Kenny addresses the nation as Ireland exits its bailout.

Only five times in Irish history has a Taoiseach taken to the airwaves to address the nation and Kenny went for his second go tonight as Ireland exits its bailout programme. Full text of the speech is available here

Overall I found it a bit of a dull speech without any real coherent message or point. At many times it just seemed like Kenny was giving the address simply to tell us everything that we already knew.

He did take the opportunity to annouce a new economic plan

This week, the Government will publish a new medium term economic plan that lays out the road ahead for our country. This plan will set out the steps that we intend to take to grow our economy between now and 2020. It will be a plan based on enterprise, not on speculation. A plan to ensure that never again will Ireland’s stability be threatened by speculation and greed. We are never going back to that culture.

Kenny said out a modest goal for job creation which simply confirms the fear that unemployment will be high for the forseeable future in Ireland as he pledged to have 2 million people in work by 2020. This is hardly a great achievement as nearly 1.9 million are in work at the moment.

Anyway he did end on a defiant note, pledging the to finish the job of fiscal correction;

Throughout our history, the Irish people have always shown that nothing is impossible for us to achieve, when we really apply ourselves to a challenge or cause. Believe me, government will work with you to put in place the foundations for a secure and prosperous futurefor you and the next generation. I thank you for the part that you have played in Ireland’s recovery to date. My commitment to you and to your families is that for the remainder of its term, this government will work, might and main, to finish the job that you entrusted to us.

David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

  • megatron

    A former American football player used to say “I love me some me”.

    That just about summarises the speech.

  • cynic2

    ” nothing is impossible for us to achieve, when we really apply ourselves”

    Now Edna… this hubris or for 30 years did you just not want to defeat terrorism?

    “a secure and prosperous future for you and the next generation” ….but one.

    “never again will Ireland’s stability be threatened by speculation and greed”

    where 5years < never < 10 years

  • megatron defines enterprise as (amongst other things):

    “An undertaking, especially one of some scope, complication, and risk.”

    Has anyone told enda? It sounds too risky to me.

    PS Cynic – I would doubt never > 5 years!

  • The Raven

    As an outsider nordie, I really want to rant about how amazed I’ve been at how the general population have been taxed until their very pips squeak; at how everyday items are beyond the grasp of many of the population; at how there is any sort of homeless problem, with 700-odd ghost estates dotted around the country; at how many of them – many within my circle of friends – have been left with mortgages they might never pay off; how many others have just handed the keys over the counter of the bank which was so generous many years ago, and now is bending them over the counter for one very final shaft; and about my absolute disappointment in the wider (i.e., not bankers, speculators, developers and many – but not all – politicians) population for letting themselves take it so squarely and firmly up the arse.

    But I live under the Stormont junta-cabal, and subsequently, a Tory government. So I suppose I’d better say fcuk all.

  • cynic2


    The problem is, in the last analysis, who ate all the pies. And the reality is that it was the Irish people who overspent. Encouraged by the banks and a system they created but it was all of us who paid ridiculous prices for property and as it went ever higher borrowed ever more to buy cars etc. Then it all went pop – and we blame everyone else.

    And if you blame gulpeen politicians – who elected them? Everyone knew what FF was like

  • The Raven

    Cynic, though I accept all your points, it’s more how the aftermath was handled, and the utter lack of backbone I’m seeing then and now.

    As for the politicians bit? I had hoped down there – as I do here – that change would emerge.

    Like I said – just an outsider nordie.

  • Greenflag

    The devil as always is in the detail . In one particular area the ‘detail ‘ may not amount to more than a bag of hot air 🙁 I refer to the below excerpt from the soon to be announced plan ? .

    “It will show how we will require the banking system to become a contributor to the economy, rather than a huge drain on it. The banks must do more to deal with mortgage distress and to provide access to credit for small business.”

    Given that the USA , UK and all of the ‘bailed out’ EU countries and many more besides are still in thrall to the international financial powers that be -how Kenny successfully Mr Kenny will fudge his way past this obstacle could have him on the Oscar nomination list .

    Ireland may have exited the bail out and other countries may soon follow but the harsh financial reality is that our governments -be they Irish , British , American or Spanish have by no means come to grips with the underlying dysfunction in their economies .
    The Royal Bank of Scotland has still more ‘dirt ‘ to dig up -The reborn ‘Volcker Rule’ which was so effective pre crisis at separating ‘normal ‘ commercial banking from what became effectively gambling casinos, won’t
    take full effect until 2015 and even now many banks are lobbying to water it’s terms down so they can continue ‘gambling ‘ or should that be speculation .
    Even the Economist has found fault with the new Volcker rules .

    The long and short of it is -If Messrs Cameron & Obama are still effectively the bound and gagged prisoners of the City and Wall St effectively what chance /hope has a peripheral politician like Enda got of forcing the local banks to reduce the debts owed in the mortgage debacle ?

    While there is truth in the comments above that ‘greed and stupidity ‘ were not the sole preserve of the banking system and property speculators and corrupt politicians it is nonetheless evident from economic history that those ostensibly in control of the USA Federal Reserve , the Bank of England and others -together with their assisting and betting political leaders must take the main responsibility for the financial crisis .

    Seven years later even such as the renowned teflon economist Alan Greenspan the former USA Federal Reserve Chairman confesses as to ‘underestimating ‘ the banking system’s innate capacity for reckless behaviour .

    When we see the USA & UK and other large economies legislate and implement reforms which will see their banking systems contribute to rather than pillage and loot their country’s middle and working and small business classes then Mr Kenny may be able to summon up his courage to the sticking point and implement similar here .

    Until then it’ll be ‘Jawohl’ Angela , anything you say Angela -more of the same Angela – yes please Angela .
    And in Britain -Mr Cameron will continue to follow the rules set down by his City backers and Mr Obama will be looking everywhere else other than the financial sector to leave as his legacy for his period in office .

