Why the left is messing up its ‘big opportunity’…

Gerard O’Neill was on fire yesterday… His thesis? The Left is just girl who can’t say No!

…most Leftwing parties such as Labour in the UK (and Fianna Fáil during its “we’re all socialists too” phase), happily rode the waves of neoliberal, global financial capitalism during the boom, simply plucking a few feathers by way of taxes to fund their favourite boondoggles. But now that the hyper-leveraged ponzi scheme that hijacked the global financial sector has collapsed, the Left are dusting off their copies of Keyne’s General Theory in order to figure out how to maintain their favourite boondoggles even as the goose has started to hiss loudly.

The problem is that they should have been reading their Keynes (and better still, their Hayek) during the boom. Keynes would not have approved of the grossly pro-cyclical bloating of the public sector during the boom years that we witnessed in Ireland and elsewhere. But now the finance ministers and chancellors are quoting Keynes in their defence in order to assuage the anxiety of the international bond markets they so depend on.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty