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Open invitation to Gay Byrne December 24, 2006

Posted by jbwan in General.
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I was informed during the week that Gay Byrne was recently on the radio singling out young male drivers as being the only problem on our roads. Apparently this interview was particluarly condemning of Ireland’s and the insurance industry’s favourite scape goat. It’s a pity really that it has come to this: Gay Byrne was a respected national broadcaster for many years and did much for the airwaves. In his would-be “retirement” he wasn’t let go by a demanding audience that saw him return to TV and most recently to take over the position of chairperson of the Irish Road Safety Authority. Gay’s media position and public influence were no doubt factors in his appointment and gave hope that some impact would result from it (much like Ronald Reagan taking the US presidency).

In the 6 months or so that Gay has been in charge the campaign for road safety has continued along the exact same lines as those pursued by his predecessor and not the radical shake-up and hard facts that I personally was expecting. The radio interview that I have recently been told about is however, the nail in the coffin. It would be too easy to say that this appointment has failed but that would be stooping to the same level as simply blaming young males for a population wide problem. Even if the figures that I used in a previous posting were incorrect (they are not) then surely solving the big problem of road deaths is like solving any big problem – tackle it in small pieces. If old and young are dying on our roads then advertise to both groups, if male and female are dying on our roads then advertise to both genders. Don’t fall into the same trap of blaming the most popular scapegoat!

In light of this most recent and unsettling event, that a revered national broadcaster has stooped to the lowest common denominator to merely be heard as trying to make a difference, I would like to extend an open invitation to Gay Byrne, to contact me to discuss this matter. To discuss the hard facts and figures, to not ignore all sectors of public apart from the young males in the blame game. In a situation were people are dying, every life is precious be it young or old, male or female – saving one life is as important as being seen to try and save many…


A new depth of shallowness December 24, 2006

Posted by jbwan in General.
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For so long now the majority of Western civilisation has lived life based on the shallow assumption that looks are everything. For so long people have been driven to distraction, to think that their teeth are no white enough, their bodies are not correctly shaped or God knows what else. Just this week I caught a trailer on TV for a new show called “Ugly Betty” – from what I can see it is a show about a supposedly ugly girl who is trying to make it in the business world. While the greater ending to this story may well be the so very tired cliché that her looks will no matter and she will rise to the top and then will relive the ugly duckling becomming a swan again, there lies a deeper worry… The girl portrayed as Ugly Betty is far from being ugly in any way. In fact the only reason that we are being pushed into thinking that she is, is that she has braces on her teeth and ordinary looking glasses. Is this really the message that we should be sending out to the world that not only are looks everything but even if you are as good looking as the next person, God help you if you need glasses or braces? C’mon!!

Out of debt, after death December 12, 2006

Posted by jbwan in General, Politics.

I heard about this on the news yesterday and was simply shocked at the thought of old people signing over a maximum of 15% of their homes to the government so that nursing home fees can be paid after they pass on. I am almost without words that life long tax payers, having paid so much tax on their houses and everything else in life will now be giving a chunk of their legacy to the government to pay for their nursing. Where in the name of God is all this tax money going to? What is the yearly wage bill for the cabinet? At a time when everyone is being warned about interest rate rises and property not being a wise investment, it sure looks like the government is prepared to back the inclusion of property in its portfolio. source: Irish Times

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