I have often thought about creating “The real face of” type websites for various issues in Ireland that annoy me. Long list I know. This got me thinking about it again.
I was thinking of one that would be made to point out the many flaws with Ireland for potential tourists. I’m sure Discover Ireland/FÃ¡ilte Ireland would be massively annoyed with a site about the “Real Ireland” which would rank very highly for “Holiday in Ireland” or “Irish Holidays”. It seems quite sad and damning that the only way to make a lot of Irish society or the Government react or to enact change is to embarrass them into doing it. Perhaps if enough people pointed to a site with a tourism reality check then the Government and Tourist boards would do their best to get rid of ripoff artists, filthy B&Bs and crap transport systems.
The same would go for a site dedicated to explaining what happens if you set up a business in Ireland. Sorry, Dublin only, no proper broadband, all sorts of stealth taxes etc. etc. If that ranked on the same page as the I.D.A. and Enterprise Ireland, I’m sure that would not be liked or appreciated. Perhaps it would bring about change? The Government are great with their unpatriotic protestations when someone does a reality check, would a site like this which knocks Ireland be unpatriotic, should there be an element of talking up the country too to balance the site out?
Photo owned by fergie_lancealot (cc)
Google is the great equaliser these days, for those rich enough or in a country developed enough to let all their population access an unfiltered Internet that is. So a great equaliser to a tiny percentage of the world… If everyone can see sucha reality check via a simple search, will there be a positive reaction eventually?
It could be done democratically enough too (messer suggestions and mob rule Wolfetone song style voting would just be removed) with people suggesting what the worst things about Ireland are from a tourist perspective and the top 5 would be displayed on the front page with all the others on the next pages. Is this viable?
Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
If it’s balanced then it might work, but if it’s just going to be whining about the current situation I can’t see any point.
It would be good to balance all this empty propaganda about Ireland’s “wealth”. After fifteen years of unprecedented economic growth, we’ve ended up with two disconnected tramlines and a swimming pool. No public transport in most of Ireland, a paralysed health system, our schools owned and run by clergy, no broadband in most of the country, a capital city so bloated it threatens to collapse on itself, house prices so high our children will still be paying when they’re seventy and I haven’t even started yet.
Second-richest country in the world? My arse!
You mean you expect politicians to to some real planning for once? 🙂
When I was overseas I remember people telling me about the Celtic Tiger etc., but I never real saw it. Some people obviously did well out of it, but a lot of people I know didn’t see any real benefits from the supposed boom.
The housing thing is a prime example. Who can actually afford a house these days?
It’s a fantasy. They persuaded us that high prices and high borrowing equalled wealth. Meanwhile, instead of investing in our future , they lined their own pockets.
Europe was rebuilt in fifteen years under the Marshall Plan. What did our gobshites achieve in the same length of time?
No harm complaining about what’s wrong, but a site dedicated to moaning about it seems a tad unpatriotic to me
Indeed look at Frank Fahey – 40 properties. I thought our forefathers fought to get rid of the landlord class ?
However I do worry that sometimes we have a tendency to think that we are the only folk that are experiencing problems – I expect every other country could have similar sites pointing out the bloody inequity, the shocking infrastructure and poor health service.
I don’t think a website will make a difference – being embarassed in front of a Tribunal seems to hold no fear. Let’s face it – as long as politicians will lie to buy elections from blinkered and unthinking voters we’ll have the same old story. Look at how the Greens turned their coats once they got into Gov. Trevor Sargent’s weasel words “I will not lead the Greens into Government with Fianna Fail” were worthy of the great masters.
I quite like Ireland but I was a little shocked when I went for a capuccino in Trim recently. I said to the woman in the cafe: “Can I have a capuccino with two shots of espresso?” She nodded sagely and brought me a black coffee with an inch of cream floating on top. Odd.
Or web hosting services shutting your site down without warning?
Des makes a good point about navel gazing but I have heard the “only way to get change is to embarrass them” thing once too often in recent times for it to be untrue. I think a site like that would have to be clear about its aims in a constructive way. if people could submit instances of poor service and crappy social and cultural structures then I’m all for it. Naming civil servants and ministers in these submissions though?
I’m not sure it would actually achieve anything other than a bit of spleen venting.
How many times did you and I, Damien, stand up in interviews, on radio and television and say ComReg were crap, misrepresented the truth and downright fiddled the figures. That the DCMNR was hiding behind the skirts of ComReg and that the Minister was ineffective.
Embarrass them? I think a photo of a Minister being given a good seeing to by a badger while clutching a brown envelope wouldn’t embarrass them.
