West Belfast, social depravation and that fouled-up-in-the-works poverty strategy…

It’s just over three years ago since Squinter wrote that infamous column attacking Gerry Adams for sitting not sitting in Westminster and effectively ignoring the social problems of his own constituency. If you missed it, it is worth a reread before going to read Joe O’Neill wade through the latest official statistics which pretty much confirm that Squinter was not making it up…

Spreadsheets, Graphs, and a ‘statistical hors d’oeuvre’, usually have the effect of making my eyes glaze over and send most of us into a stupefying state. With this report however it is relatively easy to draw some simple assumptions. The first one is, that in the top 100 regions of the most deprived communities in Northern Ireland, the first four are in the constituency of the Member of Parliament for West Belfast. They would be: Whiterock 2; Whiterock 3; Falls 2; Falls 3; with Shankill rating number 6.

Joe then goes on to make the comparison with the Malone area of Belfast, a the quantitative differences are startling… On pretty much all socio economic measures we are talking top and bottom of the league tables… Including the pre-occupation of Squinter’s column, law and order:

Rank of Income Domain scores (where 1 is most deprived)

Malone 1 would score a whopping 883.
Whiterock 2 A grand total of 44
Whiterock 3 A grand total of 1

Employment Deprivation
Malone 861
Whiterock 2 & 3
11 and 1

Health Deprivation & Disability
Malone 880
Whiterock 2 & 3
1 and 4

Education, Skills and Training
Malone 866
Whiterock 2 & 3
78 & 9

Living Environment
Malone 589
Whiterock 2 & 3
26 & 141

Crime and Disorder
Malone 386
Whiterock 2 & 3
140 & 197

Children & Older People
Malone 838 & 888
Whiterock 2 & 3
90 & 1
50 & 13

To be fair to Mr Adams there is a limit to what any one MP can do. But after nearly three years of agitating around the policing and justice issue means that OFMdFM has been unable (or unwilling) to work up a draft poverty strategy. As Joe notes in Sammy Wilson’s statement of summer last year, it is not as though their partners in Stormont Castle are against targeting poverty.

A good strong policy debate on the subject is long overdue, never mind the development of a coherent strategy to at least begin tackling the problems which beset Mr Adams’ constituents, and those of his four party colleagues at Stormont. It represents at least one count in which communal politics and the jealous guarding of land and other public resources has served the Northern Irish public particularly poorly…

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  • Michaelhenry

    gerry adams has got a far better record than the robinsons,but gerry adams is also proudly catholic,so he will not swear an oath to the crown like squinter and those other sell outs want him to do.

  • Mick Fealty

    Michael,

    You really need to start playing the ball, rather than taking big chunks out of people who you don’t agree with. Please take this as it is meant: as a gentle warning.

  • articles

    Helicopter, Mr Adams.

  • andnowwhat

    As someone from the Falls but who hasn’t lived there for a five years, I can really see that it has gone dramatically backwards as far as I can see.

    I’m not attacking the people but the place looks dirtier, the shops look tacky and unkempt and even places like Dunville Park look messier.

    I’m sure all those in the SF office are doing ok though (which is another mess as is the WBF office etc.)

  • Garza

    Gerry Adams is the strangest “socialist” I have ever seen thats for sure.

    If Scottish and Welsh nationalists can take up their seats in Westminister (even reluctantly but for the good of their constituents) I fail to see why Irish nationalists can’t.

  • andnowwhat

    BTW, IRSP, your office is no beauty spot either. Sort it out the lot of you. If there’s one tiny thing things parties can do it’s to keep their own propertys in good and attractive order and not some tattered posters ridden eyesore

  • andnowwhat

    Sorry about my typing. I’ve man flu and looking at my screen through my owm personal mist

  • NMCNSA

    West Belfast, social depravation and that fouled-up-in-the-works poverty strategy has less to do has less to do with government and more to do with poor parenting skills.
    One only has to look at the mobs of young lads with blue bags and the teenage mothers to see whats wrong with touchy feely Britain.
    People can talk about social depravation all they like but the lack of ambition of many parents is the main problem, more interested in getting to the bookies and the pub than seeing their children get to Oxford!
    Its time these people took some of the blame instead of taking part the society blame game!

  • sdelaneys

    Michaelhenry swore an oath
    Not to swear an oath;
    Said ewe can go and be a sheep
    But Gerry’ll be a goat,
    Yes, Gerry’ll be a goat.
    West Belfast can fail
    But Gerry’s a gael
    Who never took the oath.
    West Belfast may be cold
    But truth to be told,
    Bold Gerry’s got the coat,
    Yes, Gerry’s got the coat.
    If your trousers are thin
    And your shoes worn out
    Just look on high and shout and cry
    As gerry choppers about,
    How happy are we in our misery
    For Gerry took no oath.

  • Cynic2

    As we say of SF in Belfast – you cant polish a Turd but you can always roll it in green white and gold glitter

  • Alias

    If you look at the SOA dociles for Mid Ulster, Fermanagh and South Tyrone, West Tyrone, Newry and Armagh in Table 1 (other UK Parliament constituencies where the Shinners have seats), you won’t see the same correlation between absenteeism and social deprivation, so it’s a non sequitur to claim causation.

    However, the Shinners will assume their seats in their mother parliament in due course, but they have to lead the reintegration of their tribe into the UK in a way that leaves as few of them behind as possible or they use their usefulness to their handlers. So it’s a bit crude to try and kick the poor dears further along the road to reintegration that it is wise to travel at this time by spuriously linking such ‘normalisation’ with a boom in prosperity for their constituents and correspondingly linking its absence to their social deprivation.

  • andnowwhat

    I’ll agree to some degree with you NMCNSA, depravation has nothing to do with paiting crap on your neighbourhood’s walls, not taking care of yourself and not being a responsible parent.

    I’ve been in seriously deprived places around the world including Asia and South America and the vast majority of the poor there make sure that, if nothing else, their prise in themselves is apparent for all to see (well combed hair, neatly pressed clothes and a proud demeanor).

  • Cynic2

    But the reverse may be true, although there are exceptions.

    In the past, and with a real social conscience, I actively employed some people from both sides of the peaceline in West Belfast who had been long term unemployed and supposedly seeking work and a way off the dole. It was generally a disaster. Poor timekeeping (often we suspected due to drugs or drink), poor personal hygiene, poor attitude and an inability to work as part of a team or communicate with customers.

    It was the same with males and females, although in our experience the females were generally better on hygiene and communication, thought often they seemed to be supporting a layabout who spent all day watching TV at at home while they were out working and who would incessantly call them.

    We have recruited some real gems form both sides of the community and in the most difficult areas in Belfast, Derry and Newry. But there are huge problems with a large unemployable rump in all these areas.

