We’re all about trimming the fat these days. It started with a tsunami of job losses in the private sector way back when, which took out everything in its wake, including chunks of beloved private and public sector wages, bonuses, pensions, any sort of work related perk and moving on to free education, disability services, health services, you name it. What we don’t absolutely need to get by on this desert(ed) island, we have no use for anymore. Cut it out, throw it away, move on.
It’s a move that has proved its worth in some quarters. Who isn’t happier now that half our black sheep are penned abroad and all that loose change isn’t cluttering up our pockets?
It’s had a positive affect on our waistlines too, as any sign of boom-time bulge, now frowned upon in impolite company where it serves only as a reminder of our over-indulgence during the boom, is sent packing through a new work-out regime that replaces the gym with a free run the length and breath of the village.
Our shopping habits have altered for the better also, with any Brown Thomas shoppers driven underground, shoving their purchases into Penneys’ bags for the walk of shame back to the car-park, while re-working old threads in lieu of haute couture has become de rigour.
And, it’s having a positive affect on our political system, with moves afoot to abandon the Seanad, which, as home to bloated ego on top of bloated ego, talking around in circles and generally chewing the cud, is probably costing us more in EU fines for our carbon emissions than the disputed €20 million that has everyone up in arms.
But, when they come for our beloved festivals, the only things keeping us sane in this our time of recreational need, well…we have to stand our negative-equity ground. They make take our dives, but they’ll never take our beerdom!
It doesn’t make desert island economics anyway. As former US President Ronald Reagan suggested ‘if it moves, tax it!’
Of course, if we don’t want the Arthur’s Day hangover on our own doorstep, we could start some kind of inverse Gathering initiative next year, whereby we would ship the Guinness abroad at a price and invite Irish people the world over to gather together on any given day in their adopted countries and play drinking games with lots of Guinness and/or any other Irish tipple. We could call it The Session. To Arthur!