Thursday, October 07, 2010

Is Ganley planning on more than this one cup of 'tea'?

Declan Ganley back from the dead? He's been silent for the year or so since Lisbon passed on its second attempt. However, he's been making noise on Twitter the past few days and today he has a column at

His political party went down in flames during the European elections and, well, Lisbon passed pretty easily at the second asking. So Ganley's pretty much a done deal, right?

I dunno.

I read his column and it's full of good ideas - if this were Sep 2008. It's pretty light on where to from here, but if this is just a first salvo then it's a good one. It puts him back on the scene, but not overly committed.

From the column I get the feeling Ganley would like to be the face of an Irish version of the Tea Party movement, but I don't know that he has the appeal to really get people to rally to him. I also don't think Irish people have that 'get government out of the way' attitude that drives the Tea Party.

I also suspect that even if he achieved some success he would find it nearly impossible to renege on all those government commitments to the Anglo bondholders. It's a scary, but popular idea, one that the Irish people would love to see, but one that we've been told would be disastrous.

Ganley probably has the credibility to get the people to believe we could burn the bondholders, that the price of doing so will be less than not doing so and that the EU & ECB will not overreact to such a move. Is he right? There are quite a few economists on his side, but the powers ranged against him are strong. Stronger.

Any effort at building a mass movement against bailing out the banks' bondholders and against higher taxes and more regulations will require tremendous leadership, charismatic leadership. Does Ganley have such ambitions? We'll just have to wait and see.