    Also every time we advertise jobs we get lists and lists of names from the job centre asking how these applicants did at their interviews. We have never heard of them but they have spun the DSS a yarn to try and keep their benefits

  • joeCanuck

    So which is it to be?
    Depravation ▸ verb: corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
    Deprivation ▸ noun: a state of extreme poverty
    Bit of both perhaps. I’m disappointed that there are no sexual tidbits.

  • It would be good to see GA and MMcG take their seats at Westminster. In the event of a hung parliament, the nationalists will have the opportunity to influence and wield power.

    If there is a hung parliament the Scots and Welsh will be in there doing the best they can for their electorate and bragging about it to anyone who will listen. What will our intrepid heroes be doing. Why they will be sitting on their dignity and the only people listening to them, if anyone bothers at all, will be their own supporters.

    My little blog mentions this. Not a hope of course and its sad we are so narrow. Its we who lose. No one else.

  • Manfarang

    Cynic2
    I am sure you are an equal opportunity employer but next time you place a job advert state that only non-smoker, teetotal, vegetarians need aply.

  • Fearglic

    My house is for sale. Trying to get out of West Belfast the place I’ve lived since I was born. It has loads of promise but remains a dump.

  • union mack

    It’s interesting to note that these areas have the highest level of deprivation in Belfast, despite the fact that the West has by far the most appropriate housing quality. Inner South Belfast has astonishingly poor social housing by comparison, yet areas like Blackstaff still fare better by this index. Adams can no longer play the discrimination card, that went long ago. The responsibility now lies squarely with elected representatives to work for their communities, not just cry discrimination and hope someone else does something

  • Garza

    I agree union mack. If NI voted according to performance Adams would have been out on his arse a long time ago. Its the only part of Belfast that has went backwards not forwards during the peace process.

  • Border Fox

    Sinn Fein have reached their voting high watermark. The only way forward is to end abstentionism as espoused by Bernadette Devlin in 1969. Core SDLP voters like to be represented in Parliament… SIMPLES !

  • andnowwhat

    I think the SDLP truely shot themselves in the foot when Hendron appealed to the people of the Shankhill to help get rid of Adams. That was just so stupid.

    I think Adams will gight this election and move on/retire in a year or 2. I think/hope he realises that bread and butter politics are not for him.

  • union mack

    now that we have some kind of ‘secure’ peace, the focus now has to come down to politicians performance. Robinson has done little for people in the Inner East, and hopefully the public will be allowed to scrutinise the records of our politicians in future contests. I hate to agree with Jim Allister, I REALLY do, but he has a very fair point – the record of service of most of our politicians has been abysmal. Service is not measured in years elected, but in what is achieved. He was a very good, diligent, hard-working MEP – hence his high personal vote in the Euros. Hopefully the other politicians elected from this election get the work ethic required. A hard working MP can make a massive difference to a constituency.

  • andnowwhat

    True Union. It seems the emporor(s) have no clothes.

  • Munsterview

    Posted by Cynic2 on Apr 07, 2010 @ 11:25 AM

    Unfortunately your experience with potential employees from deprived areas is not unique and could be repeated with a similar cross section of long term unemployed from deprived areas in Cork, Limerick of Dublin etc.

    It should not be incumbent on you or any other employer, especially in these times to teach basic social skills and neither can a person encultured into long term unemployment, with few exceptions, be brought straight into a work environment.

    Organizations like Fas in the South are vital in bridging this gap between what is ‘normal’ in lifestyles in long term unemployment and a normal working life. This environment is the place to sort out issues like timekeeping, personal hygiene, work attitude etc. This is why it is vital that these pre work schemes are well funded and properly resourced if these poverty cycles are to be broken.

  • I heard Mick Fealty say when he was over in the US, something like, the DUP and SF are great at running elections campaigns, but hopeless at getting things done. I think these figures from West Belfast makes his statement spot on.

    For all Gerry’s trips to the USA, he seems to have learnt little about pork barrelling, for a party leader who has such a high opinion of himself, you should be able to eat your dinner off the pavements of his constituency.

    A good constituency MP, is more than getting a constituent on the housing list or gaining them the correct benefits, it is getting government to target you home base with new infrastructure and employment project, etc.

  • The statistics are disturbing, but most stats can be made to get up and dance for whoever the statisticians represent.

    I believe most of the people who live in those areas would swear black is white that they are better off now than they were twenty years ago. And, in many respects they would be right. What is not factored into the stats is equality, pride and self esteem.

    BTW Munsterview why should you think working class people need assistance with personal hygiene, time keeping etc? If I remember correctly the UK has many, many job creation schemes. Did it occur to you that a job creation scheme creates jobs for those who run it and a lot of unemployed people find that, not inconsiderable, fact galling!

    I think it comes down to best interest. Is it in Gerry Adams best interest to have an upwardly mobile forthright electorate. Or could it perhaps be, that with so many skeletons in the closet, poverty and deprivation are a pretty good way of making sure the door stays shut. He is not the only one in the dock on this. His colleagues are right up there with him and even his SDLP adversary. Could it be they find it easier to preach the politics of deprivation to those who are undeniably deprived.

  • Catherine

    These are the very statistics I was talking about last week during the 2000 quid- Adams Helicopter excursion debate here on slugger.

    It is an abomination. Gerry Adams’ representation is for himself, his family and no one else.

    However, so long as the citizens of poor areas keep voting along sectarian patterns, against their own economic interests (just like the poor of America did in the 2000 and 2004 elections), the likes of Adams will continue to fly over the heads to meet the likes of the contemptible Ben Dunne.

    I wonder if Gerry has been provided with a copy of this to read on his Easter Holiday?

    Shame!

  • Lionel Hutz

    How is that man still standing? I just dont understand it at all. What good does he do? He doesn’t make any decisions whatsoever, he’s not in the executive, he’s not in the dail, he’s not at westminster. He takes a seat in the assembly and thats it.

    He allows his constituency to remain one of the most uneasy places to walk though, even drive through in northern Ireland.

    He’s a pathological liar. He cannot admit his past, he murdered people or ordered their murder or both. He protected his brother, the peadophile, he kept peadophilia scandal at bay in a every bit as disgraceful way as the CHurch.

    He pretends to be a real republican even though he did nothing to achieve that aim. His IRA has tarnished our flag, our anthem, our republic and set back united Ireland by a generation. He changes his politics to whatever gives him a salary.

    He is an intellectual lightwieght. He cannot handle himself in a serious political debate and I will be shocked even he even attempts one this election. His faux intellectual blog makes me want to throw with its pretentious meandorings and patronising pronouncements of enemies of the Republicanism and the peace process.

