A few weeks ago I posed a genuine question: Why do advertisers use black actors to sell their products/services when their customer demographic is 90% white? In some cases this seems wildly counter-productive, as in the example of the hotel chain. (Would you check into a hotel whose guests are primarily black?). Why would they shoot themselves in the foot like this?
Anyway, here's another case, this time involving that much reviled species, the Irish politician. Irish TDs (equivalent of MPs), being elected from small multi-seat constituencies, are probably the most locally focused of anywhere in the world. A TD who takes a strategic internationalist position will be consigned to political oblivion in short order. Cutbacks in social welfare, or even worse, the closure of part of a local hospital, will have them storming the barricades and very often voting against, and being expelled by, their parties.
Ireland knows all about such things at the moment. Measures that might raise say €20 million annually can cause real pain. An example being the termination of special needs assistants for autistic kids. But still they do this, and an awful lot more. Resulting in Ministers almost fleeing for their lives from local protestors and large numbers of TDs knowing that they for sure won't survive the next election.
So here's my question. As they sit around the cabinet table, looking for a few million here and there, they will eventually come to 'Foreign Aid'. How much does bankrupt Ireland dish out every year on this farce ('poor people in rich countries paying rich people in poor countries')? €700 million! That's right, €700 million, all of which is borrowed.
Yet this expenditure is sacrosanct. Nobody speaks out against it. This amount would avoid a host of small hospital closures, pay dozens of special needs teachers, and so on. But all of those narrowly-focused, not-look-beyond-the-next-election TDs are as silent as lambs.