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Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week September 12, 2010

Posted by Garibaldy in media.
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Fans of Mad Men may enjoy Jody Corcoran’s piece. What struck me from it was the way in which a (rather old-fashioned and patriarchal) thought is raised in what follows, but left unfinished. Regardless, it seems that we have a new group to blame for our ills. Women. Not the system of course. Absolutely not.

The unwritten story of the economic crisis is the contribution towards its cause by women; in my view it was significant.

There is a book doing the rounds, What Women Want, by Paco Underhill, a long-time student of consumer behaviour. In a passage, he marvels at the enthusiasm of women for their contemporary kitchens, in which he says a woman can wander euphorically among a showroom of gadgets, fixtures and appliances, just as a man collects his toys.

There is no doubt that capacious kitchens became all-pervasive during the Celtic Tiger boom; bigger and grander, gleaming and granite-topped, the point — and the conflict — being the freedom not to be there.

An outside expert from the world of private finance, Paul Sommerville, has some interesting things to say. I like his line about people being in an abusive relationship with the political elite. However, he also offers this up.

To break the spiral, there has to be wrenching and radical change. No half measures will do. A total overhaul of our competitiveness and the structure of our decision- making processes is required.

In this article there is no time to delve into particular policies, as to do them justice each one would need to be fleshed out. But, to give a flavour: we would need to cut the minimum wage; radically reform the benefits system; slash wages in the higher echelons of public and semi-state bodies by capping salaries; widen the tax base; lower taxes on small business; abolish numerous quangos; incentivise our non-domiciled citizens to bring their money back onshore; and cut utility prices (the current Green Party plan to raise electricity prices is a great example of how it believes in the humane treatment of animals but not the humane treatment of the taxpayer).

He talks about building a more equal Ireland from this crisis. A fine idea. But I’m not sure that programme is going to achieve it. Maybe more people being equally badly paid and miserable.

In first place, this entire piece about Johnny Ronan. All hail the Irish property developers, masters of the universe, good guys, fun-loving, and clever. Despite all evidence to the contrary.

Comments»

1. DublinDilettante - September 12, 2010

You’re doing sterling work here trawling through that muck so we don’t have to, I hope you wear a Hazmat suit.

Note the subtle but not insignificant distinction Sommerville posits between non-taxpayers and human beings…

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WorldbyStorm - September 12, 2010

And note that everything he proposes is a gift to the private sector… cut taxes on them and cut all other provisions…

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2. Wednesday - September 12, 2010

Shout-out here to Emer O’Kelly for rehashing the myth that “cyclists are not contributing a penny in taxes to the upkeep of the roads”. Road upkeep is funded through general taxation, not from some special tax paid only by people who drive cars (which, of course, plenty of cyclists do anyway).

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Mack - September 13, 2010

Totally agree, the whole article was a ridiculous rant – surprised Garibaldy didn’t include it!

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3. RosencrantzisDead - September 12, 2010

Brian Lenihan is Don Draper!?!

What is it about Lenihan that people love? He’s all bloody things to everyone. When I was speaking to a few lawyers one night, Lenihan was great because he was properly on the Right and was willing to ‘smash the unions’. He was favourably contrasted with Cowen and Dermot Ahern(!!!), who were too left wing and too willing to give in to the workingman. (They though Gilmore was a stalinist-well, still a stalinist- and would initiate a revolution if he got into power)

On another day, a lady told me that she liked him because he was ‘smart and trying his best’ and that his decisions were ‘forced upon him’. She took the view that he made these reluctantly and in the best interest of everyone.

To sum up, Lenihan is both a sneaky, right-winger hellbent on smashing the communist menace and a nice fella who wants the best for everyone and got stuck in a bad situation.

I’m fit to be tied.

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4. Tim Johnston - September 12, 2010

Hagiography at its finest – Johnny Ronan an all-round great guy, then?
Another great crop of stupidity always makes Sunday internetting worthwhile.
Corcoran’s piece is breathtaking. Had to read that segment twice to be sure. Overconsumption (by women) caused the economic crisis? all-time winner there.

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Tim Johnston - September 12, 2010

On that note, I’m wondering if you’ve read anything by Alison O’Riordan:

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/on-just-euro196-a-week-it-hurts-to-part-with-the-pennies-2271802.html

here’s she trying to live on the dole for a week and having to rough it with – gasp! – tuscan-style ham.

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5. CL - September 12, 2010

That some prominent members of the Labour Party are prepared to serve in govt. with Lenihan whose main economic adviser, Alan Ahearne, is an anti-working class bigot, means that Gilmore is holding out a false hope of real change.

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6. WorldbyStorm - September 12, 2010

I can’t find it on the web, but the Irish edition of the Sunday Times has an editorial suggesting that the real problem is not NAMA or Anglo-Irish, but… the Croke Park deal and this ‘will sink the economy’. Curiously in an investigative feature on the economic woes some pages previously which interviews the great and good including Karl Whelan of the CP deal there is not a mention while of NAMA et al there’s mention. Oh, there’s mention.

