Ireland — The Land of the Little People

There’s the Quinn family telling a court they don’t have to pay back the money to the bank because they got it illegally in the first place.

No fucking way, Judge, they told the court. The fucking eejits in Anglo made a mistake and that’s the end of it. We’re not givin’ it back, so there. Now.  Boo!!

It reminded me of those tossers you see in shops.  I know the law.  That’s the price you had on it and I’m entitled to get it for that.

It makes no difference to this crowd that the taxpayers are picking up the bills for Anglo.  Taxes are for the little people.

Speaking of little people, how many members of U2 does it take to fill out a tax return?

Answer: Nobody knows.  It’s never been tried.

But that doesn’t stop Bonzo pontificating to a nation on its knees about the importance of giving to the poor.

Bonzo, we are the poor, while you continue to salt away your obscene income in your offshore tax haven.  Fuck off.

Meanwhile, Michael Healy-Rae wins Celebrity Gobshite because some malignant little gnome camped in a Dáil office for a week punching numbers on a phone.

Do you use a Dictaphone?

No.  I use my finger.

There you have the Healy-Rae clan thumbing their noses at the intelligence of the entire country by answering one question with another in traditional slithery fashion, but that’s Kerry for you.  Fuck the rest of Ireland as along as we’re all right.  They took favours from John O’Donoghue, they accepted them from Haughey and it never occurred to them that for every marina built in Dingle or every sports centre in Tralee, some town elsewhere was deprived of a similar facility.

National solidarity my arse.

Meanwhile, Lowry and his cohort of clowns somehow managed to push through their proposal for a ludicrous casino in Tipperary so that people with a severe gambling problem can more easily spend their last penny on slot machines .  Marvellous.  Classy.

And what else will one do in Two-Mile Borris?

Fuck-all, that’s what, because there’s fuck-all else to do there, but that didn’t stop delegations heading out to the Gulf in search of Arab money for their scheme with talk of golf courses and leisure resorts.

Things that will never be built in a plan that’s all about the one-armed bandits.

Wait a minute.  Aren’t Muslims forbidden from gambling? Yes, but maybe not from investing in it, and perhaps that was the Jesuitical point Mr Lowry tried to impress on whatever oil sheikhs he happened to collar, while selling them the odd fridge as well to cool their beer in the boiling sun.

Oil sheikhs don’t pay much heed to the alcohol laws either — in the Gulf, just like in Ireland, some things are for the little people.


48 replies on “Ireland — The Land of the Little People”

Do you really think “WE” are the poor? I agree with all the above but I can’t agree that Ireland is a country of poor people. Then again it depends on the definition of the word poor.

All this would be funny if it wasn’t depressing.
This country is messed up.
What’s wrong with us that we stand for this crap?

rob. I’m not one for delivering lectures or imposing my views of the world on others and i do my utmost to be mindful of that on a daily basis, so apologies in advance if my ” red mist ” has obliterated my struggle for fairness and maintainence of a shred of dignity.

” Poor ” and ” Poverty ” have different meanings, from the philosophical to the practical………………” Poor ” now means that however responsible, mindful and hardworking ” we ” are, the gross imposition of the domino effect created by those who are safe and supported in looking after their own arse will insure that ” we ” remain in a state of struggle for the most basic survival in keeping one roof over our heads, wait, frightened, fraustrated and helpless for basic healthcare and raise our children in the knowledge that they will have to hunt the globe in desperation to eke out a living.

The art of cronyism has come home to roost, reflected unapologetically in the lkes of the hypocrisy of Quinn and his cohorts who have manipulated his supporters with his mild and ” down with the people ” common touch, so much so that he likens to nothing less than a cult leader with the pathetic magnitism that draws the people dependent on his crumbs to take the hit for him.

