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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: September 14, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

    Taoiseach transcript…

    Mary Minihan

    Obviously it’s almost impossible to separate what Taoiseach Brian Cowen said this morning from how he said it. However, posting a transcript here:

    [Taoiseach Brian Cowen interviewed by Cathal Mac Coille on RTE’s Morning Ireland]

    CMacC:…Taoiseach, good morning.

    BC: Morning Cathal.

    CMacC: And thanks for coming over before your breakfast. Now, we all expected €3 billion of cuts one shape or other in the budget now we hear it may be more, what’s going on?

    BC: Well there’s nothing going on…The Minister for Finance is clarifying the fact that €3 billion is at least the figure we have to deal with and I think from our point of view what the whole estimates campaign will be about is as they begin now as he speaks to ministers in dealing with that issue and ensuring that the markets are very clear and the European Commission and our own electorate are very clear that this is the range of adjustment that has to be dealt with.

    CMacC: But right now as you know first of all you have an electorate who are just really worried and depressed about the way things are going and they expected this figure of €3 billion. You have the markets, you have Brussels, you have the IMF criticising the Government for not being more specific about what’s coming, and in the middle of all this the Government says well €3 billion is indicative, it might be more, it might be the same. So I mean are you just softening us up or what’s going on?

    BC: No well I think it’s important and we’ve been discussing this yesterday and today here at our own think-in I mean to recognise the strengths of the Irish economy as well as we try to ensure that we deal with the fiscal problem. I mean there’s no question but that any government in Ireland has to close the gap between what’s being spent and what’s coming in from taxpayers. It’s not a sustainable position and people understand that actually and know it, but what I’ve been emphasising and what we’ve all been emphasising is the strengths of our economy. What’s the place upon which we can grow and recover? And the real issue for us has been, having dealt with this sort of economic tsunami in 2008 and 2009 we’ve stabilised the situation. Our budgetary plans are on target.

    CMacC: We don’t know what they are. It was going to be €3 billion. Now it might be more.

    BC: No, I think…
    CMacC: …You know about the need for certainty and you know about the difficulties in relation to Anglo Irish Bank and here you are, your finance minister, coming in and opening the door to who knows what? Could be €3 billion, could be €4 billion.

    BC: With respect the media are getting into word games here and it’s important that we avoid them. What we’re talking about is dealing with the EU plans we have to cut our deficits in line with what we’ve said and as Brian Lenihan has been saying the minimum of what we’re talking about is €3 billion.

    He’s now entering an estimates campaign with his ministers…he’s setting out very clearly the seriousness of our intent. And should there be any doubt about either at home or abroad that this government is not committed to dealing with the parts it has agreed, he’s making it very clear that we will deal with it.

    CMacC: Would you like to, would you like to cut more if you could?

    BC: Well unfortunately I’ve been looking at the Fine Gael policies as far as I can decipher it and others indeed and they were suggesting that the adjustment would be on the expenditure side totally.

    CMacC: Would you like to cut more than €3 billion if you could, if that was feasible?
    BC: Look we will do whatever is necessary to ensure that fiscal stability is returned to the country over a period of time. It won’t be done overnight, this year’s budget will not solve the problem in any event, in terms of whether it’s €3 billion or €3.1 billion or €3.2 billion or anything else and I think it’s important that people will understand that for every €5 we’re spending we’re taking in €3 in exchequer returns.

    CMacC: …Can you rule out anything? Can you rule out €4 billion?

    BC: We’re not talking about adjustments of that nature what we’re talking about is ensuring that people understand that this government is determined to meet the agreements it has reached with the European Commission and to do so in a way that is credible and is making sure that we…

    CMacC: …are we talking €3 – €3.5 billion?
    BC: Cathal, you’re long enough in the game to know that when we’re starting our estimates campaign the Minister for Finance is making it very clear that the €3 billion is not an illusory figure it is the basis upon which we’re going to discuss…

    CMacC: And it won’t be 4?

