Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Yesterday's Other Speech

I didn't see Brian Cowen deliver his speech marking the 90th anniversary of the first meeting of Dáil Éireann. May be just as well because I can't stand listening to him.

Excepting one or two little quibbles, I think it's a very good speech (the English part - I had to skip the first quarter or so). He does a great job of laying out the case for Ireland's role in the EU and connecting it to the aspirations of those who sat in the 1st Dáil. Like I said it's a very good speech: until he gets to the last bit on our current troubles.

The end of the speech is where he sends us a teaser alerting us to future tax hikes. That's what he means by "solidarity", I'm sure. We're all going to have to pay more in tax as an act of solidarity with those who've lost their jobs.

All this talk of solidarity sounds great, but it wasn't a lack of solidarity that got us into this mess. It was imprudence and incompetence. And, to a great extent it was the government's imprudence - paying almost no heed to the state's obligation to properly regulate the banks - and incompetence - failure to plan for the exchange rate/interest rate crunch we're in now and which was inevitable from the moment we voted 'Yay' to Maaastricht - that allowed the credit crisis to evolve into a crisis of nearly existential proportions for this Republic.

Why should we have faith in Cowen's government when it was he and his party that (essentially) led us into this? Sacrifices have to be made Brian and your career is probably one of them. Call an election and get out of the way.