The likes of Lowry who can gather the hoi polloi like a latter day crusader and sell his mindless potions to what will be termed ” private investors ” the faceless men who will invest nearly 500 mil in an almost bankrupt Country whose kleptocracy will guarantee that ” we ” will be so crippled by debt, sickness , demoralisation and lack of education will never be a trouble to them , we will be too preoccupied with our personal troubles that we won’t have the capacity to prevent what will be nothing short of a faceless despotism.

Like Germany has now suggested to Greece, ” Sell some of your Islands ” Goodbye, Aran Islands, Goodbye Achill, Goodbye Ireland………….well we are only an Island anyway, Lets fly the Norweigan flag in the West, The Saudi flag in the South, Maybe the Russian flag in the East and who knows maybe the German flag will flutter over N.I.

Ya Rob, “we ” are poor, we are bereft of the means to abandon what we have accepted, whether we did it willingly or not no longer matters, The cult of cronyism has won the day and here we are poor and unattractive awaiting the invited vultures to pick over our bones.

Bok I have to for once disagree…Those people are right, take the money and run!!!
As for U2 Leave them off. Taxes go to all of the wrong things.
I think the real money like the AIB money which is missing should be found, invested overseas, ( meanwhile people like my mother who couldn’t get a loan to build a home, so her land sits empty)… exodus of the people all over again.

While Richard Bruton is cutting Sunday premiums for low paid workers, two directors of Dunnes Stores received a dividend of €14million last year. Little people are to keep quiet or they’ll threaten economic recovery.

I have noticed how macho people get towards myself and my brother, who works in retail and deals with many a tosser. I believe it’s their way of expressing their own feelings of powerlessness in the face of the mighty money men, like Quinn and well heeled commentators who lecture everyone to take the pain (except themselves), over those of us who they reckon they have a right to control and treat as shabbily as possible.

How often would you hear, with a tone of respect “Ah sure, he did well for himself”? It is true, he did well for himself but noone else. I’ve heard this too often regarding some characters who would later be discovered to be unscrupulous in their dealings with others that I now wonder whether it is possible to be wealthy and honest at the same time. I know of one local businessman, doing well for himself, discovered a loophole to keep his employees on below the minimum wage. At an event, organised by his staff for a gathering, he was given a €100 tip to distribute among his employees. They never saw it.

Most people in this country strive for a bit of dignity, a decent not exorbitant income but the Wise Masters have decreed that this should not be so. And we allow it to happen. It seems the little people much prefer to bother the shopkeep.

Sad thing in Ireland is that the vast majority of people wont stand up to the greedy ruthless and corrupt but in fact will go in the opposite direction.Falling over themselves trying to be their favourite “Bitches”….instead of siding with their fellow shit upons.

Greedy Ruthless and corrupt would describe half the population of this country straight off.I really believe when you walk through Limerick and you see the nice cars, Oakley/ RayBan sunglasses, copious amounts of alcohol on the weekend, people going on trips abroad every year, the big house, the second car, the creche, ad infinitum and look then at our European neighbors we will see that our lot isn’t as bad as all that. Anyone making over 20K a year is ahead of the game. With 14% unemployment ( claiming) things are not great but for the Irish in general things don’t look too bad looking in from outside.

you have a point there rob,I remember staying in a part of rural France 3 years ago and was surprised to see that nearly everybody was driving old (and battered) looking cars and the farmers tractors there were like what you see at a vintage rally here.Did not see a single SUV or Tank size tractor in the week that I was there.

“Most men are encouraged to assume that, in general, the most powerful and the wealthiest are also the most knowledgeable or, as they might say, the smartest. Such ideas are propped up by many little slogans about those who “teach because they can’t do,” and about “if you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?” But all that such wisecracks mean is that those who use them assume that power and wealth are sovereign values for all men and especially for men “who are smart.” They assume also that knowledge always pays off in such ways, or surely ought to, and that the test of genuine knowledge is such pay-offs. The powerful and the wealthy must be the men of most knowledge, otherwise how could they be where they are? But to say that those who succeed to power must be “smart,” is to say that power is knowledge. To say that those who succeed to wealth must be smart, is to say that wealth is knowledge.”

