Irish Times; "was it for this?"

Hasn’t happened too often in recent years but… an Irish Times editorial with some guts.

The true ignominy of our current situation is not that our sovereignty has been taken away from us, it is that we ourselves have squandered it. Let us not seek to assuage our sense of shame in the comforting illusion that powerful nations in Europe are conspiring to become our masters. We are, after all, no great prize for any would-be overlord now. No rational European would willingly take on the task of cleaning up the mess we have made. It is the incompetence of the governments we ourselves elected that has so deeply compromised our capacity to make our own decisions.

They did so, let us recall, from a period when Irish sovereignty had never been stronger. Our national debt was negligible. The mass emigration that had mocked our claims to be a people in control of our own destiny was reversed. A genuine act of national self-determination had occurred in 1998 when both parts of the island voted to accept the Belfast Agreement. The sense of failure and inferiority had been banished, we thought, for good.

To drag this State down from those heights and make it again subject to the decisions of others is an achievement that will not soon be forgiven. It must mark, surely, the ignominious end of a failed administration.


3 thoughts on “Irish Times; "was it for this?"”

  1. We have made many mistakes.

    But our biggest mistake was to join the Euro.

    Patrick Honohan asserted that our financial crisis was “three-quarters home-made”. Why then are Greece, Portugal and Spain experiencing similar crises at the same time. And is it a coincidence that each of those countries isn’t just on the geographic periphery of the eurozone but on its economic periphery as well?

    Until the IT (a) becomes economic literate in its analysis {ever hear of the Taylor Rule?} and (b) is willing to look hard and critically at the EU project, I won’t be taking its editorials on these questions too seriously.

  2. “it is that we ourselves have squandered it”
    That “we” really bothers me. It seems to make out that we somehow are all, as a nation, responsible for this mess, therefore nobody really is (especially, for example, newspapers that own property websites).
    I am not responsible for the current situation that Ireland is in. In that the Irish people elected clowns like Fianna Fail to power over and over again, they bear some responsibility, but the main, absolute responsibility lies with:
    A) The Government, which encouraged the property bubble, failed to control the banks, and then guaranteed their losses for reasons we still don’t understand;
    B) our unbelievably incompetent, greedy, amoral bankers;
    C) our greed-blinded, macho property developers;
    D) a supine, lazy media all to happy to believe the hype and talk it up in their supplements.
    Let us take as Exhibit A this Irish Times editorial from 2006 to show just how blinded (or self-serving) the media was:
    If it wasn’t for the fact that people will certainly die (through neglect, through suicide, through crime) as a result of the savage cuts we are about to have forced upon us, it would be hilarious that someone who supposedly had their finger on the pulse of the nation could be so breathtakingly wrong.

  3. This from the major cheerleader for the property bubble?

    Sorry, would-be Senator O’Toole (and of course, former PD candidate Madam): faux-nationalism is simply pathetic at this stage.

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