Thursday, February 12, 2009

From Poster Boy Economy to Basket Case - Who Knew?

I think that with all this talk about falling tax revenues, property bubbles and what have you, we are being distracted from a very crucial question: who knew that this was on the way. And why did they not prepare for it?

The youngest boys and girls in the scouts for Gods sake learn to 'Be Prepared'. If someone had only acknowledged what was on the way and started to prepare BEFORE we landed neck high in it, how much better a situation might we be in?

But the Government, the Department of Finance and the Banks all continued in denial - and I'm not talking about the river in Egypt either.

"Commit suicide" Bertie told anyone who dared to open their mouths the Christmas before last and "buy houses now or they'll be even more expensive." And people trusted him. Why wouldn't they. He was our Taoiseach after all. The common man with the common touch - Bertie.

He and his finance people (including Cowen) must have known that the vast majority of revenue was from the building industry. They must have known that with a population less than Greater Manchester or Birmingham that couldn't go on. They must have (and did) know that we were becoming too expensive for firms to stay here. They must have known that the underlying tax revenues (if you take out all property and construction related monies including PAYE from that sector, stamp duty, VAT on houses etc. etc.) was not performing and that we were living in a complete construction fairyland.

They must have known but crucially - they mustn't have cared. It suited their political ends to keep the lie going as long as possible. To get re-elected in 2007 when everything must have been starting to go pear-shaped, on a bunch false projections and downright lies. It's sickening.

And why is it important to find out who knew? Surely there's no point in wasting time on recriminations or going back over what has happened that we can't change?

Well, for a start, the government would want us to think that. They wouldn't want us to realise that we had been lied to. Blatantly. They wouldn't want us to realise that they had gotten elected on completely false pretences. They wouldn't want us to realise they put their own lust for power before our very dignity and they wouldn't want us to realise that as a result of all that, they are governing on a false mandate.

I believe that nothing less than complete reform of the Dail is required. A complete change of guard. A new way of working it. The Dail has become a stale, irrelevant, distanced and antiquated chamber where the boys (and they are mostly boys) are members of the most exclusive and out of touch club in Ireland. Over paid. Overly sure of themselves. Up their own backsides a lot of the time with their preachy attitude and 'I'm better than you' opinion of themselves.

Well this time, their weapon of choice may have been the boomerang and I hope it comes back and clobbers them, their expenses and their pensions.

The sooner we take to the streets.....The better. Roll on the revolution!

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