Wednesday, June 18, 2008

strikes me as strange flexi muscle

Well there is a rare photo, from the CPSU website, it's Derek Mullen Assistant General Secretary of the CPSU (Civil Public & Services Union) and he's on the phone, I hope that photo wasn't taken at lunchtime !

Why is that rare ? well his union membership is currently refusing to answer phones or indeed open social welfare offices at lunchtime. Specifically affecting those particularly vulnerable low income members of Irish Society - those on the dole or the sick or pensions. But hey when one man, i.e. that unknown train driver in cork, could, a the drop of a hat, completely and utterly fuck up the travel plans of twenty thousand people over some bullshit personal dispute (that subsequently disappeared into the ether,) then why shouldn't the CPSU show their civil service muscles with the low income strata of society over their flexi time concerns !

It's at this point where I reminisce, Jim Larkin, James Connolly, ahhh what men and then what other men, later Union Leaders with dodgey cars in eighties and dodgier morals in the 90s, the rotting of collective welfare concerns, replaced by the stink of self interest and the belief of the supremacy of the individual. Haven't any of these guys seen Star Trek.. not remember ? The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few - that idealistic idea of collective good - while trade unions are on the whole a positive force in Irish Society, it's telling that the majority of the multinationals here avoid them like the plague. One academic institution I'm familiar with is being run by trade unions in every thing but name.

Everyone wants fairness in our society, we like the idea of the little man being able to stand up for themselves if only collectively, but when the little man decides to punish the even littler man, how is that going to solve anything ? I think the CPSU could do with an injection of fresh conscience and new brains if this is the only course of action their collective intelligence could determine.

There is very little or no coverage of this dispute on the net currently, from any of the major networks or news/print media, I wonder why that is ? Well I don't really, if it was a strike affecting auctioneers or property developers, we'd have a government minister on railroading possible solutions down our throat faster than you can say ' are the fishermen still striking ?

Then there's the whole health service debacle. My solution is exactly the same as the solution I use for a bluescreen or frozen computer - reboot the whole thing in safe mode and only enable what you need, as you need it, that helps identify the bottlenecks and prolems, why can't that be done with the health service ? well one word really: UNIONS.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Kindle - A New Bet ?

Jeff Bezos has been talking (up) recently to the wall street journal and in his ultramodern view apparently todays books are like 'horses'. Which can only be great news for Paddy Power and all the other on-line gambling providers that allow you to enjoy a flutter. Wonder what odds you'd get on JKR coming first past the post again ? Anyway there's the whole aura of risk and innovation, exclusivity even, that's been created around the kindle - when to this observer it's really a one horse race at present (Sony hasn't got out of the gate really) and with the ridiculously low levels of content innovation it's turning into a one horse race on the flat.

But then hype and business and the business of hype ensures that we're cleverly fed intimations, cheap psychology, safe and tested communications, it all gets repackaged to make it sound as if it's actually new thinking. I have heard the book/horse analogy many many years ago, I added the (very entertaining in it's own right) clip below from last years TED where the Lady Erin uses that exact analogy just as a matter of record for anyone who thinks that Jeff Bezos is somehow engaged in innovative or new thinking on the subject, basically if you have a business plan and you have become the hulking tanker of an org that Amazon has become then you can't really apply agile thinking to your outlook - even a big famous powerful individual sometimes gotta do a bit of that stolentelling thang to get by.

All of which reminded me of that great Tommy Cooper Joke:

I backed a horse at twenty to one.

It didn't come in until quarter past five.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Two sides to any revision.

I happened upon two Gael gores (sic) warbling away to their heart’s content about a Charlie Haughey ‘Inish flickle on’ story they both knew - just while flicking channels on TV last night. Yes I do occasionally see the passive box but maybe rather than my seeking intellectual fare I just switched it on to get some value out of an exorbitant license fee and Sky subscription – yup almost Springsteen like channel hoping – 57 channels and only two old Irish gits slobbering on.

Like many myths, the story they were sharing was based in landscape, had a cast and even an absent hero, the under two minute tale carried a little internal didactic to be unearthed by anyone willing to mull it over in their head for longer than it takes to beat up a child and steal their lunch money. You see the hero (not) in question was good old Charlie J Haughey, former ‘tapioca’ (sounds similar but kinda the Irish President or prime minister type 'boss') one time savior of the Irish people, but specifically Saviour of Irish artists and writers and more specifically Saviour of many Irish artists and writers who were his own friends but even more specifically than that, himself being a ‘would be’ Irish artist and writer namely Saviour of his own thick deluded selfish skin.

For the record, which was by Denial O Donnelly I believe, I didn’t know Charlie Haughey personally but I did have to personally endure his belt tightening banana republic posturing back in the eighties, there was a kinda garment theme running through our simple life back then, we tightened our belts and did sweet F.A. while Charlie wore the pants, bought wardrobes of £400 designer shirts in Paris and fleeced us for our own good.

The story the two real Irish people were telling on TV was of Charlie’s unmitigated generosity over some expensive vintage wine in his personal cellar that the locals had borrowed in times of need, apparently reserves beyond comprehension of the simple locals were taken only to be later replaced by inferior grape. But good old Charlie saw the funny side, he laughed heartily at the honest simplicity of the locals and forgave their pillage. So the multifaceted legacy of the disgraced leader once again gets a revision, does time really heal all wounds, even the wounds of a nation’s consciousness ? Are we being offered two more sides to a revision of a proven thief who abused his position of trust ?

I think that's my TV surfing over for a while.