A good time for burglars
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?