They called for us all to put on the Green Jerseys, but when they got the call the only green we saw was the fat wads they stuffed in their wallets. Scratch Dat Itch explores the fine art of being two faced…
You are the forgotten generation whose future was snatched in front of your eyes. Whilst you now shiver in the cold of uncertainty breaking down the doors to a Croke Park job fair so that you can take your degree with you to lay floors in Canada, remember that they lit cigars with fifty euro notes.
Experts warned of an economy that was overheating whilst they held blow torches in their hands. They helped their friends and backers to play Monopoly in real life, buying hotels here, buying shares in gas and electric and garbage companies, and when they went bust no-one went to jail. Who are they? They are the backers of the politicians, like actors on a stage playing out a farce called ‘Democracy’ whilst 84,000 of you have left for someplace else.
So it helps to pay attention to what they’re up to. The Feel & Fail Party Ard Fheis last year was like a mobsters’ convention, where you could hear the ambitious young ones say, ‘”mistakes were made, and my father, uncles and brothers may have at one time ran a numbers racket but all I am trying to do is make a living with a legit Pizzeria”.
The precious economy which everyone cares about, from the Bundesbank to the IMF, looked like a splattered sloppy pavement pizza that had taken a jump from Liberty Hall at the end of their regime.
You may recall that Brian ‘we-all-partied’ Lenihan called his first austerity budget back in 2008, ‘A Call to Patriotic Action’. We were all to pull on the green jersey, pay more tax and more VAT, and not go north of the border to shop. Now four years later the politicians were asked to respond, to chip in to help our little Republic.
They were asked if they wished to give back some of their pensions. Bertie gave back €14,000 but then he’s been known to win that much on a horse or the turn of a card. Mary Harney of the Progressive Democrats gave back zero from her 69k. Michael McDowell gave his €143,000 windfall to charity, ironically a former government minister would not appear to trust the State to competently redistribute wealth. Albert Reynolds from €99,000 gave back nada. Dermot Ahern and David Andrews gave nothing from their €58,000 each. Raphael Burke made a zero contribution from €53,000. Richard Barry, pulling down €60,000 and he offered up nothing for Ireland, that’s right zero. Noel Dempsey, zero from €63,000, Martin Cullen zero from €69,000, P. Flynn nothing from €47,000. Alan Dukes kept all of his €42,000 pension. Dick Roche volunteered nothing from his €46,000. Dick Spring, nothing from €71,000. Green Eamon Ryan gave back nothing from his €51,000. Sile De Valera, surely a patriot, decided to volunteer nothing from her €53,000. Collins, another old school book patriot name, Edward, nothing from his €52,000. The previous incompetent/incumbent Taoiseach Cowen decided to part with none of his €79,000 pension.
Wisdom is something that gets passed on. My 81 year old mother was asked who was in government by a doctor and she replied ‘a right shower’. She also says that politicians concentrate on ‘feathering their own nests’ and the list showing that 4% donations from a €4.1 million retirement payout doesn’t contradict that.
Meanwhile for the rest of us the ‘menu del dia’ continues to be austerity gruel, blood from stones and Bullshit Pie served on the hour by RTE.
Full list of generosity here