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Kevin Myers writes anti-Metro column (x4) [SEE MOD WARNING POST #1]

  • 17-08-2010 10:50am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    By Kevin Myers
    Tuesday August 17 2010
    Dogma arrives in Irish policymaking like doctrinal pronouncements used to from the Vatican. Papal infallibility and the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven were once upon a time foisted upon a credulous and obedient peasantry.

    Now the imposition is of new governmental decrees, agreed upon by a cabal of politicians and senior civil servants, and pushed through regardless of logic, cost or intellectual coherence.

    The latest Received Dogma to have taken shape within the corporate mind of the governing cabal is the insane €5bn Metro linking St Stephen's Green with Dublin Airport, at €277m per kilometre.

    Of course, there is no real logistical justification why the unpopulated St Stephen's Green should become the start-point of an underground rail link to Dublin Airport. That is the way with RD: it requires no intellectual ratiocination. It merely is.

    No doubt a clinical psychiatrist could explain this kind of decision-making. For virtually all governance in the Republic emanates from within 100 metres or so of St Stephen's Green. It therefore makes some sort of psychological sense for the main rail link to the airport to be close to the offices of the senior civil servants who are doing the decision-making. (Government ministers, naturally, even Green ones, will not use this Metro: they will travel by government cars to get to the airport). So the decisive issue is not economic but psychological, depending largely on the sense of satisfaction experienced by the tiny few making the decision -- regardless of the needs of the rest of the Irish people.

    This, of course, is a form of governmental insanity, on this occasion driven by the Greens. And because it is insane, the Metro North project is immune to the many arguments that might be adduced against it, rather like Kwame Nkrumah's six-lane, 10km highway leading out of Accra to nowhere in the early days of Ghana's independence. Its primary function was to give its begetter the assurance that he was his country's leader.

    Comparably specious sensations of leadership largely explain the otherwise brainless enthusiasm by the governing cabal for building Metro North, which is, even before the usual cost over-runs, the most expensive project in the history of independent Ireland. And all this, not at a time of boom, but in an era of unprecedented economic collapse. This means of course that it will be paid for by the grandchildren of those doing the decision-making: which is not the kind of heirloom that one usually chooses to bequeath to babbling babes.

    Of course, there is a couple of "moral" explanations for spending such vast amounts of money. One is the Green's ideological addiction to rail. The other is Fianna Fail's pidgin-Keynesianism that says that billions on the Metro will help kick-start the economy. But every deranged potentate, from Caligula to Bokassa, finds some "moral" justification for comparable vanity projects, which all owe their origins to the psychiatric condition of those deciding to spend the money.

    What are the cures for this psychiatric disorder? Well, they include the shock-treatment of electoral defeat for the three or four politicians responsible, which in the case of the Greens is certain to happen. Of course, no such therapy is available for the senior civil servants who are driving the Metro project. For failure in their world is always unpunished: the fine fellows who gave us half a thousand ghost-estates remain the inspiration to all decision-makers within the golden 100 metres of Stephen's Green.

    So, the arguments that follow against the Metro project are unrelated to the largely psychiatric reasons why it was embraced in the first place. Firstly, Dublin airport is only 10km from the city centre: Charles de Gaulle is 30km; Heathrow 28km; Leonardo da Vinci 29km; and Madrid 18km from their city centres. An underground train link to Dublin airport is therefore unnecessary.

    Moreover, only the southside-dementia of Ireland's governing classes would want to locate the transport hub on the far side of the Liffey from the airport.

    The juncture of the Port Tunnel and the Dart line beside Harry Crosbie's Spencer Dock Development is the most obvious place to locate an airport bus station. This would have bus-only corridors all the way, unlike the comical bus corridors along the quays, and journey time would be under 20 minutes.

    Such a project is clearly beyond the intellectual powers and administrative will of CIE, so the operating base should be handed over to a property developer like Harry Crosbie, with the bus services put under the control of a private haulier, such as Michael Gill of Dublin Coach. Five minutes with a ruler, a pocket calculator and a street-map of Dublin, and the two of them would sort out whatever problems remain.

