Forget Northern Rock. That’s all smoke and mirrors. All about consumer confidence and talking the economy up or down or sideways
Remember instead Aer Lingus and Shannon. Remember these people who keep telling us that government has no business interfering in the free market.
Who remembers Allied Irish Banks? Who remembers that the Richest Bank in the Country made a stupid business decision back in the Eighties? Who remembers that the fools who ran Allied Irish banks made an acquisition that nearly collapsed the bank, and its subsidiary, Insurance Corporation of Ireland?
Let’s look into this a small bit. This business decision wasn’t made by you or me. It wasn’t a democratic thing, because as you know, big business has nothing to do with small people. This decision was made by fat fuckers in offices, or in the back rooms of their favourite pubs, or on some golf course, or in bed with their favourite prostitute.
And it was a shit decision, because these guys weren’t smart people: they just came from the right neighbourhoods, had the right accents, went to the right schools and were connected in the right way. They were idiots and they probably still are — at least the ones who survived the cocaine blizzard.
What happened? Did the government of the day tell them to go and fuck themselves?
Did they explain — as they condescendingly did to the people of the Mid-West — that it’s no business of Government to intervene in a business decision?
Well, what did they do?
Oh, don’t you know? Well, what they did was this: they imposed a two-per-cent levy on the income of every taxpayer in this country. That’s right: they took the money from hard-pressed workers who were already up to their necks in debt, because Ireland in the Eighties was a very harsh place to be. Ask the thousands who emigrated.
Small people (who could barely afford to feed their families and keep a house over their heads) were forced to hand over two per-cent of their wage packet to the Richest Bank in the Country to bail it out of its own stupid decision.
It worked. Before long, the Richest Bank in the Country was reporting record profits.
Ah! you say. I can see what’s coming! The Richest Bank in the Land was so grateful that it sent all the taxpayers a big bonus as a thank-you.
Eh, no, Ted. That isn’t what happened.
No? Then what did happen?
Nothing. That’s what happened. Nothing at all. The Richest Bank in the Country became even richer, kept the taxpayers’ money, and that was the end of it.
That’s Ireland for you.