Long live inequality…

IF you were annoyed by Newton Emerson’s criticism of certain social classes (and you were), you’re going to absolutely hate Kevin Myers in the Indo today. Here’s a taster, but remember, it’s just for fun so don’t take it too seriously: THE abominable Royle family of television fame tell a terrible truth. It is that some poor will always be with us. For there’s virtually nothing one can do about the truly feckless, unemployed “working” class, with their horrible lives, watching vile television and eating unspeakable food in their hideous homes. Most are immune to improvement.

  • SuperSoupy

    I’m surprised he can note the possible subsidising of middle-class pursuits via the poor playing the lottery and not raise the much clearer discussion that all lotteries are in effect a disproportionate taxation of the poor.

  • spiritof07

    Long live Keviin Myers – he speaks the triple truth.

  • just at thought

    insert the word BLACK replacing “working class” and this would be quiet racist

  • SuperSoupy

    Isn’t it wonderful the way a google search for ‘mad irish bastard’ returns a blog devoted to Colonel Myarse as the top return.

  • Iano

    He speaks the tripe truth.

  • Cahal

    Pretty funny…in a guilty sniggering kinda way.

    But what’s wrong with golf?

    If only more kids were battering a ball around the local public course instead of swigging back the buckfast….

  • mickhall

    I always find it pathetic that a feckless individual like Myers is unable to see any link between the fact that it is middle class people who design and sell the working class homes he seems to hate so much, make the television programs he says he despises and produces and markets the unspeakable food he believes we working class people eat. If he truly believes it is so dreadful i wish he would take some responsibility for his class behaving in such a miserable way.

    Of course if he had taken his blinkers off and ditched his prejudices he would have seen the Royal Family TV program is brilliantly written and acted, and centers on a loving family who care and nourish one and another. Who battle daily against all the world throws at them but manage to remain a loving family unit and in good humor.

    If anyone truly believes this program portrays feckless people I suggest they watch the exchange between Barbara and her mother in the final episode. Far from being feckless these are people who take responsibility for their own.

    But then again was not Myers a man who was only to willing to take the coin and sing the praises of the man who is now on trial in Chicago. Now there is a feckless —–, but not a peep out of the gallant Kev

  • susan

    Thank you to SuperSoupy for finding the silver lining. I lost a full hour I did not have to spare to aggressive and exhausting self-censorship after reading the Emerson piece this morning, and I think rather than read the full Myers piece I’ll just google “mad Irish bastard” instead.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’m surprised he can note the possible subsidising of middle-class pursuits via the poor playing the lottery and not raise the much clearer discussion that all lotteries are in effect a disproportionate taxation of the poor.

    You seem to have a problem with the poor being too stupid, is that right ?

  • david

    “If anyone truly believes this program portrays feckless people I suggest they watch the exchange between Barbara and her mother in the final episode. Far from being feckless these are people who take responsibility for their own.”

    Unlike the ‘Myers types’ who shove their parents into homes at the first opportunity.

  • SuperSoupy

    CS,

    I mentioned another discussion, I don’t accuse anyone of stupidity.

    Exploitation of desperation is one of the terms used in the following:

    http://www.eskimo.com/~johnnyb/spiritual/Ginomai.xml

    The points raised convince me more than Colonel Myarse’s sneering.

  • The Third Policeman

    You’re exactly right Michall. This seems like a case of “American families should be more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons” mentality.

    And if by ‘bettering’ themselves the working classes end up like kevin Myarse then thank God for poverty I say.

  • Mick Fealty

    I fear the post above is just too good an excuse for our small band of ‘ad hominem addicts’. Nevertheless, if one were to ignore Gonzo’s advice not to take it too seriously, this line merit’s further scrutiny:

    Admittedly, in the interest of “equality” we could scrap the National Lottery altogether: but the party which did that would instantly become like Henry Kissinger in Iran.

    Particularly in light of one of SS’s more serious contention that it is merely a way of the poor funding the middle classes.

  • kensei

    “Particularly in light of one of SS’s more serious contention that it is merely a way of the poor funding the middle classes.”

    It depends, really. There is a syndicate going in work, and that is all quite well paid people who would just like off the Wheel. I do it the odd time, when there is a £100 million jackpot in the Euromillions or whatever.

    As long as people don’t get too carried away (and I accept there are those that do), it is relatively harmless. It is entirely voluntary, provides a wee bit of entertainment on a Saturday night and people question the odds, but the reward is so life changing it is worth a couple of quid at 16 million to one or whatever. And I’d say it funds more than just middle class pursuits – money goes into both sports projects and charities, not to mind the tax.

