Categories
Economy

Enda Kenny Lays Down the Law With Greece

Many years ago, we had a dog called Lazarus.  He wasn’t named after the famous Lazarus who rose from the dead at the command of Jesus, but after an entirely different Lazarus, a poor beggar who crouched at the rich man’s table and scoured the ground for whatever crumbs might fall there.  He was a nice dog, but he did have a habit of grovelling and moaning until someone threw him a few crumbs.

Now, you might think I mention this parable in reference to the Greeks, but I do not.

Getting support from Europe does require conditions to be adhered to, warned Enda Kenny, in an impressively lifelike illusion.  Robotics has come a long way from the days when a ventriloquist had to sit the puppet on his lap with a hand through a hole in its back.  These days, they can be radio-controlled and the new plastic skin is incredibly convincing, though they still haven’t quite nailed the synthetic voice-box and the hair is a bit red to be fully human.

Was that a trace of a Dr Strangelove accent creeping into Enda’s lecture as he reminded Greece about getting too uppity with the ECB and his good friends at the top table of Europe?  The ones who occasionally throw Enda a crumb when they’re not patting him on the head or kicking him.

Enda would do well to remember what country he’s the Prime Minister of.  This is the country where, according to Professor Bill Black, the government made the worst financial mistake in history.  A country where insane decisions were taken, including the decision to bail out subordinated bondholders, which has never happened anywhere else.  A country that capitulated fully to the bullying of the ECB and the European Commission, with the result that the country sank.

And after Kenny crawled into office by defeating the worst government in our history, he continued to support the same insane decisions that had sunk the country, including paying subordinated bondholders every  penny of the face value on the paper they held.  He continued to provide high-risk gamblers with a guarantee of winning the jackpot.

Now, in an embarrassing example of Stockholm Syndrome,  here’s Enda parrotting the words of his remote-control operators, and patronising a country that seeks to resist the sort of bullying that drove Ireland to the precipice.

I imagine the Greeks laughed it off, if they noticed at all.  In truth, who could be offended by anything an automaton might say?  Especially an automaton that is still too stiff to pass a Turing Test.

The Lazarus-2015 unit is working well enough, but it’s still at the development stage.  Unfortunately, it somehow managed to become our head of government.

Send for Deckard.

_____________

Previously:

Enda gets an Action Man

 

 

Categories
Politics

Enda Kenny Pretends to Apologise to Maurice McCabe And Puts His Own Credibility On The Line

Enda Kenny said he has no problem apologising to Maurice McCabe for the issues that he raised and for the fact that his raising these matters wasn’t dealt with more speedily in the first instance.

Let’s analyse that.

Firstly, Enda doesn’t actually apologise for anything.  He simply says that he would have no problem apologising in certain circumstances.

What are those circumstances?

the issues that he raised and for the fact that his raising these matters wasn’t dealt with more speedily in the first instance

Enda has no business apologising to Maurice McCabe for the issues he raised, since Enda didn’t bring them about, but let’s look at the second part of his sentence

the fact that his raising these matters wasn’t dealt with more speedily in the first instance

Does anyone think speed is the issue?

Nonsense.

The reality is that everyone, from the Garda middle management to the Commissioner, from the Department of Justice to the minister and on to Enda Kenny himself, did their best to portray Maurice McCabe as a troublemaker.  They did their best to silence him, all of them, including Enda Kenny.

Therefore, when Enda Kenny says he’d have no difficulty apologising to Maurice McCabe, he is talking standard-issue guff.

The Guerin report is utterly damning.  It exposes  everyone, from the local Gardai all the way up to the Commissioner as part of a completely inadequate and unprofessional policing organisation, but it also implicates the Department of Justice in the spectacular screw-up that is Irish policing.

The new Justice Minister, Frances Fitzgerald, has twice failed to express confidence in Brian Purcell, head of the Justice department, even though this was the man sent to wave the hatchet at Martin Callinan, the doomed Garda chief.

Callinan is gone.  His political puppet-master Alan Shatter is gone.  Purcell might well be gone before the week is out, but where does that place Enda Kenny, who was more than happy to leave the garda whistleblowers swinging in the breeze  when he found it politically expedient?

