Cabaret or Punch and Judy?

Went along to the Leviathan gig the other night to see what the fuss was about. The mini adventure (c) was nearly scuppered before it started when I was accosted by a surly ticket attendant attempting to releave me of €17.50. Following the mugging we were greeted by musical comedy being enjoyed by the middle class.
The debate itself was of the old school left/right variety. McWilliams opened the debate with tried and tested comical jibes against Kieran Allen’s political inclinations, setting the tone for the debate. But this is par for the course of course. Funny how a Fianna Fáil backbencher can sit on stage unencumbered by ideological stigmata, but a marxist / socialist has to be outed and marked for ridicule.
In a debate on economic recovery, the fact a ‘dissident’ (just like the Greens are dissidents) Fianna Fáiler (though you wouldn’t know it looking at his website, whose party presided over the destruction of the Irish economy, the burdening of future generations with speculators’ debt, the support of two criminal leaders and on top of all that, decades of collusion with a church that conspired to cover up/facilitate child abuse, left almost entirely unscathed is about all you need to know to predict how the night played out.
There was little or no discussion of the economic implications of further wages cuts and redundancies in the public sector, no discussion of the knock-on effects in terms or mortgage defaults etc. The debate centred entirely on the assumption that the public sector is overpaid and inefficient (because it is over staffed and overpaid).
One former teacher suggested that the debate had failed because it sought to pit public against private sector, instead of dealing with the real issue, low paid versus excessively paid. This gained a quiet rumbling of support, but this was quickly drowned out by further vague condemnation of ‘bench marking’ and wild accusations of unions ‘running the country’ to ruin.
The audience rounded on the union reps for their lack of ambition in invigorating employment. The consensus being that government money is being diverted from employment programmes to public sector pensions. The idea that stimulus was being binned for bailout was considered a diversion.

In support of this, McWilliams, the impartial host, mocked anyone that drew attention to the fundamental culprits of the crisis – the bankers, developers and politicians.

This post is particularly useless for anyone that actually wants to know what was said at the debate, but I zoned out after about 20 mins, so this tweet summary will have to do:

Unions hounded, only passing ref 2 econ implicatins of public redundancies. Allen didnt get a look in. Union reps spoke vacuously 1:52 AM Apr 9th via API

John McGuinness played the Green party card, he’ll be the change. Debate shouted down by McWilliams prodigy. Delevan told a joke 1:54 AM Apr 9th via API

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