    BC: I don’t expect it will be four billion no but I don’t want to be anticipating or pre-empting discussions which are about to take place between ministers.

    CMacC: One of the key elements of the Government’s strategy, the Croke Park Agreement, was criticised earlier in the programme by Leo Varadkar, who said that very little had been done to implement it. When are we going to see the kind of flexibility, the mobility, the big changes in the way the civil service, public service, works that that agreement promised?

    BC: Well what’s going to happen now of course is, what people need to know is for next year we’re beginning discussions…what we have to do is align the estimates campaign with the industrial relations agenda. And what that’ll involve is where every department is setting out a [unclear] on the amount it’ll be able to have next year. It will be dealing with its on management and its own personnel and its own staff over coming months explaining that simply we have to get more from less, we want to avoid impact on those who…it’s during the course of this estimates campaign that we’ll be ending up with the situation where the allocations that will be made will require the implementation in many respects of the Good Friday of the, ah, sorry, the Croke Park Agreement, which is about redeployment, which is about better work practices…

    CMacC: When will that happen, next year?

    BC: Of course, it begins next year, we signed the agreement in June.

    CMacC: A couple of things in relation to yourselves and the Greens. One is in the revised programme for Government, the agreement to bring in legislation on corporate donations. Have you reached agreement with them? When are we going to see it?

    BC: Again that is, that is legislation that is in place or sorry that’s legislation that’s in preparation. The whole question of dealing with that is under consideration…[unclear]…as normal in seeing what way we can address this issue.

    CMacC: Are corporate donations going to be banned as the Greens have said they want and given that it’s in the programme for government?

    BC: As I say the legislation, if you look at the programme for Government it’s on the basis of what can be achieved based on that issue and we will deal with it in the normal way.

    CMacC: Alright so you can’t say anything certain about it in other words even though it’s in the programme?

    BC: Government decisions will be made based on the programme for government.

    CMacC: Right. The byelections…more likely than not towards holding the byelections and the children’s rights referendum and the mayoral election for Dublin on the same day next year?

    BC: The children’s rights referendum and the mayoral election and the byelections issue, these are not sort of convergent issues. These are issues that will be dealt with based on their own merits. The children’s referendum issue, we have a report from the committee involved, a lot of detailed work has to go into that as to how we can deal with it and what way we deal with it…It shouldn’t be assumed that all these matters can be handled and they’re a fait accomplis in terms of the amount of work that has to be done on them.

    CMacC: Did you ever think by the way of going to John Gormley and saying I know you think this is a good idea but come on, another mayor, another car, another office, another set of executives around them – this is not the time, we’ll be slaughtered.

    BC: Well I mean the issue on that is again it’s a programme for government commitment. The legislation in preparation, discussions take place at cabinet and we’ll discuss it further, and there has been discussion going on between Fianna Fail ministers and the Green Party on that issue in the context of local government reform generally.

    CMacC: You think it’s a great idea?

    BC: The Government is committed to that proposal in the programme for government and like any other commitment it has to be dealt with on that basis.

    CMacC: Is it a great idea?

    BC: I think it is a good idea if you can bring together a co-ordinated mayoral position that would deal with the whole planning and other issues right throughout the Dublin city and county.

    CMacC: Final question Taoiseach, we spoke earlier in the programme to people who voted Fianna Fail in the last election. Some of them will vote for you again some of them absolutely wouldn’t. One of those who wouldn’t was a young person in Galway who said ‘I’ve no future as a result of what they’ve done. I’ve just graduated, I’ve no job prospects. I’m just wandering around the streets of Galway’. Now they don’t all have degrees but there are over 400,000 of those people…What can you say to the 400,000 of those people who see no prospect short of emigrating..?

    BC: No there is hope for the future Cathal. The whole purpose of our budgetary policy is to stabilise the situation after the economy contracted by nine per cent in 2009. We’ve stabilised the situation this year and we have prospects of growth being spoken about not only by the ESRI but by international people like the IMF and others. This country will get back on track. There are no soft option politics available to us.