C. Wright Mills, On Knowledge and Power, 1954.

Rob and William. You both make interesting points but what it proves is that a lot of Irish people are obsessed with status, furthermore many believe that certain items as you describe Rob represent and display the status they want to portray, The Irish in particular buy into that game in a very big way, they believe it sends a message but it does not necessarily mean they can truly afford those products.

The French on the other hand have a completely different take on status, they place a far higher value on the more intrinsic qualities of their lives, you can be guaranteed that a French person driving a prestige car has all the other accoutrements of similar quality and well equipped financially to furnish their life to the same standard.
The French people I know couldn’t give a balls what others think, as long as they are happy in their lives, A lot of Irish people are more concerned about what others think of them than what they actually think of themselves

I met a woman last week, dressed head to toe in designer clothes, who thought it was hilarious that her handbag was worth at least twice as much as her car .

Yeah, the French are fucking wonderful and the Irish are gobshites.
We all partied.. bla bla bla. Living beyond our means etc etc. bla bla.

Excuse me but isn’t the article about corrupt politicians, tax evaders, theiving unscrupulous mega wealthy families- i.e. The Quinns?
Not about regular people over stretching themselves.. ‘part of the problem bla bla bla.’ but I think proportional insignificant in relation to the over all debt incurred by the banks.

Norma, do you live in France?
I lived in France for a year or more and I don’t remember the ‘French way’ as you described it.
The French would go without food in order to “look good” Back biting in France is a way of life.
Do not get me wrong I really like the French and loved living there.
But to say that the French are more concerned about the quality of their lives rather then the material is a sweeping generalisation and simply not true.
One may get the impression from Movies and short holidays in France that the French in particular the Parisians are a very sophisticated race of people who’s real interests and passions lean more towards the Arts and who’s life expectations are more concerned with happiness and self fulfilment then material wealth is simply not true. They are just as materialist and fucked up as everyone else in Europe. The only real difference between the French and the Irish is that instead of beating computer keys in anger like we all do on this site. They would be physically beating the shit out of their political leaders instead.

Norma are absolutely correct, that is exactly how it is.And as you can see you have touched a raw nerve.

LJS. I dont live there anymore, I did’nt try to convey some message heralding the French as being ” unmaterialistic “, My point was that, in my experience and only as a comparison and i could say the same about many other Europeans, that they are not obsessed with the display of status in the way the Irish have become, You only have to look at the vulgar obscenly excessive sq footage housing obliterating our Countryside to see the difference, Many if not most Europeans are content to rent.

Irish women, in particular seem to crave the display of ” labels ” which represent the big spend, whether they are rip offs or not, It might stem from some inner drive to belong to what media imagery depends on to sell their brand, for example, an entrepenurial young girl set up a company selling red stick on soles for shoes and it has turned out to be very successful, why ? because it feeds into a woman believing that the flash of a ” red sole ” represents status, my real point about the Irish obsession with status is that it is one of the many things in our psyche that supports the continuance of denial of who we really are and where we are at at this point in time.

I know of several houses for sale presently as people try to come to terms with a new reality but what i find very unfortunate is that people dont want to put up the ” For Sale ” signs because they see it as a failure or something shameful, Keep up the bullshit front at all costs seems like the mantra and this just feeds the doctrine of ” Quinnism ” and ” Lowryism ” it supports the vulgarity and the lies when we have nothing to be ashamed of by just being who we are, sorry for the long windedness.

FME. I’m not going to translate my comment for you as your knee jerk reaction tells me you missed it by a mile.

Ah the obsession with shiny stuff ??? Who else has that problem ??? Magpies … nope they are birds, Tinkers yup thats it Tinkers are we a country of Tinkers that would explain a lot!

