Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Dublin Council motor tax form or Mr Chan's spam. Which to ignore?

Usually when you get something through the letter box “as Gaeilge” it is best not to ignore it, even if you can’t make head nor tail of it.  It will be a demand for money or a summons of some sort.

I recently got a tax renewal form from my friends in Dublin City Council – purely in Gaelic.  Thankfully, my young days of being traumatised by big, ignorant, bullying oafs whose educational speciality (or only-ality) was attempting to beat a lifelong love of The Tongue of the True Gael into their charges stood me in good stead - I could make out the odd word (like "hatchback", "salun", "jip" and "bus").  Enough anyway, to bin the form and renew my tax online in the vernacular of the country.

So all those shit-scared, humiliating years under their cultural nationalist tutelage was not wasted in the end. And let’s face it – it d-d-d-d-didn’t d-do me any h-harm.  Apart from the odd unsolved murder here and there of course.    Mister O'Muireadhaigh, you’re next, you child-bullying piece of… what’s the Gaelic for "shit"?

But anyway, I digress. I don’t know if Dublin City Council’s extortionate tax demand in Official Irish was part of their Gaelicisation drive Dublin City Council to ban English-language placenames... if you let them, or they were just trying to get rid of all those forms they had printed up.   But I’d like to know what any citizen from beyond our screwed-up land, and trying to get to grips with our language – English - would have made of it.  “Tough”, I imagine DCC might respond.

But what about this? A reader of the blog sent me in details of a spam e-mail in the following gobbledeegook emanating from China:

Tб mй an tUasal Patrick KW Chan an Stiъrthуir Feidhmiъchбin agus Prнomh-Oifigeach airgeadais Hang Seng Bank Ltd, Hong Cong.     Tб mй togra gnу brabъsaн leasa choitinn a roinnt le leat; Baineann sй leis an aistriъ suim mhуr airgid.    Fuair mй do tagairt i mo cuardach a dhйanamh ar dhuine a oireann mo chaidreamh gnу molta.   m Mб tб suim agat i obair liom teagmhбil a dhйanamh liom mo trн r-phost prнobhбideach ( le haghaidh tuilleadh sonraн

Which I am told is some kind of automated tranlsation from the Chinese (hence the - even more - inexplicable cyrillic characters) meaning:

I am Mr. Patrick KW Chan Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer Hang Seng Bank Ltd, Hong Kong.   I have a business proposal of common interest to share with you;  It concerns the transfer of a large sum of money.  I found your reference in my search for someone who suits my proposed business relationship.  If you are interested in working to contact me through my private email  for further details.

Mr Patrick Chan

Full Boards thread:   Mr Chan's extra spammy spam

Nice try, Mr Chan, but no claymore pipe.   Perhaps, as sender Mike1972 suggests,  you should apply to the Irish Government for a grant?   Or Dublin City Council.

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Anonymous said...

Nice one GM. A bit of the Irish, eh, and everything is alright? LOL. Perchance, maybe they were hinting they were going to send around a couple of the heavies to get you to learn your Irish vocab and then beat you up anyway. Or maybe they were embarresed to send you a vernacular letter, as you'd only tear it up straight away? It is for road tax *oh hold on, I feel a fit of laughing coming on!!!!!!, thats better!!* afterall.

ROADS, eh, I recall them alright, they tell me there is such things here on this Island, though I have my doubts. Not real roads like in the UK, or anywhere else for that matter. (They have there probs in the UK but its worse, or at least getting worse here).Saw a pothole only yesterday, in Phibsborough must be six or seven inches deep by twelve in width and every nutter that saw it had to go right into it!! Driving in Dublin always gives me a good laugh (more often the painful type, though)

Paying for the privalage oh yes paying for the privalage, of driving in dear old Dubhlin Linn, what about VRT, VAT, etc......... The only "things" I see resembeling ROADS *or which our compatriots from other climes would recognise that is* are populated by suicidal pothole loving maniacs who could'nt cycle a bicycle in a straight line and are now sitting behind the wheel of 5 litre 4*4s, or the like.

Oh, not to mention the non enforcment on the roads. When they do decide to enforce, its such a surprise it ends up to be a bigger danger than non enforcement. (Often saw motorists slamming, on the breaks - with only a foot or so distance between them and the car behind - as soon as they spot the high viz jackets).

I cant understand what I pay this tax for? Really think about it, any new quality(?) roads that are eventually bulit now are tolled, the M50 which was paid for with German money is still tolled. Whats the tax for????????????? Oh hold on I know, its for the ROADS, oh yeah, the ROADS. Have the funniest feeling I'm back to where I started here - much like the roads!! Oh I suddenly feel guilty I'll have to tax myself.

No, hold on, this ROAD tax malarkey has a lot in common with PRSI, and the new wage Levies, oh stop right there, what about bin tax the proposed water tax and property tax to come. Its just a tax that was imposed for the sake of it and they ""seemingly"" forgot to scrap it. Thats all. Ah yes I see the logic here, they are pretending that you need to pay for the roads, when really, *TIP TOE away very softly and nobody will notice* they should toll every road instead?? Then tax you for getting into the car and why not eventually a tax about thinking to drive, Em lets not be mean, why not tax people for breathing the air? or a tax on been born or for having a head......ETC

Hey lets extend the logic shall we, if they scrapped ROAD TAX then they would be doing something logical and thats something they could'nt be seen doing. They would have to impose a tax on themselves for doing something right for once.

