(Last week’s Column)
LATELY, I have found myself lying awake at night, unable to sleep, just thinking about all the downright stupid things that are currently happening in this country. It’s gotten to the point, the absolute unimaginable point, where we are being desensitized to some stories that would bring other countries to the boil.
More regularly now, I stare at the ceiling wondering what on earth can be done to turn the tide of stupidity that has swept over this country in the last 20 years. We are being strangled into submission by a red tape that nobody seems to want to take responsibility for. It’s always someone else’s fault, and there always seems to be people that are living outside of the law that governs you and I.
Is it possible that instead of giving out about it on Facebook and Twitter, and then moving on to the next injustice, we can actually do something…actually make some kind of difference. Who cares if we’re going to be complaining and protesting every day of the week…wouldn’t it be worth it to live in a country that we are actually proud of, instead of the utter shame that we are all currently feeling?
I met an 81-year-old man last week that told me that he has been working since he was 16 year’s of age, and never once has he been on Social Welfare. During that time, he put away a small few bob each year…’saving for a rainy day’ as it were. Well he really shouldn’t have bothered. This was a man who didn’t rely on the government for anything, and probably deep down knew that he would never be able to rely on them either. He’s not allowed a medical card now, simply because he had the cheek to put away some money when he was earning it.
Now, let me first clarify something. It doesn’t make a bloody difference what party is in power. You just can’t tell me that one is better or worse than the other. I firmly believe that there are individuals that are better than others but as soon as they are sucked into the party system their voices are drowned out but the establishment. Because that’s exactly what it is you see, an establishment. Ireland is being run by one very simple, and very damaging, philosophy – “that’s the way it’s always been done.”
And it’s not just the government that is being drained by this mentality. Have a look at the company that you work for right now (assuming you work for a company)…do you have ideas about how it can be improved? I’m sure you do, but the problem is that you’re in a minority, and you’re not the one that makes the decisions. Chances are, you never actually see the person who makes the decisions, in fact, nobody ever does. Without actually being on the “factory floor”, and without seeing the challenges that we actually face on a daily basis, these people make all the moves that dictate the future of the company, and indeed, the government.
Look at all the politicians that are knocking on your door now; I guarantee you that the majority of them are decent, hard-working people, with the good intentions of this country in their hearts and minds. However, what good can they actually do? Most of the people that we consider to be working hard for us…people like John Halligan…well you can probably count on one hand the positive changes that he has actually been able to make in this country. And that’s no disrespect to John…he’s out there working hard against an establishment that is just too big and too backward to ever be reformed.
I’m mindful of the fact that this column appears in a magazine that many people probably cast aside when they open the paper. However, I hope even one of you that does take the time to read it will lay awake for a period tonight thinking about the same things that I do. Questions like, ‘is the country just too polluted to be cleaned now?’ ‘Has too much damage been done?’
I don’t have any allegiances to a party by the way, and I think the very notion of being loyal to one party is absolute stupidity. It’s things like that that affirms by belief that we are too quick to impart the blame solely on a politician’s door. Who elected them in the first place? I’ll tell you something, and I don’t care whom this offends, if you vote for the same party every election, without actually knowing the individual that you’re voting for, then you are an idiot and you are a huge part of the problem in this country. If you don’t vote at all, then I’m not going to call you an idiot; I actually understand that you have been beaten down too much by a government that doesn’t work so you feel that you voice no longer matters. I’m not going to call you an idiot, but don’t expect me to listen to you when you complain about politicians.
I’ll finish up by picking out a random piece of stupidity – just one out of possibly hundreds of absolutely senseless government legislations.
Some of the people who were responsible for the collapse of this country, by issuing loan after loan after (illegal) loan, walked free from court last week. However, in 2013, 411 people were JAILED for not paying their TV License.