Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Cracked Christmas in Ireland

John, Mary and Donkey looking for
a Christmas dig-out
Well sure now, and isn't it Christmas already? And we here in Ireland are hunkering down between the wind and rain, snow and hail to celebrate the Season. We're planning so many wonderful events - so much fun for all the family! And on Christmas day, we'll pop our Christmas Crackers with glee.

Except for Johnny and Mary, of course. 'Cause they've had to emigrate to Australia, God Bless 'em. Couldn't get a job when they'd been let go from the local factory. And this despite what the Irish Government had promised us all - because we'd seen the last of the Three Ghosts of Christmas Past (also called the Troika) the dreaded program of Austerity was supposed to be at an end. And even though Johnny and Mary pestered their local TD to death in hopes of landing new positions, their local politician was so busy attending Christmas parties that he never did get around to helping the poor couple. Instead, the bank that held their mortgage foreclosed, and they found themselves tossed out in the snow, forced to raise a few bucks with their Living Crib in the town square. Even the Donkey has been reduced to begging for a few carrots.

Least poor Johnny and Mary can take comfort in knowing they're not alone. So many Irish families are facing the same prospect come the New Year! And they'll all climb on the plane, bound for Australia or Canada or the United States, or wherever they might find opportunity, and celebrate Christmases for years to come in those far off places. And the rest of us, stuck here forever, will have to make due with Skype to share our Christmas dinners with them. But virtual Christmas dinners just aren't the same, are they?

Ah, but that's fine, we'll all make due. We'll trundle out to buy our Christmas presents for the kids and grandkids who remain here. But then, there's not much to spend. Not after the tax increases - the new property tax, the new Universal Social Tax, the increase in VAT, the upcoming Water Charges. We'll be reduced to giving the kids a used muppet or two purchased from the Euro Shop, and if they complain that Santa wasn't good enough for 'em, they'll just have to contact their local politician too.

Of course, not everyone will be practicing penury this Christmas. For instance, the directors of certain so-called charitable organizations have been caught out robbing the piggy bank despite the fact that we're funding them through our small donations and large financial contributions from the Government. Needless to say, those moneys come from us too because we're paying them in taxes. Ah, but when they got caught out for earning 200,000 euro and more we felt so sorry for them because they told us of the personal overheads they have to pay: the new house in Portugal with those stunning views of the sea, and the 2014 Jaguar that they're treating themselves to, to make certain that get from A to B in a flash.  But feck it, we'll pay for that too it seems, and it's no big deal. Even though we can barely keep coal in the fire and our transport has been reduced to a goat and cart. That's okay! We're delighted to pay!

This Christmas, we've decided to put up with it all. We'll ignore the bank big shots who never bothered to burn their bond holders when the banks failed, and instead left us poor Irish taxpayers holding the multi-billion euro bill. We'll turn a blind eye to the owners of now defunct construction companies who still
Ah the Christmas drink. And sure, what else is there to do?
managed to salt away a few million despite having ripped-off the country with their illegal mortgage deals, and are keeping it all anyway because they've declared themselves bankrupt and say they don't have a farthing. We'll forgive the Irish politicians who still have some of the largest pay packets in Europe despite the entire country going bankrupt. We'll even turn our backs on the Irish Health Service who can't seem to manage anything, and give huge salaries to unneeded administrators though they've cut the wages of nurses, doctors, and those that we need and trust to give us wonderful care.

Ah to hell with it all. The Country is all cracked, and we'll have a great Christmas anyway. And if all else fails, we'll do what we Irish have done for centuries. We'll wander down to the local and have a pint. After all, that's what Christmas is really for, isn't it?

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1 comment:

  1. Sorry you and yours are suffering across the pond.

    If it makes you feel any better, it's not a whole helluva lot better around the States, particularly as concerns corrupt politicians and incompetent government, but I'm sure you're aware.

    It's good to read your posts again. Merry Christmas!