Archive | January, 2013
15 Jan

Vox Political

hmv“If you’re a student, and you have to pay a fee to go to university… You end up with a debt of 12,500 quid, you marry another student – £12,500, well, 25,000 quid; you then try to get a house because you want to start a family – that’s 40,000 – you start life with a debt of £60,000! I tell you, it would be great, convenient, to a future employer because someone with a debt of 60,000 quid is not going to cause any trouble; otherwise they might lose their job and so on.” Tony Benn, speaking circa 2002.

One has to admire Tony Benn for his powers of prophecy!

Clearly, he was able to look nearly a decade into the future to foretell the coming of a government for whom the imposition of a £9,000-per-year tax on learning – by universities themselves, not the government itself – was…

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The drunken Irish teenager controversy

8 Jan

I find it telling that this story has been taken over by the ‘sanitize the internet’ wing of the political class & their media mates.

Some points which are being ignored:
1) the girl is 16! So are those who supplied her with enough alcohol to become very drunk being castigated? Pursued by the Gardai (procuring alcohol for a MINOR is A criminal OFFENCE)? I see no evidence of this.. Yet we are frequently lectured on the scourge of alcohol addiction & drink’s role in anti-social behaviour. Is this the main news story, or opinion piece? NOPE.

2) She launched into a pronounced & unprovoked attack on innocent people who just happened to have the misfortune to be in the fast-food joint she entered. This is surely BY DEFINITION drink-fueled anti-social behaviour. As part of this public order offence she launches a physical assault on the person filming the event, knocking their property to the ground. This too is a CRIMINAL OFFENCE. Is this the main media concern in this instance? Why not? Public behaviour of this sort is usually fair game for the mainstream media, usually in tut tut terms & demands that the Gardai take action because such drunken scenes provide a VERY BAD IMAGE of Dublin to the tourists.

3)Is she being prosecuted? Had the roles been reversed and the young woman been the victim of a drunken assault by someone from Ballymun or Tallaght say would the media reaction be the same? Or would the film clip be seen as potential evidence for a possible criminal prosecution?

4) If she had been the daughter of a lesser mortal again say from Ballymun or Tallaght would the video have been removed as quickly? I think not …is this very obvious inequity the main media concern? Nope.

5) The language she used to describe her fellow citizens was class ridden invective worthy of a drunken member of the British ruling elites. Yet, allegedly, we live in a democratic Republic where there is NO CLASS bias. Yet the behaviour of this young woman proves the opposite, at least in her eyes. Is this of concern to our mainstream media & political class? Nope.

What does concern them? The issue of the language used online. Language that one would have to search for & therefore not be subjected to if one didn’t wish to see it. Unlike the law-abiding clientele of the fast food restaurant who were the targets of her invective which they neither sought nor provoked.

Media agenda? Yep sanitize the internet & protect their golden goose…

I’m a parent of grown children & if I had found that my lads had used that kind of invective in such an unprovoked manner they’d be grounded for it, & face some very hard questions about their usage of alcohol.

The con trick of Irish austerity & our corporate tax regimes.

3 Jan

yeah we’re all in it together alright …

every time I see ‘new jobs’ being announced by a foreign multinational here I wonder just what taxpayer subsidies, write-offs and waivers they have been given …many multinationals get to pay NO tax for the first several years here PLUS having us, the taxpayer, build the factory & the estate it is in. Apparently R&D is the latest tax avoidance wheeze …if the activities can be labelled R&D (and I’m unsure as to how rigorous any checks on the accuracy of the designation are) then the company gets very generous write-offs against tax liabilities. I know of one multinational big pharma company which informed its workforce that they would be ‘invited’ to resign their posts & reapply for ‘new’ posts and contracts in order that the ‘new’ jobs could be classified as being R&D. Needless to say acceptance of the ‘invitations’ was compulsory and the ‘new’contracts were ‘less advantageous’ than the old ones. Faced with either compulsory redundancy most employees accepted the ‘new’ posts i.e. doing their old jobs but at worse rates & having lost valuable time of service. Yet the company was then able to avail of tax benefits. …then we get our politicians spouting populist anti-EU stuff like this

whilst doing nothing to address this cash cow for the already mega-wealthy corporate entities.