    HOw is Ed Maloney anti-republican by the way. I’ve just finished the Brendan Hughes part of the book and it comes across as personally sympathetic and doesn’t judge the paramilitarism whatsoever. Where is the smear? Is saying GA is in the IRA a smear, and if so on who?

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    In the US the Irish politican is known for taking care of one’s neighborhood and people. It is how the Irish grew politically and became a force in American politics. Gerry Adams does not take care of his neighborhood or people. With all his time getting investments for the north of Ireland…his area should be a place of high employment and renovated neighborhoods. What has occured is an arrogance of power and subtle threats. Gerry gets votes not by his deeds but by making people think if they do not vote for him…the area will tumble out of control and the country will once again be gripped in fear and bombs. As for not taking his seat…it is similiar to campaigning to be voted prom king at the dance but then refusing to go after winning. If sinn fein states like they do…politics is the way forward but then refuses to participate in a body of politics they are duly elected to serve…then they really do not believe politics is the way forward. So who is the true dissidants to politics?

  • Catherine

    If we are to measure ( as someone did in this discussion) Adams’ performance against that of the Robinsons- then Adams and SF have really hit rock bottom. The Robinson name has become synonymous with corruption and deceit- Adams’ with lies, murder, mayhem, family paedophilia etc etc.

    It is true that the working class if East Belfast fare no better under the Robinson’s but no one can ever argue again that Gerry Adams or indeed Sinn Fein are of any benefit to the people of West Belfast.

    All through the troubles, I heard men and women talk of the working class across the divide being deliberate kept at each others throats so that the powers that be could enrich themselves.

    If ever there was a time when we have evidence of this, it is now.

    It is time for us all to revisit the speeches of Bernadette Devlin who STILL works with the poor and disenfrachised around Dungannon. Whether you agree with her or not on the national question, there is no denying that she is making a difference in the lives of those who need the assistance.

    We need a complete rethink. Whatever improvements in our lot we need to pocket them and use them to creat a wholesome society that just ATTEMPTS to meet the real needs of the citizenry.

    Our enemy has and always will be sectarianism- trotted out by the Robinson’s and Adams’ to line their own pockets.

  • Kathy C

    Would it were the same here! Regrettably one of the things British and Irish politicians have in common is a first snout in the trough mentality. It is across the board, check the recent er, problems of the Robinsons.

    I am inclined to agree with you about taking seats at Westminster. If it was good enough for Bernadette Devlin, a better person than any of the current nationalist MPs, it is good enough for the likes of GA and MMcG.

  • Catherine

    Kathy,

    ” Gerry gets votes not by his deeds but by making people think if they do not vote for him…the area will tumble out of control and the country will once again be gripped in fear and bombs.”

    The politics of FEAR! As mastered by Dick Cheney and George Bush.

    Who is Adams and what are Sinn Fein really? Does anyone really know? What do they believe in any more? What did they ever believe in?

  • Catherine

    I think its fairly true to say they believe in survival. Problem is it seems the only real survival they care about may be their own.

    We owe GA and MMcG for the peace we have all enjoyed for years, but it may well be that during these peaceful years some members of S/F (and of course other parties) have been putting themselves and not their communities first.

  • mutley

    It is no surprise that people continue to vote for Gerry Adams, simply because there is no alternative out there, that promises to improve the social and economic situation for the people of West Belfast.
    Its a bit like the situation in the South. People are getting shafted, but because there is no one proposing an alternative, the South of Ireland has been free from street riots over NAMA.
    Until there is a viable alternative to Gerry Adams, he is free to make the most outrageously Ironic comments on his blog, and few in West Belfast will turn round and ask him the question he is asking Unionists

    ” this blog will be asking all of you who are unionist to consider your
    future; to consider what the union has meant and now means for you and your family; what it offers you in the future? If you live in the lower Shankill or Springmartin,or Ballymena or in Fermanagh South Tyrone; what has the union delivered for you? How have your unionist politicians represented you? Can Sinn Féin do better? Would Irish unity give you greater control over your own destiny and deliver a better quality of life for you and your children?”

    http://leargas.blogspot.com/2010/04/game-on.html

  • Lionel Hutz

    Catherine according to GA,

    they believe in em health, social housing, policing an justice and equality.

    What that means, I’m not exactly sure?

    The truth is that Sinn Fein are just about nice words. Education is just the latest example. Ruane wants equality and noo discrimionation in the education system so she does away with the unfair system and leaves a vacuum causing a free for all which makes more inequality and unfair treatment.

    They are inept. The trick is to whip up a crisis in hillsborough every now and then so no-one will notice. The Dup and SF are in a conspriacy. They have to be. How else can the be do or die talks about devolving p & j when both of them wanted the same thing

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    Hi Catherine, I think gerry adams is a man who talks the talk to make money for himself and family yet does not walk the walk. A very telling aspect of the man– back a few years ago in the US George Bush wanting to put political pressure on gerry adams….had gerry adams striped searched in the airport. Now we see the results of that—gerry adams even in his blog told about taking the train because it is less evasive than airports. The man can be easily frightened and intimidated thus he can be manipulated. He also loves the trappings of power. Now if that is who the people elect—then they should accept the fact he doesn’t help them better their neighborhoods or pocket book. If they want change…then they should change who they vote for.

  • Catherine

    Pip,

    I just can not buy the argument that we owe GA or MMcG anything for ‘the peace.’

    No offense to you persoanlly, because I see a lot of people saying it- I think it is an absolutely ludicrous suggestion.

    Perhaps it is more accurate to say that Republicans owe them for ‘Defeat’ of all their aspirations and tenets.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Pippakin,

    I also don’t think that we owe anything to Sinn Fein. For a start, they were really cajoled into it by others and will we should also praise the fact that Sinn Fein have left the guns behind them, if we owe anything to politicians, we would owe it to those politicians that facilitated their return from the cold.

    Similarly, its laughable that the DUP should be owed anything for peace.

    Its kind of like if two kids are creating a racket in a classroom and are eventually pursuaded to stop, do the other children owe them for the peaceful environment they enjoy? I don’t think so.

  • Catherine

    I do understand where you are coming from. A lot of republicans feel the same. My opinion is clear: GA and MMcG worked hard to get the public on board, rightly or wrongly, depending on your political point of view. I believe this peace has saved lives and I do not believe it has endangered republicanism. In fact some dissidents are so angry some might say it has renewed republicanism!

    I do not and have never believed violence will get us what we want. All it will get us is more dead, more maimed people, who do not deserve such a fate.

    If we look at the areas run by loyalists and republicans during the troubles what we see are terrible places where a few thugs ruled and outrageous crimes were committed by people who even now think they will escape the law. I do not believe any of us want to see that again.

