Irish Politics Fails Yet Again

 Posted by on September 26, 2012  Add comments
Sep 262012

Isn’t “Oaf” a great word?

Without the word Oaf, we’d have no way to describe Brian Cowen or his bumbling successor, Enda Kenny, both of whom have brought the art of bluster to a new low.

Yes, it’s true that Cowen and Kenny are skilled  in some ways — both of them are able to hold a  suit jacket closed in a stiff breeze, and both of them can talk utter nonsense with a straight face — perhaps because they share a common political heritage.  After all, both men are sons of TDs, men from a bygone era when it was possible to snow the Irish people with utter nonsense.  Kenny took his seat in 1975 and Cowen in 1984, so that neither of these characters has ever done anything practical in the real world.

These are the men who faced the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the Troika as Ireland’s economy convulsed and collapsed.

Cowen was the one who, in 2008, took his orders from Jean-Claude Trichet and duly placed a gigantic burden on the shoulders of the Irish people, a burden that nobody could reasonably carry.  He guaranteed not only those banks that had a possibility of living, but also those that were obviously dead, and he did so on the instructions of those he perceived to be his masters in Europe.  As a consequence of Cowen’s decision, we pay out €3 billion every year in promissory notes to cover the cost of rescuing the investors who made a bad bet on the zombies Anglo-Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide.

Partly due to this stupidity and partly due to the profligacy of his administration in previous years, the Irish government became unable to borrow at sustainable rates on the open market and was forced to accept a bailout from the Troika to cover day-to-day expenditure.

When Kenny took power in 2011, he could have rescinded the suicidal decision to bail out unwise investors but chose to follow Cowen’s idiocy, on the logic that we needed to impress our European partners.  As a result, all the bondholders have now been paid off and the entire debt is being carried by four million Irish citizens.

Kenny was operating on the narrow parish-pump logic that  he learned growing up in Mayo, and he thought the same sort of nod and wink would work in Europe, but he was wrong.

Today, the finance ministers of Germany, Holland and Finland announced that problems like ours are legacy issues.  In other words, these things are in the past and it’s up to us to solve them, even though we were intimidated into taking them on in the first place so that the European banking system wouldn’t be endangered.

What’s our leader  saying about it?  Well, the DNA has kicked in.  Enda has gone into Kenny-Cowen waffle mode and it’s back to the future.  Enda is right there in the 1950s, shouting from the back of a creamery lorry and he’s bullshitting  with the best of them, just like his cabinet colleagues.   Black is white, says Enda.  Night is day and up is down.

Well that might have worked back when Enda’s dad and Brian’s dad were shouting bullshit at a bunch of half-educated peasants outside the church gates but times have moved on.  Enda can preen and bluster all he likes, he can prance and posture in his awkward-looking suit, he can pretend to be comfortable speaking in public when in fact he looks like Christy Mahon in a bad theatrical society Playboy, but people aren’t fooled any more.

The game is up.  The truth is out.

We’re stuffed, because Cowen and Lenihan and Kenny were naive enough to believe that we’d be rewarded for being the good guys.

In the real political world, only the bad guys are rewarded.

Fianna Fáíl and Fine Gael.   This is what we elected to lead us and this is what we deserve.


  36 Responses to “Irish Politics Fails Yet Again”

Comments (36)

    Ah sure the big boys are only posturing…..they don’t really mean it….nod nod wink wink


    Move along now, nothing to see here.
    Enda is wearing the grimace of a convict making on
    he never got buggered in the shower last night.


    That frown would get him a role in Star Trek.


    That chappie looks as though his about to make his first holy communion , complete with hair held in place with a bit of lipstick flavoured mammy spittle and the guilty look of a small boy who’s been caught out . Picture says a lot, imo .


    Bock,dont forget to give some credit to Baldy. Hes another one. The prick.


    FG is terrified of a winter of discontent and will not implement meaningful public service reform. The private sector and small businesses will continue to get hammered. The quicker Kenny and his clowns wreck the economy, the sooner the IMF will directly intervene with our public service. The IMF are twisted sadists. They would enjoy torturing the public service vested interests. The sooner we really go under economically, the sooner we can push the reset button.


    “Your comment is awaiting moderation”
    Bock:Oh dear, is it that bad ?


    The man is simply way out of his depth.The really sad thing is that most other countries politicians know this and treat him as such.There was something to be said for Haughey,he did’nt give a fuck who he offended.


    I am sick and tired of explaining to people that the spam system sometimes traps comments for no reason.

    Patience, please, I urge you.


