By Red Hugh
WEEKEND polls put Fine Gael on 31% and Labour on 8% so they are close to getting the magical 40% which might see them over the line with the aid of a few pesky Independents who can be bought off. But here’s the news: I won’t be voting for them. And neither should you.
I detest this government in so, so many ways. In many ways I detest them more than the corruption that came with Fianna Fail.
Let me try to keep it short and simple: how about a government that seems to have had no problem with the banks and the developers making huge profits during the Celtic Tiger – the privatisation of profit – but the minute the brown stuff hit the fan it was the plain people who got the burden – the ‘socialisation’, if you will – of the debt.
Ideologically, Noonan and Kenny had no problem with this, didn’t squeal about it at all. The big boys had to get their money back. Simples.
Then there was the abject surrender to Germany – let’s not call it the EU or the Troika anymore; this is a German run show – where when Angela Merkel said ‘bow’, Noonan and Kenny fell to their knees.
We got shafted by the big boys to ensure the German bondholders and their friends would not be out of pocket. Believe me it’s not an exaggeration to say our grandchildren’s grandchildren will be paying for this.
And then there is this con that their policies have led to a ‘recovery’. Where do I begin with this?
This government policies didn’t bring about the (very limited) recovery we have; in my opinion they got lucky.
Very, very lucky. Let’s keep this to three things: the Euro is now trading about forty per cent below sterling hence our exports are flying; the price of oil when the crash hits us in the mouth was 140 dollars a barrel, it is now 40 dollars so our costs in imports are way down; and interest rates across the globe are the lowest since the industrial revolution began.
Money is cheap. The big test of their claims would be if tomorrow morning any – or all three – of these factors changed for the worse we could be back in the doodoo big time.
And the government’s ‘policies’ – for good or ill – would have no effect on our economic fortunes whatsoever.
A much simpler, direct way of finding out how effective this recovery is to go down the entire west coast of Ireland and try and find anyone who is better off that they were seven or eight years ago.
In the small towns, shops are closing, unemployment is still rising and emigration has only declined because most of the young people are already gone.
And, just to add a detail, a hell of a lot of them are bailing out water from homes and fields as I write this.
— surethingsfly (@surethingsfly) December 7, 2015
It’s worth asking too how many IDA jobs have been announced in Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim, Longford, Laois etc – keep going yourselves – in the past decade?
I would say it would be less than 5% of all jobs announced. So Minister Bruton can make all his claims about this is not just a recovery for the east coast and shove them because I doubt he’ll find too many in Tuam or Ballybofey or Virginia who’ll agree with him.
Fine Gael is a right wing party – look at Noonan’s publicly expressed contempt for Greece during their trials and tribulations – so looking out for their demographic was to be expected.
What was not to be expected was that the Labour Party became their ideological bedfellows. Indeed, it seemed on occasions they were more fiscally to the right of their government partners.
Now with an election in the offing their defence of their term in government is to claim they saved the people from far more extreme austerity, from Fine Gael’s Thatcherite wing.
Isn’t it a pretty pathetic defence for a major political party to define itself not by what it has done but what it stopped another party doing?
Sitting here this morning I think it amazing Joan Burton has the neck to claim hers is still a left wing party. Does she think we are morons?
Finally, before I go: Fine Gael and Fianna Fail – the two parties that have been constantly in power since the foundation of this State – are consistently warning the electorate about voting in 2016 for left wing parties stating they would ‘ruin our economy’. I really get a kick out of this one. It’s beyond irony.
Did you notice Gerry Adams or Joe Higgins on the government benches when we suffered the worst economic crash in history?
You’re right. Neither did I….