Ireland is returning to a high tax economy. Well a formally high tax economy that is, there was always stealth taxes but of course they were'nt real taxes because the people imposing the tax never called them taxes, so as is the way in the emerald isle because they were not called taxes, they were'nt considered as such. Nice is'nt it??? Comforting.

AS for the DCC and the rest of that useless shower well where do you start??


Anonymous said...

These people could'nt give a fiddlers fuck!

I paid the extortionate tax of 900 euros for my car in December. I also include a change of address on my licensing cert. I never got it back.

Email from me to motortax office 2 weeks ago:

I am unable to find someone to talk to on your 1890 number. When I was taxing my vehicle with Dublin Co. Council in December I sent them my vehicle registration form with change of address. I notice that e-flow now know my new address but I still do not have my updated form.

no answer so this week I replied and said: "any chance of my licensing cert back ?"

an answer from Mary:

If you have not received your Vehicle Registration Certificate in the post you will have to request a duplicate. You should complete the attached RF134 and have it signed and stamped at your local Garda Station. The completed form should be sent to the Driver & Vehicle Computer Services Division, Department of Transport, Shannon, Co Clare and a new certificate will be issued to you. There is no fee. Mary

There is a box where you can outline the circumstances of the loss or destruction of the document. I have written "the department of motor tax or the department of the environment have between them lost or destroyed the document"

I hope some of the tax money will go to pay to fill some craters that have opened up in my neighbourhood lately or even to pay the gardai to stop assholes who dont know what indicators are for.

Anna said...

I work in a Public service office, which sends computer generated reminder letters to certain clients. Recently an aggrieved Gaeltacht resident complained about getting one (as If he didn’t understand it). Our computer system is now being set up so it can also issue these automatic letters in Irish. I’m not getting hysterical here…I assume English letters will still go out to the 98.5% of clients who speak it.
My heart DOES sink at this nonsense.
The Gaeltacht looks pretty good to me, ie re public services etc. The quality of housing is good compared to some parts of Dublin. And you never see sad wasted junkies on the green roads. So why insist your human rights re trampled on- because of 1 computer generated letter? This was a mere reminder letter of something which a conscientious client of my office (I’d rather not say which one) knows they Have to do annually or get a large fine. Let’s just say a client would not have set up in this activity without knowing this.
But no, scarce public money has to be spent on getting these automatic reminders issued also in Irish. Somehow certain complaining people managed to understand these letters alright before the last (2003?) Irish language act..
I often DO wonder tho why Gaeltacht residents do not sue Wheatabix, Kellogg’s, & other food companies as their human rights are being trampled on and they could die, if they cannot read the nutritional info on these packets in English.
Last time I was there, I saw large road signs, in English, saying European Regional funds had been spent on improving a stretch of road- these had stickers slapped on them ’as Geaelige!’- Wonder what Dutch and German visitors would think of such lack of gratitude and cheek for their tax money spent on a good bit of road.
But I am glad to hear Chinese con artists think Irish is the national language. Well that saves the 98.5% of us who don’t speak it from these scams.

Anonymous said...

toast2toast some chance they'll fill in the potholes, then they would be liable for any damages after maintenance. Seriously. Planet Neptune stuff. Spot on about indicator useage in Dublin. There is a cohort who dont know what there for, nevermind those that dont know left from right. Incompetent nutters often the same ilk that think having at least four blaring headlights and perpetual orange lights is "cool. They look retarded.


The Gombeen Man said...

@ Dakota. That's the thing, we poor unfortunate Irish drivers pay the highest, or among the highest, motor related taxes in the EU, then we pay tolls too - and all we get in return is vilification. And do you know, D, that motor tax is not ring-fenced? It can, and does, go on anything. In theory the authorities could decide not to spend a penny of it on roads, and spend it gilding the Dail in 24-carat gold instead. As far as Vehicle Registration Tax is concerned, I'm pissed at having to spend 40-odd % more in VRT and VAT for (ostensibly) the very dubious privilege of having a white reg plate with Baile atha Cliath on it when our counterparts north of the border can have an unblemished yellow one for a fraction. VRT is, of course, just excise duty by another name.

BTW, a bloke is being taken to court for trying to fix a pothole outside his house. Think he's up in May. The coppers charged him with "damaging the road" or something.

@ atoast2toast. I'm a bit of a petrolhead - I like my wheels (as I suspect you do) - but I pay for it in this country (as you do). It's bad enough being shafted by this lot by handing over your heard-earned for little visible return, without them losing your Vehicle Reg Certificate. I love the "there is no fee" bit! What can I say? Good luck with it.

@Anna. Funny, the point you make about Kellogs and the like. That's the thing - if the same bureaucratic burden was imposed by law on private business, as it is on the public sector, businesses would simply flee the country, rather than bear the extra cost of operating here.

