who speak slang do not wish to be understood by the general
words are deliberately chosen to hide the meaning.
It is not only teenagers and criminals who play these tricks
with language: 'Spin-doctors', advertisers and estate agents
all constantly strive to find new ways to hide meaning with
become 'downsizing', strips of cornstarch pulp become 'fries',
and a tiny bedsit becomes a 'compact self-contained apartment'.
a fact of modern life.
is a nice vague word with positive connotations. It suggests
life and re-birth. Demolition is not a nice word, nor is it
vague. Demolition means knocking down houses. The 'regeneration'
plans are demolition and redevelopment plans. Houses, streets,
shops and communities are going to be demolished to make way
for developers. People are to move to make way for all this.
people out of their homes, with no guarantee of re-housing them
in the new community that you're building, is displacing them.
means: displacement, demolition and redevelopment. This is what
this word 'regeneration' stands for.
tells you that they support 'regeneration' then this is what
think that the people of Limerick and their representatives
are really fooled for one minute by this word 'regeneration'.
I think in our heart of hearts we all know that it comes down
to getting rid of everyone there and knocking it all, - so why
is there so little objection? Why are people going along with
this? Why are people walking away from their homes to completely
are accepting this because their present situation has become
been suggested that the media exaggerates crime in Limerick
defenders of the city point to statistics that clearly show
that there are higher levels in other parts of the country.
This is true, but it is of no consolation to the victims of
violent crime here. To talk about Limerick, Cork and Dublin,
in terms of population size and crimes reported, inadvertently
suggests the notion of violent crime at an acceptable level.
Violent crime does not exist at an acceptable level. No level
of violent crime is acceptable. The geography is irrelevant,
nationwide or citywide. But for those who live in a 'bad' area,
violent crime is why you don't go out after six.
'bad' areas are just a tragic indictment of the states failure
to protect its citizens. Most of the people who live in them
live like people who have been conquered and occupied. Most
people in 'bad' areas stay at home at night, keep their mouths
shut, keep their heads down and pray that they won't be targeted
next. They are the vulnerable majority and you won't find them
standing up for their rights because where they live, the nail
that sticks up is the one hammered down.
word 'regeneration' means their displacement. It means the demolition
of the homes that they have held onto during the criminal 'occupation'
that developed in their communities. It means re-development
of the area where, if they are lucky, they might one day return
and be able to rent a smaller home in a yet more densely populated
inferred that their displacement and the demolition of their
homes is the solution to everything. As if the actual structures
somehow encouraged anti-social behaviour and that replacing
houses and gardens with higher density apartments and duplexes
will solve social and policing problems. I can't say whether
this is either extremely naïve or a deliberate lie. It
does not seem logical.
is also a word. It means something very specific. It empowers
even inanimate objects. We all know that 'I'll have to consult
my diary' for example means, 'I can't agree now, I'll have to
check'. There is power there. The diary might say no, and the
diary must be accommodated. That is what consultation is. What
consultation isn't, is simply condescending to speak with people.
That's just a chat. A chat's no good.
is going to 'tell you how it is', and call that 'consultation'
then, at the very least, you might think that you're entitled
to hear what you're being told in a public arena, or if not
that, then to make a record of what you're being told. Otherwise
the only honest way to describe what you are doing is not by
saying 'I will consult with you' but by saying 'I'll tell you
what the rumours are from time to time, so you don't feel left
in Limerick were told that they would become involved in a process
of Regeneration and that there would be ongoing consultation
with the residents as part of this process. They were not told
that their homes would be demolished, and that they themselves
would be displaced to make room for redevelopment. Neither were
they told that they'd be hearing rumours about it from time
to time, so that they wouldn't feel left out. But that's what's
are people whose job it is to point out what's happening.
only be concluded from their silence on this issue that they
believe that displacement, demolition and re-development are
what these areas need.
they feel that after all, it's just houses: houses in places
where nobody goes, unless they have to, houses surrounded by
half-burnt refuse and broken glass. Some of these houses are
already destroyed or abandoned and boarded up. Perhaps they
feel that demolition and redevelopment is a good thing here.
Move the people out and start over. It is a desperate situation,
so perhaps they truly believe that if a place has such a bad
name then surely the solution is to change the name, change
the layout and change the populace. Problem solved.
problem with this attitude (apart from it's assumption that
every resident is to blame for the problems in their area,)
is that it never addresses where this 'bad' name came from,
or what's to stop the exact same problems re-emerging. It is
hoped that the new area will have a greater mix of incomes and
economic backgrounds, we can all hope, but realistic town planning
is neither based on hopes or dreams but on expectations based
on current trends, and previous project experience. If there
is a new trend whereby Irish people are actively seeking children
from more economically deprived backgrounds for their own kids
to grow up with, I applaud it and think that it's wonderful,
but I haven't heard anything about it yet and I'm not expecting
early days of 'Regeneration', there was still money to be made
from demolition, displacement and redevelopment. So the large-scale
removal of unprofitable people from profitable land under the
guise of a social project made sense. Morally reprehensible,
but at least it made sense. It made sense for anyone whose sole
motivation is money and who feels no responsibility for the
people who do all the working and buying and living and dying
in their town. It might have made sense to a bank manager, so
long as he didn't have to live in the area. Now it doesn't even
make sense in terms of profit.
a word for pointless, mindless destruction.
It's called vandalism. We already have enough of that in our
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