    I respect your opinion as a republican but look about you who among your family and friends are you willing to lose.

  • LabourNIman

    It fails me that after x number of years of Adams being an elected politician, people are only catching on to the fact that he has done bugger all other than fly around america raising money.

    Still, I welcome the debate however the question is, what needs to happen for WB to realise they don’t need him or any other half issue politicians?

  • Lionel Hutz

    I agreed with your previous comment 3# but I do think S/F offer, at the moment the best hope for a united Ireland in the not too distant future. If one of the major parties in the south were to get off their idealogical backsides and campaign in the north, it would be different, for now S/F is the best we offer.

    BTW you are right S/F were cajoled/coerced into it by those who pointed out the military facts of life. It is the same now, only more so.

    As for the DUP virtually the same argument applies, only reversed. Unionists vote for them as not the best party for the union, but as they see it, the only one.

    We have got to reach across the sectarian divide and we cannot do that if we are blowing each other up.

  • Alias

    Well, you know, you all collectively decided that some of the worst scumbags in the UK were fit and proper people to govern you, so you pretty much lose any remnants of credibility when you then turn around and complain about how unfit and improper your government is. If you want capable people to govern you, then you should try electing them.

    And yes I know… people in glasses houses and all that.

  • Catherine

    Pip:

    It almost like being robbed and thanking the robber for not murdering me.

  • Alias

    Just tell me what is so precious about F/F and F/G that they cannot campaign in the north, what is their problem? Out here in the real world we offer S/F or nothing. The SDLP dont really count and anyway are not good enough.

  • Catherine

    And you think I dont know that! It hurts! I am actually defending someone who may have covered up child abuse! ME! and yet what else is there, elect him ok, but if he is found to have colluded in the cover up of rape or child abuse, then he must stand trial and if found guilty I hope they throw the key away.

  • Catherine

    Pip,

    I understand how you feel really.

    The problem is- this is what we are being governed by. Across the board.

    Corruption, murder, rape of a child, child abuse ( let’s not forget that Meehan child abuse story that made the hair stand on our colective heads!), lies, deceit, treachery…… we could go on and on without even coming to one positive applicable attribute in the ‘assembly.’

    THIS is what governs us. The levels of poverty in West and East Belfast and across NI are the result- along with bitter divisions, educational chaos, private sector collapse/non existence.

    Inward investment? Where is it? The one real attempt collapsed- in failure at best- or due to corrupt, inept practises, at worst.

    Carry On Politics.

  • Catherine

    It is an appalling list of failure, incompetence, indifference and downright corruption, on all sides!

    It is also the result of forty, at least years of armed struggle. No party is above reproach. All politicians seem to have their snout in the trough, some admittedly deeper than others.

    I hope that as we grow accustomed to peace and the children grow up without the fear and hatred permanently on display, people will make choices for the right reasons. If they do we have great hopes of a united Ireland.

  • union mack

    There has been much inward investment to West Belfast, and none of it has succeeded. Why not? Did West Belfast bust it’s balls to prove it was worth the investment, or did GA provide everyone with an escape route when employment was lost by saying that it was typical of the bias against the west? When i lose a job, I go look for another. It’s high time the people of west Belfast, east Belfast etc put a politician in who will bust their balls to improve their conditions, rather than wrap themselves in whatever colour of rag and talk about the border. If you want more of the same, vote the same. People say there is no alternative? There bloody well is, vote for an independent, another party, stand yourself. If SF and DUP see a drip drip of voters away from them, they’ll have to address it. At least some unionists have seen through the DUP, but nationalists seem hypnotised by that lying big bastard Adams. Don’t vote for, then complain about, then vote for.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Pippakin,

    I would be interested to know how you think Sinn Fein offer the best way for a United Ireland. (that’s not rhetorical, I’m genuinely interested)

    In my view, the official republican movement’s easter message had alot of truth in it. We have to reach over the divide to achieve not just a shared future but a shared future in a United Ireland. The two aims are codependant. In other words, the most successful way to achieve a United Ireland, and within that a United Ireland that we all would want, is not to sit and wait for catholics to be 50% + 1.

    We have to make the British citizens on the island atleast warm to the idea of a United Ireland. There have been little movements that will make unionists warm to the republic. It could be concilliatory moves by the politicians in the Republic themselves. It could also be social matters such as Irish Rugby playing at Croke Park. Small but these things can bring this community together.

    My point is that Sinn Fein are a big obstacle for all unionists. As long as they tarnish the flag, there is little to warm to. Apart from anything else, the inept way in which they handle their posts in the Executive would make any Unionist believe that politically, we are better off in the Union.

    If you compared that to the SDLP, who have been offering a shared vision for some time, the unionists in many cases even vote for them. They are the type of party who can make a United Ireland more palatable. FF or FG may have a chance if they came up but SF have simply no chance of bringing us closer to a United Ireland.

    All they are worth is a badge, so that irishmen and women in northern Ireland romantic about resistance from the Easter Rising to the hunger strikes can call themselves republican (and by republican, I mean the Irish Republicanism, which equates roughly to Brits out, not some egalitarian vision)

  • Cynic2

    Isn’t this a circular argument?

    I agree that they are a mostly a collection of self serving numpties who shouldn’t be allowed near a whelk stall. But who elected them? We did!!!

    Still…..nice flags

    and I say again

    You cannot polish a turd …..but you can roll it in glitter (Chose colour by party affiliation)

  • Catherine

    So each and everytime what we come up with is ‘we’ elected them. A circular discussion indeed.

    So where do we go from here. Is there anyone out there making any serious efforts to form non sectarian hard core political groups that are willing to take on the inept disgrace we are currently ‘represented’ by?

    Anyone?

  • “So which is it to be?”

    Depravation fits the bill too, Joe.

    depravation – moral perversion; impairment of virtue and moral principles; “the luxury and corruption among the upper classes”; “moral degeneracy followed intellectual degeneration”; “its brothels, its opium parlors, its depravity”; “Rome had fallen into moral putrefaction”

    Now who could be a member of the upper classes in West Belfast? 😉

  • Lionel Hutz

    I genuinly think SDLP and UUP would make a better fist of it. They never got a chance. They were in control during the infancy of the assembly and had to contend with Sinn Fein procrastination and DUP shouting and bellowing. The exectutive never got up and running in that period and in many respects much of the blame lies with SF and DUP.

    It has been in the last 5 years of so where we have seen this assembly in a position to work at real politics. Its been a disaster.

    The Finance Minister, uses his position to pick fights with everyone.

    The Culture minister just uses position to favour unionist projects and rub catholic projects noses in it.

