Bludget. What a wonderful word. Bludget.
The nation should be eternally grateful to Marian Finucane for coining such a gem, just as I am myself. I for one welcome our Troika overlords and when the government bludgets us into submission tomorrow, it will be a great comfort to know the name of the abuse being inflicted on us, while we cower and shiver beneath the blows.
You see, here’s the thing: this is the best country in the whole world for following orders, and there’s a simple reason why. We never knew a time when somebody wasn’t telling us what to do. If it wasn’t the Brits in the 18th century, it was the Brits and the priests in the 19th century, or the priests alone in the 20th.
We’ve actually never had a time in our history when we had the confidence to stand up and assert ourselves in a quiet, firm, non-violent way, and say NO. We are afraid of everything because countless generations have been conditioned into that frame of mind, and on the rare occasions when we try to break out of our fear, we replace it with aggression.
As I’ve said many times before, we as a nation are infantile and that manifests itself in the people who lead us.
I suppose there’s no more ludicrous example than Enda Kenny, a man for whom the phrase stuffed shirt might have been invented. I’ll admit that he’s not a crook, but that’s hardly the qualification of choice to be a prime minister. Enda is out of his depth because he lacks inner dignity, just as the rest of our government does, and just as the rest of our politicians do, with one or two exceptions.
What do I mean by inner dignity? I mean an ingrained of self-worth on his own behalf and on behalf of the people he claims to represent, a sense of pride that might erupt into a cold burning fury in the face of injustice, just as it did among the people of Iceland.
I do not mean the sort of pompous rigidity that Enda Kenny seems to possess in such abundance, or the gauche and fake formality that Irish politicians love so much in the company of those they perceive to be their betters.
Does Enda Kenny possess inner dignity? No, unless you consider it acceptable that any prime minister should tell the world his people are mad. Has any Irish leader since independence possessed inner dignity? Not that I can recall, though I’m open to reminder. I have seen no evidence of outrage among our leaders at the crime inflicted on this country by the previous government. Instead, in an act of the most obscene, supine docility, Kenny, Noonan and the rest of them have continued to push the suicidal policies initiated by the two Brians.
There is no sense of outrage, unfortunately. Only a sad and embarrassing desire to please, wrapped up in the phony language of business, a jargon designed to lend spurious credibility to bankrupt ideas.
Brian Lucey, an occasional contributor to this humble organ, has drawn up an Austerity Dictionary that hits many nails on the head.
Defaulter — a word which cannot be seen on the forehead of a modern Irishman due to his deeply tugged forelock
Democracy — [Error: File not found]
Government — See Troika…
Public services — Irish government euphamism for debt amassed by banks, bondholders and unsecured bondholders
4 — amount by which BBC salaries are multiplied to get equivalent levels at RTE
Austerity [n] — The taking of money from passive citizens and giving it to wealthy gamblers.
And so on and so on. Feel free to contribute your own on Twitter using
Before I go, let me just mention something I’ve often spoken of here. Energy.
Our friends in the Troika have identified every last little cut, every penny that in their view should be pinched, and yet they seem to have been remarkably silent on the subject of gas and oil. They don’t seem to have said a word about the fact that we give it all away free to the multinational energy companies. Now, I know what people will say: if we charged them for royalties and shared ownership, they wouldn’t come here. And to that, I’d say, so what? Since we get nothing for our energy resources, why don’t we just leave the gas and oil in the ground until they’re really valuable instead of giving them away for nothing?
The Troika are fairly trenchant when it comes to certain kinds of generosity, such as the generosity that allows old people to live in some sort of frugal comfort, or the generosity that enables poor families to feed and clothe their children, and yet they stayed remarkably silent when it came to other forms of generosity.
For example, when it came to our insane generosity towards the bank bondholders, they had no comment at all, and when it came to our world-beating generosity to multinational conglomerates such as Royal Dutch Shell, there wasn’t a peep out of them. They seem perfectly happy that we get nothing at all – nothing! – from the people who take our oil and gas.
Why would that be, do you think? Why are they so quiet when it comes to corporate giveaways?
Previously: the Corrib energy theft