Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Did any of you lot ever have to make something for a living?

I was watching Mary Coughlan on Q&A this week and since I'm of roughly a similar vintage to Mary it struck me when she was talking about upskilling and the knowledge based economy that she's never really had to do any of those things herself. And not just her. Just look at the work background of the members of the cabinet since 2002.

Bertie Ahern - Bertie was a book keeper for the Mater before become a TD.

Mary Harney - was very briefly a secondary school teacher between her gradution in 1976 and her appointment to the Seanad by Jack Lynch in 1977.

Michael McDowell - a barrister since 1974. Not a lot of make and do in the old law library.

Mary Coughlan - Very briefly worked as a social worker after college before taking her seat in a bye election.

John O'Donoghue - A local solicitor

Dermot Ahern - A local solicitor

Brian Cowen - A local solicitor

Noel Dempsey - Career guidance teacher

Mary Hanafin - secondary school teacher

Micheál Martin - secondary school teacher.

Séamus Brennan - an accountant

Martin Cullen - worked as a sales manager for a wine company. Seriously a wine company!

Dick Roche - Masters Degree in Public Administration. Roche worked as a public servant at the Departments of Posts & Telegraphs, Transport & Power, Finance and at the Department of Economic Planning & Development. In 1978 he was appointed lecturer in Public Administration and Public Finance at UCD. A man so wedded to being a public servant it is hard to imagine him ever having to make something himself.

Willie O'Dea - O'Dea worked as a barrister and an accountant, and lectured at University College Dublin and the University of Limerick well really NIHE Limerick.

Charlie McCreevy - did Commerce at University College Dublin and went on to become a chartered accountant

Éamon Ó Cuív - was manager of Gaeltacht Co-operative, a company involved in agricultural services including timber milling, tourism and cultural development.

Michael Smith - Farmer, so at least he knows something about getting his hands dirty.

Joe Walsh - Walsh was a researcher in the National Dairy Research Centre at Moorepark and ended up as Managing Director of Strand Dairies in Clonakilty.

So it is only the last 3 that actually know what it is like to make or produce something for a living. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.


The Busy Engineer said...

Mary Coughlan was reading from the Government script and managed to ream off all the buzzwords she could think of.
I don't know how she could talk about a knowledge based economy with a straight face. We have multinationals leaving and taking their high paying knowledge jobs with them i.e. Motorola. But it's ok according to the government we have more high tech jobs coming in to replace them, like VMWares 300 High tech jobs. The governments definition of high tech jobs leaves alot to be desired. Motorola was high paid software engineering jobs(~€60k) VMWare is opening a call centre (~€30k if you're lucky). But sure they're both doing computer stuff so therefore high tech. gimmie a break.
On a side note Ed walsh seems to be losing it a bit.

Eoin Brazil said...

I guess that means that none of them have a clue about this 4th level bull they're pushing with regards to postgraduate education in this country. Pity the Dail is full of teachers but no lecturers who could turn education policy in some direction which might give Ireland some chance of developing a real knowledge economy!

Harry McGee said...

The 'previous' of TDs has changed surprisingly little over the years. Mostly teachers. Then small-town solicitors. A smattering of medical doctors. A couple of strange careers (Michael Woods has a doctorate based on tomatoes; John Maloney from Laois was an air traffic controller, as well as being a publican and undertaker).
The rest, of course, collect the inheritance. It was amazing to see how many of the council seats went from parent to child when the dual mandate was scrapped. Blooding them in for the family occupation.

Anonymous said...

and cowen is by-election baby too

Padmanaban said...

There are lots of jobs for the knowledge people, so try to acquire more knowledge by learning new things.

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