    SF have had twelve years to think about what they would put in place of academic selection and seem to have decided upon nothing and then rub Unionists nose in it.

    I could go on. Although I do say that Michelle Gildernew is quite good apart from the odd opportunistic swipe, most SF minister have been disasters and most DUP ministers have been the most obnoxious unworkable idiots.

    And to be fair, DSD has been working quite well and Health, despite its financial problems is also making great improvements. ANd all quietly and effectively.

  • union mack

    Well, I’ve not elected them. I voted for UU and SDLP candidates. Those parties have three ministers making unassuming but steady progress in their departments, particularly in health I must say. There is no flag waving from Margaret Ritchie in her department. These are the kind of people needed in government. Yes, theyre dull. No, theyre not so thoroughly draped in flags and the rhetoric of the past. No, they don’t take a them-and-us approach to most things. Only two SF/DUP ministers have performed anyway well – Foster and Gildernew, both in relatively uncontentious departments it might be added. The agreement is complete. Now devolution has to work. Forget the constitutional question for now. There are more important things (there always have been)

  • Catherine

    Again the obvious lesson appears to be, that when there is less flag waving-there is more visible work taking place. ( The old adage- we can’t eat flags applies).

    It is further evidence if any is needed that sectarian politcs serves none of us- especially those on the ‘bottom rungs’ of the economic ladder.

    Union and Mack, I agree with your analysis for the most part.

  • Lionel Hutz

    I agree with you, but S/F have the bigger electorate at the moment, and still have some republican clout in some quarters.

    The SDLP need to grow up a bit before they can represent on a nationwide basis. However if they join with Labour I will become a staunch supporter, overnight!

    In the meantime, and failing any viable alternative we are stuck with S/F, and to be fair if they can but rid themselves of the barnacles of years of violence, they may well become a party of considerable substance.

    Cynic2

    I take it you have had some polishing practice then? This is Ireland, of course its a circular argument! Lucky we put the saw away eh…

  • union mack

    Catherine,

    I have been doing research lately on the number of non-essential directives issued by ministers in the Executive. When done, will make for interesting reading.

    Refer to NI as ‘here’
    Refer to NI as ‘the North’
    Contact the education minister through her email account which ends in .ie

    Pathetic. Time wasting. Needless. None of these things matter to the people. I’m working on chasing up the DUP ministers…

    When you’re worried about what procedure your kid will have to go through in the transfer process, who is going to say, yeah it’s a mess, but at least we can contact Catriona on her .ie email address. Thats something

  • Catherine and Union Mack

    I completely agree with both of you, except I am not sure the SDLP are up to greater things, and I regret Mark Durkans retirement.

  • union mack

    what greater things are SF up to? we need dull, diligent, interested, hard-working, consensus-building politicians, not soundbite politicians like Conor Murphy and Nigel Dodds. What greater things have they brought us?

  • Lionel Hultz

    Again we are in agreement. We have amongst this little thread, consensus. We hate the greedy bastards!

    union mack

    Whilst I, obviously, have no objection to the ie email address I do agree the lady has been less than impressive. The north needs someone who understands all its complexities and should at least know what the arguments are.

  • union mack

    I have no objection to it either, but was it necessary when she had so many major issues to deal with? It’s the pointless and, as Alan Partridge might say saaaaaaaaaaaaaaad little pointscoring exercises which they appear to be more interested. McCausland is vying with Ruane for most immature politician of the decade

  • union mack

    Na, no contest mate, Catriona wins it by a mile. It takes real savagery to mess with childrens education. Its not as if she cares which children, which I can only describe as typical.

  • old school

    Maybe PSF want West Belfast and Derry to remain in social deprivation, so they can go cap in hand to the E.U, U.S fund for Ireland, Social fund etc for grants for the “community groups” that they control.
    The vast majority of PSF members are reliant on community grants. Without figures of high poverty, they’d be losing funds.
    Adams had the ear of Clinton, Bush and now Obama, he dined in the Waldorf Astoria with top business men,yet his Constituency has concurrently degraded.
    This has to be explained to me.

  • union mack

    as I said before, these areas infrastructurally are much better off than Sandy Row, The Village, Donegall Pass. Yet are still more socially deprived. West Belfast has a much higher rate of inward investment than these areas, yet is more socially deprived. It’s too much of a coincidence. I had some uni friends from the south up the Falls, and they were shocked at the state of it. Until I drove them down Broadway…

  • old school

    I think you may be closer to the truth than some would be prepared to admit. As I said earlier the best way to campaign about deprivation is to make sure the electorate remain deprived…

  • Cynic2

    Union Mack

    How many UUP members are

    * female

    * under 60?

    I was talking to a UUP ‘activist’ recently. He was apoplectic on one issue. ‘We’ll have no weemin standing here anyway’ and politically unable to see beyond the end of the next hedgerow

  • old school

    Most of the investment money is syphoned off by “community groups” Like funds for Africa, most is lost in administration and and paying workers. Little of the money actually benefits the community.
    Some of these workers are “ghost workers”. Their name is registered as a worker, they receive a salary paid by Government aid, but they do not exist as a worker.
    Some of the money paid to these “ghost workers” is syphoned off to a particular political party.
    If ALL the money from Europe, America, the 26 Counties Government, American philanthropists etc
    went directly to the community, it would be one of the most affluent areas in Ireland.

  • Cynic2

    It should be enough to convince most unionists they would not be happy in the UK, regrettably I am not sure that prehistoric attitude would find much favour here either.

    old school

    This is the result of allowing these little fiefdoms to exist for so long. It is shameful and needs to be cleaned out!

  • union mack

    Cynic2

    most activists for most parties here can’t see past the next hedgerow. activists are not the people in executive power. as for women, got no real idea, though as far as i know 4 of the 18 CU candidates are women. Now, it may not be enough, but DUP and SF have promoted women to the forefront, it doesnt mean theyre doing a good job as a party.

    ps. i am not a UUP apologist, you asked me a question

  • Impartial Reporter

    Below are the Contents of a letter put through a friends door in West Belfast last night. (this friend is a life long DUP voter).


    XXXXXXXXXXXXX
    XXXXXXXXXXXXX
    XXXXXXXXXXXXX
    XXXXXXXX

    2010 is your chance to Vote for Change

    Dear XXXXX

    Are you sick of politicians, their double (and often triple) jobbing? Their love of money and their lack of work?

    Are you sick of the constant fighting between our politicians? The childish bickering about one or two issues while they completely ignore the important issues like Employment, Education, Crime and Debt?

    West Belfast has the second highest rate of unemployment in Northern Ireland, more than double the unemployment of East Belfast. Since 2005 Unemployment in West Belfast has increased by over 50% – placing more and more families in the ‘benefits trap’.

