Rabbitte; Bertie; EirGrid; GridLink; wind; turbine; NREAP

My life in print

life and times

Free Download by clicking here: The Life and Times of Paddy Pylon

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Sweet dreams are made of this

For the past week or so I been havin this nightmare. I’m on the highway and my feet are jammed. Bertie is flying towards me on the Wonderly Wagon with his face covered in talc and lips smeared with tart-red lipstick screaming, “more wind, more wind”. I can’t move and he crashes into me. I’m lying on the tarmacadam feelin like I took a brutal clatter from Godzilla, and I look up to see the little beady eyes on top of the pudge nose and behind the pebble glasses, the triple chin, and the bunny-kins voice with carroty breath saying ‘believe me, believe me’. I wake up shattered, with the sweat comin off me like foam out of a lager tap.

My neighbour, he’s a gas man who collects crystals and reads palms, tells me that the pylon is changing my brain electricity and causing these dreams. He gives me a gorgeous yellow crystal to put under the mattress, and I remember that story as a chiseler and I wonder if the lump in the mattress will keep me awake, same as your wan with that pea. My neighbour also goes to Mass on Sunday, so he might be worth listening to as he has all bases covered.

At the moment there is no wind, it’s lashing fit to bust and theres a small lake at the back from the floods. The Plyon is moaning like a hobo with sore nuts.

This dream has me thinkin about your man Rabbitte for a while now. That’s unhealthy, I hear you say, dreamin about that. What’s more unhealthy than living under a feck’n pylon? How much worse can it get? Paddy, I sez to meself, this might be a message that you can’t be calling your man a langer when he might be doin his best.

I know he’s a politician and a Minister, but he seems to be serious when he says the GridLink has nothing to do with exporting electricity to the Frenchies and the Brits. You’d almost want to believe him. I like to think theres a bit of goodness in every one of us. And he also seems dead serious when he speaks about creating jobs. So I thought I would give Twitchy Nose a fair shake like, and have a proper look. Dreams are messages from beyond. They need to be taken seriously, no messin about, brain electricity or no.

Now, your gonna scream at me for listening to bankers, being the scum of the earth an all, but the World Bank[1] tells us that Ireland reached its highest level of electricity consumption in 2008, but we’ve bin dropping ever since.

This makes sense as 2008 was the height of the Tiger, when everybody was using their credit card like a sixgun and shooting from the hip. The banks were giving us as many silver bullets as we could fire, like there was no tomorrow. We had to fill up our new 8-bedroom houses with all sorts of shite: big screen TVs, game consoles, new electric cookers and other kitchen gadgets, and more laptops than you could take a dump on. Those big houses needed to be lit up like Hugh Hefner’s Bunny Mansion, and all those big screens sucked up the juice as quick as fresh bread in gravy. What you need to remember is that, in that peak year, the grid handled it with ease. Can anybody remember a blackout in 2008? No – cos there were none. So why do we need a billion euro upgrade? Paid for by a loan we can’t afford. Sounds like a recession-recipe to me.

Since then our consumption has dropped every year, and we are now back to 2005 levels, and probably going to drop further.

As their answer to this decreasing domestic consumption, the Government took what we had already and increased by ten times the amount of wind-generated electricity we produced in that peak consumption year of 2008.[2] And they want to double that again.

Now, I might be a thick unemployed blocklayer from Mullingar, but why would ye need to increase our wind-electricity by twenty times (probably more) than the levels that existed at our peak consumption, when we need less electricity, not more? And why would ye want to do it with wind turbines, which make the system jump all over the place, liable to explode faster than Biffo could swallow a can of Harp?

As for jobs. Well, the turbines are bought over from Sweden and Germany, with technicians from those places, not here. They don’t need big crews to maintain them, being made out of galvanised steel. They can even be operated by a computer back in Sweden, they don’t need people at all. Siemens have said they wont be making spare parts here, they will make them at home.

When you think about it, ‘green’ technology produces very few jobs.[3] That’s not its fault, it was never about creating jobs, it was about reducing emissions. But insulating walls and attics, taking gas off slurry pits, even making electric cars, that’s what creates jobs and reduces emissions – a win-win. How about it, Enda, you whose so keen to stop the young ones going away? Do they still make those cars that run off chip oil?

Ye must also remember that because they are paid for by our tax money, the pylons job goes out to tender across the whole of the EU and most of the Western world. Sure, what’s the chance of Paddy in Mullingar getting the job?

When they first put the pylon at the bottom of my patch, I thought I could get a job tightening the nuts and polishing the yoke at Christmas for Santy, maybe as a nixer. Not a hope – your man Sven came twice in the first year, now I never see him. The pylon looks the same as when it was first put in. When the maintenance crew does come one day, I guarantee they’re not from Mullingar. This place will be like ‘The Bridge’ on TV without subtitles.