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Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week September 26, 2010

Posted by Garibaldy in media.

Crisis? What crisis? Marc Coleman comes close to asking. In a piece that argues that things are better than they might appear with some quite interesting figures, we also find this.

This is directly related to the huge jump in the savings ratio in the last two years, from four to 11 per cent. And that is linked to the third trend: the crippling fear and lack of confidence in our economy, caused in no small part by a celebrity-driven narrative of fear and crisis.

I had been the only person making this point, but on Friday morning I was joined by Brendan Keenan of the Irish Independent, John Corrigan of the NTMA, economist Charlie Fell, Mark Fielding of Isme, Danny McCoy of Ibec, Austin Hughes of KBC bank, David McRedmond of TV3, David Murphy of RTE, Denis O’Brien of Digicel, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, Padraig O Ceidigh of Aer Arann, and Senator Feargal Quinn. We all agreed that our country is still on a brink of sorts. But we also agreed on doing our best not to talk ourselves over it.

So the reason people are saving money and scared of losing their jobs is because Pat Kenny, Ryan Turbidy, or Joe Duffy or whoever say they should be. The simple explanations are the best, eh?

Speaking of which, the public sector is once more in the firing line. Tough decisions to be made, we must all share the pain etc. Funny how articles with those phrases rarely if ever talk about the tax dodgers, or special one of taxes on the most well-off in the country or the like. Why bother when you can make a token reference to the bank bailout before coming out with the like of this from Eamonn Blaney.

Considering 453,000 of us are on the dole it is time for public servants to recognise that they do not have a birthright to the job they now hold. We are your employers and we have no money to pay you. Ireland has changed forever and the rules that used to apply cannot do so anymore. We as a nation have effectively sold our souls to the devil in the form of the money lenders from abroad and we must now pay the price. That means all of us, no exceptions.

There must be redundancies, and I suggest that the Government offers the first 50,000 public servants who voluntarily resign now the opportunity to be the first in line when the public service starts to take people on again when things get better. Those who cannot, or will not, make this effort on behalf of the country which pays their wages, should be excluded from consideration as employees in the future. The selection of the remaining 50,000 who must be let go should be modelled on exactly the same system used in the private sector ie assessment of their suitability for the position. This should be carried out over the next year, at most. It would be a hard choice to make if you worked in the public sector. But at least you would get a choice, whereas the unemployed never did.

You’d have thought that was a dead cert to be this week’s winner. But Brendan O’Connor has other ideas, luxuriating in his devotion to a certain former Minister for Justice.

And when he has gone through the stagnant pool that is Irish politics like a bottle of Domestos, then he can retire again, his unfinished business finished, he having been true to himself and his country and ideals of his hero, Collins.

Lenihan and McDowell. The hero and the reformer. I’d vote for that. Wouldn’t you?

Em. No.


1. z - September 26, 2010

Brendan O’Connor had Royston Brady as a guest on his prime time TV show last night.

It’s just as stupid, one-sided and reactionary as the Sunday Independent, but we get to pay for it.


EWI - September 26, 2010

Brendan O’Connor had Royston Brady as a guest on his prime time TV show last night.

It’s good to see that O’Connor’s “guest” lists during his trial run wasn’t just taking opportunity to get the Sindo regulars on the box. Maybe it’s meant as subtle ironic comedy? (just re-watching The Watchmen last night, and O’Connor could fit in as The Comedian…)


2. ejh - September 26, 2010

Considering 453,000 of us are on the dole

I am reminded of a great Private Eye cover from around thirty years which had Mrs Thatcher and one of her Wet ministers, I forget which one. Anyway, he’s saying to her “there’s too many unemployed, Margaret” and she’s saying to him “room for one more, I think”…


3. EWI - September 26, 2010

Funny how articles with those phrases rarely if ever talk about the tax dodgers, or special one of taxes on the most well-off in the country or the like.

Gurdgiev was challenged along the same lines during the week on Vincent Brown when he made reference to “throwing money at” the public sector. Ensue much spluttering and back-tracking…


4. RosencrantzisDead - September 26, 2010

Mr. Blaney’s argument is a curious one:

a) There are now 453,000 on the dole.

b) This is a drain on the public purse.

c) So, in order to rectify this, we must add another 50,000 to the numbers on the dole.

You couldn’t make it up.


5. CMK - September 26, 2010

Blaney is also, in this particular and specific instance only, a blatant liar.

He claims in his article (first sentence, tenth paragraph on the web edition): ‘What I am about to suggest will undoubtedly upset the 460,000 who work in the public service’.

A moment’s googling using the search term ‘public sector numbers in Ireland’ gives as the very first link the cso report from last September – http://www.cso.ie/releasespublications/documents/earnings/current/psempearn.pdf

The very first sentence on that report states that ‘A total of 360,00 people were employed in the public sector in 2009 compared to 369,100 in September 2008, a decrease of 8,200.’

