We Had A Dream…….Once

 

We had a dream once – as a nation – we dreamed of freedom, we dreamed of shaking off the yoke of tyranny and oppression.

We dreamed that we could lift our heads up, reclaim our heritage and step forward into the future as a sovereign nation of equals.

On 24th April 1916 a declaration was made on the steps of the GPO in Dublin – it was addressed: To Irishmen and Irishwomen, and it spoke of our aspirations, of our heartfelt wish to be free.

“We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the last three hundred years they have asserted it to arms. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades-in-arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its exaltation among the nations.” [1]

(emphasis added)

Today almost 100 years later that dream lies in ruins, we do not control our own destiny, we are not free, and our people are suffering, our young people are leaving, creating not just an impending demographic crisis, but a State where the pool of “taxpayers” is far too small to sustain even the most basic level of services. We are getting a taste of what that is like right now as we speak – but – it will get worse. Unless we change it.

“Youth organisations in Ireland are warning that the number of young people emigrating could be devastating for the country’s economy.

On Wednesday, they will meet politicians in Dublin to demand that more is done to tackle the problem.

Around 300,000 people have left the Republic of Ireland since 2009 – many of them young and looking for work – and tens of thousands more say they are also likely to leave unless the economy starts to improve.” [2]

Because that’s all we are now, taxpayers – not citizens, not human beings – TAXPAYERS – merely a means to an end – and the end is to keep the coffers of the rich and the privileged filling up.

EMIGRATION is tearing families apart and creating a new generation of lonely older people in Ireland, a charity has claimed.

Irish charity ALONE says it has seen an increase in the number of older people at an all-time low as a direct result of their children and grandchildren emigrating.

The charity’s claims follow news last week that a record number of Irish workers under 35 are set to move to Canada after more than 10,000 Canadian visas were made available this year.

ALONE CEO Sean Moynihan said: “We have even received calls from the emigrants themselves asking us to check on their older relative.

“The children and grandchildren of Ireland’s older people are emigrating in droves, leaving behind a large huge increase in the number of older people requiring our services because their support systems have disappeared.”

EU figures show Ireland now has the highest level of emigration in Europe.

The latest Central Statistics Office figures show almost 250 people leave the country daily – one person every six minutes.” [3]

We will become a grey nation, and how will we treat our elderly citizens, those who cannot just up and leave? Well, we already have a pretty good idea of how this State already treats our elderly citizens. Our elderly people are forced to lie on hospital trollies for hours, awaiting treatment.

“You see my mother has been lying on a trolley since Wednesday morning and as I write this on Thursday afternoon, she is still there.

She’s not alone, there are dozens of others who’ve been waiting even longer.

Lourdes is a hospital from hell but don’t blame the staff. How they cope with what is a never-ending crisis is beyond belief.

But they do and because they do, the scoundrels who have failed to end this misery will allow it to continue.

Maggie Flanagan will be 94 next September and is paralysed on her left side following a stroke last year.

She led an exemplary life and raised five children alone. The youngest was just three when my father died in 1964.

She never drank nor smoked and was forced to go out to work to keep us alive and to get us through school. She was the model citizen who certainly did the State some service.

Now this great Republic can’t provide her with a hospital bed.

Maggie was brought to the Lourdes from St Mary’s nursing home suffering from pneumonia and the antibiotics were having little effect.

She is now lying on a trolley less than one metre away from a woman who is constantly coughing up phlegm.

Yes, we Irish certainly know how to look after our old folk.” [4]

Our water is and has been for many years undrinkable [5] in some parts of the State, never mind that in fact we don’t even own our own water anymore.

“During 2013 There were 57 Boil water notices and 12 Water restriction notices active in 16 Counties affecting 35,831 people. By comparison, in 2012 suppliers issued 42 Boil water notices and water restrictions affecting approximately 50,000 consumers. By The end of 2013, 19 Boil Notices and 8 Water Restriction Notices In 12 Counties remained in place affecting over 17,000 people. Notices can apply to all or part of a supply and last from several days to several years depending on the scale of works necessary to solve the issue.

In some cases notices are precautionary in nature due to inadequate treatment or failure of the disinfection system, whereas in other cases notices are put in place because E. Coli or Cryptosporidium Is detected. Also, several of the water restrictions relate to the presence of lead pipes.

Appendix 5 Provides a list of the notices in place during 2013. As Of 11 December 2014, There were 23 supplies on Boil Water Notices Affecting a population of 23,297 And 15 Supplies on Water Restrictions Affecting a population of 4,071. The Majority of the population affected by these current boil water notices are in County Roscommon and they relate to Cryptosporidium risk.” [5]

We have a housing crisis in the midst of a glut of housing lying mouldering in unfinished estates littering this land, we have children going to school hungry, and young men in crisis, in despair take their own lives rather than face another day. We have bankers awarding themselves massive bonuses while a soup kitchen – a SOUP kitchen in Sligo is forced to close. [6]

We have lurched from one crisis to another, we have watched in horror as tales of abuse and maltreatment of our most vulnerable citizens have been told, we have seen with our own eyes as corruption and malfeasance in the highest levels of government has gone unpunished, in fact we have seen the architects of our destruction awarded, been given yet more opportunities to destroy this country.

On that April day in 1916, a startling declaration (for that time) was made – we pledged allegiance to an as yet unarticulated concept – a concept that would take another 40 or so years to find purchase in the wider world – the concept of Universal Human Rights.

“The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally……..”

It would be 50 years before another martyr on the altar of Human Rights also declared – I Have a Dream. Dr. Martin Luther King said to the American people, and it resonates today for us.

“I say to you today, my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.” [7]

100 years ago WE had that dream – that dream has become a nightmare.

Next year in 2016 we will have an opportunity to remind ourselves of the dream our forefathers and mothers had – a nation, free of tyranny, a nation that cherishes its citizens, ALL its citizens, a nation that can hold its head up and face into the future bowed but not beaten, hopeful not hopeless, willing to put aside petty differences and ancient rivalries and embrace once more that dream.

We have been betrayed, we have been lied to, we have been almost brought to the brink of destruction by those whom we trusted, those whom we should have been able to depend on to steer us through the oft times turbulent waters of our history. Now, we the people are being forced to pay the debts of those who caused that destruction, who brought this calamity upon us – we are paying with our young people, we are paying with our tears, we are paying for the privilege of being crushed, being impoverished, made homeless, driven to despair and hopelessness.

