Twenty-twenty vision of Gobbledegook
The Government unveiled a six-year Strategy for Gobbledegook yesterday.
Their 20/20 vision.
It wouldn’t pass muster in Specsavers.
Clear as mud.
People at the launch dutifully felt their way around the flimsy document, but couldn’t discern a thing in it. The strategy was all spin and no substance.
Nevertheless, the Taoiseach and Tánaiste considered it so marvellous they held a press conference in Government Buildings and brought the Howlin-Noonans along to share the moment.
“We are moving in the right direction,” declared Enda.
“It’s only a stepping stone on the path,” added Eamon.
But ultimately people “will see some payback”.
That’s a bit down the road though.
How long down the road? They couldn’t say.
How will payback be achieved? They couldn’t say.
What specific measures will the Government be putting in place to make everything better? They couldn’t say.
With all this talk of pathways and roads, anything concrete to show us?
For now, it seems all we need to know is that the Government has put together an ambitious programme of aspirations which will help us to achieve a lot of
“We are serious in our ambition to achieve it,” writes Enda in his introduction to the Medium Term Economic Strategy: 2014 - 2020.
They are also serious in their ambition to achieve a second term in government with this plan.
“It is a road map for the Irish economy,” claimed the Taoiseach.
Yet another one.
Sadly, the nation’s glove compartment is stuffed with them.
The striking lack of any detail in this latest offering would suggest that if the Taoiseach and Tánaiste intend using it as a road map, they’ll need a couple of guide dogs to help them along the way.
Because here’s the plan in a nutshell, as helpfully summarised in the document’s concluding chapter on policy actions: “This strategy provides an overarching, high-level, integrated whole-of-Government framework to drive and facilitate the development of appropriate sectoral and horizontal policies which will be refined over the next few months to take account of this strategy.”
Thanks to their much-hyped launch, Enda and Eamon and the Howlin-Noonans – the four men who make up the country’s powerful Economic Management Council – managed to say nothing, but with style.
The strategy, of course, is very proactive.
“Government will monitor performance of relevant plans and initiatives on an ongoing basis including through its cross-cutting mechanisms such as cabinet committees.”
This is the sort of waffle to put you right off your pigeon.
The platform party was late, which gave the media even more time to discover there is nothing new in the new strategy.
We could hear the Big Four of the EMC laughing behind the backdrop before they beetled in for the press conference; the Taoiseach and Tánaiste giggling at each other, the Howlin-Noonans sloping in behind them.