April 4, 2013

The mystery of disability

Posted in Irish Independent · 191 comments ·

Over the past few years an extraordinary development has occurred in Ireland, which has gone broadly unnoticed. Tens of thousands of people have left the labour force due to disability. This has occurred despite the fact that the workforce, in general, has become younger and healthier on most measures and despite the fact that there have been significant positive steps towards reducing discrimination against disabled people in the workforce.


However, if you drill down into the numbers, the number of people now registered as disabled or citing a disability as the reason they can’t find work has gone through the roof.


What is happening?


These people are not included in the unemployed and they are, in effect, invisible from the statistics.



At the outset let me be clear: I do not know why this is happening. As a general rule, you would expect the proportion of those people who state in surveys that they are disabled would progress in line with growth in the general population.


A huge jump in disability – whether physical or emotional – might come if a country experienced a war or a natural catastrophe like Chernobyl. But nothing like this this has happened here, thankfully.


Yet, since 2006, there has been a 37.7pc increase in the number of people who have left the labour force citing a condition that substantially limits one or smore basic physical activities.

Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 09.58.44

This is not people who have been unfortunate enough to be born with a disability, but people who have developed a disabling condition. This means 55,000 people – bigger than Waterford, the country’s fifth largest city. Between 2002 and 2006, the same figure only increased by 1pc which is less than 2,000 people.


So what has happened from 2006 to 2012 to cause 53,000 extra people to leave the labour force due to physical disability?


Meanwhile, the number of people leaving the labour force citing a psychological or emotional condition has risen even more dramatically – 88,000 people are now diagnosed with an emotional or psychological condition that is bad enough that they can’t work. This is a 27,000 rise from the same figure in 2006.


What has happened in the past few years to explain this dramatic increase?


index of disability_population


If we look at the chart – taken from CSO data – which plots the growth in the number of people not working due to disability and the growth in the labour force itself, we see a massive deviation. This began in the late 1990s and has continued throughout the past dozen years.


In all cases, these people drop off the economic and social radar screen and politically only become an issue when something like the cut in the carer’s allowance becomes a big budgetary issue.


People on disability don’t show up in any of the places we usually look to see how the economy is doing. But the story of these programmes – who goes on them, and why, and what happens after that – is, to a large extent, an undocumented one.


The question for us is whether our population has become dramatically more unhealthy in the past few years or whether the State has recognised conditions which up until now were not regarded as conditions deemed to make people unfit for work.


These are not frivolous questions because if the answer is the former – that the Irish workforce is becoming more unhealthy – it has enormous implications for the effectiveness of the health system, the ongoing nutrition of the people and the emotional or psychological stability of the nation.


On most metrics, the evidence is that Irish people have become progressively healthier over the past two decades.


In addition, having spent so much money on the health system over the past few years, there are legitimate reasons to ask, if health budgets have gone up, why has the workforce become less healthy?


If, on the other hand, the dramatic rise in people being unfit for work is due to the increase in the diagnosis of heretofore unrecognised conditions that are sufficiently debilitating to prevent people looking for work, the dilemma is what to do to help these people improve their quality of life.


For example, once you are diagnosed with an emotional condition, is that it?


Do you remain out of the workforce indefinitely or are there programmes to treat your emotional and mental health so that you can look for a job again?


Of course, there is also the possibility that some people are seeking to have a condition diagnosed in order to stay on benefits indefinitely and to avoid their long-term benefits becoming conditional on having to go out looking for work.


What is clear from the point of view of society is that people who are unfit for work because they develop an emotional, psychological or physical ailment are an economic resource that needs to be nurtured. It isn’t enough to give them a cheque every week and forget about them.


If it becomes clear that some cases are not legitimate and are due to fabricated or exaggerated ailments, then life will be more difficult for people who really are disabled because taxpayers will come to think of all people who are stressed, bullied, immobile or injured as faking it.


Discussions on these issues tend to descend very easily into one side screaming “welfare fraud” and the other screaming “legitimate need”. These set pieces rarely produce anything other than reinforcing initial prejudices. However, a reasoned discussion as to why an increasing number of the Irish workforce are deemed unfit to work would seem like a sensible conversation to have.


  1. Reality Check

    Adam should subscribe!

    • Reality Check

      Laws prohibit bad behavior but they can’t force good behavior.
      Shame prevents bad or immoral behaviorr.
      There is very little SHAME attached to scamming and fleecing Tax payers.
      I note that more civilised societies e.g. Japan, Germany, Switzerland attach SHAME more readily to immoral behavior.
      Bring back SHAME to Ireland!

      • Ailish Connelly

        Shame? We need no more shame in Ireland than to reflect on the SHAME of Magdelen Laundries, exporting problem pregnancies and unemployed young people, the widespread institutional abuse perpetuated on innocent children, the shame of elected officials who stuff their pockets while overseeing a system which takes allowances from the vulnerable, the shame of the Brians rolling over and accepting penury for our people by placing massive, umpayble debt on the shoulders of generations…the continuing ineptitude of elected and unelected officials dealing with Brussels, the judiciary /medical consultants/lawyers top civil servants protecting themselves above all others. Fix the roaring elephants in the room before you start dismantling state help. Yes David is right, we have a problem with benefit claimants…why? Our society is sick from TOP down, there is no moral leadership. when the ship of state began to sink, the powerful protected themselves and started pointing fingers at those with no power. We all should be ashamed that we let this happen. Protest, inform yourself, when they come looking for your vote, tell them of the SHAME of our country.

        • Wow! That’s all guns blazing, Ailish. Fantastic comment.

        • +1

          This is the type spirit we need more of

        • Reality Check

          Interesting you disagree with me but prove my point.
          Don’t confuse the application of systemic institutional abuse with Shame.

          Think about it…
          When is the last time you saw a CEO banker or a Politician express shame for his actions?

          I used the example of Shame in the context of the article.
          Less arrogance and more humbleness is needed.
          I notice that in more civilised countries – acting in an immoral way carries a degree of shame, similar behaviour here is explained away as being a victim or worse is almost celebrated.
          Thus there is no shame attached with the false claims of disability of some applicants, which ruins it for the genuine cases.

          • Then the shame is with the medics who facilitate false claims, surely? I doubt that’s happening much at all, unless you see the Hippocratic Oath as having been undermined by some conspiracy. Misunderstood your original comment, you’re right: bankers are just as Shameless as the Gallagher character in the British soap series. There’s people like him in a suit walking into the IFSC right now..there’s no victim script like that of the financial class, but you’re right that being a victim as a career is rather pointless. “I get knocked down, but I get up again” is a really good song and a really good guide to life:


        • dwalsh

          Good comment Ailish.

        • petrapig

          Well said Ailish , well said.

      • bonbon

        What a bestial view of humanity. Behavioral conditioning is for monkeys – leave it with them.

        We humans know positive law is for the jungle, so we have Preamble’s, such as the US and Irish Constitutions.
        And the Glass-Steagall “law” has a Preamble to remind bestial banksters monkeying around with our savings, they are on notice by humanity :

        “An Act To provide for the safer and more effective use of the assets of banks, to regulate interbank control, to prevent the undue diversion of funds into speculative operations, and for other purposes.”

        • bonbon

          What worked then and will open the door now to our future :

        • Reality Check

          Lemon bonbon, if the majority of the population acts like spoiled brats trapped in adult bodies – Don’t expect a properly functioning successful society.
          Look at the behaviour of the Teachers at their conferences.

          • EMMETTOR

            I noticed the media and it’s whores trying to imply that the teachers were being somehow immature in their attitude to the politicians who arrived at their conferences. Akin to criticising someone for farting in Hitler’s presence, methinks.

      • dwalsh

        Shame on you I would say.
        What we see in these figures is a record of some of the collateral damage from the financial disaster we are living through.

    • Adam Byrne

      I am now Reality Check. Was at the airport at 5am, back home and late to rise! Have the flu as well!

    • Wisconsin

      Welcome to the USA where we have an ever-expanding parasitic under-class on one end and a parasitic vampire class on the other end of the socioeconomic spectrum. At some point, the middle class is going to say no, good and hard. Keep up your good work, David!

      • dwalsh

        Interesting how you consider the victims of the financial disaster as detestable as the perpetrators! There is a deploable absence of empathy or compassion in your petty bourgeois attitude.

  2. Kevin Lyda


    This mirrors a This American Life episode on disability as well.

    Here’s what I find interesting. We have known about the gender pay gap for decades and yet nothing has changed. Women still get paid less. Once the EU had the power to do it, they removed “gender discrimination” for car insurance and made it so women paid more for car insurance. That imbalance was corrected rather quickly.

    Any imbalance that benefits the poor or middle class seems to get rectified quickly. Any imbalance that benefits the rich is a hard problem that we just can’t seem to do anything about.

    We can’t cut the salaries of bankers because of contract law. We can’t cram down mortgages because of moral hazzards. But we can cut the salary of public employees and we can raid people’s private pensions.

    And now here’s David’s article on people getting disability. Uh-oh. The poors are gettin’ sumthin. Gotta keep an eye on that one there buddy.

    We can’t tax job creators because they won’t create jobs. Really? Where’s the stats showing how many jobs each income bracket creates? People earning between 0-25k make X jobs, between 25k-50k make Y jobs, etc. We have stats on disabled claims, why not stats on this?

    I see loads of stats on increases or effectiveness of things that benefit the poor and middle class. I see very few stats on things that benefit the very well off. Sad to see David perpetuating that.

    • Reality Check

      The gender pay gap is a myth even Feminists are admitting this now.

    • simon L

      There is a very similar trends showing up in the states. The attached article however is comprehensively more pointed to the root cause of the imbalance http://apps.npr.org/unfit-for-work/.

      • lff12

        Thanks for sharing this Simon L, this is a very reasonable explanation of what is happening. It certainly explains almost every case I see – people who can only do manual labour jobs just can’t apply for skilled sit-down work. And even at sit-down work levels, I know a lot of people whose skills are quite limited and funny enough they are out constantly with pain/depression etc. Its a failure to keep low to median skilled jobs in the labour force.

        The awful thing is, I saw a job for a graduate last week, a business graduate. It was for the finance dept of a US multinational. Probably would be a good job. They didn’t just want a graduate with a degree, they wanted one with ERP and Oracle experience. Now don’t get me wrong, but very few college grads will have that. However, the one or two who do, no matter how idiotic they actually are, will be placed ahead of others, many of whom might be far more capable. But they will get the job because they’ve the requirements on paper.

