The Lion Sleeps Tonight … R.I.P.

I would ask you, and others like you who claim this type of behaviour is acceptable, to consider the following, and perhaps, even more importantly, you might consider making appropriate reparations for the damage and pain and dishonour that you now have incurred.

You callously and coldly subverted local people to help you do something that you personally had neither the skills, the integrity, neither the moral nor ethical right, to do and then claim that it was all legal.

The laws of Nature, the process of evolution, are not fully understood by us humans, since we have over time developed the fanciful notion that we are separated from the rest of our relations on the planet, and that those laws do not apply to us.

Note: You may like to listen to this music while you read. Be sure to open the link in a new window (<alternative Click> and select <Open link in new window>):

1. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=XJuEuRCKq1s> (Ladysmith Black Mambazo)

2. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=_LBmUwi6mEo> (The Tokens)

Open letter to:

Walter J Palmer, Dentist
10851 Rhode Island Ave. S
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55438

Topic: The killing of a much-loved Lion King in Zimbabwe, 2015.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Dear Walter Palmer,

Your recent exploits in Africa have been broadcast all over the Internet. I give you credit for not hiding behind anonymity and instead admitting what you did. Nevertheless that apology, though necessary in a civilised society, is totally inadequate.  I would ask you, and others like you who claim this type of behaviour is acceptable,  to consider the following, and perhaps, even more importantly, you might consider making appropriate reparations for the damage and pain and dishonour that you now have incurred.

  1. If you are the responsible hunter you claim to be, then “not realising” is not an option. You were killing for “sport”, or for some other known or unknown reason, because clearly you are in a lucrative profession and surely you did not kill for food.
  2. If you paid the park guides that much money to assist you in your work of desecration of Nature, then I can only presume that the high price you paid is a bribe, official or not. The park guides are also implicated in your crime. Just another example of how wealth corrupts and implicates others. Even though they were complicit in your appalling behaviour, how will they now fare as a result of taking your blood money?
  3. Why was it necessary to decapitate such a noble beast? A trophy for your unsated lust for violence? And skinned? I notice that many visitors to your web site suggested that skinning alive or dead would be too good for you. I would prefer to find out why you thought it necessary or desireable to slaughter that lion for “sport”, before agreeing with them. [Note that Walter Palmer’s Facebook page has been closed within the past few hours. A number of alternative “hate” pages have been lodged now.]
  4. The subtlety of your claim that the hunting trip was “legal” may satisfy your conscience, inured, as your country and American society, in general, continues to demonstrate, to the worship of guns and violence. Wake up, Walter! You no longer are a frontiersman committing genocide against the Indigenous people of your colonised land. You are a mindless, conscienceless, barbarian, destroying a creature whose DNA is similar and partly shared with you, and for what? Do you feel better from the experience? Did you participate in the skinning and beheading? Or did you, as a noble “White Hunter”, sit back and let the “Natives” do your bidding? I bet you hadn’t the courage to look that noble animal in the eyes when you killed him.
  5. Hired professional guides? Secured all proper permits? Nonsense! Lies! Perversion! You subverted local hunters who are paid to protect those lands, those threatened species. They surely were not permitted to kill that Lion. In fact the Safari Park officials have said the killing was illegal. What is “proper” about the permits you received? More legalistic nonsense and self-serving delusion.
  6. Your professional qualifications suggest that you are not an uneducated man. It is a blatant lie to say that the trip was “legal”, it is clear that it was not “properly handled” because of the bribes you paid, and it most certainly was not “(properly) conducted”. You are responsible for your actions. You are an unlicensed killer.
  7. You claim that you “had no idea that the lion (you) took was a known, etc.” When our hunting ancestors tracked their prey, they did so in a way that they first came to know as much as possible about their quarry. Their shamans advised them which quarry it was that they were permitted to hunt. They apologised to the generic spirit of the animal and thanked it for giving up its life for them. You broke that code. You severed the bond that humans once had with Nature. You should be excluded from decent human society till, like the scape-goat, you too die in the wilderness, alone and unloved. It is clear from the reports that the Lion in question was loved.
  8. You speak of your “regret that (your) pursuit of an activity (you) love and practice responsibly and legally” led to this result. What self-deluding, totally self-seeking, and irrational and fabricated nonsense! You callously and coldly subverted local people to help you do something that you personally had neither the skills, the integrity, neither the moral nor ethical right, to do and then claim that it was all legal.
  9. It is clearly to be inferred from the report of the statement made by Conservation Chief Johnny Rodrigues, that you were merely a bloodthirsty foreign tourist relying upon local professional hunters, seeking to sate some primeval lust lurking in your immature mind that would give you some expensive “kicks” to entertain you.
  10. It appears that those whom you bribed to collude with you may now face jail sentences. I will not comment upon this as your beloved Law must decide their fates. Would that you could be extradited to face the same charges. The honourable thing to do, of course, would be to return voluntarily and face the same laws that they now face. I am referring to the laws that you quoted in support of your right to hunt. The ZPHGA “insists” that Cecil, the Lion, “was killed illegally.” Just to remind you, “illegally” means that it was not done legally, despite your pathetic protestations to the contrary.
  11. Was the animal beheaded because you realised the significance of the GPS collar? I presume that with your privileged position and the wealth in your society in America, you will be aware of the significance of a GPS collar. Were you guiltily trying to destroy the evidence and cover up your own tracks as well as destroying the tracks of the Lion?
  12. The laws of Nature, the process of evolution, are not fully understood by us humans, since we have over time developed the fanciful notion that we are separated from the rest of our relations on the planet, and that those laws do not apply to us. So your killing of the Lion King will now lead inevitably to the destruction of his progeny by the new King. Such is the nature of the Lion. If you were the professional hunter you claim to be, then you would have been aware of that effect and the consequences of your actions. Would you wish to add the heads of those cubs to your trophy wall also? Really, Walter, you will have so many unsettling memories to deal with, I hope your nerves can handle it. It would be dreadful for your professional career as a dentist if you clients detected the slightest tremble in your hand. The eyes of that noble animal will forever seek yours now, asking you “Why”? Have you an honest answer that doesn’t depend on spurious legality and subverted testimony? May those eyes follow your movements now for the rest of your days, until eventually you too are tracked down and faced by the Grim Reaper, alone, defenceless, on some empty savannah plain of life, and meet your own pitiless karmic fate. As above, so below; as within, so without. So mote it be.

