The homeless crisis is the issue of the day, with occupations in Dublin, and all sorts of groups offering all sorts of alternatives.
One quite active group of late are the Offaly based Irish Democratic Party. Offaly is part of the former Laois – Offaly, home of the Oliver J. Flanagan one man party the Corporate State Party back in the 1930’s. Direct democracy, of which the IDP is an offshoot, is on the same lines as the CSP, Aontacht Eireann and similar groupings, and work to a similar agenda.
Don’t get me wrong, Ken does great work, but don’t offer to help, or cross him criticising others.
One lad who did, whose wording was way off, was Birr man and concert promoter, Dickie Donnolly.
Dickie sent a private message which Ken posted on his Facebook wall, bringing him to task for “half blaming politicians” for the capitalist crisis, and requesting a meeting in wording that could be taken up as unfriendly.
He advised Ken that he was annoying a lot of people, and asked why the Lions Club and the SVdP were not asked for assistance.
I commented commending these ideas, and outlined the origins of the IDP, and promptly got blocked on Facebook by Mr Smollen which means Im not party to the development of the debate. That’s right… blocked. Straight out of the modus operandi of the AAA’s Ruth Coppinger who I fell out with over the abortion debate and the Boobgate fiasco.
Donnolly was getting mobbed and lambasted left right and centre, Id commented on the families generosity of spirit and material in times past when a local lad done wrong as he was in a bad place, went on the run, got helped by locals including the Donnollys until he got himself together to face the music for his wrongdoings, and only for that help he could be another statistic of our suicide rates. Thats real charity.
Donnollys offer to meet Smollen and stramline assistance needed stands as far as I can tell, and is most welcome, as he will be a good voice in with the establishment parties, who are blind to the realisities of the problems.
So what are the problems?
We all think that you lose your job, you get your dole, and your grand. That’s true unless you are back in the country after being gone more than two years, or had a business that failed, and though you paid PRSI, its not the right type, so you wont get social welfare unless your bankrupt, or have been working three years as a PRSI worker paying the right type of social welfare…
Most business people are decent and dont want to do a Bernard McNamara, and resist claiming bankruptcy.
Another invisible group are folk who are getting social welfare, but whose Mortgage Protection Insurance has ran past its term, and the renegotiated terms, if applicabble still cant be met due to not having a job. They use their social to try and pay something off as best they can and leave themselves short.
These are the problems.
So why don’t they get help from the SvDP or the Lions Club?
The kind of help Smollen gives are food parcels and the odd few quid to help pay ESB etc., just the same sort of help given by the Saint Vincent de Paul. Donnolly had asked as to why they didnt do to them for help, and got hammered by folk dissing the SVdP – and that got my goat. I waded in and explained there is only some help they can give and they must vet they are not been taken for a ride. Its their responsibility as a charity and Ive referred friends to them, saw them help the needy and where they refused, though friends of mine, I had no issue with them refusing.
One person put up about folk being embarrassed to ask for help, but when you have hungry kids dignity is not an affordable luxury and the SVdP are always discreet. Donnolly spoke from experience, when young his family was helped, and he helps them now, hence his offer to sit down and get these people the help available from existing charities.
Another said about a kid that had no Santa. A I replied to this, I discovered I was blocked so I will put it here :
As a kid, times were quite tough in the 1980’s, when dad worked as a Bord n Mona seasonal worker and did nixers on the side. As a side note, most of the building work he did in Banagher is still standing, and a lot build by college educated professionals has been demolished since!!! But my parents were Catholic, though not church goers, and always told us there was no Santa, it was a tradition something like fairies, and any presents got they bought if they could afford them.
That averted that issue in our house.
My nephews grew up believing there was Santa, but their mother said the parents had to give Santa money to help him, and so they could only get what the family could afford to give as help to Santa. That averted unreasonable demands from them, and worked for them as kids and as a family.
There is no such common sense approach to Santa in most homes, so kids will demand the latest X-Box or laptop or drone. I mean, its free, right?
Id prefer my parents approach, which is the opposite of todays who teach kids that there is no Gd but there is Santa, we were told there was no Santa but there is a God. Ill never forget annoying Teresa Mann my teacher when I said it in class that if to lie was wrong why did she tell the kids Santa existed!!!! The poor woman!