        I repeatedly get wildcard calls on jobs from recuiters who’ve homed in on one or two words in my CV, but the reality is that they don’t really assess whether I know more or less than another candidate – or am a better learner. The big issue here is especially in Ireland and the US we are happy to write off people on the most spurious of reasons. I happen to have 2 degrees, an one of them is not valuable to the IT work I do. But I keep it on my CV, because if a workplace is bigoted enough to have a problem with the fact that I did something totally different 20 years ago, then I don’t want to work there. And this is at high level – I dread what it must be like for people with few or no credentials or skills.

    • pauloriain

      Correction please…. your ascertion about car insurance is absolutely wrong. That particular correction and action taken to get us to this point started in the mid to late nineties. The government was forced to act because of a European Court of Justice ruling, if I am correct, and based on laws relating to equality, which have been in place for a long time now. It took a while for it to go through the system and nothing was done about it until this point. Any intelligent person would know that it is the right thing to do, just like all equality is right. Ironically and to contradict your point, it’s a wonder it took so long, such a gaping and obvious discrimination, that because you have a penis you pay more car insurance, when you could go accident and claims free your whole life.
      Most people just wanted to accept the dogma that everything should be going in the female direction.

  3. roadrunner

    The main reason is, as you mention in your article, that you will lose your job seekers benefits.

    I’ve been told that if you lose your job and know that you will be out of work for a long period of time you should go sick or you will ‘use up all of your stamps’.

    I don’t know how true this is.

  4. German workers average six weeks a year in sick days. German doctors will sign you off at the drop of a hat, and its not unusual to informally request time off due to pressure and stress, and the definition of both is interpreted in the widest possible terms. Psychological services are covered by the health insurance systems, and nobody feels bad about using them. So I’d suggest the lack of shame argument is a little displaced as presented here.

    Empirical observation suggests that the prevalence of serious underlying psychological conditions is not worse in a city like Berlin, the largest and poorest in Germany (15% official unemployment rate) than it is in Dublin.

    • Sorry, intended in the context of RealityCheck’s comments above.

      • Reality Check

        The Germans take six weeks vacation – this is well known.
        Pretty farcical your comment that the workers of one of the most competitive economies in the world take on average six weeks sick days.
        No Business would function competitively under that strain.

    • bonbon

      Germany, laboring under the Euro yoke, trying to appear “competitive”, is destroying its industrial workers, stealing pensions with Riester swindles, grinding down wages, and very dangerously, a totally insane Greenie atomic-energy exit. It is only a matter of time that major producers will not tolerate the massive energy bills of Merkel’s Fukoshima-fit, and leave.

      The current witches brew is deadly poisonous to labor. It turns out that all the financial liberalization packages were lobbied by Greenies, the other side of the imperial coin.

      Berlin used to be an industrial city, before Schroeder started the mother of all bailouts, Bankgesellschaft Berlin, for 80 billion DM, just before the Euro and its now popular bail-in’s.

      So Quantitive Easing really means Quantitive Stealing !

  5. onaroll

    Interesting topic David, as a wheelchair user out of work 3 yrs now and on Disability Allowance its fascinating to know I’m not counted in the jobless figues

  6. edennehy

    Congrats David for tackling this messy subject – a lot of commentators would not have the guts. There seems to be something rotten etc.

  7. Puschkin the Black and White Cat

    I’d ask the following questions:

    • What proportion of the 55,000 extra disability claimants are ex-civil servants (out on the sick).

    • Is this a way to keep dole numbers appearing lower?

    • Is the EU involved (some number rigging scam, like the fish catch figures?)

    • The Banks are getting higher wages so why not get sick for a few years, they just suck from the desiccated limb of the working man.

    • There was Croke Park I and now Croke Park II, perhaps some people say why bother anymore, let’s give me a Croke Park Me Fein.

    • There is no source of moral authority anymore, the Dail is in disgrace, Banks just thieves, the Church attach our children, the teachers work 22 hours a week for 26 weeks and still want more, why not throw a sickie.

    • 55,000 people entered the country last year (2011), how many of there were disabled.

    • Our masters the State employees and Banks show no restraint whatsoever, their greed is infinite, the whole atmosphere is toxic it is not surprise that people are sick.

    • The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman John McGuinness has an office fitted out for 250,000 , he is not reprimanded in any way, he must repay nothing !!!!. and he’s the person stopping CIVIL SERVICE waste !!!!!

    • molly

      Stress stress and more stress we the people voted in this government and then we hold a by election and vote them in some more. When the next election come along in 3years time , labour will be gone but FF and FG will form a new government so we deserve what we get, unless the Irish voter sees sense.
      How likely is that to happen??

    • joe sod

      Its a pity they didn’t do the original deal in the aviva stadium rather than croke park, then they could call it the “aviva agreement” and outsource half the workforce like aviva did

      • Deco

        ….and then pay for naming rights to the Colloseum, so that the proles can feel like as if they are being patriotic….

        no better symbol of the “green jersey” scam.

        And the idiots fall for it.

  8. Deco

    Just wondering, but how of this wuantity of peopel who are claiming disablity are formerly substance abusers ?

    Ireland has a serious problem with performance degrading drugs. In particular, with alcohol.

  9. Deco

    The graph shows that something really absurd went on in respect to disability between 1996 and 2002.

    It is like as if loads of people suddenly discovered they had a disabi;lity, that they did not have previously.

    • Harper66

      It would be interesting to see the data broken down in terms of age.

      I would not be surprised if the bulk of new claimants during that period were people within 10 years of retirement.

      It was seen by some as a means of “running down the clock” until they were at the age for the pension.

  10. Reality Check

    More than 50% of your wages being picked to pay for cushy lifestyles for single mothers, Disability travel passes for the able bodied and junkies to party is a society collapsing.

  11. Joseph

    Those running the schemes don’t follow their own rules
    When on disability, if you ask for permission to work part time, all benefits are cut. This trains those on a disability to remain on that payment, as promises around restoration of benefits if a job doesn’t work out have proved hollow. The same on injury benefit.
    The occupational physicians employed by the department don’t do their job as they keep secret from the claimants the type of work for which they are deemed suitable.
    Dr. Leech instigated automatic rejections, where everyone with back pain is forced to appeal. You are kept in the dark as to the reason why.
    G.P’s are as confused as to Welfare’s decisions as anyone else, regarding the process as random.
    So given the delays (so you’ve progressed to another payment) and obstacles put in the way of getting approved, and the kafkaesque nightmare of being referred from A to B, until your application reaches the least competent person, whom their colleagues cover for so is unaccountable, you are afraid to ever move off the payment.
    A potential employer needs to keep a job open for the six supposedly weeks in practice months it’s needed for the medical review section to say it’s suitable. No jobs are being held open at the moment.
    A completely dysfunctional system.

  12. David, you have found your true home with the Irish Independent. Or try the Mail.

    If the people you refer to in your article weren’t classed as disabled they’d be on the dole. In effect, they are doing the unemployed a favour by reducing the competition for a vanishingly small number of jobs. It’s quite astonishing the commentators here cannot see that.

  13. In my opinion, one reason why disability is increasing is because ‘work’ in the neo-liberal world is increasingly becoming a physiologically toxic environment where people reluctantly go and get critized, time presured, bullied and abused in exchange for money so that they can buy food and pay their bills. This toxitity was illustrated and promoted by tv programes like ‘Hells Kitchen’ , ‘Your fired’ etc.
    Many work places and jobs have become modern cesspits and those who chose to stay and work in the neo-cesspit too long get sick eventually.

    Work in the modern world is grossly diverging from being natural, social, holistic, community serving, fulfilling and enjoyable, positive.
    Humans evolved to work its a natural desire for us.

    Humans evolved to work its a natural desire for us. This is best shown by the fact that people out of work or on disability are usually not happy.
    Many of the people on disability do (or atleast did) want to work.
    They just didn,t want to work in this crap, where increasingly work envolves either serviving the ‘evil monster’ or creating a new tenticle for the ‘evil monster’, on the corporate dictatorship and its ‘slave colonies’

    To conclude, the work enviroment has been hijacked by the 1 percent elite so that it serves the interest of the 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percent who can either get sick in a toxic work environment, go to hell or rot on disability.

  14. mogrady14

    Nearly 40% labour force on unemployment, one parent(not working),disability payment. This is what emerges from the Government’s 2011 Report on Social Welfare numbers.
    See report http://www.welfare.ie/en/downloads/statsa2011.pdf

    The labour force is 2.23 million. 40% of the labour force is on either one parent family, illness/disability, unemployment or Supplementary welfare payment. I think the unemployment figures are masked by a huge number of welfare payments. Look at all the other welfare allowances given that are not called unemployment payments and massive numbers of people on them in 2011.The number of recipients are as follows:

    Total Widow(er) ,One-Parent families recipient (under age 66 yrs) 216508
    total illness disability recipient 243,416
    total jobseekers recipient 379,973
    total supplementary welfare recipient 34,597
    total number welfare recipients 874,494

    If you add in their dependants the result is a huge number of beneficiaries on welfare. The total number of welfare beneficiaries (recipient and dependants)is 2.3million or 50% of the population. See report http://www.welfare.ie/en/downloads/statsa2011.pdf
    See page 30 of this report for the table where I got these figures

    One Parent family and widow(er) payments to those under 65 and not working are called unemployment payments in other countries.
    The number of illness/disability recipients is really high.

    No recipient can be on more than one of the above.

    This is scandalous. In the Irish labour force it is nearly as common to be on social welfare as working. What I am trying to say is that its extremely common to be on social welfare in Ireland. Its nearly as ‘normal’ as working. I think the Jobs crisis is not being discussed. Nobody really talks about why these figures are so high.

  15. Deco

    It seems as if this country has an epidemic of disability, statistically speaking.

    Or maybe it is a result of social welfare being harder to get.

  16. wildata

    Hi David,
    No mystery here at all, unlike many subscribers here I actually rub shoulders with workers.

    3 Categories come to mind, Care Assistants in Nursing Homes, Butchers in a Meat Plant, Assembly workers in a Factory.

    In all cases over the last 5 years working conditions have become Draconian, 13 to 9 hour days, 2 10 minute breaks, half hour maybe for lunch, all this monitored closely by camera, pay cut to the absolute minimum, generally the working atmosphere is not great.

    In the Case of the Care Assistants, (and this is a very good nursing home)work has become a back breaking 13 hour shift, the amount of physical lifting and carrying has to be seen to be believed. A mix of young immigrant’s and older Irish women, they cheerfully and caringly look after patients.
    But in recent years the lack of staff and cost cutting mean it has become a relentless race to get all fed and watered in time.
    As time has passed the older ones are simply physically falling apart, all old and young report being in severe actual pain at the end of a shift.
    Pay now being at a minimum many cannot afford a casual visit to the Doctor for anti inflammatory’s for sprains and muscle pain.
    So they get official sick cert’s.

