“But the Irish aren’t showing much gratitude…”

As iol noted, and RTÉ also reports, Newsweek has named Taoiseach Brian Cowen as one of 10 world leaders [or is it 11? – Ed] who “have managed to win serious respect” – “The Fiscal Taskmaster”, no less.

They’ve pushed through austerity packages drastic enough to win the admiration of the international community, raised taxes, and slashed some public salaries by more than 10 percent. But the Irish aren’t showing much gratitude–Cowen’s ratings have plunged to a mere 18 percent, and his Fianna Fail party can expect a drubbing in the 2012 national elections.

David Cameron gets a mention too, as “The Ambitious Newcomer”.

Although how much it’s aimed at a US audience debating the correct way out of their own economic woes is open to question.

Barack Obama is a notable absentee.

And our own little pleaders also seem to have been neglected…

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  • “have managed to win serious respect”

    You could not make it up, Ireland is on the edge of a precipice which for the majority sign posts poverty one way, and destitution the other. Then so fool market groupie declares Brian Cowen is regarded with serious respect, By whom is the question, as I doubt many of these people live in Ireland. Did anyone at Newsweek mention what the man has been doing for the last decade, talking up the Celtic tiger when visiting the USA if my memory serves me right.

    Yet another example of the MSM turning the truth on its head, and kowtowing to the markets and their hirelings like Cowen.

    Perhaps you could start another top ten of the most dim witted fucks ever to come out of Ireland, I am sure the current Taoiseach would find a place on that list.

    Still, at least the author of the Newsweek piece Christopher Dickey has an appropriate name, as only a complete dickhead could write such self serving twaddle.

  • To many Pete’s can spoil the broth.

  • pippakin

    It is almost certainly US politics in the run up to their mid term elections, that or the author/s are not well and require serious and long term supervision.

  • Anon
  • DC


  • Alan Maskey

    I guess you have to read on to see how Biffo has respect. To get respectr in the mafia/PIRA, you gotta rattle bones. To get respect from the IMF/World Bank, you gotta clean up after the Tony B and Bertie A’s of this world.

    To listen to Biffo’s critics, you would think the Irish voters – Biffo’s Wiling Exectutioners – were innocent parties in all this.

    I went to a Lithuanian dentist today; all the the support staff were east Europeans. Efficient and fast, not like the lazy Irish.

  • A.N.Other

    The only result Cowen may foster with his economic “solution” is the start of the next revolution; and that is not said in jest.

  • slug

    It is amazing how readily the Irish were willing to accept pay cuts but perhaps that is because they knew they were overpaid relative to other countries on a PPP basis?

  • Alias

    That’s hilarious. No mention that Cowen was the finance minister who played a leading role in creating the fiscal mess. No mention also that his “austerity measures” are dictated by EC policy and serve the aim of diverting public funds from public services into repayment of Eurosystem debts that his government ‘nationalised’ in order to protect those eurosystem lenders who lent recklessly to other eurosystem lenders in Ireland.

    The policy of systemic risk is to contain debts within the borrowing state rather than allow them default to the lending state. Biffo has done this by dumping all the bad debts from Irish eurosystem lenders into NAMA, thereby ensuring that eurosystem lenders elsewhere in the EU will have all of their bad debts repaid by Irish taxpayers while said taxpayers are led to believe that giving tens of billions of their declining income away to foreign lenders serves their national interest rather than the interests of the EU.

    Likewise, Anglo, a non-lending bank which owes tens of billions to other eurosystem lenders, is nationalised by the state in order to protect those eurosystem lenders while the gullible Irish are told that this treason is actually being done to “get the banks lending again.”

    Biffo and Bertie easily beat Fitzgerald for the title of Worst Taoiseach(s) Ever. But as long as he protects the markets, he’ll be praised by those with a vested interest.

  • A.N.Other

    What austerity is doing for Greece;


  • AN

    Thanks for this.

  • Greenflag

    About 4% did . Another 96% also knew but did’nt want to talk about it . The mandarins of the public sector and the bankers etc were always complaining about being underpaid ;( like the farmers of yesteryear -the ancient tradition of the poor mouth with not a pot to piss in but the oul Mercedes parked discreetly out back behind the barn 😉

    We Irish at least south of the border seem to have a good feel for when the game is up it’s up . Not for us the century long denials of game end on both sides north of the border 🙂

    We’ll rise again as ever and always .

  • Alan Maskey

    AN Other: Have you any idea what the ordinary Grek had to do to get a job and the patronage that goes on in the civil service and other cushy numbers there? They are even worse than the Irish public service.

    Alias: Did you benefit from the Celtic Tiger? Rent out a condo? Put some money into an old folk’s home to rip off the old with cheap Third World Labour? Did you buy a lot of Chinese made rubbish in following your consumerist dream? Have you ever voted for any of the criminal parties: Labour/OIRA. FG, FF, Greens, SF? If you have, then you too are part of the problem.

    Ireland needs more cuts, not less. Get the public servants digging turf. Though the turf is worth more than them – it sustains life.

    Then we have BOI and AIB. Merge them and sack the leftovers and listen to the unions squeal..

    Prisoners, drug abusers and the like should be turned into revenue earners, tourist attractions if you will.

    Social welfare, medical taxes, old age pensions: scrap them or make them only for those who pay taxes. End non contributory hand outs.

    Illegal asylum dudes: Billet them with their supporters and charge them for the use of schools and other services. They should have no rights unless they fall into very narrow categories. They can sponge elsewhere.

    Many, more enlightened places already have these policies. The Channle Islands comes to mind.

  • DC

    Stuff the deficit – just keep on printing money 🙂

  • slug

    Ah the optimisim of the Irish: “shure it will be grand in the end – bring back Bertie”.

  • Greenflag

    ‘bring back Bertie”.

    Nice fellow Bertie but no foresight but then I can’t think of a single politician in power anywhere in the world circa 2007/2008 and earlier even decades earlier who did . The most powerful one at the time used to pray to Jesus a lot but we don’t know yet whether that was for heavenly policy guidance or for victory against the infidel 🙁

  • Alan Maskey


    More good news. Looks like the hotels are in for a pruning. That was a right scam. I guess RBOS sees the writing on the wall.

  • Alan Maskey
  • Alias

    Alan, I was working in the US for most of it, having emigrated when there were few opportunities for novice architects in Ireland so I spent the latter part of it designing buildings for Wal-Mart. Hence, I don’t consider myself “part of the problem” and nor do I feel obliged to payer higher taxes in order to bail-out the eurosystem.

    In regard to Ireland “needing more cuts”: public spending is not being cut to reduce taxes (which are increasing) but rather to transfer revenue raised from Irish taxpayers to the eurosystem banks that the government has underwritten. That is the purpose of them.

  • Alan Maskey

    “designing buildings for Wal-Mart” I guess barnyards need designs too. I wish I had you with me now as I ned a good (and cheap) architect.
    Ireland, as a great tapiseach once said, is livng beyond its means.
    The Bible, the Word of God, tells us that the borrower is slave to the lender. And so Ireland is.