Posts Tagged ‘Irish economy

10
Feb
10

Lee and Kenny, an affair to forget

There’s a meme that lately has been infesting several message and image boards across the interwebs. It’s called trollface, and for those unfamiliar it’s an image used to signify a commenter who deliberately posts something erroneous and off-message to provoke a reaction.

There is a reason why I bring this up. I was reading about the resignation of Boy George yesterday, and I happened upon a picture in the IT of George and Enda in happier times.

via The Irish Times

I can’t be the only one who sees a resemblance. There seems to be a general perception that Lee was impatient. He was new to a career in politics. Did he really expect a frontbench position immediately? While there is a certain amount of validity to this argument, I can’t help but feel some sympathy for Lee. He may have been a beginner, but that’s not how Fine Gael sold him. He was an expert in finances who was going to further cement the party’s ability to fix the economy that Fianna Fáil broke. Lee is obviously a very intelligent man, and must have been very disheartening to realise he was just hired as a pretty face.

However, while this might have been a fair reason to leave Fine Gael, it doesn’t excuse his resignation from the Dáil. For better or worse, he was elected to the seat, and it’s downright rude of him to turn his back on those who voted for him just because he wasn’t getting his way. Seriously, what did he except?

In other news, Halifax is closing their Irish retail operations with the lost of 750 jobs, and retail sales are still dropping. I suspect Fianna Fáil are grateful to Lee for his timing.

Advertisements
15
Dec
09

The McCreevy generation

I’ve been posting here a lot recently, considering I said I won’t be updating much longer. It’s just that occasionally something occurs that just can’t be ignored. This is one of those times

There’s an article in yesterday’s Irish Times about Charlie McCreevy. It seems he was on Miriam O’Callaghan’s radio show on the weekend defending his role of finance minister until 2004, when he was booted out to Europe. On the property bubble he claimed: “There were property bubbles in a number of other countries.” It’s amazing. They’re still trying to pretend there isn’t something unique about Ireland’s economic crash, that we’re simply victims of a global downturn. This is infuriating on its own, but it’s made so much worse when we consider that, arguably, there is nobody in government who shares as much blame for Ireland’s recession as Charlie McCreevy.
Continue reading ‘The McCreevy generation’

24
May
09

Green shoots are not jobs

It has always amused me how certain words and phrases can become part of a general vocabulary, simply because they’re part of some event that’s a major news story at the time. For instance, I lived in Galway when the water supply was contaminated with Cryptosporidium. Do you think anybody in the city, apart from the scientific types, had even heard the word “Cryptosporidium” before this? Yet suddenly we were all experts on it. It even earned its own nickname: Crypto. It sounds like a type of chocolate bar.

At the moment it’s the recession. It seems to me that it permeates every conversation uttered by any person in the land. Even discussions the rugby last night placed the match within the context of a recession. Apparently the win is just the boost to the national spirits we need. This is, of course, bullshit. If there is anything to cheer up people losing their homes and life-savings it’s not a bunch of Blackrock cityboys winning a rugby match.

Prior to this recession, few even considered such a concept. I’m not convinced the majority of people even knew what the word meant. Back then, it was carbon footprints and such that bothered us all. Now the subject gets barely a mention, which leads me to conclude that global warming was fixed and this event has somehow slipped me by.

The next phrase to land of everyone’s lips seems to be “green shoots”. We’re all on the lookout for these green shoots. A somewhat sustained rise in house-sales in Britain: green shoots. American banks paying back some of the bailout money: green shoots. A couple of green shoots appearing in Dad’s vegetable patch: green shoots (ok, those are actual green shoots. It’s gardening season in the Foley household).

I had to laugh during the week when Cowen had the nerve to mention the green shoots in a wildly optimistic speech to the party-fold in Slane. There’s a detailed critique of the speech here. The problem with green shoots of course is that they’re not likely to survive an administration preoccupied with tax-increases and spending cuts. In year’s time when we’re still in the same hole, this speech will be another marker of a government that doesn’t know what it’s doing. But then, this was not a speech for next year’s benefit. It was a desperate attempt to generate some good news to dilute the humiliation FF is going to face next month.

By the way, what happened with Swine Flu? Is that over now?