Don't want to post? Email me instead.

cavehillred AT yahoo.co.uk

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Somewhere it's sunny

Apologies for the lack of posts recently. The recession has hit Skinner towers in earnest.

Income has plummetted, and bills are soaring. Scumbags have broken into and stolen from both the house and the car. There is a general air of gloom - such experiences are not mine alone, after all, but increasingly common across Ireland.

What pisses me off in particular is the theft of Mrs Skinner, who is emigrating to take up a job abroad. This is underpinned by the common assumptions that there are no jobs in Ireland and there won't be for the foreseeable future.

While I generally concur with this gloomy assessment (especially in the context of Ireland accruing additional debt by way of the 'bailout' which will not be diverted towards investment or job creation, but will actually suck money out of an already flattened economy in terms of repayments), I'm always aware of Mark Twain's statement that "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."

Consensus has its own dangers beyond that of propelling prophecies towards self-fulfilment. As a lifelong contrarian, I am for once loathe to rail against the current thinking that Ireland is royally fucked. But I am prepared to state quite clearly that we have not become Zimbabwe overnight, our cities have not been levelled like Christchurch, nor has a significant proportion of our population and country recently been drowned and irradiated, as in Japan.

It's also worth remembering that lies beget lies (Oh, what a bitter web, etc). In fact, one of the ways to identify a fundamental untruth is to establish that it is spawning little untruths all over the place. Such is the case with the lie that Ireland is bankrupt and beholden to the EU.

This lie (in fact, it is the European banks which are bankrupt, not Ireland) is inspiring the many little lies we see today, the lies that cause the doom and gloom. Lies like there are no jobs, or our people must emigrate, or we must be taxed more and receive fewer benefits.

On a personal level, I've experienced these lies inspiring yet more tiny white fibs, as the web of untruth is woven to support the more significant lie that Irish people must emigrate or be financially punished. I object to those lies. I find them personally offensive. They are, in no small manner, ruining much of my life at present.

It's time we all examined our preconceived notions of where we are, collectively. Biffo, in his gnomic culchie reasoning, asserted that 'we are where we are.' This is demonstrably hard to argue with. What's debatable is where exactly that is.

Is it the PIIG basketcase economy Europe tells us must be punished and endebted? Is it a land bereft of jobs, opportunity and compassion for the unfortunate, a land riven with crime and fatally burdened with debt, heading to hell in a handbasket for generations, which smart people must abandon? Is it the European Zimbabwe?

I'm not convinced it is. The sun still shines on us. Perhaps we need to see through the clouds of lies and remember that it's always sunny somewhere, and sometimes it's sunny here too, even now.

No comments: