Baseball and welfare cuts

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Picture by rich rothero

A:  I can’t understand half of it.

B:  Half of what?

A: Or even  quarter.

B:  Quarter of what?

A:  This Welfare Reform thing they’re talking – or rather disagreeing about – up at Stormont.

B:  Ah. That’s understandable.

A: Well I don’t understand it.

B: I didn’t mean to suggest it was easy to understand; I meant I can understand that you might be confused.

A: Can you defuse me?

B: Defuse?

A: I mean, can you de-confuse me?

B:  Well….I’ll try.

A: Fire ahead.

B: Right. Well let’s put it like this.  Imagine  you’re in a room.

A: OK.  I’m in a room.

B: And there’s an innocent man sitting in the corner.

A: What’s he doing?

B: Nothing. He’s innocent. Just sitting there, twiddling his thumbs. Or reading a book.

A: What’s the title?

B: I have no idea…OK, he’s reading a book called Local Government and Other Thrills.

A: Sounds interesting. So there’s me and this man reading Local Government and Other Thrills. No one else?

B: No…But look – the door of the room has opened.

A: It’s a sign.

B:  A sign?

A: That someone’s coming in. Right?

B: Right. It’s a man. And he’s carrying a baseball bat.

A:  Ah.  A coach of some kind.. Maybe going to instruct a  kiddies baseball team.

B: I’m afraid he isn’t. This man looks  stern.

A: Frowning?

B: Frowning.

A: Grim-looking?

B: Very grim.

A: Does he say anything?

B: He does. He points at you and  speaks.

A: And  he says?

B: “Take this baseball bat!”

A: And do I?

B: You do.  Only then the man says something truly shocking.

A: Give it to me straight. I can take it.

B: He says “Take this baseball bat and thump the living daylights out of your man”.

A: He’s referring to our book-reading friend.

B:  He is. And he’s urging you to get to work.

A: Uh-uh.

B: Uh-uh?

A:  No chance.

B: Why do you say that?

A: Because I’m not going to give a defenceless man a thumping with a baseball bat.

B: You’re sure about that?

A:  Quite sure.

B: Even if the man speaks again?

A: What’s he saying this time?

B: “If you don’t go over there and give him a proper thumping” he’s saying, “then I’ll call my older brother.  He’s twice as vicous as me and he’ll give your man double the thumping”.

A:  The rotten brute.

B: Indeed. So are you still going to sit idly by?

A: You mean  am I prepared to attack an innocent man? You’re dead right I’m not!

B: But if you don’t, the guy with the bat will call his brother and he’ll get twice the beating.

A: Well, that’s a matter for him. It’s just he needn’t think I’m going to do it for him.

B: But you’ll just make things far worse for your man with the book if you don’t.

A: No I won’t. I won’t be making anything worse for anyone. He’ll be making things worse for your man with the book….But what’s this got to do with the Welfare cuts thing in Stormont?

B: Think about it.

A:  Think?

B:  Right.  It’s as easy as A, B, C.

A: No it’s not.

B: OK. A hint: your man with the book is the most vulnerable in our society.

A: He is?  And what about me and the guy with the baseball bat? And his big brother

B: Think about it.

A (Face brightens,  slaps  forehead).Ahhhh ….I see! Now I see it. Your man with the book is the most vulnerable in our society, the baseball bat is the cuts.

B: It’s OK, no need to explain. I know about it already.

A: You do?…Of course you do.  And when you think about it, any fool could see what’s happening. Or being threatened.

B: Good.

A: But not so good if you’re on the receiving end of the baseball bat…Thanks. You’ve helped me understand. Brilliant.

B: But ultimately depressing.

A: You can say that again.

B: But ultimately depressing.

A: What a creep.  And trying to get me to do his dirty work for him, too.

B: Ruthless.

A: And a bloody hypocrite.

B: Indeed.

A: Maybe we should give him a bit of his own medicine.

B: I’m afraid that’s not possible. Is mor an trua sin.

A: Eh?

B: Irish for ‘More’s the pity’. Is mor an trua sin.

A: If you’d music you could sing that.

B: As a dirge.

A: Is there an Irish phrase for “Vicious bullying bastards”?


23 Responses to Baseball and welfare cuts

  1. neill May 27, 2015 at 7:38 am #

    Imagine cutting benefits on people who refuse to work or retrain and who earn money than many people who go out day after day to work how cruel indeed.

    But the real irony is imagine voting against measures that would have taken the real pain out of the cuts only to get much worse cuts by the Conservative govt. still as long as workshy people are well looked after who cares about money not going to Education Health Culture etc.

    However as you have said I should be generous with you as you yourself said that economics is not your best suit after reading your blog I am not surprised!

    • Colmán May 27, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

      Who would choose join the army without a labour surplace?

      • Colmán May 27, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

        to join*

    • ANOTHER JUDE May 28, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

      By people who refuse to work you are referring to the British royal family.