Maybe they sent me the Gaelic-only one to piss me off? I reckon there's some zealot stuffing Gaeilge-only forms into the envelopes, and throwing the English ones into the bin, in the DCC bunker.

@ All 3. You know, it's all making sense that so many other readers of the blog don't live here any more. I think we're just mugs, folks.

Anonymous said...

HI THERE MR G.M youve got to love all this gaelge garbage but from now on there is anew era dawning in irl their slogan your country your call just make the call and make a differance yes you can GM come on now prepaid of course, reminds me of the rubbish from bord failte over here,your very own OIRLAND leprachuans and fairys jigging and reeling 24-7 great crack for almost nothing ive never seen such a load of old bollicks in my life where do they get these clowns CHEERS GM

The Gombeen Man said...

Hello there Mr BH. I think there's a special factory here somewhere churning them out, I really do. And they're trying to make us work until we're 68 now (assuming we have any).

Anonymous said...

GM fixing a pothole equates to damaging the road, wowwww,,, why dont the guards charge, on mass, the DCC for same? To charge a poor unfortunate who thought he was doing something logical (as no one gives a toss) really makes everything clear.

Anna why dont you people just send out English only letters with a proviso, saying, please feel free to translate this letter into whatever language you like? Must be frustrating for you?


Anna said...

I lived back in the north from 2006-2009. My little Nissan Micra was taxed at Armagh VRT office for about £150 pounds sterling year, or rmaybe it was little less thna that I thought that was reasonable- and I never saw potholes even on the country roads.

Anna said...

By the way John Mc Gahern (born early 30’s), and who later worked as teacher, had this to say on the physical & verbal ferocity of Irish language teachers;
If their pupils did not reach a certain proficiency in Irish every year – then the Irish teachers were denied increments in their pay. I am not sure if this related to JMG’s days as a school pupil in the 30’s and 40s, or what he deduced from his Irish teaching colleagues when he was a teacher himself. However, my workmate, Colm from Louth (who is in his late 50’s) was well battered by an Irish teacher as well- this ‘ no increment unless your pupils are fluent Gaels’ must have gone on till well into the ‘60s’s.
Oh and JMG had another comment to make on the National School curriculum (again not sure if this related to his own primary school days- or later days as a teacher)-
He worked out that half the timetable was devoted to Irish and Religion.
I think that might explain a lot of the lack of logical thinking skills, in some older people anyway.

SaS said...

I think you're being targetted by a guerilla gaelgoir-nazi GM. You should have demanded the form in the other official state language or else paid in 5 cent pieces. We had that mad, bad Collins for Irish, he knew less of the language than we did.

As for the state of the roads, that wanker Noel Dumptruck should be forced to cycle everywhere, there's no soft suspension on bikes going through the craters on our main roads...

The Gombeen Man said...

Won't be the first or last time to be targeted in such a fashion SaS. Yes, the Mr B is a pseudonym - no offence to R. Just sounded right. You know the ones I mean!

Yes, or let Mr Dumptruck drive down an empty quay at night keeping to 30!

Anna said...

By the way , English is NOT an 'offical' language of the state.
Only Irish is given recognition as an Offical language of the state in the constitution.
But 98.5% of us speak it daily,as it's our mother tongue, and it's the daily working language of All government and offical bodies...I know a little Irish, but I have Rarely heard it spoken in Dublin - I hear Russian spoken Far more often, which again I can understand a little...mostly i just carry on speaking an unofficial lanaguge like the daring rebel that I am.

SaS said...

Sorry Anna but English is an official language of the State under Article 8 of the Constitution - It was also recognised as an official language under Article 4 of the original Constitution of 1922...

Anna said...

Thank you it is reassuring to know that-
"The Irish language as the national language is THE first official language."
" The English language is recognised as A second official language."
Somehow a difference of degree is implied by the words I put in capitals-
if something is THE language, is sounds very exclusive, as if it belongs strongly to the country.
If something is just A second language, it does not sound as if it belongs strongly to a country at all( even if it was spoken for centures in it) -it sounds as tho it could be interchanged with any other randomly chosen second language- and sounds more like a language a country adopted ( like Sweden adopted English as A second language)

The Gombeen Man said...

Cheers SaS,Anna.

The devil's in the detail, as they say.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. GM,

I'm not sure if you've heard about our little site which is trying to highlight the issue of... you guessed, potholes across the nation. We've tried to involve as many CO. Co. as possible to have a balanced view on the topic and allow them some floorspace to illustrate the massive efforts being put in by all of their hard working employees (cue the sarcasm if you haven't noticed!). In fairness, DCC have been the most accommodating Co.Co. so far, giving us little tips on how the information we provide could be better laid out etc. etc. However, the best response was from the nice people of Drogheda Borough County Council, who told us;
"This Website has no official status and we will not be contributing. You need not send on any further correspondence." The first thing that jumps out is that no-one has had the balls to put their name to the email and secondly, who says I can't send an email to a public body email address?? We pay for the bloody email address, so I'll email it if I want to!!! Sorry, rant over.

Anyway, I would appreciate it if anyone would like to logon to our site and report a few potholes. Those of you from Drogheda are even more welcomed!

The Team