If the irish government were a website, i’d say today’s announcement of ‘free cheese’ for all was a masterstroke in viral marketing or link bait. It’s so ridiculously random and senseless that it’s almost beyond belief a government would put time and energy in to organising this and then pat themselves on the back by promoting / defending it in the media.
The timing of the announcement is the real insult. Yesterday, plans for €6 billion in cuts were announced… today, the good news – we get free cheese. It’s like shooting someone in the foot and throwing them a few bandages afterwards.
This could all be a clever ploy to divert attention away from the cuts or it could perhaps be a ploy to draw more attention to the cuts at international level, in a bid to show that cuts are being made and that our house is coming back in to order. Or, more likely it could quite simply be a genuinely stupid scheme which was designed to ‘help’ the poorest in society.
Either way, the government are just detaching themselves from the real world day by day with crap like this. It’s embarrassing to be associated with a government who think this is a good idea and not only that, but a good idea to promote. Yes, the gesture itself is a nice one, but surely they can see what sort of damage this is going to do to their own reputation and Ireland’s reputation on the world stage.
Think of the cheese makers
Apart from it just being a bad PR for themselves, i’d imagine cheese makers in Ireland won’t be too happy with free cheese being handed out. I’ve no idea how much cheese we eat, but 53 tonnes sounds like a lot to me, so i’m guessing that will have some sort of impact on cheese sales…
The journalists are already coming up with the puns… and headlines.. this is the type of space filling news that will find it’s way in to many papers all over the world over the next few days. The government should have had the vision to see that coming – this does nothing to enhance our image from the outside, which the government are trying so desperately to do. Instead, it draws attention to the country for the wrong reasons.
Like i said before, reading in to this more it could be a deliberate effort to draw attention, because they know it will raise controversy and also draw attention to the severe cuts that are being put in place next month. We’ll never know and we can only take it at face value.
On the whey out
It’s stupid little things like this which destroy reputation. This will be talked and joked about by people for many months to come. Like i said above it’s almost like a viral marketing campaign… only a damaging one for the government. For me, this the day the government lost the plot – this cheese scheme is a back-breaking straw.