As with most other things Kenny says, his expression of support for McCabe is bullshit, but in this case it might be tinged with a hint of concern  for his own political survival.  After all, he was the man who backed his justice minister when Shatter sought to rubbish what McCabe had been saying.  He was the man who dismissed the assertions that Sean Guerin subsequently found to be true and believable.

Enda Kenny’s own inquiry showed that he had been oppressing an innocent and well-intentioned man.

Therefore, by definition, Enda Kenny’s own credibility is now on the line and maybe it’s time he stood aside in favour of a leader who isn’t so quick to believe and propagate nonsense.

Somebody better than Enda, in other words.  How hard could that be?

 

 

Categories
Favourites Politics

Exiting the Bailout — Enda Kenny Addresses the Nation

Tonight, our Prime Minister, Nadiba, addressed us in all his sincerity and pomposity.

Enda kenny Nadiba

I didn’t listen to it, obviously.  Life’s too short for listening to a guy who can’t talk, but I imagine he straightened his tie, patted down the front of his jacket, checked his parting and said humpty humpty humpty hoo, or words to that effect, in whatever Mayo people think is a posh accent, because that’s what Nadiba does.  The primary teacher of our nation.

Thank you, Nadiba, for teaching us to sing The Wheels On The Bus.  And thank you for giving us strange Irish versions of our names.

But most of all, Nadiba, thank you for giving us a belief in our inner Culchie.

As our children spread out across the world, abandoning the country that was fucked by you and your mirror image party, Fianna Fáil, at least they’ll carry with them the inspirational leadership of Nadiba and his predecessor DaBert da Mighty.

Let us all celebrate for having such wonderful politicians to represent us.

 

Categories
Politics

Abolishing the Senate – More Power to Enda

That’s all I have to say about abolishing the Senate.

More power to Enda.

If you’re OK with that, vote Yes.

Categories
Favourites Religion

The Declericalisation of Ireland — Removing the Priests from Public Policy

My household-gods plant a terrible fixed foot, and are not rooted up without blood, said Charles Lamb in his essay New Year’s Eve.

For those who love language, let the words wash over your lips.  We can return to the point after tasting the wine of Lamb’s lyricism.

I would set up my tabernacle here. I am content to stand still at the age to which I am arrived; I, and my friends: to be no younger, no richer, no handsomer. I do not want to be weaned by age; or drop, like mellow fruit, as they say, into the grave.–Any alteration, on this earth of mine, in diet or in lodging, puzzles and discomposes me. My household-gods plant a terrible fixed foot, and are not rooted up without blood. They do not willingly seek Lavinian shores. A new state of being staggers me.

Wonderful.  The intoxication of words.

But let us return to the point, which is the removal of long-held ideas.  These days, we forget the household gods that every society invented and venerated, not least the Irish, whose attachment to the elemental and the ancient is written into the very DNA of our speech.   It’s no wonder that people such as us would have been so vulnerable to grooming by sacerdotal smooth-talkers, just as the vulnerable everywhere are groomed by potential abusers.  Who in Europe, during the mid-nineteenth century might have been more open to seduction than our ancestors, after the appalling social dislocation caused by the latest famine?  It’s true that there were previous catastrophic famines, but what happened in the 1840s was Ireland’s Shoah and we’re still feeling its reverberations a century and three-quarters later.

John Charles McQuaid

No priest died in the time of the Famine, roars the Bull McCabe, an extraordinarily brave speech to put in a character’s mouth when John B Keane wrote The Field, in  the Ireland of the sixties.  Keane showed remarkable courage writing such a line in small-town, narrow-minded Listowel and yet he got away with it, even though the clerics continued to dictate policy to governments for decades to come.  The narrative of the time was that the priests were the defenders of the people, selflessly sacrificing themselves for the good of the people.

In Ireland, perhaps just as much as anywhere else, folk history derives from folk songs, and those very songs can soon attain the patina of antiquity even though they might be no more than a year or two old and even though they might be based on utter nonsense.

Patrick McCall, for instance, a Dubliner writing a century after the 1798 rebellion, produced Boolavogue, a song belted out by many an impassioned patriot.  The narrative in the song takes no account of what really happened in Wexford 100 years previously.  Its main character, Father Murphy, is a conflation of at least three separate people and it ignores the random slaughter of Protestants in the locality.  Yet for many Irish people, it formed the primary source of what they regarded as knowledge about 1798.  By such means are hatreds inflamed.

