We're not waving, we're drowning

I am a separated mother, paying a mortgage and raising a young son. I live in a small cottage in Dublin. I work hard for an NGO. I believe in equality, social justice and human rights. I am a socialist and a feminist. I do volunteer work outside of my job. I will never be rich. I am happy except for those times when I struggle to get to the end of the month with enough food to feed my child.

Of holes and Hibernia

A re-imagining of Enda Kenny's State of the Nation address, by Brian Stafford.

Ladies, gentlemen, Mary and Michael middle Ireland, let me start by assuring you that Paddy still likes to know what the story is. So in the spirit of keeping Paddy informed I have decided to level with you out there in what I like to call the ‘vice gripped median’ (Note to self - get party to repeat this ad nauseam). This government is ready to take the tough decisions necessary to grow the economy.

The dynamics of complicity

A year after all of the head-shaking and nay-saying assurances that ‘negotiations’ with the IMF and EU were mere ‘fiction’, the sense of betrayal that Irish people experienced about the then Government’s denial that the Irish nation was about to lose its economic sovereignty is still palpable.

Discipline and punish

Enda Kenny's ‘state of the nation’ speech last night was little more than a footnote to the more revealing and fundamental address that he delivered last month to an audience of EU officials, bankers and representatives of the ‘troika’. That speech was, tellingly, addressed not to the Irish people but to the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble, and delivered not in Dublin, but in Berlin.

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Don’t mourn, organise

My dad died 31 years ago this week. My mom, who has taken up web-development in her mid-70s, went looking for an obscure picture of him to scan into an anniversary email to her children and grandchildren, but instead turned up this beautiful piece of organising ephemera from the Upper West Side of Manhattan, c 1968.

Sour times

I have been so angry for three years. My husband and I have worked hard all our lives. We’re both nearing fifty.

We did all the ‘right’ things. Built our home, raised four kids, paid our taxes, sorted out our pensions, never ran up too much debt, paid our bills.

My husband has not worked since 2008. I am a nurse. I am the sole wage earner in a house of six people, five of whom are over 18 years of age. Two are attending college with no grants or support save from us. Our savings have dwindled away over the last three years; spent on necessities.

The screwed up State we're in

The State of the Nation, I’m afraid, can be summed up in one word - screwed.

We can flesh things out a bit, but that’s the nub of it. Every strategic step taken over the past decade has ensured that the screwing would be comprehensive.

The crisis isn’t about fiscal problems, the public service or German ambitions - it’s about the mountain of debt created over the past couple of decades in a series of Ponzi schemes run by a completely insane financial sector, applauded by the politicians and the media.