I feel like it’s 2009 – March approximately. It was back then that I first wrote about the original Ideas Campaign. Some of my comments back then weren’t taken too well by some people – mainly though, they offended Aileen O’Toole who was behind that campaign.
And now, almost exactly 1 year later, we have the Ideas Campaign 2.0 – or as this one is known, Your Country, Your Call. I would love this time around to be able to say that this is a great idea and that it’s just what our country needs, but unfortunately it’s same bad idea gathering exercise, different promoters and a significantly worse website.
As a rule, who in their right mind could say that they’re against any of these kinds of ideas campaigns, but as has been pointed out on many occasions by me and others, what Ireland actually needs at the moment is action, rather than ideas.
Ireland as a country has significant funds available, and significant numbers of valuable ideas, that would help us out of our current predicament but unfortunately there isn’t enough real action to make things happen.
It seems like it could be a truly Irish unfortunate phenomenon to have these ideas generating campaigns – the Ideas Campaign, the Global Irish Economic Forum, and now Your Country, Your Call, where the general population are invited to submit their ideas to an elite group of people who will cherry pick what suits them, and their own elite purposes, and ignore everything else.
And too often we have people finding all sorts of reasons – real, or imaginary – which prevent them from taking their own ideas, accessing funds and turning them into action.
Ideas aren’t enough – will is important
Despite what could be the common perception at the moment, this country has plentiful available funds for investment, but unfortunately those in charge of the purse strings are ensuring that the finances don’t go where they’re truly needed.
Look, for example, at this article on The Story website, Enterprise Ireland Visualisations and Analysis. This excellent article tells us that over a certain period of time, only 5% of Enterprise Ireland grant recipients received 50% of the money available. The massive Glanbia organisation took 2.66% of the money available, more than the bottom 1000 recipients put together.
And given what we’re seeing at the moment, we definitely have the ideas – we need only look at the outputs from all previously mentioned ideas campaigns, and what’s being submitted to the Your Country, Your Call website at the moment. However, given the quality of some of these ideas, it’s sometimes debatable if we actually have the people necessary to progress any good ideas from germination to fruition. This was only recently worryingly emphasised on the the recent Frontline “young persons” programme on RTE, referred to so eloquently here by Twenty Major.