Just been reading today’s Irish Times: It’s all very fine the minister for finance actually acknowledging there’s a problem with the economy “I think it is fair to say that 2007 represents a turning point for the Irish economy”, “While the economy has performed reasonably well in the first half this year, the current indications are that the short- to medium-term outlook has changed vis-à-vis that envisaged on Budget Day”.
The problem is, he doesn’t explicitly say what the problem is and how he’s going to address it. He knows damn well what the problems are (he’s got all the facts and figures to hand) - he’s shying away from his responsibilities and hoping to somehow delude the public (a strategy that has served FF well over the boom years). Unfortunately now is crunch time - there is no getting away from this issue. What is the solution? What are FF/Greens going to do to move Ireland into the next leg? What is the next leg? Or will FF just let themselves slip out of power by calling on an appropriate smoke bomb? (there are plenty to choose from)
I fedl FF have become so fat and complacent that they don’t really care any more - they are treating the electorate with contempt, they’ve made their money, had their glory days and it’s just too much hard work to keep going. “Let’s just step aside, let the new kids step in, so we can wallow away in our oak-panelled bar and rant away about the good old days from the comfort of our armchairs”.
They already have the template from 1994, though that wasn’t intended.
They’ll have the figures and will know how bad things are getting months before the herd realise. If necessary, a trickle of FF backbenchers will retire early “for health/family reasons”. They’ll do their best to lose the resulting by-elections. FG/Lab/Green arithmetic will suddenly look a lot more plausible (only takes a switch of 6 seats, kids). And some ludicrous non-issue will suddenly appear out of nowhere calculated to piss everybody off, accompanied by a deluge of hyper-emotional hysterical waffle from the Skindo.
Hey presto, change of Government (election optional).
The Opposition get in just as the economy collapses, the public blame them for the mess and not FF, FF get back in after a few years with a shiny new front bench of gombeen muppets.
Richard Bruton got a chance to slate Minister Cowen and the Government’s policies last night on Prime Time. He was woeful. Talked about remedies that he learned, I expect, in 1970s B Comm, that the Civil Service should cut back on numbers etc. I honestly think that he has not got a bull’s notion of what is going on.
The Minister was animated after Bruton spoke and was in great form. It is really embarrassing that we have such an ineffective opposition in the Dail when the country is falling apart.
The leadership of the 1990s was brilliant - we had really strong networking with the Americans, an Irish government who were committed to a peace process brought about by civilised political means, a steady increase in the country’s economy and a vision of the future for Ireland: integrated in to Europe, a bridge for the US into the EU, a peaceful country, and a country that everybody in the world had an affinity towards. We were a friendly, welcoming country with humble beginnings - a model of political stability and economic growth for other countries to follow. Now all this is about to change. We’ve gorged ourselves for short-term gain and in the process, we are losing all that good-will and going in the direction of laughing stock/economic case study.
Small matter of whip rounds, dig outs, suitcases of cash being opened in St. Lukes and the horrific legacy of planning, sub-standard public transportation / road networks and feck all strategic planning that has led us to this sorry pass.