This Man Is In The Nip

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anne-marie

From top: taoiseach Enda Kenny; Anne Marie McNally

Nothing can spoil the ‘recovery’ party.

Except a few home truths.

Anne Marie McNally writes:

This week we were declared the 10th most prosperous country in the world in the Legatum Prosperity Global index. We ranked higher than ever before in terms of safety, security and personal freedoms.

– That’s grand so eh? Pat on the back there lads we’re doing great.

But hasn’t the child poverty rate doubled over the past 5 years?

– Yeah but don’t mention that.

What about the 130,000 families on the housing waiting lists?

– Yeah, let’s not talk about that eh?

Aren’t there over a thousand children in hostels and homeless shelters right now? Don’t we have Labour Minister’s smiling as they open food-banks to feed families who can’t afford basic meals?

– ah will you shurrup you’re ruining the nice sparkly story we’re trying to tell here about the greatest little country in the world in which to be rich. We’ve got stability don’t you know? Sta-bil-i-ty.

The script of Roddy’ Doyle’s latest Barrytown instalment or a current snapshot of political dialogue in the Irish public sphere? Unfortunately, it’s the latter.

We’re all supposed to sit back and listen to Enda’s tall tales about recovery and fellas with two pints being happy with their water charges and homeless men being only too delighted that the man from del-mayo has deigned to lean over and say good morning to them on his daily walk to work – the walk that makes him ‘normal’ apparently.

Actually, being able to walk to work in the city centre makes him anything but normal because at the moment you’d have to be earning about 10 grand a month to be able to live in a dog box within walking distance of Merrion Square such is the state of our housing crisis.

But it’s not OK anymore to mention the housing crisis, or the homeless families, or the children living in deprivation, or the people lying on trolleys, or the two year waiting lists for basic childhood medical procedures, or the overcrowded classrooms, or the teenage suicide rate that’s double the EU average or anything else that casts a negative light on the claims of recovery and stability. To do so apparently makes you a ‘leftie whinger’ or someone ‘always pointing to the problems’.

Well be that as it may but if someone doesn’t call ‘bull’ to all this talk of stability versus chaos then we will continue to spiral on this path of make-believe led by king of the fairy-tale himself. We’re in the emperor’s new clothes territory and someone has to let it be known that he’s in the nip on this one.

Prosperity indices are all well and good but how many children sleeping in a hostel tonight feel that they have ‘security’, ‘safety’ and ‘personal freedom’? Do they know they’re in the 10th most prosperous country in the world?

Those who claim to speak for ‘Middle Ireland’ tend to bemoan ‘leftie whingers’ with talk of social ‘welfare scroungers’ etc. but they very rarely think to look up at who above them is hoarding the wealth. Who is really scrounging?

Why is there such a significant wealth divide and what are the knock-on effects for society? Study after study shows that rich countries (& given our top 10 placing on the prosperity list, we count as one of those) with significant inequality fare far worse at all levels of society in terms of health and social indicators. The jury went out and the results are in – fostering a more equal society benefits those at every level of society and in almost every way from reduced crime levels to longer life-spans.

So it is not ‘whinging’ to point out that one section of society having an extra few bob in their pocket is of little use to society as a whole if we are leaving a pile of people behind and pushing forth with the ever widening wealth divide.

The problems are not just for today – we are storing up a whole Pandora’s box of problems when the children of today’s skewed policies mature into the disadvantaged and disenfranchised youth and adults of the future.

It’s a vicious circle and the only way to break it is to prioritise investment in key social services with universal access and an end to the two-tier system where your health and education, for example, are directly related to how much you have in your bank account. Campaigning for Marriage Equality united the whole country (well, apart from David Quinn & a few lads!) Now let’s start campaigning just as fervently for equality, full stop.

Anne-Marie McNally is a political and media strategist working with Catherine Murphy TD and will be a candidate for the Social Democrats in the forthcoming General Election. Follow Anne-Marie on Twitter: @amomcnally

(RollingNews.ie)

 

151 thoughts on “This Man Is In The Nip

  1. MoyestWithExcitement

    My sister works for a call centre company. They recently gave pay cuts to the lads on the phone. Meanwhile, their execs got 6 figure bonuses. There are people working menial jobs who’ll defend that. I really hate this country sometimes.