    I decided just over a year ago that I have had enough of sitting and complaining about our politicians, I decided that if we want to change things for the better then ordinary people have got to get involved.

    For the last five years I have worked with the Simon Community, in this time I have seen just how badly some of us have been let down by our politicians, both in Stormont and at Westminster.

    I have been shocked, time and time again, at how easily our young people, families and our elderly are being ignored into poverty and despair.

    That is why I have decided to stand as your Conservatives and Unionists candidate for West Belfast, the time for ‘Orange versus Green’ politics is over, we are all suffering the effects of a Dysfunctional Executive in Stormont and an incompetent Government in Westminster, we need change.

    If I am elected as your MP I promise you that I will work for every citizen, I will work to make sure that you get the representation you deserve.

    This is not an empty promise, like you, I have grown more and more disgusted by the inability of those we have voted into power to provide us with even the most simple leadership – I want change.

    This election you will, for the first time, have a chance to select the party who will be in charge at Westminster, a party who will work to improve the opportunities of those stuck in the benefits trap, a party who want to see Northern Ireland get the support and representation it deserves.

    For the last 13 years the Labour government has raised taxes and borrowed money like there is no tomorrow – next year the interest we pay on our national debt will be more than we will spend on education – this must stop!

    I am asking you, for the good of your family and your community, to vote for change. If you do I am promising you that I will be a full time representative, doing a full time job – I will not get involved in the childish name calling and lie telling – I promise to be the public representative you deserve.

    Please do not stay at home on election day, if we want change, if we want better for our children and grandchildren, then ordinary people like you and me need to make a stand.

    If you would like to contact me to discuss your concerns or issues, or would like to know more about my Vote for Change campaign in West Belfast, please contact me.

    But most importantly, on election day please VOTE FOR CHANGE.

    Thank you for your time

    This was addressed to my friend (and two other copies were delivered to his wife and son) and was delivered by hand in an area where DUP (or UUP for that matter) have not been seen for a while.

    Someone seems to be doing their homework – I know it impressed my friend and his wife.

  • It sounds impressive, but if I were them I too would do my ‘homework’.

  • Mick Fealty

    That’ll be Bill Mainwaring: he knows his stuff. Smart politics.

  • old school

    “The time for Orange vs Green politics is over. By the way I’m your Orange candidate.
    Vote Conservative and Unionist.”

  • “Today we have addressed the main issues that have separated the two communities for almost one hundred years, we have at last created a democratic and acceptable resolution to the historical differences.” .. Bill Manwaring

    Ah yes, New Stormont and the 50%+1 tug-of-war. So that’s a resolution. Oh,dear.

  • Scaramoosh

    Gerry knows that if he took the people on planet West Belfast out of poverty, he would never again be
    able to play the oppressed card and they would all vote SDLP.

  • BigBossBoo

    It is quite amazing that even with these figure the people will still keep voting SF at every election. If these figures were anywhere else in Ireland or Britain the sitting MP would be out on their ass!!

    Either they dont want to know, or they are happy being 2nd class citizens! i refuse they are blinded by a UI agenda and republicanism!

    I dont blame SF for this…… they do what they do, why fix something that get u elected! The SDLP need new representation in WB simple as that!!!

    If these figures can come out and they dont get one extra figure because of it…..it simply means Attwood as failed them. Time for him to move on and let someone else have a shot!!! he needs to get his head out of policy and into the community! Shame on the SDLP.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Pippakin,

    It is great to have consensus on a thread. I wonder if any SF members are watching.

    Gerry’s time is coming to an end. It does seem important to the rewriting of history project SF have been undertaking that people are reminded how badly West Belfast was hurt. They try to blur the lines between the understandable and justifiable defence of communities by the IRA or any militia that would have been there and the appalling offensive murder campaign that was the IRAs real goal. The latter involved inviting attacks on their own community to bolster support, the needless suicide missions that usually young idealistic volunteers were ordered to undertake (including the hunger strikes) and the murder of innocent Protestants in NI and GB. That’s not to mention the disgusting community policing that in many ways violated Catholics rights every bit as much as the unionists and Orangemen did. All under the guise of ‘you need us!’ It was like a mafia protection racket to ‘save’ you from the other mob.

    I know many see SF as the best indeed the only option for Irish. Personally as long as the process I describe above continues, I would never even consider voting for them. For that reason alone SDLP get my vote and because as irritating as some of the sdlp can be, I think they are normally quite good honest affable politicians who have decent policies and their record in the executive is actually quite good.

  • Lionel Hutz

    I so agree with you. The problem is I think the SDLP are almost too nice!

    The SDLP may grow under Ritchie, she had to be the one who ‘leaked’ a few months ago, that was a sign, with any luck, of someone prepared to do what it takes.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Sorry B/B cuts me off, to contue:

    I miss Durkan he had honour and respectability, and I do admire that. Trouble is in the north of all places I dont think its enough.

  • Lionel Hutz

    All of that is true pippakin. However I do believe that the political landscape is changing. Scandals now concentrate on politicians’ financial irregularities not on politicians appearing to be weak champions of their tribe. The main gripes we have with our politicians is their incompetence on real political issues. I do feel that most of the time people live a shared future. Election time doesn’t seem to be included as unionist unity campaigns show but it won’t be long coming in my view.

    Actually I think that Westminster campaigns may for many reasons continue to be tribal, due to mainly the voting system and the fact that they don’t have much of an impact I. the commons. I strongly believe that though that assembly campaigns will start to become fought on performance in the executive. The next assembly election will be the first time we have really had a mostly uninterrupted term to remember. There will be many sticks and stones in the assembly floor there to be thrown.

  • Lionel Hutz

    All of that is true pippakin. However I do believe that the political landscape is changing. Scandals now concentrate on politicians’ financial irregularities not on politicians appearing to be weak champions of their tribe. The main gripes we have with our politicians is their incompetence on real political issues. I do feel that most of the time people live a shared future. Election time doesn’t seem to be included as unionist unity campaigns show but it won’t be long coming in my view.

    Actually I think that Westminster campaigns may for many reasons continue to be tribal, due to mainly the voting system and the fact that they don’t have much of an impact I. the commons. I strongly believe that though that assembly campaigns will start to become fought on performance in the executive. The next assembly election will be the first time we have really had a mostly uninterrupted term to remember. There will be many sticks and stones in the assembly floor there to be thrown.

  • redhugh78

    Everyone knows the Mp’s that do swear an oath to a foreign queen hardly attend the parliament anyway.
    You do not have to attend Parliament to do the work of an MP.

