I was sniffing around the Interweb and I came across a mention of Yours Truly.
A mention in itself was a rarity but a nice mention is positively unique. However, that’s not why I am writing about it.
The question behind the post is a valid one, and one that I have thrown up a few times myself –
What the fuck is wrong with the Irish?
Over the past years we have come increasingly under the jackboot of Europe. They now dictate most aspects of our lives. Don’t kid yourselves that we are a democratic and independent society as that would be like saying that we determine who runs a company by voting for the receptionist at the front desk. The majority of ‘decisions’ made by our lot have to be run past Europe first, but most ‘decisions’ are foisted on us without us even asking.
Simon, in his article is talking about the smoking ban, and that is a classic example of the kind of state interference that I am on about.
Why was the ban introduced? Was it because of intense lobbying from the people of Ireland? No. Did the people of Ireland have any say in the mater? No. Why then was the ban introduced? It was introduced purely and simply to earn brownie points in Brussels, who in turn were under intense pressure from the pharmaceutical industry.The ban was then followed by even more ridiculous exercises such as the banning of packs of ten cigarettes, and the display of any mention of cigarettes in a tobacconist’s shop. The only result of these measures has been to close pubs and inflict further hardship on tobacco retailers. And have the Irish objected to these Nanny laws? Not a fucking whimper. They bowed their heads and muttered about their clothes smelling fresher.
I was watching The Plank on Monday night, where they were discussing the hospitality industry. One woman [a pub owner] was asked why the trade was being decimated. She hummed and hawed and then suggested it was competition from the supermarkets. Plank asked her if the drink-driving laws might have had an effect. She pounced on that one and said that yes, that was the cause. Plank then suggested the smoking ban? She dithered over that one, but stuck with the drink-driving laws. This is despite the fact that the decline in pub trade coincided precisely with the introduction of the ban, and that the Licences Vintners’ Association cited the ban as the reason. Like everyone else, the woman had been taken in by The Spin.
We have become a country that is laden down with laws. Over the last couple of years various suggestions have been made to help our financial situation. Every single time, we were told that it couldn’t be done ‘for legal reasons’. Bank directors had to receive ridiculous bonuses ‘for legal reasons’. Judges couldn’t take a pay cut ‘for legal reasons’. Actually that example is even worse – the judges couldn’t take a pay cut ‘for constitutional reasons’.
Has anyone ever stopped to wonder if all this is fair? Is it fair to pay corrupt bankers millions of our money while respite homes are being closed? Is it fair to pay billions out to continental bankers on unsecured and non-guaranteed loans while people have to wait for days on trollies in our hospitals? Is it fair to close down half our hospitality when publicans and hoteliers could easily provide accommodation for smokers?
The Irish used to be renowned as a fighting race, and they meant ‘fighting’ as in ‘standing up for ourselves’ and not pub brawling. We had a proud tradition of independence. After hundreds of years of oppression, we finally gained a modicum of freedom, only to give the whole lot, and more besides, away. We have become a nation of sheep, meekly cowing to the diktats of others and believing all the spin that is thrown at us. Even the Greeks are laughing at us.
Why do I have the feeling that if they passed a law banning Twitter and Facebook in Ireland that only then would there be riots and bloodshed in the streets?