Bleeding Horses

All these bleeding horses
you can't hear yourself think
with the racket of their whinnying
last gasp call and answer chants
and Helen pet sheath those trojans
in your blouse there are no incognitos
in this herd, unless you're prone
to necrophiliac urges, move along love
there's nothing to see here
and that coach and four is less
than apocalyptic with its coconut shell
hoofbeats, not spellbound neither
these beasts are walking cold

We, the people, are too big to fail

The Ballyhea Bondholder Bailout Protest, now in its 40th week and joined with Charleville (their 25th week) is about one issue, and one issue only – the transference of private debt to the public purse. In one word, and very pure, very simple, it’s wrong.


A chariot worth 4.58 million bondmaids

'Go here, Mac Roth,' Medb said. 'Ask Dáire to lend me Donn Cuailnge for a year. At the end of the year he can have fifty yearling heifers in payment for the loan, and the Brown Bull of Cualinge back. And you can offer him this too, Mac Roth, if the people of the country think badly of losing their fine jewel, the Donn Cuailnge: if Dáire himself comes with the bull I'll give him a portion of the fine Plain of Ai equal to his own lands, and a chariot worth thrice seven bondmaids, and my own friendly thighs on top of that.'

We do have choices

In the wake of yet another austerity addled budget, a strident chorus of our political leaders and self-proclaimed media statespersons, backed by a broad range of public comprador/organic intellectuals are echoing the sentiments if not the exact words of that great ‘reformer’ Margaret Thatcher - that ‘There is no alternative’ (TINA) to the policies of austerity that have and are continuing to prove so ruinous to our country.

Our bankrupt State

There is no way I know everything contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and any subsequent amendments between the Irish government and the ‘troika’. I am sure I am not alone in this. And that is at the core of the problem when it comes to drafting the budget. People I talk to just want to know what the score is in clear and understandable language and not in the double-speak of technocrats. Just plain and simple, so ‘we can get on with it’.

'I despair of getting out of this horrible situation'

I am nearly fifty, and have five children aged nine to 21. I have worked through all my pregnancies, and when the children were babies, toddlers, and going off to school. My childminders were there for all their special moments. My fourth child has special needs, and when my mother developed senile dementia and other health problems she came to live with us, so I had no choice but to stop working.

Europe colonises itself

In a recent brief exchange between Oscar Guardiola Rivera and Walter Mignolo, responding to an impossibly broad question about Europe’s current crisis, Guardiola Rivera quipped that Europe was colonising itself. Just think, he said, of the racialisation of Greek, Spanish and Italian people: lazy and corrupt. And with that the debate moved on. But his thought of Europe colonising itself has haunted me: as a diagnosis it is chillingly brilliant.

Community Education: survival is the new success

AONTAS, the national adult learning organisation in Ireland, hosted a community education conference on 17 November 2011. The only topic on the agenda, both hidden and overt, was the threat to community education in this Shock Doctrine era as attempts are afoot to colonise community education for market ends. While many civil society groups are suffering acutely in the present environment of hostility to community emancipation, those working in community education are under particular stress.

Global crisis, local effects

A few years back, we had a Taoiseach who blamed US banks for the onset of Ireland's recession. Bertie Ahern claimed again recently in an interview that it was Lehman Brothers wot dun it, his imputation being that locally elected politicians could not be blamed for this economic crisis. We now know differently. This crisis is global, but, as Enda keeps reminding us, we are in this together.