his last big push of this Government and, if agreed, this deal will see public servants left untouched until 2016. That is a significant concession at a time when our finances remain so volatile.
And all of this in the context that those in the private sector are afforded no such guarantees, whether it be in terms of job security, pay or their pensions.
I could have sworn it was guarantees handed out to a tiny number of people in the private sector that got us into this mess in the first place. It’s called the class power of the bourgeoisie Daniel. You know it better as the common sense policies pursued by your mates in FG and FF.