Here’s the price of complacency. This town is to lose 1900 jobs in Dell over the coming year, and countless others in ancillary services. It’s a big blow to us.
But of course, everyone knows that multinationals like Dell will move their operations wherever they can squeeze the most dollars from, and that’s why countries need to be promoting indigenous industry as Finland did with Nokia.
Did our bunch of weary governmental dopes have any such plan?
Are you mad? These guys were happy to ride the gravy-train straight over the precipice because they have neither the imagination nor the integrity to envisage a country run for the good of all its citizens.
These guys were happy to schmooze with the flim-flam merchants, the illusion-men: their property-developer buddies. They were happy to collect the kick-backs as the economy grew into one gigantic national delusion based on a doomed property bubble that benefited nobody but Fianna FÃ¡il and their builder pals.
During a decade of unprecedented revenue, one finance minister in particular, Charlie McCreevy, the bookies’ friend, shovelled it straight back out to the people who fund Fianna FÃ¡il: property developers, with one ill-advised tax scheme after another. He presided over a criminal conspiracy between the banks and the building industry to inflate property prices and enslave our children with lifelong debt.
But did this government do anything to support the emergence of a major indigenous industry? No, they did not. Instead of having the vision to create a strong future for all of us, they were content to continue attracting American investors through sharp practice by maintaining lower corporation tax than our European partners. But of course, they didn’t have the wit to build up our transport infrastructure or our communications systems. Instead, they sold off our telecom network to sharks who have no interest in investing. In 1984 we had the most modern telecom system in Europe, and today we have a creaky tangle of old wires that delivers no real broadband.
Without proper infrastructure, and in the absence of strong local industry, who’s going to fill the gap? Who’s the new Dell? Who’s going to be fooled by bullshit when we can no longer get away with low corporation tax, and when our communications are shit because this government doesn’t even know what the hell broadband is?
Listen, we’ve sat through years of tribunals looking into dirty carve-ups in back rooms, and we told ourselves we were now in a new era of straight dealing and honest talk. And yet, now that the economy is in crisis, this government continues to slide barrowloads of our money out the back door while telling us to be patriotic. This government of crooks is pumping billions into fake banks, Anglo and Irish Nationwide, while the real banks remain undercapitalised.
Why? Because these banks fund property developers, and property developers, of course, are the guys who grease the palms of Fianna FÃ¡il.
Meanwhile, as these crooks and fools borrow us into oblivion on the international money markets to keep their friends in the non-banks happy, Limerick is about to lose nearly 2000 front-line jobs and an unknown number of support jobs.
As one contributor points out, the real number of jobs lost is at least 3,000, not 1900.
Banta and Sercom employ 1100 people between them and have no customers except Dell.
Also on Bock: