It took only two days for the UK Brexiteers to be shown up for the charlatans that they are. The rag bag of extreme right wingers, mé féiners, Little Britons and bizarrely some of Ireland’s extreme left-wingers promised Britain’s voters economic heaven, a gamblers paradise where you can win all and it costs nothing.
Pants on fire
Two days later and reality has bitten them firmly on their behinds. Boris Johnson, writing in the Daily Telegraph, has penned an article that might still win a UK literary award for fiction. It’s there in black and white that Britons will be able to work, travel, buy houses…do anything they want around Europe – whilst implying that there’s no cost for leaving the EU. All serious commentators who have read this fantasy say that Boris, who has been found to be lying on numerous occasions in the past, has actually outdone his duplicitous self this time.
Make it up and then move on
If we’re being kind, we might excuse the lack of serious analysis and critique in the media on the genuine pressures under which the media find themselves, what with dwindling audiences, a collapse in advertising and a consequent fall in the quantity and quality journalists. For whatever reason, politicians are getting away with blue murder. Their claims are not being held up to proper scrutiny. During their campaign the Brexiteers just made things up, while Remain campaigners failed miserably to catch them out. The same is happening with Trump in the US – make it up, up, put it out, out and then move on, on.
A fine officers’ mess they got themselves into
This morning the Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA) says that they support the 30% wage claim of the Dublin Bus workers. Good for them. However, just like the Brexit campaigners, nowhere is there an explanation as to who will pay for this pay increase. Let us coin a phrase here. They’re trying to ‘do a Boris’ on it by making up populist nonsense. This is cynical in the extreme. Here are the armchair generals sitting comfortably in the officers’ mess, or the Dáil bar, sending their foot soldiers over the top.
Where will the Boris’s find €55 million?
Dublin Bus is a mess. It is a major loss maker. Its most recent report, for 2014, shows it cost the taxpayer €60 million. That year they paid €167 million in payroll costs. Now the Irish Boris’s want to add a further 30% to that cost (we can only assume that the company wide pay agreements are peppered with relativity clauses). The AAA avoids mentioning anything about a possible €50 million plus cost.
And who pays?
It’s the taxpayer who pays, stupid – so to pay more we’d have to raise more taxes. Meanwhile the same AAA statement says, “Workers across the whole economy have suffered from stagnating wages or pay cuts since the crash of 2008. At the same time huge rent increases and austerity taxes has (sic) meant an effective pay cut for most workers.” That’s a great idea. Raise taxes to pay more to the people who are already crippled by taxes. Not for the first time ISME says…… ‘D’Oh!’