    This has 2 effects they are out for longer, and the reluctance of decent Doctors to let people back to work while not quite well means many now never return to work, as the doctor will now not give the a Fitness to Work Certs demanded by many savvy HR managers to allow them back into the job.

    Similarly for the other to categories mentioned work has become a brutal
    struggle with a “get the last drop out if them ethos” prevalent in may companies.
    Blue collar work in many Irish companies has become an Orwellian Grind, older, by which I mean 35-40+ can no longer keep up, and get permanently hurt trying. There is an endless supply of young Europeans that can stick it, so companies are quite happy to see the older people off with
    the Fitness to Work Cert. They are supposedly required to find lighter work for people who need it but the reality is many end up on long term welfare.

    If any of you doubt me on this just spend one 12 hour shift on any of these jobs having travelled an hour to get there.
    Then go full belt with just 2 10 minute breaks, a half hour lunch, with Cameras watching your every move.
    Truly and without exaggeration most of us would be seeking Medical Assistance after one shift let alone a week.

    So in our air conditioned office, with our open necked shirt ethos of calm and courtesy, remember how far out of touch you are with the reality
    of Workers.

    Sad, sick society, not very far removed from the Hobbs.

    And David has a Mystery…………………………

    • Wildata

      Thanks for you comments and I have no doubt that what you are saying is true. I know people (and I realise that its not me) who are wrecked from work and as you point out, the relentless nature of just trying to keep the head above water. The article was written carefully so as not to point fingers or get up on the some high moral ground. It is very easy for these type of subjects to instigate an “us and them” row.

      I think it is worth revaling what is happening without giving definitive resaon for why it is happening.



      • wildata

        David, it is not a case of head above water any more.
        There is a built in rush to the bottom.
        There a very few real Jobs created in this country any more,
        the majority are part time, or very close to the minimum wage.

        Real unemployment is I would hazard running at 40+%, do not see yourself or Kerrigan highlighting that.
        No welfare society can operate with 40% in the safety net,
        the wheels simply come off.

        People cannot manage on the minimum wage, in an Economy that insists on stubbornly remaining high cost,(maintaining the trappings of a full state on 2 million workers at most) they cannot afford to live, yet they are educated ,need and have known better, so they get very sick and very stressed.

        The social contract is broken, I would say at this stage possibly beyond repair.
        As for those in charge, “if you do not mind your Horses you will eventually have to walk” !
        NO MYSTERY.

        Our Ministers cannot wait to get to the 150K retirement trough and will do anything to appease those who will keep that trough (a)in existence, and (b) full.

        No them and us, just fact.

        • Puschkin the Black and White Cat

          Agree, totally
          To pay the debts of the banks we will need “austerity” for 117 years. Assuming interest rate balances the erosion of inflation.

          • EMMETTOR

            The reality is that “Austerity” is the new normal, it is not temporary, especially since, if the real economy shows any signs of improvement, the fake economy will “crash” again and absorb all the gains.

        • bonbon

          Sounds like Fintan O’Toole, a good description of Banksterity, but no attempt whatsoever at a solution.

          The day is long gone where kudos for hand-wringing wailing are rewarded. We are now at an immediate Crux – Glass-Steagall or die. Simple as that.

        • 5Fingers

          Spot on. Monitoring systems are now so good that you can machine manage people and it is going white collar and will move to virtual/home working. Take call centres, machine surveillance on Mfg line etc you name it. The line manager is no longer a human to human contact role – it is an exception detector role with sanction by data capability. No escape. You can play back what people said, wrote and saw at any time of the day and it is all done to facilitate contract complaince and ensure no one can put a fast one on the company either from within or without. Don’t ya love tech!!!

          I think there is also another factor at work as well. High emigration has meant the lesser able to move people (with families and local constraints) are left behind. These are stressed people as it stands and the pressure of less work and work loss anxiety is not to be underestimated.

          Lastly: I think people worry about their health too much or too little. The balance is all out of kilter.

          • bonbon

            Nobody is tracking the “emigrated” I’ll bet. Stress where you are at home, versus stress in an alien environment probably has no studies or statistics. In other words the emigrated are the forgotten, the un-recorded, the invisible. Add that to the hidden.

            Yet this is all detail. The collapse underway right across the transatlantic will spare none. So deal with that directly.

          • 5Fingers

            Funnily enough there was a study on sudden death syndrome on emigrants from Asia to the USA during the 1970s/80s and it was originally believed to be a problem with the rice they ate in the US. It concluded it all seemed to be down to emmigration – fish out of water as it were and it is intergenerational – epigenetical impact as well.

      • michaelcoughlan


        Thank God you had the insight to write about and publish such an important article.

        I don’t agree thought that a definitive attempt shouldn’t be given even if some people get into their trenches.

        In my view the reason it is happening should be shouted about at the top of people’s voices and published about in every way possible which is;

        Milton Friedman’s “Profits at all costs” psychosis and “Austerity at all costs” Nihilism isn’t going to be stopped with at least that much for a start!

        • paddythepig

          Where in Milton Friedmans writing does he advocate profit at all costs?

          • michaelcoughlan

            “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits”

            New York Times Article Sep 13 1970 edition.

            The trouble for Milton and the rest of us is that the sociopaths in charge of modern corporations take literal interpretations.

            I am sure he made the comment in a benign way as in the more that various businesses creates wealth and add value the better for all of us except we now live in a world dominated by hedge funds.

            Their combined size equals 20 times that of the world GDP so “increasing profits” in a zero sum game means the fund manager makes an income of 100m in one year and the Cypriot debt he shorted to create his profits’ means god knows how many Cypriots go hungry or top themselves.

            Part and parcel of a theoretical economist’s job should be to try and at least understand how a corporate psychopath might warp the underlying logic to his own advantage don’t you think?

          • paddythepig

            If Cypriots choose to go on a debt binge, it’s not the fund managers fault, it is their own fault.

            There is a huge difference between ‘profits at all costs’ and ‘the social responsibility of business is to increase profits’. The latter is what the man said, the former is words you put in his mouth.

          • michaelcoughlan


            Your criticism of the points I made is accurate and I take your view on board and have modified my thinking accordingly.

            Thanks for that.


          • EMMETTOR

            Hold on, “the social responsibility..” means that companies have no social responsibility, except to make profits, this is not very different from “profits at all costs”, especially in the view of the sociopaths running the corporations…

  17. michaelcoughlan

    Hello David,

    Good article.

    Let me enlighten you however.

    “I do not know why this is happening”

    This is because your income is at a level where you are allowed to focus totally on being as productive as possible rather than hoping and praying there will be enough money to pay for breakfast for the kids tomorrow. The Irish times today has an article about kids in secondary schools being stressed and demoralised. According to the article some of those kids arrive into school not having had breakfast because no money is there to pay for it.

    The best thing you could do is do what Des Bishop did in a documentary he filmed and live on the min wage for three months. Then add to that a Milton Friedman type “maximise profits at all costs” sociopath type boss who will fu%k you every which way. Factor in the fact that he will only pay you a bonus for let’s say shafting your customers etc. or being downright fraudulent.

    Examine your physical and mental health at the start of the three month period. Then examine your mental and physical health at the end. As sure as shit%e you’ll be stressed of your tits.

    What I find very revealing though is that even for someone like yourself who is so well capable of analysing the many problems of Eireuba you yourself have unknowingly but thankfully highlighted a very important point. That point is of course when a person is living in comfortable circumstances they have no clue at all as to the reason so many people are winding up, leaving Ireland, topping themselves, leaving their children go hungry, leaving their sick people at home for fear of the hospitals, leaving their old people at home for fear of the nursing homes, leaving beef off the menu, or as in the case of your article leaving the “workforce” entirely.

    Its like I said about Bernake David,

    It’s only when the scum of the earth in charge of the place are the ones going hungry (like the kids in the secondary school) or the ones stopping the bullets with their chests (like the trailer thrash in the Afganistan) that the penny will drop.

    • wildata

      So well said Michael.
      I am loath to consign David to the plethora of comfortable callous incompetents who have made this Country.

      But given this Disability Crisis is such a mystery,
      jeezus, just imagine the confusion over complex issues.

      Really at some point the incompetence of the “Intelligentsias” are going to push it to open revolution.

      Most people know Banking is literally a licence to print money, given to cronies of the Political Class, the justifiable only quid pro quo is you do it right.
      Similarly for Politicians and Economists, vividly vocal and utterly incompetent as a group, their lack of agreement on almost any issue reveals the inherent nature of the professions they follow.

      What they all have in common, [and they make damn sure to keep it in common], is they do not have to work in any meaningful sense of the word.

    • bonbon

      According to Wiki, DMcW is a follower of Milton Friedman. Maybe that is why he has trouble with simple issues?

    • Reality Check

      I agree Michael, but you left out the protected VICHY Government PS Classes as well.


    At any given time, there are 100,000 people in Ireland taking part in govt “training” schemes. The UK figure, with 14 times more people is 250,000 ! Like disability benefits, it’s just another way to massage the unemployment figures. Contrast the debate in the UK media regarding the impact of eastern europeans on the labour market for young people. Here, the issue is swept under the carpet,HOW MANY ROMANIANS AND BULGARIANS WILL ARRIVE FROM JAN 1 NEXT ?

    • bonbon

      Arrive to what? There will not be a EU, nor a Euro then, very likely. What the banksters now plan, genocide, cannot be swept under the carpet.

  19. Wilson

    Although it might be true that certain medical conditions are now being recognized as true disabilities, they cannot alone account for the huge jump in the statistics.

    It seems to me it is better explained as being a sign of the times, of so many people feeling so betrayed by their politicians along with the banking system and also the Catholic Church, that a general malaise has set in, and there is no point in being honest or loyal to the system itself, and to just get from it what one can, and walk away from the rest.

    The current administration is falling short in being more sensitive to and aware of this, and have hardly been creative and resouceful in dealing with fiscal realities:inventing new taxes and more new taxes is hardly a solution, and only creates a tautology or merry-go-round that will eventually self-implode. The current situation David describes above is a little monster that was birthed well before the Kenny government, and due to the current circumstances is just experiencing a growth spurt.

    • bonbon

      The typical Tiger pass time of “touchy-feely” analysis is shown in its full incompetence by the famous CNN camerawoman with a microphone at a traffic victim “How do you feel about being run over by the 16-wheeler?”. Sure to bring tears of sympathy, so considerate, so sensitive!

      Get it? Time to deal with reality. The Triple Curve collapse function is the metaphor to start with. You are on the plunging physical economic curve.

  20. Wilson

    Yes, Wildata has put it perfectly: the social contract is indeed broken.

    I am not sure it is broken beyond repair, but I also am not sure if there is sufficient competence and creativity and political will in government to begin to piece it back together. It all seems “every man for himself” these days.

    • wildata

      5 million souls on a rock in the North Atlantic as the World
      changes beyond recognition.
      Our eventual options are re-join the UK, become a Protectorate
      of the EU, or go to hell in a basket.
      Not sure the first 2 are still open ?
      But there is a dreadful certainty we can no longer manage our own affairs.

      • bonbon

        The option being prepared for you personally now by the Troika and its bankrupt empire, is to separate your soul from your earthly existence. Personally I reject that “option” and the other but-butting your proclaim as “inevitable”.

        So proclaim your humanity, kow-tow not to the goats.

        • wildata

          No Kow-towing intended.

          Not only inevitable but already happening wether you reject it or not.

          What will you do with a population now unable to fund their day to day existence.
          Worse without any hope for their older years, 50+ !

          Let alone help manage their Parents last days ?

          Proclaim their humanity ?
          Feed them Glass Steagulls perhaps.

          • bonbon

            You feed them despair, in the service of the boot.

            What is inevitable, to follow that path, is really a choice. Instead choose life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

            Now no more but-butting, choose.

  21. bonbon

    The transatlantic financial system is on disability allowance in the order of 10′s of TRILLIONS. We must cut disability allowance for this imperial succubus before it kills us all, able-bodied or not, sucking the very life out of the economy. Those who are folding under the inhuman conditions aptly described here by posters, are victims. Imagine if all those now took to the streets with a clear message to deal with that SYSTEM, instead of simply side-issues. It looks like the true unemployment figures including disability, are a majority.

    Taking away the future, the essence of humanity, is the root cause of psychological trauma. And persistent current trauma does that. This system has no future, it does not intend to have one. It is doomed by design. IT is an explicit attack on humanity, a bestial, savaging anti-human tradition, an ancient legacy of evil.

    Glass-Steagall means dealing with this system now, for a future. And when you think about it, the future is unlimited.

  22. wildata

    Time to forget the concept of a NATIONAL ECONOMY.
    There is not longer any meaningful definition.

    When one national Group must pay the Debts of another on little more than a whim just to keep (both) their corrupt or at best power crazed and incompetent leaders in the Style, any rational “Economics” based
    thinking is useless and downright unhelpful.

    Nor is National Politics in any way relevant to any country under 25 million, like the Multiples and the Corner Shop our day is gone.

    Especially as in our Corner Shop the Manager works for the Multiples.
    But he just wants his pension and F**K the rest of us.

    • bonbon

      Quite a bit of shiny-boot licking there, a Tiger pass-time. Time to realize that goat-smelling imperial boot is bankrupt. National economics and Hamilton Credit, sweeping that goat herd out of the way is now on the table.

      So stop but-butting, be useful and helpful, campaign for splitting the bankrupt goat’s banks.

      • wildata

        Point, Campaign rings clear !
        A national Online Budget forum done in the style of a house hold budget ?
        Expenditure-on what
        Loans- from whom ?
        Who gets what.
        Lets vote every year to set the level tax and
        of social welfare.

  23. Deco

    Draghi is talking.

    The ISEQ is tanking.

  24. This article comes straight from the cloth of The Nasty Party.
    There are enough nasty tories in Ireland who will lap it up and buy the rag it was published in. Very sad.

  25. joe hack

    The economy has affected people’s health and caused some to commit suicide others are permanently ill while some claim disability yet the banks are been paid and no one is threatening to cut off their disability benefit .

    During the meanwhile the ghost estates remain empty while the state pays landlords rent allowances yet some are now advocating that these estates be knocked.

    When these estates are knocked down we will pay for the demolition and we will still pay rent allowances to landlords while continuing to dole out disability to the banks “money” which they magiced up to build the demolished would be- could be “homes” oh! And those who have not yet been born will pay too.

    To top it all off:
    The IMF says we can’t have health care but we can pay disability benefits to banks for “homes” that lay empty and which will likely confuse future archaeologists.

  26. molly

    Water charges, property tax ect FF says these will push people over the edge,the news is people are already over the edge.
    You can’t get blood from a stone even if FG think you can .
    If you can’t pay these things than don’t loose any sleep over this ,food ,heat,power comes first , put a sign on your house( no nazi boot boys welcome here.

  27. Last weekend there were protests in the UK about the bedroom tax which attacks people in social housing who are claiming housing assistance

    The tories (The Nasty Party) are cutting the top rate for those earning +100k from 50p to 45p

    This is just one instance of the comparisons in attitudes to the well off and the poor. There are many others

    After all we have been through they show no sign up letting up and they are intent on pressing on with their psychotic free market ideology. They are the really sick ones

    For me this is not simply a numbers game. It is much more than that because people everywhere really are sick – sick to bloody death paying welfare to the bankers and private contractors who bribe our governments. People have woken up and see right through this fucked up perverted world and recognise it for what it really is

    And you ask ‘what is happening’?

    Don’t be naive. Admit that people will see it as a cheap political shit stirring exercise. Well thought out my bottom. With the Delaney fella down at the indo you are in toxic company. The pontificating tories of today are far worse than in Thatchers day and that is saying something

    The class war goes on my friend and it always will

    • molly

      The class war will go on and with government in charge of the class the war will be won by the government , so be care full who you vote for.

      • It doesn’t make any difference who we vote for and this is why I am apolitical and don’t vote. If I voted then I would be giving a green light to this stupid murderous system and would be complicit in preserving the status quo of bullying, ignorance, corruption, hypocrisy and outright theft.

        My mission is to live a simple happy life and stay far away from toxic individuals, their publications and rhetoric and expose it for what it is. A sham. I refuse to to surrender my humanity and be reduced to a slave

        There are far more worrying things going on in the world than the dark imaginings of nasty tories who lie awake at night worrying that some undeserving someone somewhere might be getting something for nowt

        Sad, pathetic nasty little tories. Horrible little people choking blue on their prejudices peering out at the world through net curtains in a suburban dreamland or in a mansion with a moat

        Life is better viewed from 30,000 feet up where you have developed a sense of freedom and perspective rather in the trenches where the nasty people lie, cheat, manipulate and live like wild animals on their wits and cunning … Politics, workplaces, insitutions etc all with their peculiar little ways of enforcing order and etiquettes for their arse licking customs and conventions

        Japan is swamped in radiation and there is a nuclear war in the making. 130 Hunger strikers are on day 59 on a hunger strike and Palestinians are being indefinitely detained and refused medical treatment

        A no fly zone has been created in Arkansas to effect a media blackout of the oil pipeline disaster. The same company are involved in drilling of out west coast as we speak.

        That is how afraid they are of losing control. Media blackouts and all of the above. It didn’t happen. Nothing to see here. Please move along now and have a nice day


      Undoubtedly the Indo, in common with the rest of the media in Ireland is full of vile, deranged propaganda, cheering on the dead and rotting carcass of horsemeat (labelled beef). Whether people have seen through this is another matter. No sign of that improved vision in East Meath.

  28. joe hack

    Everybody Wants A Degree And Why Should They Not… its time to Bring Back the Sponsored Apprenticeships…

    The problem with degree is that people do a degree in something which they have absolutely no comprehension of or understanding how their degree is practiced within the working environment.

    They spend 3/4/5 years studying at something which the colleges and others oversold using images of shiny happy people portrayed in a lab or sitting around a conference table with engineering drawing.

    The reality is much different the chemist ends up trapped in a space suit in some sanitised factory, day in day out – doing repetitive tests the engineer gets stuck in some dark back room writing or checking for flaws in reports we then end up with people doing jobs for which aptitude for and interest will soon fade. they are now stuck – as the education system won’t pay for a second degree and why would IT.

    It’s Enough to make one go on disability

    Its time to bring back the apprenticeship, from day one the apprentice is paid and is contributing to the economy while degree student costs tens of thousands.
    Within months both the apprentice and employer will know when it’s time to move on or not if so the apprentice is then free to find a new calling.

    • We do have proper apprenticeships. I know a lad who did his final papers on Roofing and it looked like a tough course. He has been out of work for about 2 years and wants to emigrate and find work

      I have a pal who is 52 and built single dwellings and housing developments during the boom. He has always been self employed and in work but his work dried up at Christmas. He is losing hope and has realised he is not as young and fit now. The longer he is out of work the more unfit he becomes and his mental condition is becoming a concern

      For my own sins I did a 4 year Computing degree during the boom and enjoyed it because it was genuinely interesting as it is so different from other industries in that it is industry neutral and you can work from anywhere if you have a broadband connection. You can be your own boss if that is what you aspire to and you can have the freedom to choose not to spend all day sitting in a cubicle like a battery hen

      A degree is challenging and I like to be challenged. It is better than sitting at home. I am easily bored and like to work on several projects at a time and that is where the degree came in very handy. I was given plenty of project work and had to learn how to structure and manage them and at the same time prepare for written exams. It was full time work with long evenings spent wrestling with some pretty mind bending stuff and almost overdosing on caffeine

      I saw the mobile era coming and Computing seemed like a natural choice for someone from an electronics background. I built on existing skills and education rather than start from scratch as some people do. It just made sense in 2003 and today I still love it and do it for self education. It keeps my brain working and the workflows and practices used in industry are the same ones employed by solo people like me. You can do a 4 year degree but it takes 20 years to really understand some fields in any great depth and become fast, efficient and professional

      If I worked as a full time professional programmer I’d probably have burned out because most of them do eventually. After a couple of years programming people start to imagine living on the west coast and opening a micro brewery or maybe doing a bit of farming. It is a short career because like call centre work it eventually wears you down. A lost cause and then what? Back to college?

      Id recommend going back to education as long as people choose a course that will genuinely interest them. If it earns a living then good but there is more to life than work

      • Bamboo

        Hi Pauldiv,
        I can fully identify with all what you are saying. When I came into the workforce there was only the pc. All applications are at version 1 or 2 and UIs at dinosaur stage. Networks were a nightmare as it was like a plumbing system – you disconnect a cable and the server was down.
        I saw the internet coming and especially XML was a breakthrough for data collection and manipulation.

