Odds shorten on Enda as next Taoiseach…

Mark’s rightly focused on a bravura (and extremely well sustained) speech from Pearse Doherty. He made Joan Burton (who was on just before him) look decidedly academic and flat footed. But the other sound performer of the day was Michael Noonan of Fine Gael, whose more relaxed delivery held the attention of the Dail.

He has a way of commanding attention that still eludes his party leader. He gets the best heckler put down award when he turned to Paul Gogarty in mid flow with an off-the-cuff, “Is this a hit me now with the child in my arms intervention”.

Regardless, his speech hasn’t done his boss any harm, whose chances of being Taoiseach seem to grown, according to William Hill this evening, who:

…have revised their 2011 Irish Election odds following Minister Brian Lenihan’s budget speech. The bookmakers have shortened the odds of a Fine Gael/Labour coalition forming the next Government from 1/10 to 1/14, and also cut Enda Kenny from 1/3 to 1/5 to become the next Taoiseach.

The bookmakers have also pushed out the odds of Brian Lenihan becoming the next Fianna Fail leader from 5/1 to 8/1. Micheal Martin is now the 8/11 favourite, while Mary Hanafin is available at 11/8.

The Green party are expected to take the biggest hit of all. Fianna Fail’s coalition partners are now odds-on (4/5) to lose all of their six seats at the next election.

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  • Wilde Rover

    Taoiseach just because he’s put in the time and it’s his turn.

    That might have been OK during the boom years but it doesn’t seem enough now.

  • redhugh78

    Noonan laughed and joked through his speech which is a disgrace given the impact the implementation of the budget will have on the least well off in society.

    FG/FF no difference apart from a ‘G’.

    p.s Mick, why can’t we reply to a reply? very frustrating!

  • james

    Its hard to make a budget speech riveting I suppose, and Noonan was a drag in places, but his little bit about the 3rd child was very funny.

  • pippakin

    The budget was no joking matter. Noonan did not judge the public mood. A united left alliance has been suggested and this might be the best opportunity for an alternative budget. As long as Gerry Adams is not allowed anywhere near finance or defence. We do NOT disappear failed minister and bankers, however much some of us might want to.

  • Perhaps Doherty did make Joan Burton look decidedly academic and flat footed, but passion is no substitute for policy. Other than wanting a new Government and who knows what sort of budget, Doherty’s performance was just that: playing to an audience. Good perhaps for what it was, but what was it? Perhaps it might have grabbed an angry mood, but that anger was certainly not outside the Dail where how many bothered to turn up? Surely SF could have bussed in more for effect?

    The people of the Republic know what is on the way, and SF might seek to echo the mood of the times, but offers little by way of realistic alternative.

  • Alias

    thedissenter, his speech was fulll of policy. I disagree with a lot of it but it was there nonetheless.

  • Alias

    I don’t disagree with the policy that private debt of banks should not be converted into sovereign debt and that this process must now be reversed – naturally!

  • Mick Fealty

    @thedissenter

    Agreed. Noonan has a prescribed role and sets of responsibilities to step into. He was across the detail, and basically went through the budget pointing out what he would do better.

    Doherty’s performance was game-changing for his party, not yet the country. What comes after that will make the difference on that score.

    For the Noonan v Burton was the crucial death match yesterday and the former walked home with the honours in that respect.

    Sinn Fein can (and from their own political point of view probably should play the incensed outsider. It’s what the left wants just now, and up to now only Gilmore was playing it effectively.

    But their inability (or unwillingness in advance of a southern general election) to agree a budget in Northern Ireland in much less straightened circumstances suggests they are a very long way off convincing anyone they have the nerve (or ability) the country requires from Noonan and Hayes in the face of the coming crisis.

  • james

    Although, with 40 mins to fill, Noonan appeared to broadly agree with the FF budget and filled his time with lots of little suggested adjustments.

    Even with fairly broad points Doherty ran out of time, SF has chosen a different road out of recession and debt, and we can but hope that they continue to flesh out their plans prior to the GE.

