Kenny's dead words fail to convince
I could go on with further quotations but I can’t type this stuff and retain the will to live at the same time. I could quote, for example, the Taoiseach referring to people on low incomes as “that particular sector” but readers have suffered enough.
The point is that much of what the Taoiseach had to say was inarticulate drivel and all of it was waffle.
He was starting sentences without knowing where they were going to end. He was using random verbs with no relationship to their objects. (In what language can “progress” be “put” or “grown on”?)
He was making claims, such as low interest rates being a sign of Irish confidence, that it is terrifying to think he might actually believe. He was half speak-your-weight machine, half Alan Partridge.
We pay this man €200,000 a year plus a €3.2 million pension pot. But if a trainee manager in a greeting card company made a presentation so inarticulate, ill-prepared and banal, he would never get to be a manager.
At a moment of trauma for so many people, worried sick about their kids, their mortgages, their elderly parents, their jobs and their futures, the Taoiseach couldn’t produce one instant of grace or dignity or consolation.
He clearly hadn’t bothered to sit down with his well-paid advisers for half an hour and think through what he was going to tell us.
Why? Because he has nothing to say. His Government has no real story to tell. Its only narrative is “a tale told by an idiot” – the yarn that sadistic cuts in respite payments for carers at the end of their tether will somehow lead us all back into the light, even while we continue to burn over €3 billion a year on promissory notes for dead banks. It has no vision of what kind of society we will be left with at the end of all this self-flagellation. It doesn’t even have the basic principles – justice, decency, rationality – on which a convincing story might be built.
This crumbling of language leaves us back where we started. We knew how deep our troubles were when we had a taoiseach, Brian Cowen, who could speak only in the strangulated bureaucratese of “front-loading consolidation”. After our “democratic revolution” we’ve ended up with another Taoiseach who cranks out dead words because he cannot look his people in the eye and tell them why their suffering makes sense.