Is anyone listening?

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What can be more demoralising or debilitating than to have to sit at home with all your skills locked away because you have no work?

Fortunately I am not among these people. I was prompted however to think more deeply about this recently when a sometimes unemployed man said to me “I was talking to … the other day and he told me he’d build bricks for £40 a day just to get out of the house.” At the height of the boom bricklayers could take home three or four times this a day.
This man is currently among thousands of people on this island wakening up to another aimless unproductive day.

Is there an answer?

The man who said he would build bricks for £40 a day should be treated seriously.

There is scarcely a village through which I pass which hasn’t one or a dozen eyesores in terms of boarded up shops, tumble down houses, overgrown pathways or streets strewn with litter.

Why will the Executive not ask each county manager to mobilise all eligible workforces at a fixed daily rate to afford workers an opportunity to get back to work, the by-product being a sprucing up of all our small towns and villages?

If we had millions to give to retiring councillors who would factually produce nothing and if we could afford to squander millions on business plans for phantom multi-purpose stadia or for the creation of 11 councils instead of 26, why then not do something
positively which will directly impact on the well-being and sanity of the backbone of our community?

[This article originally appeared on Slugger O’Toole]

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I am a regular contributor to discussion programmes on TV and radio both at home and abroad. An experienced political editor and author specialising in Politics, Security and 20th Century Art.

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