A prominent Fine Gael politician today denied that Ireland was suffering a housing crisis.
Housing Minister James McDonnell told reporters today that Ireland was experiencing a tremendous period of economic growth and that “there is no Godly reason why anyone should be homeless.” The Minister was speaking at the opening of a new bank HQ in Dublin’s Docklands.
The Minister’s Speech
“It gives me great pleasure to be here and share in this grand occasion.” The Minister said. Then he went on to outline how pleased the Government were to “see a bank that we bailed out drag itself up by the boot-strings and after a just few short years to now open this magnificent office.”
The Minister said then continued “I’m sure the taxpayers who helped find the zillions to bail out the banks are as proud as I am. And if the banks that were once almost destitute can do it, well then anyone can.”
At a champagne reception after his speech the Minister was asked would he comment on the fact that on his way into the new HQ he had to step over a homeless man who lay on a few cardboard boxes outside the bank’s door.
Minister McDonnell commented “I just love what the bank has done to the place. Those Picasso’s and Degas showcase the best of turn of the century Irish renaissance art.” He said, proving his ignorance in both art appreciation and history.
However, the reporter persisted in asking her question. “Seriously, Minister you just stepped over a homeless forty-five-year-old man. How can you stand there and deny Ireland has a homeless problem?”
After a long pause during which the Minister sipped his champagne and swallowed down the remnants of his smoked salmon on imported Canadian crackers, the Minister replied. “You really should try the caviar Dear,” then attempted to move on.
No Escape for Minister
Blocking the Minister’s way with her microphone, the newly qualified journalist again persisted. “Honestly Minister, the voters have a right to know how you can blatantly deny a housing crisis having just stepped over one of the hundreds of people sleeping on cardboard tonight in Dublin. Comment please.”
“Well, I’m sure if he really-really wanted a house he could have one. But my Dear, you need to realise that not everyone wants a house.
Some simply prefer the great outdoors of our beautiful cities. They do have the right to choose, and as I said, if the banks that were once destitute can build such a magnificent building, then anyone can.
Now can I get you a glass of bubbly, it’s really-really rather nice.” said a Minister who seemed versed in the art of avoiding tricky questions and who also fancied himself as a bit of a ladies man.
“Ah, Jaysus Minister!” The now-getting-angry young journo went on. “Do you not admit that this bank’s policy of selling off what they term as non-performing loans to international vulture funds and your government’s total lack of regulation on how these vulture funds operate is causing a situation where thousands of Irish families are being evicted from their homes and forced to live on the streets.”
“Additionally Minister, would you not admit that it was a similar lack of governmental banking regulation which led to the near-collapse of the Irish banks and the subsequent 2008 recession, followed by government’s draconian austerity measures that have now led to the highest level of evictions since Cromwell?” The now on-a-roll journalist who knew her stuff asked.
A Rising Tide
“I’m really-really glad you asked me that,” the Minister said — as they normally do when they’re ‘really-really’ not glad you asked them that. But he continued none the less. “I’m really-really glad you asked me that but, you must realise that by supporting the banks and by paying their executives really-really-really massive salaries, nearly as much as I’m paid myself, we are encouraging monetary flow from the top down.”
“And remember my Dear.” The Minister said as he sipped just one more glass of bubbly. “A rising tide lifts all boats. And I can put your pretty little mind at rest; I guarantee the poor man that I stepped over will have a nice warm bed tonight — that I promise.”
MeanwhileinIreland can report that the Minister was as good as his word. The homeless man was arrested within minutes after a call to the local gardaí by the Minister’s security staff. He spent the night in jail and appeared in court the next morning on a charge of loitering and hindering a government minister in the execution of his official duties. He received a sentence of six months and is now in Mountjoy.
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