If we could but embrace that dream again – a dream of a nation where all its citizens are valued, where that declaration that acknowledged the fundamental tenets of Universal Human Rights – that all Human beings have intrinsic worth and value – that the only requirement to be vested with Human Rights is to be a Human Being.

We’re not just taxpayers, we’re not just faceless economic units, we are Human Beings, we are Irish citizens. We’re not a faceless multitude of “burdens on the State” – we ARE the State – WE are The Republic of Ireland

Our worth as Human Beings is not dependant on whether or not we are toiling away to pay off debts we did not incur, to fund the lifestyles and cynical ambitions of corporations and greedy developers, to line the already bulging pockets of avaricious businessmen.

Being poor is not a character flaw – being rich on the backs of the poor IS. The late great Nelson Mandela said:

“Over coming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice it is the protection of fundamental human rights. Everyone everywhere has the right to live in dignity. Free from fear and oppression. Free from hunger and thirst and free to express themselves and associate at will” Nelson Mandela [8]

We had a dream once – we had hope, we had a future, our children had a future and we were willing to fight for that future – our future has now been mortgaged – our children’s futures have been sold.

The resources to fund our services were signed away in order to satisfy an agreement made in the dead of a cold September night in 2008 to save the skins of crooks and gombeen men.

But – we have as a nation survived much worse – we have endured – we are still here – our people have gone out in the world and done extraordinary things – we refuse to give up.

We will not give up – we cannot give up – we have a destiny to fulfil, almost 100 years ago we had a dream, the time has come to make that dream a reality, to build a nation that;

“……guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally……..”

In our national anthem [9] the last line of the 1st chorus – in English says

“we’re children of a fighting race, that never yet has known disgrace, and as we march the foe to face, we’ll sing a soldiers song”

The foe we face is among us, the enemy is inside our gates – 100 years after we articulated our dream of being free we will have an opportunity to reclaim that dream, to start again, to fulfil our destiny.

My fellow Irish men and Irish women, and all those who call this land home, in the words of Dr. Rory Hearne from NUI Maynooth;

“A century after rising up and (partly) freeing itself from hundreds of years of colonization and associated enforced famine and oppression, Ireland has once again become a colonised state. Its sovereignty and the dignity of its people, its natural resources and public assets having being handed over to financial and corporate capital (big business) by the Irish political establishment and management classes.

From Irish water, publicly owned land, to the Corrib gas field in Mayo, our fisheries, our wind, motorways, housing, welfare job supports, community services, public transport, health services – they are all already, or are in the process of, being privatised and sold off to the control and ownership of private corporations and their wealthy owners. The most grievous forms of re-colonisation and abandonment of the principles of the Republic took place when the Irish people bailed out domestic banks, developers and the European financial system.

As a result, the people suffered massive austerity and the national debt has reached the point whereby a fifth of all tax revenues are now paying debt repayments rather than much needed public services. People are being evicted from their homes and made homeless or suffering from exorbitant rent and mortgage repayments in order to satisfy the profit seeking of the banks (including state owned AIB), and this is being worsened as NAMA and the government enable international property vulture investment funds to buy up swathes of Irish homes and land, irrespective of the short and long term social impacts. The Euro financial system and associated treaties such as the Fiscal Treaty have removed much of Ireland’s sovereignty.

For example, Ireland is restricted in its ability to borrow or increase investment in vital public services and infrastructure because of EU Treaty and Euro financial rules. Germany and the core European countries are dictating the imposition of austerity across all countries.

How is Ireland still a sovereign, independent, country in this context? How can the will of the Irish people be expressed and translated into practice through their democratically elected government? In a way, Ireland has become a neo-colony of neoliberal capitalism, US multinationals and the EU.” [10]

Dr. Martin Luther King articulated the only answer possible for both us and any nation that finds itself crushed under the heels of faceless bureaucrats, corporate bullies and sycophantic politicians.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.”

We must once more become “a risen people” and throw off this new yoke of oppression and tyranny and throw out those who enabled it.

From Bunreacht na hEireann 1937 (Constitution of Ireland)

Article 6

All powers of government, legislative, executive and judicial, derive, under God, from the people, whose right it is to designate the rulers of the State and, in final appeal, to decide all questions of national policy, according to the requirements of the common good.”

(emphasis added)

It is time. It is way past time we took back what was taken from us – squandered, given away, sold – “ownership of Ireland, and [to] the unfettered control of Irish destinies

 

 

References

[1]Poblacht Na hEireann

http://www.irishfreedomcommittee.net/HISTORY/1916_Proc.htm

[2] Irish youth groups warn of emigration crisis 29 May 2013

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-22698740

[3] Ireland’s new ‘lonely’ generation as emigration increases By Siobhan Breatnach on March 25, 2014

http://www.irishpost.co.uk/news/irelands-new-lonely-generation-one-person-leaves-ireland-every-six-minutes

[4] Pat Flanagan: Kenny’s response to our A&E shambles is truly sick

http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/news-opinion/pat-flanagan-kennys-response-ae-5241354

[5] From the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Drinking Water Report 2013

http://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/water/drinking/Drinking%20Water%20Report%20Web.pdf

[6] Soup kitchen in Sligo forced to close over toilet red-tape; Tuesday, December 16, 2014

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/soup-kitchen-in-sligo-forced-to-close-over-toilet-red-tape-302677.html

[7] I have A Dream – Dr. Martin Luther King.

http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1951-/martin-luther-kings-i-have-a-dream-speech-august-28-1963.php

[8] Nelson Mandela – make poverty history.

http://www.makepovertyhistory.org/extras/mandela.shtml

[9] National Anthem – Abhrán na bhfiann/A Soldiers Song

http://www.irish-folk-songs.com/irish-national-anthem-lyrics-chords-and-sheet-music.html

[10] The Irish water war, austerity and the ‘Risen people’; An analysis of participant opinions, social and political impacts and transformative potential of the Irish anti water-charges movement; Dr Rory Hearne, Department of Geography, Maynooth University, April 2015

https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/sites/default/files/assets/document/TheIrishWaterwar_0.pdf

Out On The Streets in Ireland

 

That’s how people see homelessness in Ireland isn’t it?

The Homeless – they live on the streets, have drug and alcohol issues and possibly mental health issues, they clutter up the nice streets, they smell, they commit petty street crime and – they’re a bloody nuisance.

But thank God there’s only a few of them – throw them a few coppers and your conscience is salved, and sure won’t all those charities take care of them, The Simon [1] The Vincent De Paul [2] anyway there’s loads of hostels they could go to, loads of “services” because moving beneath the surface of the superficial conscience salving few coppers that you threw them – is another thought – it’s their own fault.

“Those who were least well off before the economic crisis remain so, and their difficulties have been worsened due to cutbacks to the supports and services on which they rely. Those who have lost jobs, had business failures, seen significant falls in their income or are affected by over-indebtedness require supports in the short, medium and longer term to ensure that they are prevented from falling into long term unemployment and poverty. [3]

Niamh Randall, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities, said that more and more people are turning to the Simon Communities across the country for support.

“There are now over 90,000 people on the social housing waiting lists; rents are rapidly increasing all around the country at the same time as the numbers of properties available to rent are decreasing. People on low incomes are effectively being priced out of the market. It is the responsibility of the Government to ensure people in need have access to housing so they do not become homeless in the first place and so they can move out of homelessness, when it does happen, as quickly as possible.” (emphasis added) [3]

On Thursday 5th June a protest was held – a Sleep Out – outside the offices of Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown Council Offices – I was there.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD of People Before Profit was at the forefront of this protest – the issue was Social Housing, or rather the lack of Social Housing.

“Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “In 2011 the government abandoned the direct provision of social housing and farmed out housing to private landlords. Now that landlords can get higher rents on the open market they are pulling out of these deals and families are being forced into homelessness. Rents are rocketing and with no investment in social housing the crisis is spiralling out of control.”

I don’t believe there is anyone either in Ireland or in the western world who doesn’t know that we had a “housing crisis” though more correctly a “housing crash” here in Ireland – a recession of epic proportions that literally brought this tiny inconsequential country on the periphery of Europe to the brink of economic destruction – but we were “saved” by the EU and the IMF – they came charging into the rescue and bailed us out. Then we voted for those who made promises that they had no intention of keeping.

 

Labour said: “The fiscal strategy set out in the EU-IMF deal . . . involves excessive austerity, which will put growth at risk”. That was the strategy they implemented and they take pride in that! Where was the mandate

There was no mandate for taking in taxation from the poorest 10 per cent of the population the same proportion of their income as being taken from the richest 10 per cent – this was achieved via the VAT increase in the 2012 budget, even though the USC was removed from incomes between €4,004 and €10,036.

There was no mandate for the cuts in child benefit for the third and subsequent children and Labour was adamant there would be no cuts in child benefit at all. There was no mandate for cutting the disability allowance. No mandate for cuts to rent supplements. No mandate for the changes in PRSI that impact most on the working poor. No mandate for a property tax that is imposed irrespective of income. No mandate for the increase in prescription drug charges. And so much else.” [4] (emphasis added)

We made a pact with the devil – or rather our political leaders at that time on our behalf made a pact with the devil. Then we kicked them out of office and………….same shoite, different day – or different devils.

As it turned out – it wasn’t us – The People – that our political elite decided needed our arses pulled out of the fire, it was the very ones who had caused and precipitated this crisis – the bankers, the developers, politicians, financiers, and then our own “rescuers” decided to make the deal with the devil work.

“National pension fund plundered

The Irish population is paying for the repeated saving of the financial sector through brutal austerity. Ireland had to co-finance its own “rescue” by €17.5 billion, €10 billion of which were taken from the public pension fund NPRF, originally set up to secure Irish pensions in the future. The fund’s money was used for direct bank recapitalization (7). In late 2013, the government decided to entirely transform it into an investment fund, safeguarding future pensions is no longer a priority (8). Furthermore, the population was hit hard by six (?) years of austerity measures: The VAT was increased to 23 percent, child benefits were lowered, unemployment allowances for young people cut in half (9) and tuition fees tripled to 2,500 Euros (10). Altogether, over €28 billion have been squeezed out of Irish society since 2008 (11).” [5] (emphasis added)

They got the rescue – we got the bill.

A bill we are still paying, and will be expected to continue paying until every last man, woman and child for the next two generations of Irish people has been squeezed dry.

“Ending the bailout is “not the end of the road”. Ireland has already announced a new round of spending cuts and tax rises for next year, in the 2014 budget announced recently. Noonan was clear that further cuts lie ahead if Ireland is to lower its deficit to 3% by 2015.”

“This isn’t the end of the road. This is a very significant milestone on the road…But we must continue with the same types of policies.” (emphasis added) [6]

Till we are a people so demoralised, so disenfranchised, so browbeaten into submission that we are no longer a people, no longer free citizens of a free Republic – we are merely pawns, utilities, economic units valued only for our usefulness as dupes, as a means to an end – to ensure that the gravy train keeps rolling, that those who have continue to have – and those who have not – never ever get to have – anything – including a roof over their heads – the dignity that every human being is entitled to – a place to call home.

“Housing: a new philosophy

A series of publications by the economist Professor PJ Drudy of Trinity College have offered an interesting new approach to how Irish society views housing. In his paper at a 2005 Social Policy Conference, in a co-authored book with Michael Punch -entitled Out of Reach (2005) – and in a chapter in the Social Policy in Ireland book (Drudy, 2006) he has outlined these views.

The essence of Professor Drudy’s proposal is to view housing as a home rather than as a market commodity. In his conference paper Professor Drudy stated that we should “place the emphasis on housing as a home – shelter, a place to stay, to feel secure, to build a base, find an identity and participate in a community and society”.

Therefore he continued: “housing thus becomes a central feature of ‘development’ – a process not simply comprising increases in economic growth, but containing positive actions to improve the quality of life and wellbeing for all” (2005: 44).

In concluding his paper, Drudy suggested that Irish society now needs to address “a fundamental philosophical question: is it the purpose of a housing system to provide investment, speculative or capital gains for those with the necessary resources or should the critical aim be to provide a home as a right for all citizens?” (2004: 46).

In his view it is time now for Ireland to move away from seeing housing as a commodity to be traded on the market like any other tradable commodity; and to accept the latter opinion that views housing as a social requirement like health services or education.” [7]

I started off by saying that “The Homeless ” brings to mind a certain type – a certain image – a myth that we can call up to salve our consciences with – as being – a small problem that affects only a very small very particular section of our society – with that underlying thread weaving its way through the narrative – “it’s really their own fault”.

Here are the facts.

