Stop Snivelling



Taoiseach Enda Kenny canvassing in Kilbaha, County Clare at the weeken with Caoimhe McNamara (left) and Lucy Keating

Moan, bitch, carp.

Cease all that bellyaching.

You don’t know you’re born.

Eamon Delaney writes:

Enda is right – we have among us a dominant chorus of whingers who see no merit in anything and who criticise any efforts being done to improve things. It is a prevailing feature of this election unlike any other contest I have seen.

…there is now a major note of whinging in the country, quite at odds with the usual positive portrait of the upbeat Irish. On the radio, and more especially on the night time TV shows, we hear a constant tirade of complaints.

Granted we have significant problems, in housing and health, for example, but you wouldn’t think we were the fastest growing economy in Europe! You wouldn’t think we had come back from the economic abyss and had put ourselves in a position that the Greeks and Spaniards could only envy

And along with the negativity is a growing and unchallenged sense of entitlement, of injury and demand, and the apparent need for the political parties to appease all of this. This is the new orthodoxy – the Government is to blame for everything.

The main thrust of the campaign is no longer about stabilising our recovery, and securing our fiscal future (with Brexit and global recession on the horizon) but about dishing out more state resources to our citizens. And such voices seem to be defining the entire election campaign with no-one brave enough (or reckless enough, like Enda) to question this swelling sense of victimhood.

When will Fianna Fail and Fine Gael properly stand up for the people who actually pay for everything, like they used to do: the people who are working and raising families and who just want to get themselves on? Forget the SMEs and quiet working people – it’s the squeaky wheel of the whingers which gets the oil. Who defends the taxpayers and those who are sceptical of an over-generous welfare culture?

Our entire political debate has now veered to the left, with much of the media, and a toxic social media, feeding this mentality of dependency and entitlement, but also of negativity and, indeed, whinging.

The actual truth is that the State already has to do too much, the established interests are too strong and our tax base has been too narrow. And the message that people should really be hearing is that the State is not your mommy, and you should try to pay your own way and take care of your own kids.

However, the main parties won’t say that – instead they appease the complainers, no matter how unreasonable. And they cynically target voters.

And so FG has done a complete turnaround on abolishing USC and dishing out the election goodies, all to appease a campaign where FG fears it is being seen as too harsh or miserly about public funding.  And if FG will raise the State pension, then FF will raise it more.

But it won’t do them much good. Long pent-up anger at austerity is now out of the bottle and in many ways, offering more State goodies only feeds the sense of entitlement and of whinging. The sad thing is that ordinary taxpayers have to pay for all this public spending.

The other sad effect is that a constant tirade of negativity and whinging is not good for the soul, or the individual.

It is the very opposite of what the self-help books advise us and the very antithesis of what our sporting and cultural heroes represent.

Eamon Delaney is founder of ‘frree market’ think thank Hibernia Forum . This column appears in today’s Irish Daily Mail [unavailable online]. Follow Eamon on Twitter: @eamondelaney10

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68 thoughts on “Stop Snivelling

  1. rotide

    My shirt’s gone all blue.

    Am I imagining something or are broadsheet actually publishing an opposing view?

    1. Neilo

      This too will pass, rotide. I was all but measured up for an iron lung when Hibernia Forum appeared on BS last week.

  2. Jake38

    Seriously though, there’s a nugget of truth here. I could mention Livewhine, Moaning Ireland, “wheezing” Marion Finucane, Miriam “devastated” O Callaghan………….hardly stuff to make anyone chipper.

    1. Fergus the magic postman

      They’ve been there a lot longer than this government. Even if the Irish were the biggest whingers in the world, it shouldn’t be used to detract from areas the government is lacking. Or very lacking in this case.

  3. jambon

    Classic Irish right-winger line: “You’re all just whinging/talking the economy down etc. etc.” Delaney is a particularly pitiful chancer, the arse hanging out of his pants yet still lackying up to the inordinately rich and powerful. A grown-up school litter warden.

  4. Anomanomanom

    100% correct. This will go down as one of the best governments in our history, people might not like them but if we had FF still in charge we would be still fupped.

    1. rotide

      We’d be screwed no matter who was in charge.

      You can’t change the fact we were saddled with a lot of crippling debt. There is precisely zero that can be done about it short of leaving the EU. Greece tried and spectacularly failed. IMO this government took the far more sensible option.