    Numbers going to Dublin airport are plummeting -- perhaps down from 20 million to 16 million in two years, just as it is about to open a new terminal with probably not enough passengers to justify it. A multibillion airport Metro, running parallel to an already underused Dublin Port Tunnel, is all that is needed to make this generation of decision-makers the most reviled in history since an earlier bunch of self-indulgers decided to have a civil war.
    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/kevin-myers/kevin-myers-airport-metro-will-be-a-fitting-monument-indeed-to-this-reviled-governing-cabal-2299863.html

    WARNING

    By all means, criticise Myers. Rip his columns to pieces if you like. Correct his errors on Metro North, with reference to previous fact-deficient articles of his if necessary. But do not descend into slanderous territory.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    Gave up trying to read it on the 3rd attempt. SSG makes perfect sense when you factor in Luas, Dart Underground and Grafton St

    What doe he propose it stop on the Northside for no reason other than it will appease or remove his fear of "southside-dementia"

    Of course he'd be the same person moaning if it stopped in O'Connell St that it now impossible to upgrade the green line to Metro standard or that he has to get of the Metro in O'Connell St to get to the only other main shopping area in the city centre .

    Nonsense


  • Registered Users Posts: 368 ✭✭ Empire o de Sun


    I think he is under the impression that there will only be two stops on the metro.

    St.Stephens Green and the Ariport.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,807 ✭✭✭ CerebralCortex


    The guy is delusional. Does he expect that the economy will never pick up again?


  • Registered Users Posts: 123 ✭✭ brandodub


    Oh dear Kevin must we return to the sort of 1980s NON planning again?? I do hope not.


  • Registered Users Posts: 565 ✭✭✭ noelfirl


    Self-serving twunt. If he had put together a cogent argument then there would be worth in considering his "most holy" opinion, but here, as ever in his columns, is the usual wistful diatribe of political psychology mixed with lingual flare that has essentially no solid basis of argument to stand upon. What bugs me more is the number of people who will read this and take is as the pure truth and fact. I hate the man.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,700 ✭✭✭ tricky D


    But, but, but, he uses big words - ratiocination - so he must know what he's talking about.

    And an obscure historical ruler too - Bokassa - so he must really know what he's talking about.

    God damn, now I feel really stupid for having wasted all those years learning civil engineering et al. Thank you Mr. Myers for your ultimate wisdom.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,476 ✭✭✭ ardmacha


    I've read some nonsense on Boards, but the people here don't get paid for writing it. This article is the greatest load of organic manure that even Myers has written. When there are so many things really wrong with the country.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    Kevin Myers Downfall
    http://vimeo.com/12683771

    Typical article from here tbh. Given that the metro will be in use for at least 100years if not longer his arguments about the current passenger level at Dublin airport are beside the point.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    Myers is not paid to make sense. He is paid to get people livid and saying "did you see what Myers wrote today !!!" The guy could get himself off to pictures of the Lisbon Metro at night and write a column with phrases like "ideological addiction to rail"


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    €5bn is an insane amount, think more like €2bn max even with every skanger in North Dublin tripping over the kerbs outside the depots and clainming compo while de Ma claims compo for the sacret heart picture that vibrated off de wall while she was sayin her prayurs


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    €5bn is an insane amount, think more like €2bn max even with every skanger in North Dublin tripping over the kerbs outside the depots and clainming compo while de Ma claims compo for the sacret heart picture that vibrated off de wall while she was sayin her prayurs

    Good point, poorly made.


  • Registered Users Posts: 947 ✭✭✭ xper


    KMeyers wrote: »
    Firstly, Dublin airport is only 10km from the city centre: Charles de Gaulle is 30km; Heathrow 28km; Leonardo da Vinci 29km; and Madrid 18km from their city centres. An underground train link to Dublin airport is therefore unnecessary.
    An underground train link to Dublin airport is therefore shorter.

    The whole article is thesaurus-melting rhetoric, distorted facts, non-sequiturs and unfounded speculation. It is entirely devoid of rational arguement.

    Meyers is a man without principle, respect or consistency. His 'opinion' articles' sole function is to generate content for the correspondance page of whatever publication he happens to be writing for. The actual topic is secondary.