Barely a decade before Keane wrote The Field, the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland, working closely with the protected medical (and Catholic) elite, had successfully scuppered a simple proposal by Noel Browne to protect poor mothers and children.  Ultimately, even the supposedly radical Browne bowed the knee to those same bishops.

It’s not only songs that can achieve a false layer of antiquity.  When Paul Cullen, Ireland’s first Cardinal, arrived in 1850, while the Famine still afflicted hundreds of thousands, he entertained no thoughts of poverty.  Cullen’s plan was to convince the Irish people that his version of Catholicism had existed forever, and he succeeded in doing so.  Few Catholics today are aware that Cullen invented rituals such as Benediction.   In the 1840s, Cullen’s thoughts were fixed solely on power, and that’s why he held a magnificent procession in Thurles, thronged by the great and the good.  Those who could afford rail travel converged by train.  Others came by horse, and the rest walked.  The wealthy commandeered the upper windows of the town, better to observe the magnificent procession of the church princes.  It mattered nothing that poor people starved in the fields as the trains rattled past, for this was a matter of the Magisterium.

And as the years went by, it mattered little to Cullen that tenants were evicted in their hundreds of thousands to book passage on the  coffin ships, as long as he consolidated the power of Rome on the island of Ireland.

Cullen achieved his goal, as one might expect from a man of such considerable intellect.  Priests were now Father, instead of Mister.  Arrogant young fellows in priestly garb policed all public gatherings, watching for immorality in a very Irish precursor of the 20th century Iranian Islamic police.  They sanitised the dancing, eventually rendering it into a vile and embarrassing parody of culture, a revolting beauty contest for little girls.

As time went on, they consolidated Rome’s power, eventually achieving their greatest ambition when the British withdrew and they found themselves in complete control of a subservient, grovelling Catholic government.  Contraception was banned.  Divorce was banned.  Books were banned.  Thinking was banned.

Children were consigned to the care of brutal, ideologically-driven, sexually-dysfunctional clerics in the industrial schools.

Films were censored.  Foreign publications were banned.  Modern European authors were banned.  Music was banned.  Public dancing was banned except in tightly controlled circumstances.  Public libraries were filled with anodyne western novels for the men and mindless romantic escapism for the women.

Priests roamed the countryside, laying down the clerical law.

The archbishop of Dublin was given a say in the writing of our national constitution.

This is the legacy we’re still recovering from and this is why it will take a long time before we’re free of it.  Household gods are not rooted up too easily.  Ireland as a country is suffering from a prolonged Stockholm Syndrome, going all the way back to Paul Cullen’s arrival in 1850 and the transition won’t happen overnight, but there are signs that things are changing.

For all his shortcomings, and he has many, Enda Kenna has now done several things that posterity will judge him positively for.

Kenny is the first Irish prime minister to publicly rebuke the Vatican for interference in our republic.

He’s the first to assert that the only important book in affairs of state is the constitution, not the Bible.

And he’s the first to state publicly that, while he might be a Catholic man, he isn’t a Catholic taoiseach.

There are many things we can beat him over the head with, and I’ll continue to do so.  I’ve condemned him for many things, but let me venture this opinion.  Enda Kenny will be written about as the Irish head of government who defined Ireland as a secular state.  Given our history, that’s revolutionary, and perhaps it took a conservative Catholic to achieve it.

A new state of being staggers us, and with good reason.

______________

Previously

Magdalene laundries and the power of shame
Re-inventing Ireland. Time to grow up.
Ireland Needs Vision and Focus
The Non-Fighting Irish
The Loss of Local Irish Accents

 

Categories
Crime Religion Society

Enda Kenny Apologises to Magdalene Victims

It’s good that Enda Kenny has apologised to the Magdalene slaves on behalf of the State, but isn’t something missing?

