In recent weeks a friend put me wise to someone I did not know about. His name is Diarmaid Ferriter, and as a result I found myself tuning into RTE and Diarmaid's documentary, The Limits of Liberty. Though I've always loved history it was mostly on a world level as I found our own gut wrenching to digest at times.
I know Ireland's history as taught by the system until the third year of my high schooling. Through no fault of my own it was taken off the curriculum in my school for the leaving cert and any choice into what we would like to study was echoed into deaf ears. Anything after that was left to my own devices. I rarely ventured further into Ireland's much after that having always felt that my place to settle would be in fields out in the yonder and I needed to know how they ran their show.
As time passed and home became home, the search for a deeper knowledge of all that shapes us as a people and as a nation has me delving deeper than what was ever administered by the worthy history teacher all those years ago. Too bad the system was always against him.
The Limits of Liberty is a serious and excellent expose on parts of our nations history. It's a history lesson in itself. Dare I say it should form part of future curriculum's? It gives a true sense into how this nation has shaped since the War of Independence and how we have got to where we are today. Stories of failure and of achievement are equally explored and what rings true most is how much this country built itself in social development off the back of the women and men whose desired to shape a better society. It was done in silence and without the need for any power except for that they bestowed on themselves. Those that have failed us are those that have always done their utmost to shape who we are today. Someone should undertake to do a poll into how we the people perceive ourselves and how we'd like to shape tomorrow and let's run with that for a start.
Let's not shy around the issue, it's the people of this land that will dig us out of this mess we are in. Based on two independent reports issued today we simply can not depend on all that has failed us any longer. There must be change and it must be both democratic and thoroughly systematic.
You can put a country to work and make it prosper if you're in the shaping society business. It's worked wonders for facets of our society right up to the present day. You won't if all our prayers lie in the vault of the local bank. A feeling of disillusionment is of no benefit to a positive society. I've always felt that the Irish are at their best when they are down. Our pride in our nation's achievement are what always unite us. Disillusionment sways societies down avenues like dead wet leaves into a darkened alley. The fight to reverse the tide has failed and the fight is benign to financial circumstances.
I was particularly disillusioned by this article which suggests that the powers that be want to take away our town councils from us. It's only an opinion but it's mine and that's if we are to overturn the many wrongs we find ourselves in today then it's only going to start to happen at grass roots. Government and people themselves need to take a chance on the individual and not be ripping apart a society that's so very torn in many areas already. The start happened long ago along the route of developing communities and they work. Now let's explode them and see where they can go. Don't take the 'root' from grassroots and let them float aimlessly into the mouth of government buildings. That's going to serve nothing but further deterioration and misery for some.
It was good to see Brian Cowen take full responsibility for the reports published today into the bank fiasco of recent years. The blame was laid at the feet of many people. Factors such as economic policy, bank director lack of foresight and regulatory ineptitude were damned. The blame laid by those who lead that this was something we could include as part of a global breakdown was also damned. Simply wasn't so. The hope in my opinion was that if Mr.Cowen said it enough to the people then perhaps they would believe it. I never did.
I remember finishing house floors in the middle of the night and in between panning sessions I used to tell my work buddy that something would fall given the fact how much the government loved to give away the surplus' instead of saving it for a rainy day. The rate of overspends on infrastructure was alarming to me as I was in that particular game. It was a nice game for a while and panning floors for a pocket full of money in the middle of the night wasn't a bad way to make a buck. I could go into it's down side but I wouldn't want to turn your stomach.
So I better be off and finalise my plans for uniting a few writers with a common goal. But maybe first I'll revel in a political epic and outline an idea for another book. Picture the scene.
Government member senses the game is up as he looks from the rain-petaled view from his office. How can he be part of something that can control silence on an important issue. He hadn't bought into this. It was now or never. He finished what remained in his whiskey glass. It was time to play for power. His time was now. It was his duty. He'd stand by his record and as he picked up the phone he knew his was the best around. He sighed deeply.
'Hello,' said the voice.
'Taoiseach' he began, pouring himself another. 'I'm after your job'.
He places the phone down before he had time to respond and the game began. He swung around in his chair and as he drank he watched the day draw itself from behind all that was before him. Someday, someone would do this to him but what the hell. Whiskey always tasted better in the morning. The words of his father drowned out the chorus from the phones that were now starting to sing around him and in his pocket.
'You were born to ........