Cowen: “They might be ready for an election, but they are not ready for government”

One of the biggest questions being asked by the twitizens of the Irish Twitterverse on the day of the Donegal South West bye election was ‘how could 21% of the population vote for Fianna Fail?’… Well, if you have 45 minutes to spare, it’s worth it to watch the Taoiseach in action at Castlefin pumping up the troops…

It’s extraordinary to watch a man who is usually so buttoned up and carapaced when dealing with the press lamming into all and sundry (and making a decent fist at accounting for his recent actions)… He’s at his most firy in the clip above, but it’s worth watching segment two in which he gives Labour two barrels and segment three, which starts with Enda (mostly likely to be the next taoiseach)…

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  • Brian Cowen is not exactly inspiring and inspiration is somenthing that Irish people need very much at this time.

    A change of Government in Ireland is unlikely to result in much change economic policy. But change is needed to give its people a fresh start.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    A good tactic of Sinn Féin and Labour might be to remind the nation that Garret the Good FitzGerald himself availed of favourable treatment from a bank (AIB??) to which he was indebted…more than £100,000 I believe.
    Likewise Charles Haughey also got rather favourable treatment from banks without actually having assets taken (as I recall FitzGerald at least tried to repay).
    So the “we are all in it together” …..may not actually work for FF and FG

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Havent had a chance to listen to it but heard a jounalist on RTE last week saying he was excellent which she explained was perhaps becuase he was sorrounded by his pals.

  • wee buns

    Rich coming from Biffo ,”..not ready for government..”. I guess he should know, given that he & his ilk have done such a taut, trim & t’riffic job, for the last decade. Every other woman I talk to, managing on an ever shortening shoestring, wants to know “why bondholders have been secured when we have been abandoned?”.

  • Alias

    “why bondholders have been secured when we have been abandoned?”

    Because they voted to transfer the applicable sovereignty from the Irish nation to the EU, thereby agreeing that the EU interest should take precedence over the redundant national interest and that the EU should duly exercise your former sovereignty in its interest and not yours.

    The muppets “abandoned” themselves when they voted to give their sovereignty away.

  • Wilde Rover

    Alias,

    While I accept your points, Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich isn’t the EU.

    Perhaps Cowen means that they aren’t ready to sell out the country in the appropriate manner so the mega rich like this guy can be even richer and the average Irish person can take it up the arse.

    The Israelis seem fond of sending teams around the world to seek out “enemies of the state” perhaps the Ireland should consider the same with people like the guy mentioned above.

  • joeCanuck

    That’s naughty, Wilde Rover. The Israelis do it secretly and deny their actions. I would prefer a public hanging.

  • Alias

    I don’t understand what point you are making, WR. Abramovich is a subordinated bondholder in one eurosystem bank based in Ireland. Since the government asked his ilk to take a haircut, that is why he is threatened to sue the Irish government. He is a Russian-born British citizen but his money is European, and has been invested in the eurosystem. 130 million is a lot of money but it is only 0.06% of Ireland’s total external debt. The fact that he can earn a 13% yield on what he demands should be a risk-free investment shows what [Behave! – mods] Irish workers are being forced donate their taxable incomes to.

  • Alias

    And if that was your point, WR, then you only have to account for the other 99.94% of the external debt that wasn’t lent by a Russian-born British businessman.

  • Alias

    Incidentally, this isn’t the first time that Ireland’s political class have sold-out the nation and given away literally hundreds of billions of Irish taxpayers wealth to foreign interests. They gave away over 300 billion of fishing stock from Irish territorial waters and they continue to give away 6 billion worth in the unprocessed value every year (with the processed value being a multiple of that) and they also gave away the right to Ireland’s oil and gas reserves, with the Corrib Field worth an estimated 60 billion and the Dunquin being worth an estimated 400 billion. Another 1916 is long overdue.

  • Wilde Rover

    JoeCanuck,

    “I would prefer a public hanging.”

    Well, the lamp posts will have to have some use if the electricity goes out.

    Alias,

    “And if that was your point, WR, then you only have to account for the other 99.94% of the external debt that wasn’t lent by a Russian-born British businessman.”

    My point was poorly made. I was trying to say that I agreed with your position on the overall system, but that individuals like the above, along with whatever individuals or institutions, should be made to understand that Ireland will not be picking up the cost of their failed flutter on the bonds.

    As for the fish, it’s the one thing that gives me the rage when I hear people from the continent droning on about everything Ireland has been given.

    I think you’re right about another 1916. The Dail is merely Dublin Castle reporting to the Euro-Lords now. Time for a clean slate.

  • aquifer

    “They gave away over 300 billion of fishing stock from Irish territorial waters and they continue to give away 6 billion worth in the unprocessed value every year (with the processed value being a multiple of that) and they also gave away the right to Ireland’s oil and gas reserves, with the Corrib Field worth an estimated 60 billion and the Dunquin being worth an estimated 400 billion.”

    It will be the windfarms next presumably.

  • wee buns

    Donegal did NOT vote for Lisbon I or II and, from dim memory, voted heavily against the EEC in the 70s. We have traditionally had almost nothing, compared to the rest of the country, but at least we still have it. Shades of Porgy & Bess…not Sinatra.