Where is the apology from the nuns who ran these slave labour camps?  Where is the apology from the NSPCC (now the ISPCC), employers of the feared and unsupervised  cruelty men who consigned so many children and young women to this slavery and to abuse in industrial schools?  Where is the apology from the Legion of Mary, whose members — almost unbelievably — served as unofficial probation officers, facilitating the incarceration of people they disapproved of?  Where is the apology from the Roman Catholic church on behalf of all those parish priests who ripped children from the heart of their families because of some warped and perverted view of sexuality?

I haven’t seen or heard any apology from any of these groupings.

What an extraordinary society it was that deputised an assortment of self-serving busybodies to act on its behalf.  What a strange country that gave (and continues to give) such power to clerics and self-appointed meddlers.

magdalene laundries

It has been said that many of the cruelty men lived a more affluent life than their salaries might indicate, and there is no doubt that every Magdalene slave and industrial school slave was a money-making asset for the religious orders, no matter what their account ledgers might indicate today.  Any business with unlimited access to free labour is doing well.  The nuns and the brothers had unlimited access to such a pool of labour, and it has been said that some cruelty men benefited financially from their gratitude.  It has even been suggested that there was a bounty on a child’s head, which might account for the arrest and conviction of children for robbing an orchard, for missing school, or in the case of young girls, for being a little too pretty.

Now, nobody can doubt that Enda Kenny was sincere in his apology to the Magdalene slaves.  Even though I don’t subscribe to his political outlook, Enda is the ultimate boring embodiment of unimaginative middle-Ireland, and he is a decent man.  But as I said already, that apology is partial at best, given the absence of contrition from all the others complicit in the abuse and incarceration of these women.

The last time a government set up a mechanism for restitution and redress, it was deeply flawed.  The Residential Institutions Redress Board was an intimidating and cold experience for those who came before it and the process provided yet another opportunity for legal firms to make money at the expense not only of the State, but of the victims themselves, through double billing.

Besides that, the abusive religious orders paid little or nothing towards the cost.  Instead, they denied and obfuscated right up to the end and have never shown the slightest genuine remorse for their actions.

The priority must be to support and protect victims of the Magdalene laundries.  Let the State look after them without question, and then, if necessary, let us change our law to limit property rights, just as we did only last week in passing the Anglo legislation.  Let us judge how much the religious orders should contribute to the cost and let us take this money from them whether they like it or not, just as we should have done after the Ryan Report.

Just as this state has always failed to do.

 

____________________________

Previously:

Magdalene laundries and the power of shame

Ryan Report

____________________________

Child abuse commission

 

Categories
Economy

Budget 2012 – Taking from the Poor and Giving to the Rich

Bludget.  What a wonderful word.  Bludget.

The nation should be eternally grateful to Marian Finucane for coining such a gem, just as I am myself.  I for one welcome our Troika overlords and when the government bludgets us into submission tomorrow, it will be a great comfort to know the name of the abuse being inflicted on us, while we cower and shiver beneath the blows.

You see, here’s the thing: this is the best country in the whole world for following orders, and there’s a simple reason why.  We never knew a time when somebody wasn’t telling us what to do.  If it wasn’t the Brits in the 18th century, it was the Brits and the priests in the 19th century, or the priests alone in the 20th.

We’ve actually never had a time in our history when we had the confidence to stand up and assert ourselves in a quiet, firm, non-violent way, and say NO.  We are afraid of everything because countless generations have been conditioned into that frame of mind, and on the rare occasions when we try to break out of our fear, we replace it with aggression.

As I’ve said many times before, we as a nation are infantile and that manifests itself in the people who lead us.

 

 

I suppose there’s no more ludicrous example than Enda Kenny, a man for whom the phrase stuffed shirt might have been invented.  I’ll admit that he’s not a crook, but that’s hardly the qualification of choice to be a prime minister.  Enda is out of his depth because he lacks inner dignity, just as the rest of our government does, and just as the rest of our politicians do, with one or two exceptions.

What do I mean by inner dignity?  I mean an ingrained of self-worth on his own behalf and on behalf of the people he claims to represent, a sense of pride that might erupt into a cold burning fury in the face of injustice, just as it did among the people of Iceland.

I do not mean the sort of pompous rigidity that Enda Kenny seems to possess in such abundance, or the gauche and fake formality that Irish politicians love so much in the company of those they perceive to be their betters.