    1. Neilo

      Impossible to defend. Am I the only person enjoying a frisson of schadenfreude about TalkTalk’s travails in recent days? Scummy company that did a moonlit flit from Waterford leaving 100s unemployed without a sou of redundancy cash.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        It’s impossible to rationally defend but people are rarely rational. People at all levels of society believe in supply side economics. The reason companies can get away with crap like that is because we let them.

        1. Neilo

          By the way, I’m an arch-conservative by Broadsheet standards and I don’t swallow 90% of the Kool-Aid I’m peddled by ideologues from all ends of the spectrum: reprehensible behaviour from executive level if the story is true, which I don’t doubt.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      Well there might be legal issues there but it’s a third party employed by a very well known and hated Irish brand to manage their call centres.

      1. Nessy

        “air” today “con” tomorrow?
        I think I know of the company you’re on about. There’s a big phone house in town housing the poor unfortunates who work for the third party. They don’t pay wages for weeks and offer free pizza to staff as a substitute – Bang on so they are

  2. Anomanomanom

    I normally like her pieces, well written and always good points made but the fact she uses Merrion square as a city center example shows how detached she is. I walk to work and live in the city center I don’t earn near the figure she mentions.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      Yeah, I doubt she meant it literally. Are you new to Ireland? We tend to exaggerate for effect.

        1. Anomanomanom

          Of course not, I didn’t think I was spoon feeding kids. That’s the reason why there’s no room for exaggeration, unless you say well Enda done it so Il do it and that makes it ok. I really didn’t think I’d have to spell out the point I was subtly making.

        2. Anne

          Enda the spoofer wasn’t exaggerating.. he’s been peddling fantasies as fact.

          Like the story of the man calling him up to ask him why he’s got more money in his wages.
          Or the man with the two pints story and the other man with the two pints. Or him saying we didn’t increase taxes, or the army at the ATMs ready to assassinate members of the public if they tried to use them.

          Those are not exaggerations. Those are the ramblings of a deluded Walter Mitty type character who think people believe his nonsense. There’s a slight difference* (* hint – exaggeration)

    2. Anne-Marie McNally

      At the risk of stating the obvious here – I was making a point about the exorbitant prices of city centre living.

      Ah quick check on daft just now for any property under a €1200 limit (as mentioned on here as an ‘average’ rent) throws up 4…yes 4 properties in various locations around the city centre area – 1 of those is student accommodation and the other is a studio flat.

      As for the plethora of social housing nearby – yep but have you tried getting on a waiting list for a social housing placement lately? well there’s only about 130,000 others in front of you so good luck with that.

      Even if you manage to find a decent standard of living unit in the city centre (and as someone born & reared in Dublin 8 I consider the city centre to include ‘town’ of which Merrion Sq is a part) if you’re paying out around 2k a month on rent then you need to be earning a sizeable salary to cover rent, utilities etc and still expect to have disposable income left for a decent quality of life.

      1. Anomanomanom

        I knew there was a reason i like and agree with most of what you say, Dublin 8 born and raised myself. And taking your point on board, it’d a crazy situation when my friends rent in the same place as me went up by €250 a month. Now it’s still under the “market value”(he has a descent landlord he was paying extremely low rate) but rent has gone so high the landlord simple said “look I’m losing a fortune” and upped it for no other reason.

        1. Anne

          but rent has gone so high the landlord simple said “look I’m losing a fortune” and upped it for no other reason.

          There you go.. that’s the ‘market forces’ in action for ya.

  3. Steve

    Hi Anne Marie,

    I’m thinking of giving my 3rd and 4th preference to the Soc Dems in the upcoming election in dublin constituency.

