Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Lindy McDowell: Fat cats should be fearful

In America it’s being billed as the revenge of Joe Six-Pack. The Joe Six-Pack in question being the US Joe Public who rebelled this week against George Bush’s plans for a bail-out of fat-cat Wall Street bankers.

(The Six-Pack in question is not of the David Beckham muscular variety. It’s of the beer variety.)

In recent days, Joe Six-Pack has been watching the evening news aghast in his armchair before lobbing a lager can at the box and ringing his public representative to lay down the law.

We’ve heard in news reports one Congressman sum up the full fury of this ordinary Joe.

The representative had been told by one of his constituents that he (the Six-Pack guy) would rather end up on the breadline knowing the fat-cats had similarly been reduced to penury.

That would be preferable in his mind to backing a plan which, while saving ordinary Americans from brutal recession, would also copper-fasten the careers, the bonuses, the lifestyles and the outrageous excesses of the Wall Street elite.

And ok so he may sound a bit like Homer Simpson crossed with Naomi Campbell.

But we could do with a few Joe Six-Packs over here.

This week with global markets plunging even faster than the price of a South Belfast semi, local news headlines have been featuring that traditional stalwart.

‘Assembly on the Brink’.

But how does Joe Six-Pack really feel about this?

Up until now the DUP/Sinn Fein coalition has taken for granted what it believes will always be there to bail it out in times of crisis.

The unlimited supplies of sectarian support.

But that can’t be relied on quite so much when for months and months now both parties have been perceived as being the same team.

At street level people are worried about their jobs, their bills, their children’s education, crime in their neighbourhood and the very roof over their heads.

Little old ladies sit in their chilly homes and wonder about whether they can afford to turn the heating up a notch.

Then they pick up the paper to read about the dizzying amounts MLAs are collecting for travel expenses or for ‘consulting fees’ and they quite understandably feel the anger rising.

They turn the page and learn that, oh dear, these spectacularly well paid public servants are not actually doing the job for which they are so magnificently recompensed. Because there’s a ‘stalemate’.

Who could blame them for losing the head with the fat-cat lot of them?

In fact it’s at times likes these that you wonder if direct rule was really such a bad thing

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