    Yes there are difficulties ahead but I want to assure him and others, that person that you’ve…
    CMacC: It was a her, yeah…

    BC: Excuse me. The person you were speaking about herself and others. Yes there is a future for this country on the basis of growth on the basis of recovery on the basis of doing what’s necessary.

    CMacC: On the likely maths she might as well emigrate…

    BC: Defeatism Cathal will not solve this problem whether it’s in your organisation or anywhere else. Defeatism will not get us out of this situation. What will get us out of this situation is preparedness by a government to do what’s necessary to get this country back on track. Yes there will be cutbacks, yes there will be things that will have to be done, there will be new ways we have to deliver services. We all have to get in behind it and make sure we do it because it’s exactly about that by the way it’s about how we secure our kids future. That’s why we have to go ahead and do what we have to do.

    • Garry Owens says:

      Seeing it in cold print brought back how awful the interview was. Cowan’s bumbling incoherent performance is embarrassing, is shameful to this country and to all of us who live here.

    • Donal Fox says:


    • Paul O'Carr says:

      This so-called controversy makes me really despair. There is so much wrong in this country and the opposition and the media spend most of the day talking about the Taoiseach’s so-called drunken or hung-over interview. I didn’t hear the interview but the transcript above shows that he’s absolutely lucid – far more lucid and to the point than 90% of our politicians (not to mention his predecessor in office).

      Actually, what really struck me most in this transcript is how poor the interviewer, Cathal MacCoille, performed. Like many Irish political interviews, it consisted of an attempt to “create news” by getting the Taoiseach to give a figure for the cutbacks expected in the upcoming budget. Going on past practice, this would then be emphasised in RTE news bulletins all day as a divide between the Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance.

      Read back: Cathal MacCoille actually asked the Taoiseach SEVEN separate times whether the cutbacks would be more than €3 billion!!!

      1. Would you like to, would you like to cut more if you could?
      2. Could be €3 billion, could be €4 billion.
      3. Would you like to, would you like to cut more if you could?
      4. Would you like to cut more than €3 billion if you could, if that was feasible?
      5. Can you rule out anything? Can you rule out €4 billion?
      6. are we talking €3 – €3.5 billion?
      7. And it won’t be 4?

      Anyone being asked the same question seven times would be entitled to get a bit flustered and to go hoarse. Why can’t Irish interviewers ask intelligent probing questions, instead of trying to create news stories themselves?

    • Donal Fox says:

      Biffo.I regret that is Biffo no three.It may be argued that the three abreviarions are the best comments one could possibly make on this subject matter (academically speaking).

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      The estimates ‘campaign’ is this waster for real? Someone should smack him about the head with a dead fish from Iceland and make him learn how they did it.

      However, the crucial action in Iceland took place when the Icelandic public took to the streets and made their government stop any guarantee of their banks. No chance of the lazy corrupt Irish doing any such thing.

      But even with 2 wasted years where Ireland could be well out of the woods by now, there is still alot Cowen and Lenihan can do but they are too intellectually bankrupt to do so. The plug can be pulled on the guarantee and Anglo can be let go to the wall. It has no ‘little old lady’ depositors and the pension funds etc have insurance to cover such losses and anyone who has money in the credit union, which in turn is with Anglo, well firstly they need to get the credit union to change that but more importatnly their deposit is covered by the deposit guarantee that was in place before the Anglo mess.

      Clowen and Lenny can’t do anything because they don’t have the moral stance or cerebrals to know how to make a decision that isn’t based on what is whispered in their ear from the crony circle – if any other party were in government now this crisis would have been addressed years ago – it wouldn’t have happened in the first place but if it was dumped in the lap of an ew government then the mess would now be sorted out.

      Iceland has had its crisis and dealt with it and now is taking steps to hold those who caused it to account – hell will freeze over before such a thing happens in Ireland and that’s because everyone benefits in some way from the crony system. Irish people quite enjoy the corny system the same way as the Greeks and Italians like theirs – they just want to be on the side side of the trough and only moan when they think others are getting more than they do.