    I was just wondering if you could confirm if the Soc Dems would be wiling to enter into coalition with FG after the election?? Or to put it another way, are there any parties the Soc Dems would defo not go into government with?? I’d say there are a lot of people on here interested in this and given that the election could be called at any time I think it’s a pertinent question.

    Thanks.

    1. Neilo

      I agree: the Social Democrats would be aces in coalition, presuming they didn’t suffer the usual fate of junior partners*

      *Ploughed into the earth like my beloved Progressive Democrats. What? Come on, now.

        1. Neilo

          Bring it! Your dark magicks and santería-based shenanigans are no match for my Hibernian neo-liberalism :)

    2. MoyestWithExcitement

      They’ve already ruled out SF and the left alliance because they’re ‘at a crucial stage of their development’. Assuming they meant it, they won’t be partnering with FG. They need to stand on their own and create an identity. Being FG’s bitchez would not help that.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          Considering how they’re trying to position their image as being different from the short term, photo-op friendly governments we’re used to, I will give them the benefit of the doubt. There’s a good chance they’ll be destroyed if they go into govt as a junior partner to FG/FF.

          1. rotide

            Well, it’s not like they’re ever going to be the senior partner so its either coalition or a lifetime of opposition. Which in fairness isn’t a bad thing from our point of view, I can think of worse types to have on the other side.

            Politicians being politicians though (and humans being human), ambition is likely to win out. I guess we’ll see.

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Not ever”? Big statement, that. If they engage in short term thinking and opportunism of typical politicians, then yeah, maybe you’d be right. They are trying to set themselves apart though. People are eventually going to get sick of FG and FF.

          3. ReproBertie

            The way things are going we could see a FF/FG coalition which would do wonders to ending the pretence that there is any difference between the two. Then we could maybe look at some actual alternatives instead of the Kang or Kodos charade.

          4. rotide

            You’ve been reading too much Mercille Moyest, It will need something seismic to give us a government without either of the two. If we didnt get it last time, I’m not sure what’s going to have to happen to give us another chance at it.

          5. MoyestWithExcitement

            “It will need something seismic to give us a government without either of the two.”

            I think that’s coming. The growing wealth gap, that FG and FF helped foster, is unsustainable. That, coupled with the existence of the internet (meaning more and more people are not dependent on being drip fed information by RTE or the Indo) means change is going to happen at some point, in my opinion.

    3. Anne-Marie McNally

      Hi, from the outset we have made clear that we won’t be ruling anyone in or anyone out as it is condescending to the electorate who still have to cast their votes, to make the presumption that we’ll be in a position to do any business. We are setting out our own stall with our own values and priorities and what we are saying very clearly is – “Here is our vision” we won’t be diluting it and we most certainly won’t be a mudguard.

      1. Steve

        Thanks Anne Marie. I think Catherine murphy made the same reference to “mud guard” at your party launch. A nice ambiguous response here – I’ll take that to mean ” yes …if the price is right”. Which is fine, that’s realpolitik , good to see the SDs are willing to engage in it. I’d support this anyway considering I am giving my first and second preference to FG and labour.

        Nevertheless I think it’s a little disingenuous of you to talk about the need for change in politics, avoid short term views and populist vote getting ( which I all agree with), but then plough for votes with these political blurbs…while at the same time keeping the FG coalition door open.

        These columns on broadsheet are fine and indeed you highlight important issues that need to be addressed by government. You do raise valid arguments , no matter what the “angle” people perceive you’re coming from. I’d welcome the SDs trying to address them in coalition.

        However , a word of advice. It would be wise for you to limit the mud slinging on public forums such as broadsheet , it could come back to bite the SDs in the arse in a few months…like it did for labour. Ye never know, bodger might post a few screengrabs of your pieces slating FG when homelessness /housing crisis etc. make the political headlines in late 2016….while Stephen Donnelly is sitting three seats to the left of An Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

        1. Anne-Marie McNally

          I’m not afraid of saying anything that might be thrown back at me because I’ll always stand for what I believe to be right.

          As for ‘leaving the door open for FG’ …if you think FG are prepared to implement our vision and our Socially Democratic values then I’d like an introduction to this lesser known FG party.

