Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Irish have suffered enough ...

Slí Eile: Interesting piece from today's editorial in the Observer via the Guardian website here.


Paul Hunt said...

Any one have any thoughts on the call by Jimmy Kelly of Unite on Labour to refuse the FG coalition option and to lead a broad left opposition?

Slí Eile said...

Unlikely to happen but seems like a sensible idea. Will FF rise from the dust as in 1977, 1997 and 2017? Time to seize the moment.

Paul Hunt said...

The reality, unfortunately, is that there is a plurality of up to 100 seats in the Dail broadly in favour of right and centre policies - FG (76) + FF (20) + a handful of Independents. As always, the progressive left is trapped between what could or should be and what is most likely or will be.

Despite the vengeful - and fully deserved - judgement of the people, FF, as the principal authors of this mess, should be forced to abase themselves further and be compelled to support a minority FG government. But FG won't touch them because, so toxic is the FF brand, it would probably do more damage to FG than to FF to pursue this course. This will allow FF to wriggle free and opportunistically, as it always has, begin to regroup in opposition.

In addition, the combined popular vote that FG and Labour command in government will strengten Ireland's hand in the upcoming engagement with the powers in the EU. And, furthermore, enough voters, comfortable with the historical ability of FG and Labour together being able to provide an antidote to FF, by their transfer votes willed this result.

Labour, once again, by retaining out-dated ideological baggage and its defence of specific vested interests - and focusing on communicating voter anger rather than detailed work on policy, has missed an historic opportunity to reach out to voters in the liberal, progressive centre. These are now firmly in the FG camp (with some supporting FF and some independents) and it will prove difficult to dislodge them.

Labour, of course, still retains the potential, once some initial stability is ensured in financial and economic affairs, to leave government (governments with such overwhelming majorities are inherently unstable) and to force an early general election. This would be fraught with danger, as voters, who have just developed a taste for applying punishment, might not welcome major changes to what they thought they had settled for some time last Friday.

I fear that Labour's opportunity lost will not be recovered for a very long time. And the already evident splits on the progressive-left will widen even more and delay even further any prospect of seizing this opportunity again. It is indeed a sad prospect.

Paul Hunt said...

It seems this board has been stunned into silence after the election. And there's much, much more to come:

No more ducking and diving. There's no place to hide any more.

David Jacobson said...

This is a comment on the original topic - The Irish have suffered enough, from last Sunday's Observer editorial. According to an article in today's Telegraph

"Ireland is paying 5.9pc on the EU chunk of its loans, far above the EU funding cost of 2.6pc. Jens Larsen, Europe strategist at RBC and a former IMF director, said the policy makes no sense.

"This shouldn't be a mechanism to punish countries, but to help them turn around the ship. I think a 4pc rate would be reasonable. But what matters most is giving the European Financial Stability Facility a wider remit so that it can intervene in secondary bond markets. If there is no deal, we could see renewed contagion," he said."

The article, by Evans-Pritchard, goes on to argue that German policy is hardening against such views. The article has generated a great deal of interest, with well over 100 comments already.

Paul Hunt said...

It really must be getting desperate if the 'progressive-left' is looking for solace in the pages of the UK Telegraph. Any consideration of editorialising by the Torygraph on these matters has to take account of its reflexive and instinctive anti-EU, anti-Euro, anti-German and anti-Irish stance. Nothing would give it more delight than for the thick Paddies to go on a kamikaze mission against the ECB based in Frankfurt and initiate the disintegration of the EU.