TS Eliot’s famous cat, Macavity, from the poem, Macavity: The Mystery Cat, received much media attention recently having been cited in a high profile court case. For those who ‘didn’t do’ Macavity during their schooling the thrust of the poem is that no matter what happened the cat could never be blamed.
Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,
There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity.
He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare:
At whatever time the deed took place—MACAVITY WASN'T THERE !
It wasn’t the trades unions’ fault
The Unite trade union is the latest to plead a Macavity. Yesterday one of its officers claimed that “For the past number of years, public sector workers who provide the services on which we all rely have paid for a crisis not of their making,” and hence the union has decided to recommend rejection of the proposed new public sector pay deal between unions and the Government.
Where are the missing millions?
It seems that Unite has already forgotten the trade unions’ role in the now infamous ‘Partnership’, a conspiracy by certain politicians to buy power with State funds. They might ask for any update from some of the brothers about the FAS funds that are still missing, for example.
Never waste a good game of golf
So whose crisis was it anyway? (No, it goes much, much wider than Unite workers). Beginning with the politicians, bankers and senior State officials, - the people who were actually in charge. it seems from the Banking Inquiry that any crisis (what crisis?) was not of their making, as they didn’t know what was going on, nobody told them, why would they discuss a banking meltdown while there was a game of golf to be played…
A sense of entitlement
It definitely wasn’t the middle classes as they only wanted what they were entitled to, an apartment each for the three kids to set them up for the future and a foreign holiday or four. But how could the spending-classes be blamed for a consumption-led national spending binge? To do so would be to be rational. Irish don’t do rational.
We were all in it - together
We know that bankers were bad but we (collectively) didn’t have to take out those loans. And it wasn’t just the middle classes. Those borrowings included more modest loans from families and from credit unions. Consumption as a disease affected the entire nation. And before you claim the high moral flood plain because you didn’t borrow, your government was borrowing for you, so every motorway kilometre you travel, every new bus or Luas you sit on, every new college building your kids might study in, was paid for out of State borrowings by governments you elected.
The Amnesia Inquiry?
Nobody makes you have that last drink that leaves you with a mother of a hangover. But we were all, in our own small or large way, at the party. Does anyone remember what the cure is for amnesia?