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Statements in the media… good, bad and indifferent… May 31, 2020

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

All contributions welcome…but let’s start with the lead headline from The Sunday Independent which indicates an interesting set of priorities. ‘Saving Summer’?

EH fulminates about how ‘Fine Gael no longer looks after the private sector donkey’ and refuses to unlock the lock-down (behind the pay wall natch!). And yet FG’s polling support remains rock solid while his chosen horse of FF…

Meanwhile a short piece from Dominic Cummings statement worth noting…

After I started to recover, one day in the second week, I tried to walk outside the house.At one point the three of us walked into woods owned by my father, next to the cottage that I was staying in. Some people saw us in these woods from a distance, but we had no interaction with them. We had not left the property. We were on private land. B

Truly, the rich are different.

Michael McDowell in the IT:

At some point our political system will probably have grasped that being led by the “science” of public health must increasingly be balanced by applying the precautionary principle to our economic survival and sustainability, and pushing out the boundaries of risk-taking in pursuit of getting all our people economically active again.

Too many questions? One firm prediction – if we have any sense of humour left, we will laugh at the puritanism of the 2m “advice”, the flip-flopping on face masks, the warnings against “dickeying up” your home during lockdown and the so-called experts who feared opening garden centres.
Let’s hope it’s not too hollow a laugh.

You go first Michael.

Pat Leahy not wrong here:

You wouldn’t have to be the sharpest political analyst in the world to figure out that this has the potential to turn our politics upside-down. If the next government manages the adjustments cleverly, fairly, with purpose and honesty (though every one of those will be contested territory), if it practices good government against all the odds, its constituent parts can prosper politically. If not, opposition parties – especially Sinn Féin, assuming it leads it – will be presented with an unparalleled opportunity to crush the old firm of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and utterly remake the Irish politics landscape. Either way, our politics will be transformed.

Here, though?

That is another reason why the country needs to be reopened as quickly as is sensible. This will be among the first decisions of the new government. It will make few more important ones. Reopening – and restarting economic activity – will involve risk. But so does every other course of action. If economic activity doesn’t restart sooner rather than later, we might not have much of a country to reopen.

Define ‘as quickly as is sensible’ and ‘risk’.

Fergal Bowers by contrast on RTÉ makes a solid point:

Covid-19 has brought a big stop to the world’s gallop. In some ways, it has becalmed the planet.


1. EWI - May 31, 2020

So, as the odious McDowell doesn’t believe in “science”, will he be taking a vaccination along with everyone else when it becomes available?


WorldbyStorm - May 31, 2020



2. sonofstan - May 31, 2020

It’s hard to know what else to conclude when literally millions of highly paid office workers have been forced to stay away from the office, to reduce their work to 10 or 15 minutes a day, or often nothing at all, without having the slightest impact on those essential functions that keep the public fed, clothed, distracted and alive.

What actual purpose do leadership consultants, brand managers, marketing researchers, corporate lawyers, lobbyists, strategic deans or vice presidents for creative development (let alone their endless legions of administrative assistants) actually serve? In many areas — notably hospitals — things seem to be running decidedly more smoothly in the absence of the “nonessential workers” at the top of the administrative and managerial food chain.

David Graeber on Politico

Liked by 1 person

Joe - May 31, 2020

Hmmmm. I haven’t read the full article but that quote is a tad simplistic.
“to reduce their work to 10 or 15 minutes a day, or often nothing at all,”. My colleagues who have been working from home have been working a lot longer hours than that.
In general, sure there’s a lot to look at and learn from, from how things have gone during this pandemic. The model of stuffing people into big office buildings – that’s been proved to be not necessary. The 5 day week – not necessary, a shorter working week is the way to go.
I know I’ve skin in this game, but framing the thing around “there’s no need for managers or administrators or office workers” is regressive. Office workers are workers too.


sonofstan - May 31, 2020

Yes, I agree, it’s simplistic, but it’s journalism – and yes, obviously, office workers are workers too. I think it’s the recalibration of status and the reduction of working time to the necessary rather than the performative is what he’s getting at though

Liked by 1 person

Joe - May 31, 2020

“I think it’s the recalibration of status and the reduction of working time to the necessary rather than the performative”

Yeah, I’d be all for the both of them.


Michael Carley - June 1, 2020

True enough, and it’s interesting to see how little labour is required to keep the day to day operations of society running. The only socially necessary short-term labour missing at the minute is in catering, entertainment, and such, but the material needs of society are basically being met.

To meet society’s real needs, we would need to add to the current labour, the labour needed over an annual cycle (the harvest, for example), and the labour needed for maintenance of the basics (education, especially), but it does look as if we could have a materially and socially decent existence on a lot less work, and probably much lower physical resource consumption.


3. roddy - May 31, 2020

There was great excitement the day Cummings returned to the “family farm”.Cummings senior was first to spot the arrivals as he climbed aboard his wee Massey tractor.He shouted “they’re here” across the yard to his rosey cheeked wife as she emerged from the henhouse,her apron full of eggs.”Shep” the collie then raced down the lane to greet the visitors returning to their humble small holding.!

Liked by 1 person

makedoanmend - June 1, 2020



4. Bartholomew - May 31, 2020

The salt of the earth, those Cummings. Alas, here is the real father-in-law that he was visiting. Warning – needs a very strong stomach:

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - May 31, 2020

Some shower they are


5. roddy - May 31, 2020

Isnt reality a revelation.I expected her oul fella to be carrying a bottle of milky tay,corked with paper,his peaked cap at a jaunty angle as he made his way to the bog to fut the turf!


oliverbohs - May 31, 2020

The bit that puzzles me is the griping within Tory circles, if u believe it, about Cummings somehow not a “real” Tory. He doesn’t have to be of course. The right-wing vote mostly turns out when it needs to in Britain, helped by its antediluvian electoral system. Being somewhat Tory is enough

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - May 31, 2020

Yep. Tory adjacent I’d think.


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