The hypocritical preaching of many commentators never ceases to amaze me. Ivan Yates, in a review of the decade, takes the nation to task over our ‘robust materialism and consumerism‘. He goes on;
The quality of life has been defined by the number and nature of holidays, size and spec of car, interior decor of home and gaudy displays of unnecessary expenditure.
The happiness provided by these shallow desires has been short-lived. Now that we can no longer afford them, we find that they weren’t all that they were cracked up to be.
Judging from this sermon we could be forgiven for thinking that Mr. Yates is speaking from the high moral ground, that he’s lecturing the nation from a dark and damp cave out in the West of Ireland where he has donned a sackcloth and ashes lifestyle to redeem his excesses during the boom years.
Let’s take a quick look at Mr. Yates lifestyle. He’s chairman and managing director of Celtic Bookmakers which is jointly owned by himself and his wife. The business has 63 outlets in Ireland and Wales with an annual turnover of over €100 million.
Clearly, Mr. Yates is a multi millionaire and the ‘we’ he refers to in the above quote is obviously aimed at the great unwashed and not at the great and the good of Irish society such as himself.
Indeed, we can assume that Mr. Yates would be devastated if the great unwashed actually took his moralizing to heart and, en masse, decided to abandon their pathetic attempts to satisfy their ‘shallow desires’ for happiness when gambling their hard earned money in his betting shops.
And let’s have a closer look at the above quote.
Is Mr. Yates, the multi millionaire, telling us that neither he nor his family take holidays anymore? Are Mr. Yates and his wife sharing a second hand, banged out Toyota to collect takings from their 63 betting shops or, as I suspect, are they driving around in the latest luxury models?
I look forward to an article from Mr. Yates, complete with colour pictures, that will show the nation that he lives in a modest house without a hint of ‘gaudy display or unnecessary expenditure’.
In addition to his betting business Mr. Yates also presents a radio show on Newstalk, is prominent figure on the after dinner speech circuit and of course writes a column for the Irish Examiner all of which, presumably, he is well paid.
I don’t want to be misunderstood here; I have no problem with Mr. Yates’ business success. I’m a strong believer in (controlled) capitalism and have only admiration for those who go out there and make it in the business world.
I do, however, strongly object to such people telling the rest of us that we must now suffer for losing the run of ourselves during the boom.
The truth is, of course, that when Mr. Yates writes about shallow desires he is not talking about himself or any of the ruling elite of this blighted country.
He’s talking down to the peasantry, who, for a brief few years, gained a small benefit from the corrupt system created and operated by his fellow elites in the political and business world.
That peasantry is now being forced to pay the price for the greed and arrogance of the ruling elite; a ruling elite that Mr. Yates fully supports as we can see from his high opinion of the chancer Bertie Ahern.
The historical annals will declare Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair as the predominant victors and statesmen of this decade.
Only somebody who lives in the rarefied and secure world of the ruling elite could outline the realities of Ahern’s incompetent leadership:
negative equity, unemployment, house repossessions, business failures, emigration, a return to further education and poverty.
And in the same article tell us that this chancer is the statesman of the decade.
And let’s not forget that the peasantry Mr. Yates takes to task for taking more than one annual holiday or outfitting their homes with gaudy displays of unnecessary expenditure are the same peasants who pay both his TDs and minister’s pensions.