Joan Burton and the ruling class of Ireland so eagerly want us to believe their story that the country is getting better. Now we are hearing about Ireland’s economic springtime where prepubescents are being hired straight out of college and young people are getting the opportunity to work without actual pay as interns in a ScamBridge scheme. We are even hearing about some Job Zoo where multinationals can pick the best flesh. Such is the great recovery that is happening in Ireland – or at least the great recovery that is happening in Ireland in their heads. Ireland is in an awful mess, and no amount of talking is going to make this situation any better. Clowns in government will sing from the rooftops of the three jobs or so that were created in some meat processing plant in the arse end of nowhere, but wilfully ignore the jobs in their hundreds that are being lost in every part of the country. It has always been like this, and – I suppose – it always will be. We are playing a little game. They are lying to us, they know they are lying to us, and they know that we know that they are lying to us. We call this game democracy.

I arrived out to Ballymun on the number 13 bus this morning only to discover that the Ballymun Whitehall Area Partnership is to be closed down. These partnership things were set up to provide a sort of civil service job to the right sort of people, and be seen to be bringing development to some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in Ireland. None of these jobs – supported by government money – could be protected because the employees are not actually civil servants. These semi-state quangos are all registered as limited companies. So in the end everyone managed to get screwed. For all of the corruption in this system they did provide jobs, and they did provide much needed services and resources within communities recovering from huge social problems. Now, in one swoop, all of this is to be pulled from under the community. Ballymun has seen no job creation in recent years. The shopping centre has all but closed down. The supermarket has pulled out – leaving the dole queue longer, and the cost of living higher (everyone has to either travel to the city or shop in a more expensive convenience store). Last to leave should turn out the light.

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