That's capitalism

Government Still Pissing on the Poor

There are still 80 tenants of Dublin City Council who have no indoor toilet. The government won't give the Council funding to convert these few homes so they can have an indoor loo. Yet there is no problem giving huge wedges of cash to the horse racing set or for wining and dining millionaire heads of state in Farmleigh House. And they wonder why some of us get angry!

Future Politician: Young, Ambitious and Thick

The Union of Students in Ireland has been the launching pad for many a political career, from Fianna Fail's Gerard Collins to Labour's Pat Rabbitte.

One of the new crop, Education Officer Heledd Fychan, was pretty blatant in her disrespect for any notion of accountability. "Last night you heard hustings candidates, myself included, making empty promises..." She should go far.

Buckley's a Rich Banker

Michael Buckley, chief executive of AIB saw a 48% increase in his pay last year. He now gets a massive ¤1,230,000 a year. Over at Cement Roadstone, chief executive Liam O'Mahony got a ¤170,000 rise, bringing his pay to ¤1,630,000 a year. These are the same people who are always moaning about "excessive wage costs"!

Rich, Greedy and Willing to Exploit

The one hundred richest people in Ireland have a combined fortune of ¤23 billion. This is equivalent to one fifth of the 26 counties' Gross Domestic Product. The ten richest are each sitting on an average fortune of ¤800 million, a worker earning the average in-dustrial wage would have to bank his or her entire ¤27,000 salary every year for 30,000 years to amass the same wealth. Among those super-rich are Sir Tony O'Reilly (for-tune estimated at ¤1.3billion), JP McManus (¤790 million), Dunnes Stores boss Marga-ret Heffernan (¤490 million) and Ryanair's Michael O'Leary (¤470 million).

These one hundred tycoons just got richer. They increased their collective wealth by 19.6% last year to over 28 Billion Euro. It is good to contrast that with the dispute in An Post where the workers are being 'locked out' of their work for asking for an agreed pay-rise which the bosses now refuse to give them.

Keep Ireland Tidy: Deport McDowell

Our current Minister for Injustice, Michael McDowell, will no doubt have been horri-fied to learn that his surname means "son of the black foreigner". We at the WSM would dearly like to see him deported, preferably to Rockall for the rest of his days, so that he cannot draft up any more racist referendums.

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This edition is No81 published in May 2004

Cover of WS81