      Whereas the Icelanders were genuinely shocked at what happened in their country which is why they had a genuine reaction of anger and have now changed things. There’s no genuine anger in Ireland which is enoug hto change anything.

      Be interesting to see the next poll ratings and whatever about doubting FG are up to the job, what sort of person still gives a vote to FF.

    • barbera says:

      @2 — absolutely agree with Paul O’Carr.

    • jo bangles says:

      @2 Yep…it’s now an established interview technique… perfected by Paxo *sticking it* to Michael Howard…but never to the same withering effect…

    • jo bangles says:

      Actually @2 it’s called the ‘broken record technique’ in ‘Assertiveness Training’…which you’d probably know if you were a WUMAN…because you’d need to have acquired such skills to overcome the oppressive socialisation women are subjected to from the minute they leave the womb…which renders them incapable of asserting themselves without frigging training…OK?…Since you ask….:-)

    • Paul O'Carr says:

      @Gary Owens: Have you heard Enda Kenny lately? The truth is that very few of our politicians can string a word together without verbiage. Most of them need a course in clear thinking and clear speech, with a bit of elocution thrown in. The quality of debate in this country, whether in the Dail or on the airwaves is dire. However, Cowen is very far from the worst offender in this respect and I don’t think the above interview is at all bumbling or incoherent. As I said in my previous reply, he was asked the same question seven times! Enough said.

    • The interviewer was right to ask the same question several times, as Brian Cowen did not make any attempts to simply answer this question. We are still left in the dark.
      Entire two years after the recession started, Fianna Fail is meeting up to discuss about job creation. But we still don’t hear or see any nationwide plans to drastically reduce unemployment. Instead we are again fed with sketchy phrases. We are supposed to face further cut-backs that are hampering our domestic economy to a greater extent.
      It’s time to get real. It’s overdue. We not only need byelections, we need leaders who get us out of this crisis, and not the same crowd who brought us into this dilemma in the first place. We need general elections as soon as possible.

    • Gadge says:

      Is it too much to expect that, with less than 3 months to go to the Budget that the Government would have agreed a headline figure of how much should be cut?

    • John Rearden says:

      Why was no effort made to add punctuation to the transcription? The lack of same creates a sense that the speaker is rambing.

      As far as I’m concerned, this interview only serves to flesh out Cowan’s character a bit for us commuters. Who cares what pointless rubbish is being talked at the think-in? The real work of running the country will appear in the budget speech, when we all find out exactly how much we’re going to pay for mistakes we did not make in order to maintain the stability of the European banking system, and ensure the ability of nutcase states (ourselves included) to borrow from loan sharks to keep our respective shows on the road.

    • Jaker says:

      Brian Cowen, singing “Me & My Shadow”.

      Verse 1
      Me & my Shadow, love playing the fools for you.

      Especially on radio, we can’t add up “two & two”

      Me & my Shadow, like giving the odd Rte interview

      We don’t say much really, we just go & act the fool.

      Verse 2
      Me & my shadow, are up all night fooling around

      Drinking plenty of beer & impersonating all around

      Then come the morning after, you can’t get out a word or two

      Yea, me & my Shadow, should have drunk another few.

      Because, then you’d HEAR the real interview.

      Jaker 2010.

    • Mark Caulfield says:

      Yes, Brain Cowen is a terrible public speaker and yes his interview was rambling and somewhat hilarious. But I have to agree with Mr. O’ Carr’s comment there are more pressing public issues than this.

    • Mark Olsen says:

      I find the Irish very funny … criticizing Brian Cowen for his bumbling interview. Perhaps they should get a taste of our fair over here in the US. Obama without his teleprompter, or George Bush with a teleprompter for that matter. Hmmmm, Brian Cowen doesn’t sound half bad after all, by comparison.

