Ireland has in past times had good practice with an béal bocht and sometimes with good reason. In recent years, with the return of economic woes the victims' cross has been re-varnished and some of those who dined on the fatted calf during the goods years, appear to see a chance to maintain their comfortable status quo by putting all the onus on Europeans to sort out our problems.
John Banville, the Irish writer,
wrote in The New York Times last November, that we Celtic Tiger cubs set up
a great roaring and ranting in response to the economic crash. Who is to blame
for our sudden travails? we demanded - - somebody must be to blame. The bankers?
Them, certainly. The politicians? Well, the politicians are always to blame, so
nothing new there. The markets, those shadowy entities that seem to operate by
whim? Ourselves, perhaps? -- now, there was a sobering possibility.
Then last weekend, we saw that in a historic election, the machine politics of the once dominant Fianna Fáil, had been rejected in a crushing defeat.
On Monday, a post-election thread on the Irish Economy Blog began with a post saying the election had replaced "tweedledum with tweedledee" and continued with more whingeing.
My response was:
"What a depressing shower!!
We had 3 general elections in the period 1997-2007 and the result was an economic crash with generational consequences.
It's only fools who say that last Friday's result is irrelevant.
On Tuesday, Fintan O'Toole in The Irish Times
said from his comfortable armchair that "revolutionary transformation is
the only hope for future of the nation - - and Eamon Gilmore’s Labour party."
The deadline was a clever move from O'Toole's
vantage point: set up an impossible 3-week challenge for the Labour Party and
spend the most of 5 years sniping from the sidelines.
Yes we have to fight our corner in Europe but
putting a 3-week deadline on it is a joke.
We have an unjust society where lawyers on public
contracts investigating corruption can earn up to €10m in just a decade.
It would be nice in a Nirvana, if everybody had guaranteed job
security, high pay and public sector pensions!
On Wednesday, the well-off Vincent Browne wrote that on the Labour side most believe in what they call incrementalism (the incremental advancement of equality), even though they have every reason to know that incrementalism has not worked before and won’t work now.
On equality, any number of welfare
programmes or quangos with overpaid well-meaning people, cannot trump
sustainable job creation that would provide hope for tens of thousands of
Also on Wednesday, the celebrity economist David Williams wrote in respect of dealing with the European Union: "Proper negotiation is needed, and if that fails, unilateral action will be required. To make that unilateral action more palatable and more democratic, it would be a good move for the new government to call a referendum on the banking stitch-up. This would ease their position and make it more difficult for the EU to actively crush Ireland."
So unilateral action could be more 'palatable' after a referendum and there's no need to be concerned about the potential for serious collateral damage.
During the bubble the likes of Bank of Ireland economist, Dan McLaughlin, could take to the national airwaves and present their sunny scenarios without serious challenge and it's the same today whether it's letting the banks collapse, default or exiting the euro.
We have well-off middle class individuals like McWilliams, Fintan O'Toole and Vincent Browne, proposing very serious action while being sheltered from the week-to-week struggles of indigenous firms and their worried employees across the country.
Apart from the impact on overseas depositors in Irish banks, a serious confrontation with Europe now, would trigger speculation across the world that Ireland would be forced out of the Eurozone; The Daily Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard would be on the first plane to Dublin to lead a gloatfest and fragile export business would be in peril.
When Iceland crashed, it had a choice of its Nordic neighbours and the IMF to help or Putin's Russia.
Argentina had Venezuela's Hugo Chávez.
Who would support Ireland?
Then all the eejits hankering for simple panaceas, would conclude: "Shur we all knew that f..er Kenny wasn't up to the job...Can you pass the smoked salmon?"
It's time for the whingers to come down from the clouds or for people with sense to ignore them.
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