  • Pete Baker

    Perhaps worthwhile noting the point of Kevin Myers polemic..

    But what about the 15pc of poorer people who do play sport? Well, these are my real heroes, the determined and upwardly mobile working-class, whose children will go to college.

    For, rather like music of any kind, sport marks out those who strive: it rewards inequality of both talent and application. So long live sport, long live National Lottery support for it, and most of all, long live inequality.

  • ben

    It’s Myers’s awful, over-the-top *writing* which is far more offensive than his willful cab-driver ignorance.

  • Stymied

    It’s offensive – but is it true?

  • Plum Duff

    When Kevin Myers worked in Belfast in the 70’s he was a *very* good and principled journalist. He got fired from RTE for taking an ‘against the grain’ stance on what the IRA was about at that particular time. It is clear now that he regrets his opinions of that era. Be that as it may. He did what he believed.

    Nevertheless, in recent years, and very regrettably IMHO, he has had nothing of consequence to say on the Northern Troubles. In many occasions he was seriously astray and did not, or could not, understand the feelings at the coalface in the North, given that he never leaves his fastness in Kildare. Reading his past articles in the Irish Times, which he left (did he jump or was he pushed?) one gets the impression that he was and is (now reincarnated in the Indo) hired to expound on the prejudices of the Irish version of ‘yer average “Daily Mail” reader’ – or maybe just to stir things up. I sincerely regret this. It is a great talent wasted.

    That said, irrespective of his now tortuous, and in many occasions offensive, views on Irish life in general, I think most contributors above have missed the point of this particular piece of invective, that is, apart from Gonzo and Pete Baker – the former for spotting that most of it was a wind up and the latter for seeing Myers’ fundamental cry for the (non)working class to realise that they can do *something themselves* to get out from the torpor of their half lives.

    I may be out on a limb here but at times I think there is still a warm hearted human being lurking behind all that bluster and bile from the pen and persona of the current version of Kevin Myers.

  • Wilde Rover

    I can recall an Irishman’s Diary in the Irish Times by Mr Myers where he lambasted the middle classes for being self-centred and lacking ideology.

    So, it’s Prole McSlob and Mefein Middleclass.

    I wonder if he believes everyone in the country should join the suicide squad of the Judean People’s Front 😉

  • Lorcan

    Back to Newt for a moment. Is his view not similar to trying to explain how tory party gets voted in across the water. There is a default to reactionary thinking in many people that can be played on by parties.

  • Roisin

    Wilde Rover,

    [i]I can recall an Irishman’s Diary in the Irish Times by Mr Myers where he lambasted the middle classes for being self-centred and lacking ideology.[/i]

    I shouldn’t even be commenting on this thread as I only got as far as Myarse’s claims about screwing his way from one side of Belfast to the other before collapsing from laughter. Haven’t been able to bring myself to reading it any further.

    However, here’s another fantastic piece of ‘journalism’ he bashed out recently:

    [i]Stranded in a land of lies where the people worship dead language

    DEAR Minister for External Relations with Other Lands.

    Greetings, O Manly One! Listen – is there any chance I can come home now? Your humble ambassador has been in Ireland for four years now, and I understand it less every day. I long for the common sense of dear old Sierra Leone, and the civilities of my beloved Freetown. Some Irish men – and not a few women – apparently think the stroke of midnight is a signal to beat a stranger – any stranger – unconscious.

    Fortunately, my hospitality budget – €35 per annum: is it surely not time for a retroactive increase, sire? – rather restricts my opportunities for nocturnal safaris, and therefore the number of occasions on which I can be beaten into a macedoine d’ambassadeur.

    However, the reason for my applying to return home has nothing to do with the violence or the bad manner of Dublin people, or that Dublin Bus apparently thinks that punctuality is something from The Sex Pistols. It is the fundamental dishonesty of the Irish people. They tell lies to themselves the whole time. Their politicians spin yarns, and call them speeches. Their broadcasters live in a world of depraved conceit. And as for their newspaper columnists – words fail me.

    O Phallic Supremo, hear me now. This week Ireland is celebrating the accession of Irish as an official language of the European Union. But almost no-one in Ireland speaks the language. Indeed, Lord of all Jungles, Master of the Main, half a dozen East European languages, Urdu and at least two forms of Chinese, are more spoken in Ireland than Irish.