    Noonan and Hayes have chosen the same road as FF so not much nerve or clever thinking involved, just hold on tight and blame FF for the next few years.

    Most telling point was the amount of heckling from Mary Coughlan, who may well have distroyed DSW for FF, disgusted to see her checking her texts on her phone while Doherty lambasted her over emmigration, kinda shows how much she and FF cares.

    Unfortunately the ‘man playing’ rules prevent from highlighting how she actually got involved in politics, although it is a local fact that when she was elected it was a tense time for FF as the local supporters pointed out she had never attended a Cumann meeting prior to selection, and it was a bit insulting to politics to see how FF merely ran went through the Coughlan family for generations to select a candidate, hopefully (prob not) this and several other dynastys will disappear in 2011

  • @thedissenter I think we’ll learn a lot about Irish politics that we didn’t previously know in the next few months. In the past, it’s all been a bit atrophied by tribalism and we’ve never really known the revealled character of the electorate. Are they more prey to demagogues, for instance, than the English?

    I understand your point about there being ‘no substitute for policy’ but elsewhere in Europe, we’ve seen decidedly lightweight (in policy terms) populist movements focussed on one issue (usually immigration and even more usually Muslims) succeed electorally at the expense of those boring old elites.

    One thing Ireland doesn’t really have, thankfully, is the kind of stalemate that the English have – where an activist media have quite simply ruled whole policy areas out of bounds and everything that passes for ‘politics’ is a highly confined negotiation.

    One other thing: The idea that ‘the bondholders can go hang’ is both an attractive, but also a risky one. Advocating it could backfire in the way that the alternative couldn’t (even if it fails spectacularly). British political parties are generally very risk averse and perhaps over-compensate against such policies in long-term fear of the electorate. I wonder if Irish voters would be as unforgiving, given what has gone on in recent years?

  • @Mick (and to some extent @Paul),

    SF have a big problem on budget in Northern Ireland. On the one hand they need to show ‘responsibility’ and that they are fit to govern without invoking crisis. On the other hand, that would undermine their ‘damn the cuts’ attitude in the Republic. So it is back to the mantra of a United Ireland and ourselves alone, economically and politically, which is simple and appeals to the heart. Whether the electorate in the Republic are ready to accept this in anger, or have time to cool off and let their heads take change will only be known when there is an election.

    Mr Angry is fine pre-election, but FF gave every indication of being down but not out and no-one would underestimate that machine. And can Mr Angry sustain SF through another Dail in opposition to everything? Surely at some point they have to address the State they are in? Prepetual opposition may suit them better.

  • @Paul the Conservative Home series starting on the ANTI voter is of interest on the nature of the non-Conservative right in England, but probably of interest in the wider nature of politics reading beyond the narrow focus of the Bethell report. http://conservativehome.blogs.com/thetorydiary/2010/12/should-the-conservatives-make-a-special-pitch-for-the-anti-voters-and-if-so-how-part-one.html

  • Anon

    Paul

    Are they more prey to demagogues, for instance, than the English?

    Are you for real? First, SF haven’t suggested anything that respectable economists have advocated (thoug certainly I doubt any of them would go for all them). Second, England is in much less of a hole at this point. And third, if every English party has given up on the type of constituency and the problems and anger of them that SF is vocalising (or in the case of the lib Dems, flatly lied to, but it”s nothing Labour didn’t do before) then that is a problem in the English system.

    One other thing: The idea that ‘the bondholders can go hang’ is both an attractive, but also a risky one. Advocating it could backfire in the way that the alternative couldn’t (even if it fails spectacularly)

    Again: what? Without some stonking growth, Ireland cannot repay the debt. The risks of this “bailout” imploding, or leaving Ireland in a desparate trap are at least equal to the risks associated with hetrodox policy. Iceland are certainly doing better than a lot of more “responsible” countries.

    As for the North, SF are in coalition and don’t have control of tax policy and have reduced money from London forcing cuts. What they need is some clear wins in the package that mitigate the pain and are easily expalined. This is ultimately what they would get as a coalition partner in the Dail. They should be viewing it as an opportunity.

