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Private Letter To Joan Burton

Hi Honey,
As you are aware I have worked every day for the past 44 years, contributing my fair share to the wasted finances of this State.  During those 44 years, I have never once obtained a solitary Social Welfare payment. My employers have always, over the years, “Stamped Me Card,” Deducted Me Taxes, Me PRSI and Me USC Contributions, none of which have as yet offered any benefit to either me or my family. Not so much as a false tooth, a pair of glasses, a confirmation dress or a €60 to neuter me dog, have I ever received.

I learn from media reports that you now intend to crackdown on dole claimants, those little beggars who do not turn up for FAS interviews. This new get-tough move, I understand, is part of a deal with our new masters from outer space “The Troika,” latter who recently landed and now currently govern this country, and all aimed at getting unemployed people back to work, in a State where work is no longer available.

Do remember however, one occupational group should be exempt from FAS training. Those of whom I speak would be our fine body of garbage collectors. Those employed in this worthy highly paid occupation “just pick it up as they go along,” so training is not necessary.

I understand new figures released by the Department of Social Protection have revealed a dramatic increase in the number of people reporting suspected Social Welfare fraud. This number of ‘Squealers,’ have jumped from 6,500 in 2009 to nearly 17,000 in 2011. Well when you are an out of work civil servant, a sacked banker or a failed developer, the site of anyone getting €140 every week for nothing, would make you roll up the window of your BMW, take your Blackberry out and begin secretly texting the authorities.

Your department has made savings of €645m through fraud prevention and control measures in 2011, well in excess of its €540m target. Over 30,000 fraud investigations were completed and 750 employer inspections undertaken. Your findings however, will see only 270 cases considered for prosecution under the Social Welfare Act, while only 174 cases have been referred to gardaí for criminal prosecution.

Here in Tipperary, we have quite a few individuals unemployed, who take money from the State and who to-date have escaped your sweeping investigations. I feel it is my civic duty to report the names of these individuals, so that they can be included in your new legislation which will enable Social Welfare officials to investigate their suspected fraud and present findings directly to the Director for Public Prosecutions.

However, before I “name and shame,” causing you to rush out to interview those I blow the whistle on, allow me to congratulate you personally on the excellent work undertaken by your hitherto unprofessional lazy department, who allowed all this fraud to take place in the first instant.

Now Joan, am I correct in understanding that ‘Unemployed,‘ means, ‘Not working, and not actively looking for work.’ Am I also correct in understanding that the politically incorrect phrase ‘Unskilled Workforce,’ means ‘A segment of our work force associated with a low level of skill or of limited economic value for the work that they currently perform.’

Trusting that you and I now agree on the above definitions, I wish to report 3 individuals worthy of immediate investigation by your department,  who currently, secretly carry on the trade of “Politician, ” and whose names are as follows:-

Comrade Alan Kelly, 1 Summer Hill, Nenagh, Co Tipperary. Noel Coonan, Bank Street, Templemore, Co Tipperary. Michael Lowry, Abbey Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

The word on the street states these guys are receiving each over €200,000 a year from the State, (€4,000 a week) all paid for by honest taxpayers. My ‘mole,’ informs me that this incomes include salaries, unexplained expences and constituency office fees. Well sure lets face it and to be fair, in the case of the latter, when you can’t string a few words of English together yourself, you need a secretary.

None of the above named have been seen in Thurles in the recent past, so if you want to save manpower and nab them all together, wait until the new Link Road is opened here in in the town shortly, they will be present for the cameras, each claiming how they personally built the road with their bare hands, working 18 hour shifts in their bare feet.

A yes Joan, sure I remember my poor old granny, (God be good to her) defining the meaning of the word ‘management.‘  George said she, “Management are possibly best defined as:-  People that make it extremely difficult for everyone else to get their fecking work done.” Aah yes the granny knew her stuff ok.

Joan there are a few other names of dodgy individuals, trading as bogus Urban and County Councillors, which I am presently checking out for you. But leave them to me and you carry on the good work rooting out those other little unemployed rascals, who killed the Celtic Tiger.

Good girl, Up Labour, I’ll drop you a line again soon.
Yours George. x x x x x x

P/S: Do not forget to give my love to Eamonn and Enda. I would have sent you a €10 for your birthday, only I had the envelope closed. Do not worry about what people are saying about you, after all if God really wanted you to listen to what your electorate are saying, He wouldn’t have given you two hands to put over your ears.

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6 comments to Private Letter To Joan Burton

  • Michael

    I know you may not be making the reply public, but If I give you a small brown envelope you might let me see it in private by appointment.

  • Elaine

    ‘Unemployed,‘ means, ‘Not working, and not actively looking for work.’ ??? Surely you mean ‘Unemployed,‘ means ‘Not working, and actively looking for work.’ ?

    Also I have to say even if one appreciates the ironic tone and the overall message, I don’t like the “hi honey” and “good girl” which are terms which should not be addressed to any professional woman no matter how much you agree or disagree with her.

  • Elaine, those “Unemployed under investigation,” with Joan Burton means ‘Not working, and not actively looking for work.’ Glad you appreciated my ironic tone and humour and trust you also picked up a small hint of disgust.
    I do not disagree with Burton’s activities in reforming Social Welfare, however to state that 270 cases considered for prosecution under the Social Welfare Act, & only 174 cases being referred to gardaí for criminal prosecution, generates €645m in savings is ludicrous to say the least. The actual amount of fraud in Social welfare possibly matches approximately that stolen by TD’s in fraudulent expenses claims over the same period.
    With regard to your remark on my disrespect of a professional woman, please understand that respect is something which is earned, and is not an automatic right to those who benefit from wealth, education, (Latter possibly paid for by the State) automatic position or granted electoral power.
    Respect comes from a deep admiration for someone elicited by their great abilities, qualities, or self achievements only, but never because they are a professional woman, or indeed man for that matter.

  • Elaine

    Ah ok thanks for explanation, perhaps it should be “unemployed under investigation” defined as “registered as unemployed, not working, and actively looking for work” (after all eg stay-at-home parents etc are “not working and actively looking for work”, the difference being they are also not registered as unemployed).

    I totally agree with the overall point that people who have swindled the state out of a lot of money through fraud should be subjected to proportionally a lot more effort in investigation and measures taken relative to those who have swindled smaller amounts through fraud. Classic case of poor guy who steals an apple at a market being punished more than white collar criminal stealing millions through fraud.

    I do think that while deeper respect is earned, a basic minimum respect is due to every person and that includes not being addressed by gender-based condescending terms.

  • Elaine, no changes to anything. The salutation “Hi Honey,” is a term of endearment, as spoken to your child, a husband, a boyfriend. Remember “Honey I shrunk the kids.” Is this phrase disrespectful?

    Now read it as the category states “Humour.” Then sit back and watch as “professional people, earning over €4,000 a week” try to explain how the present state of our economy is caused by those in receipt of €140 per week in Unemployment Benefit. I don’t write humour I just watch the government and report the facts.

    The present government are presently setting individual socio groups, within our society, against each other instead of attacking the individual greed which has destroyed us, as we sit silently watching.

    Joan Burton is the one who is using the condescending terms regarding our “Unemployed.” Yet she sat, in opposition, in Dail Eireann and never once called on FF to investigate Social Welfare fraud.

    I feel no willingness to show admiration, consideration, appreciation or esteem to those who use the working class vote to climb to power and then incorrectly blame and penalise same for this countries greed.

  • Patrick

    Hi George, I meant to reply to this earlier, but better late than never. Your granny was a wise woman, she was able to see what others ignored in some human beings. I regard your site as a encyclopedic of local resource and Thurles as it really is. Your letter highlights the true nature of POLITICS, “all for me and my FRIENDS and feck all the rest of you”. This applies to National & to Local POLITICS. You are in ways a target for the POLITICAL HIT-MAN/WOMAN with your openness on the way the system really works. I hear through the grapevine that Local Politicians and Town Authorities are on edge due to your activities on the ground. I have to say, I admire your stance on certain matters even if I or others don’t agree with you. Thurles needs to awaken to the truth like you did, and to put the three wise monkey’s back in their box, (See no Evil, Hear no Evil and Speak no Evil). Society in the last two decades or so, has been slowly brainwashed into following the voices and actions of those who try to control their own agenda, to have power and riches at the expense of the taxpayer.
    Keep up the openness George, I may not agree with everything you write, but you have the freedom to your own opinion, WELL I HOPE WE HAVE.
    PS. I will refuse to take on the “Political Contract out on your head” as I may lose my dole on the count of working and signing. George the reality is I admire you to much as a person to take on the job….
    Regards Unemployed Hit-Person

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