In a last gasp attempt to portray themselves as a party of civic responsibility rather than one of sub-Thatcherite free marketeers, the Progressive Democrats (or the Regressive Autocrats, as they're known around my gaff) have announced plans for a scheme of social befriending in which volunteers would be paid cash money to pester the bejasus out of the old and infirm in their local communities.
Announcing the scheme, Tom Parlon said
People who might be recruited to do this work would include stay-at-home mothers or fathers who might have free time when their children are at school, or part-time carers who may be in a position to work limited hours outside the home....Changing demographics and lifestyles mean that older people, particularly, are at much greater risk of social isolation.
What a load of arse. You don't have to be a sociologist to recognise that if you allow house prices to run riot, otherwise stable working class communities, of which there are many around this city, will be broken up. The children of those communities who would have provided the social support for aging parents have to relocate further and further into the sticks if they want to find an affordable place to live. As a result there's no one to drop by on a daily basis and make sure Mammy or Daddy hasn't fallen over and broken a hip.
It is a supreme irony that it is the very party which presided over the rocketing house prices of the past decade and which did nothing to ensure that developers' commitments to affordable housing were enforced that should come up with this cack-handed scheme. I can't see the wannabe yuppies with their fucking carriage lamps and designer kitchens who have been filling up areas like Smithfield, Ringsend, Irishtown and the East Wall over the last few years popping in next door to see if old Mrs Mulligan is all right for a pot of Barry's and a slice of seed cake. No. too busy stuffing these noses with cocaine and worrying about the price of Beamers, them lads.
And what of the recruits to such a scheme? Every fucking nosey-parker, busy-body and out of work PD TD and councillor (of which there should be a good few after the next election, please God) in the 26 counties will be queuing up for the chance to spy on their hapless elderly neighbours. If it goes ahead we can look forward to an epidemic of elder abuse, contested wills and even more unsavoury goings on a few years down the line.
Meanwhile in Wexford: keep believing it, shit for brains
And I quote...
In the next 90 days we will put before the Irish people a visionary agenda for a prosperous Ireland that cares for all its citizens, and that cares for its environment.
I believe that the Irish people respect and will elect politicians who show vision, conviction, capacity and honesty.
I believe that the Irish people see through phoney promises which are the fruit of desperation, not conviction.
Ireland needs you more than ever. Roll up your sleeves get out and work to give Ireland the government that the next generation deserves.
For us and for Ireland now is not the time to turn back. Don't throw it all away, the best has yet to come.
And he miched off the Dáil debate on Moriarty to write this shite?