Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Dublin house sales at three-year-high as ghost estates to be demolished by taxpayers...

It's nearly getting to the point where you could take old Gombeen Nation posts from the archive, change the date at the top, and pass them off as new.   Such is the convenience of  blogging about Groundhog Day Ireland.

Or maybe it's the same as the chief character in Flann O'Brien's "Third Policeman" who is doomed to make the same awful, and only just bearable mistakes, into perpetuity?

I nearly choked on my Tayto and milk breakfast last week when I read the following in The Irish Times:

"The number and value of house sales in Dublin is at a three-year high, according to a new survey from, which also shows that the total value of transactions in the first nine months of the year is up by 29 per cent on the same period last year."

Then there were some "experts" (remember those?) on radio doing their utmost to assure us that we were not looking at another bubble in the capital.    I should certainly hope not, we still haven't paid for the first one yet.    

At the same time ghost estates, built with government tax incentives and dodges (and about which the "opposition" of the time were strangely quiet) are going to be demolished at taxpayers' expense.

Then there's all the other stuff...

It's a strange little country where HSE top management and executives receive salary top-ups for making a bollocks of running our health service, and where it was recently decided that taxpayers should subvent RTE even more than they do at present... by a body that contains an ex-RTE head.  Failed bankers too, have enjoyed bonuses while judges have used the constitution to fight changes to their pensions.

 In Greece the Troika took the axe to such wasters, but Ireland is different I suppose.   

'Tis a quare place, alright.   

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Sunday, 10 November 2013

Varadkar cosies up to Conradh na Gaeilge on Irish road signs

"More Irish than the Irish themselves"

Even as a kid I could see that this officially presented twaddle was utter bollocks.  How can you "be more" than what is, in this sense, after all?

You know how there has been a clamour for many things to be tackled since the bubble burst?


Those who made the bank debts public property (the Irish Government of the time) being brought to justice.

The property tax.

DIRT tax -   the highest in the world. 

The continuing scandal of Vehicle Registration Tax.

The fact PAYE workers go into the highest income-tax bracket in, or at around, the 30-grand opposed to six digits in the UK. 

Continuing tax-breaks for builders and developers.

The Government massaging the true unemployment figures by cutting benefit down to 9 months, therefore ensuring that people who have paid taxes for decades slip quietly below the radar when their benefit runs out. 

Lots of things.

So how do you make your feelings felt when something concerns you?    Contact your local TD?

One of mine is Leo Varadkar.  When we moved into Gombeen Manor here a couple of years ago, when the gobshite investors were temporarily frightened off, we discovered that our broadband was utter w**k.   It was slower than dial-up.

We got onto the bould Leo, along with Joan Burton and Peggy Hamill and some other wine-and-cheese-party type from Fine Gael whose name escapes me.  Something to do with Queen's Park Rangers, I think.

Not one of them responded. 

Eventually - with a bit of non-lobby enhanced pucking, the provider rolled out the fibre - it seems our bit of Castleknock had been forgotten - and now we are sorted.

So, how do you get a politician's ear in Ireland?

Be Conradh na Gaeilge, it seems.  These gobshites who, in their previous incarnation as the Gaelic League, helped ruin Ireland's education system by sitting on school governing committees and insisting the Irish education system be geared more toward Gaelic revivalism than education (see Tom Garvin - Preventing The Future).  These Government-funded arsebags have got Varadkar's ear just like that.

Now if this quango of hobbyists and Gaelic-language lobbyists gets its way, we will have even more nonsensical and confusing road signage than we have at present, with priority (thanks to the odious O'Cuiv's Language Act)  given to a "language" that only a tiny minority of elitists and cultural nationalists actually speak...along with their mother-tongue Hiberno-English.  

They know what the country needs, begob.

Have a look at this bollocksology:

Green light for plan to make road signs 'more Irish'

Paul Melia – 08 November 2013, Irish Independent.

Intensive lobbying by Conradh na Gaeilge could result in road signs being changed to give equal prominence to our two official languages.

Road signs display English place names more prominently than those as Gaeilge – but Transport Minister Leo Varadkar has now given his approval to replace these signs over time with a new version designed by the lobby group.

The minister and officials met with Conradh na Gaeilge earlier this week, and it unveiled new sign designs which make placenames the same size in Irish and English.
While no signs will be replaced in the short-term – the National Roads Authority (NRA) has just spent €65m re-signing the road network – the new ones may be used when needed.
Mr Varadkar has asked the NRA to consider using them on a trial basis, but new regulations must be passed before they can be put in place.

Existing road-sign legislation stipulates that priority must be given to English place names.
"I like the new design and I do think there should be parity between Irish and English where it matters, like road signs that people see every day," Mr Varadkar said. "But it's a bit like an election poster – it's only when
you put it on a road and drive past that you really know whether it works.
"I have been in touch with the NRA and they are considering putting up a few signs on a trial basis to see what people think. These would be new signs that have to go up anyway so there would be no additional cost involved."
If it goes ahead, it means that road signs will be compliant with the Official Languages Act for the first time. 

Julian de Spainn, from Conradh na Gaeilge, said the idea was first mooted a number of years ago, but the last government wasn't keen.
"It's about the language. All these things make a difference. We teach children about the importance of mlanguage, and they go outside and see that English is more prevalent on road signs. It differentiates us from other countries, too, which can only be a good thing for tourism."

The NRA said it was an "interesting proposal" and while it did have bilingual signs, it "looked forward" to implementing the idea. "This initiative is being proposed by the minister and Department of Transport, and we look forward to their direction on it," a spokesman said.

Ho-hum.  In most other countries, signage is about offering information, direction and clarity. 

In Ireland, it is all about creating bureaucracy and promoting the deluded notion that we are a nation of Gaelic speakers, long after the Irish ditched their peasant (and spoken only) babble for modernity and progress.

Leo, you seem very accessible.  How can we get your ear to change things that really matter to the Irish people, rather than engaging with the type of lobby groups who brought ruin to the country?

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