I am nobody and I would like to remain that way. A vanilla, beige, middle of the road man who has gained too much weight from the joys of having kids and having a comfortable life, something I am very OK with. Materially I need for nothing, sometimes life is stressful but my stress is miniscule in comparison to that of those who I have met over the last few weeks. I'm getting to that age where my network of people is getting smaller, not because they are dying, I'm not that old, just that life gets in the way. I have no influence, what I do have is fear, anger and frustration. So to deal with it, I can kick holes in walls, use my vote and write this note. I am also fully aware that writing this is a lazy and cowardly way to alleviate my guilt for not doing more but I am a lazy coward. For that reason I want to reach out to those who are not lazy cowards, the leaders, the true leaders in this country, those who have led us twice in the recent past, led us to 2 of the proudest wins in our history.
Anyone with eyes and a modicum of empathy can see our country is fucked, the degree to which it is fucked I was not fully aware of until late. I commute from South West Dublin to the Northside everyday for work, that commute alone allows me to tick off the majority of things on my bingo card of social fuckedness. Day after day seeing, reading about & experiencing all the fundamental flaws in the system we have here. In my head and in my world, which is possibly a very simplistic one, if something is broken then you fix it. So day after day of seeing these problems get worse instead of better, first I was perplexed, then frustrated which grew to anger and now is seething psychotic rage. Rage because I pay a lot of tax and it is not used for the things that the altruist in us all makes us OK with paying tax, rage because we have a lot of money in this country and yet everything is still very shit. Aside from abusing the do nothing politicians online what could I do? I decided to get involved with the only party that made sense to me, one that I have supported for a while but never got off my ass to help. The party is irrelevant but I will say they are left of centre.
Long story short, I was welcomed, it was very easy to get involved and they were very glad for the help. Here is a vest, here are some leaflets, now go talk to people. I can't say I am not a people person or really suitable for public consumption but I did a stint in sales in my past so this wasn't too daunting. It didn't take long to realise 9 out of 10 people are getting
fucked 6 ways from Sunday by the system, being fought at every turn by the departments that were supposed to be there to assist them, written off because they don't qualify, they don't meet the right level of fucked to get assistance. Each door, a new department, no home help, no possibility of treatment even though there is a risk of death, no financial assistance even though you have paid into the system for 40 years, a family that was homeless and are now back living with their parents and the biggest sin of all in my opinion, no school place for a child with alternative needs. The system should look after childrens needs first, full stop, regardless the cost, everything else can go without. The most infuriating thing I came across a few times were cases where taxpayers money was being used for solicitors to fight taxpayers who only wanted a little help. The money I pay out of my salary every month was being used to fund a legal battle against a parent who was fighting to get their child a school place. I wonder is this is what the man in the Radiohead video for "Just" knew and that's why he was lying on the ground because that's what these stories made me feel like doing. I used to think that because myself and my wife both had good jobs, because we had done everything right and done everything that was expected of us but never did anything for ourselves and yet still struggled with money at the end of the month that this was hard. If I am the litmus test for Johnny Average then most of us have no clue how shit most people have it or we just don't want to end up like the man in the Radiohead video.
What solutions are we being offered for all this? Tax cuts were one offered by our fearless leader this week, to paraphrase, so we have the choice of how we obtain the services we need.
I don't want a tax cut, I don't want my money back, I give it willingly, what I want is for that money to used properly, for that money to be used to help those who need it, for it to
be used efficiently on the things we need and not to be pissed away. In fact I would even give more if it meant I didn't want to put my fist through the TV every time I turn on the news, if it meant I didn't have to walk past 10 homeless people on a 50m walk from the Luas to my office door, if it meant I didn't have to hear parents weeping while they tell their horror stories about not being able to get their child a place in school, if it meant I didn't have to hear about someone who threw themself off a bridge because they were not in enough of a crisis to get the mental health support they needed, if it meant I didn't have to hear about children not getting the medical treatment they need and then feeling guilty because my children are healthy(which is fucked on another level), the list goes on and on. I would pay more if I knew it wasn't actually going to serve the demons in our society.
The demons we rage against and are so focussed on in society, the thieves, the drug dealers, the kid who throws a brick, these are not our demons. These are just the symptoms of the real demons we allow run riot in our society, like the landlord who I canvassed the other day and gave me an earful because the party I was canvassing for had said they would freeze rents, who thought it was OK to profiteer off families because that was just how the market worked, it's these demons who are being catered for with our current system.
And just to be clear, my reason for supporting the left and a more social society is completely self-serving, I am not a bleeding heart, I don't have the emotional range to care about everybody, most of the time I am a grade A cunt and when you do try to care about everybody it is mentally crippling. I am left because it makes sense, I know if you support that abandoned kid someday he might cure the inevitable cancer I will get from smoking 20 cigarettes a day, I know if you give that homeless man a house he is less likely to come rob my house to survive, I know if you give that teenager prospects, instead of smashing my head in to show his mates how tough he is, he won't be hanging around in that dark lane, if you give that person the back surgery they need then they can contribute to my pension fund instead
of being a long term burden on the state and if that person is educated or looked after to the point where they no longer feel alienated from society then they are less likely to lash out at
the people in the society that alienated them.
Back to the point of why I am writing this. The polls and the understandable apathy in the upcoming election of a lot of people I speak to. Apathy by older people because they are used to the usual cycle of the same shit with each elected government and the younger people because there is nobody speaking to their needs. The polls are telling us we are probably going to end up
with the status quo, we are at crisis point in this country, a point where if we don't make a change then a whole generation and their futures will be lost. The country is fucked, every part of it is broken and if we end up with 5 more years of the status quo then we are going to be really really really really fucked.
Who can save us? Well not me, because I'm a fat lazy nobody, but maybe those who saved us before. I am Irish, I don't really take too much pride in our history, I learn from it but
I didn't fight in the GPO, I didn't proofread any of O'Connell's speeches, I didn't contribute so I don't take pride in it. What I do take pride in and what has made me proudest to be Irish
are the 2 referendums that we had in the last 10 years, the passion, the drive. I thought wow, something good has actually happened, something actually went the right way for once.
It was the young people who did that and it was those online who influenced and worked hard to influence, who built the passion and helped to change the minds of the older generation. I thought we might actually be ok, these young people have their shit together, way more than the generation before them. Once you start making your way through your thirties most of the passion in you is killed off by realising that being an adult is actually shit for the most part. It's the young people that are going to save most of us from ourselves, they are the ones
who can enact prompt and real change because they have not succumbed to that corrupt idea that change is not possible and have not been broken into thinking that ideals are not achievable.
There is just over a week left before the election, if those who have influence online, those who young people listen to online, if you can build even 1% of the passion we saw during the 2 referendums, encourage people to firstly go out and vote and secondly to try to convince their parents or whoever to try an alternative political approach, then we might have a chance of some real change and I can go back to using twitter for complaining to my mobile provider about shit coverage, writing open letters about wankers who park in parent/child spaces and maybe finally give in to the fact I will probably have to take up golf.