          1. Steve

            Grand, thanks and good luck with the election.

            Last thing: I think the SDs might have lost two voters , ahjaysis and Moyest, based on their absolutist commentary to date (like above)!!! But I could be wrong :)

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            No, they haven’t.

            “if you think FG are prepared to implement our vision and our Socially Democratic values then I’d like an introduction to this lesser known FG party.”

          3. scottser

            Look, the only way out of this mess is for me to establish a ‘fatherly dictatorship’. I’ll be a hell of a lot more transparent when i’m screwing ye over than this mob ever will be. They just want to do ye from behind, blindfold. Me? I want to do ye all up front, good and hard. Ye have to want it though. Tell me ye want it.. vote scottser no.1

  4. AlisonT

    “being able to walk to work in the city centre makes him anything but normal because at the moment you’d have to be earning about 10 grand a month to be able to live in a dog box within walking distance of Merrion Square”

    There is plenty of nice social housing on Pearse street about 5 minutes walk from Merrion Square. Perhaps you should take a walk around yourself.

    1. ReproBertie

      Just how far is walking distance? I used to live just off O’Connell St and I certainly never earned anything close to €10K/month. I didn’t live in a dog box either. I also lived in Drumcondra for a number of years and often walked home after a night out and on the odd day when the bus drivers were having a tantrum I walked to the city centre to go to work.

      I know we hear a lot from government about about stability and growth but I don’t recall them saying that all the problems of our society are solved. If they weren’t increasing the budget for social housing, for example, then it would make more sense to attack them over the housing crisis.

      How long would it take the SDs to “prioritise investment in key social services with universal access and an end to the two-tier system where your health and education, for example, are directly related to how much you have in your bank account”? I’m guessing it’s not an overnight job.

  5. Ban Doyle

    We’re all supposed to sit back and listen to Enda’s tall tales about recovery and fellas with two pints being happy with their water charges and homeless men being only too delighted that the man from del-mayo has deigned to lean over and say good morning to them

    – I totally resent this characterisation of men as being stupid (Enda), drunks (drinking two pints at a time apparently) and being homeless (only men are homeless now?)

    How are we supposed to ever achieve gender equality in this country with our putative political tyros displaying such retrenched anti-men bias and engaging in Neolithic Man stereotyping?

    1. whatdafup

      I take it you don’t read Roddy Doyle’s vignettes to which she is referring. makes sense in the context.

  6. Just sayin'

    I’ve never read anything from her that suggests she has a workable solution to any of our problems. I guess that’s why they call them protest votes.

  7. TomCo

    10k a month?!

    Bit of an exaggeration, average rents are around €1250 a month for a single bed. A lot of money mind, but not something you have to be on 6 figures to afford.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      Of course it’s an exaggeration. She also said you’d need that 10k a month to live in a “dog box”. Do you think she literally thinks people are living in boxes made for dogs to sleep in?

        1. nellyb

          There is a difference between exaggeration and hyperbole. Hyperbole (“dog house” and “10K”) cannot be masked as true and not meant to be, whereas exaggeration often pretends to be true either out of desperation or for material gains.
          But you seem to prefer the old unreliable to the new untested. King is dead, long live the king.

          1. ReproBertie

            “But you seem to prefer the old unreliable to the new untested.”
            What is that supposed to mean?

            Also, it was moyest who called it exaggeration. I merely echoed it.

      1. Owen C

        “Dog box” was clearly a descriptive subjective term. 10k is an exact number not completely remote from reality. If she wanted to exaggerate, she’d have claimed you need to win the lotto or be a millionaire.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          “Opposition exaggeration good.
          Government exaggeration bad”

          You realise she’s not a sitting TD giving a speech in The Dail, right? She’s a private citizen who’s writing an *opinion piece* for an irreverent *blog on the internet*. FFS.

          1. Owen C

            She’s a prospective candidate for a registered political party. She aint just shooting the breeze down in the local brewhouse.

