Tale of Two Snows

Am I living in a different country than the one portrayed?  The other side of the wardrobe is a very different place. Oh and yeah…the buses are running, the planes are flying and the cars are moving.  Sure we’re fine and anyone caught whinging about a few drops of snow will be shot out of it by the ..’my glass is so full there’s no room for any ice in it’ type of Irish person.  On the news it looks like the city is open and no doubt it is as supplies of grit and salt have been prioritised there and other certain areas deemed worthy. But for the rest of us in Dublin suburbs north and south  and in rural areas the situation is grim indeed.  All the city estates and secondary routes  are treacherous with snow and ice and have been since before Christmas bar a few days grace in Dublin pre New Year.  Many areas have little effective public transport and no I am not blaming Dublin Bus or Bus Eirean (they are correct to not travel on those roads as they are NOT SAFE). Those with the big 4X4’s are for once in that lucky zone as they deal with ease with the weather’s wrath. The rest of us are skidding around putting ourselves and others at risk as we’ve no other way to get around. Many are  near to hopeless at driving in snow and ice (let’s face it we’ve not much experience) and some of  those that are competent are tailgating the fearful in typical dangerous arrogant fashion. Roll on the accidents.

The game of spin and blame, blame and spin continues ad nauseum.  Blaming the city and county councils who are doing their best out in freezing conditions is just disingenuous. Get PR out of politics and make it a more honorable  enough job.  Admit it we have yet a another crisis.  Nobody controls the weather but just deal with it when it happens rather than skipping around from Billy to Jack to find a person to blame.  This seems the modus operandi of current government. Put a person in charge of the snow crisis then blame them. Blame the councils, blame the  public…its all about political game playing and less about doing the damn job at hand.

People in rural areas can be totally cut off, at least able bodied Dubliners can walk  if really stuck. Oh yes… and that’s why hundreds of people are ending up in Emergency Departments, they’re walking on paths that are simply lethal.  So come on..tell it how it is. Stop with the glossy version. There ain’t no Scarlet Pimpernel for snow out there? Is there? Please…

Irish Extreme Right Wing Government Bully Public Sector Workers

In an atmosphere of depression after the country was brought to its knees by the continued policies of current government,  they go on to only attack particular groups in society. Setting aside the blatant lack of compassion for people on welfare and disability, this government has set out its stall on its vision for services for the public and it ain’t pretty.  Their total lack of respect for their employees is simply staggering. People who have worked hard and for long hours in difficult jobs for many years face a cut in their wages for something they had no hand in at all. The cuts needed to pay for the gamblers from the private sector in the banks. The new Marie Antoinettes of Ireland (Government, IBEC, ISME with their media friends) have truly put it up to the public sector workers…you are worth less now in our eyes. We don’t value your contribution to the health and welfare of this nation.

Types of Bullying

Verbal Bullying

  • Slandering, ridiculing or maligning an employee or his/her family
  • Persistent name calling which is hurtful, insulting or humiliating
  • Using a person as butt of jokes
  • Abusive and offensive slagging

Physical Bullying

  • Pushing, shoving, kicking, poking, tripping people up.
  • Assaults or threats of physical assaults.
  • Damage to a person’s work area or property.

Gesture Bullying

Non verbal threatening gestures, glances which can convey threatening and frightening messages.

Exclusion

Socially or physically excluding or disregarding an employee or colleague.

Extortion

The deliberate extraction of money or other items of property accompanied by threats.

Using outright bullying  which has been the hallmark of this top down approach, government go on to state that reform or else more cuts could be on the agenda. They may have just broken the camels back with this budget.  The past few years of dealing with lack of resources and lack of staff with constant unvisionary change management will push public sector workers over the edge as their right to dignity at work has been  repeatedly attacked by a deliberate and repeated  abusive campaign.

HSA Definition of Bullying “Repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could be reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work.”

*What Forms Can Bullying Take?

The forms that bullying can take, can include :

  • Persistent picking on individuals
  • Shouting at staff in public and/or private
  • Personal insults and use of offensive nicknames
  • Public humiliations in any form
  • Constant criticism of trivial matters
  • Repeatedly accusing staff of errors which have not been made
  • Deliberately interfering with post and other communiques
  • Spreading unfounded malicious rumours
  • Encouraging other staff to disregard another staff member’s orders
  • Ignoring/ cutting out an individual at meetings, giving deliberately ambiguous instructions, then setting objectives with impossible deadlines.
  • Inflicting menial tasks
  • Taking credit for another’s ideas
  • Refusing reasonable requests for leave
  • Blocking a persons promotion

The Public sector workers are not only angry about their salary being taken off them without consent , they fear for the cuts to services.  For  they know more than most that the people that need them are often voiceless. That is exactly why Government attacked people on welfare.

* From Trinity College Bullying Research Centre

A Wonder-Ireland for Rich Old Men

If you want to live in a country that values money, then come to Ireland. We have great tax breaks here. We have low tax on wealth and low tax on high earners. Don’t worry  about poverty or low paid earners struggles. Those people (are they actually really people?) don’t count. If you have a business you don’t have to bother about pensions for those workers so relax put your your feet up enjoy the bubbly. If you’re one of those firms who enjoyed a wee gamble  or two on the stock market with your profits from the boom time, well don’t worry too much as Fianna Fail and the Greens will support your gambling habit and sort you out with NAMA and the the Special Purpose Vehicle.  The good news is too that the Government will bully the public servants to pay for all your little mistakes.

If you’re one of those workers whose property or service related job disappeared after the boom disappeared forget about this government providing a jobs stimulus, just accept your fate as Ireland will fall back to its usual employment figures that we had pre boom unless we can pull the minimum wage right down to 50c a hour and compete with China and India. And you know they might even achieve that certainly if IBEC or ISME contribute their fine minds to the discussion table.  You will then enjoy having a wage at the end of the 60 hour week and feel proud to be helping to put profits back into some great people’s hands.  If you’re female and work in the home, well ….the child benefit isn’t necessary as your benevolent husband will surely throw you a few bob. Older people can of course resort to charity if they get too cold. Bags of woolly jumpers are been donated daily by the rich clearing out their wardrobes.

So sit back, relax and enjoy the Christmas, it will only get better and better after December 9th.