    Lets not forget that good auld lad be the name of Bertie there Mr.Bock


    If I listed all of them, we’d be here for the rest of the night.


    Do we citizens always vote for mediocre mirror images of our collective selves and thus get the mediocrity we deserve?


    I agree with the Gombeenman.. Everywhere else in the world the IMF come in and get on with it.
    Of course this would not suit the parasites with their noses in the trough. Naturally they who have the ear of and advise the government will do anything they can to protect their exalted position and their over padded arses.
    By the way , did anyone ever find out how much the lads got in their brown envelopes for agreeing to bail out Anglo et al?


    Ah but shure aren’t they the right lads.

    If you’re waiting for the troika to sort it out, you’ll be waiting. All they want is payments made on time and a reduction in the budget deficit. Doesn’t matter how many schools are wrecked, hospital beds closed. They are reluctant to interfere with the non-reforming policies of the government (small g) because they are euro bureaucrats (at least the EU part) and deal with the clowns in the civil service who decide budget strategy will protect their pay pensions and 2012 reg cars at all costs so fuck us the small people……………I wonder when we’ll collectively wake up to the two tier society we have become. Just watch the VHI ads on telly…………….you’ll get treated in hospital if you have it, if not, go get fucked and wait in the A and E.


    I feel your pain.

    No, seriously. I do.


    I also find those smug smarmy VHI ads particularly nauseating, they always trot out some self assured 30 something with that sense of entitlement that became de rigeur during the last decade, accompanied by the usual accessory: a daughter with some obscure unpronouncible name as Gaeilge.
    The private sector need a union, be it cleaners, plumbers, petrol station attendants, printers barristers, accountants, factory workers: they need to have a serious union that will tell our useless politicians that the tail can no longer wag the dog. The private sector pay the bloated pensions of the arrogant public sector, they pay for their 2012 reg cars, their holiday homes in Westport, and what do they get in return?–try phoning any public service on a Friday afternoon–chances are you will get an answering machine or some curt clerk who won’t give you their name. Public service my arse. Parasites!


    I don’t like this false division between public and private sectors. It’s designed to distract attention from the vreal problems.

    Do you think firefighters, nurses, paramedics and waterworks operators are parasites?


    No, I don’t. Many public servants are hard working and give excellent service. Unfortunately many in higher grades manipulate the system to their advantage-they often do not have the slightest interest in service provision. There should be no guaranteed job for life; all public servants-particularly the senior ones should be appraised every few years and the non-performers binned. If they have a job for life, then they should have defined contribution pensions–they should not have a job for life AND a defined benefit pension. In times of hardship, those who feel that they are being screwed are going to resent paying for those with the cosy cushion.


    This campaign has been a huge success and should be on all political science degree courses.

    People are now much more angry about the pay of higher public servants than they are about the billions being paid out to the gamblers who invested in Anglo Irish Bank.

    It’s a brilliant strategy, and I take my hat off to whoever dreamed it up.


    What false division Bock?
    I don`t see any comments here attacking any ordinary moderately paid public servants. However its time that they woke up to reality and realise the country is broke. When are we going to hear from the unions representing lower paid public servants on the parasitic wasters in the public service that are bleeding us dry.
    To go a step further why not make all public servants ( earning 50k+) reapply for their jobs. Using independent adjudicators to oversee the appointments.
    How many would get their jobs back?


    How about this comment ?

    “Public service my arse. Parasites!”


    Why are you defending the indefensible Bock.

    The night Biffo and the boys sold us down the river, who were advising them The smurfs ?. When the bailout was agreed, why were we treated differently to any ordinary banana republic? Simple it wouldn`t have suited the bureaucratic parasites to have their snouts removed from the trough.

    Face facts Bock. In the same way that its morally wrong that we cover the debts of a private entity such as a bank, it is equally wrong to pay salaries, perks and pensions to our top paid public servant when the country is bankrupt.


    I put my hand up on that comment—it was too general and unfair to the many hardworking public servants who are living very ordinary lives. I should have qualified it.
    I had an image in my mind of a woman of a certain age sitting in her Mercedes in the consultant’s car park of a provincial hospital at 2AM, dripping in jewellery and busily applying her make up before making her grand entrance whilst her team were jumping up and down on some poor unfortunate trying to turn a blue lifeless man into a pink breathing one. That’s the kind of public sector parasite I had in mind. Mea Culpa.


    Mel — I’m defending the defensible, unless you think Cowen and Lenihan were advised by a fireman and a street cleaner on the night of the bailout.


