The difference between FF and FG? Twelve months.

Anyone who watched the anodyne post-budget chat between Michael Noonan (FG) and Michael McGrath (FF) on RTE’s PrimeTime on Tuesday must have been reminded of Pearse Doherty’s comment during Sinn Féin’s response to the budget in the Dáil earlier that day that the difference between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil is twelve months.

In retrospect the kites that were flown prior to the budget provide a cynical benchmark of the extent to which the government tried to instill fear in the public to condition them for some of the changes that were made, in particular regularly flagged measures like raising the cost of prescriptions for those on medical cards from 50c to €2 and a €50 annual charge for medical cards. An attempt to make changes to disability allowances managed to lose Labour it’s newest TD (and third to go over the budget). The measure already seems to have been parked.

What the government failed to flag was the extent to which property-related measures would be brought in (see a summary here on NamaWineLake). You’d never think this was an economy blown apart by a property bubble.

Twelve months doesn’t appear to be a long time in politics.

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  • FuturePhysicist

    Difference between Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Sinn Féin … nearly a hundred years of accepting governance not insurrection.

  • Alias

    Pearse Doherty has been a very good performer with his brief. It’s refreshing to have a TD with a bit of common sense and honesty about him for a change.

    It’s FF for the next government, however…

  • dwatch

    “FRANCE AND GERMANY have urged eurozone countries to adopt a common corporate tax base in a letter published ahead of tomorrow’s crucial EU summit in Brussels”
    http://www.thejournal.ie/merkozy-urge-common-corporate-tax-rates-ahead-of-eu-summit-299406-Dec2011/

    Enda Kenny & the Dail would be expected to oppose, but what would Ireland do if all other 16 Eurozone countries voted in favour of adopting Merkel’s letter proposing:
    “A common corporate tax base” for all 17 EU countries?
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/full-letter-merkozy-von-rompuy

  • Alias

    They already signed up to the CCTB by committing to “engage constructively” with a process designed to dismantle tax sovereignty.

    They’re just pretending to the public that they intend to defend tax sovereignty so that they can spring its surrender onto them at the last minute, thereby ensuring only disordered opposition.

    The official line is that the Euro must be saved at all costs as abandoning the currency is not an option. One would think that 17 countries didn’t just abandon their own currencies within the last decade as, apparently, currencies can’t be abandoned according to the europhile media and eurogombeen political class – well, just the EU currency that is.

    In reality, something like 90 currencies have come and gone since WW2 so the practice is more common than the eurogombeens would like you to beleive.

  • Alias

    It’s actually 87 currencies since WW2.

    There is no reason why the Euro should not join the other 87 other than that it is deemed to be an essential component of creating a single European state.

  • FuturePhysicist

    The dilemma for the free marketeers is that free trade and fiscal unity are inextricably linked. Currency exchanges are essentially a tariff, that’s what the free marketeers hate by definition. Their philosophy is dead, unrealistic, detached and out of touch with natural business development. It doesn’t work, never had, but wishful thinking cannot be quashed.

  • IrelandNorth

    During my more ideological days of street protest in Dublin, I recall a much more seasoned veteran activist telling me that the only essential distinction between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail was that the former represented old money and the latte new. That is, neither represented, or pretended to so, the interests of the working class of the state. Sadly, we see Labour yet again collaborating with a right wing party, and destined to suffer a similar justifiable fate as the Greens in the last government. Viva Sinn Fein.

  • Alias

    “Sadly, we see Labour yet again collaborating with a right wing party…”

    Just like the Shinners with the DUP.

  • tuatha

    Difference?… umm.. same slop, different bucket?