You have a choice tonight. You can either watch a stiff, talentless wannabe getting booed off the stage, or you can watch the X-Factor.
You see, much to Enda’s displeasure, TV3 refused to reschedule its mindless dross just to replace it with other mindless dross. He announced during the week that he would address The Nation on the grave threats facing us in the months and years ahead. I have it on good authority that he spent all of last week working out with his personal jaw-jutting coach, using a combination of weights and power-mumbling.
Don’t bother watching. I can tell you now what he’s going to say, so just have a quick scan through this and head out for a few pints.
He’ll tell us that we face the gravest challenge since the foundation of the State. The world, he’ll say, is in the grip of the most severe economic collapse since the Great Depression. He’ll say that the previous government left the coffers empty and the books in an awful condition. He”ll say that he and his colleagues were left with no option but to take corrective measures. He knows how difficult they are for people and he understands the levels of frustration out there among the ordinary workers of this country, as well as those unfortunate enough to have lost their jobs.
However, he’ll say, we have gone through three extremely harsh budgets and the coming one, while difficult, will not be as severe as those that went before. He understands that this is little consolation to those who are struggling to raise families and pay a mortgage, but the government will do all it can to alleviate the pain.
He’ll tell us that we have met all targets agreed with the Troika and that our economy is well on course to resume strong growth by 2013 at the latest. The export sector is booming and the domestic economy is predicted to make significant gains in the next twelve to eighteen months.
He’ll explain that he and Baldy managed to negotiate a reduction on the interest rates charged for the loan we took out to pay the people who lent us the money so that they wouldn’t lose anything after Anglo stiffed them. This makes us great boys and girls altogether, Enda will say. The best boys and girls in the whole wide world. And he might even give us a star, or a half-day.
He realises how much sacrifice people have had to make, but there is a light at the end of the, er, tunnel. Or a carrot.
Now, he’ll tell us, the Euro itself is under threat and the leaders of all the member-states will have to find a way of saving it, because the consequences of Euro collapse are so horrendous (he might even say horrendious) that they don’t bear thinking about. Zombies and mutants will roam deserted motorways in souped-up Morris Minors. There will be a nationwide shortage of ciabatta. And nobody will be able to afford Springsteen tickets.
The only way to solve this, he’ll tell us, is another Treaty, creating even stronger European integration.
In other words, he’ll be telling you that the only we we’re not going to be completely screwed is if we let the Germans look over our shoulders when we decide to spend money in future and offer guidance.
You know what? Considering the spending behaviour of Irish politicians over the past couple of decades, maybe he’s right. At least they couldn’t be worse.