        Then I got my first company laptop and mobile phone to keep me on top of everything 24/7. The new IT graduates didn’t have to go through all this pain but are faced with other challenges.

        As you said all of this kept the brain working and it is all a fantastic challenge. All that time I felt like a child wanting to learn and find out about all of this. As I grew older I had an incredible yearning to get away from it but I simply couldn’t find a suitable alternative that can give me a steady income. I did leave my job during the boom though and did other non IT related stuff. In the end I felt I was unable to keep up with the other types of employment and soon went back into IT as I discovered that IT was a much easier solution to earn a living. However, I was let go in 2010.

        The IT industry shaped the my brains in such a way that I felt stuck in a corner. The lack of flexibility to think in other directions became almost a disability.

        Thankfully I am now able to find a living in 3D design and modelling. Still working behind a screen and at a desk however.

        My question is: How much of a disabling affect certain industries have on our brains and/or physical stamina.

        • ” How much of a disabling affect certain industries have on our brains and/or physical stamina.”

          A crucial question. As BPR alogrithms and automations speed up towards full robotics, more and more complex and speedy expectations are put on worker’s brains and nervous systems. It’s much harder to cope with the track at Longbridge than to do that awayday whiteboard blue-sky thinking malarkey where you can scratch your goatee or scribble doodle cartoons to pretend you’re still paying attention.

          That’s why so may other conditions are recognised. If you’re completely burn out as a teacher such that you can’t walk and chew gum without getting knocked down crossing the road, then the classroom PTSD stuff is just as serious as the ex-Helmand stuff. And if you don’t realise or accept that teachers are at risk of PTSD then you’ve never met one facing false allegations of abuse, say. Or being spat at.

          It’s all a mess. Retrain as an engineer and in a year or so it’s either done in Bangalore or by a machine.How many times can someone do that without burnout?In India they speed-read legal back-room stuff, and do the accountancy. the hard-men Ayn Rand types are in for the mother of wake up calls when the middle-class implodes big-time, which is will. No point having a pension if you’ve trashed your brain and body to get there. Or the pension funds have collapsed anyway.

          there’s a social contract, focussing on the detritus, flotsam and jetsam cast off from the production process or never having finished the education system is really very, very lazy and won’t yield any solutions. Let me explain:

          “It’s not the Work Ethic, it the Work Habit, stoopid!”

          Castigating folk who don’t or can’t work on a moral basis is completely wrong thinking. As Oscar said “if work was such a good thing, the rich would keep it for themselves. Which, of course, is what is happening. as part of my physio/hydro rehab I go to a pool/sauna place full of hyped up testosterone/adrenaline career junkies who can’t stop thinking, can’t stop yakking about the water cooler gossip/office politics/threat of redundcancy, forced retirement. It’s such a pain that I no longer go between 6-9am or 5-8pm. You can just tell that some are skidding to the cliff edge but have no way out. It’s terrible when people capsize in life with kids and mortgages and elders to care for.

          And the answer isn’t the blame game other than for a tiny minority like Mick and Mairead Philpott.

          This is probably the single most important issue facing Western Societies over the next few decades, whether to go the Foxconn route for working conditions or not and, as I say, robotics will render it out-of-date as Foxconn and anyone else who can begin to replace human drones with machine ones.

          The last 30 years was the final hurrah of the finance capitalist neoliberal priesthood. They’re out of gas, the whole foundations and superstructure of world finance are not fit for’ post-peak everything’ purpose. And there’s nothing new under the sun: ancient Babylon figured out that the exponential growth of debt interest was completely incompatible with the business cycle and human cultural society, hence the Debt Jubilee innovations. Dr Michael Hudson website is just a few clicks away. After him, none of this is rocket science. Except to the Troika and their enabling cronies, who think you can turn Ireland and Cyprus into debt-servicing agencies, remove spending power from the domestic economy till austerity causes collapse yet still have expansionary fiscal contraction worldwide by…exporting to Mars? Nonsense on stilts. In the UK too. At least in the Bible folk had a patch of land, a tithe or forty acres and a mule stuff to grow some spuds. Now, they have 48 inch t.v, status cars because their penis doesn’t work without one, and they are someone’s bitch 24/7/365 but because they steroid up in the gym they can keep up the pretense that their a man ,not a debt slave concubine to high finance. And that’s the CEOs and Politicians I’m on about, not the middle-manager cadre or the front-line grunts. People need to switch off, get used to less, and stop imagining that there’s some easy way out of this by blaming those less healthy, wealthy or wise.

          The Olympics in London brought out a volunteer army to meet and greet, now the Government think they can dragoon the sick, lazy, insane and lame to do the same to turbo charge some entrepreneurial restart or cut welfare costs. It’s not that simple, if folk are non-productive and/or profitable without mass input and training, it won’t happen Wealth from now on comes from willing participation, high level skill and free will. Or from robots. Or a combination of robots and free will blue sky thinking. I think Lenovo will eat Apple alive because there’s elements of Confucian and Taoist culture that can out-compete American maverick frontier spirit invention. As for Europa? UK? Probably screwed.

          Time for the gym, see if there’s any MILF’s around today (that’s ‘maidens i’d like to face-book friend’).

          I don’t write anyone off, other than that Philpott couple. Creating sane responses to the turbulence ahead will require incredible energy and skillful living from all, not just those who think they’ve got a god given or family inherited right to run the place. I wasn’t written off, there’s been a huge investment in turning my life around and now it’s time for me to pay that back in multiples. That’s how us Saxon guys roll, and how the Celts did too. These Isles of Wonder could go under, under pressure, or they could take it all to the next level and re-invent for a new future. I’ve no time for cribbing myrmidons moaning behind pseudonyms. I understand the rage and anger but it’s really not as simplistic a tale as folk choosing to watch telly all day whilst scamming disability. It’s the old Toraigh tactic, give a man a dog to kick and he won’t mind being kicked by a bigger dog. It’s the politics of the prison and the British public school system. It’s simply not what us real Alpha-Male bonobos put up with. New society or total chaos. Or both at the same time.

        • I’m glad you found an escape route Bamboo

          When I went to college in 1990 to do electronics we had green text based screens, a whacking 64k of RAM and a 10 MB hard drive. Today the size of one RAW image from my camera is more than the capacity of the said hard drive

          That’s an interesting point about the debilitating effect of some jobs. Back in the 90s I saw some very clever people burn out and leave their jobs as the stress was literally killing them

          At one place I worked the pressure was so bad that my hair started falling out in the shower and that is when I put the brakes on and got out. I sold up and took a year off

          I saw people striving to get promoted only to be fucked over and it is sad to see that happen to anyone. It’s all to common today

          Today I limit myself to areas of IT I like doing and I avoid stress like the plague.

  29. 5Fingers

    There are quite a number of studies on company failure and collapse and the health of those who work in them. All things being equal, it boils down to your ability to contribute added value and to “feel” valued.

    I blame 3 trends

    1) Increasing compliance requirements that overload people with bureacracy and non-productive work.
    2) Insurance and litigation claims who force more of 1) above and also demand the need for other “useless” functions to come into an organisation and break the link between the managed and the management. I refer here to “human resources”, “Health and Safety” and a whole host of similar functions that replace judgement driven activity with pure and cold data driven activity.
    3) We compete on a global stage. Your therefore are seen to be of the same value as the guy being paid 10% your wage and 1% of your legal entitlement. Please sign here or leave…

    I already mentioned earlier the precision of data driven and data monitoring which can track everything and report “non-adherence” contract conditions every 15 mins. Such jobs have high turnover of staff. Indeed, it is a very common practice using “Star Chamber” methods to aim to fire the bottom performing 10% of the employees every 12 months on the basis you always get increasingly better people. Human sieving. This sort of stuff is common place in Ireland and indeed across the anglo-sphere. The idea is to “sweat” the resources – human and non-human.

    Well…if you are going to bring in technology which focuses on yield enrichment of any sort, what were you expecting??? Is the idea not to be darwinian?

  30. joe hack

    Potato prices up by 187% in year to January

  31. Reciprocal altruism and freeloading, quite a hot topic. Sociobiology.

    As someone who’s experienced physical and mental health issues due to childhood abuse and then MTBI from a ridiculously minor car shunt, I could go on about this societal crisis all day. The physical and mental/emotional are often two sides of the same coin.

    I’m lucky in that I’ve always had complete support, encouragement and the full resources of the British NHS batting on my side over many years.There really is an enormous interlinked cluster of issues here, ranging from tardy diagnosis, and failure to intervene early, inability of employers to manage stress issues, through to the fact that some treatments for issues like depression and PTSD are experimental and not everything works for everyone, so it’s sometimes a lengthy, costly process of trial and error. It’s incredibly demoralising to be ill, when it’s an invisible illness such as depression, emotional dysregulation, cognitive dysfunction, or anterograde amnesia. I’ve had them all, been there, t-shirt etc.

    Depression is often dismissed as a luxury of the pampered societies of the west, yet anyone with knowledge of Japanese and Korean teen culture sees that a hyper-competitive capitalist society can really create serious psychological dysfunction with appalling social and economic costs, and it’s repeated worldwide for different reasons.


    As for the idea of masses of people swinging the lead, I think that’s pretty rare. Most people don’t just work for money, they work for social companionship and status. It’s obvious from watching lottery winners destroy themselves that there’s more to life than a life of idle leisure and hedonism, at least for most people.

    In Britain, previous governments ‘parked’ unemployed people on disability benefits to massage down headline rates on the dole. Is that part of the answer in Ireland too? Unlikely, given the boom. Now, the financial crisis is causing an absolutely beserk over-reaction to a minor problem of fecklessness with a hysterical attempt to blame the deficits and bail-outs on people whose planning horizon extends to feeding the gas meter.

    There are real horrific cases like Mark and Mairead Philpott that make you despair at the human race, but again, that’s very rare. It’s quite interesting how the culture is so easily moved towards demonising the poor to allow the feckless, footloose rich individuals and corporations to evade rigorous analysis. But then most people are slaves to those people, so are hardly likely to challenge them, especially not governments in their pockets.

    A lot of employers regard ‘human resources’ as a disposable, like printer cartridges. Just get another one rather than change their mentality and attitude. There’s no mention in this article of the responsibilities of employers… Zero hours contracts, home/life balance, communting, parenting, debt, trans-generation house-price warfare, “women on the edge of a nervous breakdown has become a norm”, stay at home Moms are vilified as well.Small business owners driven crackers by loan shark banks, and on and on and on.

    In a civilised society, employment and the employee class doesn’t exist in a vacuum merely to provide opportunities for private capital to make profits, it’s hosted by the tribe, and it’s either symbiotic or parasitic. The rapacious nature of some corporate careers is now so onerous that many just burn out for no real need or reason.

    It’s all very odd, like private insurance contracts which have endless small print when it comes to claim, the use of private corporations to undermine the Hippocratic Oath is just another sign of the corporate takeover of civil institutions. If doctors can’t be trusted to decide who’s ill and who’s not, then what’ the point of involving them at all.

    This whole nonsense of social media where people pimp and preen then frantically delete photos of themselves drunk by the pool in fear of future interview situations is also a complete crock.

    I was reading an unintentionally hilarious book called “Are you smart enough to work at Google” by William Poundstone, but a brief scan reveals a lot of these companies [Pret a Manger as well] to be inappropriately instrusive into people’s personal lives, like cults. I’d take some persuading to have anything to do with them, just as I would steer a wide berth of the Scientologists and The Magisterium as employers.

    For me it’s incredibly important that I now return from my hermetic cryogenic illness and generate vast sums in taxes to help others. But that’s almost certainly going to be as a result of reinventing myself as an impressario and entrepreneuer creating jobs rather than applying for them. No one should be written off but the idea that doctors collude to defraud public funds is a bit of a stretch..

    Women get banjaxed for having kids, any serious bout of illness and the sub-Alpha male greasy pole climbing game is over. If you can manage it, it’s much better to just be rich and not have to care what anyone says about you, but that’s not an option for many.Or win the sperm wars, that’s best of all!

    I’ve no idea why people put up with such crap in employment, but I’ve also no idea why anyone other than the genuinely despairing would settle for a life of endless daytime t.v.

    Lots of careers are now incompatible with family life or any kind of life other than corporate drone. There’s no status or alpha maleness in being a debt slave with a big car, most young lads can’t stand jobs that are just another bad version of school, industrial apprentices went up in smoke due to off-shoring, yet it’s meant to be their fault? I…don’t..think..so.

    If i had any nonsense about my health care costs, I’d just demand every penny back i’d ever paid in taxes and national insurance and drag the government through the European court for a decade, costing them 10 million quid, just to prove a point. I’ve never had any nonsense, not even a hint that there was anything other than a desperate trail of disasters rendering me effectively disabled as far as any conventional employment.

    It’s only because I live in Britian that I’ve finally reached the threshold of escape, anywhere else and I think I’d have been on the scrapheap or bankrupt. Trust is a 2 way street, governments have stolen social funds to pay bankers, they really will have to build a lot of prisons if they think they can foster endless consumerism on credit then reduce to lumpen to immiserisation just because a bunch of psuedo capitalists don’t want to pay their gambling debts. “socialism for the rich, capitalism red in tooth and claw for the poor, ill and insane” It was ever thus.

    I know people who have more money than they know what to do with and they’re clinically depressed, even if they’re endlessly busy with some big career gig. Anyway, robotics will change all this, rendering the debate irrelevant. And, of course, if Bonbon’s right, then we’re all going to DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! anyway, so who cares.

    The old age pension was always a lie and a fraud perpetrated by thieving governments who never had any intention of paying it out, that scam has been exposed by increasing longevity.

    A troubling article, framing the discussion between drones and the lumpen fighting for crumbs beneath the banker’s table, when the biggest recipients of ‘disability’ payments on the planet are the venal lying bankers. Haven’t read the other comments yet, but I’m sure they’re smoking hot!

    • bonbon

      Glass-Steagall or die. Otherwise a very good post.
      The bankster crowd are going to go for genocide if now out-flanked.

      So anyone but-butting about Glass-Steagall is leading, like the billy goat, to the gate.

      If “it was always so” we would not have gotten this far.

      I just watched “The Firm”, excellent, with an alleged “scientologist” in the leading role. You just never can tell by cliche’s.

  32. bonbon

    Canadians in Uproar Over Proposed Stealing of Their Deposits

    3 Apr.(LPAC) The inclusion of a “bail-in” provision in the Canadian budget (“Economic Action Plan 2013?), released by the Ministry of Finance on March 21, set off a storm when details of the Cyprus “bail-in” bank heist emerged only days later. See the provision, appearing on page 145.

  33. bonbon

    Quantitative Stealing: Coming Soon to a Bank Near You

    If you liked Quantitative Easing, you’re gonna love Quantitative Stealing. This one’s to die for.

    In 2012, QE (bail-out) switched to QS (bail-in), have a look at the updated Triple Curve.

  34. Economic Stockholm Syndrome: The behavior and attitudes exhibited by victims of financial subjugation, causing then to identify with and even defend their oppressors.

    Q: Hey, what’s up with Matt? His Dad is on social security, his mom got laid off, his sister’s kids get free school lunches, he collects federal financial aid for college, and he only makes minimum wage working at Walmarts. Yet he keeps talking about how we need to cut taxes for the wealthy and quit spending so much on social programs.

    A: Yeah, he thinks he’s going to be a millionaire soon. He’s got Economic Stockholm Syndrome.


    There’s all the other stuff. Since the Paralympics, it’s ok to be disabled so long as you’re bionic and super-disabled. I know someone who faces a marathon just to walk 100 yards to the shops, yet is harassed about finding a job. What job allows for extreme rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups? Not hatin’ on employers either, it’s just not realistic to provide cover for some conditions.

    Then there’s the chronic and rising disease burden to do with Diabetes. No mention of the irresponsible collusion between governments and corporations over pancreas deranging High Fructose Corn Syrup. Unless and until corporations are reigned in and made subservient to civilised values, this nonsense will just get worse.

    Massive use of tranquillizers and sleeping pills to avoid the fact that some employers are just abusive.

    The disease burden of military budget cuts with constant redeployments causing PTSD to go through the roof. And on and on…

    I’ve got enough to live modestly till I die, but it’s obvious to me that many, many people who think they’ve got a pension pot of gold are going to get a nasty surprise when they reach the end of that rainbow. And that this hate campaign is to soften people up for the next phase of a descent to Dickensian chaos as the new norm for many, if not most.

    And, as has been stated in these excellent comments: A Fish Rots From The Head Down. It’s of limited use to look at symptoms and not do a diagnosis.

    It’s probably now accepted by most that there’s a huge economic cost to child abuse. Yet the corporation that is the Catholic Church still managed to connive with FF to pass the buck of compensation back to the Irish taxpayer. People can be driven mad by injustice, and to allow dysfunctional corporations, whether financial or ‘religious’ to shaft ordinary people is a disgraceful failing of duty. At least Enda stuck it to The Holy See if not the Troika. I thought he’d found his feet at last.

    The elephant in the room is the robotics revolution. Already, as others have noted, places like Amazon warehouses are part man-part machine as computers converge with flesh and blood. Innovation and profitability are endless, just now divorced from any social obligations. I used to know Irish guys who hated the track at the car factory so much they gave it up to drive a bus so they could have a bit of freedom and a laugh with the clippies at the terminus. Now it’s all tachometers. When I collapsed with a pulmonary embolism a while ago, on my death bed it seemed more like an accounting convention there were so many boxes being ticked. All necessary, I’m sure, and not complaining, but the nurses looked bored out of their minds. No judgement, no skill, and soon will probably be done by a droid. If there’s no dignity of labour, no skill, no pride, it’s not that odd or any great mystery that many can’t cope with pointlessness.

    • bonbon

      In Germany, the truth about how Amazon actually operates came out yet again. Various labor laws were broken, working conditions monitored by camera and private security (not bound by such laws) with random shakedown’s, time contracts. This is the only way to stay “competitive” in the Euro paradise. A huge scandal.

      To claim a wonder world of robots smacks of deliberate whitewashing.

  35. Mary K

    David, to return to your question, my understanding is that yes, the state have in fact recognised more conditions that entitle people to receive financial assistance on account of their disability. And this is being recorded in the CSO, etc. since 2006. In many cases, it’s a shift in statistics as many people now recorded as out of the workforce due to disability were previously just recorded as unemployed with no reference to ability/disability.

    Regarding what happens to people who officially are in receipt of disability payment, you are correct that there is a lack of documented information. They certainly don’t all disappear or never work again. The system, with permission from the Dept of Social Protection, does allow you to do part-time rehabilitative work and/or training and earn a certain amount before your payment is affected. Over the years, thousands of people with a disability that prevented them holding down a full-time job in the private sector (e.g. mental health, back problems) got out of the house and worked on Community Employment schemes which assisted in the delivery of vital community services. However, since 2012 the Dept changed the rules and to take on a Community Employment job (208 euro per week), you must give up fully your disability payment. Yes, there was a valid argument for why one person should retain two full payments for working a half week. But now we have gone the other extreme and no one is coming forward in applying for these schemes as they are afraid of sacrificing their disability payment forever for the sake of a guaranteed one year Community Employment position for 208 euro a week.

    Sorry, I have gone off on a tangent here but my point is that to get a proper understanding of statistics, we need to look at the policies we elect our government to implement in terms of both their intended and unintended consequences.

    • You haven’t gone off at a tangent, Mary K, you’ve hit bullseye. I’ll respond ‘on topic’ then veer off into the whole “James Joyce on acid with a Brummy accent gatecrashing Dáil Éireann comedy stand-up schtick.

      “The good society must distinguish between enrichment that is permissable and benign and that which is at social cost” J.K Galbraith.

      That quote can be usefully applied to both the economic elite and the economically cast adrift. The whole concept of ‘The Precariat’ explains why so many people are either trapped on welfare or are part of the minority sport of ‘hammock, not safety net’ of right-wing nightmares.

      If you have a guaranteed income that’s threatened by moving towards zero-hours or minimum wage employment, it’s not hard to see how there’s an incentive to remain in a safe harbour. That’s a policy fault, not indicative of personal failure or lazy fecklessness. Everyone responds to market signals. Just look at the risk premia incentives and safety net for bankers…

      Of course, if there was an opportunity to move to minimum wage or ‘living wage’ employment, all but the seriously alienated would repeatedly try to do that. However, the needs of private capital to make a legitimate profit are at odds with the need for social cohesion. and that has always been and always will be. The role of Government is to provide a firewall, a legal and policy framework to balance those competing demands.

      When both the Irish and British governments capitulate to the random demands of a fringe element of private investment (sack the plebs to offshore, why aren’t they skilled for the market 30 years later now we want to leave the Pearl Delta and onshore again), no sensible observer can view them with anything more than contempt and ridicule. Western Europe is still very rich and can change it’s welfare state model without throwing the baby out with the bathwater in a neoliberal hissy fit tantrum.
      China is basically screwed if it doesn’t find a way to care for it’s ageing population now the one-child chicken is coming home to roost and young folk in Shanghai openly rebel against the legal Confucian sanctions to look after mom and dad, or else. Absolute nonsense that asian countries don’t want social security systems, they envy our model and like any sensible Russian oligarch, lots of Chinese entrepreneurs seek to get da fcuk outta Dodge to Toronto before the whole thing collapses.

