“they were the best 20 years in our history..”

Irish Minister of State Martin Mansergh was one of the 11 junior ministers reported to be willing to fall on their swords. But according to this iol report he had added a caveat

The Minister of State at the Department of Finance said last week that he was willing to put his job “at the disposition of the Taoiseach” but that his constituents would not be happy if he was demoted.

Quite. And, whilst Finance Minister Brian Lenihan is reportedly telling the banks that “each bank had to take responsibility for its own bad debts” – even as internationally opinion varies on the best option to take – Martin Mansergh has had more to say ahead of Tuesday’s Dáil debate on the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank

Mr Mansergh, who last week offered to quit his junior minister post to save money, called on people to be retain their Celtic Tiger-style optimism and self-respect. “We’re not going to get anywhere by completely throwing overboard our self-respect,” said Mr Mansergh. “We have achieved a tremendous amount in the past 20 years – they were the best 20 years in our history. “There will be cycles – we rose very high and we are where we are now. We have to work our way out of this intelligently,” he told RTÉ Radio One. He added: “But berating ourselves as a banana republic will get us nowhere.”

[If the cap fits.. – Ed]