“About Homelessness

Homelessness can mean sleeping rough, staying in emergency hostels or shelters, staying in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation or staying with friends and relatives when there is nowhere else to go. Homelessness is all of these things. For people experiencing homelessness it is about a lack of security, a lack of belonging and often about being cold, sick and isolated.The current economic climate means more people are at risk of homelessness than ever before with further cut backs in health, education, welfare services and training more people will become homeless and turn to the Simon Communities for support.” [8] (emphasis added)

According to the Simon Community in 2011 these were the figures for “Homelessnes” or in “Housing Need” – figures for 2005 in brackets. [9]

Household Homelessness – 2,348 (2,399)

Living in Unfit Accommodation – 1,708 (1,725)

Living in Overcrowded Accommodation – 4,594 (4,122) – increase of 475

Involuntarily Sharing – 8,834 (3,375) – increase of 5,459 – almost 62% (5,477)

Not reasonably able to meet the cost of Accommodation – 65,643 (25,045) – an increase of 40,598 – almost a 62% increase. (40,698)

Are they on the streets? No – not all of them – what they are is caught in a trap – they are “unable to provide accommodation from their own means” which is how one qualifies for either Social Housing [10] or if none is available (which it isn’t) for Rent Supplement [11] in order to pay for private accommodation while waiting for your turn, your number to come up to the top of the list – and that list would be the Housing List – and every Local Authority, City and County Council has its own “List”

Here they are – a breakdown of every single city and county council’s numbers. These figures are from 2011 – but I seriously doubt if those numbers have gone down appreciably in the last three years.

“Housing Needs Assessment 2011 – Background

In February 2011 housing authorities were directed by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government1 to carry out an assessment of need existing at 31st March, 2011. Detailed guidance was issued by the Department to assist authorities in carrying out the assessment and in order to insure as much consistency as possible across authorities. This was to be a ‘snap-shot’ assessment based on an extract of data from each housing authority in respect of each household that has been approved for social housing support at 31st March, 2011.

The Housing [Miscellaneous Provisions] Act, 2009 provides for a new process of housing assessment with effect from 1st April, 2011. This Assessment of Housing Need gives a national picture of the level of housing need across the country as these new regulations come into effect.”

For the vast majority of Irish people on these “Housing Lists” they are out of options, though there are those in this country who would take the attitude “well get a job and buy your own house

“Net Housing Need

The net housing need figure at present shows that 98,318 households were in need of social housing support at 31st March 2011. Table 1 shows that the largest category of need by far was those unable to meet the cost of accommodation – accounting for about two-thirds (66.8%) of households, with the next biggest category of need, medical and compassion reasons, accounting for one-tenth of households (9.7%) and this was followed by those involuntary sharing (8.7%). Older persons and homeless households respectively account for just over 2 per cent of need, while Traveller families, unfit accommodation and people with a disability each accounted for less than 2% of the country’s net housing need.” (emphasis added)

I look forward to the release of the Report for 2014 – after all – it is now three years since that last one.

In order to buy a home of your own – you need a job – and a job that pays enough, not only to service a mortgage, but with enough left over each month to feed, clothe and take care of yourself and your family, pay your bills, heat that house, pay a doctor if one of your kids gets sick, pay the Household Charge/Property Tax on that new home of yours, in fact, being able to insert the key into the front door of your own home and walk in, is only the beginning – because even if you manage by some miracle to “get a mortgage” every state support (what little there is) gets withdrawn – you may finally have a roof over your head – but that roof is both a blessing and a curse.

There is a phenomenon called the working poor [12] – there are those for whom working is actually more of a trap than not working, for whom the only jobs, of the few that are available are so badly paid, so precarious and so demoralising that working actually causes and creates more stress, more anxiety – if that was even possible.

You would have to find yourself a permanent well paid and secure job in order to be able to breathe out.

The chances of getting that dream permanent job – the one that will get you that magic mortgage and last long enough – 20 – 25 years – to keep paying that mortgage are slim to none, though I wouldn’t count on being able to afford little luxuries – like food – while you are paying that mortgage.

You are now – truly on your own – and the hawks are ever circling – the spectre of unemployment waits brooding in the wings – the government churns out ever more “charges” ever more “penalties” ever more “cuts” and each one is designed to squeeze you, to wring every last cent out of you they can, as they work tirelessly and feverishly to – rescue those who need the least amount of rescuing – the ones who caused all this in first place.

The Irish People are being held to ransom by bankers, by politicians, the EU – we are paying for the privilege of being disenfranchised, kept in penury, and kept in a prison of poverty, of housing insecurity, of ongoing and never-ending worry, stress and anxiety.

They also live in fear – of saying the wrong thing to “officials” of one of these “officials” some petty little civil servant not liking the look of us – not liking our “attitude” deliberately making any interaction with “officialdom” as stressful, as tortuous as possibly – of having your “application” dealt with at the whim, the mood, of whoever you are unfortunate enough to encounter. This was something that came up over and over again from the people sleeping on the street outside Dun Laoighre- Rathdown Council offices – fear.

Within all these government departments are petty little tyrants, bullies and sneering “civil servants” who treat their fellow citizens with contempt, derision and hostility. This I know from personal experience – a story for another time.

All this, so that our political elite can go to Europe and kiss EU ass and assure them that the ones who robbed and are robbing this country blind can keep doing just that.

Our politicians have assured the EU that Ireland will pay its “Debt” – except – this is not our debt – and this “debt” is being paid on the backs of the Irish people – this “debt” is being paid in devastated lives, hungry children, sick and frail elderly people, homeless men women and children, and in some cases the actual life blood of Irish men – for some – the combined pressures of unemployment, housing insecurity, the anxiety of feeling useless, powerless and trapped leads so many to take their own lives. [13]

“3.4 Suicide and economic adversity

Economic adversity and recession specifically has been shown to result in an increase in suicide rates59. Studies have also shown that factors in the current economic crisis, such as falling stock prices, increased bankruptcies and housing insecurity (including evictions and the anticipated loss of a home), and higher interest rates are all associated with increased suicide risk60,61. People who are unemployed are two-three times more likely to die by suicide than people in employment62.

A recent Irish study has shown that during the boom years of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ male and female rates of suicide and undetermined death were stable during 1996-2006, while suicide among unemployed men increased. Unemployment was associated with a 2-3 fold risk of suicide in men and a 4-6 fold increased risk in women63.”

Of all these factors – a roof over your head – place to call your own – for you and your family gives you an anchor, a safe haven, a sense of security from which you can direct the course of your own life – shelter from the storms raging outside, protect your family and weather those storms – because at least you can say – “well at least we have a roof over our heads” we can get through anything as long as we have that.