      The real fraudsters are the governments and their corporate overlords. It’s called fascism, and I’m using that world explicitly in Orwell’s sense of ‘bullying’. The solution, if there is one, is to re-engineer welfare not abandon it, the Saxon, Pict and Celtic tribal mind will not allow that. A basic right to a certain number of paid hours, benefits for families through school meals and clothes and extra-curriculum fun to stop the Mick and Mairead Philpotts of life, base-line health care and pain relief, but not all the botox nonsense.

      And an end to corporate welfare, above all: pull the plug on the banking claimants draining the coffers. It’s easy, just takes political will rather than bowing before The Troika. Here’s a couple of good FT/Telegaph articles on elements of my rant. Don’t agree with it all, but good to see the nerve centre of Brit capitalism isn’t putting up with these excuses for a descent into barbarism for much longer. I very much doubt that the Irish Tribal Mind will either. There’s no ‘mystery’, David’s just doing that provocateur thing again. Doing it quite well!


      Britain’s welfare state can be cheaper and popular. To satisfy deficit hawks and social justice doves a radical reshaping is needed, writes Graeme Cooke


      The clowns running the show have, in Britain’s case, financed the Deficit by almost doubling the National Debt, as they know full well that removing the spending power of the ‘benefits economy’ will trash substantial areas of the SME/Corporate economy. But recovery hasn’t come and so, it’s game over for Osborne’s nonsense. Ditto Ireland’s book-keeping catastrophe. There’s so much money being taken by benefit thieves like the Royal Family and the Brit/West Brit intellectual aristocrat elites on their knees ‘servicing’ the Virgin Island/Square Mile/IFSC scenesters, that it’s just laughable how they think they’ll get away with it without turning these Isles of Wonder into smoking ruins.

      I no longer recognise as legitimate either the United Kingdom or The First Irish Republic, regarding both as traitorous quislings to The Tribal Mind. There’s going to be a ‘reset’. Ireland by 2016′s centenary and England by 2066 if not earlier, with 1066′s 1000 year Norman Toraigh World Colonialist Reich collapsing to the Saxon,Celtic,Pict will to power. And historians will look at this site and say, “OMf’ingG! That’s one of the places it all started, from a genius/charlatan/mentalist nutcase (delete as applicable) who took on the world and won. “An Irish Childhood In Birmingham” is not a misery-memoire, it’s a political, social and cultural manifesto that will change human consciousness for ever. Just sayin’!


      ‘mad paddy from brum’ LOLOLOLOL! etc *yawns..up since 4 doing ‘trial run of workaholic 2 job-software package from 1992′- now power-breakfast time*

      ps: I’m sure David has, or shortly will, come under enormous covert pressure to ban me, which is fine. He’s been an absolute star over the years and his heart is in the right place. His choice not to do the politics thing is his choice alone. I’ve probably got no choice once folk realise I’m not just a pretty face with a pair of old dancing shoes and boxing gloves in my kit-bag. But “That’s Life!” , “My Way”. etc

    • bonbon

      Actually the Gov’t was not elected to implement these intended or unintended policies. It lied through the campaign, and now implements them, fully intentional, and so are fully accountable.

      Remember the Nürnberg Tribunal – those in power who COULD and SHOULD have known the consequences, hung. The defense that they did not see the consequences did not work. This is a lesson for all. The EU Treaties have tried to guarantee unlimited accountability for precisely this reason. They know very well that they are doing and going to do.

  36. The biggest disability payments are being made out to banksters, politicians, corporations & jurnalist/media liars all of whos brains are so diseased and disabled beyond the point where they can not or can no longer understanding that it is more enjoyable to share and help your neighbour, community & country then it is to rob your neighbour, community and country.

    Unfortunately the 4 named rats above still retain the ability to control the rest of soiety and collect their golden diability payments despite their brain disease.

  37. strathspey

    Effective rate of taxation across different regions? I have looked online, without success, for a study that may have been done which compares the effective tax rate across different regions of the globe. Basically, if you earn X amount, where will you have the most disposable income, ignoring places like Iraq or Saudi Arabia. Does such data exist? Even within the USA, different states would have a different effective tax rate.

  38. Harper66

    Social welfare spending in Ireland last year 20.8 billion.

    Health spending around the 13.6 billion in 2012

    The level of waste amongst these budgets are massive.

    For example, right now a man can father as many children as he wishes with as many different women as he wants and the state will pick up the tab in terms of housing, schooling clothing medical care etc.

    How many deserving cases are going short because money is being wasted by the state on this?

    This policy is creating a poverty trap that will come back to haunt future generations.

    • Confused thinking. It takes 2 to Tango, so the mothers of those children are the problem as well as the father. What about Catholic Social Policy in Ireland? Iain Duncan-Smith, supposedly a Catholic, is openly calling for a limit on state support of children to 2 kids. What about a monogamous couple who want six kids them one of them gets disabled? No more large families like I grew up in/with? And is he in support of contraception/termination? I don’t think he’ll get much support from Opus Dei on this one.lol!
      There are policy problems, but it’s as much about lack of education, inspiration and workplace exploitation as it is the feckless few. And you know this…

      • IDS is cold, callous, calculating and thoroughly despised. The arch hypocrite and Boris Johnson fucked up so badly in the past fortnight that they have shone a beam of light beyond the dusty cobwebs of Cool Britannia and revealed the truth behind modern Britain

        The place is a toilet

  39. jeeaaan

    Middle classes/genius
    1)Claiming disability and dancing the night away at a wedding.

    2)living in spain@courtesy of Irish social welfare claiming disability

    3)David does not take this issue furthur couple the disability with all other income going into that house. Who are the wealthy in ireland?They call other elements of society “White thrash”ie middle classes claiming the disability yet shamelessly rub it into their neighbours face and the state enables them.The system is rotten and corrupt meanwhile the new working poor must pay for it all.”Get me outta here”

    • Hello ‘jeeaaan’. Is this ancecdotal or based on a real case of fraud? Or a Daily Mail article? What disability? You can dance at a wedding whilst having a manic episode that means you end up in hospital, but if you’re referring to someone who’s said they can’t walk to the bus-stop but is found doing that Agadoo stuff, then it’s fraud.

      Do you think pensioner’s in Spain should be able to claim the State Pension or not? What’s the difference? It’s ‘trash’ not ‘thrash’ but that’s probably a Freudian slip. The new working poor pay for some of it. Corporate and business taxes from SME’s pay for some of it. “Get me out of here”. To where? Where on the planet do you expect to find a perfect system of social support that balances reciprocal altruism with perfect foils to freeloaders? America? China? Sierra Leone? What other income? Do you mean tax evasion/black market jobs whilst claiming disability? That’s fraud too.

      The wealth in Ireland aren’t claiming disability, or if they are, then it’s probably a genuine entitlement based on social insurance contributions. Let’s just bring back St Vincent de Paul and the Parish, eh? Angela’s Ashes-Redux. That’ll be grand. I’m sure the current residents of Limerick won’t protest an iota when they’re back to bread and lard…WAIT! It’s called ‘social security’ for a reason-it’s cheaper than prisons…and prison is the right place for fraudsters, whether banksters or social welfare chancers. It’s not rocket science.

  40. Tull McAdoo

    I am just speculating here, as I am not familiar with the Irish welfare system, but did people not mention here some time back that self-employed people did not qualify for unemployment benefits when they applied, so maybe they have found access to supports by registering as having a disability…….just guessing here so don’t bite my head off….

  41. molly

    Phill hogan is not hiding in the long grass anymore and like a good snake has come out to play and cause more trouble over the water tax, now that the by election is over.
    I wonder if he was let out from the long grass sooner would FG have lost the Meath seat?

  42. Wills

    The explosion of sickness is it related to geo-enigineering.

    Terenure-Rathfarnham-Tempelogue area and Killiney-Dalkey area (where my family is from) the trees, bushes and flowers are all dying – again is this related to geo-engineering.

    Al Gore in an interview 4 weeks ago revealed he is against the geo-engineering business of ariel spraying otherwise known as chemtrails. He cited the damage it is causing to be worse than the problem it is apparently trying to fix. Does he know more than we are been told.

    For anyone interested the materials used in geo-engineering are heavy metals and you breath that stuff into your organs you are overtime going to get sick.

    • another part of the mix, Wills. the collapsing male sperm count due to hormone leaking into water tables, medical chemicals, over-use of antibiotics and antivirals to keep ruminant agriculture viable. nature is now a man-made chemistry lab. no more wild salmon or many other fish species now…i think a general fear and anxiety about the environment has caused a lot of demoralisation about the whole wealth-consumerism matrix, if not impolding depression.

      • EMMETTOR

        Here’s a daily test I do on my milk…I taste it. Every so often it has a not-quite-sour but slightly off taste to it. I investigated this and found out that in non-organic herds cows with infections were not taken off milk production, just over-dosed with anti-biotics. So what I was tasting in my milk was, basically, pus.

  43. dwalsh

    Interesting that David makes no mention whatsoever of the obvious correlation between the dramatic rise in disability and the financial disaster we are living through.

    It is as clear as day to me; these figures reflect something of the collateral social damage of the financial disaster we are living through.

    • He knows fine well what he is doing. He tried flying a Thatcher / Friedmanite kite and made a huge mistake. There is no appetite for that type of bs in Ireland. Don’t take my word for it. Just look at the consensus among the comments

      He’s been playing a blinder since new year and not put a foot wrong (in my opinion) but if we were planning a trip to Lisbon in May I would leave him on the bench and surprise him by giving him a starting place in the final. As long as he gets his mind right

      Get Your Mind Right

      • paddythepig

        I wouldn’t take the ‘consensus’ amongst commenters too seriously. This blog has always been swamped with lefty, touchy-feely do-gooders who think money grows on trees. David makes a very fair observation, in fact he is being way too nice about it. Someone has to stand up for the genuinely disabled, so more power to him for asking a very pertinent question.

        • EMMETTOR

          It’s weird the way the the lefty, touchy-feely do-gooders think money grows on trees. They should learn from the righty, bashy-agony, do-badders. They know where the money grows. Pigshit, Paddy.