    • Gerald Horgan says:

      In relation to Mark Caulfield and Paul O’Carr’s comments, I used to be a heavy drinker (I no longer drink) and I can testify after a night of carousing into the early hours of the morning I would be in no fit state to be up in the morning after to start a day of productive. work. Is Cowen superhuman ? Maybe. But he certainly gives no confidence to me anyway that he should be Taoiseach of our country . If Cowen was an employee of a ‘company’ who gave him the task yeaterday morning of promoting the positive aspects of the products the company were selling , he would have been fired .

    • jo bangles says:

      I don’t know what Mr Cowen’s ABV level was but as I understand it the interview was the morning after a Fianna Free) Fail Party dinner…so it’s likely he had one or two small sherries unless he’s yet to break his Confirmation pledge…In which case his Beal Bocht to the Plain People of Ireland that there are hungry times ahead is even more hypocritical…How much do these erm… ‘Beano’s’ cost..?…or was ‘Biffo’ in the rival comic…?…but I digress…How much exactly IS being spent on hospitality in these so called straitened times…?

    • Bernard says:

      Sadly the impact of this sloppy approach to an interview has had a world wide impact and doesn’t improve our reputation abroad. What really bothers me is not that a man has a good night out with friends & associates but that his judgement was so impaired that he followed through on an interview which has a wide audience. Yes we do have a major battle on ours hands to even stabilise this country’s finances and get employment for even some of the 400k + but if our political leader has shown bad judgement on such a trivial issue…..what is going on behind closed doors in Kildare street.

      Folks…..we are on a precipice…and I’m concerned we are being led by a lemming…..!!

    • Lou Malone says:

      Right on, Paul O’Carr

      Lou Malone

    • Eamonn says:

      Have we learnt nothing as a nation? Consistently when faced with a challenge we turn on
      our own. FG and TV3 demonstrated a willingness to promote the Irish stereotype around
      the world for their own short term gain.

    • paul m says:

      @20 Eamonn, its not called politics for nothing. There’s no turning on ‘our own’ here unless you feel everyone is a soldier of destiny along with our trusted leaders who are marching us to the somme.

      FG and Labour should have sunk FF at the last election. If you want an example of people turning on their own look no further than the Greens who extended the shelf life of a rotten government.

      There is nothing wrong with taking pot shots at Cowen no matter how trivial they may seem. It just helps to reinforce the case the man was incapable at Finance and is incapable as Taoiseach to lead this country. Watch next time he has an interview on camera, he shifts his gaze around the room except where it should be – looking down the lens telling the nation he’s got bull by the horns.

      If people are looking for genuine anger wait til the bill arrives for the budget and the anglo bailout. As with the transcript above, when its written in black and white its about as clear as it can get.

    • Slug Murphy says:

      Cowen’s ability to communicate is the worst for any Taoiseach in the history of the State. He is truculent, defensive, abrasive, adversarial and arrogant. Oh, and by the way, as Minister for Finance and Taoiseach, he is politically responsible for the mess we are in. Now, maybe that’s an inconvenient truth for Cowen and the boys and girls singing and drinking until after 3 AM Monday morning while the rest of us try to go to work and get our kids to school.

    • James O'dwyer says:

      An absolute scandal how he is carrying on and dealing with our issues!

    • barbera says:

      I’m sure the Irish people are hugely grateful to Simon Coveney/FG for bringing that low-down, parochial, petty style of politics to an international audience; and especially at this crucial time when the country needs to be talking itself up on the financial/political world stage. Talk about a person shooting themselves in the foot. This kind of thing always backfires. We have nearly two years to the next election. Whatever will happen will happen and I certainly would not put money at the moment on the main opposition to “win”; but in the meantime let us try and behave like civilized human beings and get a positive image out there. We have everything to gain and nothing to lose (that is not lost already) by giving a bit of media support to the Government. In my opinion, there is no one better than Brian Cowen together with, especially Brian Lenihan and also Micheál Martin and the rest of the front bench to get the thing back on track. If people want a change of Government at the next election then they will vote for it but in the meantime WHAT I ask, with exasperation and exaggeration, is to be gained by our main opposition party members behaving like schoolyard bullies and the Irish media behaving like gutter press.

