The sociologist in me was in absolute overdrive yesterday as I listened to the realities of aspects of Budget 2013, especially on older people and those with chronic illnesses. The crunch point came when I heard a man on RTE’s Liveline talking to Joe Duffy about his particular situation.
He was phoning from hospital where is receiving treatment for Cystic Fibrosis and he spoke with passion and eloquence about how the Budget was going to affect him and his elderly mother with whom he lives. He highlighted a whole host of apparently ‘small’ cuts, like the increase in prescription charges, the abolition of the telephone allowance … and pointed to the additional stress and worry which these were going to impose, especially on his mother. It was like listening to a version of ‘man’s inhumanity to man,’ and feeling utterly powerless.
I couldn’t settle down to do anything so, a bit like W.B. Yeats, I went down to the Prom in Tramore ‘because a fire was in my head.’ What greeted me was a boiling sea but one that was cast in a light, not unlike the composure of the man who had been talking on the radio.
It all made me think that perhaps the greatest impact is made by those who don’t scream and roar nor lose sight of the ‘grand scheme of things.’ What do you reckon?