    Prime candidate for first againts the wall.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,727 Godge


    Firstly, I think Myers is wrong on this point (however, DART underground shoudl be higher priority than Metro North).

    But, attack the arguments not the man.

    Journalists like Myers play an important role in any society. From an extreme viewpoint, they attack established norms and beliefs and challenge them. That forces those of us who think about these things to examine our assumptions and underlying bias. Most of the time the Myers of this world are wrong or off-target but even then their points often contain some truth. For the times that they are right and that they force us to reexamine our reasons for doing something, we should be grateful.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,688 ✭✭✭✭ Zebra3


    Godge wrote: »
    Firstly, I think Myers is wrong on this point (however, DART underground shoudl be higher priority than Metro North).

    But, attack the arguments not the man.

    Journalists like Myers play an important role in any society. From an extreme viewpoint, they attack established norms and beliefs and challenge them. That forces those of us who think about these things to examine our assumptions and underlying bias. Most of the time the Myers of this world are wrong or off-target but even then their points often contain some truth. For the times that they are right and that they force us to reexamine our reasons for doing something, we should be grateful.

    That's bull.

    Anyone who has read a tiny amount about MN knows that it ain't gonna cost €5Bn.

    What he has written is totally irresponsible.


  • Registered Users Posts: 636 ✭✭✭ Jayuu


    Godge wrote: »
    Firstly, I think Myers is wrong on this point (however, DART underground shoudl be higher priority than Metro North).

    But, attack the arguments not the man.

    Journalists like Myers play an important role in any society. From an extreme viewpoint, they attack established norms and beliefs and challenge them. That forces those of us who think about these things to examine our assumptions and underlying bias. Most of the time the Myers of this world are wrong or off-target but even then their points often contain some truth. For the times that they are right and that they force us to reexamine our reasons for doing something, we should be grateful.

    Sorry that doesn't wash! I completely respect journalists who expose the wrongs in our society but journalists have a responsibility to be reasonably accurate with their articles and present the facts even if they want to colour them to suit their agenda.

    There are no facts in this article just a lot of obscure "show off" references. The article makes no mention of the fact that Metro North will link to other parts of the Dublin Transport Network because that would completely undermine the article. I agree with the person who wonders if Myers realises that there will actually be other stops on this line.

    In short this is tabloid journalism of the worst kind, designed deliberately to inflame opinion and Mr. Myers deserves the insults he's getting. If he wants to debate and discuss Metro North in an accurate manner then let him write that article. I'm sure a quick reference to the Metro North thread would show that there are many people willing to take on the debate.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    Godge wrote: »
    Journalists like Myers play an important role in any society. From an extreme viewpoint, they attack established norms and beliefs and challenge them. That forces those of us who think about these things to examine our assumptions and underlying bias. Most of the time the Myers of this world are wrong or off-target but even then their points often contain some truth. For the times that they are right and that they force us to reexamine our reasons for doing something, we should be grateful.

    There is a real gap in the market for journalists such as that, that genuinely put our beliefs and prejudices to the test, that genuinely challenge all points of view and provide an alternative to the boring, tame, over-comfortable rubbish that constitutes the majority of The Irish Independent, Irish Times and Irish Examiner articles.

    Sadly, Kevin Myers does not fill this gap. The market for inane, ranting rubbish is certainly more than catered for by his drivel, but I like to see real analysis and genuinely thought-provoking articles. The only thoughts I'm left with after reading Myers' crap are how someone can get paid to write such sh*te and why somebody would pay to read said sh*te (though admittedly, I've paid to read worse :D). I want real journalists not someone who pathetically attempts to play devil's advocate about everything and requires you to trudge through a mire of ferocious claptrap to find one or two decent points.

    Metro North is a very big Infrastructure project, a lot of money is potentially going to be spent on it. It deserves to be debated properly, not with garbage like this.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,414 Mod ✭✭✭✭ spacetweek


    Read the article, can't believe anyone could take it seriously.

