Because I’m now starting work every night from 6 p.m. I’ve been trying to catch up on a mountainous backlog of decorating during the daytime, a task not helped by my spectacular failings as a handyman. Suffice to say I’m less a Do-It-Yourselfer, more a Fuck-It-Upper. Which brings me to Sinn Fein; everything these days seems to bring me back to the Shinners, since I have a morbid interest in them akin to a schoolboy fascination with the sort of creepy-crawlies found under rocks, bins and discarded old matresses. So, as I carried the laptop round the house with my tin-and-brush I noticed this interview on the Morning Ireland site (Wednesday Nov. 5th), and couldn’t resist having a peek, or should I should say a listen. And immediately thought, that’s a sloppy bit of whitewashing, Adams! So the bauld Gerry, Mary Lou and all are suddenly refusing to pay the water charges themselves out of ‘solidarity with those who can’t pay’? Pull the other one! This is a cynical, and rather desperate reaction to the unexpected success of the protests on Saturday, as is clear from the way this Teflon Don talks about how “everybody was surprised” by the numbers on the streets. Yes, everybody, including the clever boys and girls in SF HQ, who thought they had this whole water thing sussed! This is what I think of the Shinners’ actual stance on the matter, obvious from their explicit statements and implicit behaviour.

Sinn Fein did of course help to organise the protests, as part of the broader campaign, but they have deliberately taken a backseat to ourselves in the AAA on the actual marches. For instance, I couldn’t help but notice how, in Tallaght, Sean Crowe and his cronies kept a tight formation some way behind our lot, and throughout, they’ve been distancing themselves from our “jumping up and down” demands for a boycott. Adams repeatedly maintains that distance in this interview; he has, suddenly he claims, been moved to a new position by a meeting in Louth, where people in distress, not those feeling outrage on point of principle, affected him. He, on behalf of his party, is now expressing “solidarity with THOSE people,” the can’t pays, not the won’t pays. The best he can say for us in the latter camp, and he sounds as if he does it through gritted teeth, is that Sinn Fein “supports” those who make that “personal decision, fair play,” while spending the bulk of his time actively undermining us, “the poor punters,” who will end up like “my mother” who was left with “decades of surcharges” after a failed SDLP rents/rates boycott up north. It’s a deliberate strategy of raising spectres in the hope that ‘punters’ (a word saying much about how we’re actually viewed by Adams and his cabal) will be scared off the boycott, and it’s a strategy Padraig MacLochlainn tried on Morning Ireland again just yesterday, pointedly reviving notions of Revenue chasing water bills (“they may well do it …”), which the government itself has put to bed! All of which indicates that, irony of ironies, Sinn Fein down here are becoming a latter day version of the SDLP during the troubles, losing ground to an insurgent force on their left, and hoping, secretly, that the establishment can defeat that insurgency before it completely displaces their ‘thoughtful’ and ‘respectable’ brand of moral (ha!) suasion. For what else does ‘calling on the government to scrap Irish Water’ amount to, though the Shinner version of moral suasion has a typically cynical purpose.

More than any other group Sinn Fein understand political weapons and their likely effects, so these ‘calls’ are precisely-calibrated to fail; it’s a deliberate selection of a peashooter so that the thick-skinned coalition will carry on its callous way. Deep down, in places they don’t talk about on marches or Morning Ireland Sinn Fein want the water meters, they need the water meters, because if those meters aren’t in place then they’ll get no leverage from election promises to ‘abolish them within the terms’ of any new coalition they join. And if that means the ‘punters’ are left paying the big bills for five, six years or more, as they surely will be if Sinn Fein’s user-friendly condition is laid down when the next coalition takes office, well, that can be filed under ‘collatoral damage.’