  • Greenflag

    @ Raven,

    ‘Like I said – just an outsider nordie.’

    In the world of globalised finance and free for all capital markets there are NO outsiders -not even nordies 😉

    But you know that already right

    @ Cynic2

    “And the reality is that it was the Irish people who overspent”

    Not forgetting the Americans and the British and the Spanish, Greeks , Italians , Portuguese , etc .

    When money is cheap -people spend – including governments and even more so banks . The reason interest rates are so low is that if they were say double what they are now the USA & UK would be plunged into another deeper recession and the banks are still recapitalising their balance sheets off the backs of the people whose ‘governments’ bailed out the gamblers n the first instance . The day Paulson put a gun to George Bush’s head and told him he had better bail out AIG or he would’nt have a country to govern the next morning was the day that what used to be called ‘capitalism ‘ and ‘democracy was replaced by financial sector led plutocracy .

    And that despite cosmetic reforms here and there is still the status quo.

  • GEF

    “Not forgetting the Americans and the British and the Spanish, Greeks , Italians , Portuguese , etc .”

    Indeed GreenFlag, but when are these countries along with the Irish going to sentence their greedy bankers to a jail term like the government in Iceland have?

  • Greenflag

    “but when are these countries along going to sentence their greedy bankers to a jail term like the government in Iceland have?”

    When the elected politicians in those countries stop allowing multi national and domestic financial corporations and lobbyists writing their financial legislation for them .Over the past 20 -25 years the financial sector interests have been very effective in electing those politicians who are only too grateful to rubber stamp pro banking financial interests at the later as we have seen expense of the general public and what we used to call ‘democracy’.

    It was like asking a wolf to take care of a flock of newly born lambs and to make sure that none get attacked by rabid dogs .

    Even in the last previous to this one financial sector mayhem in the USA namely the Savings & Loan scandal of the 1980’s over a 1,000 ‘bankers ‘ went to jail during the first Reagan administration . They still had laws in place which could be implemented . This time around under Bush & Obama I doubt if even 30 have been put behind bars and those have been the most (now ) obvious in hindsight white collar criminals such as Madoff and others of his ilk .

    Those who wrote the laws ensured that those who would break them in the interest of enormous personal profit would be almost immune from prosecution given their complexity and innumerable escape clauses . In addition modern technology in the stock markets ensures that investment capital can be sent round the world and back again in minutes . The average ‘stock ‘ was once held for 5 years as an investment . In today’s world with multi national huge investment funds and hedge funds the average stock in Wall St is held for just 5 seconds . The ‘internet ‘ has yet to find the solutions to the financial crisis which it made possible .

    The Icelanders obviously were allowed to slip up in not amending their laws enough which would have allowed their ‘criminal ‘ banksters evade jail terms . Such is the power of the Wall St financial sector that the Feds accept fines in lieu of criminal prosecution of the largest banks & investment firms . The most recent being Jamie Dimonds agreement to pay 11 billion dollars to the Feds but at the same time not admitting to wrong doing . And there have been a hundred more like that over the past few years . These financial sector capitalists and such ilk not only piss on the law but treat it as part of their ‘tool ‘ kit as they loot and plunder their way to another quick billion or two.

    It seems the Obama’s and Cameron’s and yes even the Kenny’s are utterly powerless to rein in the big boys of financial sector capitalism which is why Kenny & Cameron & Obama scurry to make up their governmental revenue shortfalls by cutting education and health programs and squeezing their working and middle classes until their belly buttons pop out through their rear ends 🙁

    Parable of the New Age

    ‘To them that hath shall be given and to them that hath not -even that which they haven’t yet got is being and will be taken from them and their children .
    And their childrens children will be asked again and again to give their lives so that the predatory class of all nations can continue to wage war -military and political and economic on each other as they compete to see which Predator national class gets to control and possess all the loot and all the power on the planet and *&*^% the people of all nations while they can get way with it which will be until such time as people everywhere insist on their elected politicians governing in the public interest and not in the interest of banksters and their aiders and abetters. .

  • Kensei

    The top story on the Irish Times is that Edna wants to replace the lost jobs by 202:

    That’s an unemployment rate of 8%, by the by.

    2020! That will be a full 12 years after the crisis started. The capacity for the people of the Republic to suck up pain staggers me. I’m not convinced it is a virtue.

  • Greenflag

    “The capacity for the people of the Republic to suck up pain staggers me.”

    A look back at just the past 400 years of history should leave you in no doubt as to that capacity . As for it being a virtue ? In times past and some would say even in times present alternatives to sucking it up are nowhere seen as being successful or practical at least in the short term .

    In many ways the Irish have had it easier than Americans or Spanish or Greeks or Portuguese in that the social safety net mitigates the worst for most the neediest . Contrast that with the US long term unemployed some 2 million people apparently who will as of Dec 28th 2013 receive not a dollar more in unemployment benefit . How they will manage or their families to eat and live and pay rent for accomodation is not a detail that the US Congress is concerned with..

    The fat cat politicians of established parties don’t give a rat’s arse and they never will until the guillotine is brought back to reintroduce ‘Morality ‘ into the misruling classes .

    Of course Americans, British, Irish, etc consumers or voters will count for much less in the globalised market place of 2030 .The economic future and the mega profits of the largest international corporations will be gouged out of China’s upcoming Y generation all 250 million of them . These are the people along with their fellow developing emerging economies who will make the future and it looks like that future will be determined by a one party non democratic corporate quasi fascist state now moving into a geo expansion phase .

    Mind you the Chinese are even less slouches at sucking up pain than the Irish .

  • Anaximander

    An unsatisfying speech from an unsatisfying leader.