Our political masters (that’s how they see themselves you pleb, bow and give homage to your betters, mind your teeth now) couldn’t give a fiddlers about being embarrassed.
Patriotism – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriotism
According to wikipedia… yes then…
The problem I have with the suggestion you have is that it is horribly unfair. Look at the comments people have made in this thread. They are critising the country for arbitrary and random things, not putting together a statement that can be challenged fairly.
Example: “No public transport in most of Ireland, a paralysed health system, our schools owned and run by clergy, no broadband in most of the country, a capital city so bloated it threatens to collapse on itself, house prices so high our children will still be paying when theyâ€™re seventy” (sorry don’t mean to single anyone out, just an example)
To prove this statement wrong I would need to challenge all the points individually… ie 7 points. thay is completely unfair.
Next what would annoy me is the lack of accountability. Example: Much of the media (and bloggers) critisised the groceries order, claiming that it created higher food prices overall. They critised the rip-off republic, citing this as another example of government supporting high prices. Now it has been lifted and Irish food prices have increased even more. Are those who lobbied to have it lifted going to be held accountable, even criticised? Surely having been proved wrong their opinion should be ignored… even for a while…
Finally the problem is that it is really just pointing out the irish ability to be negitive. The price of drink in the pub goes up… we complain that it is too high. The price of drink in Tesco goes down… we complain that it is encouraging underage drinking. The price of beer stays the same in a pub… my local… do we all compliment the publican for his good work… I think not. I mean ask yourselves… what percentage of Irish blog posts are positive?
I think that the blog is a fantastic medium for moaning, and that is fine and good. The danger is that if you have one central point for the moaning… it could become a dangerous monster…
They critised the rip-off republic, citing this as another example of government supporting high prices. Now it has been lifted and Irish food prices have increased even more. Are those who lobbied to have it lifted going to be held accountable, even criticised?
Well in fairness with world wide food inflation it is hardly a simple matter to quantify the effect the groceries order had on food prices. You can’t simply say that a price of bread has gone up therefore groceries order was wrong. You would have to factor in the increase in bread in relation to general inflation ceral (as in grain not corn flakes) prices have gone up 67% since Dec 2006. milk 47%. Has milk in the supermarket gone up by 47%?
from consumor price index
bread up 22%
My point is that there is no balance in many ranting blogs (and much mainstream media as well). If this site were created it would get very high ratings, but be unlikely to be fair (as I said, how many blogs ever say positive things).
On the price thing, I think you’ll agree that as they are cereal on accounts for a portion of the final cost of bread… I’d guess less than 10%.
Where did most bloggers criticise the groceries order, where did most of the press? Even multiple critical articles in each newspaper does not mean the majority. It means there were critical articles. Points of view on everything are important you know.
I’m sure when you massively generalised bloggers by suggesting they make up facts that you in fact have facts to back that up, right? No blogger worth their salt would write something without having proof and multiple links.
As you blog a bit more you might learn more about the medium you obviously have no clue about but are quite happy to attack. Were you being ironic in acting like the example you gave?
@Damian Sorry I did not mean to “attack” the blogosphere, and I don’t really want to have a big argument with you but if you review my post you’ll see that
1. The example I gave was from the discussion just above… so it does exist… so it is a fact…
2. Simons search of the facts proved my point (though I had heard them discussed on Newstalk a few weeks ago
3. I completely agree with you that points of view are important. I agree with blogging and bloggers giving their point of view. The site you are suggesting however is something else… thats all… This here net is a powerful tool, and should be used in a responsible way
Happy Paddys… be good..
Link to where bloggers en masse criticised the Groceries Order as you said here:
Or did you just make that up? See, with blogs people will point out you’re talking bollox. See how that works?
Patrick, I wasn’t inviting you to prove me wrong. Nor did I have any intention of writing crispy bite-sized chunks for you to analyse: I was writing in the style that comes naturally to me.
This is not a mathematical proof. This is a discussion.
@Damien… you’re dead right… I can’t prove the point… so I completely withdraw it…
@Bock… I used your text as an example of what goes on in blogs. If you would like to blog about it, then I say go ahead… fair play to you… good for you… hense my “I agree with blogging and bloggers giving their point of view” statement.
All I’m saying is that you guys are powerful… more powerful than you think (it seems). And I THINK that history has proven that people who do nothing but criticise (as this site suggests it will do) are a bad think, create divisions, bad blood, and general harm (check out barracks latest video). I’m not saying NEVER critise, but devoting a part of yourself to it… well that is very sad
Patrick, here’s what you said:
To prove this statement wrong I would need to challenge all the points individuallyâ€¦ ie 7 points.
Do you have a preferred layout for ease of proving people wrong?