Collection of Articles. Non Comment Thread May 14, 2010 13:47:01 GMT
Post by Johnnyb on May 14, 2010 13:47:01 GMT
See past the deliberately inflammatory language and you'll find he has a point, sadly.
Kevin Myers: Kerry has zoned enough land to supply the building needs of six times its population
THE Norwegian ambassador to Ireland, Oyvind Nordsletten, has called for an end to the poisoning of sea eagles in Kerry. These are, after all, Norwegian eagles, and the Norwegians have strong feelings about this kind of thing. Most of us have -- but clearly, not everyone in Kerry. Seven sea eagles have been poisoned so far in Ireland: all seven in The Kingdom. I am moved by the ambassador's touching innocence when he hopes that Kerry people will stop poisoning his eagles. This is rather like the Pope calling on the North Koreans to accept the Seventh Secret of Fatima.
I don't know how many readers we have in Kerry: after this piece, I dare say, a good deal fewer. But Kerry really is a place apart. A county that not merely elects Martin Ferris, Jackie Healy-Rae and John O'Donoghue, but almost hero worships them, clearly does not live by the rules that the rest of us aspire to.
I'll try to explain this to you, Your Excellency, in terms you understand. You know those funny little creatures you have in your homeland called trolls? Well, they're not Norwegian at all. They're originally from Kerry, and were accidentally transported back to Norway in Viking longboats. But they still thrive in their native county, where they are known today as "county councillors".
Kerry people live in one of the most beautiful parts of Western Europe. However, trolls would prefer to live in a county called Rezone Almost Everything: hence the name of the most popular county councillor, Jackie Healy-Rae.
He spoke for all trolls when he said at a meeting of the county council this week that the more land zoned for development in Kerry the better. Which is why Kerry has already zoned enough land to supply the building needs of six times its population. For in the trolls' view, zoning is the real purpose of land. Their vision of paradise is probably a shopping mall in Los Angeles.
Some years ago I asked some illegal-driftnet salmon-fishermen in Kerry what they would do when the salmon stocks were extinct, as they soon would be if drift-netting continued. "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," cried one, with a sweep of his fist, in a kind of "Up The Republic!" braggadocio that one might find at 1am in a Tralee pub. Naturally, our audience then roundly cheered this brainless gallant. Which is merely an example of a phenomenon that I'm afraid I'm unable to explain properly, Your Excellency, namely, "cute hoorism".
Let me try to approach things from the opposite direction. In most orderly societies, change comes through the PHIDO cycle. Firstly, you get the Perception of a need. Next, you get the Hope that you can attend to that need. This is followed by the Intent, in which goals are set relative to the original hope. Next comes the Deed, the application of policy. And finally, there is the Outcome, the logical conclusion to the sequence that began with the Perception.
The differences between each stage are incrementally downward: the perceived problem is usually larger than the hope of settling it, the intent is then smaller than the hope, and so on, so that the final outcome never matches the original perception, but there is a clear intellectual link.
The PHIDO cycle is at its most perfect in Germany, where a perceived need for swift efficient transport has produced the outcome of an autobahn-network, with service-stations, computerised signage-systems, highway police, and so on.
IN Ireland generally, there is little real evidence that people accept PHIDO. Which is why Kerry has zoned enough land to satisfy the needs of Belgium, and why we've built huge 'ghost' housing estates outside every town. And why we've constructed motorways without service stations or information-systems. And why we've spent billions on "preserving" a language almost no one speaks, and why we insist that debates in the European Parliament are translated into it -- but then can't find enough translators for the job. And so on. This is dyslexic PHIDOism, namely DOPHI, with the real Intent only emerging after everything else is finished.
However, in many parts of Kerry (I hasten to add, solely those areas where this newspaper is not read) they do not even have DOPHI, but have the YAHOO phenomenon instead, with huge bungalows covering every beauty spot available. And a Yahoo will proudly declare that if that shagging Norwegian bird comes anywhere near his 10,000 sq ft bungalow, or even dreams of *ting all over his lovely Mexican-style hacienda while he's inside watching MTV on his flat-screen television the size of Laois, he'll put the bloody beast on a gatepost.
The neighbouring bungalow (that looks like Shannon Airport Arrivals) advertises itself as a bird-watchers' B&B, and actually has two stuffed eagles (Håken and Astrid, RIP, the last breeding pair in the county) on pillars outside.
And when the Yahoos have poisoned all the remaining sea eagles, and maybe covered the finest glensides with tarmac, they'll probably be angrily asking three questions. Why are visitor-numbers down? Where are the fecking tourists? And what is the shagging Government going to do about it?
Do you know what actually happened to the Celtic Tiger, Your Excellency? It went on holiday in Kerry.