Observer Editorial - Ireland Has Been Betrayed By Its Leaders

picador

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It never seemed to matter in the boom years, but strictly speaking, there is no such thing as a Celtic Tiger. The image was coined in the mid-90s to compare Ireland with voraciously expanding economies in east Asia.

Now that boom has turned to bust, and Ireland is negotiating a European bailout, the mythical nature of the beast is poignant. There were no big cats in Dublin after all.

But there were fat cats. The Irish boom saw a vast property bubble puffed up by appallingly managed banks with the complicity of idle regulators and political cronies. House prices between 1994 and 2006 rose by around 520%. The relationships between developers, their financiers and the officials who authorised the building spree were usually cosy, often corrupt.
... Ireland's unique misfortune is to have, in Brian Cowen's Fianna Fáil government, leaders who shipwrecked the economy and then capsized the lifeboats. The initial crisis response in 2008 was designed in such a way as effectively to absorb the doomed banking sector into the state, with no safeguards for taxpayers. While fitting as a kind of poetic commentary on what had happened in the boom years, as policy it was insane.
There is a real danger of Irish society being hollowed out, with a discredited political elite holding nominal power and no legitimacy while an angry, disoriented, heavily indebted and increasingly poor population chase dwindling jobs. Ireland needs social and political renewal as much as it needs economic recovery
Ireland can still be a good place to do business. But it needs to rediscover the vigour and imagination that fired the early years of the boom and jettison the lazy cronyism and corruption that marked its decadent demise.

The moral bankruptcy of Irish politics is the biggest obstacle to recovery. The EU can bail out the budget; only a public vote can clear out the government.
Ireland has been betrayed by its leaders | Editorial | Comment is free | The Observer
 
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Chrisco

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Well put, though it is the Observer, not the Guardian.
 

Mushroom

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"But Ireland's unique misfortune is to have, in Brian Cowen's Fianna Fáil AND GREEN government, leaders who shipwrecked the economy and then capsized the lifeboats. The initial crisis response in 2008 was designed in such a way as effectively to absorb the doomed banking sector into the state, with no safeguards for taxpayers. While fitting as a kind of poetic commentary on what had happened in the boom years, as policy it was insane. Every cent of tax revenue disappeared down a black hole of debt; a ballooning budget deficit demanded brutal austerity measures – public sector cuts, tax rises – which drained any remaining cash out of the economy and prolonged recession."

Deeply disappointing - albeit unsurprising - to see that the writer of that Guardian/Observer Leader failed to include the Green Ministers in their criticism of the idiotic decision that was taken by BOTH Government partners in 2008.
 

picador

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"But Ireland's unique misfortune is to have, in Brian Cowen's Fianna Fáil AND GREEN government, leaders who shipwrecked the economy and then capsized the lifeboats. The initial crisis response in 2008 was designed in such a way as effectively to absorb the doomed banking sector into the state, with no safeguards for taxpayers. While fitting as a kind of poetic commentary on what had happened in the boom years, as policy it was insane. Every cent of tax revenue disappeared down a black hole of debt; a ballooning budget deficit demanded brutal austerity measures – public sector cuts, tax rises – which drained any remaining cash out of the economy and prolonged recession."

Deeply disappointing - albeit unsurprising - to see that the writer of that Guardian/Observer Leader failed to include the Green Ministers in their criticism of the idiotic decision that was taken by BOTH Government partners in 2008.
Bizarre nit-picking. I take it you are an FFer?
 
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'Moral bankruptcy'. When words like 'morality' were used, even only three years ago, those uttering them were treated as naive and backward idiots who would be left behind by the brave new world. Journalists and commentators openly mocked (take a bow, Drennan, Smyth, et. al.) concepts like ethics in politics (derided as 'etticks'), exponents described as self-righteous prigs (maybe some were, but not all). Ahern, of course, appointed Liam Lawlor head of the Dáil Ethics Committee as a joke and a sign of his contempt.

And here we are...
 

Mushroom

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kodak

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all true even the media in the rest of the world can see what happened here and who is to blame our scumbag FF/IMF/Green government.
 

