You won't catch me
So Fingers Fingleton is showing a bit of remorse for the way the Irish economy has gone down the toilet. Of course, you won’t hear the word ‘responsibility’ from the odious little toad. Nor will you hear him admit that the Irish Nationwide did anything wrong when it hid money that Anglo-Irish Bank was paying to its directors. This is the guy who oversaw a €280m loss at the building society before retiring on a pension worth €27.6m and who got a very handsome golden handjob of €1m, which Irish Nationwide is now trying to claim back. This is the guy who was at the helm of a massive money lending operation to Irish developers that is going to cost the taxpayer in excess of €3b.
What would you expect from a former priest?
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Posted in children, culture, lifestyle, society, tagged dignity, expoitation, finance, money, pay, work on February 9, 2010 |
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Rosemary MacCabe’s Irish Times blog has generated a bit of excitement but I’m sure that it Rosemary wishes that commentators concentrated on the clothes and not the ethics. Extolling the virtues of Penny’s (Primark) cheap clothing is one thing but professing ignorance of their history of involvement with Asian sweat shops that use child labour is not something one would expect of a journalist employed by a reputable paper.
Rosemary is correct in saying that she’s not writing about business ethics. However, to go on and say that, “cost is not the deciding factor in whether or not a store or designer uses child labour, and that I don’t necessarily think banning child labour outright would be a positive move for anyone involved.” is ignorance in the extreme. While banning child labour is not in Primark’s best interests, to say that exploiting children is a positive because their families have no alternative is quite shocking. Children die, get injured and maimed while working 12 hour, and longer, days. They don’t get enough food, water or sleep, they are brutally beaten and suffer disability.
Maybe Rosemary would do well to do some research into the subject for her next Irish Times piece. She could do worse than look at the website of the International Labour Organization for more information. Primark has signed up to the Ethical Trading Initiative, under which it should, “contribute to policies and programmes which provide for the transition of any child found to be performing child labour to enable her or him to attend and remain in quality education until no longer a child.” However, there is no sign that Primark takes that responsibility seriously.
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Posted in biffo, blasphemy, charlatans, children, church, civil service, culture, dublin diocese, Equality, fianna fail, ireland, media, paedophiles, society, state, unions, Up against the wall, work, yes minister, tagged blasphemy, civil servants, darwin, film, finance, government, inept, john cushnie, michael dwyer, money, pay, public, reform, resign, spin, strike on January 6, 2010 |
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The 2009 Darwin Awards Nominees are up, check out http://www.darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin2009.html. My own favourite is the woman that died trying to save her moped.
With a bit of luck the Government will miss Gabon’s reform of Civil Service lunch breaks. It’s interesting that in what is supposed to be a knowledge economy that there is such a reluctance to have Civil Servants avail of teleworking. The Department of Finance claims that it is too expensive to equip our homes with office furniture and that there are health and safety issues (our houses become more deadly if we work there, apparently). And there is also a concern about remote linking to Departmental computer systems. However, if we really want a flexible work force equipped to deal with the demands of a fast changing society then we need to look at this type of working. Taking the last few days into account I wonder how many civil and public servants availed of annual or flexi leave to avoid battling the elements to work. At least if they had the option of teleworking they would have been productive.
It’s always sad when people who we respect have to take their leave but the last week saw two of my particular (and peculiar) favourites take their final bow. Michael Dwyer has been one of the more interesting and knowledgeable film critics of the past 25 years or so. I remember coming across him first in the In Dublin magazine many years ago and when he established the Dublin Film Festival with Myles Dungan. While I might not have agreed with everything he wrote I did admire his style of writing and the way he supported the film industry in Ireland. He was particularly good at interviewing film makers and the last time I saw him was at the 2007 Dublin International Film Festival when he presented Gabriel Byrne with a Volta and the following interview was fascinating. Dwyer set the bar for critics and he will be sadly missed although Daniel Day-Lewis said during his eulogy that he was relieved that Michael Dwyer never got round to seeing ‘Nine‘.
Another who turned his last sod was the landscape gardener John Cushnie. Cushnie had been part of Gardeners’ Question Time on BBC Radio 4 for the last fifteen years. GQT is a typically English institution, combining wisdom with wit and eccentricity. Cushnie could be forthright in his opinions but he had a wicked sense of humour and wasn’t afraid to send himself or his fellow panelists up. As a working gardener he had a real insight into the struggles of the (extremely) amateur genus.
Bow the Knee
Biffo is a creationist. He’s also a master of spin – at a time when we are dramatically cutting our aid to Africa he is patting himself on the back about the work we are going to do to help prevent climate change in the third world. We would have been better served if Biffo had pointed out the inadequacies of the Pope’s response to the Ryan and Murphy reports of 2009. In fact we would have been better served if Biffo had just kept his big mouth shut.
We are all individuals
Bit of a kerfuffle over at Twenty.
Apparently, it is now illegal to blaspheme in Ireland.
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Posted in biffo, civil service, Equality, fianna fail, ireland, media, society, state, strike, unions, Up against the wall, work, yes minister, tagged finance, government, inept, militant, money, pay, public, strike, support on January 5, 2010 |
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Well earned bonus
One story that the Government tried to bury on Christmas Eve eve looks like growing legs. The decision to reverse the pay cut given to top civil servants is up there with John Bonham having one more for the road. The idea that these well paid servants of the people had been hard done by in having their bonuses removed last year is laughable.
For a start, I don’t recall any of these mandarins not receiving a bonus, certainly all the top management in my Department always got their bonuses regardless of output of their various Divisions. As well as that, the bonus was supposed to be performance related but I don’t recall any criteria being applied by which performance could be measured. I’m sure there is a Department of Finance circular detailing the criteria but life is too short to be reading their bullshit.
The mainstream media is slowly turning its attention to the story. Scary Carey in the Times had an unusually well-written piece that actually addressed the issue and managed not to mention any of her auctioneer/county council family members – a first for her, I think.She hits the nail on the head when she says that this is all to do with saving the pension arrangements of the top rank in our public service. And who could bet against the Government reversing their own pay cuts when the Dail finally gets round to reforming politicians expenses?
What the reversal actually boils down to is that the top management of civil servants will take a pay cut of about 4 per cent. That is almost half of what I am being hit with (6.5% from this week). Yet, I will be expected to do more work this year due to the amount of people who have retired in the past four months (my Department will lose 20% of its staff) while our top management will not have any extra burden on their shoulders.
There isn’t much public support for civil or public servants at the moment but over the next few months we are going to witness a considerable reduction in the level of service delivery from the public sector. This will not be our fault but you can be sure that Cowen and Co will spin it, with the cooperation of most of the media, that we are the ones to blame, yet again. It’s just a shame that we aren’t more militant in this country, otherwise that shower of inept wankers in the Dail would be cowering like dust mites in front of a Dyson.
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