  • Mick Fealty

    James,

    I agree the heckling was unwise from Mary, but old instincts die long and hard. She underestimated her opponent.

    “Noonan and Hayes have chosen the same road as FF so not much nerve or clever thinking involved, just hold on tight and blame FF for the next few years.”

    In truth, they have no choice. Doherty’s speech was with crammed ideas and gripes from economic commentators like David McW, Brian Lucey and Constantin Gurdgiev. But Fine Gael will have to grapple with overwhelming problems of realpolitik, the solutions to which I suspect will lie far from the academic laboratories of Trinity and UCD. Sinn Fein won’t.

    The real domestic political problem is simply that they’ve not developed a story. Doherty’s speech had narrative running right through it (okay, that’s easy in protest mode, but so too, at last, has Cowen); Noonan’s had his tacked on at the end with, albeit, an excellent choice of quote from Collins.

    As others have said, a narrative is easy to tack together when you are opposed to everything that is and have no prospect of being asked to carry any weight to get the country out of the mess.

    But Fine Gael needs one that is clear and consistent and a little more inspiring than ‘it’s our turn next’, just as Cowen and FF tumble out of their publicly and privately comatose state and into aggressive campaigning mode.

  • Lisa

    In response to some aspects of the Dissenters comments above
    Perhaps Doherty did make Joan Burton look decidedly academic and flat footed, but passion is no substitute for policy. Other than wanting a new Government and who knows what sort of budget, Doherty’s performance was just that: playing to an audience. Good perhaps for what it was, but what was it? Perhaps it might have grabbed an angry mood, but that anger was certainly not outside the Dail where how many bothered to turn up? Surely SF could have bussed in more for effect?

    The people of the Republic know what is on the way, and SF might seek to echo the mood of the times, but offers little by way of realistic alternative.

    I too agree that there areparts of SF policies which are unrealistic – this takes nothing away from the power of Pearse Doherty atm and the power of his word!

    The first and very foremost thing that this country needs to get themselves out of this, is well, ‘Active Citizens’. Citizens who understand what all the ‘boring’ stuff the dail talks about, and well who are willing to take part – watch the full debates, not just what RTE 1 news presents in half an hour at the six o clock news.
    Yes, Pearse Dohertys speech was very reminiscent of the anger and the mood of the country – but also a voice of hope and realism. I think SF go to far sometimes in ‘protecting’ the poor – which i dont think they’l be able to achieve fully in reality – but ya know, thats gaining them votes at the min. But inside all of the talk about protectign the poor, more and more people are listening, and beginning to understand the complexities of the policiies which need introduced. And well maybe – maybe – people will begin to say – WHEN SF get into power – well they didnt do this, like they said they did – but they tried, and you know i have to take a cut – well – maybe i need to do this. But FF argument that its ‘too complex’ to change the tax system is nothing but not being bothered! We created the system, stop holding evrything up with red tape BS!

    I dont fully think that Pearse agrees with all of the policies of SF – but he is realistic, he says it how it is, and well – he’s leaving himself and his party as a target if they get into power and they continue to capitalise on the ‘elite’ position!

    I’ve never previously voted for SF – and as I said I dont know bout them being fully in power – but as far as i can see – Pearse is the only one making some noise in the Dail, and sayign what people need to hear, ya know it’s almost therapeutic. People need to hear the taoiseach (who of course didnt stay to listen to Pearse) and tanaiste and everyone else being told how it is. ATM I feel thats all Pearse can do – and well great job he is doing – if he continues to work with the realism that he is doing – and can influence parties policy with that – he’l get my vote for a long time to come.

  • Anon

    Mick

    In truth, they have no choice. Doherty’s speech was with crammed ideas and gripes from economic commentators like David McW, Brian Lucey and Constantin Gurdgiev. But Fine Gael will have to grapple with overwhelming problems of realpolitik, the solutions to which I suspect will lie far from the academic laboratories of Trinity and UCD. Sinn Fein won’t.

