• Years ago, if you got sick you could just get sicker and leave the outcome up to Mother Nature, or if you had the "shillins" you could visit the surgeon-barber and perhaps live a bit longer, albeit in the same conditions that probably made you sick in the first place. Today surgeons don't cut hair and they charge a little more, but the options for the non-medical card holder remain largely unchanged.
Back then, if you could afford the ancillary services of the barber, he might offer an array of options; from amputation to trephining of the skull (boring a hole in your head to let your headache out), the application of leeches, or perhaps a tasty syrup of radishes, pigs liver and urine.
Whilst medicine has evolved in recent centuries the fields of economics and politics remain largely steeped in the practices of yesteryear.
While we hear talk of 'austerity budgets' 'fiscal targets' and the troika, the truth of our present economic 'remedy' is rarely discussed in its real and prescient form.
The mainstay of Ireland's economic plan for the future is built upon the old practice of blood letting. There is a haemorrhage of 1,000 young people from Ireland each week, a trend recently referred to by Michael Noonan as a 'lifestyle choice'.
This is the unspoken policy that is keeping the ship afloat. It is for this reason that it must be trivialised by government officials and actively encouraged behind the scenes. Each week, this silent policy produces tangible results: 1,000 fewer dole recipients, 1,000 fewer medical card applicants, 1,000 fewer protesters, 1,000 fewer people to ask why? Why, after all the promises of change, do Irish politicians remain some of the highest paid in the world and why are so many thousands of state employees and government officials in receipt of salaries far in excess of €100,000 per annum?
When one considers the amount of free advertising that was afforded to the recent 'work abroad' fair in Dublin, by the state broadcasting agency, one begins to read the invisible ink on the walls of Leinster House, which clearly states, 'young people of Ireland, do your Government a favour and get out!'
Ironically, it is the legacy of our colonial past that we must thank for the silent 'antidote' to our ongoing economic disease. We speak English, and as such we are welcome in those English-speaking countries that are experiencing growth and are recruiting at these private jobs fairs. It is English that allows us the option of taking to the plane or ferry, whilst the Greek or Spaniard must take their medicine, or take to the streets.
Dr Marcus De Brun
Rush, Co Dublin