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DAY 28, BUS 2: Dublin

22 May 2018

Poem written and read by Paul Uzell, Community Arivists in the Lord Mayors House in Dublin today:

Public Service Anouncement – Mind the Gap

You do the maths – the sums are a joke
Figures askew – who is pulling a stroke?
Eloquent words the elected have spoken
Minus action, equals clouds of smoke

Politicians promise an inclusive society
My community, divided by categories of poverty
Where sirens of police cars our nighly soundtrack
A constant reminder, little hope, plenty of crack
In the 80s we were talking, fighting the smack
Deliberate policies are still holding us back

The early school leaver, the tenenage drug dealer
All he knows to be, is another hamster wheeler
A cycle of pain can you understand the feeling?
Or do you slight, my sight leaves you reeling
Does it offend your rose tinted eye
I ask why, you do not cry

No longer can you sit observing with refrain
Unless your happy for the blight to remain
Shake your head, this ain’t a simple game
Politicians, do you know – they speak in your name
I won’t say who but someone is to blame
Don’t drop your head, taste our shame

You do the maths – the sums are a joke
Figures askew – who is pulling a stroke?
Eloquent words the elected have spoken
Minus action equals clouds of smoke

Today the bus tour was active at a key histroical building in the life of Ireland, the General Post Office (GPO) on O Connel Street in Dublin, the site where the proclamation of the Republic was read in 1916. There was an active engagement with passers by and we were pleased to be welcomed by the representative of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

In the afternoon we were gathered in the home of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, the Mansion House. A lively panel made up of the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Social Protection, a representative of the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed and a representative of the Irish Business and Employers Confederation responded to the presentations of the EMIN Organsiers and Community Activists, Paul Uzell.

The role of well designed and adequate Minimum Income Schemes to prevent poverty was highlighted. The link between adequate income, accessible services and opportunities to access decent work was also highlighted. The importance of defending what we have while trying to ensure that social assistance is developed and made fit for purpose in our current context was also stressed. It was good that there was also a focus on the role that can be played at European level to ensure adequate Minimum Income in all European countries.