    This is simply Orthodoxy repeated. FG and Labour could set out an alternative along SF lines, or at least pulling in that direction. They could make clear that this budget won’t survive the election, bond holders would need to take some kind of haircut and Europe would have to react, based on the risk to other economies. It isn’t a risk free path by any means, but there is no other option is a lie, endlessly repeated. You should know better.

  • Mick Fealty

    Look, whatever about the orthodoxy of it, SF has the luxury of ignoring for the moment that getting out of this particular hole (right here, right now) is not as simple as burning bondholders.

    “A market solution to a market problem”, I think he said. I never thought I’d hear quite such a economic libertarian idea from the mouth of a Sinn Fein public representative. We’ll be told ‘there’s no such thing as society’ next. [That was a Joke BTW!!]

    But the two Brians have the country in political as well as financial hock to the Europeans. The market solution route requires real political courage (and not a little foolishness), the consequences of which I am not sure the country is quite ready for just yet.

    And crucially, Sinn Fein remain a very long way from ever having to lead on such a deal. It conveniently lies in the “SEP field”.

  • Anon

    It’s just as well SF didn’t suggest that burning the bondholders was enough, and Pearse exoplictly states there are structural problems. I wouldn’t agree with all they’ve suggested, or indeed a lot, but there are a range of options on closing the deficit and there are a range of options that involve burning the bondholders from a simplistic losses to leaving the Euro and devaluing. You could state that its SEP, and that is certainly true for now. But SF are placing other options on the table in the way FG and Labour have spectacularly failed to do. And if in the event of a surprise election result making Labour-SF a posibility, they certainly have enough there to carve out credible negotiating position that produces thing they can point to. They’ll never have the TDs to lead any coalition, so I’m not sure thta’s what they should eb worried about.

    FF might have the country in hoc to the Europeans, but an the wonderful value of elections is that the incoming government does not have to be. That is why there should have been an election now. You can’t have a deal like this without the moral authority to carry it out. If FG and Labour want to go down this line, so be it and let them tell the electorate that. The back door cute hoor bull is exactly what got the coutnry into the mess in the first place.

    Anyway this trope that SF have to let the serious people get on with it is nuts. It doesn’t stand up on the merits, given they are pushing what a lot of economists are saying,. And the serious people bankrupted the country. Completely to the knees. It’s like living in upside down world here.

    SF have had some fairly whacky economic policy in the past few years but by accident or design they’ve wound up with something that needs some work but is coherent. They are getting plaudits for having the balls FG and Labour lack, basically.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    anon,

    I largely agree with that – the main target of Pearce’s largely excellent statement was the Labour Party and it will be interesting to see how/when they change tack on defaulting – the Labour Party are in a very difficult position.

    I suspect FG will also start dropping – burn the bondholders hints – and this will also allow SF to claim that they both set the agenda and called it right.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Doherty did something yesterday few people are able to do in the Dail or Stormont – speak well. This is especially true of his own party which is why of course he got such a key job yesterday. He was fortunate too in following the whiney monotonous note reading of Joan Burton. The contrast was striking.

    Athough more than one wry smile was raised when he referred in a rather complimentray fashion to the founders of ‘this state.’

  • If anyone on here actually knows P Doherty, please let him know that shouting becomes wearing after the first three minutes (at least that’s how it came across on the RTE stream). Noonan is almost too quiet but people strain to hear him because they know the content will be worth hearing. Anger in this case comes over well given the public mood but over the longer term he will have to find different clubs in his bag.

    If he takes the volume down a touch and picks his barbs a little more carefully to avoid being thrown by Ceann Comhairle interventions, he will be very popular with the fellas who do clips/Oireachtas Report since they rarely see anything resembling decent oratory at Leinster House.

  • @Anon @2:04 On both your points, I think you think you disagree with me but you actually don’t. Well, I can’t fault any of your logic but I don’t see that you’re contradicting me – am I missing something here?

    I’m not taking a position on whether Ireland should tell the bondholders to go hang (I’m no economist) – all I’m saying is that there are risks that politicians generally are prepared to take and ones that they aren’t.