  • Mick Fealty

    Red,

    You are missing the point. What’s the margin for voting for politicians (any politicians, failure to deliver cuts across the board here) if they don’t actually make things better for their constituents?

    And how do they resolve the tension between setting strategic goals which have the potential to bring longer lasting benefits and short term pork barrelling which often brings short term hits, but blocks out longer term opportunities?

  • Munsterview

    “……..BTW Munsterview why should you think working class people need assistance with personal hygiene, time keeping etc? If I remember correctly the UK has many, many job creation schemes. Did it occur to you that a job creation scheme creates jobs for those who run it and a lot of unemployed people find that, not inconsiderable, fact galling!…….”

    Posted by pippakin on Apr 07, 2010 @ 02:50 PM

    Pip,

    While I may not use words or terms sparingly, I do try to use them carefully. Never once in my post did I refer to working class people, I referred specifically to long term unemployed. Some weeks back I posed the question to you as to how well you personally know the North and the problem areas in particular as if you did it was not immediately apparent from your comments and observations.

    I have been an employer up to the first recession in the early eighties and before that I held some managerial and supervisory positions. Precisely because I knew some of these ghetto areas first hand, like cynic2 apparently did, I applied reverse discrimination and gave a chance wherever possible to somebody in long term unemployment and faced all the same problems he listed and I could add a few more.

    One such young lady told me that her real life started at 5 PM on Friday and stopped at 9 AM on Monday morning. The rest of the week I was told was only to fill in again until Friday and she was not really interested in learning past basic skills or in up skilling in any way, and this from somebody a few weeks short of her 21st, birthday !. Of course when left go, she claimed she was discriminated against because of her background!

    The reality of life in many of these ghetto areas is that many teens and young adults tend not to go home after a night on the town but ‘crash’ wherever they can get shelter for what is left of the night and party on!, This usually in a house with people that are dysfunctional through alcoholism or drugs. Try getting someone from a weekend in that environment who have not been out of their clothes ( just their sculls ) for a three or four days and with the attitudes that go with it towards regular society, into a normal workforce and see how how they cope.

    I most definitely was not talking of working class in general, I was on a school board of management in my children’s school in a working class area and I have known people with absolutely nothing other than unemployment benefit who still managed to get their children through second and some even through third level education and out of the poverty trap.

    Following the loss of a house and illness, I did exactly that for some years my self, with my own children and rehoused next door to one of these ‘party houses’ where the party continued most days of the week until four or five am!

    It is just possible Pip some of us may actually know what we are talking about !

    The problem is not working class, or even long term unemployed, it is more precisely the long term unemployable that had parents just like themselves who without intervention will also have children of their own to continue the same dysfunctional, anti-social patterns. Whatever the limitations of organizations like Fas, they are vitally necessary and however slender it may be, they offer a chance of breaking the poverty cycle.

  • Munsterview

    Many young people have the same attitude no matter where they live or how well educated they are. It is not peculiar to the north or even to class. It is common among some of the youth throughout the UK and probably most western countries. It appears to be some sort of rite of passage! We cannot call such young people long term unemployed. Some will no doubt come from dysfunctional families, but not all, not by any means.

    The media loves to refer to an ‘underclass’ but in all the time I was in management I only met one person who thought the state owed him his living.

    I come from a working class background, much as you describe. Council house etc. All my family now own their own homes, which btb was not exactly as my father would have wanted. He was staunch socialist and did not believe in home ownership! Most of my peer group also grew up to buy their own homes.

    The people in the north have had the most appalling difficulties to over come, some have no doubt grown accustomed to the ‘benefit system’. Most want to work and raise their children in safety and prosperity. Some might argue the young people in the north have more reason than most to go on a ‘bender’ every week end. Time was getting from one week end to another, unharmed, was nothing short of miraculous!

  • bohereen

    Gosh,
    so the “depravation” title wasn’t just a spelling mistake?

  • Munsterview

    Pip.

    Again you miss the point: I made a distinction between long term unemployed and the unemployable!

    Some years back at the height of the so called Celtic Tiger I went to Poland specifically to spend a day in Auzwitch Concentration Camp and another two days talking to local and visiting international Jews about their history and culture as I also did with Catholic, Communist and Solidarity Poles.

    Among our touring party was a man from Ballymun who was middle aged, had never worked and accepted the fact that he probably never would. However by careful management of his own and unemployment benefit and borrowings from within his extended family he had already bought two rental properties and was on his way to get a third.

    Each property was about 25K and he had each financed in a stand alone basis. A Polish bank was now backing him, the cash flows were there and he was now a respected customer. He was well grounded, knew exactly what he was doing and talked about the coming property crash in Ireland. It was ‘so bleeding obvious’ he said and gleefully anticipated the fate of the Irish Banks in the situation.

    No Irish Bank would have backed this man in a thousand years for anything yet when he went to Poland for the first time on a cheap holiday, chance presented and he took it! Five other women from the same area were bringing in large suitcases of quality garments, they could clothe themselves and their families well, have a nice holiday they could not otherwise afford and even after meeting Ryan Airs exorbitant baggage fees, still make a modest profit in surplus sales.

    I do not doubt the latent capacities of the long term unemployed to either make out in their existing circumstances or to make the most of a job opportunity ( a real job, not a ‘Mac Job’) once given the chance.

    Yes there may be a general problem with ‘dossing youth’ an the Western World. However there is a big difference between an second or third level educated young person who once they have sorted out can use their education to be an effective part of the work force when they are ready and the jobs are there and a large and increasingly growing section of the underclass in our inner cities.

    If a child has a broken school record and is coming from a dysfunctional family to begin with, there is little or no fall back and these children grow up feral and uneducated. From the earliest years they are inculcated with a ‘them and us’ attitude where the ‘them is anybody living a straight life with a respectable home. I personally know of a situation where a brick was thrown through a window for no other reason than the house had just been repainted and decorated outside in stark contrast to it’s tatty neighbours.

    It was a case of ‘ who did these stuck up b****xes think they were’ and this is one of the problems once there is a significant minority of these young anti social people in any estate, then they seek to bring the rest down to their miserable standards. Since the Republican Movement ceased involvement in any form of community policing there is now no check what so ever on these disruptive elements.

    The Trever Seargant episode shows what happens if a decent concerned citizen intervenes with this element for the public good, they become victimized and penalized, even criminalized while the mob are allowed go unchecked on their merry, destructive, disruptive way!

  • Munsterview

    All the cases you mention can apply just as easily anywhere. It is not confined to the north.

    I do not know what was so clever about spotting the Irish housing crash. I saw it, I believe most must have known it could not last. For goodness sake we did not have the population, the prices are outrageous. How are young people supposed to get a home?

    There is a sense of inevitability and acceptance on some estates, but it applies to the few not the majority.

