new puritan wrote:
Really liked this.
http://www.independent.ie/opinion/colum ... 29178.html
Once you've held the line that there is a whole class of people who are entitled to everything to which those beneath them are not entitled - things like truckloads of money, and more truckloads of money on top of that - you are bound to feel strong in your faith, perhaps invincible.
So when something like Irish Water arrives, with all that lovely public money about to start flowing through the pipes, you hardly even have to think about filling up the old truck and sending it out there again with its massive load. You just do it, and you work out the reasons for it later.
Indeed, it has all become so unthinking, it seems to have gone too far. It has triggered a reaction that seems to have been brewing for a long time, as Paddy finally declares that he doesn't believe all that stuff any more - in fact, he probably never believed it, he was just a bit dazed from the incessant reminders of the duty of care that we owe to the over-privileged.
And so various ministers try to present a new vision of Irish Water that they think will be better received, not realising that this is not about water any more, it's about every damn thing.
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Not a bad article. The principle behind the setting up Irish Water - in that even in a country where you see precipitation the majority of the days of the year and it's lack of for more than 7-10 days is considered "decent weather" that there is rarely a "lack of primary resource" - whereby it needs to acknowledge that the water needs to be collected, treated, distributed along with its sewage disposal, and by appropriately charged for is a sound enough one (allowing for public health & realising that water can't simply be treated on its own as just another commodity). However it is in the eyes of many people there a straw that is breaking the camel's back of many working & middle class people with the additional charges (Universal Service Charge, VAT increase to 23% etc.) that have built up over the last few years. Then when you also have the likes of the Anglo Irish Bank, a political class trying to run the line of both courting the public for cheap votes while maintaining lifestyles to distance themselves from it which sees a lot of back scratching involved, then it only seems like it'll be a matter of time before things start to boil over. The thing is that in some ways like the English, there is no real history of internalised revolution of the masses in Ireland against the establishment - while others among the PIIGS saw its fair amount of unrest, Greece in particular, the Republic of Ireland has been very quiet & tame in comparison.
Personally, my reading of historic events makes me feel that revolutions tend of occur and succeed when the middle classes of a populace, alongside lower classes, feel that they have nothing left to lose in doing so. It's something I reckon the Tories know very well, hence buttering up many people, who if not in it by reality that they feel, that are middle class by keeping them sweet and pouring on the burdens of austerity elsewhere (normally those in the C2DE zone). A nice divide & conquer strategy.
I can't speak for the tax intake structure of many other countries, but the difference between that of the UK and the Republic of Ireland means that simply looking at it from British eyes only tells part of the story. One example is that the income tax band doesn't come into play in the RoI at a higher level compared to the UK, but also that the top band rate is lower there than the 40% rate does in the UK - the lack of domestic rates is another. The housing bubble is still being felt by people who bought during the construction boom, not helped by rents at the time also being rather high meaning that it made more sense to get mortgages even at inflated prices. Plenty of people - honest people - are in negative equity, and I can't say I envy them. Then again, the make up of Dáil Éireann with STV used in elections means that the TDs there make up a much more accurate reflection of votes than the House of Commons does - a kind of self fulfilling prophecy.