Stubborn or Stupid? Ask me in a few years.

There is a plain red flag outside my house. I can see it from here.

“It is morally wrong, unjust and unfair to tax a person’s home.” Those are the exact words the leader of our country said before he got elected. After he got elected, he taxed every single home.

I remember back in early 2012 the news broke that the new government were to start taxing every residence in the country. So what services could we expect in return? Nothing! It was pay up or else! They didn’t care how tough the people were getting it.

Of course each day, as I drove along the highways and byways, the radio chat shows would be kept busy with callers discussing the most unfair tax since the middle ages. The people didn’t mind paying for a service like getting clean water or having bins collected but they were expected to pay and keep paying for a home which they had already paid plenty tax on at the initial purchase.

I can still hear those callers in mind’s ear; What are we going to do? The poor poor people of Ireland and The poverty and The drudgery and The best of times and the worst of times and Oliver Twist and Orphan Annie and The Famine and Wouldn’t our forefathers be spinning in their graves and..

I was spinning in my head listening to it. Some people had organised a few protest marches so I went along to put my shoulder to the wheel. Personally I didn’t have the money for any more taxes, between putting kids through college and paying a mortgage etc.

I was disgusted with the turnout at those marches. It turned out that the modern Irish person is all talk. This was no Tahrir Square. This was pathetic.

An Idea came to me that if Muhamad can’t make it to the mountain…you know the rest.

I suggested that those who have a problem with the home tax should dig into the wardrobe to find an old red tee-shirt or similar. Make for themselves a red flag and errect it outside. Marches are fine but a flag protests 24/7 leaving you free to live your life. Simple!

I got speaking on local and national radio stations about it. I had a Facebook page dedicated to it which was very popular. My wife and children bought red material and made lots of flags which were handed out free of charge, to get the ball rolling.

Everybody I spoke to thought the idea was so simple yet so effective. The local government politicians would be red faced everywhere they went. The anger of the people would be flapping in their face everyday.

It didn’t catch on. Why? I discovered there is an attitude, at least among the modern Irish, of “I’ll do it tomorrow.”

Tomorrow came and by then it was too late. A community divided was no match for the might of the government who later came on telly with statements like “The people of Ireland are happy to pay their share. There was no resistance to this home tax.”

And as you can guess, the poor poor people are still on the radio with their violins and tales of woe. Because this year the tax is being increased, and in addition it has been announced that they are considering taxing Grandparents for minding their Grandchildren. I kid you not.

I don’t know if I would call myself Stubborn but some of us still keep the flag flying as a reminder to others how easy it could have been.

For the foreseeable future the tail will wag the dog in this country, because the dog is all bark with no teeth.


Thank you for reading


25 thoughts on “Stubborn or Stupid? Ask me in a few years.

  1. Hi!,
    I don’t know if I’m missing something but this is the first I’ve heard about a red flag. Is there a national awareness or consensus on what a red flag outside of your property stands for? Either way it was an interesting read 🙂

    • Hi Tommy, I don’t know if you are a home owner or if you attended any of the marches against the home tax. But it doesn’t matter now.
      Put it like this, if “likes” and “friends” on FB were flags outside there would be no home tax.
      In may last year I left my last message and went for a run. Was it Einstein or somebody said ‘the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results’.
      Thank you Tommy, I was glad to get that post off my chest. Phew!
      ps.. you have a nice looking blog. Just took a look.

  2. A property tax? You didn’t have one before? 😮 People need to go outside their home and away from the Intersnare (Facebook) to put up the flag. It’s a major effort. 😉

    • We had one years and years ago. Then it was done away with and an upfront mega tax at the point of purchase was the new way.
      But now we have both and the price of the new tax is crippling the country. I could go on but you would be sorry you asked, Martha.
      It’s the invention of the remote control i blame. Everything is made so easy.
      Give it a few years and the youth will think God created their hands for scratching their arses and opening cans of beer.
      The human race is losing all it was created to do.

  3. sounds like Irland’s politicians are no different then anywhere else, specifically the US, promising something but not keeping the promise. I am sorry about your experience, and glad of your courage to try to take action – have a wonderful day!

    • Cheers Claudia. It seems to be so. But it’s the people to blame. They fall for it everytime.
      It’s not even courage that’s required. It just requires common sense. I realise it takes tax to run a country but my God this place is ridiculous.
      Did you know that the leader of our little postage stamp sized country earns a larger salary than Obama? at least he used to, last I heard. Something like 190 thousand euro per year. And I’m paying him to rob me. Crazy!!
      🙂 On a lighter note, Thank you Claudia. Have a nice day also.

  4. I am so sorry about the tax. But I am sorrier still for what is going on in so many places. It is the same here. Everyone likes to complain and compare notes, but when time for the rubber to meet the road, they slam on the emergency brake. Oh, most are quite content to let others, such as myself, ho out on limbs and test the strength, but if I fall, they will be shaking their heads and saying they tried to warn me. If I am victorious they are suddenly on board. It is a state I have cone to call “apathetic complacency”. It sounds like you did enough waving for the whole lot of them. Perhaps they will wake up before you all go broke!

    • Exactly Cheryl. That’s it in a nut shell. Talk is cheap. And it is in abundance until it comes to actually doing something physical like taking One Hour from their busy lives to walk down the main street,
      Apathetic Complacency. Yes, that’s the one. I thought the flag idea would appeal to those people. So handy and easy.
      It reminds of the story I heard as a child. The Little Red Hen.
      Thanks Cheryl. 🙂 As Jack Nicholson said in One flew over the cuckoo’s nest “At least i tried goddamit, at least I did that!”

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  6. Keep that flag flying, Frankie; I applaud your spirit. Sometimes we have to get up there and be counted anyway, regardless of what other people are doing/saying/thinking. What a bloody awful situation, though. x

    • Thank you Alienora,
      there are other people in the world who have it a lot worse. I am lucky we have a home. But two wrongs don’t make a right.
      I also keep it there as a salute to all those who had their shoulders to the wheel along with me. Cheers! 😉

    • Hi Jackie, I hope you get something in return, like the garbage collected, at least. The people here are taxed to the hilt.
      Looking forward to reading about the Euro tour. Keep tapping way in the meantime. I find it great practice. Writing seems to get easier since I started blogging. Maybe that’s just me. 🙂

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  9. It is hard to continue to fight when it seems no one is walking beside you and that for all the words and promises actions, even simple ones, are hard to come by. Keep flying your flag and doing what you feel is right and necessary at each point. You never know that the next attempt may be the one that gels with others.

    I never imagined the turn out we would get for our March in March around Australia and the social media follow up – I had seen too many hyped protests fizzle on the day but I kept going since it was all I could do. So when I saw what we had wrought last weekend it stilled a fear that I didn’t know I carried – that there were others who saw and felt and were moved to act healed a wound caused by the indifference of others.

    It may not change everything or even anything but from time to time people can surprise you and make you terribly proud.

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