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A Different View

Pocket money should have been a good lesson for life

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A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Whatever happened to the notion of pocket money – the fifty pence you got on a Thursday evening that had to do you for the next week?

You could splurge it all on Shoot! magazine and make the best of it until the next edition came around, or you could space it out and spend it on penny bars or liquorice pipes to dip in sherbet – the choice was entire yours.

Incidentally, if you saw someone eating white sherbet powder on the end of a black liquorice pipe now, you’d assume it they were doing serious drugs – how times have changed.

But the bottom line on pocket money was, once it was gone, it was gone – and there was no point pleading for more because you needed to but sweets of a Saturday.

The odd time, during summer, a wafer of vanilla ice cream might come your way but outside of exceptional circumstances, you budgeted for your week better than any Minister for Finance has ever managed.

Now it’s cash on demand – ‘I need money for books/football boots/a soccer match/a disco/drinks for the bus going to the soccer match/a new Playstation game’ – and the notion of saving or delaying this instant gratification is as alien as Fingers Fingleton without a fat cat pension.

Or maybe that’s just me living in a parallel universe, because recent research in the UK showed that the amount of pocket money children receive there is actually on the up – to an average of just over twelve quid, but peaking at £22 during the school holidays.

Unless they’ve started smoking at an age where it can still stunt their growth, you’d wonder what kids need £22 for – particularly when they will still tap you up for everything they need as they need it.

Of course as teenage years give way to the acne era, the money probably goes on cheap beer or Buckfast which is a horse of a whole different colour – but it might explain why the same survey showed children claiming that, on average, they need twice as much as they’re getting to meet their weekly needs.

There used to be the option of supplementing your pocket money with a part-time job – filling petrol or a few hours in a shop; if you lived in a city you might take on a paper round, or if you lived where I did in Oughterard you looked forward to May when you could catch those little Mayflys with a cheap net and flog a shoebox full of them to visiting anglers.

These days, actual jobs are hard to come by, never mind part-time posts for bored teenagers – and anyway, how will you ever progress to the next level in Call of Duty if you cannot spend the entire summer on the Playstation?

Maybe it’s the onset of middle age, but there is no notion of waiting for something to happen anymore – back in the day the anticipation of Christmas morning began sometime in November; now you can go to a toy store on December 22 and you’ll see kids getting toys three days before Santa arrives down their chimney with another full delivery.

If you were unlucky enough to be born in December, you’d find that Christmas and birthday presents eventually rolled into one – because you couldn’t expect double gratification within two weeks of each other. Now they’d be ringing Childline if you came up with that excuse.

And yet I remember the joys of pocket money because I was one of those who spent it before it burned a hole in my pocket.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

You can’t force the craic at the Christmas Party

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There’s nothing like the Christmas Party to bring out the little devils who’ve spent their working lives blending in with the filing cabinet; one craft beer too many and they’re up on top of the photocopier scanning images of their tail end to send to the world.

The party animal is often the quiet one who spends the rest of the year in the corner, timidly stepping aside if you pass them in the corridor – but with a few bevvies on board, they’re Lemmy from Motorhead in the middle of a world tour.

Of course there are also some people who dread the Christmas party – or even after-work drinks, if that’s still a thing – and as their worst nightmare comes looming over the horizon, they might take some comfort from a recent court case in France.

Because an unnamed worker has just won the right to be utterly boring after a court ruled that he could not be dismissed, just because he didn’t want to join the rest of the staff in the pub.

Known simply as Mr T – an unfortunate choice of initial if you were a fan of the larger-than-life big guy in the A-Team back in the day – our friend was a senior advisor for a Parisian training firm called Cubik Partners.

One of those typically trendy modern operations, they work on a ‘fun and pro’ basis – which is presumably a variation on playing hard and working hard sometimes too – and part of that outlook involved regular social events ‘to bolster team spirit’.

But Mr T had no truck with the spirits – internal or alcoholic – and didn’t want to hang out with his colleagues for a minute longer than work demanded.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

How to win elections with the promises you can keep

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The man who was already the world’s oldest prime minister stood for election again last weekend at the tender age of 97 – arguing quite legitimately that he was fully fit for high office on the basis that he was ‘still standing and talking’.

Mahathir Mohamad was already a Guinness World Record holder for being the world’s oldest current prime minister since he became premier of Malaysia for a second time in 2018.

Proving that age is no impediment to ambition, he put himself forward again last weekend – only this time he fulfilled that age-old observation of Enoch Powell, that most unctuous of Tories from times past, who once said that all political lives end in failure…even if it’s a relative thing and you could hardly be said to have been cut down early, at the age of 97.

Adding insult to injury, not alone did he finish fourth of five candidates in Langkawi, a resort island in Malaysia’s northwest, which he had won with a large majority in the previous poll in 2018 – he also lost his deposit.

It wasn’t even an ageist thing; his entire party failed to win a single seat.

And for comfort in his hour of need, he can still look to Laos where the Prime Minister Khamtai Siphandone is still going strong at just short of 99 – although the fact that he is the chairman of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party means you don’t have to actually come up with an election manifesto because, more specifically, you don’t have to stand for election.

But if you do – and accepting Mahathir Mohamad’s weekend disappointment – going before the electorate on a platform of boasting the ability to walk and talk is at least an honest one.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Getting locked away from all the rest can be no bad thing

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

We all got used to a level of confinement during Covid, and if we were honest, occasionally, it was as much of a blessing than a curse; nobody calling unexpectedly to bother you, no journeys you’d prefer to avoid – even if ultimately we were happy to emerge from our pandemic hibernation.

But imagine if you were trapped for days in a pub during a storm – or in Disneyland during a snap lockdown.

Because for the very lucky few, that happened too.

Visitors to Shanghai’s Disney Resort recently found themselves barred from leaving until they produced a negative Covid test after a snap lockdown.

And we can all remember last November with envy, when customers who went to see an Oasis tribute band called Noasis found themselves trapped for days in a pub in the Yorkshire Dales as a result of heavy snowfall during Storm Arwen.

In both cases, quite honestly, it must have been like a dream come true.

The Disney Resort shut its doors all of a sudden after ten cases of coronavirus were discovered in Shanghai itself, with all visitors locked in the theme park until they were given the all-clear.

And while you’d think the reaction would be to kick back and literally enjoy the ride, online videos showed many of the visitors rushing to the gate trying to avoid being stuck in the park.

Perhaps the Chinese have had enough of snap lockdowns and feared they’d literally be on the swings and roundabouts for days on end – because a day earlier, workers at Foxconn, the biggest iPhone maker in Zhengzhou city, were videoed climbing over fences to avoid a similar snap lockdown.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

 

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