Tuesday 20 February 2018

Our public schoolboys go on regardless

Cartoon by Jim Cogan
Cartoon by Jim Cogan
Declan Lynch

Declan Lynch

In February of this year, Simon Coveney, the then Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, did an interview with David McWilliams on TV3 in which it was clear that he had formulated a view of life in Ireland that was rooted in the issue of class.

His political vision was full of this apparent belief that so many things would get better if we could release ourselves from this culture of "knowingly allowing for disadvantage", an attitude that is given powerful expression in the way that we organise our housing policy.

He spoke movingly of how certain people are placed in "social" housing and certain other people are placed in less "social" kinds of housing, and by this ancient system they are kept apart to the extent that they could go through life without ever connecting with each other on any meaningful level - a culture which is not helping any of us, and which the Minister for Housing and the rest of it was determined to change.

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