  • Greenflag

    The question which Mr Cowan fails to answer is why did the government rashly guarantee to foreign and domestic bond holders that their investment funds would be guaranteed above all other considerations ?

    Given the recklessness of the banks in their lending practices and the then visible property bubble burst, this was surely a stupid decision and one for which the entire FF party will be held accountable at the next election ?

    Mr Cowan is alas correct when he states that neither Mr Gilmore’s nor Mr Kenny’s parties are ready for government but then that leaves just Votail Default and Votail SF ?

  • Munsterview

    Slugger Folks,

    I have continually taken a scalpel to Fianna Failure since coming on site, I have few illusions about the party as a whole. However that is not to say there are not a lot of good and decent people in FF, in fact most are just that.

    However there is a dichotomy the McCreves, the McSherry’s, the Berties, the Hanifans etc, the top elechons of the party interface with an unholy alliance of Permanent Government that are often cousins and other relatives of these people and then also the builders, bankers and wankers, etc of assorted fly Boys and indeed Gals.

    This is far removed from the honest to goodness person at parish level running the GAA club or involved in the dozens of activities that give a quality of life to a parish or village community. I can recall one sunday morning passing through a village and seeing the two FF people taking up the FF National collection outside the church while wearing their Minister Of The Eucharist crosses around their necks.

    These people on the ground are ignored most of the time and other than the odd grant for a community centre, getting a hospital bed for a sick relative whatever, FF membership do not carry too many fringe benefits. Just like Sinn Fein supporters in West Belfast in the recent Low Intensity War, most of these FF members and supporters in the South have a shared experience of having their grandparents or other relatives hounded and hunted by the Free State Forces, a practice that continued from the Civil war and on through until Dev took power in 1932.

    This is the ‘ Soldiers Of The Rearguard’ spirit that Cowen, Bertie, Reynols, Charlie etc are able to tap into. I meet a near relative of the late Dan Breen of Tiperary fame regularly. This person, like so many more, is totally sickened by the present state of things, yet they will vote FF the next time around.

    Fianna Failure have long perfected the…Front Bench In Government, Back Bench in opposition’ approach. For months now FF Country TD have been ranting and raving about ‘them hoors up in Dublin that have the country destroyed’

    Up in Dublin FF are told the problem is having to accommodate the Jackie Healy Raes, the Michael Lowreys and the rest of ‘ them bog men bastards’ It might be this year of our Blessed Lord two-thousand-and-ten, we may have the internet and satalight TV etc, but for the ordinary FF it is still a ‘them and us’, the party first, last and always, situation.

    There could a black swan out there, the elements in FF&FG that are trying to make a new centre party may pull it off, but if their ‘heave’ competence in both parties during the Summer is anything to go by, the state of the economy is hardly surprising. It is no longer just a week that is a long time in politics, in Ireland the last two weeks it was a day or even at times being an hour that was a long time.

    There is however one certainty, unless something really extradionary happens on par with the 1918 political situation, FF are probably over the worst of it,yes they may fall some more % but then the only way left is up. I am sick of people that should know better telling me FF are finished.

    In terms of it’s fight back, Fianna Failure has not even started !

  • Alias

    “The question which Mr Cowan fails to answer is why did the government rashly guarantee to foreign and domestic bond holders that their investment funds would be guaranteed above all other considerations ?”

    Cowen fails to answer it, sticking to the official line that the EU are “our partners” who simply “offer advice” but the other coalition partner’s leader answered it on Vincent Browne last week. He said that the decision to bail-out the eurosystem by underwriting all of its debts was made by the ECB which was concerned about the systemic risk that default would present to the eurosystem. Ergo, they put the EU interest before the national interest because that is what they were instructed to.

    Remember that the role of a central bank of a particular currency is to act as a lender of last resort if a run occurs on a bank, so the ECB is the central bank for the currency and would be the institution that the government would have to turn to for that purpose. As the ECB has advanced 160 billion to eurosystem banks in Ireland since they decided the policy, they were always in control as the sovereign power.

  • wee buns

    It’s interesting that the emphasis has shifted, since Biffo confirmed the bailout, from rescuing Ireland to saving the euro system.
    Oh goody, yet again we get to be cannon fodder for bigger boys playing for their interests.
    Also I am very heartened, proud and not a little ‘umble, to know that we are to made an example to scare the bejasus out of Portugal & Spain and anyone who dares to suggest that “senior bondholders” – why not call them what they are, shareholders who risked money to make money, it’s a much clearer perspective – take the consequences of their actions.

  • Greenflag

    Alias ,

    Indeed . There was also the fact as Mack pointed out on another thread that the guarantee saved the large multinationals in Ireland many millions in deposits . I’d hazard a guess that the latter consideration was first up in the minds of the soldiers of undestiny 🙁

    Wolfgang Munchau in today’s Irish Times writes a cogent piece on the merits of default and Gilmore has raised the ante by stating that any new government will not be bound by the current IMF/ECB agreement . This one will run and run.
    .http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2010/1202/1224284564382.html?via=mr

  • Greenflag