Now that the fuss about the auld ones' medical cards has been shoved back under the stone from which it slithered, I'm glad to see that Education minister Batt (what kind of a name is that?) O'Keefe's attempt to weasel through a barrage of education cuts has finally crept onto the radar of the great Irish public .
The proposed cuts affect the primary and post-primary sectors increasing class size and removing payments for covering teacher absences. They also limit important supports for disadvantaged groups such as ethnic minorities, travellers and special needs pupils.
Bogman Batt, himself a former UCC man and college lecturer, defended the cutbacks on the grounds that unless they were implemented 'we will have no economy in two years time'.
Clearly in his UCC days he was off playing bogball instead of attending his economics classes. Like nature, economies tend to abhor a vacuum: fuck one up and another just magically appears in its place. Unless you count the time back in the day that Charley H and his mates tried to re-locate the Irish economy to the Cayman Islands, economies don't just slip off one night on the boat to England.
This of course is more than can be said for the young people who will be worst affected by the Batty-man's penny-pinching, I expect. Lacking the basic educational support to obtain employment in a high skills, high tech economy, they'll be off to Holyhead in their droves in a few years time.
And what saddens me most is the thought that that is precisely what the Government wants.
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