Family Life Personal

Don’t Be Happy … Worry

How did we get to this: a five-year-old boy eating his dinner on a cardboard table on a Dublin city street?

I’ve got my TV news and my Twitter views, my Facebook friends and my viral trends … I’m scrolling with it before I even get out of bed, for gawds sake!

But I still haven’t a clue what’s really going on.  Out There.

Don’t how what to do about All The Bad Stuff. Out There.

Barely appreciate All The Good Stuff. Out There.

Reality no longer seems real …

Too little information, too much information … misinformation … disinformation.

Maybe my filter is a bit clogged.

Clean out the crap … hit restart.

Maybe Trump has got to me with that fake news thing.

Just brazen it out long enough and the truth will go away.

Or you’ll begin to doubt.


Like with Boris and Brexit and all of that.

Boris West (2)
Boris Johnson … deal or no deal?

Every day the whole damn thing is ready to blow, we’re told  … Ireland’s economic stability, international trade, world peace … Red telephone boxes … everything … yet they don’t seem serious about it over there in green-leather-upholstered Westminster land.

Debating away, Johnson and Rees Mogg like they’re still swilling port and faffing about in Oxbridge … and that Speaker guy, Bercow, with his funny voices getting off on the theatricality of it all.

JRM (1)
Jacob Rees Mogg lies down for Brexit

Jacob Rees-Mogg …

Go the whole hog …

I love my dog …

It’s like everything matters so much that nothing really matters anymore, and so I care so much I could care less …

Nothing actually rocks or shocks us anymore.

Not really.

I actually sat down here to write about Ireland’s latest Rugby World Cup balls-up, believe it or not, but I just couldn’t work up any kind of steam about it.

Sure, I was angry on the day the way the All Blacks just devoured Ireland, and then patted Peter O’Mahony on the head and cooed over his baby daughter …

Tough on Rory and Johnny and Joe, but, hey …

It just seems like more of that bread and circuses thing, attributed by Google to Juvenal, poet in late first and early second century AD Rome.

The idea being that rather than ruling by subjugation, or democracy, or any of that nonsense, rulers were best advised to just keep their subjects fed and amused, or distracted …

Sure, those ungrateful slaves would moan in their hovels and those salt merchants were always giving out anyway … but there’s a brilliant Caius Super Sunday double bill in the Coliseum coming up — and it’s live 

This week in Ireland our party politicians and pol corrs were distracting us with a faux scandal about our elected representatives hitting electronic voting buttons beside their seats when they weren’t actually beside those buttons, their seats, or even the chamber those seats and the buttons were in …

And then I’m finally stopped in my tracks by what were distracting me from.

I come in from work to an item on the telly around the shocking image that appeared online in our media this week, of a little lad sitting with his back to the camera on a Dublin city pavement, with a sheet of cardboard on the ground in front of him.

The cardboard was five-year-old Sam’s table, from which he was eating a pasta meal.

The photo was taken by one of the volunteers who provide food to the growing number of poor people in Ireland, priced out of home and hope by policies guided by political ideology rather than by decency and care.

Sam’s mother is a young woman in emergency accommodation, where she is forbidden to cook for her child.

The item talked of hundreds of families like this one, squashed into tiny hotel rooms and emergency accommodation not designed for families, and certainly not designed for children and family life.

They are not allowed to cook, and there were stories of single mothers not being allowed bring their kids down for breakfast in their school uniforms, lest it put off the regular guests.

Any of us who have ever dressed a small child for school once can only imagine what it must be like to dress them twice before heading out the foyer.

It is okay for these places to profit from housing these people so let down by the State, but not to treat them with proper dignity and respect.

Gene Kerrigan, one of Ireland’s last truly great journalists, has been talking about the housing crisis in Ireland for some time, and arguing that it is actually down to government policy and ideology:

“Where is the rent freeze; the emergency taxes on the beneficiaries of the crisis; the clampdown on profiteering? Where is the emergency building programme?” he asked recently in his Soapbox column in the Sunday Independent newspaper.

“Help-to-buy, rent pressure zones and other tweaks, including subsidised renting, have sent hundreds of millions into the pockets of the private sector gamblers who control the housing supply.

“To do more would be to interfere with the market, and that’s not allowed.

“It’s an ideological position.”

The article is well worth reading in full.

And the majority votes for the status quo to be maintained …

Pass the bread, please … and more circuses!

My Word Of The Week (#WotW) is “Homeless”

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22 comments on “Don’t Be Happy … Worry

  1. Hard to disagree with any of that. Heartfelt and sincere, sadly so accurate about what is wrong with the world. Great writing, Enda.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not liking your word this week Enda, it’s a sorry state and no-one knows who is really to blame. It scares me to turn on the news sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have stopped listening and reading the news about politics and Brexit. The country is in a mess and I’m thinking I’d rather not know until it’s sorted one way or another!
    I saw that photo of the boy eating off cardboard in the street and it shocked me. It’s a sad, sad shame it has came to this! x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m pretty sure we must all go through stages when the news hits us harder, but then hope seeps back in. The feeling of no control and then it seems to be given to us. Interesting times. #wotw

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m trying my best to keep up but like you say, it’s just a wall of information and you’re never sure what to take on board. Hoping that we reach a resolve sometime soon…maybe in the next decade or so! #wotw

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s easy to become cynical from all the political shenanigans, isn’t it? The image of the little boy eating on the pavement is heartbreaking! Come to America if you want to feel better about Ireland. Our president is off the rails, delusional. He makes outlandish comments, then says “just kidding”, tells us about his “great and unmatched wisdom”, and abandons our allies to kowtow to dictators like Putin and Kim Jung Un. There are homeless people living on the sidewalks of every major city in the country. How does this happen in the richest country on earth?


  7. I don’t tend to watch the news, I see stuff on social media but I’m so fed up with the politicians posturing, and all the general nastiness that goes with. No one should be living in circumstances like that poor kid.


  8. I honestly feel like the politicians and news want us to feel depressed and hopeless so that any little simple ray of light they shine will make us feel better. I’ve given up on the news entirely because of it. I basically skim the articles and then roll my eyes because every day the world is ending and then it keeps spinning when my eyes reopen the next day. They constant flow of info is just too much. Sadly, the homeless situation you are describing just gets lost in the clutter when it should be front page news. #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is tempting to look away, but it is a shame people don’t remember some of these things when they come to vote, the only time we can really voice our protest, and bring change

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I try to keep up to date with the news but I read some things and just wonder what the hells going on in this world. That picture too, no child should be suffering like that in 2019. As a country, I do think we have some of our priorities completely wrong. Thanks for linking up. #TwinklyTuesday

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am getting frustrated that Brexit is dragging on. I didn’t vote in favour but I have to respect the democratic process that approved it so now it has to be completed as soon as possible. Whilst we waste time in Parliament, the real work of running the counrty is being forgotten. Our hospitals and schools need more support… Thanks for linking up with #dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That’s a heartbreaking image of that little boy eating off a sheet of cardboard on the pavement. It is awful that this is a reality for far too many families in a country where there are plenty of resources and wealth to go around. So wrong. What a broken world we live in. #WotW

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m in LA as I write this and the difference over here is even more marked. Very good piece as per.

    Liked by 1 person

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