Sometimes you come across quality TV by chance. And when you do, you end up sitting in awe that the opinions you’re hearing could be formed, and such words broadcast.
In general Bill Cullen has that effect on me; bullish and loud, he comes from a generation 100 years away from mine, and through brute arrogance, and a hell of a lot of money, feels completely within his rights throwing his weight around via TV3’s The Apprentice, and most recently, this week’s astounding The Frontline.
For those of you yet to witness this highly charged RTÉ current affairs programme, The Frontline (unfortunately hosted by Pat Kenny ) is a live debate show based on current topics. This week’s show revolved around young people, just out of school or college, who seem to be paying for the economic crisis. The audience was full of well-spoken youths-of-today, fresh from their Lit and Deb meetings, all jumped up on socialism and riotousness. There were also those who, after years in college, had come out the other side, landed their dream job, bought their dream homes (because one just isn’t enough ), and now found themselves on the rock ’n’ roll with nowhere to go. Oh and not forgetting the young ones who left their job and fecked off to Oz for a year or so, to come home to this sorry state of affairs.
Now I get the whole ‘bloody students’ slag, heck I was once a bloody student, and it was all very funny listening to the Anthropology and Latin students whinge about a lack of jobs and negative equity, but adding Bill Cullen to the mix just made the rest of the audience seem like kittens caught in a fox’s glint.
His ridiculous suggestion that it was acceptable for someone to carry out work experience at the rate of €3 an hour was, well, met with a lot of boos. How Mr Cullen deems it sustainable for anyone to survive on €120 a week is beyond me. Sure the dole is €80 odd more than that. I can completely understand why one would choose the dole over those working conditions.
According to Billy Boy, we should all be heading out to work at 4am in our bare feet, flogging apples on Moore Street. Yes, it did work for him, but that’s not for everyone. What angers me the most is that for the last 10 to 15 years we’ve all been told that we need to be educated. The grown-ups insisted that we take ourselves off to college and get a decent education. And now that we’ve done that there’s no place for us. There’s no need for a skilled workforce, as the Government has done everything in its power to scare suitable companies away.
We did what we were told, and look at us now. All of us with our lovely negative equity houses, big cars we bought from Bill that we can’t afford to fill with petrol, and not one politician caring about our future. Unlike Bill, I do believe that we are a willing workforce, dedicated to our careers, and willing to put in the long hours and hard graft. And how dare he or anyone else suggest otherwise?
I find it deeply frustrating that those of us who have jobs are constantly told that we should be grateful for them; our employers should be grateful to have such a highly educated and loyal workforce.