          2. ReproBertie

            The description above says she “will be a candidate for the Social Democrats in the forthcoming General Election”. I think that makes it fair to say that she’s writing as a representative of an opposition party.

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            Yeah, that still doesn’t mean she can’t write an opinion piece and use dramatic language in it. This was supposed to be a thread about income inequality and we just have a load of keyboard warriors whining about her saying ‘you’d need 10k a month to live in a dog box in town’. Jesus, lads.

          4. rotide

            This is a private citizen writing an opinion piece?

            Cop on will ye, these columns are electioneering and nothing less.

          5. ReproBertie

            I’m really sorry, I didn’t get the memo about ignoring the exaggeration and focusing on what Moyest wants to talk about.

            When you talk about her speaking as a private citizen you’re ultimately saying that anyone considering voting SD based on these opinion pieces should reconsider as they do not represent the party in any way and that’s clearly nonsense.

            Since they do represent the party then it’s only right that prospective voters (of which I am one) can query the contents, including the use of exaggeration. Is the situation not bad enough without the exaggeration? In my opnion 60 children being fed by the Capuchins makes more of an impact than bar stool nonsense about €10k/month to afford to live within walking distance of the city centre.

            My vote is floating. I want a decent alternative. SD could provide that but it’s up to them to prove it and this isn’t doing so for me.

          6. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Since they do represent the party then it’s only right that prospective voters (of which I am one) can query the contents,”

            Of course. This is all about your sense of entitlement and need to feel power over people. Never mind the message in the actual OP. No, this person is going to run for election so you, as a nobody on the internet, has a right to feel like she owes you something. She owes you nothing, chief. If you don’t like her, don’t vote for her.

          7. ReproBertie

            I have a sense of entitlement and a need to feel power over people because I’m trying to make an informed decision in the next election? The SD are a new party and one of their TDs represents my area. Why should I give them my vote if asking questions results in abuse and stupidity from their self appointed defender?

          8. Firsttimecaller

            Obviously this woman is a representative of the political party she is affiliating herself with. If not as an actual elected member then at the very least as an example of their demographic. I agree with the general message of her piece, but if you are in opposition to the current government and, as a social democrat, I would assume against political point grabbing, then to stoop to wild exaggeration in an otherwise sensible piece quite simply reeks of lack of understanding of the whole situation. Having said that it is a step in the right direction.

          9. MoyestWithExcitement

            “I have a sense of entitlement and a need to feel power over people because I’m trying to make an informed decision in the next election?”

            No, it’s because you are attacking a woman who wrote an opinion piece for a blog over her use of one sentence that you weren’t supposed to take literally. ‘Trying to make an informed decision’? Please stop.

          10. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Opposition exaggeration good.
            Government exaggeration bad.”

            Do I actually need to hold your hand through your own posts?

          11. rotide

            I think everyone reading this realises the “Opposition exaggeration good.
            Government exaggeration bad” comment was aimed at you and not the author.

            You also really really need to stop calling this an ‘opinion piece’ by a ‘private citizen’.

            It’s election material from soomeone looking to be elected.

          12. MoyestWithExcitement

            “I think everyone reading this realises the “Opposition exaggeration good.
            Government exaggeration bad” comment was aimed at you and not the author.”

            Yes, and?

            “It’s election material from soomeone looking to be elected.”

            Right, so challenge her opinion on the state of Irish society, not because she chose to use dramatic language which *nobody* was supposed to take literally. She’s not answerable to you. You realise that, right?

          13. ReproBertie

            That was clearly aimed at you, not the author. Unless you are the author of course but even if you are how is that an attack?

        2. MoyestWithExcitement

          “If she wanted to exaggerate, she’d have claimed you need to win the lotto or be a millionaire.”

          That you misunderstood the tone of her piece is your fault, not hers.

          1. Owen C

            Yes, she’s my hero and i seek to emulate her. What’s interesting is that her boss, Catherine Murphy, is much much less rantish and this probably explains her popularity. Just sayin’.