    When a TD (Irish for MP, Your Tempestuous Serenity) speaks in the Dail (Irish for parliament, O Perpetually Tumescent Stallion) the rest of his colleagues flee like a herd of impala being attacked by hyena. Moreover, if a politician wants to say something he wants no-one to understand, he will get one of the few fluent Irish-speakers in the land to write out his speech in Irish, and will – using his finger – then fumblingly recite it to an empty house.

    A Belgian television crew spent a morning recently asking people on Grafton Street in Dublin for directions to a pub, but in Irish. One person – one person – understood the question.

    So even though the language is dead – Erse in a hearse is how I have heard it described: later, minister, later – the Irish government has managed to persuade the EU to accept it as an official European language. Thousands of documents are to be translated into Irish, at a cost of millions, though almost no-one will ever read them.

    But the real irrelevance of the language, and its token-status in Europe, emerged in a footnote to all the witless brouhaha about its debut in Europe. In order to address the European parliament in Irish, and therefore arrange for translation into the English which the speaker already speaks, one has to give three months’ notice.

    Think about it. Three months’ notice for a speech in Irish. So if an Irish-speaking MEP heard an EU proposal that in a week’s time Ireland was to be the next Bikini Atoll, and wanted to address the issue in the country’s first national tongue, the island would long since have been molten glass by the time he or she rose. Despite this utter frivolousness, Irish politicians have continued to preen themselves upon the new ‘European’ status of a language almost none of them can speak.[/i]

  • Roisin

    Myarse’s article continued ….

    [i]But of the politicians here, there is more. The office of a slightly risible junior minister of indeterminate duties, by the name of Tony Killeen, has been petitioning for the release of two men, a murderer and a serial sex-offender of children, from jail (imagine what Europeans would say about us Africans if a member of our Esteemed National Assembly tried to free a paedophile and a killer?). This creature sought exoneration on the grounds that his office writes 22,000 petitioning letters a year.

    Twenty two thousand, Minister, twenty two thousand, and all paid for by the state: as are his poor secretaries, the wretches.

    I presume – without being absolutely sure, Oh Slayer of a Hundred Leopards & Pleasurer of a Million Loins – that other TDs also write endlessly to people of influence. Which would suggest that Irish national politicians – never mind local councillors and other functionaries – send about two million begging letters a year. So how does government here function in such a corrupt culture of wheedling supplication and personal favouritism, and all of it, naturally, conducted in English?

    O Erect Sublimity, I no longer wish to know. I yearn for the ethical simplicities and transparent honesty of Sierra Leone, where people only say they speak languages they actually speak, and where politicians do not each write about five hundred letters a week in a language they pretend is not their own.

    Moreover, O Sage of The Tropics, I yearn too for the efficient free-flow traffic system of Freetown. To this end, humbly and desperately, I seek to return to my beloved country, away from this accursed land of pathological petitioners and bogus-Irish speakers.

    Is mise le meas,

    Toby Ornotobee

    Irish Independent[/i]

  • Roisin

    Belfast Gonzo,

    [i]IF you were annoyed by Newton Emerson’s criticism of certain social classes (and you were), you’re going to absolutely hate Kevin Myers in the Indo today.[/i]

    Thanks for making the connection between Emerson and Myers. Not only do both appear to share contempt for working class people (or lower-middles as Mr Emerson may prefer to define them) and all things Irish, but both have a history of racist ‘satire’ under their belts.

  • Slartibuckfast

    Roisin,

    You hanging out here now?

    I couldn’t even get past the second paragraph of that ‘outrageous’ Myarse article for boredom. Can’t believe people still get annoyed at him.

  • Roisin

    Slarti,

    Yes, at least until I get shown one of Mick’s big scary coloured cards. 🙂

    I don’t think it’s a case of Myers annoying people, more a case of him providing so much fodder for pointing and laughing at him.

  • Slartibuckfast

    He’s signed an Easter Proclamation with some other Independent Newspapers sycophants:

    http://www.5wwwww5.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=83&mforum=theshankillmoan

  • Informer

    You can post comments on Myers’ Indo article now, like a blog.

  • mickhall

    Myers is a bright lad, he understands perfectly the nasty prejudices of a majority of his middle class readership, and he does his best to enhance these prejudices by tailoring his articles accordingly. So I don’t think Pete is getting to the bone when he writes that many of us failed to get Myers point, we understood Myer’s only to clearly.

    The fact that Myers, along with a good few others flipped over when Neo liberalism became the norm in the 1980-90s reinforces my belief in the above.

  • joeCanuck

    “Not only do both appear to share contempt for working class people (or lower-middles as Mr Emerson may prefer to define them…”

    Yes, and I can’t help wondering if it’s because they are ashamed of their own background.

