As Facebook confirmed it’s set to expand, creating over eight hundred new jobs in Ireland, which is an increase of more than one-third to its already 2,200-strong Irish workforce, nobody can deny this is a major jobs’ boost for the country and indeed to the economy overall. And, as my immediate reaction to this news was, “in yer orange face Donald Trump! How does it feel to know a US multinational is providing enterprise in l’il ol’ Oire-land and not in your Silicon Valley? Na, na, na, na, na…” (I know, how immature), you’ll be pleased to know my second response was slightly more sagacious and befitting of my age.
You see, as I watched Leo Varadkar and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg play best buds at the company’s HQ in Menlo Park, Silicon Valley, with An Taoiseach showcasing his signature ‘this is boring yet necessary’ smile as he declared the news as “very positive” – because apparently it means Facebook is “very committed to Ireland” – my blood began to, well, not so much boil as simmer a little, and this is why.
I began to wonder why is it that we tend to focus an awful lot on these multinationals and their job opportunities (which, by the way will be based in Dublin). I mean, nothing screams ‘low corporate tax rates’ so loudly as the sound of foreign enterprises either moving in, or increasing their workforces in Ireland…but isn’t it terribly unjust that neither our Government (who pass out funding opportunities to them like snuff at a wake), nor ourselves, the put-upon taxpayers who rejoice in the great news, ever focus on those indigenous little businesses on our doorstep who provide local job opportunities? For me, that’s scandalous.
Why is it that we never have a big meeja bells and whistles fanfare and photo opportunity around equally ‘very committed’ local businesses that provide local jobs and services to their own communities? Okay, these small commercial practices may not be creating eight hundred jobs, in fact they may only be offering to employ five or six individuals, but why don’t we have the big headline story around their initiatives? Don’t they deserve the same recognition, especially as the jobs they’re providing are permanent ones which are hugely important, in fact, probably more vital than the Government-supported Facebook ones. But I suppose there’s no political prowess to be gained from visiting a local Roscommon business, especially as it doesn’t actually involve an alluring transatlantic travel junket, now is there? Yet, in my opinion, our local strategies and dynamic enterprises have the same right to be celebrated just as much as those filthy-rich foreign multinational ones!
Look, while I applaud the whole Facebook news, because it’s always fantastic to hear about job creation as opposed to job losses, I just want to tell Leo (and his other junket-lovin’ Ministers) that next time they’re planning a ‘goodwill’ pressing-the-flesh photo op visit, not to discount the good people of Roscommon. Just drop down for a visit and bring the cameras along, because ya know wha’, if you look closer, I think you’ll find there’s oodles of the good stuff held in this rural Piñata to keep yez all interested! Just sayin’.
Off on a beano with Larry, Curly and Moe
Sooo, the Three Stooges, Larry, Curly and Moe, aka Ministers John Halligan, Shane Ross and Finian McGrath, want to go off on a beano, sorry, a kick-ass peacekeeping mission to North Korea in a bid ‘to calm nuclear tensions.’ Now seriously folks, I thought this was a joke, especially when John Halligan said “we have nothing to lose.” First of all, Kim Jong-un is a nuclear weapon tottin’ despot who has built his dubious reputation on defying international norms; so why do the Three Amigos, who clearly see themselves as high profile international cheerleaders of peace, think he’ll listen to their whiney little opinions? And second, shouldn’t Mickey, Donald and Goofy be focusing on the jobs they were elected to do here, in Ireland? Starting with Shane Ross and this rail strike!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
You know you’re about to experience the magic of a Roscommon Christmas when you see signs dotted around the various towns’ roundabouts advising motorists, (especially those driving large vehicles) of the fairy light height restrictions. Wooo hooo! Love it! There’s nothing like the sight of a rural town’s or village’s enchanting display to spread joy and encouragement to families and neighbours to come together as a united community.
Now, while the likes of the big cities put on major displays, (and they are wonderful, but they do have the money behind them for this extravagance), it’s the fabulous, small-town flair appeal, as well as the enthusiasm and the festive spirit of local business chambers of commerce, the families and the shoppers that really should be celebrated and supported.
So please folks, (and I know I’m like a parrot here, always repeating myself), but do try to help and support local enterprise this Christmas, and keep the home fires burning by spreading the cheer and decking your halls with home-grown decorations, presents and produce.