Tag: Recession

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.

The Crisis of Irish Democracy

(Originally Published at Irishleftreview.org in November 2014)

The current crisis of Irish democracy is not the one currently being given space in the nation’s mainstream media outlets. Ungovernability is supposedly just around the corner according to some. A “sinister fringe” is engaging in acts of violence. “Marxist-Leninists” are standing in the way of the government and its wishes. Michael Noonan is on record as saying that he and his government “govern for the reasonable people,” and not the sinister fringe of ungovernable Marxist-Leninists in our midst. Reading this, one would imagine that the Red Army of old is engaging in ideological, and very physical, warfare on Ireland. Of course this is sheer nonsense, but the ghost of the “Dreaded Red” is well risen from its grave, courtesy of the necromancers currently inhabiting Dáil Éireann. Such propaganda is a reaction to the citizens of Ireland having had enough of years of austerity measures.

The Sale of Ireland

(Originally Published on Corkstudentnews.com in October 2010)

The next month is make or break time for Ireland; most likely break. We are on the verge of the harshest budget in the history of the state. This is the first of a “four year plan” in order to get the country’s finances back into shape and back on track. The problem is that the government plan won’t work and they most likely know it won’t work. What will happen is that the country is going to be dead in the water for the next decade or more. If you can imagine all of the horror stories of emigration, mass unemployment and general stagnation from the fifties and eighties, then you might come close to what is going to happen in Ireland. All of this is being done in order to keep the status quo in power; the “haves” versus the “have nots”, and next month is when we will finally know just how far the government will go in order to save themselves and their friends by selling us and the entire country down the drain.

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.

Don’t Ask Me To “Support The Scene”

The above is a term which tends to get thrown around quite often in the Irish metal scene. It’s a rather simple and understandable statement seeing as we are relatively isolated from the rest of Europe. But does it really hold any weight in 21st century Ireland? Up until relatively recently, bands were reluctant to play over here due to the costs of playing on a small island somewhat off the beaten track from mainland Europe. This has changed in recent years however as more and more bands decided to include Ireland in their “European Tour”. While this was going on, the Irish underground was still ticking away week after week regardless of whether or not some international band decided to visit these shores.