    • jo bangles says:

      @9 The reason he was asked the same question 7 times was because he did not answer it on the previous six occasions…Hence the use of the ‘broken record technique’ whereby you keep asking the same question until you get the answer…Nuff said…?

    • jo bangles says:

      @25 Party Politics is not commensurate with collegiate consensus…Political opponents will seek to make Political capital where they can… The meeja whipping boys are the ring masters of this media circus…

    • Donal Fox says:

      It is sad that such an enlightened comment as mine has not been given due recognition.

      I trust that the rant is not too long for modern attention spans.
      My contribution to this debate is… BIFFO.
      Please read carefully and absorb over time.
      Direct all angst upwards to your leader.
      Talking around the campfire is for block heads.

    • barbera says:

      actually, I listened to Simon Coveney on six-one news and I have to say he was quite gentlemanly in his acceptance of Mr Cowen’s humble apology with regard to an under-par performance in his radio interview and his very understandable explanation for this. We all have bad days. We all make mistakes. Time to move on from this hyped-up non-event.

    • Patricia Lopresto says:

      Anyone out to 3:00 in the morning drinking has got to be hungover or even still drunk the next day. He actually comes accross as coherent from the tracnscript which is of course without the benefit of nuance hearing him would have. I have been cringing for him. Not only is he a public person leaving himself open to this scrutiny, but he has exposed the Irish Nation yet again to the “drunken Irish” stereotype which is pervasive and practically universally the opinion most people hold of us. I personally don’t drink and hate having to defend the Irish against this type of criticism. I am afraid someone in control of his alcohol consumption would not find themselves in this predicament.

    • Trevor says:

      I thought that the PM’s remarks were rather clear and concise, then again I have spent the past 20 years in the states listening to the Republicans, so I may not be the best judge.

    • Sean Mac Giolla says:

      Biffo chanted the usual crap on Morning Ireland. As Bertie proved, the less coherent you are, the more sensible the crap sounds.

      I have read the transcript and listened to the interview.

      Patriotism (a form of self-interest) precludes me from further comment on the interview topic. I wish some of my fellow Irish people would realise what is at stake here. Careless talk costs basis points.

      I echo wholeheartedly the insight from Desmond FitzGerald above that it is we as a nation, rather than our elected leaders, who are predominantly lazy and corrupt. I add the observation that it usually takes a radical event to jump lazy and corrupt people out of their (our) sinful ways.

      What has to hapen to make us sit up and take notice?

    • Paul Vallely says:

      Brian Cowan’s interview made news in Australia. It is crucial for Ireland to show the world, and particularly the EU, it has the capacity to pull itself out of its own economic crisis as well as do its bit to help resolve the global crisis. It is therefore alarming that we are all shown evidence that your country is being lead by a person who is incapable of holding a discussion on economic and social reform, let alone actually carry out such urgently needed strategies. However, before you all agree, there is a famous and wise quotation that states that a nation deserves the government it democratically elects into power.

    • H Donegan says:

      Having heard much of the hyped discussion on radio yesterday about this interview I searched out the transcript, which to me seemed fairly cogent bar the few minor pre breakfast shortcomings. Perhaps we should all keep in mind that a good horse over the jumps can have a slip on a bad day but it does not mean that it has to be put down.

    • jo bangles says:

      @27 Perhaps that is because it made no sense…what is an ‘abreviarion’ btw… then there’s misuse of grammatical terms…BIFFO is an A.C.R.O.N.Y.M…other than that I think it probably got the ‘recognition it deserved’…i.e. people politely ignored it…academically speaking…!
      You will also discover that there are only one or two contributors to this blog deemed worthy of ‘recognition’ as you call it…!