Except – there are no roofs to be had – there is no shelter from the raging storms – there are no safe harbours, no shelter to be had – and no way to get any of those things.

Because we now live in a country where “The People” don’t matter – where “The People” are now subsidiary to policy – and the current policy?

Paying a debt incurred by the greedy avaricious and venal to maintain a system that ensures that who have and have always had, continue to do so – and in order to do that – take it from those who have nothing.

The very thing that caused this crisis in the first place – the housing bubble? The movers and shakers are starting to inflate it again. Rents are going up – house prices are going up – and Rent Supplement is going down – and the criteria for becoming eligible is getting more and more stringent – less and less flexible and has absolutely nothing to do with the actually lived reality of most people’s lives.

A case in point is the father who was refused Rent Supplement as a parent and classified as “single” by the Department of Social Protection even though he has four children, and has nowhere not only for himself to live, but is being deliberately prevented from being able to parent his own children including providing accommodation for them when they are with him.

See – “Money Makes the World Go Round………Not Ideology….Feminism is Just Along for the Ride”

Our current government is actually encouraging this – by doing exactly what the last government did – standing by and sanctioning the same corrupt and discredited policies, by taking the same cynical and laissez faire attitude to the practices of the bankers, the gombeens, the chancers, the corrupt and the venal so that once more they can proliferate.

The crisis ripped away the safety net for the Irish people – but at least it was there – provisionally – there is no safety net now – it is gone – yet here we are – getting back up on the trapeze – or being forced back up onto that trapeze.

It is time to end this circus – time to rip down the big top – time to say enough. It is time for this circus to leave town.

The night before, on Wednesday 4th June 2014 I attended a People Before Profit meeting in Wynne’s Hotel in Dublin city centre – it was by way of being a celebration of the electoral success achieved by PBP in the recent council elections. What is clear is that there is a growing sense of anger, of a people who have had enough, the results indicate that the coming election in 2016 may change the face of Irish politics forever.

I started this article by saying that there is a perception of what it is to be homeless, that “being homeless” inspires certain images, brings to mind certain pictures of “the homeless”

Nothing could be further from the truth – yes there are those who literally have no place to go, and yes the vast majority of those who fit that profile of the homeless are men.

“Over 60 per cent of the persons enumerated as part of the homeless count were in the Dublin region on Census Night. Of the 2,375 people enumerated in Dublin, just over two thirds or 1,590 were male. The next largest region was the South East. Of the 403 homeless persons enumerated in this region, 216 were male.”

“Among the 3,351 homeless persons aged 15 and over, two thirds were single compared with 42 per cent for the general population. Some 189 homeless persons were either married or re-married, representing just under 6 per cent of the group. In contrast, almost 48 per cent of the general population was married. Almost 17 per cent of the homeless population aged 15 and over was either separated or divorced, significantly higher than the general population for which the equivalent figure was 6 per cent. Just over 8 per cent of homeless women were married compared with 5 per cent of men, while 19 per cent of homeless men were separated or divorced compared with 13 per cent of women.” [14]

Men women and children – Irish men women and children – the effects of homelessness and housing insecurity are myriad and debilitating – and personal – the causes are political, structural, institutional and economic. That’s who I met – Irish men women and children – families – ordinary people.

“Cllr Melisa Halpin added: “We are sleeping outside the council tonight with families and individuals on the housing list to highlight the severity of the housing crisis. The new council meets tomorrow and we want to ensure that housing becomes the number one issue for the new council.”

There are currently 4000 families on the housing list in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and the plan is to build 19 houses in 2014! This situation cannot continue. We want a radically different council – one that starts telling the government what we want and what the people who elected us want rather than just taking orders from Leinster House.” [15]

The mechanisms through which these causes are visited upon Irish people are government policy – THIS governments policies.

The reasons?

Political expediency – elitism – a cynical disregard for the effects of government policy on people – on real live human beings.

This is not politics – this is not democracy – this is apartheid – this is an oligarchy – this is wrong – and this needs to stop.

 

I am not personally a member of People Before Profit or of any political party for that matter, what I am is a Human Rights Advocate – and a roof over your head is a basic fundamental Human Right.

Someone made the point during a very very long night that if we (Ireland) had suffered a natural disaster like a tsunami or a hurricane and thousands of people had been made homeless, money would pour in from all over world in order to assist those people, in fact our own government would probably send aid to any other disaster struck country – yet here we are – with our own housing crisis – where there are thousands of Irish people, men women and children – who do not have a roof of their own over their heads and this government…………….this government through one of our Local Authorities, just spent 36 million euro’s on a library, according to Marie Baker a Fine Gael councillor in Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown [16]

 

I wonder how many Social Housing units they could have built for that 36 million euro’s? Well – at €100,000.00 a pop – 360 – reducing the current housing list of approx 4,000 to 3,640 – it would be a start.

What else has Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown County council earmarked millions of euro’s for? What about all the other Local Authorities, City and County Councils? Because it isn’t housing.

 

 

 

References

[1] The Simon Communityhttp://www.simon.ie/home.aspx

[2] Society of St. Vincent De Paulhttps://www.svp.ie/Home.aspx

[3] European Commission is not listening to the peoplehttps://www.svp.ie/News/Press-Releases/European-Commission-is-not-listening-to-the-people.aspx

SIMON COMMUNITIES CALL FOR FULL CABINET SUPPORT FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION PLAN ON THE STATE’S RESPONSE TO HOMELESSNESS

http://www.simon.ie/MediaCentre/MediaReleases/TabId/206/ArtMID/851/ArticleID/50/SIMON-COMMUNITIES-CALL-FOR-FULL-CABINET-SUPPORT-FOR-THE-IMPLEMENTATION-PLAN-ON-THE-STATE%e2%80%99S-RESPONSE-TO-HOMELESSNESS–.aspx

[4]Irish people did not sign up for what was done to them in the bailout – Vincent Browne

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/irish-people-did-not-sign-up-for-what-was-done-to-them-in-the-bailout-1.1631046

[5]27.12.2013, Irish „rescue”: 67.5 bn of bail-out loans, 89.5 bn to banks – Attac investigation shows: cash flows from Ireland to the financial sector significantly exceed bail-out loans / EU crisis management policy bleeds out people and economy to funnel billions to the banking system

http://www.attac.at/news/detailansicht/datum/2013/12/27/irish-rescue-675-bn-of-bail-out-loans-895-bn-to-banks.html