” They took favours from John O’Donoghue, they accepted them from Haughey and it never occurred to them that for every marina built in Dingle or every sports centre in Tralee, some town elsewhere was deprived of a similar facility”

In any other part of the country it mighn’t occur to the locals. In Kerry you bet your ass it occurs to them, and for them that makes it all the sweeter. M Healy Rae’s seat is safe now, they’ll think all the more of him for that little stroke.

Obsession with shiny stuff, fear of what others think, putting on a front, making selfish decisions for short term gain, then whining and blaming others when it goes tits up…….remind you of anyone?

Children. We are a nation of spoilt children. Stupid ones at that.

I don’t want to come across as someone who has no belief in Ireland, I have put forward what i have seen as a trend of denial and superficiality, on the other hand as someone who is involved in fund raising, I have found people to be extremly generous and continue to be so in this climate.

I think someone else said it but Quinn will be lauded as the aul clever rogue who tested the ire of Anglo and ” Shur fair play ” will be lauded on him by his worker bee’s and admirers.

With regards the Casino in 2MileBorris, that is a highly suspect venture and if the reasons for it’s potential success and job providing were remotely plausible then it might have some value, those reasons though are far from plausible so whats in it for Lowry ? When statements such as ” We could even host the Breeders cup there ” are touted and quoted in the press by people who have expert knowledge of the industry, that is a clear signal of something fairly mad going on.

The Banks are basically faceless, its the people behind the scenes who all have each other on speed dial that are driving this process toward all things shiny and fake and its a very strong line of defence against what are as described here as ” The Little People ” but its ” The Little People ” who will create change by rejecting the ” shiny stuff ” and embracing a new reality.

” but its ” The Little People ” who will create change by rejecting the ” shiny stuff ” and embracing a new reality”.
I would’t hold my breath Norma the little people aren’t that motivated!

Rob – Nothing wrong with tinkers by the way.

We are a new nation whether you believe it or not. Almost since the foundation of this new state we have been watching American telly. Jaysus aren’t the Brady Bunch lovely eh? Suddenly the money arrived during the Boom and the people who were lucky enough for the Celtic tiger to piss in their Garden went all American – Why?
Why would you want to be Irish? What’s that? What with all the new well respected revisionist historians telling us we should be thankful for what we have and only won our Freedom as a nation because the Brits got sick of our winging and whining. Sure aren’t we to blame for our own misfortunate history and misery. Sure wasn’t the famine our own bloody fault. And the Irish who were drenched in Celtic tiger piss turned to each other and said ‘What are we to do’? We know we are worthless. What with our red hair and our Ape like faces, a bit of luven would be most welcome. I know! said the Brave ones now intoxicated with the sweet smell of Tiger piss. We’ll become Yanks! Everyone loves the Yanks! Yeehaw! The rest is history as they say.

rob. That quote said back to me sounds like total shite ! Aspirational bullshit, but change will come, it can’t be stopped but what that change will be has to defined by ourselves not our Government or Banks or the Critters in the shiny suits……………No worries about me holding my breath, won’t do that unless i’m drowning.

LJS. So true.

I thought everyone hates the Yanks, Long John.

Norma, I had a chat with a French girl today. She was in agreement with your sentiments. That they are less materialistic over there than here. So maybe that’s right.

Although I think we’re placing the blame for corruption, tax evasion and exorbitant greed on the wrong people. We’re not responsible for that.
Most people I know are struggling to make ends meet. Don’t have big fancy cars or fancy houses.. so all the generalising about the Irish being enthralled with status and materialism is not what I see, in my experience.

All the anecdotes about people thinking of corrupt politicians as cute hoors too is not anything I’ve ever heard. Is it that the electoral system is to blame for these people getting into power or that there aren’t many alternatives, I don’t know.

I think Ireland missed the point. American people don’t live like they do on American shows. That’s make-believe.
I’ve called it J1 syndrome in the past. Most of the J1 visas coming out to New York thought they’d be living in an apartment like that on Friends. Instead they were in a basement studio in the arse end of Queens.
Again though let’s not take our eye off the banking mess that occured. As we’ve discussed here before garbing yourself in labels is juvenile retail foolishness, but leveraging shadows of dodgy assets over and over and over again in complicated financial instruments is criminal.