Sham96

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'Moral bankruptcy'. When words like 'morality' were used, even only three years ago, those uttering them were treated as naive and backward idiots who would be left behind by the brave new world. Journalists and commentators openly mocked (take a bow, Drennan, Smyth, et. al.) concepts like ethics in politics (derided as 'etticks'), exponents described as self-righteous prigs (maybe some were, but not all). Ahern, of course, appointed Liam Lawlor head of the Dáil Ethics Committee as a joke and a sign of his contempt.

And here we are...
right, right and right.
 

mido

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pity that ryan turgidy and amadan o'connor on rte can't see it is FF's fault! Irsih tiems and madame editor similarly forgot to include the greens and the pds/former good buddies of madame editor in their allocation of blame this week
 

SilverLining

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Excellent peice after a quick read. Must reread tomorrow.

Blueshirts beware, this doesn't mean that you are sure to lead a government after election. You shouldn't dare consider even running, as Making Treaty Parties History is the way forward for our nation.
 

picador

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Fianna Fáil have been in power for the last 13 years. The PDs and the Greens are mere footnotes to their disastrous reign
 

picador

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Excellent peice after a quick read. Must reread tomorrow.

Blueshirts beware, this doesn't mean that you are sure to lead a government after election. You shouldn't dare consider even running, as Making Treaty Parties History is the way forward for our nation.
Therein lies the problem. So long as Fine Gael is around Fianna Fáil will be around for the sole purpose of opposing them - and vice-versa. Electing one of the Civil War parties ensures that at some stage the other will come back.
 

Mushroom

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Fianna Fáil have been in power for the last 13 years. The PDs and the Greens are mere footnotes to their disastrous reign
Harney has been a Minister for the full 13 years (and counting) - so she is 100% implicated. In fact she has been a Minister for longer than McCreevy or Bertie Bung were.

The Greens were fully involved with the decisions taken in 2008 which, as the extract from the Editorial that I quoted states: "capsized the lifeboats"
 

picador

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Harney has been a Minister for the full 13 years (and counting) - so she is 100% implicated. In fact she has been a Minister for longer than McCreevy or Bertie Bung were.

The Greens were fully involved with the decisions taken in 2008 which, as the extract from the Editorial that I quoted states: "capsized the lifeboats"
Harney was only returning home to Fianna Fáil.
 

stoichkov

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Fianna Fáil have been in power for the last 13 years. The PDs and the Greens are mere footnotes to their disastrous reign
the progressive democrats (as eamonn mccann liked to say, there were two lies in their name) were at the centre of things for a very long time.

and let's face it, mccreevy was a pd in all but name. he stayed in fianna fail because he knew he would have greater opportunities to advance his agenda if he was there.
 

Pauli

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the progressive democrats (as eamonn mccann liked to say, there were two lies in their name) were at the centre of things for a very long time.

and let's face it, mccreevy was a pd in all but name. he stayed in fianna fail because he knew he would have greater opportunities to advance his agenda if he was there.
From 1997 to 2004 we got undiluted doctrinaire PD economics and therein lay the seeds of the economic destruction we are witnessing now. Of all the principals in the mess we are now witnessing, the FF/PD/IBEC (Charlie McCreevy/Mary Harney/Brian Geoghegan) economic policy of those years was the catalyst of so much of the damage our country has suffered.

That there was negligence is clear to everyone.
That there was corruption is incontestable
That there was incompetence is beyond question.
That there is betrayal has dawned on everybody

Those responsible MUST be held to account. The Observer is 100% correct.
 

LongShanks

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I have absolutely no faith that those who have dragged us to this sorry pass will be held to account. Sure some will lose their seats but will any see the inside of a courtroom or do jail time? Not a fat cat chance in hell.
 

McDave

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From 1997 to 2004 we got undiluted doctrinaire PD economics and therein lay the seeds of the economic destruction we are witnessing now. Of all the principals in the mess we are now witnessing, the FF/PD/IBEC (Charlie McCreevy/Mary Harney/Brian Geoghegan) economic policy of those years was the catalyst of so much of the damage our country has suffered.

That there was negligence is clear to everyone.
That there was corruption is incontestable
That there was incompetence is beyond question.
That there is betrayal has dawned on everybody

Those responsible MUST be held to account. The Observer is 100% correct.
Well put.
 


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