A good time for bur­glars

Bray People - - News -

THERE COULD be boom times ahead for bur­glars in this coun­try if faith in the bank­ing sys­tem con­tin­ues to fall quicker than lem­mings off a cliff. All it will take is for peo­ple to start with­draw­ing their nesteggs or life sav­ings from the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, and stuff­ing wads of €50 notes in bis­cuit tins un­der the bed or in cush­ions down the back of the couch - and hey presto, it’s happy days for the thieves, as houses all over the coun­try present rich pick­ings like never be­fore.

They’ll have to be quick off the mark though, for those stock­piles of cash may start de­te­ri­o­rat­ing as peo­ple are forced to dip into them on ac­count of the pay cuts faced by so many of us, and even worse, the job losses that far too many have al­ready had to en­dure. Come to think of it, the thieves will have to pick their tar­gets and their times wisely too, for with more peo­ple out of work, there’ll be more houses oc­cu­pied all the time. But the light-fingered folk are canny enough to get away with who knows how many bur­glar­ies across ev­ery day, so they might just rel­ish the chal­lenge. With the way we’re go­ing, thiev­ery and So­cial Wel­fare claim pro­cess­ing might be the only growth in­dus­tries in the coun­try.

It’s truly a dire sit­u­a­tion we find our­selves in, as we or­di­nary work­ing folk have to carry the can for the ex­cesses and skull­dug­gery and greed of oth­ers through pay cuts and the rest. And carry it we must, whether we like it or not. It’s easy to cry ‘ go af­ter the bankers in­stead, they’re the ones that got us into this mess’, but the re­al­ity is that even if ev­ery high-paid ex­ec­u­tive in the na­tion­alised banks were made to work for mini- mum wage, the sav­ings would still only be a frac­tion of the pub­lic spending cuts that have to be made.

Per­son­ally, I’d call it com­mu­nity ser­vice and make them work for noth­ing, but even that would still leave need for the the mea­sures hit­ting you and I and so many oth­ers in the pocket. No, it’s not fair, and yes it’s an­noy­ing, and we’re all as sick of it as we are of the Cork hurl­ing strike - but for now, there doesn’t seem to be any other way out of it.

The only slight sliver of con­so­la­tion is to tell your­self that th­ese things are al­ways cycli­cal - but even that doesn’t do much, as we’ve no real idea of how long the cy­cle is likely to take. Three years is prob­a­bly op­ti­mistic. Five years, and we might just be get­ting there. Much more than that, and we’ll be a very dif­fer­ent coun­try in­deed, as the days of full em­ploy­ment and everyday lux­u­ries and money to burn will seem like just a fleet­ing dream rather than re­cent his­tory.

In the mean­time, we could amuse our­selves with com­ing up with cruel and un­usual pun­ish­ments for the bankers that mostly cre­ated the mess, and the oth­ers who turned a blind eye to what was go­ing on. Ire­land be­ing Ire­land, they’re un­likely to face charges and jail time for the sort of white-col­lar crime that many be­lieve was ram­pant. So maybe a lynch mob might be in or­der in­stead.

We have to face an un­wel­come re­al­ity of pay freezes or cuts and job losses through their ac­tions. Be­ing con­fronted by a bay­ing mob might just make them face the re­al­ity too of just how an­gry we all are.

Where did I leave that pick­axe?

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