[6]Ireland prepares to exit bailout after ‘biggest crisis since the Famine’ – as it happened.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/dec/13/ireland-prepares-to-exit-bailout-business-live#block-52aaee51e4b008af53c5c3bb

[7] CORE POLICY OBJECTIVE: HOUSING & ACCOMMODATION

http://www.socialjustice.ie/sites/default/files/file/SER%202010/2010%20-%20SER%20-%207%20-%20Chapter%203%205%20-%20Housing%20and%20Accommodation.pdf

[8]What is Homelessness – Simon Community.

http://www.simon.ie/sci/Homelessness/Homelessness.aspx

[9] How many people are Homeless?

http://www.simon.ie/Portals/0/Docs/How%20many%20people%20are%20homeless%20in%20Ireland%20-%20Sept%202012.pdf

[10] Qualifying for Social Housing in Ireland

http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/

local_authority_and_social_housing/applying_for_local_authority_housing.html

[11] Qualifying for Rent Supplement in Ireland.

http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/social_welfare/

social_welfare_payments/supplementary_welfare_schemes/rent_supplement.html

[12] http://www.cori.ie/Justice/545-cori-justice-claims-the-working-poor-are-among-irelands-most-vulnerable-and-should-be-protected

[13] The Human Cost – An overview of the evidence on economic adversity and mental health and recommendations for action – Mental Health Commission – September 2011

http://www.mhcirl.ie/file/hcpaper.pdf

[14] CSO Special Report on Homelessness

http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/census/documents/homelesspersonsinireland

/Homeless,persons,in,Ireland,A,special,Census,report.pdf

[15] http://richardboydbarrett.ie/2014/06/05/sleep-out-will-commence-at-7pm-this-evening-td-and-cllrs-sleep-out-overnight-with-homeless-families-to-protest-housing-crisis-prior-to-new-council-agm-in-dun-laoghaire/#more-327647

[16]Dun Laoighre’s New Library

http://mariebaker.net/2014/dun-laoghaires-new-library/

 

 

Money Makes the World Go Round………Not Ideology….Feminism is Just Along for the Ride

 

An odd title for an essay isn’t it? But bear with me – no-one can be in any doubt that feminism is a toxic ideology founded on hatred, prejudice and vitriol – well apart from feminists that is – but even the most supposedly academic feminists are morons – well, you would have to be some class of moron to believe even a tenth of the unutterable crap that feminists spew out and have spewed out.

But – here’s a thought – what if – feminism is merely a cover for something deeper, something less obvious – something that operates in the shadows – but in parallel with feminism?

What if – feminism is just the public face of something else?

 

This article appeared in Irish Independant yesterday.

Separated dad wants State to pay for house big enough for visiting children

Tim Healy– Updated 27 May 2014 10:40 PM

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/separated-dad-wants-state-to-pay-for-house-big-enough-for-visiting-children-30309135.html

I didn’t comment on it or immediately decide to sit down a write a critique because I wanted to wait to see if anyone commented – last time I checked and no – not one single comment.

The issues in this case – and it is the subject of an ongoing High Court case speak to Men’s Rights, men’s Human Rights – but there are deeper issues within which this case is embedded and which inform the underlying causes of why in this instance Men’s Human Rights are believed to be of such irrelevance that ignoring them is government policy to do so, that this government is impelled to implement policies that are blatantly and very obviously an infringement of this man’s Human Rights?

Those issues are cultural, political and economic – what this case is not about is feminism per se, this case is first and foremost about Human Rights – and the human being whose rights are being violated is male – and a parent, and to uphold his Human Rights would cost this government – money – and ultimately lots of money it simply is not willing or able to spend.

It is also about how the concept of family has become skewed – and this is where feminism comes in – this is the point where the influence of feminism intersects with politics and public policy, with societal and cultural attitudes – and most significantly with economic considerations.

Please read the article now and bear these things in mind – the issue is Human Rights – and the broader issue’s are about the cultural and political narrative and language used with regard to how Irish Society views not just men – but men as fathers – as parents. But it is also about economic policy. This is not necessarily simply because of feminism alone, though feminist influence has contributed to this – but also to how men and women see themselves – as parents, and how that paradigm has been always been assiduously cultivated.

Underpinning all this is the “Housing Crash” – and the devastating results of a housing bubble that when it burst here in Ireland almost brought this country to the brink of economic collapse – we are still living with the consequences of this – and will be living with those consequences for many many years to come.

Was this precipitated by feminism? If only. This was precipitated by greed, by political cute hoorism, by the machinations of venal and corrupt bankers, developers, and financiers.

So, let’s take a look at this article.

The first thing to note is the title of this article – in particular the implication that this man’s children “visit” him – that as a “separated dad” his role in his children’s lives is peripheral and that his connection to his children is not that of a parent with all the rights and responsibilities that this entails but of a single person who happens to have fathered some children.

The constant reference to access, to “visits” from his children is to my mind grating – and it gives me no pleasure to say this – but it isn’t just those in “authority” or sneery journalists who view fathers through this prism of fatherhood being viewed as a secondary type of parenting, as subsidiary to “motherhood” but some men do this as well.

Ok – having said that, granted the current legislative framework enshrines this perspective and operates it institutionally through mechanisms like concepts of “custody” of “access/contact/visitation” and of course “maintenance/child support”

My personal belief is that we need to move away from this narrative – which is inspired by and influenced by feminism – reject these concepts and embrace the over-arching concept of default equal parenting.

I am not suggesting that mothers and fathers are interchangeable – not at all – because they are not – but that within the context of parenting – mothers and fathers each bring unique and valuable things to the parenting of children.

This attitude is very clearly illustrated in the very title of this article, the attitude that fathers are secondary parents. The barely concealed contempt in the title of this article towards this man having the nerve to believe the state should pay his rent for a “bigger house” so his children could “visit” is palpable.

Though there would be no default perception that a mother seeking to avail of either Social Housing provision or Rent Supplement is somehow “not entitled” to do so.

In the body of the article reference is made to the amount of €900.00 – as if this amount would enable this man to live in the lap of luxury in a 6 bedroom mansion.

The reality is this.

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/rents-continue-to-rise-especially-in-dublin-258278.html

Average rents in Dublin have been rising, and we are not talking about mansions here – just bog standard 2 or 3 bed houses or apartments

“Rents in Dublin City soared by more than 11% last year and average rents across the country climbed by 7% in the same period, according to a new report. 

