Is it just me or is all this talk in the Dáil about this Exit from the EU IMF bailout thingy like listening to school boys trying to look tough in front of their mates?
Kenny and the Gang swagger in flexing their muscles with that look of victory on their faces, high-fiving backbenchers and pretending like they cast off the chains of debt and defiantly gave the two fingers to the Troika lads by not accepting the overdraft. Now I wasn’t in the Dail today for the announcement but I have a fair idea about how it might have gone down:
Enda: So there I was having a meeting with Merkel, or ‘Murky’ as I call her….
Backbenchers: (giggling loudly like a chorus of Beavis and Buttheads) Murky? Huhu! Good one! Yeah, you show ’em. Then what happened Kenny?
Enda: Then they said they could give us an overdraft on the bailout…you know, in the very likely case that we falter again…
Backbenchers: And what did you tell them Kenny?
Kenny: (Looking around with a smirk on his face allowing for a little tension to build in the room)….. I told them to FUCK OFF!!
This is said to rapturous applause, paper-flinging and an enthusiastic outburst of “Olé, Olé, Olé” and a drunken version of “You’ll Never Beat The Irish” led by the Ceann Comhairle himself as people throw flowers, knickers and a general wobbly in Enda Kenny‘s direction heralding him in as ‘Billy-the-Big-Bollix, King of the Fucking World!’ Everybody caught up in the pandemonium except Michael Martin, leader of the opposition party, who is sulking in the corner because he felt as though he was left out of proceedings.
But we all know the truth, right?
The truth is that we are “only alive because they let us live” (I can’t, for the life of me, remember what movie this quote is from but it’s still apt so I’m going to use it anyway). In other words we are only exiting the bailout and we are only not taking the overdraft, not because we want to or because we’re calling the shots but because Merkel and the Troika are letting us do so.
There’s an old Irish saying that goes like this: “Mol an oige agus tiocfaidh siad”, which basically means “Praise the young and they will follow you”. This is exactly what the Troika want. In this scenario we are the young nation following the Troika because they throw us compliments here and there and tell us how great we’re doing. If they wanted to crush us they could do that also but that would be no good to them as they’d end up losing the 45 Billion Euros or so that we owe them.
Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking- So now the Troika are using our own sayings against us?
In a way, yes. In another way they’re not really our sayings anymore because, if you remember, we sold all of our ‘Seanfhocals’ for a jar of magic beans back in 2008.
What the Troika are doing is the political equivalent to letting your friend beat you up so he can impress a girl. Make no mistake, they’re letting us swagger. They’re letting us land a few punches. they’re letting us win today because the alternative isn’t in their interest. Enda and the boys strutting around as if they made this “Big Decision” not to accept the insurance overdraft is just a front to make them look powerful in front of the nation and other nations and the Troika are letting us do it cause they know this means more confidence in the market which could lead to more investment and more growth in the Irish Economy ultimately leading to them getting their money back.
Plus even if we do falter again do you think that after investing so much money in Ireland thus far that the Troika and Europe are just going to walk away? You can imagine the end of that IMF meeting:
Christine Lagarde : “Ah well we tried. I guess we’ll just have to get the 45 Billion from somewhere else? Anyone up for exploiting some African nations again? Just putting it out there….”
So let Kenny put a notch in his belt on this one, as leaving the bailout scheme is surely a positive thing, but don’t be fooled about who is really in charge here.
P.s. after Googling that quote it seems the nearest version is from “Star Trek Into Darkness” which is odd for two reasons.
1) I’ve never seen that movie before in my life, and
2) it is quite appropriate don’t you think? As we are “boldly going where no man has gone before”. Undoubtedly into darkness.
- Merkel backs Ireland bailout exit without overdraft (independent.ie)
- Ireland to exit EU-IMF bailout without precautionary line of credit (theguardian.com)