  2. Sherdy May 27, 2015 at 7:40 am #

    In answer to A’s last question: Yes, its called the Conservative Party, aided and abetted by our unionist parties. They don’t think the poor, vulnerable and disabled are suffering enough.

  3. Perkin Warbeck May 27, 2015 at 10:05 am #

    And you think you’ve got it grim up in Norneverland, Esteemed Blogmeister, what with Babe Ruth-branded baseball bats being employed as instruments of persuasion?

    Down here south of the Black Sow’s Dyke a brand new and far more effective, erm, tool of blandishment has been introduced into the marketplace of inducement.

    That would be the vacuum cleaner which is also called a Hoover after the, erm, eponymous J. Edgar. That is, he who liked to dress up in his late mommy dearest’s clothes and suck the dust and dirt from his carpeted floors and walls. This would occur in his domestic down-time when he, the Queen Bee, wasn’t hauling the likes of such moral degenerates as M. L. King over the carpet in his spotless FBI HQ oblong office..

    And sternly finger-wagging the priapic preacher for making the beast with two backs with too many of the opposite sex and indeed, pigmentation..

    This morning the wielder of the vacuum cleaner lambasted the Fianna Failures for their ‘abysmal’ treatment of the wife of the Editor of the Irish Dependent,oops, Senator Averil Power. Holding the detached metal pipe of the v.c. with the clunky floor-nozzle still attached,he fairly dealt the dead horse that is FF a flogging of some ferocity.

    Just-out Justin McAleese (for it was he !) was quoted on a warmly supportive RTE Radio and its print edish, The Unionist Times thus,:

    – ‘FF’s contribution to the marriage equality referendum is best summed up by the party leader;s address at the Ard Fheis on April 25 and which was broadcast live on television. A total of 28 words out of 3,093 were devoted to the referendum. This 0.09% is consistent with the effort put in by the party TD’s during the referendum campaign’.

    Just-out Justin is not just a pretty Facebooker but he is also good at sums too.(And has already exceeded his statutory 15 minutes of fame by a good 6.9 %).

    God love them, but one would almost feel sorry for the Fianna Failures.

    The McAleese Dynasty would appear to have a thing about horses: from the flogging of the dead variety to the looking of the gift-wrapped type in the pearlies. It would appear to be a girly thing.

    When Mother Mary ditched her saintly Aikenhead pose (Mac Giolla Iosa is the leprechaun for the Lord’s Handmaiden) and allowed herself (oh, so reluctantly) to be craftily drafted/ grafted, as the FF candidate for the Uachtantacht / Presidency many eyes were raised to the heavens while simultaneously and as the same t. many eyebrows were also raised,

    Not all of the latter were of the plucked sort. In fact many of these same surprised eyebrows had never known the cosmetic attentions of a tweezer and some (gulp) were even known to meet in the middle.

    One did not have to took too far for the reason behind the surprised eyes and e-brows alike. Albert Reynolds had been considered a shoo-in for the job, trailing as he was clouds of glory after soothing the dogs of war in Norneverland with his own elixir brand of Longford-manufactured dogfood.

    Whereas the dark horse (that five-lettered four-legged word again !) that was Mother Mary McAleese (nee Aikenhead) had been doing her own distinctive brand of trailing. That would be in the South East Dublin constituency of the 1987 General Election in which she, erm, amassed no less than a sum total of 2,243 votes.

    Or, as the hunky number-cruncher Just-out Justin would frame it (no doubt in throat-catching terms) : 5.96 % of the total vote.

    God alone knows what happened in the dark and smoke-filled committee rooms of FF which led to the choosing of an abject flop of a Fianna Failure to run on sensible flat shoes for the Park. Whatever, Albert R went the mysterious way of another Albert (of Victorian times).

    It has been speculated that the poisonous atmosphere of old lace and arsenic-laced promises were a lowest common factor in both episodes. But that all needs must remain in the realm of speculation.

    In a curious way, the ‘abysmal’ treatment which the wife, oops, Senator Averil Power was subjected to in the more immediate past, brought the previous political chapter to mind,not least the mind devious.

    The similarities, nonetheless, were, if not striking, at least face-slapping. For Ms. Power/Mrs. Sheen-to-be had likewise proved herself to be an outstanding Fianna Failure in a boy, oops, bye election,also in Dublin

    For which scorning at the hands of the unappreciative electorate the gogged Averil was duly given a leg-up (shapely)to the Seanad.

    (An institution which, in a different jurisdiction once fluttered the togas of the chattering classes when an imperious Caligula once appointed his – that unavoidable word again-horse to same).

    ‘Blow, blow thou April winds
    Thou are not so unkind
    As woman’s ingratitufe’.

    To conclude and in answer to your query, Esteeemed Blogmeister, is there an Irish phrase for V.b.b’s ?

    Oh, but there is, and then some. More indeed than you could shake a bata scoir/ tally stick at.