Does Enda Kenny possess inner dignity?  No, unless you consider it acceptable that any prime minister should tell the world his people are mad.  Has any Irish leader since independence possessed inner dignity?  Not that I can recall, though I’m open to reminder.  I have seen no evidence of outrage among our leaders at the crime inflicted on this country by the previous government.  Instead, in an act of the most obscene, supine docility, Kenny, Noonan and the rest of them have continued to push the suicidal policies initiated by the two Brians.

There is no sense of outrage, unfortunately.  Only a sad and embarrassing desire to please, wrapped up in the phony language of business, a jargon designed to lend spurious credibility to bankrupt ideas.

Brian Lucey, an occasional contributor to this humble organ, has drawn up an Austerity Dictionary that hits many nails on the head.

 

Defaulter —   a word which cannot be seen on the forehead of a modern Irishman due to his deeply tugged forelock

Democracy — [Error: File not found]

Government — See Troika…

Public services  —  Irish government euphamism for debt amassed by banks, bondholders and unsecured bondholders

4 —  amount by which BBC salaries are multiplied to get equivalent levels at RTE

Austerity [n]  — The taking of money from passive citizens and giving it to wealthy gamblers.

 

And so on and so on.  Feel free to contribute your own on Twitter using #austeridictionary.

 

Before I go, let me just mention something I’ve often spoken of here.  Energy.

Our friends in the Troika have identified every last little cut, every penny that in their view should be pinched, and yet they seem to have been remarkably silent on the subject of gas and oil.  They don’t seem to have said a word about the fact that we give it all away free to the multinational energy companies.  Now, I know what people will say: if we charged them for royalties and shared ownership, they wouldn’t come here.  And to that, I’d say, so what?  Since we get nothing for our energy resources, why don’t we just leave the gas and oil in the ground until they’re really valuable instead of giving them away for nothing?

The Troika are fairly trenchant when it comes to certain kinds of generosity, such as the generosity that allows old people to live in some sort of frugal comfort, or the generosity that enables poor families to feed and clothe their children, and yet they stayed remarkably silent when it came to other forms of generosity.

For example, when it came to our insane generosity towards the bank bondholders, they had no comment at all, and when it came to our world-beating generosity to multinational conglomerates such as Royal Dutch Shell, there wasn’t a peep out of them.  They seem perfectly happy that we get nothing at all – nothing! – from the people who take our oil and gas.

Why would that be, do you think?  Why are they so quiet when it comes to corporate giveaways?

 

__________________

Previously: the Corrib energy theft

 

Also

Re-inventing Ireland. Time to grow up.

Ireland Needs Vision and Focus
The Non-Fighting Irish
The Loss of Local Irish Accents

Categories
Favourites Society

Infantile Ireland

Infantilism is a theme I’ve been returning to over the years, and to be specific, the infantile thinking of the Irish nation.  If we were looking for a living  example, we should be grateful to Enda Kenny, though of course, he’s far from the only example, even if he might be the most embarrassing.

Recently, the Psychological Society of Ireland held a conference during which various speakers discussed the Irish psyche as an example of postcolonial society, with speakers pointing out our delusional approach to life and our warped sense of nationhood.

I can understand this, just as you can if you happen to be Irish.

Who hasn’t experienced the strange and pathetic Irish need to be liked?  Not the Dutch.  Not the Finns.  Not the French.  Not the Germans.  Not the British. Not the Greeks.

Nobody in Europe, apart from the Irish, suffers from that sad need, and yet such neediness is what has landed us in our present predicament.  The need to be liked transcends the need to be respected, as our Prime Minister recently demonstrated when he collected a little bauble as European of the Year.

Can anyone  imagine the Greek prime minister travelling to Berlin in order to receive a  toy from the German magazine publishers?  What would the Portuguese think if their leader jumped in the air when somebody threw him a shiny plastic bone?

It was the need to be liked that led Lenihan and Cowen to submit when their masters instructed them to guarantee every bank in Europe.  They might not have realised that, but ultimately, Brian and Brian were serfs in a way they might not have understood themselves.

Unlike many countries who underwent revolution, we didn’t achieve any real independence.  All we did was transfer power from one privileged group to another, which was always the plan.  We ended up with men in the shadows continuing to exert control as they do to this day, but we still needed politicians in order to maintain the illusion of democracy, and here’s where the crunch comes.