      1. Anomanomanom

        Sensible yes and look at it from a collective they’ve done brilliant. But I know there are sections as a minority that got screwed

          1. Harry Molloy

            yeah could have done better there.

            And I thought the independent was meant to be government propaganda… I suppose unless it is 100% critical all of the time then it is

    2. ahjayzis

      Which part of their economic policy differs substantially from the one pursued by FF in government?

      And how did they reconcile that with following FF’s five-year-plan almost to the letter after running against it?

      1. Anomanomanom

        That’s the thing, people assume the FF just handed a plan over and this government just had to follow it. How the money was taken from the economy(bad thing I know) and where the cuts got made and how much from certain sectors was all up to the sitting government. I firmly believe if FF had stayed they would have prolonged it all just as to “play politics” and what’s best as a whole. I hate IW but I’m not dumb enough to think it can just be scraped now.

  5. some old queen

    “Our entire political debate has now veered to the left”

    This is true but given what is veering from is the closest thing to Tatcherism ever seen in this state, it still has quite a distance to swing before it even meets the centre let alone the actual left.

    1. jambon

      This is precisely the type of propaganda the Hibernia Forum was set up to excrete. The right-wing has never wreaked as much damage on Irish society as it has under this government. The economic vandalism they’ve perpetuated is shocking.

        1. jambon

          Cool ad-hominem bro. Would these be right-wing policies?

          1. Tell councils to stop building social housing
          2. Reduce rent allowances
          3. Sell off NAMA properties cheaply to foreign vulture funds

  6. MoyestWithExcitement

    “When will Fianna Fail and Fine Gael properly stand up for the people who actually pay for everything, like they used to do: the people who are working and raising families and who just want to get themselves on? Forget the SMEs and quiet working people – it’s the squeaky wheel of the whingers which gets the oil. Who defends the taxpayers and those who are sceptical of an over-generous welfare culture?”

    Sweet Jesus.

    1. 15 cents

      unreal isnt it? someone actually ranting that the elites need to be protected more and everyone else needs to shut up and accept it without complaint. what a jack.

  7. Ferret McGruber

    Dear Hibernia Forum,

    How you can talk about ordinary people having a sense of entitlement is beyond me. The real sense of entitlement, as those of us who live in the real world know, comes from companies like Google, Facebook and Apple who believe they are entitled to not pay tax.

    The bankers who believe they are entitled to do anything they like and then get bailed out.

    The developers who borrowed billions and believe they are entitled to transfer assets to their wives and their debt to the ‘ordinary people’.

    Senior civil servants who believe they are entitled not to be held accountable and, when they shaft the country, walk away with huge pensions.

    To that political cohort who believe they are entitled to also remain unaccountable, to continue to populate the gravy train with their associates and milk the system for every last penny.

    I could go on all day but these are just a few of the glaring examples of the real whingers amongst us.

    The Hibernia Forum needs to cop on.

    1. dav

      “The Hibernia Forum needs to cop on” I disagree, they need to keep on trucking because it is in them we see the dangers of right wing, thatcherite thinking. How they would suck the life out of the poor, the weak and the elderly just to keep the illusion of wealth going.

  8. Eoin

    Is this supposed to be a joke? Because it’s not amusing. Hibernia forum? What’s that? Some sort of comedy club?

  9. Medium Sized C

    “When will Fianna Fail and Fine Gael properly stand up for the people who actually pay for everything, like they used to do: the people who are working and raising families and who just want to get themselves on? ”

    Those are the people complaining, surely.
    The people who are paying for everything, yet when they need something they have to pay for it.
    So often they don’t get it.

    The dude can’t think.

    1. 15 cents

      see i think he added the families bit there to make that demographic seem likeable .. but the demographic he’s talking about are the elites, the golden circles crews .. “the people who actually pay for everything” .. thats who he means. and that the rest of us need to stop asking for ya know, livable conditions and such. he’s gettin angry that we’re voicing concern with rotten policies.

  10. MoyestWithExcitement

    “The actual truth is that the State already has to do too much, the established interests are too strong and our tax base has been too narrow. And the message that people should really be hearing is that the State is not your mommy, and you should try to pay your own way and take care of your own kids.”

    Has anyone not read this exact opinion thousands of times before? Think tank? FFS.

  11. ahjayzis

    Ordinary tax payers are the ones who suffer on hospital trolleys in A&E

    Ordinary tax payers are the ones who cannot afford a house because demand is sky high and private developers are building nothing.