    They tend to be more wary of being blamed for sins of commission rather than sins of omission. Much as anyone may wish a refusal to bail out the bondholders to be seen as an omission, I don’t think it will be.

    I’m not saying what I think they *ought* to do – I’m saying what I think they *will* do.

  • Mack

    I haven’t heard many economists suggesting front-loading dividends from the semi-states in Ireland.

    This is effectively taking money out of the semi-states to invest in social projects, by determining future dividends today you are also reducing their own ability to invest in their own infrastructure (this is the prime complaint about the privatisation of Eircom).

    It’s almost the text book criticism of statism – that profitable state run companies are used to fund political projects (rather than maintained properly commercially) and while this might be an emergency situation there is nothing more permanent than an emergency measure..

    Fine Gael’s alternative – of selling off some parts of some state assets to free up cash to invest in new state companies is a much superior policy. It’s also pretty much idealogically nuetral (it isn’t raw simple privatisation), if SF want to mark themselves out as serious contenders for government rather than as a left-wing protest vote they’d do well to replace their policy on the semi-states with FG’s..

  • Mack

    @Anon –

    The heterodox options available to Iceland were all available at a lower cost than to Ireland. It makes good sound bites and maybe SF are lining themselves up to be contenders at the next election but 1, not sure that taking too dogmatic a line at this stage is sensible. I.e. you wouldn’t want people in government promosing default and Euro withdrawal to the electorate ahead of negogiations with our European partners. At least not at this stage (what happens to corporate deposits & the multinational presence – and Ireland’s export dynamism and only really productive economic sector – if the nuclear option is pursued?)..

  • Alias

    Doherty presented the Shinners as the real opposition, with all of the mainstream parties having voted to bail-out the eurosystem and Doherty stridently opposed to it. If the public were to vote on the issue of transfering their tax revenue to wealthy bondholders rather than spending it on the public services, whose side in that debate do you think they would vote for? That policy is the most important economic policy in the history of the state, and only Mr Doherty had the political wit and patriotism to grasp it. The rest is just patronising hogwash from statist stooges.

  • Here’s some light entertainment to be going on with. Avoid if you don’t like profanity. Watch until the end if you don’t mind it: http://fatmanonakeyboard.blogspot.com/2010/12/ireland.html

    (h/t – Will)

  • Mack

    Alias –

    That’s because SF are the opposition. FF is the current government doing out it’s time and FG & Labour are the government in waiting.

    I’m no more in favour of paying off bankers debts, but I’d rather we avoiding creating an Autarky in the process…

  • Alias

    “Fine Gael’s alternative – of selling off some parts of some state assets to free up cash to invest in new state companies is a much superior policy.”

    Selling state assets to raise capital is the policy of those who now have total control of Ireland’s economic sovereignty, the EU and the IMF. They are not here to invest in this conutry but to extract the money that the state has pledged to bailing-out the bonholders. They’re liquidators, not investers, no matter now the non-sovereign europhile stooges such as Mr Noonan try to present the asset stripping to the public.

  • Mack

    Alias – the bulk of that money is still earmarked for paying the day to day running expenses of the state. Anyway of funding growth helps lower the deficit and our borrowing requirements. Both SF and FG have the same goal wrt to the semi-states. FG’s plan is credible, SF’s needs some work..

  • Alias

    Mack, FF are doing what their masters in the EU tell them to do. They were told to bail-out the eurosystem at any cost, and FG will be told to do the same thing. Those muppets don’t have any economic sovereignty and those who do have that sovereignty are using it to promote their own interest – the stability of the erurozone – and not Ireland’s redundant national interest.

    Only because the bulk of the money for “paying the day to day running expenses of the state” has been earmarked to bailing-out the eurosystem. It’s a total con-trick to demand that you hand over your housekeeping money to Mr X and for Mr X to them give you 50 euro to pay the electricity bill that you can’t pay ecause you have given 50 billion to said Mr X.