State of the Country

six-of-pentaclesGaeilge (For English translation, please see below)
B’fhéidir gur rinneadh trácht ar seo le déanaí ach ní fhacasa é. An tseachtain seo caite, do chaith mé roinnt ama ag faire a gcuid fianaise á thabhairt uathu ag na huaisle Enda Kenny, Pat Rabbitte, Joan Burton, Bertie Ahern, et al.,
Agus mé im’ shaoránach ríméadach na tíre seo, do chuir sé clár ar mo chluasa ag éisteacht le, agus ag faire ar, a gcuid iompair ós comhair a gcomhghleachaithe, agus ba léir é go raibh siad ag tapaidh an deis chun “toghchánaíocht de réir an sean-nós” a chur ar siúl. Ní raibh ann dóibh ach ‘charade’, gnáthgheamaireacht na Dála. Bhí mé ag feitheamh, agus ag súil, le réimiúlacht, le meas, agus le humhlaíocht. Dhéanfadh leath-‘apologia’ an ghnó, fiú leithscéal ón gcroí.
Tháinig an smaoineamh chugam: “Níl san ócáíd seo ach cluiche dóibh, iad cosúil le páistí seanchríonna, agus iad ag ligint orthu gur daoine fásta iad, fad is a bhí siad ag magadh faoinár n-institiúidí, gan ar bun acu ach iarraim cúis ar nós matadóra. Ni hea, ach ar nós fir sorcais ag ligint orthu gur matadóirí iad. Ní raibh san éisteacht seo de réir dealraimh ach cró sorcaise. Bhí áiméar ar fáil dóibh an bhinnbharraíocht a bheith acu ar duine agus fonóid a dhéanamh faoi dhuine eile. Ócáid dóibh chun a lucht leanúna a mhúscailt, saillte le dea-chaint, amhail is gur orthusan a bhí an cáipéis.
Bhí mé am shamhlú go raibh cailíní deasa ar an maide luascáin, go raibh fir cróga ar an sreang ard, agus, cinnte, ba chóir go mbeadh ‘pierrot’ ann. Fir sorcais i ndáiriíre, agus deor ollmhóir ar a leiceann acu agus iad ag déanamh trua don chine daonna faoi fhulaingt do-inste. Ach, tada le feiscint. Ní duine sorcais le croí óir a bhí os ár gcomhair amach, ní raibh grá ná trua le feiscint ann. Ní raibh ann ach dróid-anna nua-aimseartha amháin, Daleks na Dála, agus caint an gheilt á chogaint acu. Ba mhaslach a gcuid cainte agus iad gealsúileach agus tom-eireaballach, ag tabhairt masla do mhuintir na tíre seo atá ag fulaingt go huafásach faoina réimeas, muintir a bhfuil deacair orthu foighneamh lena ngréasán bréag, lena bhfeall ar iontaoibh, agus lena seápála.
Ach gan amhras ní raibh na daoine atá faoin fhulaingt is mó feasach faoin bhfeic náisiúnta seo ar raidió agus ar teilifís. Bhíodar ag codail amuigh ar an sráid agus faoin sceach, ag maireachtáil i lóistíní sealadacha. Nó faoi fhulaingt sa bhaile, gan dóthain airgid acu , gan teas, gan solas, gan bia, gan sólás. Nó ag faire ar glao Skype ó aird i gcéin chun a chlann páistí a fheiscint, chun a chéile a chloisteáil, daoine a ligeadh le sruth mar chacamas le sruth dramhaíol as obair dramhaíola na tíre seo chun áit a chur in áirithint don Déine. Don diabhail le clár damanta na Déine!!
Ach fós anois, agus na hócáidí á leanúint agam ar nuacht an lae, agus na pobalbhreitheanna ag teacht ar shála a chéile, cuireann sé iontas an domhain orm faoi chad atá i ndán dúinn. Tá dian-rialú ann ag na Deasaigh anois, agus iad tacaithe le hairgead a ghoideadh, agus le cambheartanna sracaidh leathdhleathacha a bhí dlisteanaithe ag rialtas i ndiaidh rialtais thar na blianta. Tá an Ceartlár plódaithe leis an iomarca polaiteoirí ainléanta atá deamhéineacha agus garúla agus iad ag iarraidh greim a fháil ar sopanna agus ar gearróga an daonlathais. Agus na Ciotaigh, cosúil le Néandertálaigh i bhfolach ó na dineasáir caipitlíocha atá ar díbheargach ar machairí móra na hÉireann, tá na Ciotaigh ina bpluaiseanna díospóireachta, ag míníneacht, ag cur faobhar ar bioranna oighir, agus ag beartú conas ar féidir leo, cosúil le madraí, na conablaigh curtha de láimh ag sealgairí vóta níos éifeachtúla ná iad féin a chosgairt. Meascadh bróid bhréagaigh ar bhonn prionsabal amhrasacha, éide nua don Impire snite as bréaga, as calaois agus deartha ag claonbholscairí. Sea, is soiléir anois é, go bhfuil toghachán ag teach chugainn anois, in éineacht leis an ngnáth-bhús! Tuigim, a Yeats Uasal, beidh “the catch-cries of the clowns” againn, mar aon leis.
Ach an bhfuil sé riachtanach go dtitfidh sé amach mar sin? Cad is tuairim duit faoi? Fad is atá guth fós again, ar bheartaigh tú conas a gcaithfidh tusa do guth? In ionad a bheith ag glamaíl ar an ngealach agus tú ag súil go haonarach le macalla glaime a cloisint ar ais, an bhfuil dóthain suime agat ann, an bhfuil an ‘nous’ ionat, an bhfuil tú cróga go leor chun an fód a sheasamh? Chun an fhírinne a rá, táimse in amhras faoi. Dá mbeadh caoi agam air anois, “I would arise and go now, and go to a little Greek island”, chun mo shaol a chaitheamh i gcomhluadar le daoine a bhfuil meas acu ar a ndéithe, ar a stair, ar a dteanga, agus ar a gcultúr. Ach ní bheidh an caoi agam é sin a dhéanamh. B’fhearr liom fanacht anseo in Éirinn. Is i mo thír dhúchais í. Is oth liom é a rá, áfach, ach ní bheimid in ann tada a dhéanamh chun an tír áluinn seo a chur le chéile arís go dtí go ndéanfaimis tarrtháil ar spiorad na tíre seo, ar spioraid na ndaoine. De réir dealraimh, níl meas muice ag formhór na ndaoine anois ar ár n-oidhreacht, mar Ghaeil, ar na bunphrionsabail a cheangal an pobal le chéile in aghaidh ár namhaid san am atá thart. Cinnte ní foláir dúinn ár n-aigne a dhíriú ar sin agus 2016 ag teacht in ionad Disneyland bréag-Gaelach a thógáil ós cionn uaigheanna ár muintir is ár laochra.