The average advertised rent nationally is now €865, while in Dublin it is €1,210up 11.2% year on year.  

The quarterly Daft.ie rental report covering the last three months of 2013 signalled a warning that such increases in rent levels could adversely affect the country’s competitiveness.

Such was the increase in rental rates in Dublin that it is the fastest rate of inflation in the rental sector since the middle of 2007.

Rents are still 15% below the peak of the Celtic Tiger period in mid-2007, while around the country rental rates now are still more than 20% below those of mid-2007.”

The next thing is this.

http://www.welfare.ie/en/pressoffice/pdf/Revised%20rent%20limits%20June%202013.pdf

There are specific limits set on Rent Supplement – if a person is unable to provide housing from their own means – in Ireland there are two choices – make an application to one’s Local Authority for Social Housing – which this man has done and already been “deemed eligible” for.

“While he and his children have been deemed eligible for social housing, he has been told he will be on a waiting list for five years.”

 

Or try to find privately rented accommodation and apply for Rent Supplement – where, based on ones circumstances a sliding scale operates as to the amount that one can receive as a Rent Supplement.

If the same criteria was applied to his application for Rent Supplement as was applied in order to qualify him as a parent of four children for Social Housing he would be deemed eligible for a maximum amount of Rent Supplement of between €950.00 and €1,000.00 – depending on which area of Dublin he found accommodation in. For himself and his four children.

The last and final thing to note is this – there are NO Social Housing units available for the numbers in actualneed of this safety net, in fact the numbers on the Social Housing waiting lists has almost trebled since 2007.

 

“The social housing waiting list figures produced recently by the Housing Agency, showing almost 90,000 households in need, represent a 30 per cent increase since the start of the global financial crisis in 2007.

Since 2011, using updated methodology, housing need reduced by 9 per cent. However, if it had not been for vacancies that arose in the private landlord sector diluting the downturn, the demand for social housing might have been much higher, particularly in the capital and other cities and towns.”

 

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/social-housing-waiting-lists-indicate-that-new-phase-of-construction-is-now-needed-1.1648604

That 30% increase represents many different types of persons in need of Social Housing, top of the list would be “families” and family is now a much broader concept than it once was, with the majority of “families” being two parents and children, the next largest group of “families” would be single parents, or those who are parenting separately – as is clear from this man’s qualification of eligible for Social Housing – he is considered a “family” granted he is now on a housing list along with 89,999 other “households”.

So, why isn’t he considered a “family” from the perspective of the Department of the ironically named Social Protection?

MONEY!

The number of separated/divorced persons in Ireland according to the last Census in 2011 was, 203,964 in total – both male and female. I believe we can posit with some degree of accuracy that in quite a significant number of those cases it was the female half who retained possession of the “Family Home” and it was the male half who must find or secure “alternative accommodation” – being unable to do so can be a factor in decisions relating to custody/access, apart from any other factors – this man’s story is illustrative of that – even though it is quite clear from this article that there are NO issues relating to “access” or having “contact” with his children.

The issues in this case are political, economic and structural – though this article does have an underlying bias in its “tone” in particular, by characterising his need for housing because he wants somewhere for his children to “visit” him.

Back to the Census figures.

The total number of divorced/separated men in Ireland in 2011 was 88,918

Of that total – 38,412 are in rented accommodation and 50,497 (including not stated) are not.

 http://www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/Statire/SelectVarVal/saveselections.asp

 

The total number of divorced/separated women in Ireland in 2011 was 115,046

Of that total – 46,071 are in rented accommodation and 68, 975 are not.

 http://www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/Statire/SelectVarVal/saveselections.asp

These figures are for private rented accommodation.

The percentage of men in rented accommodation is just under 43% and the percentage of women in rented accommodation is a little over 40%

In essence almost parity – so one could posit that equal numbers of men and women are in the same boat, except for women there is a lifeboat, for men it is a leaky and capsizing rowboat.

Therein lies the problem – it is the “women and children first” into the lifeboats – and the men can die in the freezing cold waters of the Atlantic paradigm.

In relation to this particular set of circumstances there is an obvious paradox – between how two state bodies view this – on the one hand the Local Housing Authority deems this man is qualified for Social Housing – as a distinct “family” but on the other the Department of Social Protection (even typing that makes me grimace) is adamant that this man is “single” though legally he is not.

Consider this – if both parents were in need of Social Housing and if the “Family Home” is either already rented from a Local Authority or was privately rented whileavailing of Rent Supplement there is now a duplication of housing need – the Local Authority obviously has no problem incorporating this paradigm into its calculations and will now consider that both parents are equally eligible for Social Housing – granted the parent who leaves must now wait his/her turn on the housing list – which in this man’s case has been estimated at approx five years – but is prepared to accept that what was once, one “Family” or “Household” is now two – with the children being equally accepted as being part of each of those “Households”.

To reiterate, there is NO Social Housing available to accommodate the sheer numbers and this is a matter of economics, politics and as I stated above – the factors that went into causing the economic crash in the first place.

This is about money – this is about penny pinching, this is about putting economics before people – and finally this is about finding easy targets to implement these economic policies upon.

Separated fathers are easy targets – because of the default presumptions so clearly outlined and insinuated at in this article – fathers are visitors in their children’s lives – fathers are irrelevant to their children.

The Department of Social Protection rejected this man’s claim on the basis he was only entitled to the rate for a single person – if you look at the article you will see that this man separated in 2011 – even with stretching mathematical probability to its absolute limits – that he separated from his wife on the 1st January 2011 – neither he or his wife are eligible to apply for a divorce till the 2nd January 2015 – there is a 4 year qualifying period here in Ireland before you can apply – so – he is not legally “single” he is still legally “married” though separated.

Granted this is legal semantics and while a pertinent legal point – is not the crux of this matter.

The crux is how fathers are viewed – and in particular how separated fathers are viewed – as secondary parents – as persons who are “visited” by their children – from the Department of Social Protection’s perspective – the bottom line is money – saving money – eliminating as many people as possible from qualifying for any number of state supports or payments – separated fathers are easy targets.

It is that cynical.

Because even with the overlay of the influence of feminism on the perceptions and presumptions relating to parenting – and the role of both parents as being essential to the well-being of children – in a case like one – where there are clearly no issues of two parents being locked in a battle over the ownership of their mutual children – the state is actively and cynically creating a situation for economic reasons that imposes an additional handicap on separated fathers.