    • bonbon

      What do you expect from a Milton Friedman follower, but Chicago school stuff. Here in this blog :

      Friedman the Free Thinker

      As for Milton Friedman’s sandbox : the Chicago School

      And the Mont Pelerin Society, see the mugshots.

      • bonbon

        All of this is discussed in gory detail here in the blog.

        The definitive report on the Ugly Truth about Milton Friedman, available on Amazon,
        is here also discussed.

        Some nice excerpts are available at a moments notice.

      • bonbon

        As for Maggie Thatcher, here is the crucial insight :
        from Lord Harris :
        “The Mont Pelerin Society created the IEA (London Institute of Economic Affairs), ‘Thatcher’s think-tank,’ but we were running long before Thatcher. We weren’t Thatcherites, but she was an ‘IEA-ite.’ ”

        The Mont Pelerin Society is where Friedman meets Hayek, the Austrian School. A small nest of poodles, what?

    • bonbon

      From Wikipedia (always to be taken with a grain of salt) “Generally, McWilliams is an admirer of the free-market ideas of monetarist school economist Milton Friedman, as “very much the kernel of most mainstream economic thinking these days”, even if Friedman was “not always spot-on”.

  44. Bamboo

    From all the countries in the world, Ireland is probably one of the best environments to live in with no natural disasters. We hardly have any industrial air pollution and we get the wind from the west that blows everything away from us. Continental Europe is full of industrial waste.

    I’ve been spending some time in Asia and air pollution over there is so bad that you need to put on a facemask just to go out shopping. We spend our money on heating up our houses but in these hot countries they spend it on their airco systems that is normally full of bacteria and causes all sort of diseases. Everybody drives a moped or motorbike and normally there is no wind. Haven’t been to Africa or South America – I guess it is not that great either unless you’re high in the mountains.

    Besides the relatively clean air, we don’t have the endless social issues that you find in the rest of Europe and other continents. Look at the rest of the world.

    Yes, we have the problems with social divisions, Magdeleine laundries, religion, conservative attitudes/behaviour, poverty, financial ruin, etc, etc. Now that we are in the process of cleaning up the debris of the scandalous behaviour and lies of our religious lieutenants and soldiers, our bankers as the pillars of society, soon the RTE presenters with their underhanded talks will be next on the agenda.

    Somehow the whole nation is disabled. It is simply not able to speed up the process of cleaning up and replacing these dubious pillars of society.

  45. joe hack

    David, your above article is dangerous and the subtlety of it makes more so…

    I think you should clear up its intent in the next issue or do you favour bailouts for the rich and not those that need help.

    The unemployment rate during the boom years proved that people want to work. Placing the blame on people who are down is shameful they are an effect not a cause. Fix the rotten money system which is the cause and always has been.

    Don’t do like the English tabloids do – as the mail does. Kicking someone when they are down or encouraging a skin head Nazi like society and will not make your world any better -in fact you won’t like the result.

    You point the blame at the wrong people; the euro partly came into being to prevent hatred particularly in mainland Europe you are proving how necessary it is.
    Don’t blame the peasant for their master incompetence’s, a scapegoat is not a fix, it show incompetence.

    George Osborne needs scapegoats and is blaming the unemployed I expect to see the result of his actions within a short time -an increase in crime, violence, rape, race crimes and riots, it won’t be long. Pointing the figure at the unemployed and those on disabilities is the work of an incompetent bully – a Nazis type bully.

    DAVID,be honest and clear up your articles intent in he next issue otherwise the assumption is that was intended to blame the disabled for the money crisis.

    Unemployment is an effect not a cause


    This flowing article is indirectly linked to yours:


  46. This kite flying exercise has gone horribly wrong

    Judging by the 100+ comments is seems that there is still a lot of humanity left in Ireland

    The People 1 – Nasty Party 0

    Haw haw haw

  47. Thanks to Georg R. Baumann for the trigger:

    “THE suicide rate per 100,000 people is seven times greater in Ireland than in England, shock figures have revealed.”


    So, there’s no ‘mystery’ whatsover, it’s the effects of austerity and the pack mentality of FF/FG. Those who can’t, won’t emigrate and whose faces don’t fit at the cumann: quite literally, just fcuk off and die. Cascade this shame down from overt suicide to dysfunctional health and other services, a rapacious, devious and criminal banking class 69′ing with all main political parties- and you have a recipe for mass revolt or depressive implosion. It’s the latter, hence the ‘disability crisis’.

    David’s getting some heat on this article, but is no stranger to lobbing a metaphorical rhetorical hand-grenade into debate. He believes in the generative powers of the Market, so do I. But there’s many ways to bake a cake, Here’s Ha-Joon Chang not putting up with any nonsense, as always:

    “Company profits depend on the ‘welfare payments’ they get from society. The free market is a myth. From drug patents to quantitative easing, businesses make money because of state help”


    The pressure cooker of Korean society isn’t just throwing up great K-Pop but great economics, too. I guess living south of Pyongyang makes you kind of full-on not give a damn.
    You could throw Naomi Klein’s disater capitalism into the mix quite usefully as well: the discarded ex-industrial/agricultural/construction class being just another profit centre for pharma-prison matrix, etc.

    David’s a dad. I’m a dad. You have 2 options as a Dad. One I call ‘the privatisation of hope’, where you do that Galt’s Gulch thingy at La Estancia de Cafayete with the gold, guns, paranoid Casey Crew. Or you do option 2, the politics of reciprocal altruism, extending compassion and concern beyond yourself and family to the community, the tribe, the nation, the community of nations and species, with a head mix of Magna Carta, Habeus Corpus, the Irish Constitution, the Bill of Rights, original buddhist psychology, early Christian epistemology and so on and so forth.

    That doesn’t mean you put up with the Philpott’s of this word. Or the Osborne opportunists who seek to use their pathology to stigmatise even more the desperations of the Precariat Class. But some folk are dignified even in the midst of almost unimaginable despair and betrayal from within their families. Jimmy Duffy- you are a man of courage and dignity, and I hope your brave words protect you from the cowards who’d seek to vent their rage at your tragedy when, metaphorically, not burning down a “paediatrician”‘s house. George Osborne, ya public school bum-boy ‘phag’- I’m looking at your pasty face.


  48. RayHoughton

    If you are a single male on the dole you have to collect your money with your ID every week in the local post office and you have to sign on once a month in your local dole office. This is all part of making sure that you are not working, are in the country and are available to work. If you miss collecting your money or forget to sign once a month you get booted off and have to reapply and give a valid reason to why you missed any of the afore mentioned requirements. But remember you only had to do these things because for the most part of your day you are meant to be doing nothing- apart from looking for work that is, so it’s kind of hard to find excuses when you miss these things. And dealing with the welfare office is a pain in the hole. It’s understaffed, inefficient and they never seem to be satisfied- there is always one more form to fill, one other requirement- On signing day you can end up standing in the street, in the rain, for hours, waiting to sign. This is shameful – you are afraid of who you might meet – someone you don’t like, your parents friends, your girlfriend’s parents – there you are in the prime of your life feeling useless and your life seemingly pointless and all the world is there passing you as you do. The collecting of the money in the post office is also cringe worthy but at least it’s a quick in and out job your 3 50e notes and a couple of scores to do you for the week in hand.
    So lets say you are unemployed for 3 months- you are claiming the your dole which you have paid contribution for but you have a few quid saved in the bank from your working days and want to go visit friends for a week or two- well you can – once a year, after that you have to jump through all the hoops on time in order to continue with your payments. You get two weeks “holidays” and that’s it. So you have all this free time bar the odd interview and you are severely limited to what you can do with it. “I heard you lost your job. Come with me and visit Frank in Donegal during the week, you were such good friends before you disappeared into work. It will cheer you up”- “I’d love to but I have to collect my dole on Wednesday- if I don’t turn up…. ” But I hear you say why not sign off, miss you payment, and sign back on again- which you could do except it would take God knows how long to get back on.
    And the dole office can pressure you into taking work you don’t like or want.
    And lets be realistic: if you have a profession and you lose your job: you are not immediately going to take a job as a shop assistant. You might eventually but not straight away. You have your pride. Maybe it’s arrogance who knows. But you know what I am talking about.
    But the Disability allowance, ah the disability allowance, the holy grail of welfare payments. Post office? Nope, straight into the bank account. Proof of looking for work? What- sure you have a disability! Leave the country for a week or two, not a bodger sure your not meant to be looking for work anyway take all the time you want. The Disability is the dream dole, it’s rock bottom without someone prodding you with a cattle rod.
    Don’t get me wrong, I am sure the vast majority of people on Disability have a disability. But I would reckon a large proportion of the 38% increase of people are people who are on the unemployed and are totally ashamed of being on the dole, can’t bring themselves into a dole office to sign on, can’t bear to stand in the rain publicly queuing for hours for a welfare payment. Maybe it’s arrogance. Maybe they just hate the pointless and endless bureaucracy. Makes no difference if these ‘fake’ disabled people were not on ‘disability’ where would they be? On the dole, queuing with every one else. What would the state save. Nothing. The payments are exactly the same.

    • It’s all part of the mix, Ray Houghton,I’m sure. I’m also sure that ‘welfare’ at least in Britain is now being primed to implode and self-destruct and move to an American and/or Irish de Paul charity food parcel thing. The petty humiliations and crap customer service are deliberate, there’s some good folk doing their best but the intention is to crush the spirit to make cannon fodder of those displaced by the economic turmoil. It still comes down to the Hippocratic Oath and the integrity of the medics. If it’s seriously suggested that the mass of doctors have conspired to defraud the taxpayer by signing off able-body, mentally capable people as ‘disabled’ then that’s quite a charge. Of course, in the States a certain corporation that sues critics online was done for operating ‘disability denial factories’ and have now brought that roadshow circus to Britain. The Troika intend to bring it to Ireland too. I stopped a vet from jumping off Beachy Head a few years ago, just happened to be there. So, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done in life, who you are, if you’re poor, it’s your fault. and soon, a crime, like homeless folk in America. Fraud is fraud, top or bottom. I struggle to accept the entire medical profession are in on it. Of course, most people would rather earn a living wage and not have to be raped to buy a house to raise a couple of kids, but “we are where we are”, etc.


      And at least some of this is now an Irish export industry:


      No ‘mystery’ here, whatsoever. “Ireland is the sow that eats her own farrow”. R.I.P Milo O’Shea and thanks for all the LOLs! And the serious stuff. You were fantastic as Leopold. And Durnand Durand! *sighs, wipes tear away*

    • Adam Byrne

      ‘not a bodger’ hahaha good one Ray.

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