Carrickmines offered a lens on the hidden and often unseen things that make Irish society tick. What we saw was not an aberration.
The government and most journalists, too busy fawning over the fears and aspirations of high net worths and ‘top earners’, never get to hear the politicised conversations of the workin’ class. This is one of the effects of a massive cultural divide. Another is celebrating €3 a week when a massive section of the populace took it as an insult to our intelligence. The citizenry is in no mood for permanent austerity. Permanent, that is, for those who have already survived 5 years of constant, targeted economic attacks to fund the lifestyles of so-called ‘top earners’.
If the officer class could hear anything except themselves, they would realise that the less than tepid response to the budget should be the least of their worries. The Travelling community will be calling protests shortly. These will lead to larger ones in the city centre. The small communities are coming together, standing together and getting stronger together. This wasn’t supposed to happen. To write any community off as weak is naive at best and dangerous at worst. Because together we are dangerous, now the power of privilege has their worst nightmare standing tall and firm, reminding them that no matter how many pats Europe gives them, we’ll be waiting to welcome them home.
Language is reality and its designed to remind you that your value is monetary.
Take a look at that language, language forms reality and language is a powerful tool of propaganda: top earners. Fair days work earns you a fair days pay, that’s what they say. 71 people on Nationwides loan book had a total of €7.1 billion paid for by the tax payers. A group of pudgy middle aged men huffing around a golf course they earned that million or ten, at the expense of a few public hospitals. But a nurse in the hospital. A nurse on a 42 hour shift hasn’t done quite enough to earn that kind of money. The work she does it is more physically demanding but it doesn’t require a lifetime of contacts, from primary school to envelopes for contracts to the last nod and wink. She faces life and death stress, not playing golf stress.
If you go about your days, doing a days work for a days pay put in a few hours at the community centre. That’s great for you, your local community, society and the economy in general but that’s not what this society rewards. We live under the ideology of the market. Nobody noticed that the chant had changed from ‘God’ to ‘Growth. Your value as a human being does not depend on how your existence impacts others, unless you just made a swath of ‘others’ homeless you probably aren’t of much value under this regime. A high net worth individual or the low life for you? Advertising and propaganda rely on both fear and aspiration, two powerful responses to be played with.
So we gave the market our socialism.
Top earners like the 71 individuals on Nationwides loan book who had a total of €7.1 billion paid for by the tax payers. That’s €7.1 billion which was cut from the schools, hospitals, community centres, Childline, money which should have been spent on anything other than guaranteeing the bets of 71 people.But these are the ‘top earners’ the mystical job creators if we didn’t give them our money in the first place how would they let it trickle back down to us?
Entrepreneurial culture loves to celebrate the glamour of risk but that’s like strutting into a casino, losing it all, then having you loss covered by the woman who travelled from Ghana to work in a jaxs. So the manager looks good to those top earners they want to keep around.
Profit in suffering in the sub-standard housing sector, where the sub-standard people live.
Those dudes on the golf course ‘earning’ millions, making money on the back of tragedy, and future suffering as the Carrickmines fire which claimed the lives of ten people last weekend so cruelly demonstrated. Ten lives lost to an inferno of a thousand winks, cut corners, cheap materials and sub standard facilities which earned a well-connected high net worth individual a nice few bob. ‘Sub standard’ a polite way of saying, the people who live here do not deserve the same standard of life or even safety and certainly not life expectancy as you do.
The wrong sort.
Where is the talk of lost potential? Of how unique and special each person was where is the picture of who they were? Is it impossible to imagine a traveller family as anything other than a traveller family with all your racist baggage, as Hired Knaves pointed out, rooted in both racism and classism. To quote Frankie Gaffney from Dublin Seven: “That vile euphemism, Known to Gardai, deserved it in other words”. Known to Gardai, not even a shelf stacker, sure known to Gardai is Traveller is know to Gardai is not going to amount to much worth spilling ink over. Worth less that J1 lives, or just worthless in the eyes of the commentary setters? While political points are scored as parties box clever on television a community is in deep shock and mourning. Not only are these families met with racist blockades, a wider society tutting and muttering ‘Yes, but..’ grief is also manipulated for cheap column inches.