nine-of-wandsEnglish

Perhaps this has already been commented upon and I missed it. Last week I watched some of the testimony given by Mr. Enda Kenny, Mr. Pat Rabbitte, Ms. Joan Burton, Mr. Bertie Ahern, et al.
As a proud citizen of this country, I felt deeply offended by their attitude towards the questioning, their general behaviour towards their peers, and their obvious seizing of the moment for “d’oul bi’ of electioneering”. The whole thing was just a charade for them, the usual Dáil circus. I waited and waited for dignity, respect, and humility. Even half an apology from the heart.
I thought: “This is a just a game for them, like precocious children playing at being adults, mocking our institutions, trailing their coats like matadors. No, like clowns in a circus pretending to be matadors. It was a circus to them. It was an opportunity to gloat and deride. A time to stir up their followers with their witty barbs and pretence at being responsible.
There should have been beautiful girls on the trapeze, men with courage on the high wire, and of course, there should have been clowns. Real clowns, with a giant tear on their cheeks in their pity for suffering humanity. But, no. These were no clowns with a heart of gold, who love humanity and who pity it. These were mere clown droids, Dáil Daleks, muttering insanities. Their wide-eyed bushy-tailed efforts at humour were an insult to the people of this country who have suffered terribly under their reign, who have put up with their lies, their deceits, and their posturing.
The people they have hurt most, were probably not aware of this national spectacle on television.They were sleeping rough, living in temporary accommodation. Or suffering at home, without enough money for heat or light or food or comfort. Or waiting for a Skype call to see their children, their husbands or wives, who were flushed like shite out of the sewer jobs of this country to make a home for Austerity. Austerity be damned.”
But yet, as I follow events in the news, listen to the polls, I wonder. The Right is in tight command now, supported by stolen money, barely legal extortion rackets legitimised by our Governments for years. The Centre is crowded with well-meaning political illiterates who are grasping for the straws of democracy. And the Left, like Neanderthals hiding from the dinosaurs who maraud on the plains of Ireland, they are hiding in their caves of debate, splitting hairs, sharpening their ice-picks, and planning on how they can live off the carcases left by more efficient hunters of votes. A mixture of false pride in debatable principles, a new garment for the Emperor spun from lies, deceits and designed by spin doctors, yes, it is clear, that there is an election coming down the road, with all the razamatazz that comes with it. Yes, Mr. Yeats, there will be the catch-cries of the clowns, as well.
But does it have to be like that? What do you plan to do? While we still have the Vote, have you decided how you will vote? Instead of howling at the moon in the lonely hope of hearing howling echo back to you, have you enough interest, enough nous, enough courage to speak up? Quite honestly, I doubt it. If I had the chance, I would arise and go now, and go to a little Greek island, to live among people who have respect for their gods, their history, their language, and their culture. But I do not have that chance. I prefer to stay here in Ireland. It is my home. I am sorry to say, however, we can do nothing to restore our beautiful country until we salvage what we can from the wreckage we have left behind us, the spirit of a country, the spirit of its people. It appears that most of the population couldn’t care less about our heritage, as a Gaelic people, about the basic principles that united the people in the face of the enemy in times past. Certainly we will need to direct serious attention to this area with 2016 getting closer by the day. Especially if we do not wish to erect a pseudo-Irish Disneyland over the graves of our ancestors and our heroes.

Cad atá le déanamh againn anois? Where do we go from here?

An tseachtain seo caite, do chaith mé roinnt ama ag faire a gcuid fianaise á thabhairt uathu ag na huaisle Enda Kenny, Pat Rabbitte, Joan Burton, Bertie Ahern, et al.,ós comhair an Choiste Dála.

Last week I watched some of the testimony given by Mr. Enda Kenny, Mr. Pat Rabbitte, Ms. Joan Burton, Mr. Bertie Ahern, et al.to the Dáil Committee.

Gaeilge (English version follows after the Irish version)

B’fhéidir gur rinneadh trácht ar seo le déanaí ach ní fhaca-sa é. An tseachtain seo caite, do chaith mé roinnt ama ag faire a gcuid fianaise á thabhairt uathu ag na huaisle Enda Kenny, Pat Rabbitte, Joan Burton, Bertie Ahern, et al.,ós comhair an Choiste Dála.

Agus mé im’ shaoránach ríméadach na tíre seo, do chuir sé clár ar mo chluasa ag éisteacht le, agus ag faire ar, a gcuid iompair ós comhair a gcomhghleachaithe, agus ba léir é go raibh siad ag tapaidh an deis chun “toghchánaíocht de réir an sean-nós” a chur ar siúl. Ní raibh ann dóibh ach ‘charade’, gnáthgheamaireacht na Dála. Bhí mé ag feitheamh, agus ag súil, le réimiúlacht, le meas, agus le humhlaíocht. Dhéanfadh leath-‘apologia’ an ghnó, fiú leithscéal ón gcroí.

Tháinig an smaoineamh chugam: “Níl san ócáíd seo ach cluiche dóibh, iad cosúil le páistí seanchríonna, agus iad ag ligint orthu gur daoine fásta iad, fad is atá siad ag magadh faoinár n-institiúidí, gan ar bun acu ach iarraim cúis ar nós matadóra. Ni hea, ach ar nós fir sorcais ag ligint orthu gur matadóirí iad. Ní raibh san éisteacht seo de réir dealraimh ach cró sorcaise. Bhí áiméar ar fáil dóibh an bhinnbharraíocht a bheith acu ar duine agus fonóid a dhéanamh faoi dhuine eile. Ócáid dóibh chun a lucht leanúna a mhúscailt, saillte le dea-chaint, amhail is gur orthusan a bhí an cáipéis.

Bhí mé am shamhlú go raibh cailíní deasa ar an maide luascáin, go raibh fir cróga ar an sreang ard, agus, cinnte, ba chóir go mbeadh ‘pierrot’ ann. Fir sorcais i ndáiriíre, agus deor ollmhóir ar a leiceann acu agus iad ag déanamh trua don chine daonna faoi fhulaingt do-inste. Ach, tada le feiscint. Ní duine sorcais le croí óir a bhí os ár gcomhair amach, ní raibh grá ná trua le feiscint ann. Ní raibh ann ach dróid-anna nua-aimseartha amháin, Daleks na Dála, agus caint an gheilt á chogaint acu. Ba mhaslach a gcuid cainte agus iad gealsúileach agus tom-eireaballach, ag tabhairt masla do mhuintir na tíre seo atá ag fulaingt go huafásach faoina réimeas, muintir a bhfuil deacair orthu foighneamh lena ngréasán bréag, lena bhfeall ar iontaoibh, agus lena seápála.

Ach gan amhras ní raibh na daoine atá faoin fhulaingt is mó feasach faoin bhfeic náisiúnta seo ar raidió agus ar teilifís. Bhíodar ag codail amuigh ar an sráid agus faoin sceach, ag maireachtáil i lóistíní sealadacha. Nó faoi fhulaingt sa bhaile, gan dóthain airgid acu , gan teas, gan solas, gan bia, gan sólás. Nó ag faire ar glao Skype ó aird i gcéin chun a chlann páistí a fheiscint, chun a chéile a chloisteáil, daoine a ligeadh le sruth mar chacamas le sruth dramhaíol as obair dramhaíola na tíre seo chun áit a chur in áirithint don Déine. Don diabhail le clár damanta na Déine!!

Ach fós anois, agus na hócáidí á leanúint agam ar nuacht an lae, agus na pobalbhreitheanna ag teacht ar shála a chéile, cuireann sé iontas an domhain orm faoi chad atá i ndán dúinn. Tá dian-rialú ann ag na Deasaigh anois, agus iad tacaithe le hairgead a ghoideadh, agus le cambheartanna sracaidh leathdhleathacha a bhí dlisteanaithe ag rialtas i ndiaidh rialtais thar na blianta. Tá an Ceartlár plódaithe leis an iomarca polaiteoirí ainléanta atá deamhéineacha agus garúla agus iad ag iarraidh greim a fháil ar sopanna agus ar gearróga an daonlathais. Agus na Ciotaigh, cosúil le Néandertálaigh i bhfolach ó na dineasáir caipitlíocha atá ar díbheargach ar machairí móra na hÉireann, tá na Ciotaigh ina bpluaiseanna díospóireachta, ag míníneacht, ag cur faobhar ar bioranna oighir, agus ag beartú conas ar féidir leo, cosúil le madraí, na conablaigh curtha de láimh ag sealgairí vóta níos éifeachtúla ná iad féin a chosgairt. Meascadh bróid bhréagaigh ar bhonn prionsabal amhrasacha, éide nua don Impire snite as bréaga, as calaois agus deartha ag claonbholscairí. Sea, is soiléir anois é, go bhfuil toghachán ag teach chugainn anois, in éineacht leis an ngnáth-bhús! Tuigim, a Yeats Uasal, beidh “the catch-cries of the clowns” againn, mar aon leis.

Ach an bhfuil sé riachtanach go dtitfidh sé amach mar sin? Cad is tuairim duit faoi? Fad is atá guth fós againn, ar bheartaigh tú conas a gcaithfidh tusa do guth? In ionad a bheith ag glamaíl ar an ngealach agus tú ag súil go haonarach le macalla glaime a cloisint ar ais, an bhfuil dóthain suime agat ann, an bhfuil an ‘nous’ ionat, an bhfuil tú cróga go leor chun an fód a sheasamh? Chun an fhírinne a rá, táimse in amhras faoi, agus fúm féin chomh maith. Dá mbeadh caoi agam air anois, “I would arise and go now, and go to a little Greek island”, chun mo shaol a chaitheamh i gcomhluadar le daoine a bhfuil meas acu ar a ndéithe, ar a stair, ar a dteanga, agus ar a gcultúr. Ach ní bheidh an caoi agam é sin a dhéanamh. B’fhearr liom fanacht anseo in Éirinn. Is i mo thír dhúchais í. Is oth liom é a rá, áfach, ach ní bheimid in ann tada a dhéanamh chun an tír áluinn seo a chur le chéile arís go dtí go ndéanfaimis tarrtháil ar spiorad na tíre seo, ar spioraid na ndaoine. De réir dealraimh, níl meas muice ag formhór na ndaoine anois ar ár n-oidhreacht, mar Ghaeil, ar na bunphrionsabail a cheangal an pobal le chéile in aghaidh ár namhaid san am atá thart. Cinnte ní foláir dúinn ár n-aigne a dhíriú ar sin agus 2016 ag teacht in ionad Disneyland bréag-Gaelach a thógáil ós cionn uaigheanna ár muintir is ár laochra.

English

Perhaps this has already been commented upon and I missed it. Last week I watched some of the testimony given by Mr. Enda Kenny, Mr. Pat Rabbitte, Ms. Joan Burton, Mr. Bertie Ahern, et al.to the Dáil Committee.

As a proud citizen of this country, I felt deeply offended by their attitude towards the questioning, their general behaviour towards their peers, and their obvious seizing of the moment for “d’oul bi’ of electioneering”.  The whole thing was just a charade for them, the usual Dáil circus. I waited and waited for dignity, respect, and humility. Even half an apology from the heart.

I thought: “This is a just a game for them, like precocious children playing at being adults, mocking our institutions, trailing their coats like matadors. No, like clowns in a circus pretending to be matadors. It was a circus to them. It was an opportunity to gloat and deride. A time to stir up their followers with their witty barbs and pretence at being responsible.”

There should have been beautiful girls on the trapeze, men with courage on the high wire, and of course, there should have been clowns. Real clowns, with a giant tear on their cheeks in their pity for suffering humanity. But, no. These were no clowns with a heart of gold, who love humanity and who pity it. These were mere clown droids, Dáil Daleks, muttering insanities. Their wide-eyed bushy-tailed efforts at humour were an insult to the people of this country who have suffered terribly under their reign, who have put up with their lies, their deceits, and their posturing.

The people they have hurt most, were probably not aware of this national spectacle on television.They were sleeping rough, living in temporary accommodation. Or suffering at home, without enough money for heat or light or food or comfort. Or waiting for a Skype call to see their children, their husbands or wives, who were flushed like shite out of the sewer jobs of this country to make a home for Austerity. Austerity be damned.

But yet, as I follow events in the news, listen to the polls, I wonder. The Right is in tight command now, supported by stolen money, barely legal extortion rackets legitimised by our Governments for years. The Centre is crowded with well-meaning political illiterates who are grasping for the straws of democracy. And the Left, like Neanderthals hiding from the dinosaurs who maraud on the plains of Ireland, they are hiding in their caves of debate, splitting hairs, sharpening their ice-picks, and planning on how they can live off the carcases left behind by more efficient hunters of votes. A mixture of false pride in debatable principles, a new garment for the Emperor spun from lies, deceits and designed by spin doctors, yes, it is clear, that there is an election coming down the road, with all the razamatazz that comes with it. Yes, Mr. Yeats, there will be the catch-cries of the clowns, as well.

But does it have to be like that? What do you plan to do? While we still have the Vote, have you decided how you will vote? Instead of howling at the moon in the lonely hope of hearing howling echo back to you, have you enough interest, enough nous, enough courage to speak up? Quite honestly, I doubt it. I doubt that I am ready for the struggle. If I had the chance, I would arise and go now, and go to a little Greek island, to live among people who have respect for their gods, their history, their language, and their culture. But I do not have that chance. I prefer to stay here in Ireland. I was born and reared here. It is my home. I am sorry to say, however, we can do nothing to restore our beautiful country until we salvage what we can from the wreckage we have left behind us, the spirit of a country, the spirit of its people. It appears that most of the population couldn’t care less about our heritage, as a Gaelic people, about the basic principles that united the people in the face of the enemy in times past. Certainly we will need to direct serious attention to this area with 2016 getting closer by the day. Especially if we do not wish to erect a pseudo-Irish Disneyland over the graves of our ancestors and our heroes.

High-noon in the Theatre of Dreams

This change will not be achieved without some pain or a sense of loss, because it may involve the ending of some relationships and structures, but it does not necessarily have negative connotations.

