Tag Archives: Irish Times

Joy in heaven

I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.

That’s from the Gospel according to St Wikipedia.

Revenue’s figures, though, suggest that most of us are compliant, with around 99 per cent of taxpayers willingly handing over what the State believes is due.

Assuming this is true, the best way that Revenue can ensure the habit continues is to continue enforcing the rules effectively. Not because this scares people into paying, but because it reassures the vast majority who do that those who do not stand a good chance of being caught.

That’s from the Cantillon column in the Irish Times of 5 January 2019.

And to think that, just over four years ago, Cantillon was arguing for the continuance of a tax scheme under which 99 per cent of taxpayers were evaders. We rejoice at his or her conversion to the paths of righteousness.

Give that columnist a 99, Agent 99.

 

Irish Times headline

Plane sailing: Boeing 767 travels up Shannon to new home

Link here (until it disappears behind a paywall).

That should read “… travels up (for certain values of ‘up’) …”.

This follows the IT‘s recent identification of the canal at Allenwood as the Royal Canal.

Ou sont les subeditors de yesteryear?

They’re not working for [HM] Independent, though, which recently produced this wonderful headline:

Beetle Dune: VW’s peon to the Baja bugs of yore will cost from £21,300

Perhaps it’s a comment on working conditions in the Mexican car industry.

 

For certain values …

In the Irish Times of 5 January 2016 Fintan O’Toole has an article headed “Genuine local democracy part of the solution to flooding“. He points out that

  • in 2004 the Irish Times property supplement showed a photograph [we are not told whether it was part of an ad or advertorial or of a critique of property development] showing a sign advertising for sale a flooded field that had been zoned for residential use
  • in 1997 a resident of Clonmel detailed how the town’s natural flood defences had been destroyed
  • in 1999 a man in Ennis blamed the flooding of his house on the granting of too many planning permissions
  • in 2000 3500 Clonmel residents objected to building on flood plains
  • nitwitted local councillors didn’t care.

He concludes that

As flooding gets worse, we will have to spend enormous amounts of money on engineering solutions. But in fact one part of the solution doesn’t cost any money at all. It’s called listening. Or, to give it its political title, it’s called genuine local democracy. Top-down, very expensive technocratic measures may have to be part of the response. But they will only work in a political culture that has eyes to look at the land and ears to listen to what people know about it.

Well, up to a point, Lord Copper. The article provides no evidence that a majority of the citizens — in any local authority area, Dáil constituency or other political unit — shares the erudite and enlightened views of those who write letters to, or columns in, the Irish Times. In fact, given that the citizens have, over more than one hundred years, continued to elect large numbers of nitwits to the local authorities and, for almost a century, to the Dáil, it seems unlikely that democracy — genuine, local or otherwise — will ever produce the right answers.

Which may explain why so much power now resides elsewhere, in the hands of experts and courtiers, and why elected representatives are reduced to throwing the occasional tantrum, providing tea and sympathy and making empty promises that then come back to haunt them.

 

Irish Times discovers civilisation

I have been following the Irish Times series “A History of Ireland in 100 Objects” with horrified amusement since it started. Most of the series (now almost ended) has followed the standard National Museum model in which Irish history has three strands: The Big House and the folk that did be living in it, or their predecessors who could afford gold stuff; the peasants, who lived in rural parts and engaged in animal husbandry and turnip-snagging; the killers, who liked dressing up. It’s the physical manifestation of the bastard offspring of W B Yeats and George de Valera, a right pair of nutters. As I wrote elsewhere:

The National Museum is not worthy of the name. It is a random collection of collections: a scrapheap of whatever happened to find its way into the taxpayer’s care. It does not present any sort of coherent picture of national life, past or present, and such picture as it does present is of an idealised rural lifestyle that few ever followed. It omits the modern, the industrial, the urban and, in so doing, it distorts the picture of Irish history that is presented both to natives and to visitors.

The Irish Times series has been following the same model. But last week’s issue [which will probably disappear behind a paywall at some stage] finally admitted modernity, industrialisation, light by featuring a washing-machine — and, with it, electricity generation and Ardnacrusha.

And where is the featured washing-machine to be found?

In an agricultural museum.