Sunday, January 28, 2007

Gearóid Ó Colmáin on the Stealth Service Executive.

The Irish political landscape is becoming progressively bleak. Is there any way of getting rid of Fianna Fáil? How should we understand this world ‘fáil’, is it our destiny to have them or their destiny to have us? Are the people who run the worst health service in Europe, the feidhmeanas na seirbhíse sláinte ( the Health Service Executive), those comatose administrators of Hades, to be reinstated again?

There was much ado about the government’s National development plan last week with tonnes of money being flaunted. But it has been clear for a long time that there is a discrepancy between the possession of huge sums of money and the acumen required to convert it into an efficient administration. You are probably taking more of a risk entering some of our hospitals now than a lengthy sojourn in Chernoble! The word hospital in Ireland has come to signify that place you go to get sick! The Swedish word for hospital is ‘sjukhus’, literally ‘sickhouse’ like the German ‘Krankenhaus’. The irony is that these countries have health services that work! Another problem with the Feidhmeanas na Seirbhíse Sláinte is that it is generating so much bad publicity. This too could have serious consequences for our mental health. Have you felt that ineffable sense of despair every time you tuned into Prime Time on RTE recently with its interminable reports of sick people whose condition worsened once they entered the doors of the HSE? Bad news about the health service is making this country ill!

If this shambolic government is re-elected I suggest they change the name of Feidhmeanas na Seirbhíse Sláinte to DSE, The Death Service Executive. They could run a chirpy advertisement campaign which would go along these lines: ‘Are you having trouble dying? Get to your nearest hospital now and we’ll put an end to your misery. With overcrowding in our waiting areas, infectious diseases spreading rapidly and a conspicuous absence of specialists, we’ll have you dead in no time. The DSE, sponsored by Dante’s Inferno Ltd. Abandon all hope ye who enter in!’.

On a more cheerful note, all of this could end. But it should seem obvious to muintir na hÉireann that the Fianna have got to go! So what’s the alternative? Well, seeing as our only true socialist leader James Connoly was shot 90 years ago, and Irish democracy has always been a charade since then between two right wing parties, each trying to right wing the other out of power, our only hope now is in Fine Gael. Yes, Fine Gael, those rural crusaders, those harbingers of , harbingers of something, possibly, maybe? Can we put hope in Fine Gael? This is a silly question as they have no policies, no solutions, no coherent ideology other than questionable beliefs in some form of pan European Christian homogeneity with a celtic gloss. Fine Gael, wasn’t that the party who had a brief fling with that raving catholic fascist Eoin O Duffy in the 1930s? I’m afraid so. But to be fair they’ve calmed down a bit since then. Nowadays, all they are saying is that we should have a debate about immigration, which is code-language for ‘When we get into power we’ll send those effing foreigners home’. Again to be fair, I rather like Enda Kenny and I don’t think he is a xenaphobe. But there are plenty of xenophobes out there who vote for Fine Gael and he knows it. Every vote counts when you’re desperate! Poor Enda, his heart must be broken after Labour’s Pat pulled a Rabbite out of his hat yet again by equivocating about whether he would share power with Fianna Fáil, after telling the electorate that he would never ever do so. Yes, Rabbite was eloquent on Questions and Answers a while back with his pompous ‘’ what part of no don’t you understand?’’ So what part of no. yes/no no/yes, maybe, possibly if and when, don’t we understand? Seeing as Labour and Fine Gael seem to have squandered their chances of ousting Fianna Fáil, one can only hope that An Comhaontas Glas, the Green Party gets into power. Seeing as it is now accepted that the global heat is on and that Noah’s Flood is due for a come back, it might be prudent to vote for the Greens. You would probably still get Fine Gael, but at least you would get Fianna Fáil out. As well as that, we might get a public transport service and a health service that works. Imagine that! The thought of Fianna Fáil getting back into power again is the thought of the Stealth Service Executive, the oil dependent economy, the plutocracy whose motto is ‘don’t get sick if you need a public hospital’. It’s time to take the ‘fáil’ away from the ‘fianna’ and give it back to the people!

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