The ability to provide not just suitable accommodation for themselves – but for their children as well, and handing a potent weapon to those women who would gleefully and gladly use just such a weapon given half the chance.

This policy will actually reinforce and entrench the already difficult and painful experiences of fathers and will ultimately harm the children caught in the middle.

What or who could be in more need of “Social Protection” than children?

I did an ad hoc calculation on the figures and made a guess out of the numbers of men in rented accommodation that about a quarter of them would be in need of either Social Housing or Rent Supplement. Please bear in mind this is just a guess for illustrative purposes.

So we are looking at a figure of 9,603 separated or divorced men.

I calculated on the basis of these men having two children and that they were in the Dublin area.

Each one would qualify for a Rent Supplement of between €900.00 – €975.00 per month – an average of €937.50.

For a year this works out at €11,250.00 each.

In total for these 9,603 fathers it would cost €108,033,750.00 per year to pay them this Rent Supplement – so it does represent a hefty saving – on the surface.

How about this – at €100,000.00 a pop you could build 1080 houses in this country for that money – reducing the numbers to 8523, and the payout by €12,150,000.00 for the next year to €95,883,750.00

By the next year to €83,733,750.00 and the next to €71,583,750.00 – you get the picture.

Ok – let me just put all this into perspective – this state is paying 111 former ministers a total of €9.6 million a year in pensions.

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/965m-annual-pensions-bill-for-former-ministers-213448.html

“As pay levels of top-earning bankers come under intense scrutiny, updated figures show taxpayers are also footing an annual €9.65m pensions bill for 111 former ministers.

 Figures supplied by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform reveal that 35 former senior politicians are paid combined ministerial and TD pensions worth over €100,000 gross each year.

 They include over a dozen members of Fianna Fáil-led governments during the past decade, governments which sanctioned large increases to politicians’ pay and pensions during their terms in office.

 A further 68 former office holders receive pensions worth in excess of €50,000. All former ministers will receive the combined pension for the rest of their lives.”

 

If those pension were reduced by 50% to €50,000.0 that would be €4.82 million and would fund Rent Supplement for approx 428 of those fathers.

But this will really concentrate your mind on how our political class views Irish people.

 

“The highest earners are two former taoisigh, Brian Cowen and Bertie Ahern, who are largely blamed for overseeing policies which led to the collapse of the economy. They are each entitled to a combined annual pension of €164,526 before tax. After deductions for the pension levy, the two former Fianna Fáil leaders will receive annual payments of €150,163. Both men are paying an effective public service pension levy rate of 9%.”

 

What about those bankers (spelt with a capital “W”)

 

Well last year some of those bankers were caught on tape laughing about how not only did they know about the impending crisis but also that they would never have to pay a single penny back – have a read.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/karlwhelan/2013/06/28/the-anglo-tapes-the-guarantee-and-irelands-economic-crisis/

 http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/06/29/bank-j29.html

We are talking about a sum of €7 Billion by the way.

Which brings me to my final point – remember I said that for the cost of paying out Rent Supplement for a year you could build 1080 houses at €100,000.00 a pop.

I know one way to fund the building of 5000 houses – straight away, at the same cost – for a total of €500,000,000.00 – or rather I know who should be forced to pay for this.

The ones who caused this crisis – every last one of them – like I said – bankers spelt with a capital “W” and politicians who shouldn’t have been allowed to run a stall never mind a country.

I began this essay by saying that money makes this world go round, not ideology – so to conclude – with regard to feminism – the motivating force behind feminism is to extract resources – to facilitate wealth transfers from men to women.

There is a purpose other than the obvious to this – women shop – women buy useless crap – in comparison to men – women literally do “shop till they drop” women are the main drivers behind consumerism.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this – feminism is a handy distraction from the underlying institutional and structural problems that are besetting almost all western states. It is still a toxic vile hate movement? Yes it is. Absolutely.

But if you look at some of the crap that mainstream feminists whine about – such as sexism – sorry, but who really gives a shit – it makes good TV for some idiot to go on a rant bout – will focus people’s attention on what are in essence trivial matters – and create a smokescreen of carefully hyped and manufactured hysteria over……………..nothing.

It is mass hysteria for the masses, for the hard of thinking.

Is it really the burning issue of the day that needs answering, that women are being “disrespected” are having their feelings hurt by not being taken seriously? Really? This is an issue worth addressing – on TV?

This planet is being driven to the brink of self-destruction – almost all western states are literally teetering on the brink of economic collapse – are men being systematically stripped of their Human Rights at the behest of feminists? Yep – they sure are.

The question is why? Cui Bono? Who benefits? Who are the ultimate beneficiaries of this? Women?

The answers are a damn sight more complex than “women’s rights” or “men’s rights” even – right now the west is almost stripped bare of resources – how does one destabilise a culture or a society in order to have a free hand to go in and like a plague of locusts strip that culture or society of its resources?

One destabilises the very foundations upon which all societies and cultures are based – the family, and kinship groups – one pits men and women against one another – creates a toxic social environment that will, to all intents and purposes create carefully controlled social unrest – and yep – even fund “services” exclusively for women – and engineer a neutered male population, and a disenfranchised male population is a docile male population.

Because here is the other thing – women vote – and in greater numbers than men – and women vote for stupid reasons – you flatter the average female enough – appeal to her sense of inherent entitlement and pander to her need to see herself as “special” and that dumb bint would vote for Atilla the Hun.

And if you can also convince enough men that this is actually a good thing – then you are laughing – all the way to the bank.

Feminism’s purpose is and was to implement a programme of male neutering – to implement a programme where men were literally stripped of the right to organise, to co-operate, to form cohesive groups and to embroil them is a positive shitstorm of social exclusion, social and cultural demonization and render them ineffective as a potential threat to the implementation of economic warfare.

 

This story is about this one man’s battle to have his Human Rights vindicated but it is also a symptom – yes it is a story of men’s rights – of father’s rights – and it must be said of children’s rights – but it also gives us a peek at the dark murky waters that flow beneath – at the underlying structural causes.

The Department of Social Protection in Ireland has a programme of welfare cuts to implement – it has to reduce the Social Welfare bill – this is not one of those “will we or wont we” things – this is one of those “do it or else things.

The reasons for this austerity programme are well documented and speak to not just economic policy failures but political failures.

But – the bottom line is this – cuts must be made and made they will be – now – who can we pick on? Who does nobody give a shit about? Who are the easy targets?

How did men find themselves in the position of being those easy targets – and more importantly why?

 

Cui bono? Who benefits?