So can we fix the problem, and how is Direct Democracy not the answer?
Direct Democracy, as represented by DDI, IDP, 1YI and similar groupings is on the basis that a TD or elected official who does not fulfill their electoral promise, or who is seen to operate beyond the public intrist can be voted out of office by plebcite.
Great on paper, but bad in practice.
In the wake of the Greek “abducted baby” story, a concerned local in Clare saw two Romany people with a blond kid. Being familiar with the “Gypsies steal children” myth, they rang the cops, who had to act (the case being dealt with in Athlone as thats where the family were living. It turned out that the kid was the biological child of the couple, the “concerned citizen” was wrong, the child has a form of albinoism common in Roma.
It tuns out in Greece, the child was also an albino Roma, but from Kosovo, whose parents had him adopted according to Romanipen tradition to the family who had it when the police took it. Its unofficial, but its not stealing someones kid, and has a lot in common with the Gaelic tradition, without the threat of harm if the clans fall out!
Now, had the guards in Athlone – and another case in Tallaght at the same time – not acted, according to the mob rule of Direct Democracy, any politician not compelling them to could be voted out as its not in the public interest.
That’s a local, real example of how it can be abused, and there is no answers as to how to stop that. The 1919 Constitution had something similar in it, invoked by 1YI and their kind stating it works elsewhere, like Switzerland, and parts of America.
Yes, The Trump Reich.
So lets see what happened there: Kshama Sawant a socialist member of Seattle City Council is facing recall from Trump supporters, as her calls for workers rights don’t reflect the city according to the proposers. Its not over yet but will be interesting to see how it plays out.
That’s why Direct Democracy is bad it practice though it sounds good.
So what IS the answer
While capitalism exists, these problems will continue. Its good for politicians to be seen to be doing something while denying that reality and their efforts do help.
The homeless on the streets that are helped by the IDP activists will exist if we got in an ideal Ireland tomorrow. Many wont use the hostels as they think they are safer on the streets. I spoke with a lot during the December 10th Kildare Street protests.
Apollo House shows how hostels should be – and is a template to campaign on for the future for those not ready to live in standard accommodation.
But the crisis Kenny and Co are responsible for is not been addressed, bot by the IDP or by the AAA. The latter propose a bill to stop eviction, which I support 100%. hat they SHOULDb e proposing is a nationalisation of all mortgaes in distress, the Land Commission to be re-established and the state to profit in the coming years from mortgages being serivced. My proposal on all that can be seen here on Facebook.
But the AAA are so caught up promoting abortion they cant think straight. Got problems? Shag like a lunatic and ignore the problem. Get pregnant? Have an abortion, sure it will be grand. Casual sex, far from the free love ideal of the sixties has become the opiate of the modern age, and all are blind to the corporations in media, entertainment and drinks who profit from it, but yet whinge about a corporation like Siemens getting a subsidy for building something of an asset like a windmill.
So, life will go on, this crisis will pass, but unless we replace capitalism with a form of socialism we will have this same problem in ten years time if not sooner. Abortionists will use socialism as a bridgehead to get in their aims from a disafected people, and are probably the biggest block to socialism taking root in Ireland where people still abhor abortion. A left wing pro life movement would have great prospects if organised right.
And Ken Smollen should sit down with Dickie, who should apologise for how it was said but not for saying it, and the should work at managing the current crisis, though to solve it there needs to be a grassroots kick up the arse in FF and FG, as the people en masse will not abandon them for something similar to Oliver J Flanagan of the modern era, even if they will elect his son is as an FG politician!!!!
The new politics is very like the old politics, use the issues on hand to get a platform, and cut down those who criticise you, be it being pro life and left wing with the AAA, or calling to liase and co-operate with the SVdP like what got me blocked by Ken Smollen.
Which shows basically he has the same maturity as Kevin Higgins, but is more useful!!!
I wish him the best in the work he does with the homeless, and I hope he keeps it up when the politics is over. But I will never take him serious as a political figure again after the Donnolly blowout. I hope Donnolly can get Marcella Corcoran Kennedy to address this issue, who Smollen parodies as the “Minister for Something or Other, Telescopes and Sugar Tax