The State We're In: A CrisisJam Special

Next month will see the latest in a series of vicious budgets entailing almost four billion euro in spending cuts and tax increases. In the days preceding this calamity, Taoiseach Enda Kenny is scheduled to address the nation on television to offer words of comfort and inspiration. The text of his pep talk to the people will of course be depressingly predictable.  We will be told that we are all in this together, tough decisions have to be made, a corner has been turned and that those who really run this benighted little Republic are rather impressed with our appetite for needless pain. The usual dreary, meager fare of half truths and lies will be spoon fed once more to the viewing public. The moment that Enda Kenny appears on our screens is surely one that demands a critical and satirical response, even perhaps one that amounts to an alternative state of the nation address. At the heart of this address has to be an account of the appalling realities of the state we’re in.

CrisisJam are planning to mark this moment by hosting an intensive round of critical writing, personal testimony, community responses and any other kind of radical and questioning response that may come to mind. We are hoping to publish a series of critiques and narratives that tell the real story of how this crisis has impacted on individuals, families and communities. We would encourage contributors to use as many different creative forms and media types as possible. Written contributions should ideally be around 500 words, but can of course be shorter.

When our glorious leader gets to his feet to explain patiently to all the children of the nation why community schemes must be abolished, hospitals closed, third level fees increased and all the rest we will begin streaming these alternative narratives online. Should the televised address fail to materialise, we will go ahead and post as many critical commentaries as possible over the days immediately before the budget. If you would like to make a contribution please send it to When placed together, these tales of straitened times will, we hope, offer a counterpoint to the iniquitous dominant narrative of the day. Your support and participation would be greatly appreciated.{jathumbnailoff}

Image top: Eadaoin O'Sullivan, from an original by Giandomenico Ricci.