Dodging the diaspora
ON WEDNESDAY, a group of international business experts will gather in Dublin to advise the Government on ways to renew the economy.
The 19 members of the advisory board to the Global Irish Forum were invited to the think-in by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, and their task is to advise the Government on how to implement the best ideas from that forum.
Now here’s where it gets awkward. One of the strongest ideas to come out of the forum is Volunteer 2016, a scheme under which top-ranking corporate executives from the Irish diaspora have volunteered to serve on State boards until 2016 for free.
But for some bizarre reason, the Government has snubbed the selfless offers of these heavy-hitters (who include the likes of former Intel chief executive Craig Barrett) even though it specifically asked, and continues to ask, for their help.
No doubt the question of Volunteer 2016 will be raised yet again on Wednesday, but the Government is in a bind. How is it supposed to continue rewarding the party faithful with cosy board sinecures if those pesky diaspora do-gooders are determined do the State some service, and free of charge?
It will be interesting to see how the spin doctors try to justify the Government’s increasingly unjustifiable stance this week.