Or, the Show must go on at the Amphitheatre

It is now 19.30h on Friday night, 10 July 2015. I, like many others, have been following the unwinding of the Debt Crisis narrative and more recently the Greek chapter of that story. Initially mine was the general interest of an adult citizen, then with closer interest as Ireland grappled with austerity, and for the past few months I have been following developments in the Greek Crisis daily, blow by blow. I have also been introduced to a phenomenon that I have experienced under another name. Aporia[1], from the Greek, a– and poros (‘without’ and ‘passage’), a word that is rich in meaning and occurs frequently in the works of Plato. It is often used to describe the state of anxiety and puzzlement that one (or even a society) faces when a new situation arises that cannot be explained in terms of the present complex of mental images and understanding. It occurs frequently in Yanis Varoufakis’ “The Global Minotaur” to describe the situation that governments, institutions, and individuals found themselves in when the Debt Crisis hit during the first decade of this century. It is incorporated into the process of experiential learning where the role of the consultant is to confront the group with an analysis of a situation that they are struggling to face, when their group endeavours reach an impasse on the mountain path of learning and they can see no way past it.

I read the opening position of the Greek side and that of the Troika. It was clear, and I remember remarking upon it some time ago, that their positions had nothing in common. Two “Circles of Certainty” with little or no overlap between them to provide a space whereon to built a consensus. The Greek side stated clearly that the previous bail-out hadn’t worked and the country now faced a humanitarian crisis as well as a financial crisis. The new Government led by Syriza was strongly influenced by Yanis Varoufakis, an academic and also finance minister, who claimed that the strategy of the previous bail-out was flawed and that the bail-out had to be re-negotiated to give the required debt relief plus a fiscal approach to increase taxes. On the Troika side, the position was that Greece must continue with the same strategy that had been used in the first bail-out. They insisted on debt restructuring and on cuts in spending to create a budgetary surplus. There seemed to be no common ground between them. What is more, the Troika did not acknowledge any validity in the aims of the other side, whilst the Greeks, for their part, and showing the strong influence of Varoufakis’ analysis of the global economic model, showed no intention of compromising.

The negotiations, which had characteristics of a Big Brother House late night session, was “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”, it would appear. Time dragged by, deadlines were not met, promises were made and not kept, nothing happened, nothing changed. Early on in the exchanges, I read a tweet from Yanis Varoufakis, that he had enjoyed a night at the theatre before the negotiations started, attending a play by Samuel Beckett. I must say that the negotiations reminded me a lot of more than one Beckett play! It was reminiscent of the plight of Vladimir and Estragon in Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”. In fact, I began to believe that the whole negotiation process had a lot in common with Theatre of the Absurd! Commentators and economic correspondents have been enjoying a field day, with Greek myth heaped upon Greek myth. Hard-headed experts have been sounding like purveyors of conspiracy theories. And I felt very puzzled. And I am still puzzled. Because it doesn’t make sense. Enter Aporia, stage left!

The prospects facing Greece are truly terrible whichever route they take or whichever route is forced upon them. The Troika appears determined to have their way and to force the Greek government to administer strong medicine to their people. More of the same medicine that failed in the first bail out. What parent has not despaired when their child refused the medicine with “I don’t like the taste”, and they replied “But it will make you better”! I cannot see how Alexis Tsipras can possibly accept those conditions, given the position he has consistently adopted from the beginning. To do so would be to accept abject defeat. He is not a stupid man, and he has kept a very balanced demeanour under the most difficult of circumstances. If anything, it is on the side of the Troika that the signs of stress are showing. There appears to be a gap developing between the IMF and the other two, the EU and the ECB. Yet the Troika is pursuing a strategy that will force Greece to leave the Euro-zone, and like the scape-goat of the Old Testament, be cast out of the encampment to wander in the desert with the symbols of the “scapes” (i.e., sins) of the tribe on its back, and left to forage alone in the wilderness. The scapes were symbols that allowed to community to rid themselves of guilt for their misdemeanours and return to normal relations with one another. The scape-goat died in the wilderness. Alternatively, the strategy may allow Greece to remain within the Euro Group in some kind of helot role, enslaved to its masters in the Troika. A reminder to other countries that might dare to entertain thoughts of dissent. The former option seems to be that prefered by the majority of EU leaders and will almost undoubtedly destabilise the entire EU project, and precipitate problems for other EU countries, like Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and possibly Italy. Even more unsettling is the possibility that the rise of right-wing extremism, already evident in some European countries, will gain strength. So it appears that within this crisis, there is a riddle embedded in a conflict of ideologies. And all because the Troika is not aware yet that they face aporia. And if they are aware, then that makes them even more defensive lest it be found out that they do not know, that they do not understand. Understand? Understand what? What happens now? Will Sunday’s meeting of Heads of Government be the last hurrah? And for whom?

I try to be aware of the danger when looking at a situation like this, of failing to see a pattern other than the one that my own comfort zone suggests. It is hard not to project my own favourite narrative onto the confusing data before me, because it will reassure me that I understand what is happening. Are we witnessing here the clash of two different approaches to the wealth of nations? Or would you prefer the other common analogy, as in the clashing of tectonic plates that throw up mountains and swallow vast plains while reconfiguring the landscape?

It is time, as in the best traditions of investigative fiction, to “cherchez la femme”! Who is lurking in the dark cave of the Minotaur, casting a terrible spell over those who would destroy her offspring, the half-man, half bull? Is Pasiphae, mother of the Minotaur, too ashamed to show herself? Or in today’s version, could it be Brunhilde, from the myths of Northern Europe, who in this modern age has migrated to Greece, or possibly even come on holiday, as so many Northerners do? Let’s retrace our steps and look again at the roots of the crisis. James Galbraith[2]makes very direct accusatory statements recounting the testimony of Phillipe Legrain, former adviser to the then-EU President José Manuel Barroso, at the hearing of a Greek parliamentary commission investigating the Greek debt.

The original crime in the Greek affair, Legrain said, was committed in May 2010, when it became clear that the country was insolvent. At that time, the IMF staff was convinced that Greek debts must be restructured, and that debt relief was not only necessary but also just, given that reckless borrowers are always matched to reckless lenders, and that lenders are compensated, in part, for the risk of loss.”

He went on to claim that restructuring did not happen, but instead, that “a trio of Frenchmen”, namely Dominique Strauss-Kahn (who wanted to become President of France) at the IMF, Jean-Claude Trichet at the European Central Bank (who had bought up 27 billion euros in Greek bonds to support the original lenders whom he identified as mainly French banks), and an unnamed person at the Elysée who is, presumably President Hollande, together with the support of Angela Merkel” decided to pretend that Greece’s problem was a merely temporary phenomenon. This quartet realised that there was a darker cloud on the horizon, a larger financial crisis, that was infinitely more threatening. Accordingly, Galbraith claims they decided that the largest bailout in history should be directed not to save Greece, but “to off-load the exposure of French and German banks onto all the European states, with Germany’s taxpayers taking the largest share”. In this way they would be able to divert the huge impending losses away from the French banks and spread the losses around more broadly.

Now consider this, what usually happens when a bank’s client goes bankrupt? The precept is “don’t lend money to a bankrupt”, so they restructure the debt. But that didn’t happen in the case of Greece’s first bail-out. France and Germany, then joined by the Netherlands, took a hard line. We now know from information coming to light from the IMF, that some of their staff were very worried by this. We also know that the harsh regime of austerity did not produce the claimed goals of the bail-out, but in fact made the situation catastrophically worse. And that is what puzzled me. But now in the light of what I have learned, I am beginning to understand that the root cause for this behaviour lies initially in the inability, and later, in the unwillingness, of the European leaders to accept a situation to which their preconceptions and efforts at evasion had blinded them. Aporia is now centre stage. We wait, bolt upright in our amphitheatre seats, for the denouement. Will it be the twilight of the Gods, or a brave new day?

