Features

Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

O Trudeau!

Jul
2017
06

Features

by Kevin Higgins

 

Cometh the rubbish haircuts firing tweets and ICBMs;

the people with bad teeth daring to belch their opinions in public.

Cometh also the Warren Beatty of the North,

sans the wrinkles and heavy politics, bearing

to the sisterhood of the stuffed vine leaf

and gourmet sausage

ribbon-wrapped boxes labelled ‘hope’,

‘moderation’, and ‘free trade’;

your tongue’s delicious wiggling

persuading even Lycra clad

husbands to put bikes and running shoes aside

for a moment and join the ravenous pack

of dangerous  sensibilists in drizzling a tribute

of garlic butter all over

your French speaking torso.

Your hair, a field of wheat that reminds

soon-to-be-ex Prime Ministers

of better times.

Your words, as gorgeously proportional

as the gossip from the ladies’ golf-club,

float off towards the sun.

 

KEVIN HIGGINS

Dáil Debates, Features, International

Features, National, Social Welfare

 

Minister Vardakar’s right wing posturing is an insult to working class communities. Hiding behind his false beard claims, it’s not hard to see exactly what he’s about.

The recent high profile advertisement campaign, “Welfare cheats cheat us all” launched by the misnamed Department of Social Protection and their chief of deception, Leo Varadkar, is more than empty posturing by the Tory wannabe; it is a deliberate attempt to negatively portray those members of our society who claim their entitlements to social welfare.

Every taxpayer (and everyone pays tax throughout their lifetime in various ways) contributes to a central fund to provide financial support on occasions when we need it throughout our lives. Children’s allowance, old age pensions, sick pay, disability payments, unemployment benefit and housing benefit all come from a central fund we all contribute to.

Welfare is essentially a progressive policy of a caring society, we call it welfare because most of us are concerned with the welfare of our fellow beings, and we should protect it from this blatant attempt to undermine it. Make no mistake this ‘campaign’ is a precursor and indeed an excuse to justify more neo liberal and draconian cuts to the welfare system.
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Features

 

a poem by Kevin Higgins

In the income tax arena

I am introducing a scheme:

 

whereby a fifty year old man

living in, for example,

Galway, will still be able to claim

for his increasingly rickety right knee

here in Ireland, but allowed register,

for tax purposes,

his far more profitable left leg in Jersey.

 

He’ll be able to claim relief here on his wonky eye

but will only have to pay tax on the good one

at whatever the rate is in Luxembourg.

 

His three sets of dentures, all twenty six

fillings and those two root canals

will continue to be deductible here,

though he’ll now pay tax

on what’s left of his actual

teeth in Bermuda.

 

The good fifty percent of his lungs

he’ll be allowed set up

as an independent company

in the British Virgin Islands,

while the useless half will legally

continue to be Irish.

 

His nausea will remain ours,

though his enormous appetite

will now officially live on the more

glutton-friendly Isle of Man.

 

His beleaguered liver will continue

to be officially resident here,

while his still superefficient

bowels will spend enough time in Switzerland

to pay (hardly any) tax there.

 

The scar above his left buttock,

acquired when he toppled through a glass door

backwards, circa nineteen seventy three,

will continue to be deductible here,

while the balance of his bum –

in surprisingly good condition for a man his age,

though he says so himself – declares

its vast income at an office

in Wilmington, Delaware.

 

Elsewhere, I am extending the relief on brown leather

trousers and industrial strength lawnmowers

for fat couples with Anglo-Norman sounding names

in the better bits of Kildare for another five years.

There is agreement across the political consensus

it’s essential such people are given sufficient incentives

to keep doing

whatever it is they supposedly do.

 

KEVIN HIGGINS