    The kids rolling home drunk, or crashing on the friends floor, all started out the night before, squeaky clean and finely dressed.

    I am not suggesting a few do not need help, but I am saying they are no better or worse than the rest of us.

  • Brian MacAodh

    “However by careful management of his own and unemployment benefit and borrowings from within his extended family he had already bought two rental properties and was on his way to get a third. ”

    Ridiculous. Someone who has never worked buying multiple properties. Cut the benefits, they are too goddman easy and conveniant. We are all paying for lazy bastards like this guy.

  • Brian MacAodh

    Actually I think the moment he officially bought the property, or got his hands on the money to buy same. He was officially not entitled to most benefits. It is much the same here, most benefits are means tested. If you have ‘X’ amount in the bank or assets, you do not qualify.

  • Border Fox

    Considering the views of both Pip and Munster at the moment.

    Most of what has been said falls under social policy.

    I don’t have an answer despite the fact that I agre with both to an extent.

    I was born of Irish parents into an English council estate. Am degree educated despite my upbringing.

    I could develop an argument about West Belfast because Gerry is a poor MP and doesn’t go to parliament but Attwood is piss poor. West Belfast deserves to be represented.

    So

  • Border Fox

    We had similar upbringings!

    I grew up ‘knowing’ we are all equal but that some of us are greedier than others. The years have only reinforced this view!

    I cannot abide to hear a particular group singled out and labeled as somehow less than another. It raises my temperature!

    I agree with you about Attwood, a pity, we need real alternatives for nationalists and we do not have them.

  • Munsterview

    Brian,

    Yep the Dep. Of Social Welfare shares your view, all over Southern Ireland currently we have social welfare maintained and low income families hounded be well salaried officials who police incomes and make sure every last cent claimed, is argued over and when the qualifying amount is finally and grudgingly given, the scrutiny is on going.

    Meanwhile we have nurses, intern doctors, teachers, low grade civil servants etc, the very people vitally necessary for social cohesion and functioning infra structure of society, arbitrary subjected to a smash and grab robbery of a significant portion of their pay while those over a 140,000 euros a year demanded the Government exempt them from this special cut that their laxity, carelessness and collusion with the Builders, Bankers and W****** caused in the first instance.

    Because they knew where the bodies were, they were exempted from the levy to buy their silence. Having got away with that, they now have the collective Brass necks and gross indecency to demand a raise on top of their uncut salaries.

    As to the upholders of the Laws Of The Land, the Judges collectively showed the moral cloth they were cut from was little different B.B.& W. lot most have social connections with when as sizable section of them said to the rest of the Citizens of this State, F*** you all, constitutionally our comfortable salaries cannot be touched, we do not have to share your grief and we will not share your financial pain. Simpliciter!

    When it comes to financial abuse of the system,we have always gone after the minnows ( like the Ballymun character ) and left the pike and salmon swim on undisturbed. Likewise with the last years levies. Recently on another posting I gave the plain blunt facts known to all in then media circles ( and undisclosed ) regarding Ministers Donegan and Cooney and provoked an outcry back to Section 30 with screams for Mick to Remove the posting.

    Nothing new there, I have always said before, during and after that the Broadcasting Ban was always more about protecting the ‘ Brown Envelope Brigade ‘ than ever it had with issues arising from the ‘Boys Of The Old Brigade’ I have not changed my tune since early Trade Union Days in the late sixties when I first learned of the true financial structures and imbalances in this country.

    At least I can now look my children and their generation in the eye and say ” Do not blame me, I spend my lifetime exposing these slick Bastards and fighting their greed. I did it when I had a merks 280 and the lifestyle to go with it and I still do so now “!. Methods may have changed but some of us have not gone away you know…….. nor have we any intention of so doing!

    There is another generation to be taught what we learned, they will do things better and the real fight goes on whatever of election shadow boxing!

  • Munsterview

    Just in on my ‘Wealth Daily’ newsletter! Sound farmilar ? so much for the States emerging from anything anytime soon. Thought I would share it with you all!

    ********************

    TIME TO LEAVE THIS SHIP OF FOOLS

    Yet, among all of that greatness there is a blemish — a structure that just doesn’t seem to fit. At the far end of the Mall stands the Capitol building.

    To me, at least, the beautifully domed building seemed dirty, corrupt, and expedient — not at all like the other monuments that dot the Mall.

    And you don’t need to be a member of a particular party to feel that way… Right, left, or somewhere in between, over 75% of Americans now disapprove of the business going on within the walls of the once great building.

    It’s like the circus came town and never left; a mockery among greatness.

    That bad news is that this is one clown car that never stops running. Burning the midnight oil, these folks don’t rest when it comes to digging into your wallet or taking away your freedoms.

    The larger problem, of course, is that they are running out of ways to pay for it all as they spend us into oblivion.

  • Brian MacAodh

    “Meanwhile we have nurses, intern doctors, teachers, low grade civil
    servants etc, the very people vitally necessary for social cohesion and
    functioning infra structure of society, arbitrary subjected to a smash and
    grab robbery of a significant portion of their pay ”

    What are you referring to? The cut in civil servants salary? They didn’t cut the higher level civil servants salaries as well??

    As for the beautiful Capitol building, which I work 5 blocks from, I’d say it’s closer to 85% who dissaprove of their work. I wonder how many people noticed that stock prices increased for Pharmacuetical companies and Health INsurance companies the minute Obama signed the bill into law.

  • Munsterview

    Brian,
    just in and long past bed time, so a quick response.

    No, they did not cut civil servants across the board, just the lower and middle pay grades. Guys and gals earning over 140,000 euros, ( not certain of the figure but thereabouts ) were exempted. Just like the taxation regime the more earned, the less paid!

    As for our Judges, a large sector still have not taken a voluntary cut and brazen it out hiding behind a constitutional provision that guarantees their pay rates cannot be cut. This clause was to ensure their independence, not to give them the ability to thumb their noses at the rest of us lesser mortals.

    We now have the ridiculous situation where some of these selfish Judiciary have held their full pay and allowances while their office cleaning ladies are subjected to weekly wages cuts.

    As with their pre Irish Independence, Ireland based British Judicial counterparts that they take their legacy and attitude from, these people ( most of whom are from the same Builder, Banker and W****R gene pool that ruined the country ) have no qualms at having the poorest salaried employees in the State, mainly East European Minimum Wage, Temporary Contract, Workers pay from their meager wages to subsidize their Judicial lives of pomp and privilege !.

    As the Late Luke Kelly used to sing….. ” For what died the Sons Of Roisin….?”

    ( And yes, been following drug stocks, among other things, on U.S. Wealth Daily newsletter!)