Environment Local government

George Redmond — the corrupt administrator who destroyed Dublin’s built heritage

Let’s be honest with ourselves about George Redmond, the former Assistant City Manager of Dublin, who died recently at the age of 92.

George was a crook and we all knew it. Everyone in Dublin Corporation knew it. The Planning Tribunal knew it. Every journalist in Ireland knew it. But most of all, the developers knew it, and like the hyenas they were, they took full advantage of George’s greed to destroy Dublin and make themselves a fortune in the process.

George was a crony of every double-dealer from Matt Gallagher to Tom Roche. He was a pal of all those ignorant, aggressive, uneducated but brutal men who systematically raped this country in the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties.  A crony of rotten public representatives like Liam Lawlor. Enemies of the State, every one of them. Terrorists in their own brash, mohair-suited way. As destructive to our way of life as TB or mass emigration.

The vectors of poverty writ large in the shape of clown-faced men with stripy suits, red noses and no soul.

George RedmondThese were the men (and they were all men) who demolished Georgian Dublin under the benign oversight of successive philistine governments that viewed such buildings as the work of the hated English and who turned a blind eye, occluded all the more by a hefty wad of cash inserted in the way thanks to developers who cared nothing for history, craftsmanship or common decency.

And thus it was that over the years, George facilitated these cynics to drain a fine city of its architectural heritage in the name of the overarching principle that had defined his whole life: money. Thus it was that George not only allowed, but caused his native city to fall into decay in the name of private, venal profit: his own and that of the people who paid him.

According to the Planning Tribunal, George Redmond was receiving the equivalent value of a substantial house every year from corrupt payments. Let’s call it a million a year but what did George do with all this money?

Did he splurge in Las Vegas? No. Of course he didn’t. Don’t be silly.

Did he go crazy on cocaine and hookers? Absolutely not.

Did he, perhaps, buy himself a nice car, something extravagant and gangster-like? A Ford Focus, maybe. Or a Golf? No he did not because George was both too limited and too mean.

Contrary to popular belief, George Redmond wasn’t a professional planner, even though he controlled the planning department. In fact he had no professional training at all. He started as a clerk, a small man with a sharp mind who sneaked his way into a position of power but didn’t understand what to do with it apart from collecting bank-notes.

George, you see, was a miser.

George took all the money from the dodgy builders like Matt Gallagher and Tom Roche, and he hid it in his bathroom, in great thick wads of cash, while walking in and out of Dublin to his job because he was too stingy to pay for a bus or a train. Years later, when he found himself in front of the Planning Tribunal, this man who had hundreds of thousands stashed under his bath complained bitterly because a judge wouldn’t adjourn long enough to let him walk home for his lunch, thus forcing him to pay for a sandwich in the local deli.

George once boasted that he was Dublin Corporation, and when it came to planning matters, perhaps he was. He certainly collected most of the planning fees, but his boast points a spotlight on the various men who were his bosses during his career. It’s true that George had the delegated planning function but ultimately he also had many city managers to whom he theoretically answered. Did none of them ask what was going on, and if not, why not? Was it not plain to them, and to everyone who worked for him, that George was utterly corrupt? Why, for example, didn’t Frank Feely ask himself what was going on?

Nobody has put this question to the previous City Managers George worked for, and perhaps now it’s too late. Perhaps now we’ll never know why not one of them raised the issue, though the question is perplexing. Why one earth didn’t even a single City Manager wonder what George was up to?

Given the appalling treatment of whistleblowers in Ireland right up to the present day, perhaps we can forgive those who worked under him, even though they all knew that the department they were working in was hopelessly compromised, but what of the others?  Why was it that not one of them asked hard questions, given the fact that Dublin was being destroyed in front of their eyes?

Why did no politician ask what was going on?

Why did no architect publicly point the finger? No engineer?

Why did the RIAI and the IEI remain silent as George Redmond and his accomplices systematically destroyed the built heritage of Dublin for the sake of a few shillings?

Nobody liked to see an 80-year-old man being sent to jail in 2003 for accepting bribes. Nobody wants to punish the elderly because we’re hard-wired to feel protective towards anyone radiating kindly old grandad signals, and that’s why we didn’t feel too comfortable about George Redmond hitting the slammer for corruption, even if we were wondering why exactly he was arrested carrying £300,000 in a suitcase coming back through Dublin Airport after an Isle of Man bank refused to accept the cash.

