Monday, 2 June 2014


Well done Ireland! While much of Europe seeks refuge in the bigotry and hatred of the far-Right, this country voted with its heart. Instead of seeking outsiders to blame, the Irish made it very clear they blame the parties of this government and the last. There was no Golden Dawn party parading down O’Connell Street with ersatz swastikas. No UKIP, no Front National. No Marine le Pen.

Praise be!

It would have been completely understandable if the Irish had chosen to blame the ECB, the IMF and World Bank, and some of the victorious independents were doubtless elected by protest votes against the Troika.

Yet despite the present surge in popularity for non-treaty politics, it’s still fairly inevitable that the next government won’t be headed by ranks of Mings, Maureens and men in pink shirts.
Sadly, our future rulers will belong either to the party of smug self-centred bourgeois hypocrites or the party of dark and dangerous chancers who promise the earth but send you to hell.

The overbearing melancholy that truth delivers makes the choices of Irish voters last week more vivid, more important. They needed to rid themselves of the status quo. Instead of hating and rejecting, they reacted to austerity and poverty by joining ranks and turning to each other; to compassion and socialism, rather than the unbridled capitalism that has wrought havoc over the continent.

This alone would make me thrill and feel delighted to have chosen the right country to live in. Yet my joy at the choices Ireland made was enhanced by the way I’ve been bamboozled over the years by the Irish culture of blaming.

Often it feels as if there exists in Ireland a huge stinking lump of pooh that nobody owns, wants or cares about. Instead of grabbing it, sanitizing it and washing it away forever, the Irish just pass it along.They don’t feel comfortable complaining or protesting, but nobody does blame better.

Lifting my voluptuous arse out of the armchair I become rigid. The pain is so severe I cannot breathe. I’m frozen, stuck between squatting and standing.

Personally, I blame my excellent friend Whispering Blue. We’re all familiar with the way that women who share a dormitory start to menstruate at the same time. Well, for weeks now my mate’s been suffering unimaginable back pain as he studies for his exams. We’ve been friends for over 20 years, so it seems natural that when his pain has filled its host body, it might well spread to mine.

Really? Well no, I haven’t lost my noodle. Despite being pretty demoralised by the unwelcome return of lower back pain, I haven't suddenly become prone to ludicrous notions such as migrating lumbago.

I’m just adapting to the culture of my adopted country. Years ago I might apologise, but instead I’m blaming Whispering Blue.

I’m in pain because Whispering Blue has no more room in his body for his own pain. He has pain as he’s a student who cannot afford a decent chair to study in, nor private health insurance to provide him with MRI scans and a possible cure for his condition.

All his doctor can do is put him on waiting lists, where he’ll wallow many-a-year down at the bottom with the rest of the Medical Card holders.

So he blames his chair and his doctor blames the hospital and the hospital blames the private health insurers who unfairly share the HSE’s resources. So the government removes the taxation subsidy of the private health providers, who leave the country, blaming the government.

Without revenue from their taxes there’s even less money to fund the HSE, so nurses and junior doctors work extra hours, blaming their bosses who blame the administrators who blame the politicians who blame the people on the dole who aren’t making a contribution to the country.

Pretending to help get the rabble off the Scratch, the government cuts the Universal Social Charge paid by the rich in a vapid attempt to encourage them to offer employment to those supposed idlers with Medical Cards.

Unsurprisingly, the rich choose not to create jobs for low-life scroungers, instead stashing their green folding in off-shore accounts where their tax Euros won’t be wasted on MRI scans for students with old chairs and mind-numbing sciatica pain.

So we blame the rich for evading taxes and they blame the tax system to which they barely contributed.

A foolish politician or a rich person with enemies is caught thieving, red-handed by the media. Once the story’s on the TV and in the papers it’s way too late for an Garda Siochana to take a bung and hide the case away, so the unfortunate sacrificial rich person is brought in for questioning.

A Tribunal is set up, hundreds of thousands pass from one rich party to another through legions of lawyers, and then the whole thing’s called off because the process has taken so long, the judge has died.

Now nobody knows who to blame because you can’t go blaming a dead man, can you now, so it’s best to just forget the whole thing. The rich become richer, the guilty walk free: we’re back where we started. The status quo proves immovable.

So you blame the system. The government blame the opposition, who made such a mess when they were in power before. The leader of the opposition blames the government who in turn blames the world situation.

The only thing it can never ever be is our own fault. I didn’t get back pain from lifting that heavy suitcase over my head like a 20 year-old Moldovan weightlifter.

No. It’s not my fault. I live in Ireland. I blame Whispering Blue for my back pain.

Hopefully my friend’s health will improve quickly, so he can take back the surplus pain he gave me.

Charlie Adley

No comments: