Archive for May 1st, 2009

Those Are My Principles Etc

The Irish Times – Letters

Fintan O’Toole (Opinion, April 21st) failed to address the issue of why Michael Lowry has been unanimously voted back into Dáil Éireann election after election. His column was insulting to the people of North Tipperary, and was merely armchair mantra for those increasingly few who are positioned comfortably enough socially to adhere to his highly principled social and moral code.

A few thoughts:

  1. Perhaps this means that Fintan O’Toole should be prosecuted for intending to cause outrage among worshippers of Michael Lowry.
  2. If one’s morality depends on how much cash you have in the bank, perhaps Michael Lowry is a minor latter day saint (by which I don’t mean a Mormon).
  3. It would seem, according to this, that poor people should be held to less stringent moral standards than rich people. Personally, I think everyone should be held to the same standards. But I’d certainly be open to experiment with the position proposed here for a brief period. The first thing to do would be to fling open the gates of every prison in the country. But the problem for the correspondent’s position is that Michael Lowry should be held to higher, not lower standards than the rest of us po’ folk.
  4. ADDS: to get voted unanimously back into Dáil Eireann takes some doing. Not even Saddam Hussein was that popular.

Generosity Reflux

There is an Irish Times poll: Do you think Ireland’s social welfare system is too generous?. This comes hot on the heels of yesterday’s Irish Independent headline Dole is too generous, says top jobs expert.

The Independent report revealed:

Alan Barrett of the ESRI will present evidence to today’s conference showing that about half the immigrants who lost their jobs have stayed in Ireland.

Back when the property market started to falter and construction jobs got lost, you started to hear radio programmes reflexively wondering to what extent immigrants would now leave.
Now it seems that the government wants to know from its thinktank why not enough of the ‘New Irish’ have fucked off back to wherever it is they came from.

Anyway, the poll, in particular, ‘generosity’. I took a rush of blood to the head, and posted a comment that has not appeared yet, which was a part rehash of a brief post I wrote a long time back. The comment read:

Maybe there are some times when you can use generous and not be making a value judgement. As in ‘he poured generous lashings of chocolate sauce onto his ice cream’. But wait. The reason the lashings are described as ‘generous’ here is because people tend to like chocolate sauce. It’s what previous generations would describe as a ‘treat’.

When you talk about ‘generous’ social welfare payments, you are talking about it as though it were a treat, or something a person is privileged to receive. Civilised countries do not see social welfare payments as a privilege, but as a basic entitlement.

When the Irish Times poses this poll question, what it really means is this: are those of us middle-class people in employment being sucked dry by the unemployed? Or, are we simply too virtuous in giving so much of our money to them? The question of being sucked dry by the rich is unlikely to be raised.

To be fair to the Irish Times, there is a good Diary entry by Lara Marlowe today.

An Irishwoman’s Diary – The Irish Times – Fri, May 01, 2009

Most of the business executives who’ve been detained by workers facing factory closures were employed by subsidiaries of foreign companies (including Sony, 3M, Caterpillar). A French consultancy group now advises bosses about to announce bad news to carry a kit containing a pre-programmed cellphone, toiletry bag, change of underwear and a clean shirt.

On a radio talk show about boss-napping, a foreign correspondent expressed disbelief at the impunity enjoyed by hostage-takers. “And nobody called the police when Louis XVI was beheaded,” a French journalist snapped sarcastically.

Shoulda Gone To Punchestown

Ha ha I am God or something. Last night on Twitter I said:

My prediction for David Quinn’s column tomorra: Left-liberal hypocrisy on blasphemy: they Hate Christ but fear Da Muzzers

And today -First Friday of the Month, must spruce up the May Altar- what do I spy in my beloved Irish Independent:

The left has no problem with religion-bashing, but it hates anyone bashing its favoured minority groups.

If it looks like this Bill is being introduced to protect Christianity, it will be fought tooth and nail in the name of free speech.

But if it looks like it’s being brought in mainly to protect Muslims, they’ll be in two minds because, in reality, the left is in two minds about free speech itself.

Nostradamus, David Icke, Mystic Meg: your boys took one hell of a beating.

I on Twitter

May 2009
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