Who knows? Maybe he just made wise investments with his old-age pension. Maybe he won it on a horse, like other prominent figures of our time.

No. George was a crook, and we all know it.

Imagine what Dublin would look like today if its planning policy had been controlled by someone with a sense of decency instead of a venal, dishonest miser.

And while we’re at it, let’s not overlook the activities of corrupt administrators closer to home, whose activities might well mirror those of George Redmond. Watch this space.


Political corruption in Ireland





Dublin Planning Bribery Charges Dropped

mahon tribunal Frank Dunlop

Let me offer you a few facts.

Fact 1.  Dublin county councillors were bribed to vary the county development plan so that entirely unsuitable land could be rezoned for residential and commercial development.

Fact 2.  Inappropriate rezonings took place, contrary to the interests not only of the local people, but of the Irish State.

Fact 3.  A hugely-expensive tribunal — costing over €300 million — found evidence of widespread political corruption.

Fact 4. Thousands of people are trapped in houses they can’t sell, thanks to the collapse of the housing bubble, driven by the greed and corruption of some developers and some politicians.

Fact 5. Nobody went to jail for any of this, apart from the bagman, Frank Dunlop, who passed the dodgy money from the developers to the politicians in return for their votes.

In the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, Dunlop was unable to continue giving evidence in a planning corruption case, and the State dropped all charges against the accused who were as follows:

  • Jim Kennedy, property developer and Gibraltar resident.
  • Former senator and county councillor Don Lydon, Stillorgan.  Mr Lydon agreed at the planning Tribunal that he was the most prominent supporter of planning proposals by Monarch Properties.
  • Former Fine Gael councillor Liam Cosgrave, Merrion Park, Blackrock.  In the same court three years ago, Mr Cosgrave pleaded guilty to making a false or misleading report of a political donation.  Mr Cosgrave, son of a former Taoiseach, also admitted to the Tribunal  that he failed to declare a donation of €3,000 from Dunlop.
  •  Former councillor Colm McGrath, Swiftwood, Saggart, described by Dunlop as Mr Insatiable.  McGrath was deselected as a council candidate by Fianna Fáil when it emerged that he had received a donation of £30,000 from Owen O’Callaghan, the man responsible for having the Neilstown Town Centre development moved to Quarryvale, thus depriving a community of a heart.
  • Current  councillor, Tony Fox, Mountainview Park, Churchtown.

All of these men are entitled to go forward with no blemish attached to their names, and yet, the general public is left scratching its collective head.  Who will be called to account?

The Tribunal pulled no punches, remarking among other things that

[The tribunal] came under sustained and virulent attack from a number of senior government ministers who questioned, inter alia, the legality of its inquiries as well as the integrity of its members

So who exactly is guilty?  Who will be charged for all the corruption, all the destruction of communities and ruination of lives?

This being Ireland, I suspect the answer is nobody.


Motorway Corruption in Ireland

I had to do a job in Dublin today and I was up and down in a flash on the great new motorways we have these days.  Isn’t it great?  No more sitting in the traffic at Borris-in-Ossory or Mountrath or Moneygall, asking yourself, why the fuck do these places exist?

Although, in fairness to Borris-in-Ossory, I have to say this: a very kind lady in the hotel once took pity on us when we had a brand new baby in distress and the kind woman offered all the facilities of the house to make sure the little one would be all right.  Thank you, kind woman from long ago. I hope you’re still among us.

The child is now a strapping young woman herself and in no further need of assistance.

But still, wasn’t it a disaster, driving from here to there?  I used to live in Dublin, and the journey was just that — a journey.  Today, you jump on the motorway and you’re there.   Bang.  The end.  But not in the dark old days.

Does anyone remember the ridiculous hairdresser’s shop at the corner in Nenagh?  It exemplified and encapsulated everything that was pathetic and provincial about the Ireland of its time.  As you nudged forward in the traffic, trying grimly to keep enjoying your latest Talking Heads album on the tape deck, while the child screamed blue murder in the back and your blood pressure approached red-line values, there it was, right there on the corner.  A very cheap plastic sign that said Eileen O’Brien, Late of New York.

