Wednesday, September 30, 2009

He's Electric

Picture taken at Electric Picnic. Just like it.

Date: 30th August 2008
Camera: Sony Cybershot 7.2 mega pixels
Settings: Automatic settings

Friday, September 25, 2009

Missing headlight in the sky

Picture taken on the road to Dingle. Quality not great but something either eerie or soothing about it.

Date: 14th April 2007
Camera: Sony Cybershot 7.2 mega pixels
Settings: Automatic settings

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Photo taken on Dollymount Strand.

Date/Time: 12th July 2008, 18:58
Camera: Sony Cybershot 7.2 mega pixels

Settings: Automatic settings

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Public Sector Pay...why o why

Saw a story in the Irish Independent on a survey done on Public v Private sector pay in Ireland. As always, its disgusting. Every month a 'senior' union representative is on the radio going on about parity of pay against private sector or how they are hard done by the recent Government budget etc.

Crap. Rubbish. Total bolloxs.

According to this report, on average a standard employee in Public sector earns around 25% more than their equivalent in the Private sector. What is more galling, is that someone who just graduated from college/uni earns around a-third more. Yes, they get circa 31% more as a starter salary compared to private workers.

Over the last 10 years all we heard from the unions is to make the pay equal. Mr X in Public Job earns 10% less in base salary than My Y in Private Job. That they should earn the same. However, take all the perks and, more importantly, the job stability into account, and Public always earn more. In Private sector you have to EARN you wages. I've heard too many stories directly from people in the Public sector to know that its about time it was run as a business as it costs too much. Targets and objectives are essentially non existent. Remember this letter from a 'poor civil servant'??

I'm all on for the pay cuts. Give them the parity they so desperately crave. Bring the wages back in line, but not all cuts I agree with.

Money has to be spent on health. There have been too many cuts so far and our health system is going down the tube. Here are some examples:

- Last week my 2-year-old nephew was in for an operation (nothing serious). However, it took over 1.5 hours to get a porter to wheel him from theatre to recovery. Due to staff cuts (which the HSE and Jabba the Hut refuse to acknowledge are actually happening) it took that long to get a porter.

  • A friend of my sisters has cysts on the brain. Shes been waiting since July for a referral. She has no idea when she'll know when she'll be seen.
  • My cousin was on the holiday-work visa in Oz. He damaged his knee (cartilage) playing football. He had a scan and diagnosis out there and knows what needs to be done. He had to come home early from his trip as he couldn't work out there and couldn't afford to stay. He's been told it could be another 8/9 months before he is seen over here. To be told what he has from specialists from Oz. They wont take the diagnosis from the Oz doctors here and will have to have the exact same tests and scans done again. And in the meantime he's not sure what to do and his knee could be done for life. He's 24. He's seriously thinking about going private but the costs could be huge.
  • A friends child has grommets which affects speech. They are waiting for this to be sorted. They've been told, by a specialist, that they need to get this fixed before the child is 4 or 5 otherwise the child will need to go to speech therapy - therapy which the State pay for. The mad thing is, its cheaper to have the operation rather than the speech therapy. Both of which the state pay for. But it seems they would rather take the big cost. Save money Mary??

In my view, nurses and (some) doctors don't deserve pay cuts. Some deserve pay rises. They are crucial to our way of life and in keeping alive. But the state don't see it that way. They need to seriously look at restructuring the entire Health service. I'm sure there are many, many admin staff who are not needed. I'm sure there are better roster structures to look at. I'm sure there are better and more efficient ways to treat people. But instead it's widespread salary cuts...but probably not at consultant level.

Something really needs to be done before it becomes a situation where a visit to a hospital could kill ya before curing ya.

Pat Kenny, Frontline

I watched the first Pat Kenny 'The Frontline' program last night and it was great to see a program that really listened to people and also allowed them time to talk back with their grievances.

One of the gripes I had with 'Question & Answers' was that it was almost too intellectual and never really allowed people time to speak. Questions were asked, the panel answered, but not enough time was spent on, as Joan Burton would say, the ordinary people.

'The Frontline' allowed people to ask their questions, receive answers and they were given time to respond to the answers they received. It was great to see Pat Farrell and Tom Parlon (a man I have so little time for I'd rather spend the afternoon with Alex Ferguson & Gary Neville) squirm in their chairs. Men who assisted in our current financial state. Men who until last night never had to face up to the facts of their members actions.

I agreed with Fintan O'Toole from the Irish Times when he spoke about the NAMA money going into the wrong places. Why is none of the money going to a fund to help people to KEEP their homes if/when their jobs go? The last thing the country needs at present are more houses on the market and the state paying rent for people. The Government, as a large shareholder in the banks, should be making the banks help people restructure mortgages so they are paying less now. People will spend the money saved if they can, and if not it keeps people in their homes and prevents more looking for rent or assistance from the state. Instead Lenihan will bail the banks at the cost of the people.

Fintan O'Toole also stated we should, as a people, be taking to the streets. Other than ourselves and the British, every other European country would be on the streets at this stage looking for Government removal. Fintan, if you set up the movement - they will follow. We need a movement not associated with any political party and instead a people movement is needed.

The only part on the program that disappointed me was at the very end. When Clara asked Brian Lenihan if the people let go from the banks got a golden-handshake and were still getting their pensions he never answered and wasn't pushed to answer. We deserve an answer and if they were given golden-handshakes (like the outgoing counsellors were) then why? If some are no longer working and still getting paid a pension then why? If they only got the pension part they 'earned' then fair enough.

Finally, Pat just got it slightly wrong with his final point to Brian Lenihan. He said the Minister will be remembered one way or the other:
- The man who saved the banks and saved the economy.
- The man who broke a generation.

I think its more:
- The man who saved the banks and saved the economy.
- The man who broke a few generations.
- The man who saved the banks and forgot about the people.