FME. Its not about blame its about responsibility, The Banks, the greed the corruption, Now we find ourselves in a domino effect scenario, Big debt, small debt, reckless debt, ignorant debt, it will all become the same big bundle at the end of the day.

For everyone who bought the Gucci sunglasses and the Jimmy Choo handbag on their credit card with a sense of ” manyana ” to the builders of 10,000 sq ft houses and so on and on, Its all debt that can’t be paid, Its a sad but true reality that as LJS so eloquently put it, The Irish were seduced by the stench of “Tiger Piss “.

You are one lucky lady not to have encountered ” cute hoor’s ” in your lifetime so far, be it fortunate or unfortunate, I encountered far too many which could be some of the reason why i’m a cynical old bat now.

You are totally correct though, We are the Electorate and with that comes responsibility but those of the CH club are just so very good at what they do, there are plenty alternatives but oh the shame of admitting we are fucked ! Thats the border we have to get beyond.

“It’s not about blame it’s about responsibility”. Whichever.
I’m not responsible or to blame for bankers’ gambles Norma. Neither should the vast majority of working people in this country be responsible for it.
To lump in people’s personal debt and banking debt together into one “big bundle” doesn’t reflect the larger proportional scale of the debt accrued by the banks.

I’m not sure what domino effect you refer to. Is it that people getting ahead of themselves somehow, wanting a decent house, decent car, etc. has some sort of effect on the psyche and actions of the likes of Sean Fitzpatrick or Michael Fingleton? I’m not saying you said that, just asking.

I didn’t say I didn’t encounter any “cute hoors”, I said I didn’t think people referred to them as such. As in they somehow have an admiration for corruption. I don’t think that’s the case.

Ah now Bock I didn’t say give up, what I said was don’t wait for the little people to come up with either the idea or the drive to bring about that change.
Would someone please tell me though the parameters for defining Little People. Who are they? How much do they earn a year? What were they doing 5 years ago?

LJS I don’t particularly like Tinkers( I am not sure if there is a politically correct name for them) but that probably says more about me than them! I do however know that they like shiny stuff and lots of it boss!

FME. ” I’m not responsible or to blame for bankers gambles ”
This isn’t actually about you FME, or at least i don’t think it is, I am not referring to ” proportional scale ” but simply addressing the actions, reactions and manipulations of what is being experienced in Ireland in the here and now.

Neither you or I might see the relevance of lumping ” personal and banking debt into one big bundle ” it simply does’nt matter to those who are issuing and controlling the ” Bailout ” neither does it matter to those who continue to duck and dive their way around the crisis, As in Quinn who is playing on a potential loophole and Lowry who is trying to seduce us and potential investors to his grandiose plans for fun forever.

As for the ” Domino effect ” It began with the Banks, then filtered through to Mortgage default and repossessions, then massive credit card default and on and on, many people are very unfortunate to have been caught in such a net and no vision or businness acumen could have saved them but to the money men it just does’nt matter, all that matters is the balance sheet and thats the harsh reality..

As regards the Irish psyche and the status hunting, I believe that to be an undeniable fact, Its fine to want things such as better houses, cars etc but if the terms and conditions cannot be sustained and paid for then those aspirations become the problem of those who were too cautious, too sensible too disinterested or those who were just contented with what we had.
I don’t buy into judging people on what they drive, where they live or what they wear, simply because i don’t read any messages from what is basically stuff and to me stuff sends no message, people do.

Its as if we have been conditioned into specific displays of branding in order to secure our identity, and where I see the actions and behaviour of people like Lowry and Quinn thrive in that environment is that they play on peoples addiction and insecurity.

In Quinns case, Its not that corruption is lauded, it’s the compelling thought process of the Irish to admire people who ” get away with it ” Its as if they wish they though of it, around here it’s called ” a stroke ” probably called that all over the Island.

