Tag: IMF

Education Versus Neo-Liberalism

(Originally Published at Irishleftreview.org in April 2015)

The ongoing events in the National College of Art and Design (N.C.A.D.) speak to a larger and slowly emerging crisis in the Irish educational system. Having endured increases in fees, an escalating dearth of studio space, and an ever more obstinate college bureaucracy and leadership, the students took it upon themselves to offer a list to demands to the college management. The college ignored the requests of the students, even going so far as to pull out of a meeting with the students where their concerns and objections would be voiced in person. The students responded by occupying a room in the college on Tuesday, March 24th, with further similar actions, including public lectures, having taken place in the last few days, and with more actions planned. A petition has also been circulated and signed by a number of Irish academics and graduate students, declaring solidarity with the students and the need for “another model of what higher education might be — one guided by the pursuit of learning rather than the pursuit of profit, driven by radical enquiry rather than bogus metrics”. Events in the N.C.A.D. are a microcosm of what the education system in Ireland is currently enduring.

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Why We Are Where We Are

(Originally Published on Indymedia.ie in December 2010)

Throughout the history of the Irish state, Ireland was seen as an almost backwater of the Western World. It was a country literally and both metaphorically on the fringes of Europe with an economy which always seemed to be floundering in the doldrums. All of this changed in the nineties with the onset of the Celtic Tiger which was effectively brought about by low corporate taxes, an educated workforce and the low cost of wages. All of this led to a massive upturn in the economic fortunes of Ireland but when things should have naturally slowed down, those with political power ensured that the Celtic Tiger was extended beyond its natural lifespan by creating a bubble. The bubble in this case was a property bubble and like all bubbles in economic history, it was bound to burst. The government, and their associates in the banking industry and construction industry, did their best to try to convince people, not only in Ireland but also all across the world, that Ireland was the perfect economic model to follow. In reality it was all smoke and mirrors when in actual fact the entire economy was based on a lie; the need for more and more property. This lie, along with the cronyism at the very top of Irish politics, has led to the situation which we are now in where we are likely to default on our sovereign debt within the next 2 years.

Economics Irish Style

(Originally Published on Indymedia.ie in November 2010)

The last week will be remembered in Ireland as one of the most tumultuous periods in Irish history. We are hurtling downwards at an ever increasing speed. Future generations of Irish people are to be burdened with the debt of the bankers and the entire Irish banking industry. What was once unthinkable is now likely to pass and all of this is down to the actions of the government and their friends. In the two years since the banking guarantee was enacted, there have been no major steps taken to sort out the financial mess that the banks have gotten the country into and now that problem is having its final and fatal effects on the future of the country; a political party with no mandate from the people is in the process of turning Ireland into a debt serving nation and nothing more. The leader of said party is doing nothing more than cling onto power for as long as he can in order to serve out his own agenda, whatever that may be, and no “hair shirt budget” is going to change the fact that Ireland is both an economic and political basket case.

We Are Being Watched

(Originally Published on Corkstudentnews.com in October 2010)

We are being watched. Every move we make and everything that we say is being analysed down to the last letter. Even our reaction to these analyses is being watched. One would think that I am describing something, as clichéd as it has now become to do so, out of George Orwell’s 1984. However, the truth is far more insidious. When I say we are being watched I mean the Government and the country at large is being watched. The people doing the watching are the people in the money markets. They are expecting everything to come crashing down around us any day now and as a result, the cost for us to borrow money on the international money markets has soared. What no one can be certain of is when this collapse will finally hit us.