It would be out of kilter and beyond my ken to attempt to say what I think, or even what I hope, will happen in the unforeseeable future. But I believe it is appropriate to consult the oracle on this occasion. You may laugh, and indeed, you may snigger, but for over fifty years I have consulted the oracles in many forms and on many occasions and they have always given me pause for thought. This is one occasion when I believe that it is de rigueur to do so. I shall record the live reading on video, just for the record. But here is the written record for you to consider and compare with the results of the meetings planned for this week-end. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Oracle’s Narrative:

The Government and people of Greece are now balancing the gains and losses inherent in the present situation and pondering what to do next. The main obstacle facing them is that the Troika sees them as beggars looking for a hand-out. The Greek Government aims to develop growth using practical targets based upon the aims they have and the kind of society they want to encourage. This new beginning will test their power to explain and implement these changes. It will also test their ability to articulate these aims in a way that are understood clearly by the Troika. For their part, the Troika must agree a programme that addresses the needs of the Greek people, that is accepted by them, and is one to which they are committed.

The main strength in the Greek position is that the new Government believes that they can cope with and overcome problems from the past by facing up to them with courage, determination and perseverance, protecting their society from further deterioration and trying to avoid creating further problems. This will require them to implement new strategies and programmes, to focus with extreme attention on the task in hand, and to stabilise their economy. They have learned from the results in the past three years, and there is a hopeful attitude towards the future. Some loss and disappointment is also indicated particularly with relation to personal relationships. A positive attitude is required to find new direction and hope.

The Greek Government and people will need to draw on their inner strengths to bear the temporary insecurity they face. This requires strong and resourceful characters to lead them. They must draw heavily on this to overcome the difficulties and problems that are looming. They must use the strong foundations and connections already established between Government and people, and move forwards as, and when, opportunities arise.

One cycle in the life of Greece is coming to an end and a new one is beginning. This may be the result of events or circumstances outside their immediate influence, but nevertheless they are positive. It also indicates that these changes will have the greatest impact on the way in which they approach and handle the present situation. Success will depend upon their ability and commitment to behaving with a level of prudence and caution in the way they go about their affairs. They will get successful results if they apply organisation and pay attention to detail in their preparations rather than merely follow a programme laid down by others. It must be a programme that they believe they can implement and that will merge with the needs of the Greek people.

This change will not be achieved without some pain or a sense of loss, because it may involve the ending of some relationships and structures, but it does not necessarily have negative connotations.

The end result will cause some deflation in attitudes after the tension and excitement of the negotiation period. The result, however, will be a wake-up call to everyone to deal with the new reality. Security will be felt as boring and mundane. This means that euphoria must give way to a daily reality. The life and aims of the society must be re-evaluated in the light of the new situation in which they will live, in order to provide new directions, new challenges, and a new way of managing their society.


 Appendix: What the Oracle saw

If you wish to understand how the Oracle’s Narrative was arrived at, you may care to examine the process I used to collect the information I needed using a divination technique with Tarot cards.

Preamble:

The Tarot cards, for me, are not about fairground fortune telling, but as Carl Gustav Jung has pointed out, the archetypal symbolism of the cards is a way to bypass the restrictive and defensive Ego and gain access to the Individual and Collective Unconscious. With this in mind, I use the layout of the Tarot cards to help me access information stored in my own unconscious mind that relates to the question posed. By using a structured layout, the information generated by the symbolism of the cards is formulated in an integrated manner and related to the question. It should also be noted that a Tarot reading is like the answers given by the Oracle at Delphi. They are deliberately designed to force the Querant to take on the task of interpreting the answers in a manner that is relevant to them, thereby helping them to break out of any previous thought patterns that may be restricting their ability to solve their problems. In that process, new learning is born from experience.

The question posed

The question to which I wish to focus the Tarot process is as follow: Given the circumstances surrounding the negotiations between the Greek Government and the Troika, and the effects these are having on the aims of both parties, what is likely to happen next?

Preparation

I use a short period of meditation to focus my attention on the question in hand. I also burn sage to clear away any stagnant energies in the room. I shuffle the cards thoroughly, cut the deck of cards into three piles, re-assemble the piles randomly. I then discard the top card and lay the bottom card aside face down. This latter card, which I call the Clarification Key, I use later as an aid to clarification if any of the cards is difficult to interpret. As I turn each card to place it on the spread, I relate the information from the card to the position in the spread. This enables me to develop a narrative that helps the Querant to find an answer to the question. In the procedure described below, I add notes for those readers not familiar with the Tarot to explain the significance of each position in the spread.

The Spread

The “spread” refers to the way in which the cards are laid out on the table. This one is based upon a popular spread refered to as the Celtic Cross Spread. In fact, this fanciful name does not appear to have anything to do with Celtic spirituality. The Querant refers to the person or persons who are the subject of the question posed, in this case, the Government and people of Greece.

five-of-cupsCard #1: Five of Cups

Position: This position gives information about the current situation of the Querant and indicates the relationship of the reading to the environment of the Querant. Note also that the Cups suit of cards relates primarily to emotional issues.

Meaning: The Querant is balancing the gains and losses apparent in the present situation and pondering what to do next.

six-of-pentacles

Card #2: Six of Coins

Position: This position is a comment on the nature of the obstacles facing the Querant now. Note that the Coins suit refers primarily to material factors in life, such as wealth, finances, possessions.

Meaning: They are perceived as beggars looking for a hand-out.

ace-of-wandsCard #3: Ace of Batons

Position: This position refers to specific goals and desired aims of the Querant, but also casts some light on the best that is likely to be achieved under present circumstances.

Meaning: New growth is indicated based upon practical actions and achievements. A new beginning is also indicated where the power of the querant will be tested.

strengthCard #4: Strength (Major Arcana)

Position: This position indicates events or influences in the past from which the Querent’s present situation has sprung.

Meaning: In the Tarot deck of cards, there are twenty two special cards referred to as the Major Arcana. These are archetypal images of particular characteristics that carry great weight in a reading. Here Strength indicates that subtle use of strength, has enabled the Querent to cope with and overcome problems in the past by facing up to them with courage, determination and perseverance, rather than by trying to avoid them. Knowing something of the history of the debt crisis in Greece I used the Clarification Key to extend the meaning. The Clarification Key drawn earlier is the Ace of Coins. In this context it refers specifically to new beginnings, to extreme attention to the task on hand, and to stability. This suggests that the reading refers more specifically to the period since the last general election when new thinking was applied to the situation in Greece.

two-of-cupsCard #5: Two of Cups

Position: This indicates a more recent influence that is now waning.

