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The Jobstown Fallout – Making a Splash

DC - Water Charges - 02 12 14

The Jobstown Fallout – Making a Splash

David Carr opines about the recent media and government response to the water charge protests. Do you think their OTT or that Government is?


There’s been a lot of water under the fridge since the protest two week ago in Jobstown. There is no point in reprising the whole cat and caboodle here. To briefly sum things up, Joan Burton was surrounded by protesters after leaving a graduation photo op. There was foul language used, there may have been pushing and shoving, the Tánaiste was trapped in her car and was hit by a water bomb. Later in the day a teenager threw a rock.


What’s really striking here is the fallout to all this. Our own Taoiseach claimed his second in command had been kidnapped and ominously hinted at dark forces at work. Bomb threats were reported, online abuse referred to. Clearly the gates of hell itself had opened in west Dublin


Some of this sound’s unpleasant and more than a little edgy, but the storming of the Bastille it was not. Jobstown has been hard hit by the recession. Indeed it wasn’t swimming with jobs and cash before the recession. This was never going to be a trip to funderland. Many may argue that the Tánaiste didn’t deserve the reception she got, but she was never likely to receive a floral tribute.


By Monday the demonstrators were an unruly mob, by Wednesday fascists, by the week’s end the nation was facing an Isis insurgency. It seemed that throughout the week columnists and radio guests were being lined up, each one more becoming more incensed then the last, in a pass the parcel of mouth foaming outrage.


At this stage another perspective might help. Look around at are European neighbours. In France they burn barricades, In Greece they riot. Across the continent parks and government buildings have been occupied. The people of Iceland surrounded their own parliament and ran their government out of power. In some parts bombs are not filled with water, but with petrol.


So what exactly is at play here in Ireland? Why this level of reaction?


There’s a web of power and self interest that runs through the state, the media and the very powerful in this country and recent events have left this constituency in shock.


On Oct 11th and November 1st massive numbers hit the streets. This coupled with polls showing a collapse in support for the government parties. Finally it seemed the levy had broken and panic set in.


The government was meant to be selling a recovery and the promise of good times ahead. But the public weren’t buying the sell. The water charges appear to be the straw that broke the public’s back.


With all this in mind the government’s reaction seems transparent. Lower the cost of the charges and scare people off the street with tall tales of the enemy within.


Has this government backpedalling been enough to appease the public and fill the water forms? Will tall tales from Jobstown frighten people off the streets? Stay tuned to this channel, we may be in for interesting times.

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