Thursday, October 23, 2008

Viva la Silver Revolución

On the same day - October 22 - that 10,000 students voiced their anger at the increase in student registration fees, 15,000 elderly men and women took to the streets of Dublin to protest against our government's callous treatment of the over-70's in the recent botched Budget. I have heard some young people express surprise - a mixture of amusement, condescension and admiration - at the militancy of what one newspaper dubbed 'The Silver Revolution' but I don’t think it’s surprising at all...

It is a cliché to say that the success of any government should not be measured in crude economic terms - how many jobs are created, houses built, foreign companies lured into the country - but by how well it treats its oldest citizens. Those who have worked hard, paid taxes, obeyed the rule of law, all their lives. In its abject failure to provide a proper health service, and now, by the terrible distress it has caused over pension entitlements, the Irish government is guilty of betraying those who most deserve recognition, security and respect. It has now backpedalled furiously, reversed unpopular decisions not because it was the right thing to do, but for fear of backbench revolt. But it is too little, far too late. Our Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Mr Cowen and his cronies are now feeling the wrath of citizens they took for granted for too long; men and women who, significantly, lived through the convulsive birth of Rock’n’Roll and the hurricane of change in the Sixties, endured the deprivation of the Seventies and Eighties; a generation of rebels with a cause; with reignited fire in its belly, defiance in its soul, revolution in its blood. Viva la Revolución!


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8:34 am  

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