As I sit here listening to the people of Ireland debate, on the Niall Boylan show, the validity of the new legislation that came into force today, I begin to feel sick. We are shouting at each other as Niall Boylan laughs at the misplaced passion and the tin-foil-hat comments are enjoyed with sniggers and laughs. But this is serious, it signifies the end of our democracy. It castrates the Irish people and as we line up for this enforced surgery, we hand our balls to the state and are too busy hating our neighbours, who we blame for their inability to pay their bills, to notice our balls dripping in the hands of our government.
This Civil Debt (Procedures) Bill 2015 will see the government replace the prison penalty of debts incurred with a payment plan that is forcibly taken from your wages or dole. This can also mean bailiffs entering your home to take your possessions and the use of reasonable force is condoned. The bailiffs will be An Phost and they will no doubt be forced to hire professional bailiffs as post men are not known for their inherent use of reasonable force during their deliveries. “We understand”, said our benevolent dictators,“that it’s not nice to go to prison so we have passed a law that will help you. We have decided that as your infantile capacity to manage your finances is embarrassing for you, we will help you by introducing compulsory payment plans. Please relax and be assured that if you forget to pay your water bill we will remind you and make it easy.”
Let’s break this down into a reality our media flee from and our governments do not wish us to consider. Non payment of bills, what does that mean? Well first I would like to replace non payment with the term “inability”. An inability to pay a bill means you do not have the money to do so. It means that you as an adult have decided that you would rather have no electricity, car, sky TV, credit cards instead of not making your children lunch or dinner. It is an adult decision to allow you to prioritise what you can live without and what you cannot. TV, well it can go. Ham sandwiches in a lunch box, maybe not. There are over 50,000 people in Cork suffering from food poverty. A figure that screams of the social inequality we have been forced to accept as a normal part of our democracy. Do these people choose this? Did they wake up and decide that food was less important than a sun holiday. Will An Post, the state’s new bailiffs, help them realise that their TV licence is as important as their dinner.