Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week October 31, 2010Posted by Garibaldy in media.
Shane Ross has once again cut to the heart of the problem caused by the collapse of neo-liberalism and the southern state embracing it wholeheartedly, and then selling its soul to protect speculators and bankers. You’ll never guess who.
The leaders of social partnership owe Irish taxpayers big time. Few people have yet rumbled the way that some union leaders plundered the country’s coffers. It was a social partnership benchmarking cabal that recommended the 9 per cent pay hike for the public service in 2002. It was union leaders who landed gigs galore on the boards of well-paid quangos, appointments given by grateful governments to insiders in return for keeping middle and lower paid staff in line.
The union leaders led good public servants up the garden path into the fantasy land of double-digit wage increases, accompanied by guaranteed jobs and pensions. The outcome is today’s bewildered public service, nursing an understandable grievance while the sheriff knocks at the door. They had been led to believe that they were the chosen people.
The social partners were the most powerful pillars of the State’s hierarchy during the Celtic Tiger years. They sidelined the democratic forces of the Dail. Brian Cowen repeatedly doffed the cap to them during his time in Finance. His speeches were filled with sycophantic promises to “consult” the boys with the beards.
Incisive as always. And in no way ignoring major issues. Unsurprisingly, this is a message repeated elsewhere in the Sindo.
John Drennan offers another scapegoat – the Brits. Or at least, the south’s post-colonial mentality, especially that of the political class.
However, now that a great politics of reform is needed our ‘doss house’ — as Brian Hayes so eloquently called it — of a parliament is so riddled with the vices that come with a colonial mindset that they are neither temperamentally nor politically equipped to rat out their real bosses.
Except this of course shifts the blame from where it really lies – in the wholesale adoption of neo-liberalism. It’s a smokescreen, implying that had the people in the Dáil not been who they are but had adopted the same ideology, a different outcome would have been possible. That’s simply not the case.
Brendan o’Connor also seems to think the answer lies in a renewed version of the recent past, this time by scrapping our “can’t do” culture.
If Ireland’s economic success was a form of madness, then maybe we need more madness. Maybe it is time to send in the clowns again. And let’s cherish and nourish the madmen who dare to dream, and who, if only some of them get it right, are our only ticket out of this.
The fact that we’ve seen what neo-liberalism can’t do – provide a sustainable economy for the people – seems to have escaped him.
Speaking of neo-liberalism. Here’s Marc Coleman, whose trip to Germany seems to have produced a rush of blood to the head, and delusions of grandeur that spouting neo-liberal tripe is an act of boldness comparable to the world-historical act of Luther nailing his 95 Theses to that church door.
Thesis 1: As the jobs and wealth creator for the nation, the private sector must not be burdened by taxes to fund public waste or overpay.
Thesis 2: Wasting taxpayers’ money must be a criminal offence.
Thesis 3: Bloated hierarchies should be replaced by cost effective structures, lean and Lutheran, with fewer but better managers.
Thesis 4: Public sector salaries shall be cut to levels 15 per cent above EU norms or five per cent below private sector earnings, whichever be the lower.
Thesis 5: Semi-state companies should be sold as far as possible and competition increased to lower the cost of living.
Thesis 6: Neither tax hikes nor welfare cuts should occur until Thesis 1 to 5 have been implemented
Thesis 7: A taxpayer’s charter should index tax bands and credits and the protection of key reliefs.
Thesis 8: The State should not tax the family home
Thesis 9: No person in publicly funded employment should comment on economic policy, this being a conflict of interest.
At least number 9 would spare us having to listen to or read Colm McCarthy as he sharpens his knives still further.