Meaning: Learning from the past is indicated, as is a hopeful attitude towards the future. Some loss and disappointment is also indicated particularly with relation to personal relationships. A positive attitude is required to find new direction and hope.

nine-of-wandsCard #6: Nine of Batons

Position: This position indicates future influences that may soon come to bear on the Querant.

Meaning: The Querant will need to draw on their inner strengths to bear the temporary insecurity they face. This requires a strong and resourceful character in their leaders. They must draw heavily on this to overcome the difficulties and problems that are looming. They must use the strong foundations already established and move forwards as and when opportunities arise.

wheel-of-fortuneCard #7: The Wheel of Fortune (Major Arcana)

Position: This position provides further insights about the Querant and how they feel about or relate to the present circumstances.

Meaning: This is a generally optimistic card. It signifies the end of one cycle in the life of the Querant and the start of a new one. This may be the result of events or circumstances outside the influence of the Querant, but nevertheless are positive.It also indicates where these changes will have the greatest impact, in this case, on the way in which they approach or handle the present situation.

eight-of-pentaclesCard #8: Eight of Coins

Position: This position reflects on the home environment of the Querant. It reveals their influence on the people around them and how they fit into the situation that they face.

Meaning: This card comments on the possibility of successful application of the Querant’s skills and knowledge. It indicates a level of financial prudence and caution in the way they go about their affairs and suggest that they will have successful results if they apply organisation and pay attention to detail in their preparations.

deathCard #9: Death (Major Arcana)

Position: This position indicates the hopes and fears of the Querant. It may also give some insight into any unanticipated event that may influence the final result.

Meaning: First all, I must emphasise, that the public image of this card as presented in Hollywood movies and popular fiction, is totally misinformed and wrong. In the context of the Tarot, which has always been used in a spirituality founded in a close relationship with the natural environment, is based upon the traditional interpretation of the meaning of Death as sudden and dramatic change, a crossing over from one reality to another, the possibility of a new life, new beginnings, or a complete severance from an existing set of circumstances. It also says that this change will not be achieved without some pain or a sense of loss, because it may involve the ending of some relationships and structures, but it does not necessarily have negative connotations.

four-of-cupsCard #10: Four of Cups

Position: This position shows the final result, the outcome of all the other influences in the spread.

Meaning: This card suggests the outcome of the whole process will produce a sense of apathy, the solution will not necessarily be accompanied by the sense of excitement and tension that accompanies the current process. The result will be a wake-up call to everyone to deal with the new reality. Security will be felt as boring and mundane. This means that euphoria must give way to a daily reality. The life and aims of the society must be re-evaluated in the light of the new situation in which they will live, in order to provide new directions, new challenges, and a new way of managing their society.

ace-of-pentaclesClarification Key: Ace of Coins

Position: Additional

Meaning: A new beginning in financial affairs. Unexpected benefits. Emphasis on satisfactory achievements. Deep sense of satisfaction


Footnotes:

[1] From Wikipedia: The separation of aporia into its two morphemes a– and poros (‘without’ and ‘passage’) reveals the word’s rich etymological background as well as its connection to Platonic mythology. Sarah Kofman asserts that these two components are crucial to a fuller understanding of the word, which has been historically translated and understood somewhat reductively: “translators, who usually escape their perplexity by translating poros as ‘expediency’ and aporia as ‘difficulty’…leave the reader in the dark as to all the semantic richness of poros and aporia and give no hint as to their links with other words belonging to the same ‘family’”. Such links inevitably demonstrate that the terms are part of a “tradition” that Plato borrows from, a tradition which “breaks with a philosophical conception of translation, and with the logic of identity that it implies”. To demonstrate such a break, Kofman reviews multiple instances of the term throughout Plato’s work. Her discussion of the myth of Poros, Penia, and Eros in Plato’s Symposium especially reveals the concept’s untranslatability. Penia, the “child of poverty,” decides to forcefully impregnate herself with the inebriated Poros, the personification of plenty, who is always in opposition with aporia and thus defining aporia. The result of this union is Eros, who inherits the disparate characteristics of his parents (25). The perplexing aspect of the myth is revealed as one realizes that Penia is acting out of resourcefulness, a quality normally attributed to Poros, and Poros’ inaction reveals his own passivity, a poverty of agency or poros. Such a relationship intensely affects not only the context of aporia but its meaning as well:

[2] “Bad Faith. Why Real Debt Relief Is Not On The Table For Greece” by James K. Galbraith on 18 June 2015 First published by American Prospect

Back to the Future with Rip van Winkle

We fool ourselves if we think that we can change things on our own by the Flurry Knox antics of plying the Medea-like Mme. Lagarde, with drinks and banter in some late-night haunts in Dublin.

I am not a soothsayer, but I will be surprised if the dynamic duo of Tsipras and Varoufakis don’t emerge like the Phoenix from the burnt-out ashes of media toilet paper that has railed against them and what they stand for.

I suppose with the day that’s in it, Greek Referendum and all that, plus all the campaigns and the shouting of obscenities that is going on in the different threads of ersatz debate online, in pubs, around kitchen tables, over fences, alone in bedrooms, we all need to check our sanity and our wallets. I have been taking stock and I must say that the scene depresses me. It is clear that a general election is going to be sprung on us pretty soon, and a lot of the issues that are raised are going around and around in ever decreasing circles like the proverbial Wogga Wogga bird, where they have disappeared up its own dietary outlet, reappeared again, disputed and inconclusive, to fuel more abusive language and further displays of anger, but again without progress. So, to sharpen the appetite, I decided to push the boat out a bit further and challenge the thinking before the Sunday lunch hits the linen table cloth.

We will see later this evening the results of the Greek Referendum. I am not a soothsayer, but I will be surprised if the dynamic duo of Tsipras and Varoufakis don’t emerge like the Phoenix from the burnt-out ashes of media toilet paper that has railed against them and what they stand for. Even if they lose, the result will be the same anyway. Things will get tougher in Greece and there will be a knock-on effect on Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Italy, and probably in Britain at a later stage, when the unholy Trinity, hidden in the romantic image of the Russian Troika, (except that Dr. Zhivago has been replaced by Wolfgang Schaűble played by a Peter Sellers look-alike in a role like that of the mad German scientist) succeed in the beating down of better men and women.

We fool ourselves if we think that we can change things on our own by the Flurry Knox antics of plying the Medea-like Mme. Lagarde, with drinks and banter in some late-night haunts in Dublin. If the rapidly approaching snap General Election is to yield a change in Government, as the anger sweeping most of the country likes to suggest, then it is time for our political infants to perform or arise from their potties. I find it neither heart-warming nor encouraging that Irish parties claiming to represent left-wing ideologies are queuing for trips around the neo-mythology of Greek politics in the hopes that some of the glitter on the wings of Icarus might rub off and enhance their image. But the heroes on the Left in Greece are in the image of Theseus rather than the eejit who thought he could fly to the Sun by night and avoid the heat by day – anyway, I think that’s the way an Irish myth would have rationalised his endeavours! The dynamic duo of Tsipras and Varoufakis are following a well-conceived and carefully mapped visit to the chthonic Global Minotaur hidden in the labyrinthine caves of the EU/ECB/IMF. Unfortunately the image of our political Jasons will be judged by the policies they produce for the election and their share of the fleece of the electorate will be measured accordingly.