    • paul m says:

      @32 – that famous and wise quotation has been flogged to death at this stage and still does not resonate with many people, especially those who follow the soldiers of destiny.

      here’s one that’s more appropriated;
      you can lead a hoarse (throat) to water but you cant make him drink

    • barbera says:

      @27 – O course, you mean our Brilliant Intelligent Fianna Fail Overseer – yes I agree with you. YW and MTFBWY

    • Rosa La Rouge says:

      Can you please kick off barbera / the FF social media mole off this forum? Her comments are quite transparently intent on spreading the government’s propaganda. It’s rather obvious, but I still feel insulted to be met with that sort of discourse where I precisely seek an alternative (of some sort)…

    • David Leahy says:

      As an Irishman living abroad (who got out 4 years ago) this whole episode has been painful and infuriating to watch from afar. Many Irish people abroad work hard to shake the ‘paddy’ mentality of a well meaning but perma-drunk race. Every time we see Cowen or his cronies make some half -baked decision it fulfills the stereotype abroad of the ‘Irish way’ of doing things to be a byword for failure – from the failure to introduce cervical cancer vaccines in 2008 to the debacle of glass bottle sites and national conference centres.

      I agree with Paul Vallely’s statement – but what angers me is how the articulate musings of Irish people on the issue of Cowen’s stewardship hasn’t led to more civil disobedience?

    • paul m says:

      @38 well David, if your house is falling down around you, smashing up the furniture isnt going to make it any better. You may vent some of your frustration but you’re then left with another mess to clean up.

      if by civil disobedience you mean proper sustained broad strike action, like the french, then i’m asking the same question too. I’m not a union member. If i was i’d be wondering why the real largest party in this country isnt putting the knife into Caesars back. The unions could bring down this government.

    • fiachra mc laughlin says:

      Yet another gaffe in a long and seemingly endless line of gaffes by Cowan, Callely and the rest of the FF party, 25 billion down the drain, Possible if not inevitable IMF intervention, a drinker for a taoiseach! The list is endless. We must remove these incompetents from office ASAP for the sake of this country!!! WE are the laughing stock of Europe, I mean even the Icelandic economy is performing better than our own. The Anglo decision was quite possibly the worst decision in the history of this country. Examples must be made, bankers, politician and bankers must be held to account and tried for the activities that they engaged in for at least a decade!!

    • barbera says:

      @37 — ruby…!! Is it yerself?? AYFR…!!

    • Paul Vallely says:

      I accept Paul M’s comment that the phrase ‘a nation deserves the government it democratically elects’, has been “..flogged to death..”. Does this mean your country resigns itself to melancholic silence. On the flip side, to engage in civil unrest will take you back 100 years. To engage in union based unrest will take you back 50 years. Might I suggest the answer lies in breaking the political mould that was created at a time when Ireland was young, angry and unplaced. Your democracy provides a seedbed to nurture an effective and contemporary alternate party. Cowen’s speech is nothing more than a symptom.

    • Me says:

      @41 What do you say Rosa?… luv the pseudonym btw…Rosa Luxembourg one of my heroines…!
      Anyway this is too trifling I am more concerned with God and Caesar at the moment….ciao

    • Scarlet says:

      Anyway barbz you know the chief of the pseudonym police would have ‘outed’ me if it was me perhaps you should ask him to unmask your critic…!

    • daniel says:

      I have lived abroad for over 20 years leaving due to the ineptness of politicans and the oppressiveness of the Catholic ethos on Irish society regardless whether you were catholic or not. The Irish had their chance when given money from Europe to use it wisely & create a better Ireland, Terry Eagleton likened it to a”Toilet Attendant “winning the lottery but as it now shows it was the “Village Idiot” winning the lottery. The Irish have this “AaH Shure” aren’t they all it mentality and also address the attitude alcohol abuse in Irish society. I hated the stereo-type of the “drunken paddy” but I now realise the Irish themselves are always more than happy to feed that stereo-type. Also Carson was right as was Paisley that Home Rule is Rome Rule as you can see from the deals the Irish Government did with them over the child abuse in Ireland.

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