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            Sure, that’ll be it. The woman who’s been an active politician for decades and made high profile news by taking on Denis O’Brien is more popular than a woman in her 20s who has never held public office because she’s “less rantish”.

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            Sure, if I can label you a govt shill. I mean, it’s pretty obvious that you are but I like to be polite.

          4. rotide

            “I know you are but what am i?”

            Stunning spin, is that what they teach you down YSD?

            For future reference, what color shirts do they give you?
            (This shilling accusation is fun, I can see why the plebs are so obsessed with it)

          5. MoyestWithExcitement

            Pink, obviously. Everyone who disagrees with your government are pink shirt wearing YSD shills.

  8. mauriac

    Ireland invests the lowest on social services/public transport of any developed country.This is the message SocDems should be hammering home.

        1. Owen C

          Thats overall government spending, no social services/public transport. Obviously the US spend a lot on defence, but we don’t. Ditto Israel, and hence their high figures.

    1. serf

      That doesn’t sound right for a country with far higher social protection levels than our nearest neighbour. So, some evidence for this claim would be helpful. Oh, and please avoid the usual % of GDP league table comparisons as we all know Irish GDP is inflated by multinational activity. Try some spend per capita ratios and make a proper comparison.

  9. Owen C

    1. I think some people have difficulty in understanding the actual meaning of words. “Recovery” does not mean “we are all in a fantastic situation”. It means things are better than they were previously. People moving out of negative equity, people moving out of unemployment, people receiving pay increases – these are all signs of recovery. They do not automatically imply everything is great and amazeyballs.

    2. The Prosperity Index which Ireland came 10th in. Its judged on 8 different categories, most of them with nothing to do with economics. We ranked extremely high in terms of education, safety & security and personal freedoms. None of these would appear to have anything to do with “people at the top hoarding wealth”. It’s also interesting that Anne-Marie decided to leave out the education citation in her rant against all that is wrong with Ireland.

    1. Anne-Marie McNally

      Again…worried about stating the obvious but the point that some sections of society are feeling recovery while others are not references the fact that yes there is a recovery but unless it is a recovery that takes everyone with it then it is going to cause us future problems. You cannot deny that there is a wealth divide in this country and my point is that current policies are going to serve to widen that divide even further!

  10. Spaghetti Hoop

    Prosperity can mean a multitude – you have to shake your little pixie brain and look at things globally when discussing standards of living.
    If you have a roof over your head, hot running water and food in your belly, you’ve MADE IT.

  11. J

    Can BS give Owen C a column please? Thoughtful, accurate, informed , unpredictable yet not sluggishly contrarian.

  12. Louise Hannon

    Are we forgetting Enda also has a house in the country to keep as well. ? Inequality in Ireland was always there. While we have done away with the slums of 70 years ago and conditions for those on low incomes have improved we still have 700,000 people earning under €12O00 a year. We still have zero hour contracts. We have a massive housing crisis today which this government allowed to happen. ( It was predictable) We need to remove the massive inequality which exists in Irish society and that will never happen while we continually vote FF/FG & prop them up with L.

  13. Disasta

    I don’t know many people who are better off now than they were 2-6 years ago.

    Apologies, I actually do, they work in banks and financial institutions.

  14. Rufus T Firefly

    “Do they know they’re in the 10th most prosperous country in the world?”

    There’s a Christmas No. 1 in there somewhere. Geldof and Midge Ure should really get on that.

  15. Steve

    Hi Anne Marie, based on previous experience I can safely assume you are reading the comments here on broadsheet?? Any chance you could respond to my question above?

    Thanks

  16. 15 cents

    everyones focusing on the dog box 10 grand bit .. which serves as a microcosm of whats wrong with this country. not looking at the bigger picture. not even seeing past the garden fence in most cases.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      They just want to attack her and they need *something*. This thread is fooking ridiculous. It’s a mixture between sad little basement dwellers who can’t command any respect from other people, thus need to think this woman is answerable to them and then there’s the FG attack dogs.

