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Dear Big Phil, I write this letter to you in the faint hope that you would give me a straight answer without any spin or, shall we say, “uisce faoi thalamh”.
We are extremely fortunate to live in a beautiful part of rural North Kerry, two miles from Abbeydorney village. As part of the political class, for the past number of years you have been part of a political culture that has stood over the closure of railways, creameries, small shops, post offices and Garda stations. I and approximately 1.3 million people like me, rustics, if your Kilkenny brain can get around that word, are also confined to our homes at night for no longer can we go for a pint, or a game of cards, meet our friends or even discuss the quite amazing cock-up you and your ilk are making of this country. You were on national radio at the weekend with your usual arrogance and bullyboy tactics threatening to change the data protection laws to get access to names and addresses of us mere rustics so you can grab your household levy.
I have a little message for you and the Data Commissioner.
My details on all my utility bills are for each utility only, and I am willing to go to the High Court if any utility company hand over these details to your Sturmbannfurhers.
Why should I pay that household charge? We have our own well, we pay a private rubbish collection, we have no rural transport and our roads are God awful; in fact I remarked that they have better roads in Darfur some time ago. Your colleague Ruairi Quinn is doing his damnedest to close rural schools; in fact, this guy has done more damage to education and the teaching profession than all the previous education ministers put together. This is just another nail in the coffin of rural Ireland, this by politicians who I am convinced believed that the world ends or begins at Newlands Cross or Balbriggan.
We are all willing to do our share to get our economy up and running, some more than others. My teaching colleagues and I have taken a wage drop of 15% in the last two years whereas those who have caused the problems are laughing at the ordinary folk ably abetted by you and your ilk.
Are you capable of forward thinking? Take the issue of one pint or less for us mere rustics when driving. Supposing you got a brainwave and suggested to young Leo rustics living within, say, an eight kilometre radius of their rural pub be allowed have, say, two pints and be allowed drive home in peace, would that tax your brains too much? Or, in the area of charging people for household and septic tanks, that you adopt a dialogue attitude and less bluster and bull. I wait in hope.
Gerard Doyle, NT
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