J1 students matter more.
The lives lost were not the type to die in a balcony collapse on a J1 visa, those families didn’t face any blockades. They matter those families of the people who died on J1 matter. They matter to the kind of people who sell substandard shelters and have friends in the media who are all too eager to identify with their needs, wants, fears and aspirations. Their grief is honoured others are met with a ‘disheartening’ blockade in the words of Alan Kelly. Not disheartening Alan, racist its racist but you say disheartening because the type who like to keep an eye on their property prices is the type to vote Alan Kelly.
No need to feel guilty, all your racism can and will be monetised.
Market ideology which will even monetize your racism. You ain’t racist just looking out for your property prices and even the public order unit will back you up who seemingly are only deployed in low value estates where property prices cannot be kept safe from the dangers of the local population. The public order unit are not called to clear blockades of racists making a horrific situation infinitely harsher than ever needs be. The residents aren’t racist, they just want to protect their market share Hired Knaves theorized that this reaction would not be unique among the more well spoken sections of our society, we’ll see.
This crisis was planned now the government has its underclass.
The NAMA stock ain’t for the homeless families heroically surviving out of hotel rooms, getting their kids to school, keeping it together because they have no choice. There isn’t the slightest bit of shame in being made homeless, no more than using a food bank, society dun fucked up there my friend, not you. Families keeping it together in this situation are mistakenly being taken as weak by our government and looking everything like being earmarked for underclass status. Big mistake.The women who form the backbone of support will be the seed of your downfall.
No houses for you, as tens of thousands lie empty in Dublin. It’s a ready made ghetto shed for you, on DCC land, North Inner city of course, not Blackrock land. Just think of the property prices. The same ready made 2-bed shed slums Dennis O’Brien is all too eager to sell as a solution to a government which created a homeless crisis in need of a solution.
During the budget Michael Noonan (who blushed in front of Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF and tax dodger) informed us that the plan also involves NAMA providing funds for private developers to build private housing. NAMA the dudes with all the gaffs are going to build a shit load of new gaffs, sure why not? There are 1600 empty apartments in Dublin city, being sat on until the prices go up. I’m not an expert in logistics, but we have empty gaffs and we have families living out of hotel rooms. Are these apartments not meant for Irish people? or just not the type of Irish person who are made homeless?
2016: Colony to Captured state in a century of horror.
This is about respect, this state respects money and the power that comes with it. The state doesn’t respect you, it doesn’t respect me, the state actively attacks its citizens. They’ve drifted so far into delusion that the state isn’t even acting in its own interests any more. If it was, instead of hearing government ministers tell us they’d love to solve problems if only they could just win the lotto. Seeing as the lotto this week is worth 4.5 million and Apple is being legally forced to pay back taxes owed to Ireland to the tune of a $19bn, the only thing standing in the way? The Irish government who legally challenged it.
Now lads yis do realise that just stepping aside, not even having to do a single thing, would be kinda like winning the lotto.
We are a tax haven.
What about our reputation as a tax efficient economy?. Lets play look at the language again, tax efficient for who? Efficient if you on the lookout for a tax haven, at this stage we’ll be paying multinationals to set up shop and asset strip all that’s left of the country: the people.
Playing the fools.
It looks like deluded insanity because its supposed to, an educated population with a handle on the situation is dangerous, better to play the fool while strings are pulled in the background.
The middle class gets eaten too
Theocracy was a really handy way for the upper middle class to hold onto power by punishing the working class for existing and that led us nicely into market ideology. It also allows the squeezed middle to not have to think too hard on which sections of society keep them in the lifestyle to which they will soon become very unaccustomed to. Although what happens when you push those thoughts away? Those pangs of guilt, knowing that deep down it wasn’t any of your distant relatives subjected to the dehumanizing existence of a workhouse. Now all it takes is a few mortgage repayments and its off to shanty town with you. Are you starting to notice those homeless spikes under your feet? Still able to keep up with health insurance payments? More and more nice middle class people who followed all the rules, even though it meant being incredibly boring, they did it and they got the good degrees, masters even phds and now its emigrate of Jobridge, or worse than Jobridge, Intreo the newly privatised social welfare system. More and more people are finding themselves for the first time in their lives experiencing the sharp edge of the system instead of the genteel patronizing version they are so used to.
