The dole is too high? It must be pre-budget season


Pre-budget season is well on truly upon us with the Indo wringing its hands about how the ‘welfare trap’ is preventing people from taking up jobs. We are told that people are not taking up jobs or extra hours as it will mean they would loose valuable welfare health and housing benefits and small top ups to their wages. Of course an entirely different  way of looking at or framing this story is that poverty wages, high rents and expensive health care are preventing people from taking up jobs; but that’s crazy pinko talk isn’t it? Rather what is called for is ‘job activation measures’, which is media-speak for the disciplining  and punishing of an ungrateful labour force.

The Independent doesn’t lower itself to actually speaking to an unemployed person or representative but rather directly quotes the ubiquitous ‘Mr Burns’ character Mark Fielding of the Irish Small and Medium Enterprise association, who maintains that the ISME ‘helpline’ is bouncing off the hook with petite bourgeois complaints about people refusing to work for less than the dole. The entire 1,000 word front page article manages (with great skill) not to mention the current crisis of mass unemployment, emigration, the collapsed economy, the austerity measures of the last number of years, the debt crisis or even the international economic situation. No we have unemployment because the dole is too high. indomortgagecrisis


The Plank Walks

Nice piece from Hired Knaves on the departure of Pat Kenny.

Cunning Hired Knaves


Pat Kenny

Pat Kenny moved to Newstalk yesterday. Pat Kenny is a current affairs and occasional light entertainment broadcaster who has spent a very long time working for RTE, the state broadcaster. He has been working for RTE a lot longer than most people in Ireland have been alive. That means that for large numbers of people, the fact he will be no longer heard on RTE is akin to the abolition of Weetabix. Kenny is a national institution, like alcoholism and paying for schoolbooks.

There does not seem to be much weeping and gnashing of teeth at his departure, though I may just be moving in the wrong circles. By ‘wrong’ I mean circles where everyone thinks he is a pompous asshole who gets paid too much.

If Pat Kenny were just a matter of an ersatz Alan Partridge, a big fish in a small pond who would struggle to…

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