  • Alias

    Incidentally, who do you think is liable for the 160 billion euro that the ECB loaned to the Central Bank to bail-out eurosystem banks in Ireland? There is no dispute about who is liable for it: it is the taxpayers of this state.

    Under the Maastricht Treaty, the Central Bank is part of the ESCB and is wholly controlled by the ECB. But while the ECB has 100% managerial control over the policy of the Central Bank, the taxpayers of this state are liable for how the ECB administrates that sovereignty.

    Do think that 160 billion is the ECB’s money? No, they only decide how to squander it in order to promote the EU’s interest but every cent of that squandered money will have to be repaid by Irish taxpayers, yet this quisling government and the europhile stooges on the opposition benches won’t even tell the public about this sovereign debt…

  • Alias

    Here’s a quote from you with no sense of the impending irony:

    “This budget is the budget of a puppet government who are doing what they have been told to do by the IMF, the EU Commission and the European Central Bank,” said Mr Noonan.

  • Alias

    for you*

  • Alias

    Let’s go back to this trick of presentation. Say a loyalist extortionist demands that you pay him 5k a week in protection money for your chip shop, and chipper only takes in 1k a week.

    After a few months you find that you’re tens of thousands in debt and can’t pay the rent on your chipper. The loyalist then comes to you and offers you a loan of 500 a week to pay the rent but imposes a hefty interest rate on you to punish you for your fiscal tardiness.

    However, he tells you that you must sell assets “to help you pay your bills” and insists that the capital you release from selling your assets is “entirely for your own benefit” and nothing at all to do with his extortion having depleted your finances, do you buy this line?

    Well, you just bought it, didn’t you? The government only needs a loan to meet its fiscal payments because it has indemnified several hundred billion worth of eurosystem loans that do not belong to the taxpayers of this state. If it did not bail-out the eurosystem, then it wouldn’t need to replace the funds it has dumped into eurosystem banks and wouldn’t need to sell assets to raise the capital it has given away.

  • Mick Fealty

    Alias, if you want a blog post, say so. But if you want a conversation in the comments zone, you need to create some space for others to get word in. 😉

  • @mack

    I’ve either misunderstood you or you meant to say “I’d rather we created an Autarky in the process…” (as opposed to “I’d rather we avoiding creating an Autarky in the process…”)?

  • Mack

    Paul – I meant to say ‘avoid creating’, sorry typo.

  • Alias

    Sorry, Mick. Between correcting typos and wondering if my syntax has connected with my meaning…

    I don’t think that the imminent election and all that leads up to it will be the same old beauty contest we are all so accustomed to judging. There is something much deeper occurring and so no one really gives a damn if Mr Noonan is on form, well-dressed, or has a quip or two to throw ‘before the taking of a toast and tea.’

    No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
    Am an attendant lord, one that will do
    To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
    Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
    Deferential, glad to be of use,
    Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
    Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
    At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
    Almost, at times, the Fool.

    I think most people now see who governs Ireland, and it won’t be Enda or whichever “puppet” they elect. Never has an election meant so much and meant so little at the same time.

    Within a couple of years at the most, something major is going to happen and it is going to lead to the people reclaiming their sovereignty from those who have abused it.

  • Wilde Rover

    Mick Fealty,

    ““A market solution to a market problem”, I think he said. I never thought I’d hear quite such a economic libertarian idea from the mouth of a Sinn Fein public representative.”

    SF still seem to be roughly operating on a Marxist-Lite basis, it is the change in everyone else that makes it seem strange.

    This bailout is unreconstructed, hardcore, unrelenting communism that doesn’t even recognize the existence of a free-market. The parasitical bondholders and their fellow travelers in the EU are being facilitated in their radical fanaticism by a compliant fifth column of pinkos exemplified by the speech by Comrade Noonan and the vote by his party of redshirts.

    If you vote for FG or Labour you may as well put a pillow over your granny’s face as she sleeps, roll your fancy car into a lake, burn your nice house to the ground, throw away your business cards and fancy suits, learn the words of the Internationale and get used to the idea of toiling in a field in return for basic sustenance.