Oh dear sweet Jesus. Thank you Eileen.  Unwittingly, you lifted our weary souls as we trudged southward and gave us a hearty laugh every time.

Eileen O’Brien, Late of New York.  

Doesn’t it say so much, in so few words?  I regret never taking a photo of that sign, because it said so much about our country at that time, and perhaps in the future.  The loss of the old National Primaries is the loss, in many ways, of a culture.  A culture of rage, frustration and annoyance, but also a culture that educated us in musical taste.  After all, what else could you do when stuck in a three-mile tailback outside Roscrea and trying to placate a screaming child?  What else but play that child your copy of Graceland at full  volume, thereby creating a natch’l born throwback years later?  It’s not like you’re going to play your favourite Matt Johnson tape, is it?  Or Blood and Chocolate?  Well, yes.  Unfortunately for the child, it is.

It’s a lot better than it used to be, but of course, none of that is relevant to this post.  I’m all in favour of motorways, but what I’m not in favour of is this: politically-designed motorways, which is what we have in Ireland.

Here’s the ridiculous politically-driven motorway map in Ireland today.   I wrote about it in another post, and I won’t waste my time repeating that discussion here.

Motorways should be designed by engineers.  They should determine the precise layout, the optimal grid that will achieve the most efficient transport, given the various constraints that exist  everywhere in the world.

Were Irish motorways designed by engineers?  Well, yes and no.  After the politicians finished selecting the land that the new road should go through, so that their friends, relatives and voters got the maximum compensation, the new roads were laid out broadly along the lines of the old national primaries.  Needless to mention, this was an insane policy, but we did it anyway, because it made the relatives and friends of politicians rich.

That’s the No.  The Yes is that after all these political decisions were finished, engineers designed the roads, but they did so based on utterly corrupt choices, and therefore we ended up with superbly-designed motorways that just happen to go through land formerly owned by the friends and families of politicians, who had to be bought out at enormous public expense.

It isn’t about public officials being bribed.  By the time they became involved, the decision was already made.

Figure it out, folks.  Corruption takes many forms.



Infrastructure Politics

Political Corruption in Ireland

There’s no doubt that under the tutelage of Charlie Haughey, Fianna Fáil became a deeply dishonest and corrupt party, but there’s also no doubt that the cancer didn’t start with him.  Haughey only refined it, while others brought it to its ultimate disastrous and unavoidable conclusion.

If you delved back into the days of Taca, you might see how it all went thoroughly filthy, but you’d still have some more digging.  It wasn’t in the Sixties, or the Fifties, nor yet the Forties nor the Thirties that corruption took hold in Ireland.  And nor was it exclusively the domain of Fianna Fáil.  The homeopathic Fianna Fake also had its share of chancers and crooks, as one would expect of a doppelganger.

Nevertheless, look at Taca.  In the late 60s, Fianna Fáil actively reached out to the emergent entrepreneurial classes seeking funds, and in return they offered favours.  The more you paid, the more favourable FF policy would be to your case.  These men in mohair suits, masters of a backwater universe, swaggered around their little patch with a certain out-of-date, shabby panache that would only have impressed in an introverted, closed society like Ireland.

While the young people were discovering Woodstock and dropping out, or going to smoke their brains out in Notting Hill squats, these dishonest politicians and their red-nosed builder cronies were buying up huge tracts of derelict Dublin, and plotting to destroy our architectural heritage by subverting the planning laws in pursuit of grubby coinage.  The young Haughey, Lenihan, Colley and the rest were thoroughly corrupt and on sale for a price.  And in this benighted isle, where laws were for the little people, they cleaned up.

Yet, they were still the small-minded, forehead-knuckling serfs they had always been, with their surly resentment of colonial masters, their clumsy manners and their newly-acquired veneer of sophistication. Masters of vulgarity.  Haughey, with his instant art collection, his instant stately home, his instant wine cellar, his instant yacht, his instant island retreat  and his instant string of horses, was probably the most embarrassing of them, but he was by no means the only lout who managed to impress the yokels because he was marginally less ignorant than they were.

