The facades of Enniskillen

These are hard times in Northern Ireland, where unemployment is rampant and Prime Minister David Cameron's corrosive austerity medicine is killing hope.
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
The facades of Enniskillen

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These are hard times in Northern Ireland, where unemployment is rampant and Prime Minister David Cameron’s corrosive austerity medicine is killing hope.

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Yet, the people of a depressed town named Enniskillen are rubbing their eyes in disbelief at a remarkable revitalization of their town centre. Practically overnight, a blight of abandoned stores has been transformed into a vibrant scene of reoccupied, fully-stocked shops enjoying a business boom. But wait: Having rubbed their eyes and peered closer, the denizens of Enniskillen see that this is not a miracle – it’s a mirage. The spiffy new streetscapes are nothing but posters plastered over the old vacant buildings.

Why this lie? Because Cameron, Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, and other heads of state are coming to the G8 Summit being held this month at a five-star, luxury golf resort just down the road from Enniskillen. Yes, extravagance adjacent to depression. Organizers, however, don’t want the eyeballs of these world leaders to be singed by economic reality. Thus, they have put a half-million dollars into the town centre to create a Potemkin Village so that G8 participants will not have unpleasant memories from passing through Enniskillen on their way to the resort, where they will discuss the magic of austerity for the masses and more tax cuts for the superrich.

“It is essential that town centres appear as attractive and welcoming as possible,” declared Northern Ireland’s social development minister. And a regional official explained that the half-million dollar fluff-up of Enniskillen will “address the poor physical and unattractive appearance of properties.”

So, if you wonder why the world economy is in the ditch and our leaders are so clueless, unconcerned, and unwilling to take action look no further than the facades of Enniskillen.

“Northern Ireland town turns into virtual Potemkin village ahead of G8,”, May 28, 2013.

“Enniskillen town centre in £233 facelift for G8,”, April 30, 2013.

“Enniskillen To Get Makeover For G8 Summit,”, April 29, 2013.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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