Accordingly, in the interests of stimulating thinking, I would like to throw some fresh bread on stagnant waters (officially supplied by a new State water quango with well-concealed Bonga Bongas arranged by a nearly=jailed former Italian showbiz personality.

Let’s think positively about this.

Enlightened voter (Homo selectus)
Enlightened voter
(Homo selectus)

DAFT DRAFT

First of all, for the voters, I would suggest the following:

  1. Elect the people you can trust, not those who promise to cheat the system to get you things to which you are not already entitled.
  2. If they offer to make applications on your behalf, for grants, medical cards, or anything like that, just ask them to explain the process to you so that you can do it for yourself. It will be a valuable lesson in citizens’ rights for you.
    • N.B. This work could be done in consultation with existing Citizens’ Rights offices and may require access to additional resources described below in item #6.A
  3. If you are constrained by having young children to mind which would restrict your spontaneity in getting information, attending community meetings (see #4.A below) or even voting, just ask them would they supply a registered baby sitter to mind the kids for you while you go on a citizen’s errand. Note that this would be infinitely more meaningful and useful than a Job-Retch programme. If by any freak of chance, they agree, be sure to bring your partner with you and get full value out of the night off.
  4. Each household should sit down now and draw up a list of their “red wine line” items in preparation for the ritual “You won’t forget us now, (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) when you’re voting, will ye” visits of canvassers.
    1. If households were to begin this activity now, then they could take it to a second level and have meetings of household representatives to share these lists and strengthen the bonds in the community. It would be certainly better for your peace of mind, than watching “Big Brother’s House” on T.V.
  5. Depending upon the list you draw up in #4, then you may feel you should ask for training programmes (see items #5.A, #5.B, #5.C, below) to be provided free with any necessary software and hardware required. (They do it for foreign companies setting up in Ireland, so why not for you). In this regard you might consider some of the following random suggestions. When you have read them, I am sure further ideas will come to mind. If not, then I have probably lost you already, so you can just go and
    1. A simple computer terminal for each home so that you can be polled immediately for your preference when the Government, acting on your behalf, needs to confirm their mandate, for example, to guarantee a bank or other financial institution on your behalf, and with your money, or to alert a community when Her Majesty or a member of her family is being brought on a tour of reconciliation-relation binges guilt-trips study tours, or advance notice of any unexpected intrusion upon your rights as a citizen by a government official acting on a tip-off;
    2. A local community centre or other suitable building that can also be used for community support activities. A part-time administrator and secretarial assistant will be needed. These roles could offer good work experience for local people in real work situations.
    3. A timetable for each group of local Senators and T.D.s, to attend monthly meetings with the local electorate to brief the people on what is being done on their behalf, to update them on any decisions that will affect them, or to announce publicly that they are coming out, before you read it in the media. I
    4. t is important that these meetings be organised by the community. The use of small sub-groups with each member taking it in turn to be the facilitator and another the recorder of the subgroup meeting will require training as described in #6.A and also provide valuable skills in community development.
  6. For those housing estates that have experience of dealing, shall I say, diplomatically with Irish Water contractors installing shiny new meters, then there will be some neighbours who can advise on ways in which you might seek to influence or deal with the party canvassers.
  7. Candidates should be asked, on behalf of their Party, to agree and sign the “Red List” as a gesture of sincerity and truth. Be prepared to explain the concepts of sincerity and truth, if needs be.
A dynamic government for a people who are not going anywhere somewhere
A dynamic government for a people who are not going anywhere somewhere

With regard to a programme for Government, then there should be a careful selection of choice items to appeal to the appetite of even the most jaded voter.

  1. A stop on capital movements out of the country must be put into effect immediately upon taking office and before any gougers consultants still left around the place on contract get a whiff of what’s in store, before the following items are leaked.
  2. Prominent or not-so-prominent citizens with Irish passports who hold offshore accounts and maintain a nominal home in Ireland should be requested to justify a renewal of their passports. A special designation of passport could be issued to such people and linked with their bank accounts. Legally, of course. ;-D <ROTGASM> New legislation, of course, will be required under the heading of austerity provisions.
  3. Pass special emergency austerity legislation to slash Dáil and Senate pensions to the national average.
  4. Cut all Dáil and Senate salaries and emoluments to a small multiple of the average industrial wage. They always say that it is a pleasure and an honour to serve their constituencies so be prepared for big smiles of gratitude when they are told of this.
  5. Instead of paying very doubtful travel expenses, issue all public representatives with a special free travel allowance smart-card that is operated on the basis of prepaid top-ups.This should make budgetary controls easier to enforce.
  6. Senators and T.D.s will no longer have need for constituency offices as more interaction will be encouraged under the arrangements indicated in item #6.A following.
  7. Use some of the money saved by these rationalisations (they are never to be referred to as cuts) to accelerate the training of front-line civil servants in customer service and counselling skills, thereby giving them new job enrichment prospects and wipe the smug smiles off the faces of their section heads.
  8. A-teams of the newly assigned civil servants (see remark above re customer service and counselling training) could be assigned locally to work with citizens on Interface Transactions (not to be shortened to I.T. for obvious reasons). These teams would report to an appropriate level in the civil service hierarchy but would also have a role in supporting T.D.s, so that the poor ould divils public representatives are kept “in the loop” and don’t feel completely cut off from their electorate but at the same time are not allowed to interfere in the processes of State. On second thoughts, a little office aide-memoire in bog-thick oak could be provided with the inspirational mantra “YOU are a legislator” (not pronounced “leg-is-later”) in green and gold letters in Roman Uncial on it.
  9. Introduce a national basic wage given to every citizen whose parents were sufficiently irresponsible to born them, including those seeking asylum or here, thereby removing the need for nasty and unpleasant jobs policing the unemployed, or preventing any unintentional effects being experienced by those held in prison-like conditions, alternative accommodation while awaiting deportation, citizenship, etc, etc.
  10. Each local authority should be given the following additional responsibilities and funded from central goverment sources for the following:
  11. A suitably-sized block of flats to be used for young couples who need accommodation but have not yet found a way of purchasing their own homes or getting on a council housing list.
    • It could be designed to allow some units to be used as hostel accommodation for the increased numbers of tourists who will throng to our shores to find out what the fcuk innovative ideas our communities are developing under our new system of participative democracy.
    • This accommodation could also be used for attendees at summer courses on local history, Irish culture, Irish lace-making, franchised sean-nós dancing, and local crafts, held at the premises mentioned above in item #5.B.

Do you get the idea, then? Good.

P.S. Be sure to get enough beers in to celebrate the Referendum results sometime in the small hours of tomorrow. One way or the other. I’m still positive about the results for the Greeks. Even after writing the above.

Simples, Even for meercats!