Lenihan was more cultured by comparison, but that wasn’t a difficult feat in a country that had erected a puritanical church-imposed, cultural wall for decades.  In the Irish kingdom of the blind, Lenihan was the one-eyed man.  They were a sorry bunch, but they had the country by the short-hairs.  Their lack of vision gave us a society where the citizens pay for everything and where public services are minimal.  They underfunded the defence forces.  They sold the telephone network.  They were bought by the crooked beef industry.  They prostituted themselves  to big builders.  They sucked the cocks of newspaper owners.

Haughey phoned his Provo friends and secured Ben Dunne’s release from kidnap.  In return, Dunne was forever grateful and paid Haughey millions.  Thanks, Big Fella, said the malevolent midget, and yet, he was never as much in hock to big money as his so very very ‘umble servant, Uriah Ahern, who later  handed billions to the church that put him where he is through his connections with the Knights of Columbanus.

Throughout the twentieth century, the Knights of Columbanus (building division) grew rich out of corruption, double-dealing and unfair manipulation of due process.  In the late seventies and early eighties, they orchestrated corrupt planning decisions in North Dublin and  the corrupt awarding of monopoly contracts to operate toll-bridges across the Liffey.  Their numbers included many of Ireland’s leading architects, engineers, builders and developers, and they were up their necks in many property scandals, including the great rezoning disgrace of North Dublin.  Rezoning was big.  In the early 80s, Dublin politicians of every shade were bribed with money funnelled through small, unremarkable consultancies with connections to the Knights.  The recipients of bribes included councillors and TDs, both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael members.

Meanwhile, since the Thirties, we had the cancer that was Roadstone.  Tom Roche Snr was a crook who founded Roadstone and little by little managed to gain control of the State’s quarries through corrupt deals, bribery and dishonest transfers from public bodies under the instruction of politicians.  Eventually, Roche’s company gained almost monopolistic control of the country’s road-building resources.  Before Roche, all  county councils operated their own quarries and produced their own material at no nett cost.

In order to ease  Roche’s path to domination, Fianna Fáil minister Todd Andrews executed a policy of destroying our railways, thus ensuring that all transport construction expenditure would have to take place on the roads, and all the money went to the Riches who now owned all the old council quarries.

To make sure that this would always be so, Andrews ordained that strategic sections of the permanent way be sold off or destroyed so that no future government in centuries to come might reverse his decisions.  In time, Roadstone would become the headquarters of an illegal bank, operated by Des Traynor, to administer the illegal Ansbacher accounts hiding the illicit offshore money of politicians and big business.

A Roadstone subsidiary — National Toll Roads — controls the two major river crossings in Dublin, and collects all the tolls on them, even though the Irish taxpayer funded the roads that delivered the customers to the bridges.  It was a corrupt political decision not to finish the job by building the bridges but to leave their construction instead to a private company.

That’s Ireland for you.



Smoke and Mirrors — Looking to the Future

Brian Lenihan has delivered the Budget, and it seems that the greatest pain will be borne by the most vulnerable. But we already knew that, didn’t we? The Irish people will be made to suffer for the sake of a bank bailout that was never our fault, for wounds inflicted by lazy and corrupt politicians. I said before that “the government seems to be unwilling to stop giving money to Anglo-Irish, so the cost of running the country must be reduced somehow – and that means bleeding the ordinary citizens of Ireland dry.”

This is the first blood-letting. I suspect the full effect will take time to make itself known.

We can take comfort in knowing that the web of lies is finally beginning to fall apart, as support for Brian Cowen and Fianna Fáil plummets to a record low. It seems that we’re starting to wake up from the dream that they’ve tried to sell us; that they are actually competent and able to run the country successfully, that they can guide us out of this financial storm. The swing voters, who might have leaned towards FF out of familial obligation or out of tradition, cannot delude themselves any longer about the party’s true character. If the trend continues, we may even bear witness to the end of Fianna Fáil as a viable political entity, and a true turning point in Irish politics.

It’s all pie in the sky stuff, unfortunately, for the people on the ground who will take the brunt of FF’s treasonous actions. Who cares what happens in Dublin if your family in Galway can’t pay the bills? What does it matter to a TD on a still-fat salary if you’re in danger of losing your house because you’ve lost your job? And they don’t care, believe me, apart from one or two who desperately try to play the game in the hope of making a difference. The ones in power will ignore your rage and belittle your concerns until you start to think that maybe you deserve this, and there really isn’t anything you can do.