    Here’s one to be going on with, and which might be described as being a good 19.16 %; longer in translation terms:

    -An da thaobh de charn fiuchta caca.

  4. Séamus Ó Néill May 27, 2015 at 11:52 am #

    I think , Jude , the analogy is fair enough but if the person being asked ( hypothetically ) to swing he baseball bat is the DUP , and this has nothing to do with paramilitary Unionism’s preference for baseball bats , then I think the bat would definitely be swung …..regardless

    • Sherdy May 27, 2015 at 7:18 pm #

      Séa – If it was the DUP they would knock each other down to get at the bat.

  5. Jim Neeson May 27, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

    Most sensible explanation yet on this debate
    I am thinking of fining my wife for not cleaning the windows this week even though I refused to buy her the Windolene!!!

  6. Colmán May 27, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

    Tá ‘Na Toraithe’

  7. Colmán May 27, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

    *Na Tóraithe

  8. michael c May 27, 2015 at 2:17 pm #

    The residents of Mick Fawlty’s “slugger otoole” website are almost to a man roaring for the baseball bat to be taken to welfare claimants and comparing Alex Maskey to James Young’s trade unionist character from several decades ago! They are even compiling tables of “family size” for each constituency to show what a drain the rabbit like taigs are on society!

    • giordanobruno May 28, 2015 at 8:51 am #

      That is a total misrepresentation,based I think,on your prejudice against slugger.
      There are a number of tables of data showing where the proposed cuts are likely to impact.
      Since child benefit is under consideration,those statistics on family size are surely of interest? The blogger points out that likely cuts will impact on the poorest areas of N Ireland,including West and North Belfast.

      • neill May 28, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

        Completely right Gio!

  9. Iolar May 27, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

    Two sides of a story

    It is clear the Department of Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey did not consider Mr Noonan’s words before the former moved the bill in the Assembly today. Robert Tressel was the nom-de-plume of Robert Noonan who chose to illustrate inequity in society and the corrupt nature of politics in his novel, ‘The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists’ in 1914.

    In 2015, it is not difficult to drive a coach and horses through the arguments of those who continue to regurgitate the mantra that there is no money for certain services, given the parliamentary pomp and pageantry on display today. In 2014 a new coach was unveiled for the Queen’s speech. Another coach travels in front of the Queen dedicated to carrying the Imperial State Crown.

    Who needs food banks when they can eat cake?

  10. Belfastdan May 27, 2015 at 7:36 pm #

    The root of the problem is that the Assembly is just a jumped up council with no ability to raise its own revenue.

    It is given an allowance by the British Treasury and they then have to divi that money out amongst the various departments. Therefore if you spend more on welfare benefits you have less to spend on health, housing, education etc,

    There is no way that the current UK government is going to hand over more money to preserve the current benefit regime in the North whilst cutting the very same benefits for people in GB; it just ain’t going to happen.

    So unless some one can come up with a way to raise revenue within the North the decision will have to be made either to cut public sector jobs and services or reduce the welfare bill.

    Any suggestions?

  11. Freddy Mallins May 28, 2015 at 3:48 am #

    If Britain got involved in a foreign war, as is their want, then Cameron would find the money to fund it. There’s always money available. These are ideologically driven cuts, bottom line.

  12. ANOTHER JUDE May 28, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

    There are no Unionist gays and no Unionist people surviving on benefits.

  13. ANOTHER JUDE May 28, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

    The thing Nationalists must always remember is that the likes of Robinson, Dodds, Campbell and co. will do anything to ingratiate themselves with their English masters, the people they regard as their betters. So hitting some poor person and taking away their care will never bother them, they will happily carry out their duties, just as long as they can be seen sitting in the British parliament. It does not matter to them that the people they worship care not a fig for them and regard them as Paddies.Like unrequited love, it survives forever. Just to be seen with Cameron or Osborne, that`s all they ask. Sinn Féin must stick to their guns on this one, so what if the Mickey Mouse assembly falls. They are Irish Republicans and they should play hard ball. They have gained absolutely zero respect from the Unionists for all their compliance, enough is enough. Tell the English government it should be grateful the war is over and they can just fork up the extra money, it`s the least they owe us for the carnage they caused. We are not Hampshire or Cardiff.

    • neill May 28, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

      Another Jude you really do have the intellectual abilities of a gnat grow up and stop expecting people to give you a hand out

      If you want to talk about solidarity what about good old Gerry and the way he left west Belfast wonder if he even looked at his wing mirror as he left his old constituency?

      • ANOTHER JUDE May 28, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

        Neil, you are typical of the unionist mentality, you don`t like the truth. You can`t handle the truth, stop being a toady to the English and take your chances as a citizen not a pathetic little subject.

  14. michael c May 28, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

    Get off your high horse Neill.You might need benefits some time yourself.

    • ANOTHER JUDE May 29, 2015 at 5:33 pm #

      But Unionists don`t need benefits, there are no gays in the Unionist community either.If there were then the DUP/UUP would be fighting for them.