    A vote for SF is the only way to prevent Chairman Kenny and his potential politburo from making next year a Year Zero of godless tyranny.

  • Anon

    Mack

    The heterodox options available to Iceland were all available at a lower cost than to Ireland. It makes good sound bites and maybe SF are lining themselves up to be contenders at the next election but 1, not sure that taking too dogmatic a line at this stage is sensible. I.e. you wouldn’t want people in government promosing default and Euro withdrawal to the electorate ahead of negogiations with our European partners. At least not at this stage (what happens to corporate deposits & the multinational presence – and Ireland’s export dynamism and only really productive economic sector – if the nuclear option is pursued?)..

    The current government should not be negotiating the deal. It has lost all authority to do so. It is very clear that the Irish people want a change of government. So they should get it, the parties should lay out their priorities and the people should vote for it. The winners should be negotiating, not the carcass of FF.

    And you definitely, absolutely want the opposition to be causing a fuss. It strengthens the negotiating hand. You don’t want to dogmatically commit to default – but you do want it to be a credible option and you want to set a consistent line that says you can’t afford the debt as is.

    I am generally sympathetic to your semi state argument. But these are interesting times; as a one off it’s not a horrendus idea, and could be combined with some sales. The risk would be more that it’s a tempting option for repeat dips. And the government really needs to sort out the broadband infrastructure, so if it impacted that, perhaps not.

    The biggest risk is what the multinationals would do, obviously. Anyone making anythign here would see a big drop in labour costs. For those that just shift money through it might be a problem. Maybe that’s the argument for a peg I’ve been looking for.

  • Mack

    Anon –

    I agree that SF, firmly in opposition, acting as a bogeyman, voicing hardline rhetoric, strengthens the negotiating hand of the next government. I just don’t think you’d want them to be part of that government..

  • Anon

    Mack

    You want Labour and FG to be performing that role now! SF are only filling a vacuum caused by the failure of the utter parties.

    Given you are a right wing libertarian, I doubt you’d fancy SF in government much. As I’m of a more left wing bent, I don’t see it as the end of the world, particularly if there is another party in the lead to rein the excesses. You might actually get some left wing policy, for a change. Maybe millionaires might do a little worse in the dela than the poor.

    Also, the risk is generally overblown. Take the difference between the semi state policies you outline. Perhaps SF’s policy is suboptimal. If it’s a one off, will it end the world? Probably not, no.

  • Mack

    There’s always (or nearly always) been a mix of left and right wing policy in the south. That much of it has been sub-optimal is the core problem. You had completely non-existent banking regulation coupled with extragravance of the benchmarking 1 and 2 and the Inchidoney accord.

    We’re dealing with the fall out from both today. It’s probably less important whether a state implements left or right policies than that it chooses the best ones and executes them well. I tend to favour right libertarian solutions because they reduce the prospect of the government f**king things up by imposing a political agenda on entreprises and services (for example diverting cash from essential, profitable enterprises or just pursuing imprudent policies to fund projects that bolster their appeal / buy them votes).

  • Anon

    Mack

    You are kidding yourself. There has been right wing policy in the South coupled with buy offs for some important election constituencies. That isn’t left wing, it’s cronyism. The problem is not that policy was suboptimal, by which I mean there are more efficient alternatives but are not in themselves terribly bad. The problem is that a lot of the policy was actively destructive.

    It doesn’t matter in the short term whether the banking regulation is fixed or not. It’s important, but it simply isn’t urgent. If the government finds some money by selling assets or getting dividends from the semis early, does it really matter? No. It’s simply not an important distinction at this point. The overall amount of money in the economy is. Whether that money stays in the Irish economy or is sucked to Europe is. Who takes the most pain and where you are sending the money matters.

    As for “fucking things up by imposing a political agenda on enterprises”, It’s only an issue if it’s done repeatedly. The Obama dminstration bailedout GM, took over and got out asap. That isn’t an issue, especially given the situation at
    the time. The government running a car firm for years is. And it’s certainl no worse than sucking money from the pension scheme.

