I’ve just read over 200 comments and David’s latest piece.
This is what came out of me in response…
"Thank you David McWilliams.
Thank you for the clarity with which you’ve expressed a plan that we can consider. You gain all my attention because your suggestions seem grounded in straight talking about reprehensible behaviour.
“No” to income tax increases - because every euro taken from this household’s income is one euro less for me to spend paying a carpenter to do useful work on my house. I’m an ordinary, fairly well off person. I have money to spend in shops, and income to spend with small businesses which are horrendously strapped for cash-flow.
I’m looking for a place to invest.
I intend to stay living in Ireland and I feel it’s in my material interest to support local entrepreneurs. I also consider it my social duty not to hoard, not to live in fear. I spend most of my time developing business ideas and giving them away to others, in the hope that they will grow more entrepreneurial and realise that this is a good time for people with vision.
Any old fool (pardon the colloquial; it’s from a 58 year old) can trade when cash is swilling round with no where sensible to go. It’s times like this, when people are watching every penny, that give us great challenges to develop our knowledge, insight, skills, competence and heart.
This personal statement is my small contribution
to pulling myself on the line for my child’s future.
I’ve just read about 200 comment without leaving the seat. Crazy, not a good time now to express my thoughts. But let me thank you all for putting increasing shape on your contributions. For me, this is more than a talking shop; it is a prelude and stimulus, to innovative collaborations.
My new idea:
[If anyone wants to find out how I arrived at this one, may I invite you to google "omaniblog" and read a shot story I wrote about visiting the Crawford Art Gallery exhibition "The Hero with a Thousand Faces". I called it something like ‘ a toilet story from downtown Cork’]
There has been a lot of talk about Ireland’s need to move up the value chain, meaning to secure jobs for people with loads of computing, R&D, and other engineering skills.
What about employment for those who can barely read, write, calculate and forecast? Those who’s social skills have never been developed in a coherent manner? Those whose enterprise skills were stifled in childhood? Those who couldn’t negotiate their way out of a paper bag? Who couldn’t organise a department to run anything, least of all a fast-moving activity?
Of course I’m poking fun at our FF government.
But I’d also like to draw attention to people who have only done the Leaving Cert. Those who stayed on at school past school-leaving age just to pass the time. Those who were very poorly taught by their parents, friends and teachers. Those who stayed away from school as much as possible.
None of us can afford to ignore the possibility that there will be a lot of people in Ireland for whom there will not be jobs into which their skill set will fit. We need jobs which don’t require so-called advanced skills. Some of you might even think the civil service is full of such administrative jobs.
There is a role for people to set up businesses designed to ‘up-skill’ people who have missed out on all the lovely ‘free’ education.
FAS became a corrupt cesspool which wasted public money. A cadre of senior bureaucrats there stole taxpayers’ money and enriched themselves and their families - and certainly travelled well around the world, espousing the cause of Irish workers.
FAS is not fit for purpose.
The traditional educational system is not enough for this crisis. We need to attract entrepreneurs with integrity to the challenge of getting results fast. Going into places like Moyross with an agenda for personal and social development. Bringing hope of a future within which excluded people can hope to compete for scarce, valuable jobs - or set up their own business.
The department of education, even without Batt O’Keefe, is not inspired and flexible enough to do what’s needed to avoid increasing lumpenproletarian impulses.
[I’m tired: please don’t hold me to that last phrase - I am, after all, someone who got educated through Marxism]
I wish I had a life which permitted me to keep up with the never-rest nature of this inspiring blog [David McWilliams’]. I’m forever catching up with you all. To help me, I’ve started noting the comments (with date & time) that teach me most in my “intimate journal”.
To those of you who were good enough to say what you thought in response to my last direct appeal, thank you very much: you have helped keep my pecker up.
Please say whether you agree with the thrust of this particular assertion that we need to remember basic education and excluded people."