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Crocodile - September 12, 2010

That editorial follows the two different radio features I heard during the week, in which prominent entrepreneurs were invited to give their views on what should happen next. In both cases, item no 1 on the agenda was more public service wage cuts. Expect this stuff to build to a crescendo as the budget approaches.
And the ASTI climbdown from its position of non-cooperation is a bad sign: they’re clearly scared that the CPA, hard to swallow six months ago, may be off the table soon if they don’t snap it up.

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WorldbyStorm - September 12, 2010

I think the ASTI position is remarkable. My God they’ve softened their cough. Interesting too to see if the TUI follows suit. Those I know on the inside think it will.

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DublinDilettante - September 12, 2010

I think there’s an element of both misdirection and, on a less calculating, more visceral level, an instinctive lashing-out in the direction of the working class in times of trouble. Objectively, they must know the Croke Park deal makes not a blind bit of difference to the bigger picture.

The situation is manna from heaven for the right wing of the leftish trade unions. They colluded with government to browbeat and intimidate teachers and other public sector workers into the CPA, and now the few hold-outs have another bogey on the horizon and are more isolated than ever. It’s almost as if…hmmm.

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Crocodile - September 12, 2010

I suppose the other thing to expect is that classroom cuts will be pitched as an alternative to teachers’ pay cuts – every attempt by the teachers’ unions to defend pay and conditions will be depicted as taking the bit out of the mouths of starving childer. The ‘zero sum’ attitude to budgeting – the implication that money saved on salaries is spent on kids – is such a lie, and I don’t hear it used in relation to other services: has any columnist been so crass as to suggest the health service could save more lives if nurses were paid less?

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WorldbyStorm - September 12, 2010

Don’t say it! (sorry, that’s to D_D)…

Interestingly Crocodile the point was made today at Greaves that not enough PS unions make enough of how cuts will hurt those who are affected publicly, and the teachers and nurses (and Gardai to a lesser extent) were held up as examples of those who do.

BTW, completely agree re how this will play out and how BS the notion is that wages somehow take funding from services in that idiotic way it’s posited.

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irishelectionliterature - September 12, 2010

I’m surprised at ASTIs move , however already a lot of difficulties are being experienced in running schools as people wont take on addition responsibilities, moratorium on promotions etc. Job Losses, Hour Losses, Losses of SNAs and so on. These difficulties impact on teaching staff as well as pupils.
From my own knowledge, this whole situation is causing an increasing divide between Full Time and Part Time staff, which wasn’t really there previously, as Part timers often worked full hours due to supervision.
Instead many Part Timers have seen their core hours cut and what supervision there is is now often done by full timers.
Prospects of permanency (or the type of permanency already enjoyed by more experienced teachers) are low. They are finding that they are in a Career Cul de Sac, stuck on half hours maybe just able to cover the mortgage and little else.
So with opportunities so limited, the idea of not being able to curry favour because of Union rules (and most would never have been in a Union before) is causing untold strain in many staffrooms.
The ASTI Statement hints at the stresses…
“Under-resourced schools are being further undermined by an increase in the pupil-teacher ratio and a moratorium on middle management posts. Teachers have taken pay cuts and a worsening of their working conditions. Young teachers have lost jobs or had their hours reduced. ….,”

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irishelectionliterature - September 14, 2010

Just to add to that , the TUI have yet to change their stance. So in many schools where you have both unions represented, some staff will be expected to do things other staff wont be expected to do.

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7. CL - September 12, 2010

Speaking of entrepreneurs…
Last week there was a conflab in Kerry remembering Richard Cantillon, the Ballyheigue-born financier who was murdered by his cook in 1734.
Cantillon wins great praise from the right who credit him with first using the word ‘entrepreneur’ in the sense of an economic risk-taker.
But Cantillon wrote in French and ‘entrepreneur’ is the French for ‘undertaker’. Undertaker was the word used in Cantillon’s time for those who undertook various projects usually having to do with land. The modern lugubrious use of undertaker contrasts sharply with the rather dashing ‘entrepreneur’.
But given the ghost estates, and zombie banks resulting from the wreckage of the Celtic tiger, perhaps it would be more fitting now to resort to the Anglo-Saxon and describe these ‘developers’ as undertakers.

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WorldbyStorm - September 12, 2010

That’s an useful insight into the origins of the word.

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Dr. X - September 13, 2010

Didn’t the Plantations that so enlivened 15th and 16th century Irish history involve the recruitment of numerous ‘undertakers’ and ‘servitors’?

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WorldbyStorm - September 13, 2010

So it is said.

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Dr. X - September 13, 2010

On nights when the moon is full, and ancient evils stalk the land. . .

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8. Crocodile - September 12, 2010

Jody Corcoran bought a book called ‘What Women Want’ – the sad bastard. It turned out to be a tome about consumer behaviour – well, never mind – I’ll get a column out of it.

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Tim Johnston - September 12, 2010

LOL

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9. RepublicanSocialist1798 - September 14, 2010

I sincerely hope labour get revenge on the paper particularly it’s sister publication for the “it’s payback time” headline.

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