Leviathan: Selling the Family Silver?

As Aer Lingus employees and the Government battle to save the national airline from the clutches of Ryanair, David McWilliams asks a panel of experts and you, the audience, whether modern Governments have any business running businesses; if stubborn unions have spoiled it for all of us and where should we go from here.
There will also be savage musical satire from tortured genius Paddy Cullivan aka Clint Velour; and Slam Poetry from Mary Mulligan. Panel details will be announced shortly?

Leviathan: Political Cabaret
Thursday November 2nd @ 9pm
CrawDaddy, Harcourt Street, Dublin 2.
Tickets €20 + booking fee from www.ticketmaster.ie

“Leviathan is the hottest ticket in town…” The New York Times.

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  • CW

    I’m not a big fan of McWilliams, but depending on who’s in this so-called “panel of experts” (a posse of fascist Sindo columnists perhaps?)it could be a good show. I can’t make it anyway as I’m in London. More’s the pity.

  • Buterknife

    Hope you got a commission for that bit of advertising Mick.
    In my opinion the advent of green issues and in particular the issue of fuel being pumped into the atmosphere its getting increasingly difficult for the Irish Government to justify having a controlling stake in the airline. However it should come down to commercial realities.
    As for trade unions, where to begin! If it wasn’t for the trade unions in Translink fares would be a lot cheaper. How much do you reckon a train driver gets an hour … guess! Also how about senior civil servants … MLAs are paupers compared to these folk.

  • Hacksaw

    McWilliams is a mouth. Butterknife has no logic. It’s alright for private companies to pollute but not governments and then some rubbish about transit fares, would you prefer that train drivers where under paid and over worked driving you around at high speed. As I’ve always feared, now that the neo-liberal agenda is being shown to under pin full-hardy imperialism, follow the big boy merchants like Butterknife here is trying to wrap their played out inhuman ideology in the cloak of ‘environmentalism’ so they can keep on spending their soft earned money. You need to be a bit sharper than a butterknife son.

  • Greenflag

    Government needs to keep out of business as far as practically possible . It ‘s understandable that in a small country like Ireland particularly in the years following independence that the Government would take the lead in supplying electricity – airline travel etc due to the huge capital cost involved in establishing those services at that time .

    The world has moved on and Aer Lingus needs to move on too . Aer Lingus’s fleet of aircraft is aging and the company does not have the capital to replace them . It can only do so by borrowing which cost will reduce their operating margin .

    Air travel is just another ‘commodity’ .

    IMO Government in modern societies should focus more on ensuring equality of opportunity in Education and service in Health matters . If people get a good education and have good health they can usually do the rest themselves .

  • Brendan

    The reason that the Irish Governments are privitising everything is supposedly to allow competition.
    Ryanair being the sole Irish National carrier is not competition (apart from the fact they are a bunch of cowboys).
    As the fiasco with Eircom and the Mobile Duopoly (Vodafone and O2) have shown, we need at least three operators before competition and price wars happen. Anything less and the consumer suffers.
    I will use Ryanair short-haul to Europe now and again, but I know that service is dodgy and have been stranded a few times now with no support.
    This is an acceptable risk for me for a 2 hour flight to Belgium but not 8 hours to USA or God help us Australia (imagine!).
    I’m not a fan of the tax-dodging non-Irish Denis O’Brien but fair balls to him for blocking Ryanair. Bet Michael O’Leary was choking on his Cornflakes when he heard that on the taxi radio heading into work !
    McWilliams is getting a bit repetitive now, most of my friends would agree with this. I do still read him in the Sunday Business Post though, and he’s still the most articulate Protestant in the Irish media !
    Unions have been very useful at stopping naked greedy capitalism up to now but when the union management start earning 80,000 Euros a year and play golf with the same “capitalist pigs”, then I have to question their credability.

  • Rory

    “Stubborn unions” have indeed “spoiled it for the rest of us”. How on earth are “the rest of us” supposed to maximise profits if the bloody unions keep using their ,er, erm,…thingy…uniting etc. to demand a living return on their labour?

    Best idea is sack all the greedy, lazy bastards and we enterprising, efficient, non work-shy shareholders will drive the trains, fly the planes, clean and maintain everything (and we’ll build the bloody trains and planes and the airports and railtracks as well in our spare time). So there!

    Where’s me gin gone?

  • DCB

    O’leary does actually pay tax in the South.

  • Armed Atheist

    Denis O’Brien is only trying to make a few shekels or drachmas or whatever the hell they have in Malta. Lira! that’s it.

    Not only are we to believe that the Government and the Unions are suddenly concerned with the poor long-suffering Irish consumer’s welfare now Denis O’Brien is too.

    The reality that people are having so much trouble confronting is that the market will dictate the outcome here. It was only after Aer Lingus was floated on the Stock Market that the Government realised that the likes of Ryanair could actually buy it. They thought it would only be grannies in Tubbercurry who would keep their stock certs under their beds. O’Leary could just as easily tell Aer Lingus where to stick it’s shaggin’ regulatory hurdles and cash out Ryanair’s investment or sell it on to someone daft enough to want a crippled airline that thinks it’s a semi-state body.

    Government will always have a role in business. Does anyone think that private industry is going to lead the stampede to build Ireland’s nuclear power stations? Oh yes.

  • Since when do Translink drivers drive trains at high speed?

    And if I’m not mistaken, train drivers in Translink are on at least 30K per year.

  • Greenflag

    Armed atheist.

    ‘the market will dictate the outcome here’

    That it will sooner or later . A business has to make a decent return for the shareholders or else they’ll abandon ship.

    ‘ or sell it on to someone daft enough to want a crippled airline that thinks it’s a semi-state body. ‘

    Brutally frank but also true.

    ‘Does anyone think that private industry is going to lead the stampede to build Ireland’s nuclear power stations?’

    The Government ‘stampede’ to build Ireland’s nuclear power stations will begin when the price of oil is 300 dollars a barrel and the people in Tubbercurry have returned to the donkey and cart as their main means of transport 🙁