Friday, 3 October 2008

Maynooth Line, skangers, Irish bank bail-outs

Coming home from work on the PAYE sector slavey-train the other evening, Gombeen Man was dismayed to hear the driver announce “I’d like to inform passengers that there have been reports of stone-throwing between Glasnevin Junction and Broombridge. I repeat - there have been reports of stone-throwing between Glasnevin Junction and Broombridge”. The clear inference was that we were all to get ready to duck.

Two points come to mind here, the first being a question. Namely, where are the Piggies when they aren’t at the market, or dishing out penalty points (for minor traffic infringements) to mugs like us? Given that the previous train passed through the war zone a good half-hour beforehand, surely there was time for the boys and girls in blue to mobilise and apprehend any skangers engaged in hurling rocks at passing trains? Is it really too much to ask?

The second point is a social observation. Namely, that ordinary working people seem to constitute the meat in the sandwich between the skanger underclass on one side, and the business lord-it-over-us class on the other.

We are the ones who fund the social welfare system, which in turn keeps the aforementioned shell-suited idlers sufficiently nourished to pepper us with missiles as we return from work.

We are the ones who (or many us, at least) are spread-eagled over a financial barrel for our foreseeable working lives, with a large jar of Vaseline placed between our ankles - slaves to 35-year mortgages for the privilege of living in godforsaken kips.

And who are we paying the mortgages to? I’ll tell you. Greedy financial institutions grown rich, complacent and fat on a property bubble inflated by Government tax shelters and tax avoidance schemes for property developers and investors. And now we must act as guarantors for them should their investments not work out, and a bank (or two) go bust through bad debts and careless lending (see elsewhere on this site).

Bob Geldof wrote “Banana Republic, septic isle… great to see the place again, it’s a pity nothing’s changed”. And he was spot on. Despite the boom that was to float all boats, we still have the social problems we had twenty years ago, and we still have the “Golden Circle” pulling the strings of our politicians.

And we’re all so pleased with ourselves.

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Bernd said...

Don't know what you are complaining about ... aren't there more pressing problems? Like the All-Ireland coverage in the Belfast Hilton? Now this is an issue close to the heart of every green-blooded Irishman!

The Gombeen Man said...

Hi Bernd. There's never a shortage of "issues" here in Ireland. Personally, I'd take Man U v Chelsea anytime. Or Schalke v Bayern, or Bohemians v St Pats, or Cherry Orchard under-10s v Stella Maris under-10s.

Anything but GAH!!!!!!


Mr. Ronald Binge said...

I was on that train as well, it was an unwelcome reminder that Halloween is coming with all its associated skangerdom. Let's hear it for the Belfast-style skyscraper bonfires! Er no.

The Gombeen Man said...

Ah, great to hear from a fellow veteran of the Maynooth Line.

Good point Ronald. Halloween is, unfortunately for the rest of us, a highlight on the skanger calendar.

It was pretty cold that night when they were out flinging stones at the train. They must have those fleece-lined shellsuits. Or maybe they have their pyjamas on underneath?