…or is there?

The Law is an Ass

The Dáil could say that we must share in the pain, and pay our taxes like good little citizens, but Cowen and his cronies seem to forget that they are not the only ones with a rather blasé attitude to the law.

This is Ireland. It’s all who you know, and who did you a favour last week – certainly not what’s illegal and what isn’t – and although it was that kind of thinking that got us into this mess, it might also be the thing that shields the ordinary people from the worst of it. In another country, and another populace faced with high, unfair taxes, you might get riots in the streets. Here, well, we’ll just find a way not to pay.

The black economy is already making a comeback. The article from 2009 says:

That would mean that, each month, over half a billion euro is generated that the taxman doesn’t ever get a penny of, or well over €1bn worth of missing-in-action VAT returns for this year alone. Brian Lenihan might find it very handy these days, amounting as it does to a quarter of what he has to find in the upcoming budget. This hidden economy could grow by a further €350m this year, or up to 0.9 per cent, Schneider predicts.
Everyone knows someone who’s been paid under the table. What better way to avoid paying back the debts of rich bankers? Oh, there are laws against it, but the Irish attitude to them seems to fall roughly in line with that of Mr. Bumble from Oliver Twist: “If the law supposes that, the law is an ass.” I will easily predict that the black economy will grow faster than ever in the next few years as people begin trading among themselves, outside the sphere of the government

It’s not a viable solution, of course. It’s certainly not going to do anything except destabilise the economy further, as less money goes to businesses operating legally. But this isn’t about economics, and there’s no such thing as ‘the greater good’ when it’s coming up to Christmas and you don’t have enough money to buy your child the present they want. It’s bloody minded tribalism all over again – but this time, it’s the government getting screwed. Whether the effects are ultimately ruinous for Ireland makes no difference; people will do it anyway to survive.

Future Imperfect

There will be no greater indictment of how the Dáil no longer speak for Ireland than if people stop paying their taxes. It would be a subtle rebellion; insidious, like a poison, and something that the government will not be able to stop. A default will not happen while the ECB have a vested interest in keeping Ireland afloat, so the main effect will be to strangle the Dáil and the supply of money going to run the country and pay the bankers’ debt. It will hurt us, long term, but in the short term it will keep a lot of people going.

But the future is still bleak for so many of us, even if tax dodging really does take off. Middle and lower income families will be hit hard by the reduction in child benefits and the minimum wage. With no more first time buyers’ relief, the dream of owning a home will be pushed even further away for younger workers. With the changes to business, entrepreneurs will feel the pinch and even fewer new companies will appear. The wealthiest Irish citizens are already paying the highest rate of tax, and they will not pay any more – and there are even some reports that they will gain a tax break overall.

A paltry cut in the Taoiseach’s salary and a €250k cap on public servants’ wages is pathetic. (There was also no mention of expenses – remember those? They’re still unvouched, meaning no receipts are required.) Cowen will take a reduction of €14,000 on his €200,000+ salary, and one can only assume he will not find it a stretch to support his family on what he has left. But for the person on minimum wage? Losing a single euro per hour is like taking a punch in the face; it amounts to a reduction of 11.5% of their income, and that cut is going to hurt. Cowen, in comparison, is losing only 6.1% of his, and I doubt he will even notice.

Don’t worry, though. They’re cutting down the number of ministerial cars, so that makes it alright.

Finding Hope

The most heart-breaking part of this whole play is the sense that people truly feel powerless in the face of this wholesale razing of their country; that people would rather emigrate, and join the Irish diaspora in forging a new life in a foreign land, instead of trying to fix the broken shell of their home. That is the true crime of the politicians and their friends in high business – despair, driven into the soul of a nation, the last nail in the coffin of what used to be a sovereign state.

But the soul of Ireland – ah, now that’s something a little different. That’s something that can’t be killed.

We are a small country, but we are a great country. Our culture survived seven hundred years of oppression; today it’s celebrated across the world on St. Patrick’s Day. We’re welcomed just about everywhere, and famous for our music, art, dancing and wit. We are the country of Oscar Wilde, U2, Newgrange, and Guinness, and one of the few places in Europe that the Romans never conquered. We’re right next door to a colonial superpower, and we fought them for the right to choose our own destiny. We are a country of myth, legend, magic and story; saints, scholars, warriors and heroes; the ancestral home of eighty million people; renowned for generosity, loyalty, and spirit.

We have a lot to be proud of, and it was not built by the likes of Brian Cowen. For all our ideas that Ireland is insignificant, and really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, the truth is that Ireland has changed the world. We should never forget that. And so despite everything that has happened, and that will happen, I am still hopeful; I believe that Ireland will survive this, that we will survive this. In the blood and in the bone, we are greater than this one little island and the gombeen men who are trying to control it.

That is the final truth behind the veil of smoke and mirrors.

Eamon de Valera, addressing Winston Churchill after the end of WWII:
Mr. Churchill is proud of Britain’s stand alone, after France had fallen and before America entered the war. Could he not find in his heart the generosity to acknowledge that there is a small nation that stood alone not for one year or two, but for several hundred years against aggression; that endured spoliations, famine, massacres, in endless succession; that was clubbed many times into insensibility, but each time on returning to consciousness took up the fight anew; a small nation that could never be got to accept defeat and has never surrendered her soul?


Dublin Bus Services Disrupted as Drivers Take Industrial Action. Who Gives a Fuck?

So Dublin Bus is going to have a bit of a wobble? National fucking news! Front page of the papers. Headlines on the telly.

Do you know something? I couldn’t give one flying, perforated fuck about Dublin bus services.

Dublin is a ridiculous urban sprawl generated by corrupt politicians and the vicious, unprincipled property developers who greased their palms. Dublin takes up as much land as Los Angeles, but only has a third of the population. Even then, the third it does have is split fifty-fifty between heroin-addicted post-office-robbers and UCD graduates with an inferiority complex about being Irish, whose crooked, rich parents bought them a cheap pass Arts degree and a job in RTE entertaining their friends on early-morning chat-shows. Oh, and of course a few hack journalists and politically-appointed judges.

Two thirds of us Irish don’t live there, and yet all our national transport resources are sucked into this planning disaster of a city, leaving the rest of us with almost no public transport at all, yet the media don’t seem to realise nobody gives a fuck. And that’s because they’re not writing for the majority of us, nor broadcasting to the majority who pay their fucking licence fees to keep them in the smug bubble of mediocrity they’re so dependent on. No. They’re writing for their friends.

Dublin, in its incredible hubris, doesn’t know the rest of Ireland exists, though I understand this is a common phenomenon in small post-colonial societies like ours. I wouldn’t mind that too much if the inmates of Dublin, while condescending to the rest of the country, wouldn’t at the same time continue to suck at our taxes for their own benefit, and negotiate deals with Belfast to re-partition Ireland East-West.

You can just imagine Bertie the slime-ball schmoozing on the phone with Paisley.

N-n-n-n-n-n-no, Ian. Dere’ll b-b-b-b-b-be n-n-n-no problem. We’ll just take the fuckin — sorry — the airport off dem in de M-m-m-m-mid West, an’ give it ta youse.

What’s da’? Dublin pay for da peace process? Jayz, Ian, yiz are a gas fuckin — sorry — yiz are a gas man. Jayz no. We’ll take the m-m-m-m-money for da peace process offa da culchies.

Protests? Fuck ’em — sorry – forget ’em.

Of course, there are benefits. For example, there’s the quiet satisfaction of knowing that in Dublin you have to pay about â€50 million to buy an ex-Council shit-hole in Finglas. And then you have to spend the rest of your life pretending you bought an apartment on the Upper East Side, even though you know — you just know — that if you slid back those cheap Harry Corry blinds (all you could afford on that mortgage) you’d see the very same skangers riding their scabby piebald up and down the footpath outside your house, and the same junkies shooting up at the bus stop, just like they used to before you started believing it was Manhattan and not just another anonymous Council shit-hole.

Anyway, as I started saying, I couldn’t really give a vigorous toss if Dublin has a bus service or not. It might do the tax spongers some good to be like the rest of us for a day or two.

Humour Politics

Investment Opportunities

I was just sitting down to contemplate the mysteries of a solid black pint of Guinness when Jimbo walked in. He was wearing the sly little smirk that tells you he’s pulled off another stroke involving vast profit, and he wants you to ask him about it.

Well? I said. Tell me.

