Monday, August 29, 2005
We get what we deserve
A friend of mine once told me a story about trying to explain why Linux was free to his father. His father kept saying if I did work for someone I'd want to get paid and that you get what you pay for. How the merits of the first point are valid and maybe is sure proof that all Linux programmers are egotistical only caring for fame. But the other point is often the basis for most peoples thinking in Ireland. Think about it you walk into a off-license you see a bottle of wine for €7 and one for €17 you automatically assume that the €17 euro one is better. To many of you it might seem that obviously the €17 euro must be better. But think about it. Which is arguable our national drink Guinness. Now you can walk into a trendy bar in Dublin or Galway and buy a pint Guinness for about almost €4 now you can walk into an old mans pub and buy a pint for €3.40. Now based on the old adage "You get what you pay for" the €4 pint must be better. But ask any punter on the street where is the best pint of Guinness. They will always point you in the direction of the nearest old mans pub. Every Irish person knows this. Yet they will still go to the trendy bar and fork out €4 for the leaser quality pint. So maybe the adage should be changed in Ireland to you get what you deserve. Now you look at the latest big scandal in the government. Cafe bars. In this case it was shown that vested interests in the government. Pulled a proposal due to lobbying from a powerful trade union and TDs who had a direct monetary connection with in these proposals. Now this made very little waves in the country. It isn't even commented upon on Gavins fine Irish Corruption site (in fairness I hear he is busy) Now you might be thinking that it was well covered that it got a lot of media coverage and it did get some. But imagine for a minute that this is not Ireland but lets say any other country in Europe do you think that a scandal that involved a large amount of members of parliament voting on something based on self interest would not result in the fall of a government. Would the media not be baying for blood especial at a time of the year when there is nothing else to write about? and the only person to cause any trouble for the government was Eddie Hobbs and even in his show the Cafe Bars was a minor point. Even going back to CJH we as a people never questioned how he could pay for all that he had and back further to the churches control of the state with the disgraceful treatment of Noel Browne the last time we seriously questioned the government and made them look at the real issues (without violence) was the Land Wars The reason for this is also the reason why we often get bad service in this country. We as a nation of people hate to complain and look bad. Now I'm not talking about the National pastime of bitching to your friends about the price of a pint or housing. But actually doing anything about it. When have you ever questioned the price of a sandwich or a restaurant bill or even complained about the quality of a meal or the price of a cinema ticket. When have you ever gone to the cinema and heard the price they were charging and gone no that is way to expensive I'm not paying that and walk out. We seem afraid to question people directly over anything that involves money. We are afraid in this country at the moment to seem poor. As Eddie Hobbs would say we are turned into a country of snobs. But why have we come like this. I will discuss in my next post.