So the middle has a choice, face up to reality or sleepwalk into shantytown.
The health service will be underfunded until its privatized, there won’t be money for hospitals, there won’t be money for schools.
Of course there’s money political choice dictates that it goes to the people who ‘earned the most’ ya know the vultures after the crash. Even though we literally burned a billion last year there was room to end the homeless crisis. Burton had her ‘Budget for the people by the people moment’ and that it was ‘fair’. Remember what I said about language? It was a fair budget by Joans people, fair for the government and their people but a real far way from fair for the people.
If the Fine Gael communications clinic could listen into the politicized conversations of the working class they’d be a just a lil less surprise that #Budget2016 like every budget really only underscores just how little power Ireland has left. We’ve gone from colony to captured state. The big boys in the shiny suits call the shots while our politicians fawn like nuns to bishops. House Irish, where is the pride? Does anybody remember what it felt like?
‘State capture is a type of systemic political corruption in which private interests significantly influence a state’s decision-making processes to their own advantage through illicit and unobvious channels. The influence may be through a range of state institutions, including the legislature, executive, ministries and the judiciary. It is thus similar to regulatory capture but differs through the wider variety of bodies through which it may be exercised and because, unlike regulatory capture, the influence is never overt.
Another distinguishing factor from corruption is while in case of corruption the outcome (of policy or regulatory decision) is not certain, in case of captured state the outcome of the decision is known and is to very high probability to be beneficial for captors of the state. Also in case of corruption (even rampant) there is plurality and competition of ‘corruptors’ to influence the outcome of the policy or distribution of resources. In case of captured state, those deciding are usually more in a position of agents to the principals (captors) who function either in monopolistic or oligopolistic (non-competitive) fashion.’
Does anybody remember what pride felt like?
Now for a country which may just stop the pretence and promise every CEO of a multinational free labour, zero tax like apple and a broken workforce happy to stab each other for a job. Oh..we already do that, give em our oil? AH yeah that closed door meeting with Shell where the tax on oil and gas revenue was lowered to 0%. Is raising tax revenue that complicated? Or is that one of those captured state things? Has Enda got Simon Harris giving handjobs yet?
When the state is operating in the best interests of multinationals, undemocratic fiscal councils, vulture funds and not in the interest of the state either in the definition of the state as the organs of control, the courts, the justice system, the media, the government or defining the state as the people. It does look like we’re in the captured state category. Just to back that one up, the only country to get a worse deal on their oil? Tunisia. Ireland is second from the bottom.
Banging your chest about a cynical, regressive ‘give away’ budget while borrowing a billion over the past year and burning it to pay for the promissory notes. That is all those notes promise that’ll we’ll literally burn billions as part of our good child of the increasingly absurd and Kafkaesque world of austerity. Where hospitals are underfunded to 3rd world standards and then fined for waiting times in A&E being too long. They just called it quantitative squeezing instead of quantitative easing. The one the Irish government is following to lead us to that promised land of recovery, printing money after borrowing it and then literally burning it. When the coin in coffer sings then the soul to heaven springs.
Welcome to 2015, work for your dole or starve, with no guarantee of shelter, a billionaire now owns the rain and the ecological situation has gotten so bad that humanities collective response is to find literal metaphors for rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic. See the ice bucket challenge and hipsters for evidence.
One of the greatest gifts to the social movement growing out of the water charges protest came from Irish Water itself. The dichotomy of being both a citizen and a consumer.
They even went to the bother of highlighting how important a change in world view that required to accept the fact that Denis O’Brien now owns the rain.
Or he would have if they hadn’t pointed out that we’d have to give up democracy to have our water sold back to us, like we didn’t with our oil and gas.
Nice1 lads, yis are kinda sleepwalking yourselves into shanty town, first in the call centres when the revolution comes. This is our land too, and as before our demands are modest.