Hard Headed Idealogues


Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy TD and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

IN a new blog posting, Journalist Eamonn Kelly writes:

Neoliberalism is a cuckoo in the liberal democratic nest.

Once seen in this light you can then alter your approach on how to deal with neo-liberals. For instance, if the ineffectual performances in the provision of social care by the current cabinet occurred in the private sector, which they champion so loudly, all of them would be sacked.

But only an idealistic liberal democrat with a belief in rational argument would argue that the failure of this government to address the housing and health crises is due to ministerial incompetence.

A neoliberal leadership, such as the one we have in Ireland, seeks to destroy liberal democracy from the top down, using all the powers and freedoms of that liberal democracy to do so.

That the neo-liberal takes political office at all is the first deception.

That the housing crisis has worsened under Varadkar is not because the problem is “complex”, as he recently claimed, or because his minsters are incompetent as their critics claim, it is because the neoliberal philosophy that they represent, cannot allow for a public work’s programme to build social housing.

The only complex part of the Irish housing crisis is the part where the Irish people seem to be asleep to the fact that there is a neo-liberal fox in the henhouse; an unelected taoiseach who quite openly represents business and business alone and who stated in the Dáil when asked about social housing that people can’t expect a “house for nothing”.

Judge them by their works, a wise man once said.

Neo-liberalism is a very simple philosophy. It is social Darwinism. [More at link below]

Eamonn Kelly is a freelance journalist

The Exhausting Futility of Arguing With Neoliberals (Eamonn Kelly)

38 thoughts on “Hard Headed Idealogues

  1. Cian

    I see Eamonn has got a promotion from “freelance writer” to “freelance journalist”.

    Anyone know what’s the difference?

    1. rotide

      Freelance Journalist sounds much more hard hitting for someone with a blog and absolutely no background information available about them.

  2. Col

    So, is “Neoliberalism” a kind of New Laissez Faire approach? I’ve heard different definitions and am not really sure what is meant by the term generally.

    1. Donal

      Liberalism – the belief that all persons are free to decide for themselves and individual choice should be respected
      Neo-Liberalism – the belief that this freedom must include the right of any person who has capital to spend it without interference from any higher power, regardless of the consequences for those without capital

  3. JunkFace

    A lot of these FG politicians seem to be mostly concerned with optics rather than bold action, or any type of experimental bravery regarding Housing. Maybe they are truly a product of modern times/ their environment, ie: empty suits

  4. Daisy Chainsaw

    The phrase “unelected Taoiseach” has been creeping in to a lot of commentary lately. Can anyone point me to a Taoiseach who was directly elected by people other than his own party?

    (Not a blueshoight, I just think it’s an utterly stupid criticism.)

    1. rotide

      It irritates the hell out of me as well. Generally the same sorts of people that throw around the word ‘elites’ a lot

      1. phil

        I think what daisy means is during an election , you know who Taoiseach will be, usually a possibility of 3, usually 2.

        So for instance it would never happen but after the next GE , if FF came to power , and the party leader stepped aside after 2 days and then the party elected Bertie leader , it would disappointing ….

  5. A Person

    I’m sorry, but that article is absolute rubbish. Taoiseach do not deliver housing. And it is a complex issue. Its takes ca. 1 year in planning to deliver any housing. If it is soical housing it takes much longer as people will object. Look at the recent protests in Clontarf around the playing pitches – led by a socialist politician

    1. Cian

      “Its takes ca. 1 year in planning to deliver any housing.”
      + another year to build.

      Saying that, there seems to be a reluctance (at both Government & Council level) to actually get the finger out to choose a site, get planning permission, & then to actually build social housing.
      I can understand that 5 years ago when the country was in dire straits financially – but I don’t understand the hold ups now.

          1. Giggidygoo

            Because you decided to post something on subject and succeeded without a jibe eh?
            You asked a question- you got the answer. You don’t like it? The truth is somehow ‘getting personal’? Did I name any of the Boys? Very personal alright.
            Cian – the ‘neo’ FGer. Eh?

      1. edalicious

        At the quantities required, you’d be into full-scale town planning too. New schools, town centers, transport links, recreational space, all of which would need to go out to public consultation, etc.

        Either they’re going to just fire up a badly planned sea of under-serviced social housing at the outskirts of town, with the generations of social problems and ghettoisation that will cause, or we’ll be waiting ~5 years before they even start building new houses.

    2. Col

      They’ve had a bit of time to come up with initiatives in fairness – why did the vacant lot tax take so long to implement?
      But you’re right about objections, people think they can live near the centre of a city with the population of over 1 million and still live near plenty of green space, with no buildings higher than 2 stories and little traffic and no noise. It’s not realistic any more.
      As a side note, what is the golf course: population ratio in Dublin compared to other cities. Are there that many golfers in Dublin?

  6. stephen c

    So, Considering raising taxes on the working and middle class or corporate tax are not possible at all right now, how would people propose we pay for social house building ?

  7. phil

    Say for instance we had 3 ideas
    1) Councils to hire staff to build and maintain properties , then use their land to build social hosing like they used to in the pas
    2) Councils to tender for contractors throughout europe, to build social housing on council land.
    3) Sell council land to highest bidder then get the market to tender for the contract , to keep costs down , do some sort of % public/private , or swaps of land, Developer gets cheap site , builds cheaper house on a public site.

    So which do you think FG would be interested in ? Number 3 I reckon, and thats ok , maybe many would agree, but the problem is , they dont want to admit that, it would narrow their base, but those people they would loose , are wrong if they think FG will provide anything but a Neo liberal solution ….

    1. Cian

      How about
      4) government just hires one of their buddies to build a load a substandard houses? And doesn’t bother with any amenities either.

  8. McVitty

    Yup, Leo thinks this is the price for a beautiful system like unregulated capitalism – that the losers should re-think their game and unleash their inner winnner….yet somehow he is an equality champion and latches on to the identity politics the media has enabled him to play (much like Canada’s Justin Trudeau).

    He’s interested in social justice issues but homelessness is somehow not a social justice issue. Surely there is a triage system in place whereby the person sleeping on a cold pavement, suffering chronic mental health or addiction issues, or god forbid, the children having no fixed abode should dominate the agenda of the day…but no, more important to get the propaganda videos and photo materials just right before they goes out to twitter – they say you get the politician deserve!

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