      1. ReproBertie

        How dare anyone question the SD! How dare they pick up on the manner of delivering the message rather than basking in the glory of the message! Let us dismiss their questions through insults.

        Vote SD! Unless you’re sad little basement dwellers who can’t command any respect from other people of course.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          “Let us dismiss their questions through insults.”

          Now you’re getting it. If you’re going to ask really dumb questions, be prepared for an appropriate response.

          1. Owen C

            Keyboard warrior hits out at keyboard warriors in true keyboard warrior style. The irony singularity collapses in on itself.

          2. ReproBertie

            If she’s going to rely on really dumb statements to make a point she should expect them to be questioned.

    2. Anne

      Yeah, dry humourless windbags who need sarcasm and exaggeration explained to them.

      ” homeless men being only too delighted that the man from del-mayo has deigned to lean over and say good morning to them on his daily walk to work”

      Anne-Marie, he’s not from Del-mayo.. Explain yourself woman, you’re supposed to be a candidate in the upcoming election and I want answers from you now. lol

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        “Yeah, dry humourless windbags who need sarcasm and exaggeration explained to them.”

        Aye. I don’t know why I didn’t just go straight for the jugular.

      2. ReproBertie

        “dry humourless windbags who need sarcasm and exaggeration explained to them.”

        I bet you were saying exactly that when the opposition rightly had a go at Enda over the stupid army and atm nonsense that he trotted out.

  17. Mayor Quimby

    what a poorly written piece

    “Well be that as it may but if someone doesn’t call ‘bull’ to all this talk of stability versus chaos then we will continue to spiral on this path of make-believe led by king of the fairy-tale himself. ”

    “a pile of people”

    “full stop.”

    1. Anne-Marie McNally

      Ever hear of writing to the medium? This is Broadsheet not the Guardian. There’s a tone that suits different things for different times.

      1. J

        A tone that is beautifully captured by Mercille on a Monday. More BS than Guardian of (rational) thought.

  18. CSB

    For my own part, I prefer it when opposition politicians try to explain what they think is going wrong precisely, rather than just lamenting inequality and suchlike. You don’t have to say EXACTLY what you’d do differently, but it helps to go further than ‘the government is evil’. McNally is clearly pretty sharp (I believe she did most of the work on the Siteserv thing) so it’s a bit disappointing that she writes more or less the same shouty article every week.

  19. Junkface

    She’s right about almost everything there. Good article. Ireland is looking more and more like an extension of the US. All of the bad parts, none of the good ones. Intern exploitation, tax breaks for the super rich, crappy healthcare, extortionate health/car/home insurance companies, under funded Education system, insane property speculation. Its a friggin mess!

  20. Ban Doyle

    This was a pretty good article I think

    Sure she exaggerates and is a contrarian and I think we could all spend hours pricking at her here and there

    But the essential point is that the recovery is very fragile and the reported uptick has left a lot behind (as indeed did the original Celtic tiger windbaggery)

  21. chicken

    Funny, I am not sure that she actually looking into the data. The rankings are based on a number of different variables. Economy, Entrepreneurship & opportunity, governance, education, health, safety & security, personal freedom and social capital.
    from their website “- What is the purpose of the Index?
    The Prosperity Index paints a broad picture of what nations need to flourish. It is the most comprehensive tool of its kind and is the definitive measure of global progress. This makes it a powerful tool for leaders and decision makers around the world, to use in policy creation and implementation.”
    If you actually look into the data for Ireland, you can see that actually in Economy & entrepreneurship we rate lower than other prosperous countries ie. US, Germany and some others. but for governance, education, safety and personal freedom we are rated better than many others.

    As for the comments: can you provide statistics to show this for Ireland, homelessness, classroom sizes, etc. How do they compare to other EU states?
    It is very easy to have a knee-jerk reaction to something, but what would you do differently, how would you implement these alternatives.
    There are of course many simple solutions – tax the richest more (but they will just move their funds out of the country), increase corporate taxes (lose employment from the likes of google, facebook, etc.etc.
    Perhaps Anne-marie can have a read of some macro-economics books and see what might work/doesnt work as I have not see any convincing arguments here.
    You know imposing a 1 child policy would also resolve some of the issues mentioned in her blog, classroom sizes, children in poverty, hospital waiting lists but it does not mean that it is the right thing to do.

