Monday, March 13, 2006


Success 'making Irish more selfish' - TD

Look at the causes, Minister Ireland's economic boom is making Irish people "selfish and arrogant", according to Social and Family Affairs Minister Seamus Brennan.

The Dublin TD made the claim whilst addressing the Accord conference in Co Cavan. He said the nation had always prided itself on its humanity and decency and the new challenge was to retain these traits:

"Economic, social and cultural success does not cure all ills – it comes at a price.

"Ireland must now face up to new pressures and fresh challenges – what you could call the problems of swift and remarkable success.

"I am struck, for example, by how many Irish people are increasingly displaying what I view as selfishness, impatience and, even, an arrogance.

"This to me is something that runs against the grain of the humanity and decency that we as a nation have always prided ourselves on.

"How we hold onto that humanity and hold onto that decency must surely be one of the greatest challenges that all of us face going into the future."

He could charm the birds out of the trees, this one. I don't know if he'd make these kinds of statments if we were in election season, I have to say.

You're a bad influence, Celtic Tiger!
Oh Celty, when will you ever learn!

I'm not sure I agree with what the Minister says. I think alot of the things he mentions - selfishness, impatience, arrogance - are rather a result of the rip-off Republic that we live in.

We the Irish people know that we are getting a raw deal and so many of us end up exhibiting the kind of traits mentioned above. They are signs of disillusionment rather than simple disdain.

That's my theory anyway.

For example, recently I had breakfast in a restaurant where I bought some tea and toast. As I had forgotten to get butter I went up to get some only for the cashier to insist I pay forty cents for the two tiny packets. I mean, does the economy fail if I end up taking the butter for free?

It's this kind of covetousness for cash that leaves Irish people disaffected.

I think it would be far better for the Minister to focus on ways to deal with that reality. Urging us to hold on to our decency is hardly worthwhile.

Offer the people a panacea, Minister. All you're offering us now is a placebo.


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