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Monday, February 22, 2010

Death by a thousand cuts

With a title like that, you're possibly expecting another economic rant from me.

Nope, it's option two on this occasion - this rancid government.

I wish I didn't feel compelled to pen my outrage on these two topics so often. It's wearying and depressing to return again and again to stare into the abyss and yell back what I see.

God only knows what you lot feel about it.

(Well, actually, Statcounter knows. And he says you're way more interested when I write about dead porn stars, or tattooing in Goa, or music piracy, or Irish whiskey, or the farce that is Ulster-Scots. Anything, in other words, other than the above two conversation-stoppers.)

So I'll try to think of posting about tattooed porn stars pirating Ulster-Scots albums or something similarly gripping later this week.

Remember when John O'Donoghue got forced out of his cosy, parasitic sinecure?

It felt like something had shifted in the universe. A senior politician in Ireland quit? That hadn't happened since forever.

But now that lying lowlife Willie O'Dea is gone too.

And Brian Lenihan, the last intelligent member of cabinet and the only one with any sort of respect outside a cumann singalong, is way more ill than they are publicly letting on.

And hoppity shortarse Martin Cullen is soon set to depart, what with his back finally caving in (likely due to his utter lack of spine.)

That leaves three seats at the top table soon to be empty,and let's not forget that Harney is only in her supersized chair because nobody else in government is taking enough hallucinogens to think running the Department of Health is a good idea of a career move.

And a level down the greasy pole, their margin is wafer thin in the Dail due to two by-elections and the distaste of panic-stricken backbenchers to continue supporting the insupportable.

Never mind the ever-skittish Greens, and the collection of allegedly Independent village idiots and parish pump attendants their every vote is now reliant on.

Finally, this has roused Fine Gael, many years later than it should have, and we have the riveting sight of blustering Enda in the Dail.

Obviously, with their huge poll lead and the almost unimaginable dream of possible one-party rule, they want to deliver the knockout blow as quick as is humanly possible.

After all, who knows when Labour will cop on and disassociate themselves from the unions' ruinous and publicly unpopular campaign to exempt overpaid, underworked public sector workers with job security from sharing the burden of the recession?

But thus far, the blueshirts remain utterly ineffectual, reliant on the Continuity Greens (the ones still technically in the tent, as opposed to McKenna's Real Greens, De Burca's Official Greens or any of the others who've already walked in disgust) to do any real damage.

The only thing that seems likely to prevent this government limping along, dying the death of a thousand cuts as one rat after another speeds for safety, is the incompetence of the incumbents.

God forbid that a government in Ireland changed because the public got disgusted by its corruption and incompetence and demanded its removal.

No, instead we must have, as we always do, some ridiculously irrelevant issue to get collectively mental about for a week, until before you know it, someone's off up the Aras and those fecking posters sprout on the lampposts all over again.

When O'Donoghue resigned, he whined that others in government had done much worse and seen no harm come to them. Why, his baffled mutton head seemed to ask, am I being picked on?

This week, we've seen O'Dea moaning exactly the same tune.

And so it will go, on. Some of them will slip out the backdoor, pleading illness. But those which remain will face a scrutiny that comes many years too late.

None of them will withstand such scrutiny. All of them will feel aggrieved, to have their past behaviour judged by proper standards of probity at last, when for years they quite rightly believed they could get away with anything, because they always did.

Then they'll be gone, with big cheerio cheques in their pockets, and we'll be left with blustering Enda, a prolonged recession, no jobs and a huge deficit.

And it'll happen all over again in another few decades, unless we start jailing people.

We should start with prosecuting O'Dea, who is guilty of perjury. We should go back to Ahern, who cannot explain away his financial shenanigans to the taxman, and prosecute him too.

Until these people are held accountable, they're beyond the law and will act accordingly.

And exactly the same principle applies to the banksters too.

(Oh, look! This post is about the economy after all!)

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