This begs several questions:
a) can Mr. Blaney read, write or count?
b) have educational standards at TCD have shrunk to such a degree that it awards MBAs to people who, from available evidence, can’t obviously read or count?
c) what kind of individual is willing to put his name to such a deliberate and transparent lie that is easily refutable? He so wanted his argument to carry force that he added an 100,000 extra public servants to the total number? And he obviously thinks no-body would notice, or check.

But, I suppose, Eamon’s gut instinct just tells him that ‘it has to be 460,000’ and the CSO are engaged in some commie mis-information campaign to befuddle the the masses. Thank god there are people with MBA’s and an inability to reflect, who’ll set the record straight.



6. Starkadder - September 26, 2010

If you will permit me a digression, the new
compact edition of the Sunday Tribune has an
interesting interview with its former boss Vincent
Browne (VB’s now in serious financial trouble).


EWI - September 26, 2010

He’s selling the mansion. He’ll be OK (unlike others not as fortunate).


Dr. X - September 27, 2010

If he can find a buyer, that is.


7. Michael Taft - September 27, 2010

I accept that the judge’s panel has a difficult time – so many offering for this weekly award. Still, I was a bit disappointed that Mr. Blaney’s contribution didn’t take the top prize. Over here ( http://short.ie/m0icfn )I calculated the deflatinary impact of William Slattery’s relatively modest proposal to dump 30,000 public sector workers. When I tried to calculate Mr. Blaney’s more gung-ho ‘100,000’, my calculator exploded. Suffice it to say that were such a programme to be implemented we would return to the age from which Mr. Blaney obtained his writing instruments – the stone age.


8. Irish Left Review · William Slattery Imparts Wisdom to the Nation. The Recession Diaries - September 27th - September 27, 2010

[…] It doesn’t bother me that William Slattery makes such an ill-informed proposal. After all, there are people who deny climate change, evolution, and the moon landing; heck, there are people who think the radio makes noise because there are tiny little people inside it. The world is a wide world – there will always be a William Slattery around to amuse and irritate (Eamon Blaney proposes that 100,000 public sector workers be laid off but he was writing in the Sunday Independent, a publication that only exists to facilitate one of the best regular weekly on-line competitions over at Cedar Lounge Revolution). […]


9. opus diablos - September 27, 2010

I think its a concerted effort to make me abandon my lifelong committment to pacifism.
If only there was enough ammunition I might.


10. Joe - September 28, 2010

I don’t normally enter this competition but a story on this week’s front page just has to be included. The headline is “Sarah loves the special ones”. Below that is a photograph of a young woman. The text is as follows:

CHARITY: Dun Laoghaire-born Sarah Cunningham McWilliams, 29, is back from four months charity work in America and the Dominican Republic. “My husband trusted me, and he was right”, says Sarah, whose vocation is special needs children. “My heart is with these kids. I am also with Assets Model Agency,” she says. She and husband Greg McWilliams (director of Rugby at Wanderers RFC) know all about recession. “Property is a nightmare. We rented out an apartment but the tenants just upped and left,” she said. “My family is full of singers – in fact my brother Rhob Cunningham has just released an album.” Sarah’s dress is by Deborah Veale (call 01-2144536 or email info@deborahveale.ie)
Photo: Gerry Mooney

I’ve read this over and over several times over the last few days and it still brings a smile to my face. Worth the €2.50 any day of the week.


Garibaldy - September 28, 2010



LeftAtTheCross - September 28, 2010

I came across this from RTEs Mark Little yesterday (http://iiea.com/events/the-future-of-news) in which he talks about the future of news. Two interesting snippets in it. (1) he shows a graph and speaks about the collapse in employment in the newspaper industry, and the collapse of the business model. He doesn’t say it explicitly but the conclusion has to be that quality cannot be maintained under those conditions. (2) He comments on the new news media (internet) creating possibilities for people to chose to receive and read only those news feeds to which they are already favourably predisposed. His contention, as a journalist, is that this development is a bad thing, a mind narrower, that people will reinforce their prejudices and not come across information to question and stimulate. The other side of that of course is that we no longer need feel any obligation to read the Sindo. Anyway, the 25min spiel he gives in that video doesn’t say much new, but it does explain why we haven’t been seeing him on Primetime recently.


11. alastair - September 29, 2010

The fact that he doesn’t actually work for RTE any more might be an additional reason?

He’s set up a web-based journalism business: http://www.storyful.com


12. z - September 29, 2010

Mark Little had that Alan Partridge smug idiot look down pat, didn’t he? http://www.journosoc.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/MarkLittle2.jpg


13. Sarah - January 13, 2011

Hey thanks Joe thats Me 🙂


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