So the lawyers aren’t going to suffer a crippling reduction in fees after all. What a relief.
It looked for a while as if they were going to be forced to manage on a measly €1,000, but no. Common sense prevails and their fees remain at a richly-deserved €2,500 per day.
Now, I know that some begrudgers are saying uncharitable things about the fine fellows who struggle by on this pittance.
Bah! say I. Year after year, at the Planning Tribunal, these splendid intellects have toiled away for a paltry €650,000 a year in the service of the Nation – as fine an act of patriotism as you will ever see. Foresaking the thrill of going out and competing for work, they have instead chosen the dull and unglamorous drudgery of the Tribunal, with the dreary boring sound of its week-by-week cheque for €12,500 flopping onto the carpet. Oh Jesus, you can hear old Tribunal lawyers groan, Not another fucking €12,500 cheque for me to lodge.”
I feel their pain.
Quite properly, they point out that they gave up the chance of earning far higher fees to work at the Tribunals. True. I had the same experience. By taking a day-job, I gave up the chance of becoming a Texan oil-billionaire.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I wish the lawyers the very best, and I certainly wouldn’t want to seem churlish, but there’s one thing I can’t help wondering: as the Tribunals are not courts of law, why do they need to be run by lawyers? If they’re looking for people with a high level of professional training and administrative skill, why not consider other professions? Can accountants not read and speak? Or geologists? Or physicists? What about union negotiators? Architects? Doctors?
Oh. Now don’t get me started on that.
All right, then. Go on.
Hospital consultants. Now there’s another crowd of fine individuals, for sure and certain.
These are a bunch of guys who want to have a contract to work as public employees, including a guaranteed salary, pension and all the rest, which is fair enough. But they also want to be able to run a private practice, and why not? I can see how there would be no conflict of interest at all there. That’s why, here in Ireland, you can just walk into any hospital and say I’m sick – fix me, and they’ll ask you if you’re a private patient or a public patient, but it won’t matter. You’ll receive instant attention either way, isn’t that right? Not like in that parallel Ireland invented by the media where you walk into a hospital and they ask you if you can pay, and you say no, and they tell you to come back when you’re dead. That was all made up by commies in the media, wasn’t it? And consultants won’t put you to the top of the list just because you can pay them. Of course not. And they don’t have the use of facilities already paid for by you in your taxes – do they? Oh Jesus no. They pay for the whole lot. Of course they do.
It’s just like when you walk into your local Council, and you meet the planner and you say
I want planning permission for my bungalow.
And the planner says Fuck off!!
But I can pay, you protest.
And the planner takes you by the elbow. Why didn’t you say so? Come in here to my consulting rooms paid for by the public, and I’ll draw up your plans on the computer bought out of your taxes and it’ll all be sorted out by the morning for you and don’t worry one bit. Would you like a coffee while you’re waiting?
That’s right. Nobody would mind that, would they? Of course not. And that’s why we allow hospital consultants to do the same thing.