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Thread: Entitlement Culture: when a government identifies with the rich

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    Default Entitlement Culture: when a government identifies with the rich

    This review of Ken Foxe's book on the culture of entitlement is a bonecruncher.

    The third serious issue wrapped up in this lavishness is what it tells us about the way our political leaders came to identify themselves – or at least whom they identified with. This was a period of naked adoration of the super-rich. The trappings of wealth were also taken to be the trappings of social usefulness.

    A small price to pay?


    Yes, it's O'Toole, so the targets will read no further but he hits the bullseye with his three darts:

    The first is a feckless attitude to public money. We have developed very thick hides, but some of the figures Foxe retails still have the power to shock. You don’t have to be a pious Catholic to find something blasphemous in the carry-on of our betters who flocked to Rome for the funeral of Pope John Paul II. In all the President, Mary McAleese, and her husband, plus Bertie Ahern, Mary Harney, Enda Kenny and half a dozen advisers managed to clock up a bill of almost €20,000 for a single night’s stay at Grand Hotel de la Minerve, in Rome. It is hard to know which is harder to stomach: the insult to Christian spirituality or the insult to the Irish people. The complete absence of any sense of responsibility for the use of public resources is breathtaking.

    The second thing that the expenses extravaganza reveals is a deep contempt for that same Irish people. Those in power imagined themselves to be above the rest of us – often literally. Chauffeur-driven ministerial cars were no longer good enough; after all, the wheels still had to touch the ground. The mania for helicopters and jets (either private jets or first-class seats) grew out of a sense that ministers could not be expected to share the same space as the plebs.

    A sense of entitlement oozed from every pore of the system.
    Last edited by He3; 2nd October 2010 at 08:23 PM.
    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair.

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    The sense of entitlement is the core of the problem in Ireland.

    The dynasties are entitled to be elected and to govern.

    The TDs are entitled to draw down obscene expenses whether they are justified or not.

    Governments are entitled to lie to and cheat the electorate without fear of accountability or even question.

    Governments are entitled to appoint who they want to whatever positions they wish without consideration of ability or suitability.

    The list of 'entitlements' is endless when it comes to government.

    The sad part is that the list of entitlements of the electorate in relation to effective, fair government is non-existent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by consultant View Post
    The sense of entitlement is the core of the problem in Ireland.

    The dynasties are entitled to be elected and to govern.

    The TDs are entitled to draw down obscene expenses whether they are justified or not.

    Governments are entitled to lie to and cheat the electorate without fear of accountability or even question.

    Governments are entitled to appoint who they want to whatever positions they wish without consideration of ability or suitability.

    The list of 'entitlements' is endless when it comes to government.

    The sad part is that the list of entitlements of the electorate in relation to effective, fair government is non-existent.

    The idiomatic meaning in Ireland of the phrase 'He's elected' is is up there with winning the EuroMillions.

    This 'culture of entitlement' among what are laughingly called Public Representatives became more expensive with all the hob-nobbing round the EU.
    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair.

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    Quote Originally Posted by He3 View Post
    The idiomatic meaning in Ireland of the phrase 'He's elected' is is up there with winning the EuroMillions.
    It's extremely telling, that little colloqualism, isn't it?

    It shows that the people en masse clearly understand that getting elected is the path to the pig's back, to an easy life of riches without accountability or any real work. Attending funerals and opening pubs just doesn't count as "work", sorry lads, it just doesn't, yer supposed to be spending your time crafting sensible legislation and tackling the social and economic problems of the country in the best long-term interests of all the citizens.

    Our system is so obviously corrupt and degenerate that it has entered into common speech in this way, and no-one bats an eyelid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SideysGhost View Post
    It's extremely telling, that little colloqualism, isn't it?

    It shows that the people en masse clearly understand that getting elected is the path to the pig's back, to an easy life of riches without accountability or any real work. Attending funerals and opening pubs just doesn't count as "work", sorry lads, it just doesn't, yer supposed to be spending your time crafting sensible legislation and tackling the social and economic problems of the country in the best long-term interests of all the citizens.

    Our system is so obviously corrupt and degenerate that it has entered into common speech in this way, and no-one bats an eyelid.
    Way past eyelash batting time.
    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair.

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    Quote Originally Posted by He3 View Post
    Way past eyelash batting time.
    Indeed. Baseball batting time at the next election.
    Fianna Fail - The Loss of Sovereignty Party.

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    Quote Originally Posted by He3 View Post
    Way past eyelash batting time.
    Indeed, but as History repeats it'self again by way of the economic devastation FF have inflicted on the country "for the third time!" in a little under a century, and once more large numbers of our most able leave these shores, the chances of there being any real consequences for the present political elite other than people dialing up the Joe Duffy whineline diminsh considerably.

    Intolerable economic and social conditions were imposed and used by the Brits as a form of ethnic cleansing. The FF land and property oligarchy have merely aped this system since the foundation of the state and used it as a pressure relief valve and a form of social cleansing when things get too hot for them.

    Never forget what Lenihan's father said about emigration and I quote "We all can't live on a small Island." The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

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    The sorry tale related in Fintan O'Toole's review is a graphic reminder of the old adage 'power corrupts'. As he points out, the worst offender amongst politicians who sought to emulate the rich and privileged was Mary Harney. She's come a long way from the idealistic, not to say courageous, young woman who refused to accept the insidious corrupting influence of Haughey. She's been in power so long, moving in those circles, all sense of proportion has gone, the privileges of public have become inalienable rights to luxury and deference. At least she'll

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    The book will stand as a damning dissection of a culture of excess and entitlement, and it will no doubt be raided for ammunition to fire at hapless ministers knocking on doors in the next election.
    Will hell they like. The majority of people engage in parish pump politics. They too have an entitlement attitude.

    This country displays all that is wrong with democracy.
    ''The tattoo has a profound meaning: the superficiality of modern man’s existence.'' - Theodore Dalrymple

    "Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple." - Woody Guthrie

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    The entitlement doesnt end with the politicians. We had that incorrigible chancer, Tom Parlon, insisting that farmers get city prices for agricultural land in the middle of nowhere when roads had to be build. Farmers got 13 billion euro between 2005 and 2008 for development land. That's simply obscene. And who is paying for it now?

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