There has been a joke doing the rounds for the last couple of days.
Anyone who mentioned it promptly collapsed, laughing like a demented hyena.
The joke is that Ireland is the Best Country in the World.
I thought I had better investigate.
Sure enough, I found the report. To my surprise they weren't just comparing Ireland with Iraq but had indeed included quite a few other well known countries as well. So how the blue fuck could Ireland be the best?
Countries are judged under various criteria and I noticed that Ireland, as well as being the overall winner was also top of the lot when it came to Prosperity and Equality. WHAT? We have thousands being thrown out on the road because their mortgages are in arrears. Our suicide and emigration rates are through the roof. People can't wait to get out of the godforsaken kip because they can't afford to live here. Even the good old US of A [the land of freedom and prosperity] only comes a miserable 53rd in this category so how in blazes are we number one?
Then I looked at the sub-categories.
There was nothing there about income, or minimum wage. There was no mention at all about the cost of living. They didn't even hint at the price of fags or a pint. All they rabbit on about are "UN Volunteers Abroad" [what the fuck?] "FDI Outflows" [whatever the fuck they are] and a couple of items that have nothing to do with Prosperity or Equality.
Then I looked at Health and Wellbeing.
This one was even better. No mention of waiting lists in hospitals. Not a whisper about the staggering cost of medicines. This one gushes on about "Food Aid", "Pharmaceutical Exports" and "Voluntary Excess Donations to the WHO".
It was around this time I began to cop on as to what they were on about. To be sure, I checked under Culture. Surely there would be a mention of Nobel Prizes or Riverdance? What about Jedward and the Eurovision? But all they were worried about were exports and "UNESCO dues in arrears as % of contribution".
What this list is is a measure of what good little boys we are in Ireland. We pay our dues. We export a lot. We sign or UN Treaties. We pay tons of foreign aid. We are politically correct.
Or to put it another way, it shows we are the most screwed people in the world.
I think I'll move to Libya.