Seems an over-cynical depiction of Adams and co.? Then I’ll make this further point. It’s the boycott, the loud and clear declaration that people WON’T pay, which alone has thrown the government into disarray; so why don’t Sinn Fein instruct all their own party members to join that heave? I mean, Adams clearly implies that it’s only concern for people being left in dire financial circumstances which stops him calling for the population in general to refuse payment. But that’s no problem where his own membership is concerned, is it? For like all Sinn Fein public representatives Gerry Adams has followed the Joe Higgins template of living on the average industrial wage while depositing the rest of the salary in his party’s account. Well, that must amount to a tidy sum by now, given SF numbers in the Oireachtas, surely enough to cover the expenses of grassroots members as and when they face any fines? So why haven’t all the cumann footsoldiers nationwide been told to add their critical mass to the one-and-only tool that can finish Irish Water once and for all? Because, with a level of cynicism that would make a Haughey blush, the clever boys and girls, Adams and Mary Lou included, have decided they’d rather keep it in place until the election; you can’t have leverage without something to press against! Though of course I may be underestimating Adams and his hypocrisy. After all he did tell the nation in this interview, perhaps carelessly, that “I can afford to pay this, of course, I’m on a decent wage.” So not the average industrial one, you lying, hypocritical worm! Take it from another incompetent white-washer, you missed a bit Gerry!



I’m as pro-conservation as anyone, in fact I have (genuinely) lain awake at night worrying about bees, given how their decline threatens human survival. I fret about shrinking icecaps, rising sea levels, invasive species and any number of burning issues which are bringing rampant human want. But when I hear how water is a ‘precious resource’ I think, why, exactly, in Ireland of all places, right now? Don’t get me wrong, it has the potential to be a money-spinner for the people of these islands down the road, especially if pipelines are used to supply the parching mediterranean regions, but for now that’s literally a pipe-dream. In the meantime our problem is too much water, at least in particular places at inconvenient times (see FLOODING!) Harnessing this blessing, and the rest of the world knows it’s a blessing, in an efficient manner, now, THAT’S the issue, and what’s that got to do with you, me, or anyone of our neighbours supposedly leaving taps running, just for the hell of it? (By the way, when did YOU last leave a tap running wantonly- EXACTLY!) You, Kenny, Burton, Varadkar etc. want water conserved? Fix The Fucking Infrastructure, NOW! And use whatever tidy sum has been put by for (oh, I can’t think of anything useless and exorbitantly priced, wait- WATER METERS!) to do it. Don’t come to us, the people you’ve already repeatedly screwed, looking for yet another king’s ransom to be divvied up with your princely friends, that’s a well that IS dry!


     Mr. Hewson, I write to answer your remarks in The Observer, lauding Ireland’s piddling corporate tax rate as a general boon to the populace achieving, amongst a host of purported miracles, the presence of nurses, firemen and teachers within our ranks, presumably on a scale we couldn’t match should the global aristocracy be taxed at the same level as those self-same nurses, fireman and teachers. Note firstly that I do not call you ‘dear Mr. Hewson,’ nor do I use the familiar ‘Bono’; to do either would imply a degree of affection I frankly don’t feel, and the latter title, being a form of trademark, is one I expect to see copyrighted in due course, the better to screw a shilling with! Not that this coolness should be read as a wish for any bodily harm to come to you. On the contrary, it is precisely your physical safety which motivates this message. Though I understand how you must normally feel impervious to danger, living as you do in a bubble of self-regard, ventilated only by your own flatulence, which doubtless smells to you, if no one else, of lavender and rosewater, but have you seen The Walking Dead? Worlds can change overnight Mr. Hewson, leaving us dealing with a whole new reality! Granted, the odds of any of us waking to a zombie nightmare are thankfully slight, and should it happen you would be uniquely equipped to cope with that environment, as your social circle, encompassing Davos, various corporate boardrooms and sundry neo-liberal shindigs, teems with the greatest bloodsuckers on the planet, the type who routinely extract pounds of flesh from the working poor. In fact, the more I think about it the more convinced I am that you would actually thrive, and that Sheriff Rick would end up sulkily deferring to your leadership qualities. I strongly suspect you believe so too, every time you watch this show, or any other featuring a rough-cut hero! But I’m drifting here, into the realms of gore and melodrama, as I often do when you cross my mind. The point is, things can and do alter, and sometimes in catastrophic ways.

Consider if you will the likely impact of a few large but rash investments, or a dodgy book-keeper (Adam’s your go-to man on this.) Before you know it, you might not be a sawn-off wanker, living on an income to rival the GDP of a mid-sized African nation (you’ll remember them from photo opportunities and ego trips of yore) but a sawn-off wanker struggling on something like the average wage, along with the rest of us! If that doesn’t make you quake in your well-heeled snakeskins Mr. Hewson, it should do, for down here among the masses bitter folk abound. Heaven forbid you should, in your new, reduced, circumstances, come across one of these, such as an actual nurse, fireman or teacher. Because they harbour grudges, especially when they consider the real and actual decrepitude of Irish social services, and how that dreadful condition relates inextricably to the way your buddies in the corporate sector have been favoured by your other buddies in the political elite, all with your blessing! They might take matters into their own hands, or worse still, feet. For some of these people wear heavy safety-boots you know, though in the case of teachers it’s more likely to be a sturdy type of brogue, recommended more by affordability than anyone’s sense of fashion. And as for nurses, forget the image of soft-shod femininity; these are true daughters of the Irish soil, raised via full-blooded field games of a gaelic stripe, in which the art of picking out a soft spot is honed to such a degree a target would end up begging for a steel toecap! I can picture the inevitable outcome of such an encounter Mr. Hewson (I’m tempted to call you PH for short, as I like the caustic connotation,) and I tremble for you, for in this image you are bent-double, in shocked contemplation of your own footwear, freshly vomit-splattered and no longer the handiwork of Milanese artisans fed on caviar and honey, but just a pair of Penny’s finest! Even when the pain has passed you would be left with the long term impact on your musical career, as no longer could you pose as a passable imitation of a rock ‘n roller, seeing as your range would henceforth never dip below that typified by Gladys Knight’s back catalogue. (p.s. Regarding your recent releases might I suggest U2’s next one IS a collection of Gladys Knight covers?!)

As you can see, my concern for your health and safety outweighs my contempt for your persona, such that I can well imagine how you may have drifted unwittingly towards dangerous waters. I mean, if my day job involved looking down on thousands as they bay for my vocal output I too might be convinced millions more breathlessly await my every word while figuratively stretching for my immaculately-distressed hem. Indeed, we might say the God-complex is an occupational hazard for all in your rightly-celebrated field, though in your own particular case it meshes with an unfortunate set of personal traits. So please look on this as a wake-up call, an intervention, if you will. We Ordinary Folk, or The Great Unwashed as we are surely called in your soirees, off-mic, will be more than happy if we never hear from you again, either in a professional capacity or as self-appointed philosopher, wit and social commentator! It’s a bitter pill to swallow I know, but luckily I have developed a re-enforcement which should help. It involves a good old fashioned record player, which I’m sure you have in your possession, as I cannot think of you as anything other than the type of individual who masturbates to his own music, played on every format known to man. Do you have such an item, nestled perhaps beside the life-size replica of your own genitalia, fashioned from a pair of malteasers and a chocolate finger and covered in beaten gold? You do! Excellent, then you may proceed with the re-enforcement; it involves you taking the orifice through which you addressed The Observer, and countless periodicals before it, and placing it firmly on the centre pillar of said device, the one which usually engages the hole in a record. I cannot overstate the importance of pressure in this manoeuver, there’s no point faffing about, you need to make like a fan of ‘60s funk, and break out the Blood Sweat & Tears! At this juncture I would paraphrase The Black Panthers who, like you, built a public platform solely on the basis of Looking Really Cool In Shades, and tell you to turn, baby, turn!


                    A Non-Friend.
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