  • Mack

    Anon –

    It seems from the substance of your reply you agree. Not sure why you think I am kidding myself for thinking that FF spending increases were left wing. Just because it is obviously identifiable as buying a certain constituency, doesn’t negate the fact that increasing PS wages, social welfare spending etc would generally be regarded as left-wing policies..

  • Alias

    “This bailout is unreconstructed, hardcore, unrelenting communism that doesn’t even recognize the existence of a free-market. The parasitical bondholders and their fellow travelers in the EU are being facilitated in their radical fanaticism by a compliant fifth column of pinkos exemplified by the speech by Comrade Noonan and the vote by his party of redshirts.” – Wilde Rover

    Well said, and not a word that is untrue.

    In fairness to them, the Shinners changed their policy of nationalising the banks once they realised that forcing state ownership of the banks was how the EU was implementing its policy of containing the debts of those banks in the borrowing state rather than allowing them to default to the lending state. In other words, how it was transferring the debts of the eurosystem’s failed financial institutions from private business to the public.

    The EU already had economic full sovereignty over monetary policy and macroeconomic policy and partial sovereignty over fiscal policy, but now it has full sovereignty over fiscal policy too. Therefore it doesn’t matter a damn whether the non-sovereign Irish elect a right-wing party or a left-wing party to government because the government doesn’t have any sovereignty over economic policy and, ergo, cannot implement any economic agenda other than has determined by those who hold the sovereignty to determine it.

    Those who now hold that sovereignty will use it to implement their policy of forcing the taxpayers of this state to bail-out the eurosystem, and to ensure that all of the resources of the state are made available for the purpose of extracting those resources from it and delivering them to wealthy eurosystem bondholders.

    That, of course, is colonisation by other means and Comrade Noonan even accepts that the government is a “puppet” regime of our new colonial rulers (see his self-incriminating ‘quip’ above). Unfortunately for Mr Noonan, the job of telling the taxpayers that the ECB has used the Central Bank to squander an additional 160 billion of their money to bail-out the eurosystem will default to him. Good luck to him when the public realise they gave the sovereignty to the ECB to squander their sovereign wealth in a treaty that his party celebrated…

  • another

    Iceland has returned to growth after standing up to the bond holders and embracing a currency devaluation. Simple. Nothing that Ireland under Sinn Fein could not put into action.

    Time to burn the bond holders:

    http://url.ie/8flg

  • Anon

    Mack

    A responsible left wing government gets the money to pay for these things. If you doubt this, look at the pasting the Democrats took for having ACCA project a positive impact on the deficit. If they’d been irresponsible, they’d have forgone the stick that is Medicare cuts.

    Without that, it’s just hard right with a dose of cronyism. Even the US Republicans are perfectly happy to blow a hole in the state finances by giving payouts to seniors.

  • Mack

    Anon – Democrats would be centre-right in an Irish context.

  • Alias

    Anon, ‘left-wing’ and ‘right-wing’ are meaningless terms in any economic context when the government doesn’t have any economic sovereignty. Even outside of the economic context (such as in the egalitarian or libertarian context), they are meaningless without economic sovereignty.

    You might have noticed how the left quietly dropped all talk about nationalising essential state services? That was because the sovereignty to effect policy in that area has always been removed from the citizens in EU states under various Directives (which impose EU laws that take precedence over national laws or policy).

    The buzzwords “liberalisation,” competition” and “deregulation” all suited right-wing Thatcher but the reality is that all of the privatisation that he engaged in was mandated under EU law, so even if a left-wing government was in power all of that would have happened anyway just as the EU’s Postal Directives guided the left-wing Blair’s policy on the privatisation of Royal Mail.

    The trick of the EU is to leave folks thinking they are sovereign and can effect change while it hollows out their sovereignty and imposes the changes that it alone requires.

    As Ireland is now ruled directly by the EU, it doesn’t matter one iota if the next puppet regime is left-wing or right-wing: all that matters is if it is eurosceptic or europhile.

  • Alias

    Typo: “That was because the sovereignty to effect policy in that area has also been removed from the citizens in EU states under various Directives…”