    Sad really. Myers rants more and more seem to me that they’ve been written by a sixth former trying, largely unsuccessfully, to show how clever he is.

  • Roisin

    Slarti,

    Cheers. I’m going to print that one out and stick it up on the partitionist wall of my 6 x 8 middle/lowermiddle/working class office cubicle.

  • Slartibuckfast

    Are you? Ha ha, nice one.

    Are you going to be staying away from DC for a while then? It has got very quiet and boring recently.

    I posted that link on Myarse’s blog too. It’ll be interesting to see if he allows the comment.

  • Roisin

    Be careful, Slarti. He might sue you for next week’s dole money.

    As to your question, yes, I’m growing quite fond of some of the pseudo-intellectual commentary and commentators here. Hoping some of it will rub off on me, then I might one day aspire to be middle class too. We live in hopeful times.

  • Greenflag

    So Father Jack Myarse hates the poor . One of the luxuries /benefits/spin offs of a public school education even if it was only Ampleforth .

    But to be fair to this closet sixth form comedian disguised as a journalist some of what he states does strike at the ‘truth’.

    And of course there are not a few in modern society who would prefer to run a mile from the harsh truth than accept the facts/numbers etc etc !

    Understandable of course somehow modern society only manages to muddle through with a mixture of half truth , fudge , white lie and pretence .

    Sure if it did’nt would’nt we all be at each other’s throat all of the time instead of ‘some ‘of the time . We should remember that our politicians ( con men and liars that many are ) are nevertheless the necessary excrement that keeps the body politic alive and functioning !

    You will only ever hear the full truth as somebody wise said – from fools or children .

    As Myarse is no longer in the sixth form one is left to conclude that he endeavours to attain ‘fool’ status .

    He’s on his way to success now that he graces the Indo 🙂 Next stop the Mail or the Sun no doubt !

    Has he taken to the drink or what or has the Paisley/Adams merger unhinged him !

    Shame -his Irishman Diaries were always worth a read .

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Soupersoupy: “I’m surprised he can note the possible subsidising of middle-class pursuits via the poor playing the lottery and not raise the much clearer discussion that all lotteries are in effect a disproportionate taxation of the poor. ”

    Mick Fealty: “Particularly in light of one of SS’s more serious contention that it is merely a way of the poor funding the middle classes. ”

    Actually, all the lottery is is a tax on the greedy and the terminally bad at math…

  • Jocky

    All he is doing is pointing out the cosy relationship between;

    1) the huge rump of people who were brought up as working class and now due to education and employment are now firmly middle class. Of which there none more dull than those inverse snobs who continue to maintain they are working class despite the ample evidence against the fact, and

    2) the current political trick first pulled off by New Labour of appealing to the middle class vot by shafting your working class core vote but still maintaining that vote purely by diunt that it has nowhere else to go. Just what do people think Gerry has been doing in DOwning street all these years, he’s been takling notes.

    The GFA was the outworkings of the long transformation, SF became SDLP, appealing to the new middle class while shafting their traidtional working class vote, all in the name of peace (neatly ignoring the why now, why not 10, 20, 30 years ago? ah it wasn’t to your policical advantage then, oh you dont like this being pointed out, sorry)
    The DUP becam the UUP (Dr No, No, No, go on then, see above)

    Fair enough if that’s what floats your boat but there nothing worse than the inverse snobbery of middle class people pretending they are still working class, especially if they continually whinge about being oppressed, Yeah oppressed all the way through a univeristy education, good job and a big house. Gie it a break.

    Some posters on here revel in it (middle-class-taig) while some aspire to be it (Gaskin) either unaware or uncaring of the inherent contradiction in their position that make them so ridiculous.

    Also, what’s wrong with middle class people sneering at working class poeple, everyone makes themselves feel better by thinking they are “better” of than Joe Schmo down the road. Look at all the sneering about “garden centre prods” “castle catholics” you get from the posters on here.

    It’s interesting times ahead, as sure as new labour are discovering their newly one middle class vote is getting their head turn by that nice boy David and their core vote is finally telling them to eff off after getting shafted for 12 years (even Scotland are) then the same will happen to SF and the DUP when the masses realise their new emperors are wearing no clothes, should only take about 8 years.

  • Greenflag

    Slartibuckfast,

    Are you hanging out here now too ?:)
    How are the boys and girls at DC ? Still foamimg away at the mouth as ever ?

    Keep well me oul segosha !