    Surely there can't be too many members of the public who still believe it'll cost 5bill and only serve Stephen's Green and the airport. (I love the way he describes Stephen's Green as "unpopulated", as if there was no one living within miles of it!!) Just remember that this is the same guy who proposed about 5 years ago that we should pave over the DART lines and turn them into roads to increase capacity.

    I really want to believe that this type of drivel is the last gasp of the defeated, but I fear having to argue this one with a few taxi drivers over the coming years.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 KevR


    Firstly, Dublin airport is only 10km from the city centre: Charles de Gaulle is 30km; Heathrow 28km; Leonardo da Vinci 29km; and Madrid 18km from their city centres. An underground train link to Dublin airport is therefore unnecessary.

    Why is he talking distance instead of journey times? You can get from Heathrow to Central London in 15 mins on public transport (and that's a reliable journey time). Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it 30 mins from Dublin Airport to the City Centre (despite it being a shorter distance than Heathrow-Central London) at the best of times? It can often take longer....

    The thing that has always amazed me about Dublin Airport is that there are 20,000,000+ passengers using the airport every year, all arriving by road transport. A rail link to the airport will not only provide reliable journey times from the City Centre but it will also free up a lot of capacity on the M50 and N/M1.

    Could you imagine removing the rail links from Manchester or Stansted Airports and then wondering why there is congestion on all roads that serve those airports?!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,235 ✭✭✭ D.L.R.


    So.. we can throw 100 billion at the banks, NO PROBLEM.

    But to throw another 5 into an actual tangible asset that the citizens can enjoy.. my god the OUTRAGE.

    This is one seriously f***ed up state.

    The fact that we're still debating the merits of a metro system in 2010 is a national embarrassment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 KevR


    @ D.L.R: Read a post in a thread which was debating Concorde a few weeks ago - one poster said that not so long ago governments (not Ireland's in this example but sort of relevant) were spending money on putting men on the moon and supersonic transatlantic air travel, exciting stuff. Now money is being spent on bailing out banks which could not be more dull.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    KevR wrote: »
    The thing that has always amazed me about Dublin Airport is that there are 20,000,000+ passengers using the airport every year, all arriving by road transport. A rail link to the airport will not only provide reliable journey times from the City Centre but it will also free up a lot of capacity on the M50 and N/M1.

    Unfortunately however, MN's projections for airport growth are vastly overblown. 30 mil by 2016. That simply isn't going to happen. :(

    Okay, a point is to be made about planning for the future, but we have yet to see a proper, relevant up-to-date CBA done for MN, or at least made public. When that is released, when the tender price is finally revealed, perhaps my unease will be settled. But at the moment, it's a project I'm still very much on the fence about. €2-3 billion + associated other costs + whatever interest is charged, is a lot of money to spend, and I want to know we're getting the maximum value for it.

    There is simply no constructive debate in the media. No one saying "well these are the benefits, but we need to consider this". It's either regurgitated RPA press releases, inane Luas proposals from McDonald or uninformed garbage like Myers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,698 ✭✭✭ D'Peoples Voice


    BluntGuy wrote: »
    but we have yet to see a proper, relevant up-to-date CBA done for MN, or at least made public. When that is released, when the tender price is finally revealed, perhaps my unease will be settled.
    There is simply no constructive debate in the media

    +1


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    We will not need to widen the M1 north of J3 ( South Swords )...at considerable cost...as there will be a P&R at the end of this line around J4 (North Swords). €100m saved there.

    AS MN is much the same as Luas Cherrywood along much of its length ( around €40m a km that cost ) I make it that the overground and cut and cover 10km of MN will come in around €500m leaving 3km of bore under the Airport and 6km from Mobhi Road to Stephens Green.

    9km for €1.5bn is very very doable, even in Dublin where they have absolutely no regard for taxpayers money as we saw with the port tunnel :p It works out at €170m a km.

    The City of Rennes in France built a somewhat lighter duty Metro ( 6km underground and 2.5km overground ) for €520m a few years ago , less than €70m a km including 12 stations underground of similar dimensions and at similar depths.

    Even the underground portion of the port tunnel was around €200m a km and at that ludicrous rate (and the tunnel is much bigger) the whole caboodle could not cost more than €2.5bn in my estimate....add another €100m for the inevitable compo claims maybe.