Ah, he said, you’ll love this.

Go on.

Well, he said, you know the way you thought the government would be hammered in the election?

Don’t remind me, I groaned.

And you remember how I thought they’d do well?

I do.

And I said to you, if they get in this time with a bigger share of the vote, it will be five years of corruption and giveaways to their pals until all our money is gone.

Hurry up, I said. My pint is going flat.

Well, said Jimbo, I took a bit of a gamble and I invested all my spare money in a single product. I’ve cornered the market. I’ll be the sole supplier.

Of what?

What else? said Jimbo with a triumphant flourish. Brown envelopes!


Irish General Election

I see our government has decided to go to the country.

Great. Time to start torturing those political reptiles that call to your door once every four years. After all, even if you didn’t disagree with their policies, it’s very hard to like a heavily-sweating man in a bad suit with a gigantic belly and highly-suspect hair.

I hate these people, but I don’t – obviously – expect you to be so vehement. Obviously. Did I mention that I hate these fuckers? Yes. However, you don’t need to be anywhere near as vehement. Just ask them a few questions when they come to your door, and while I think of it, may I just enter a small caveat? Thanks.

Caveat: This is a completely non-party site. This site hates all political parties equally, naturally, because they are all equally power-grabbing scum-sucking cynical parochial arse-licking morality-free fuckheads. All of them. Including the Greens, the Browns, the Greys, the Socialists, the Socialites, the Luddites, the Lignites, the Meteorites, the Bentonites and of course, the Gelignites. Not to mention Hurricane Johnny and the Jets. The whole dishonest, shit-eating lot of them.

That is Bock’s view on politicians, both established and incipient. A crowd of wankers. Tosspots.

However, as only one party has been in power in this benighted little country for a generation, unfortunately it’s going to look as if I have adopted some kind of party-political stance, when in fact it’s simply that there isn’t anyone else to attack. I mean, the only people who have fucked up in recent memory are the government parties. OK? That makes sense.

Here’s my suggestion. I’ll make a list of hard questions. You can paste them on the inside of your front door and then, instead of listening to the nauseating shite you know they’re going to throw at you, simply say

Hold on a minute. I have a couple of questions.

What do you think? Is this revolutionary or what? People with real questions challenging real stupid politicians.

Now here’s a problem. Because this is Ireland, a small tiny little country on the periphery of just about everything, there are certain things I can’t recommend to you. For example, I can’t suggest you say

Why did you invade Iraq, you murdering fucker?

Of course not. We didn’t invade Iraq.

You could, however, ask something along the lines of

Why did you give Shannon Airport for the use of the US military to invade Iraq, you murdering- by-proxy fucker?

Or you could try something more parochial. For example, you could ask

Why did you give €1,200,000,000 of my money to bail out the religious orders who raped and abused Irish children? For clarity, that would be one thousand two hundred million euros. Could you explain that please? Thanks.

And if you draw a blank on that, maybe you could ask them the following:

How much of the profits from the Corrib gas field go to the Irish citizen?

[Hint 1: The answer is not a penny]

[Hint 2. This is where the Government has sent 200 police to beat the local protesters off the roads while real criminals walk around unhindered everywhere else.]

[Hint 3 This was the deal signed by the convicted fraudster and crook Ray Burke when he was Minister for Energy.]

You might add another supplementary question if you feel sufficently splenetic:

When he gave away this valuable national asset to Shell, how much did Ray Burke make out of the deal?

[Hint: No problem, Ray. Sue me.]

And as this is a Limerick-based site here’s a local one.

Limerick is a much smaller town than Dublin. It only has a population of about 120,000 people in the greater area, compared to the 1.2 million of Dublin. Therefore the most we could expect is a tenth of whatever Dublin gets, per head of population. For instance, as the Luas tram system in Dublin cost €800 million, wouldn’t it seem reasonable that we could have €80 million spent on a tram system for Limerick? A tenth, in other words.

That way, it would be less annoying to see all our tax money spent on a city we don’t live in.

Fine. Here’s the question:

When will the government spend as much per head of population on Limerick’s public transport as they did in Dublin?

[Note: Substitute Cork, Galway, Waterford, Sligo or wherever else you prefer.]

Isn’t it great? And we’re only starting on these bastards.


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