    Ordinary tax payers are victims of crime because policing is underresourced and woefully managed.

    Ordinary tax payers are stumping up voluntary contributions and their children aren’t fulfilling their potential because our schools are oversubscribed, underfunded and understaffed.

    Ordinary tax payers are paying through the nose in tax for one of the best funded health systems in the world, which consistently fails to deliver, and then the lucky few are paying on the double for private health insurance for this reason.

    Ordinary tax payers are paying the equivalent of a second mortgage for childcare so both parents can work – becuase the state plays no role.

    Ordinary tax payers aren’t divorced from the state, they pay a large proportion of their income to fund it, and it consistently fails them, leaving them further out of pocket.

    This Thatcherite troll isn’t talking about Ordinary tax payers, he’s talking about the rarefied few who can afford to bypass the state and society entirely.

      1. jambon

        The really creepy/worrying thing is he is not ‘Alright’. For Delaney, and his right -wing cheerleading ilk, it’s a weird exercise in self-flagellation; they gets their kicks out of being punished/put in their place by their betters. Like donning a socio-economic gimp suit. They enjoy snivelling at the feet of those who they see as ‘big men’, like pathetic prisoners who’ve been promoted to prison guards, they’ll kill their fellows to appease their masters, never seeing that the masters could be overthrown were they to find a shred of common humanity within.

          1. Fergus the magic postman

            Ha, says you, which says it all.
            If you want a good laugh, go into any hospital A&E in the country, or go for a walk around Dublin & check out the homeless, or go to one of the 13 evictions from emergency accommodation taking place on Friday (polling day incidentally).

            Maybe leave the hospital until last in case you nearly die laughing, saddo.

          2. Same old same old

            I’m in a hospital now as it happens
            Everything here is fine and the best of care
            It’s the public system

        1. jambon

          True, and there are also those born with far greater chances and opportunities, it’s not a level playing field, by any stretch of the imagination. Plus, there are degrees to which one can win and lose – a more equitable sharing of the finite resources WE ALL OWN rather than the inhumane disparity caused by a system that promotes selfishness, greedy scalping and unbridled consumption sounds like a more intelligent aim. No?

          1. Same old same old

            We don’t all own stuff though – only in theory

            Actual power is wielded by gatekeepers and middlemen- hospital consultants, the various PS administration elites, Gardai, barristers etc

            Actually public or state ownership is an absurd conceit that keeps the proletariat distracted from the real power dynamics at play, and the state in most cases only acts to preserve those dynamics not to the benefit of ordinary folks

  12. Joe835

    I just don’t think it’s in the Irish mentality to publicly-acknowledge anything positive about the country in general. There has been a significant voice of disapproval for just about any stage of progress the country has made at every step of the way.

    Yet any survey shows we’re happy. We complain about emigration, yet it kept happening during times when there was full employment and a labour shortage. Even during the crash, there were huge numbers of emigrants leaving full-time employment.

    It’s just too much of a taboo to actually come out and say things have improved because it’s completely against the prevailing consensus. If you do, you’re immediately shot down as a stooge, someone who has a personal interest in the government parties or, worse yet, involved with them.

    It’s taboo to say you’re happy, it’s taboo to acknowledge things are looking up because there’s people in worse situations. And no tribe has it worse than the Irish – otherwise, what’s the point of us? It’s how we define ourselves and it makes us deeply nauseous to think otherwise.

    1. Junkface

      Its not taboo to say you are happy. I know loads of people who are happy at work, but they’re always worried about the key factors of every persons life. Housing and Healthcare. You cannot have a relatively happy existince if you are stressed about Housing and or Healthcare.

      I don’t think the Irish people would be so negative if they felt that there was justice in society. Why is everything so expensive here? Everything!!

      Also people emigrate during the good times for a new adventure, and maybe they are tired of the small Island mentality.

    2. Harry Molloy

      Spot on Joe, so true.

      Frustrates the hell out of me though, why can’t people be objective and acknowledge a good thing? People look for the misery in everything

    3. Kieran NYC

      False. Anyone not wallowing in misery porn is a blueshirt shill.

      Things are the worst they have ever been, and it’s all Enda’s fault.

      We were always at war with Eurasia.

  13. Junkface

    I thought this article was satire for a minute. Holy Shizz! Crazy stuff.
    “Yeah stop whinging about Housing and Healthcare care would ye? Just die in the gutter in peace. You’re talking down the economy!”

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