    They might as well have been…..


    I personally believe that Lenihan and Cowen paid heed to no advice that night. Not even the three-page memo they handed Merrill Lynch millions to draw up.


    I’d say it was a pretty forlorn place to be; there must have been real fear in that room wondering if financial armageddon faced them in the morning—and then as you so eloquently described them some time ago, when faced with questions and problems beyond their comprehension and abilities, the good old WaffleFF kicked in and the rest is history.


    Given the history of FF and their glorious past, might it be plausible to suggest brown envelopes and offshore accounts were on the agenda that night Bock?

    Gombeenman, FF waffle my eye, they used the traditional route.


    Seems like Irish politics failed on a number of fronts i.e the bank bail out, public service reform and basically succeeded in maintaining stroke politics and dodgy decision making.

    So refreshing really that we are at least consistent.

    And I agree Bock that there should not be a public – private sector divide but it does exist and is made worse by the lack of reform and maybe it is convenient that it distracts from the main issue of bailing the banks and maintaining stroke capitalism. Sad to say my brain freezes at this point to avid a seizure so…………

    ……….off I go for a long walk now that I,m back in the auld sod and we do have some wonderful landscape left ………….so far.


    gombeenman above included these categories…”cleaners, plumbers, petrol station attendants…factory workers” in a litany of public workers who should have a protective union. Bock soon asked whether “… firefighters, nurses, paramedics and waterworks operators are parasites?”

    Thanks Bock, for disentangling some really underpaid and underprotected categories of our society from the well-paid and cushioned sectors. I don’t buy the rhetoric of smug politicians who assert that We are All in it Together. A hundred years ago when the Titanic went down in icy waters a greater proportion of steerage class passengers than those in second and first class went down to the bottom with it.

    Ireland is a metaphorical Titanic today. The cleaners, firefighters, young nurses, petrol station attendants and others are among the steerage passengers.


    abandon ship or fix the hole in the titanic (lots of raw material, work and real effort) and fuck the politicians and self appointed Irish Aristocracy overboard. I,m for the latter.


    “Do you think firefighters, nurses, paramedics and waterworks operators are parasites?”. Sorry, cannot resist this – if any of the aforementioned groups engaged in “benchmarking” (and some of them did, and many that are not in the list did also i.e teachers,gardai) then yes, they *are* parasites. (bet I’ll burn for this comment ha ha!)
    Although in fairness I also see this as a separate issue to the gambling give-back and not something to be debated together, since we’d still have the former problem without the latter, so I don’t think that we have to blame all our woes on the unions…


    To the best of my knowledge, the cuts in public sector pay reversed any gains made in benchmarking, but that’s beside the point.

    The fact is that we need firefighters, home helps, nurses, doctors, roadworkers and all the rest. We can get by fine without auctioneers, travel agents, hairdressers and talk show hosts.

    Therefore, would it not make more sense to distinguish between those workers who are productive and those who are not, regardless of who employs them?


    I have come to be sickened by the displays of greed we all observe from those chosen to represent us. If their position is to serve, (they are civil servants after all), they should serve. I am of the opinion their salary’s are far too high engendering the “more wants more” mindset. They are put simply, not value for money. Who will tell these people exactly what their real worth is, and pay them accordingly? Yet here are the servants deciding their own worth! And should you make a balls of the job because you’re incompetent, well you’re not really accountable are you? just kow-tow to your betters and facilitate for them, cling to power at all costs, and you will be rewarded with riches.

    I seem to have become very cynical.

    I’d like to see a much more modest income for them, with expense a/c certainly;- with quarterly audits published, Oh and I’d like to see The Health Minister’s post automatically disbar the incumbent from accessing any but
    public health services.

    I feel as close to an Orwellian nightmare as I ever want to be.


    I hear you Rob, although I would say the solution is the opposite; they should be given so much money they literally do not know what to do with it. Then they would be totally incorruptible because how can you buy someone who already has everything? Of course the corruption of power itself is always a danger but personally I feel that there’s limited damage they can do since you have already removed the primary driver of corruption i.e personal gain.
    Freed then from any actual material wants or needs, they could actually focus on running the place properly without the interference of anyone, as opposed to concentrating on feathering their own nests.
    The rub would be, after their term is ended, for 72 hours it is legal to kill them, and they are not allowed to leave the country during that time.


    He’s made the cover of ‘Time’ with ‘Celtic Comeback’ as the heading ( all in cringeworthy green ) wot the ? Take’s spin to a whole new level, I reckon . Gawd, how they luv him so !

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