Class

Articles about class & members of the ruling class

Ireland's Great Wealth Divide - A critical look at the David McWilliams documentary

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Monday night (22/09/2015) RTE aired the misguided David McWilliams documentary "Ireland's Great Wealth Divide". It points out that the richest of the rich have far, far more than their fair share and that it's considerably worse than "we" think it is - this is demonstrated with opinion poll data (see image below) showing how Irish people would like wealth to be divided, contrasted against how "we" think it's divided and how it's actually divided. It also argues against the notion of trickle down economics, pointing out that the wealthy don't let their money trickle down and do not create jobs.

The government are trying to stop Apple giving Ireland 19 billion in owed taxes - how's that for 'looking after our own?

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How many could we house, educate and care for with 19 billion? Our government is currently furiously fighting the European Union to prevent Apple paying us back taxes it owes us. There has been a lot of ‘concern’ about government plans to spend 48 million looking after 4000 people fleeing warfare in Syria and Iraq. The government and the media defend there ‘our own’ is first - the super rich in Ireland and elsewhere!

A Non-Exhaustive List of Facts about Denis O'Brien

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The wealthy and their media would like us to be forgetful.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of facts about Denis O’Brien...

Denis O’Brien is a media baron.

Working-class experiences of the Gardaí

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A current crisis - Today we live in a media-saturated society that sensationalises crime and gangland warfare in working-class communities.  Some say the media through its various functions has become a sort of moral barometer for the national imagination in terms of how the working classes are perceived.  This, perhaps, is done through newspapers' slash headlines like “Thugs never had it so good” or “Bugsy Malone gang terrorise North Dublin”, or through current TV shows that give a picture of working-class people as rough and disrespectable such as Jerry Springer or The Royle Family. All this actively contributes to the respresentation of the working classes as disresputable.

Why we put this pamphlet together: Secrets, lies and unaccountable policing

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It really does not take a lot of effort to come across anecdotal evidence of insensitive and sometimes brutal policing in working class areas in Ireland.  As residents, community workers and educators in a wide variety of settings we have both personally experienced Garda violence and have heard countless negative stories about the gardaí.  These stories cover a wide range of issues. Most consistently people, usually but not exclusively young men, complain of insults, intimidation on the street and of physical violence during arrest and in custody.  The violence they describe is of varying degrees of seriousness and routinely involves minor assault (e.g. slaps, kidney punches and limb twisting etc) but more serious violence can and does occur (1).

Swiss vote Yes to curb top executives pay

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This Sunday, 3rd March, Swiss voters, by a whopping majority of by 68%, struck fear into the corporate world by backing a citizen’s initiative referendum to curb top executives pay. Over two-thirds of the citizenry backed a package of proposals including a ban on “golden hellos” and “golden parachutes”, making shareholder votes on pay binding on corporate boards, requiring yearly term limits to board membership and requiring pension fund shareholder votes to be transparent, along with jail terms for executives that break the rules. The citizen’s initiative passed against the background of vocal screeching from the united ranks of the corporate elite, Switzerland’s largest multinationals including Nestlé, Credit Suisse, Novartis, ABB and nearly all the political parties.

Austerity is working - for the rich!

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Austerity IS working – it’s working for those at the very top of society. During the last 4 years, while the rest of us have suffered pay cuts, job losses, increased taxes and decimation of our social services, the very wealthy in Irish society have thrived.

Poll Shows Class Divide Widening

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The Irish Times/ IPSOS like all polls is only a snap shot in time they say, but polls can be helpful indicators of the public mood when they contain useful questions. This particular poll covered a number of areas the usual poll of party support, leader popularity and government satisfaction, opinion on the fiscal compact referendum and most interestingly opinions on the household and water taxes as well as a question about cutting social welfare.

Understanding Kenny's Davos blunder

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Irish opposition politicians have called foul over Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s statement at Davos that the blame for the crisis in Ireland is that “people went mad borrowing” a month after he told the Irish people that “you are not to blame” in a national broadcast. But their are far more interesting issues that explain why the same man can make both statements without being aware of a contradiction than simple two-facedness.

Household & Water Tax Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay

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The government has made it clear that it is determined to press ahead with its attempts to impose not one but two new taxes on us.  Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan is preparing to bring plans to government for a household tax, probably starting at €100 per year, from 1st January.  This tax will be added to by a water tax, expected to be introduced within the next couple of years.

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