  • Roisin

    Jocky,

    [i]The GFA was the outworkings of the long transformation, SF became SDLP, appealing to the new middle class while shafting their traidtional working class vote, all in the name of peace[/i]

    Interesting commentary. Who do the working class vote for now?

  • Roisin

    Green(dub)flag,

    Debate Central is now firmly DUPer Central territory. How times change, eh.

    Our Slarti winds them like a cheap watch and the foam is enough to fill the holes in the ozone layer.

    Have you found any converts to repartition here yet?

  • Slartibuckfast

    Greenflag,

    Ah, still as ridiculous as ever. Am getting a bit sick of it too to tell you the truth. I like here but DC is the place for wind ups.

  • Slartibuckfast

    “Our Slarti winds them like a cheap watch and the foam is enough to fill the holes in the ozone layer.”

    LOL Was just thinking the same myself as you can see.

    Eoin has been banned again without warning.

    Anyway, have any of you’s ever came across this site before:

    http://myerswatch.blogspot.com/

  • Reader

    Roisin: Interesting commentary. Who do the working class vote for now?
    Several possible answers: (1) Who cares? (2) Does it matter? (3) Same as the last time. (4) Socialists (5) Conservatives. (6) Liberals. (7) Don’t bother voting, just watch TV. (8) Have a revolution instead. (9) Pick the best looking candidate.
    But if it comes to that, who should the middle class vote for? After a few years of real politics we might finally start to look for some real politicians.

  • Greenflag

    Roisin ,

    Our Slarti winds them like a cheap watch and the foam is enough to fill the holes in the ozone layer.

    Now that I can believe 🙂

    Have you found any converts to repartition here yet?

    More than will admit but in these new ‘hopeful ‘ times I don’t want to be a party pooper well not till the party is over anyway !

    DUPer central does not sound like fun ? Has Sabbath day posting been ‘banned ‘ yet ?:)

  • Greenflag

    ‘Ah, still as ridiculous as ever.”

    Somehow that doesn’t sound so bad – almost reassuring 🙂

    ‘ Am getting a bit sick of it too to tell you the truth.’

    There are only so many times one can go around the mulberry bush before deja vu becomes deja vu ad infinitum .

    ‘ I like here but DC is the place for wind ups. ‘

    Slugger is very polite and wind ups are frowned upon. But to be fair to Slugger some threads provoke thought from the contents of the head as opposed from those lower down organs 🙂

  • seanzmct

    Amidst the middle class male menopausal rant there are some uncomfortable home truths about the lumpenproletariat in Myers piece.

    Most posters above seemed to have missed the fact that Myers also had a go at the blazered Hooray Henrys of the Golf Clubs. So some credit for even-handedness if not objective sociological analysis.

  • Seán

    Should get Callaways. Mine behave excellently (unlike some people around here).

  • páid

    Still haven’t read a better description of the Lottery than the late John Kelly’s – a tax on imbeciles.

    It is difficult to comment on Myers and avoid ‘playing the man’.

    Tom McGurk made the point in the SBP, in reference to Mick McCarthy, that whatever about the DNA, one imbibes the values of the society in which one grew up.

    In Kevin Myers’ case, his upbringing was no doubt shaped in the playground of Christ The King RC Primary School in Leicester.

    The very bright Irish GP’s son knows more about Irish history, politics and culture than most and it is natural for him to want to link the world of his upbringing and the world in which he now lives. So the Irish participation in the British military pushes all his buttons.

    Crucially though, he adores WASP values: honour, decency, truth, modesty and straight talk.
    The native Irish peasant values of cunning, doubletalk, survival and primacy of emotion are anathema to our Kev.
    Thus modern Ireland, the gaucheness, the trophy bungalows, the corrupt planning, the disrespect for process are symptoms of a deep moral sickness, which I am sure Mr Myers suspects is deep-rooted in the native psyche. So deep-rooted, it causes him to despair.

    Kevin came to Dublin, and has settled in long-Anglicised Leinster. He never learned Irish, which annoys him, and never crossed the bridge back to his auld stock.
    He inhabits a limbo, and will die in it.

    A journey not completed due to the lack of his favourite virtue – courage.

  • JG

    “WASP values honour, decency, truth, modesty and straight talk.”

    Unlike Blair, the Guardian, The Mirror, The BBC, the people of NI.

  • páid

    point taken JG, but the values are valued nonetheless. And the values are different in WASP society as Barroso recently pointed out.

    Blair is a fine example of the old adage that if you can fake sincerity, you’ve cracked it.