We’re serfs.  Our mindset is that of the serf.  We never crawled out from beneath the power of those who determined our future in colonial days, and in the world’s most extended example of Stockholm Syndrome, we still cling to such notions today.

In apeing our betters, we Irish have failed to stand on our own two feet and face the world as adults.  Instead of doing that, we  promoted a class of people who copied  the accents and manners of of the former ruling classes.  We gave these people highly-paid jobs in the national broadcasting company where nationwide attitudes are formed, and we set about creating a country with an inferiority complex.

The effort succeeded.  We consolidated our national inferiority and eliminated all efforts to become a distinct society.  We didn’t want to be Irish.  We rejected it.  Just as in previous decades we eschewed our language, now we turned our backs on local accents, because at our heart we are ashamed to be Irish.

We are ashamed of what we are.  Let’s face up to it.

We are ashamed to be Irish.  Listen to the mid-Atlantic accents our young people use today.  Why are they ashamed of the way their parents speak?  Why do they try to speak like Americans?  I doubt they’re aware of this.  If you confronted the average 20-year-old, they’d probably be completely baffled, but that’s because the process has happened over such a long time that they think it was always like this.

Leaving all that aside, we need to ask ourselves why we have, as a nation, such a desperate need to please.

Is it the shit-eating desire  to placate an oppressor?  Perhaps.

Nobody talks like Enda Kenny in real life, do they?  Realistically, do you know anyone who talks like Enda Kenny?  I’m willing to bet that Enda Kenna doesn’t talk like Enda Kenny when he gets home and just wants to relax with a coffee.  But this is something we Irish have internalised: the belief that there’s something wrong with how we talk.

Watch Enda giving a speech and you can see a man doing battle with his inner self.  His elocutionised persona is fighting his inner Endaness to the death in an embarrassing embodiment of the fundamental Irish conflict.  How to be yourself while at the same time satisfying your outer snob.

Snobbery is the ultimate expression of insecurity and I’m afraid Irish society is riddled with it, in a deeply pathetic way.  When I was a kid, our teachers imposed a ridiculous old snob on us in a futile attempt to modify our accents, even though there was nothing wrong with our pronunciation.  Why?  Because our vowels were not the ones formally ordained as socially acceptable.

And who made this judgement?  More fools, desperately trying to hide their own personal insecurity.

Ireland doesn’t work and it never has worked since independence for three reasons.  The first is because the country has always been in the grip of a privileged elite who never cared whether the government was British or local.  The second is that Irish people have been deliberately infantilised in order to make them accept whatever insane proposition they’re presented with.  The third is that we have been deliberately conditioned to think of ourselves as inferior, which is why neither we nor our politicians have the balls to say NO to Europe when asked to commit national suicide.

We are serfs.

__________

 

See also
Re-inventing Ireland. Time to grow up.
Ireland Needs Vision and Focus
The Non-Fighting Irish
The Loss of Local Irish Accents

Categories
Politics

Enda Gets An Action-Man

Isn’t it a lovely feeling , as the evenings shorten and Christmas approaches in these recessionary times?

Warm, glowing fires, families huddled around the crackling banisters as their dads prise up floorboards in the spare bedroom, with all the kids looking forward to their presents.

Here.  Have a coloured pebble.  Happy Christmas.

Meanwhile, there’s our great leader,  clutching his Euro-transformer, (batteries not included) and he’s just delighted.

He’s thrilled.

Look.  I got a, a, well, a thing.  Look, lads.  I got a thing!

What does it turn into?  Nothing really, though it does a reasonable impersonation of an adult, grown-up Prime Minister, and that’s why the clever old Germans called it an Enda.  Who said the Germans had no sense of humour?

Here’s what the Enda can do.

Press the button on its back and it walks around the room holding out its hand until someone shakes it.

Pat its head and it cringes cutely.

Speak to the Enda and it repeats everything you said, word for word. (Note: loud voice required).

Praise the Enda and it shits on all the other dolls.

A perfect gift for rich kids at Christmas.  The best action-figure in the whole wide world.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Economy

Irish Politics Fails Yet Again

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.

Oafs.