  22. J

    A potpourri of choices… Enda in the nip and the SD playing at Xmas panto with BS political set pieces. Clothes swapping anyone?

  23. Kieran NYC

    Jaaaysus, Moyst.

    She was doing better before you leaped in to ‘defend’ her.

    Anne-Marie is well able to articulate her own points and defend herself if she feels someone has made an unfair point without you single-handedly turn off every potential SD voter just because you feel the need to always be right on the internet.

    Don’t 100% agree with all of what Anne-Marie says but would definitely consider giving the SocDems a high preference (if I can).

  24. Fergus the magic postman

    Anybody giving their number one & number two votes to FG & Labour are as much to blame for the state of things in this country, as the great leader who cannot help himself but to lie constantly and obviously (which is not the same as exaggerating for effect). Some of those people however are not to be blamed, but instead pitied because they are merely idiots who don’t know any better.
    Others do it because their parents and maybe their grandparents were also idiots, & they feel compelled to carry on an idiotic tradition.
    Others are not idiots, but cute feckers who are benefiting hugely from the corruption and ever widening wealth gap, and those people are to be blamed, because they are morally wanting.
    The same goes for anyone voting for FF. In fact, anyone voting for FF or FG in an attempt to point score against the other party needs to have their firmware updated.

    1. ReproBertie

      So who should people vote for Fergus?

      I voted Labour last time round. I wouldn’t and won’t vote for FF/G or SF. My local TDs are Labour, SF and ex-Labour now SD.

      1. Fergus the magic postman

        Well I voted Labour last election, & as long as Burton & Kelly are involved with that party, I won’t be doing that again.
        As things stand, I’m voting SD, mostly to piddle off cu(this text is here to stop the irish word for account being censored)ntas eile.

        1. Steve

          Fergus, does it make you an idiot by proxy if you vote for the SDs in the next election and they subsequently go into coalition with FG and Labour? See response by Anne-Marie to by question above….she didnt rule it out ye know :)

          1. Fergus the magic postman

            No, but if SDs went into a coalition with FG/ labour & completely abandoned all of their principles, policies, & the people who voted for them (as labour have), then it would be idiotic of me to vote for them again.

          2. badatmemes

            Fergus is correct.
            The small-minded belief that a vote for a member of a smaller party or an independant is a ‘wasted’ vote has already gone out the proverible window, my bucko.
            Suck on it.
            Your crowd are dead or dying.

  25. sticky brownstar

    It’s not in my nature to do this sort of thing but thank you Anne-Marie.
    That was well articulated and totally relevant.

    I grew up in Dublin 8.
    We were the Southsiders with a Northsider attitude,, because we had Burdock’s and you didn’t.

    Nowadays there’s Burdocks all over the place and I don’t know what to think anymore.
    It’s ridiculous.

  26. badatmemes

    WTF happened here?
    I came here to show off my junk, picture-wise.
    I thought it was about who was the hardest. The rules should’ve been more clearly clarified.

    Broadsheet, click-baiting, again.
    Jeezus, will they ever stop? OMG!

    PM me.

  27. :-Joe

    Ahh the good auld open door policy…. so is this party is built for coalition with the established way of repeating the same mistakes from the past?…

    If you are a politician of any substance you would be screaming to the voters that you would rather be an independent in opposition than deal with the established tribes…

    More of the same, career-politicians that will do any deal for power because, “Well if you don’t get elected into government how can you find the power to make the necessary changes?” etc. etc. BS-ALERT…

    Heard it before and will still be hearing it long after the public turns against you and then the next iterations of this failed ideological trap saying the same thing and again and again… ad infinitum and then I eventually die.

    Good luck with it all, if you can’t even state your full opposition to the establishment I’ll stick with the local independent candidate until something truly collectively progressive comes along.

    :-J

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