Do you think it would be a good idea if poor people wore signs so we’d know they’re poor.
I mean, it’s ok if you’re rich and you’re in the Horseshoe Bar in the Shelbourne or playing golf in Adare. You’re not going to bump into poor people there.
But when you’re just, you know, hanging around where you live, you don’t want to accidentally end up talking to people who aren’t as well off as you are, do you?
I mean, imagine stopping on the street to chat to one of your neighbours and then finding out, for God’s sake, they’re only renting a room in a house on the road and don’t even have an apartment on the Costa del Sol let alone a house.
Perish the thought. Dammit if you can’t compare hybrid SUVs with your neighbours you wonder what the point of anything is don’t you?
That seems to be the thinking behind the situation at the Marianella apartment complex in Rathgar.
It looks brilliant. It’s a great location. It has its own cinema, meeting room and gym.
And, fair dues to them, Dublin City Council bought 19 of the 210 units for social housing.
So far so good.
It must be brilliant for people who have had to endure crap housing for years, to finally get a nice place to live, especially a place with the facilities I mentioned above.
Only no. The residents in those 19 units are barred from the facilities on offer to the residents who bought their apartments.
They can’t, for example, use the gym. In fact, even if they pay extra, they can’t use the gym.
I don’t know who made the rule. But someone did.
And when they did they may as well have included that idea that those who are less well off identify themselves so that those who are well off could see them coming and avoid them.
Do you know what?
When I read about that my stomach actually heaved.
I know I’m lucky. I know I have things some others would love to have even though I’m not wealthy, I am rich because I have all I need.
But this idea that a few people on a complex are denied the same facilities as their neighbours because they rent from the local authority as opposed to having borrowed from a bank to get there, is actually nauseating.
It is redolent of the southern states of America in the fifties and early sixties. Only it wasn’t the poor who were kept away from the facilities, it was people of colour, any colour other than white.
I don’t know who came up with this kind of sick nonsense.
And it’s not the fault of the residents who bought their homes there.
But it’s somebody’s fault. And I sure as hell hope they do something about it.
Because if that’s the way we’re going, if that’s the Trumpian future we have ahead of us, then we don’t have a future worth looking forward to.