I’m a genius.
I’ve just come up with the answer to all our budgetary problems, and how often does that happen? How often does a private citizen solve the entire fiscal difficulties of a small country?
Rarely, you might suggest. Very rarely indeed, but here it is.
The government is preparing the Budget from Hell. They’re going to cut 4 bilion this year, 4 billion the year after, 4 billion the year after that and 2 billion in the final year.
Savage cuts for a small country. Cuts that could well provoke a breakdown in civil society, with the army on the streets and protesters interned. Water cannon. Molotov cocktails.
You don’t believe me?
Right. Well, let’s wait and see. If I were you, I’d have Plan B ready, involving a rapid midnight flight to the nearest uninvolved jurisdiction.
But happily, none of that needs to happen, because I’ve identified a source of all the money we need to save Ireland, and it’s right here on our doorstep.
You see, according to the most recent estimates, we have 14 billion euros worth of natural gas under the sea in the Corrib gas field, so we can use that to pay off our debts, can’t we?
Well no, actually, because Bertie Ahern and Ray Burke signed a deal handing the whole fucking lot to a Dutch and a Norwegian company, while giving the Irish taxpayer precisely nothing in return.
Wasn’t that smart of clever old Bertie and crooked old Ray?
Not a single penny for all our gas. Not even a guarantee that we get first call on it.
Watch as our gas is taken from the ground, protected by policemen paid for by your taxes, and sent to Russia.
Watch as old-age pensioners carry the burden of the bank bailout while thousands of millions of our natural resources are given away for nothing to a vast multinational energy consortium.
How will you feel about that as you lie on your hospital trolley when there’s no money for a bed in a ward or a doctor to treat you?
Will you feel proud to be Irish?
Previously on Bock: