By Julien Mercille
Irish Media – A study of Irish press coverage of austerity between 2008 and 2012 conducted at University College Dublin confirms that the media have been relentless cheerleaders for austerity. The case is so overwhelming that it may even surprise proponents of austerity. The full report is available here (or from this author by email).
Ireland has distinguished itself among European countries by implementing austerity at the outset of the current crisis, while a number of other governments reacted by first enacting Keynesian stimulus packages, in parallel to bailing out their banks, before turning to austerity. Austerity might be good for elites, but it attacks ordinary people by cutting government spending on social services, health care and welfare. It seeks to make labour more ‘flexible’ by dismantling and downgrading work conditions and protections to give more power to employers over employees. On top of that, it raises regressive taxes like the VAT and encourages privatisation of state-owned enterprises and assets, often sold to investors at bargain prices.
European authorities themselves have announced explicitly, and even proudly, that austerity is used to attack the welfare state and ordinary people. Mario Draghi, the ECB president, declared in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the European ‘traditional social contract is obsolete’ and that ‘there is no escape from tough austerity measures’. He further said that continuing ‘shocks’ would ‘force countries into structural changes in labor markets’. Accordingly, Europe’s population faces repeated attacks from corporate and political elites, a fact noted by the New York Times recently when it observed that ‘Americanized labor policy is spreading in Europe’. It remarked that in 2008, 1.9 million Portuguese private sector workers were covered by collective bargaining agreements, but that the number is now down to 300,000. Greece has cut its minimum wage by almost a fourth, Ireland and Spain have frozen it, and in general labour protections have been reduced in peripheral Europe, so that austerity is ‘radically changing the nature of Europe’s society’. The developments will transform so deeply the social fabric that the chief economist of the International Labour Organisation described them as ‘the most significant changes since World War II’…………………….
full article at source: http://www.social-europe.eu/2013/12/irish-media-cheerleaders-austerity/
By Thomás Aengus O Cléirigh
Just the other day, during an RTE attempt to support the spin on the so called “resurgent Dublin property market” we had this outburst from Brian Dobson a overpaid gobshit dependent for his livelihood on the taxpayers of Ireland , just like Dole recipients ,teachers, Judges, Garda etc”. This RTE prime donna has the cheek to label peaceful protesters highlighting the real news “ Idiots “ This was a perfect example showing the establishment is engaged in censorship and the state media is stuffed full of pampas arrogant right wing lackeys like Dobson!