If you're wondering why your twitter/facebook feed has been exploding with cheese jokes, it's because the Irish economy is so completely boned and the Irish government so completely bone-headed that they've decided that the best way to ease the burden is to distribute free cheese to the poorI've been saying for a while now about how much the economic and political background of Ireland in 2010 resembles the economic and political background of France in 1789, and I've been wondering if we aren't going to see a similar bloody, violent revolution. But let's just get this straight, once and for all: Marie Antoinette never said "let them eat cake". Clear?.
53 tonnes of cheddar, to be exact.
This is a dreadful, badly thought-out plan. Worse, it's just so unimaginative. The poor people in Ireland don't want cheddar, they want jobs.
Know who wants cheddar? Expats.
Every time I go back to Dublin, someone in Rome asks me to bring back some cheddar. And tea. Because it's impossible to get any kind of cheddar in this city. It's like unicorn tears. And on those strange occasions when it can be found, it's not strange to be charged more than €25 per kilo. And people pay it, because it's cheddar. Even if you don't eat it yourself, you can use it to barter favours from other people, like prison currency.
So, Irish government, here's what I'm suggesting. Take the 53 tonnes of cheddar, divide it up and ship it out to your embassies around the world. Charge, say, €20 for a kilo. This will probably rake in about a million or so - a small chunk out of the €6 billion that needs to be saved in the next budget, but is now really a time to be turning your nose up to an easy million bucks?
Also, I'll get some cheddar. It's a win-win situation.