With Lowry, He will be seen as the man with the big vision for his constituents, so huge is that vision that those people that voted for him will stare at him in wonder and awe what a genius he is for fighting the great fight for such grandeur……and during these times, he will walk on water, what a guy., Lowry is a very astute man, he knows full well that there is no better time to play on peoples insecurities,.not that i believe for a moment that it will ever happen, but what do i know.

Actually it is about me Norma. My taxes have increased for one.
I did also mention the majority of working people – “I’m not responsible or to blame for bankers’ gambles Norma. Neither should the vast majority of working people in this country be responsible for it.”

Why should the vast majority of people suffer through ‘austerity’ budgets and increased taxes, meaning less money for much needed services, because of the actions of a few?

And I do see the relevance of lumping personal debt with that of banking debt.
If we were to be held responsible for just mortgage defaults and unpaid personal debt, the figures would be pretty insignificant in comparison to the money being poured into the banks.

Regarding Lowry, he won’t be seen as much of a genius when his Two-Bob Borris gambling complex stands empty. Who the fuck has the money for gambling these days? You’d only get it here. Wait until the worst recession of recent times to build a casino. There’s so much disposable income going around for gambling isn’t there. Are they expecting Las Vegas type crowds to be coming to Two-bob, I don’t think so.
Las Vegas or Two-Bob.. let me see? I think I know where I’d be going.
Are shur, we might as well pick up the bill for that too when it goes bust. Genius all right.

FME. I think you might be missing my point, You have had responsibility for others imposed on you, But it’s all about the bigger picture and the endgame which does not factor in either you or I, you are paying higher taxes and that’s the result , It still isn’t about you and that’s the crazy part.
I do hope you realise I was being ironic about Lowry.

Yeah, I sensed a little sarcasm about Lowry there Norma.
So you don’t think he’ll be seen as the man with the big vision by his constituents then?
I was responding to that. To how his constituents might see him when the Two-bob venture isn’t a success.

I know I’ve had the responsibility for others imposed upon me, as has everyone else.
My point is I don’t think the fault of that lies with people who bought expensive sunglasses or people who can’t afford to pay their mortgages and get turfed out of their homes by the banks.

“Socialism is nothing but the capitalism of the lower classes” to quote someone , but how we Irish revel in that socialism. As for class well that is missing all over the country

You can add another little person to the list today, the promiscuous chambermaid who tried to have sex with Dominique Strauss Khan,

Now nobody thinks she was promiscuous before now, but she will be by the end of the hearing today

The BBC are reporting that the case could collapse

Too small a person for proper Poleece protection

LabRat, I like most others detest sexual assault and indeed any assault on any one. Did it ever occur to you that he just might be innocent? That the sexual contact was consensual. Do we now have to find every high earner guilty as accused to satisfy your persecution complex.

If he is guilty then he deserves what he gets, if she blew the whistle with malice she should be prosecuted.

As one newspaper says “Before you make your mind up, open it”

I agree. But as LabRat raisd it not all high earners, fat cats call them what you will abuse their power. Chuck Feeney almost single handedly funded UL, Tom Monaghan who founded Dominos Pizza is a philantrophist. Not all little people are shucks cuties either.

He might well be innocent No.8 just passing an opinion, the bolt for the plane, leaving his luggage behind suggests otherwise. Not to mention his previous form in this regard

Apologies Bock I thought the chambermaid qualified as a little person. Was it only Irishi little people ?

Apologies I missed the bit in the title which referred to the exclusion of the comparison of all other little people from different countries, whether they be current and topical or not. Keeping it exclusively local.

Must get back to my persecution complex before it boils over.

Look forward to the DSK post, by which time he will probably be a free man.

Normally, in a post about Irish inequality, one would not expect to find reference to an incident in New York involving a man from France and a woman from Guinea. We refer to this kind of thing as focus, not exclusion.

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