Yesterday I browsed through the Draft Wicklow Development Plan.

Basically what this is about is that Wicklow announce that they want to build housing everywhere for some imaginary massive jump in the population and the people submit reasons why they shouldn't.  The council then ignores all the submissions and builds the houses anyway.

Say for example I own a field that happens to have a particularly fine specimen of a portal dolmen on it.  I write to Wicklow and tell 'em that they should preserve this as it is of historical interest.  They then come and plough the dolmen into the ground and build a multi-million "interpretative centre" full of photographs and film showing the dolmen as it was before they flattened it in order to build the interpretative centre.  I suppose that's progress?

Anyhows I digress.

I was reading through the submissions from the various residents' associations and other interested bodies when I came across a lengthy submission from The Irish Heart Foundation.

Now what the fuck is the IHF doing submitting proposals to the Wicklow Draft Development Plan?

They start off their submission –

The IHF is calling on Wicklow County Council to place health at the centre of the Development Plan , to give new generations the best start in life and to help make Wicklow the healthiest County in Ireland.

Local authorities have a particular duty to support parents and children by introducing policies, services and funding to ensure this generation of children and their families enjoy the best of life chances.

Er…  Ok….  Let's see where this is leading?

The Irish Heart Foundation’s is focused on three areas that affect children’s health – obesity, tobacco and alcohol.

  • 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 5 boys are overweight or obese.  Children from disadvantaged areas are more likely to be obese.
  • Differences in health in children from richer and poorer areas are obvious from as early as three years of age.
  • Only 20% of children say they eat fruit and vegetables more than once a day.
  • 12% of school children smoke. Disadvantaged children are more likely to smoke.
  • Just over half of children exercise four, or more times a week.
  • 21% of school children currently drink alcohol. 18% were drunk in the last 30 days.

What?  What the blue fuck has any of this got to do with planning?  Are they suggesting that Wicklow should remove all shops and pubs from the county?  Who fucking cares if 18% of school children were drunk in the last thirty days?  Fair play to 'em, I say.

I waded through a lot of guff about Wicklow prioritising health and further shite about the disadvantaged being more likely to be smokers, drinkers and obese.

Eventually they ran out of steam but basically their demands suggestions seem to boil down to their idea of a perfect county –

Don't build any social housing whatsoever.  In fact don't build any houses that the Lower Orders may possibly afford as these people are obese drunkards who smoke like chimneys and will soon be dead anyway.

Scrap all roads and railways and replace everything with cycle paths and footpaths.  The Peasants need loads of exercise and they should have to walk or cycle everywhere.  The fact that Wicklow tends to be somewhat hilly and most cyclists would die of over-exertion is irrelevant.

Scrap all "fast food joints" or at least build them in another county so the cheeeeeldren won't be tempted by their vile produce.  They also attract rats and other vermin [such as The Lower Orders], cause traffic congestion and are ugly. 

So that's all right then.  They don't want much?

But then these Tax-Trough Bottom Feeders have the gall to invite submissions to their submission.

They really do have monumental Titanium balls.

[You can find their submission here. Pages 29 to 39.]

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The healthiest county in Ireland — 6 Comments

  1. The IHF has gone beyond its remit in making a submission on the Draft Wicklow Development Plan. What salaries are paid to its fulltime employees, incidentally? When I have an answer I can decide whether to add IHF to a mental list of charities that I won't support.

    • I suppose that having sharpened their teeth on the anti-smoking bandwaggon they now consider themselves to be the arbiters of public health and entitled to stick their nose in everywhere?

  2. 18% of schoolchildren were drunk during the last 30 days? Does that even sound credible? They start school at age 5, so half of them are under 10, so they are effectively claiming almost 40% of secondary age kids got drunk. I don't believe that.

  3. So IHF are a bunch of NIMBYs. Well, who'd have thought it?

    Here's an idea –  see what percentage of IHF staff (& others in the public health racket) own upmarket 4 wheel drives, which are used for little more than delivering their offspring to school and themselves to the gym or golf club. If their local equivalents are anything to go by, I'd guess a percentage high enough to blow an awkward hole in their claims to be champions of a healthy lifestyle – at least for anyone else and their families.

  4. >and build a multi-million “interpretative centre”

    Or, as Joni Mitchell observed some time ago:

    They took all the trees
    Put ’em in a tree museum
    And they charged the people
    A dollar and a half just to see ’em

    Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you’ve got
    Till it’s gone
    They paved paradise
    And put up a parking lot.

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