I’m not Sean Connery or Santa Claus but I am Red Hugh

By Red Hugh

I was walking along in the funeral cortege of old family friend in the far north of rural Donegal last week when he walked up to me. I just knew he had to be a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant – one of those professional types. It was the sharp suit, the shirt and tie and the the conservative air  that marked him out. In the surprising heat of a beautiful autumnal day I was totally switched off and was expecting the usual about it being ‘a sad day’ or the weather being ‘grand for this time of year’ but without even saying hello he remarked, “Were you always this left wing?”

“Eh?” was my response. Smooth or what? Sean Connery eat your heart out….

My new acquaintance – turned out he was an accountant – piled straight in without waiting for a more comprehensive reply, telling me he knew of me in my previous role in life.  Let’s just say I was an executive and I didn’t have a reputation back then for being ‘a leftie’.

Sitting here writing this, I still find it odd that I’m described as ‘a leftie’.

When did supporting fairness, an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay, accountability and transparency in society become left wing values? I find it amazing…

So let’s have a look at where we are with the big issues that have convulsed the country during the life time of this government – and the last years of the previous administration – to see what brought about my road to Damascus political rebranding….

Austerity: It is a demonstrable fact that the rich have got richer during the past five/seven years. And the government’s policies have placed the heaviest burden not on the rich but on the working and middle classes. Is opposing this wrong? Is it left wing?

Europe: It has become fascist. You think that an exaggeration?  How many prime ministers who have opposed Germany have gone?  Last count it was about six, two of whom were replaced by unelected Euro technocrats who had zero electoral legitimacy. And wasn’t it that wonderful democrat, Mrs Merkel’s Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schauble, who said on the record that “elections don’t count; they change nothing”. [I think that’s a pretty apt definition of fascism …”elections don’t count.”]

Angela Merkel, German chancellor, keeps a watchful eye on Ireland
Angela Merkel, German chancellor, keeps a watchful eye on Ireland

Democracy:  See last paragraph.

Irish Water: From the off this project stank. The bigger, less well off families were likely to be hardest hit. Even if the leak outside your door was ‘their fault’ it was going to be you who was going to pay the bill. And if it wasn’t being set up for a big sell off to some of their billionaire pals at home or abroad somewhere down the line, why did the Government originally demand that you had to hand over your PPS number? It needs to go back to the drawing board to allow the stink to dissipate.

Gardai/courts:  In a country where more than 1,500 people showed up some weeks back at a hastily called meeting about rural crime in Tipperary and the lack of gardai to deal with that crime, it would seem most people have different priorities about what’s the greater threat to our society – water protesters or thugs ram raiding the farming community And the Garda bosses can deny it all they like but even the dogs in the street can smell the growing politicisation of the Gardai. I would say more about this but there are people before the courts, so I’ll leave it for now

The other day I was out for a walk and a very attractive young woman stopped me and asked me would I ever consider playing Santa Claus, as I would, to quote her exact words, ‘be perfect for the part’ so guess my age…

Anyway at this time of my life, I do find it odd that more young people are not out protesting against the rise of the right, the rise of greed, the rise of big society where, for example,  revenue officials can go into your bank account and take money without your permission. Who, when and where did we vote for this?

And, finally, there is something wrong in this country where if you steal goods from Dunnes Stores or Aldi, to feed your family – not advocating that you should – you’ll end up in jail but if you are a white collar type, there’s every chance you can steal millions but your punishment will be playing 18 holes on a Spanish golf course.

If thinking all this is wrong and it’s time it changed.  If this perspective is left wing, then I suppose, I have to publicly come out ….Yes I am left wing and proud.

I’ll leave it with you…..

Santa Claus: Well, he is red Hugh!

Well, at least he is red, Hugh!


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