Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 
9

The 17th Land.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 8, 2010 in European Union, Fiction, Irish Politics, Not quite serious.

Here comes Mammy, and boy, is she pissed.

Here comes Mammy, and boy, is she pissed.

Was asked to repost this.

Seventeen days after the ATMs had stopped working, the first German troops arrived. The collapse of the Irish government had been met with a declaration of martial law, but it was the sudden realisation that there was no money left, in the banks or in people’s accounts, that caused the rioting. When the banks ran out of the cash to satisfy withdrawals, and tried to shut despite the queues outside, the rioting started. The Gardai were quickly overwhelmed. The PDF were deployed onto the streets, where, taunted by stone-throwing and petrol-bombing youths, they gave the Taoiseach an ultimatum: Either we can defend ourselves, or we return to barracks. The first youths were shot dead in Tallaght later that day. Read more…

 
2

Yeah, we could actually do with an elite, you know.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 8, 2010 in Irish Politics

There’s a weird No Man’s Zone that exists in Irish society. On one side, you have learned academics and political activists and notables writing articles in papers demanding changes in our political system. This group has widened recently, as more citizens start to pay attention to how we got into the state we’re in. Then we have, on the other side of the Zone, our legislators, the people with the power to change stuff and at the same time a belief that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with a system that elects them.

In the middle, we have the No Man’s Zone, where the change activists and the legislators have to meet, and yet no one is sure how to do it. How do we make these bastards do what we want them to do?

We start by deciding what we actually want. The specific measures that a small group of reforming political activists decides what is needed. Who are they to decide, this reforming elite? I’ll tell you who: They’re the same sort of people who decide that taking over a biscuit factory and the GPO or storming the Bastille or nailing a statement to the door of a church will get what they want.

Once they set out what they want, they then decide who can give it to them. Probably a handful of marginally elected new TDs whose brains reverbrates with the phrase “Must keep my seat. Must keep my seat…” They then take a lesson from SPUC. Yes, SPUC, one of the most effective political campaigning groups in the history of our state. SPUC basically managed to convince enough TDs that if they didn’t deliver, it would actually effect their ability to be reelected. They convinced them that the Irish people overwhelmingly wanted action on abortion. As the turnout of less than 54% in the referendum showed, that was bollocks. But SPUC took the lead and got what they wanted, and that’s what a reforming elite has to be willing to do.

Don’t assume that the political system will reform itself, because it won’t. It’s incapable of doing so. The only thing most TDs understand, and respect, is the stick.

 
0

What is it like to lose ALL the time?

Posted by Jason O on Dec 8, 2010 in Irish Politics

Revolution now?

Revolution now?

I’ve posted about this before, and watching the various demonstrators outside Leinster House brought the subject back to my attention. In my life, I have seen great political and social changes that I approve of achieved. From the unification of Europe to the end of apartheid, from the introduction of civil partnerships to the end of Communism and the triumph of the free market and, of course, the election of the first female president of Ireland and the first black president of the United States. Broadly speaking, things are going the way I want them to go.

So, what must it be like to be a far right or far left demonstrator, to be squarely opposed to the direction of modern western society, and to have lost every single battle you have ever fought? Where do you draw the stamina from to continue? Is it an unfailing belief that revolution is just around the corner, or do you take succour from the fact that unlike the incrementalist social democrats or moderate conservatives you never sold out and remained pure? I’m just curious.  

 
1

In defence of public sector workers.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 8, 2010 in Irish Politics

On a morning in September, whilst private sector people ran away from the towers, the public sector ran towards them.
On a morning in September, whilst private sector people ran away from the towers, the public sector ran towards them.

A public sector friend of mine recently had a go at me about classing all public sector workers in the same category, and he was, of course, right. Not every public sector worker is a dosser, or is overpaid, or has a job for life or a generous pension. As well as that the reality is that when you hear a noise at night, or fear for the lives of your kids, or smell smoke, it is the public sector you call to save you. It is firemen and police officers and PDF bomb disposal specialists who put themselves in harm’s way to save strangers, because it is their duty.

It can also be said about teachers and doctors and nurses, many of whom go that extra mile because it makes a difference. I have known mediocre teachers, and teachers who obviously did not want to be teachers. But I have also known teachers who did give a shit and who inspired and whom today still inform the person that I am. They too are the public sector.

There is a lot of talk about the need for fairness, and public sector workers are entitled to that fairness too, as we recognise that the section of  public sector workers who do have job security and generous pensions are doing better than the majority of workers in Ireland. It is, quite simply, not fair for private sector workers and other non-pensioned public sector workers to have to fund their own pensions,  and then pay taxes to those public workers and politicians who earn more than they do to pay for their pensions. 

So here’s the deal: Let’s benchmark again, but give the pensioned, highly paid public sector workers a choice: A lower salary, but job security and reduced but defined benefit pension, or a higher salary but with private sector terms and a requirement to fund their own pension. And by the way, if they earn over €50k, let them go and automatically fund your own pension. They can afford it more than the majority of taxpayers.

The public sector are right. They are entitled to be treated just like private sector workers. 

Copyright © 2019 Jason O Mahony All rights reserved. Email: Jason@JasonOMahony.ie.