    I just cannot POSSIBLY see how EVEN the Dubs could blow €5bn on MN and would tend err towards €2bn. The Bretons will snigger of course :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,688 ✭✭✭✭ Zebra3


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    I just cannot POSSIBLY see how EVEN the Dubs could blow €5bn on MN and would tend err towards €2bn. The Bretons will snigger of course :D

    It's not up to the Dubs to "blow" any amount on MN. It's a project of central government.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Zebra3 wrote: »
    It's not up to the Dubs to "blow" any amount on MN. It's a project of central government.


    It is an RPA project, a Dublin Transport quangoid thingy. The same one that has so far spent €32m on an Integrated Dublin Ticketing scheme for maximum 500,000 potential regular customers and in only 8 years....but no actual tickets or systems exist yet.

    The Oystercard in London went in in 5 years and was live when the various Dublin transport groups , RPA Luas ( have smartcard fair play), Dublin Bus , Dart and the "Integrated Ticketing Project Board" which is a quango within a quango and yet also a civil service committee ( established 2006) were all fannying royally about ticketing matters.

    The 'Board' itself is a fantastic construct set up by Martin Cullen in 2006, in his own words.
    The Project Board has now been established and is chaired by Mr. David O?Callaghan, a former Secretary General at the Department of Defence.? The Board comprises the Chairman, the Chief Executives of the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA), Dublin Bus, Irish Rail, Bus Eireann and a representative of licensed private bus operators. An Assistant Secretary from my Department is also on the Board and a senior representative of the Department of Social & Family Affairs also attends as required.
    The Project Board is responsible for the successful delivery of the smartcard technology required to deliver an integrated ticketing system within an agreed specification, timeline and budget.?

    Not west of maynooth they won't :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    It is an RPA project, a Dublin Transport quangoid thingy. The same one that has so far spent €32m on an Integrated Dublin Ticketing scheme for maximum 500,000 potential regular customers and in only 8 years....but no actual tickets or systems exist yet.
    The population of the greater Dublin region is predicted to be 2 million so. So I don't know where the 500,000 number comes from
    Sponge Bob wrote: »

    Not west of maynooth they won't :(
    Not the Whest again :rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,235 ✭✭✭ D.L.R.


    Jaysus, all this Dublin v The West... it gets kind of draining. Huge local govt reform needed if we're ever gonna get the finger out and make this a decent city to do business in.

    Poor aul Dublin is caught in a ideological tug of war between the western world and the west of Ireland :)


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    The population of the greater Dublin region is predicted to be 2 million so. So I don't know where the 500,000 number comes fro Not the Whest again :rolleyes:

    Are you asserting that every single person in the greater Dublin region ...and 2m would take you to Carlow Dundalk and Tullamore.....is going to get a smartcard each, not a chance.

    Only 60,000 have a Luas smartcard and the Luas easily 'serves' 4 times that many people.

    Focus on addressable markets not on pie in the sky numbers from outer leinster !!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,461 liammur


    Another total waste of resources.
    Let the schools and hospitals fall down and build a metro. Nice one, a lot done, more to do.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 304 ✭✭ runway16


    liammur wrote: »
    Another total waste of resources.
    Let the schools and hospitals fall down and build a metro. Nice one, a lot done, more to do.

    Typical cart before horse response. Maybe by putting in some decent bloody transport, you stimulate investment which creates jobs, increases the tax take and gives you more money to sort of the schools and hospitals. By the way, im not aware off too many of either that are falling down. The health service gets plenty of bloody money - but if you try to drive reform, you get stonewalled, so it ends up festoring at the middle management level.

    Of course, you also dont seem to be aware that this is a PPP contract, so the government wont actually be spending that much on it for a few years anyway.

    And as for Sponge Bobs assertion about the "dubs", it was a national government, made up of people from all across Ireland, who set up this "quangoid thingy", and is probably staffed by people from across Ireland too. But dont let the chips on your left and right shoulder blind you to the facts, now will you? Perhaps the boggers who end up deciding these things might do a better job of it next time, rather than setting up another "quango"???


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