You know the old joke: “How can you tell if a politician is lying? His lips are moving!”. We’re about to embark on three weeks of a general election campaign where a lot of lips will be moving.
The last time the Irish people went to the ballot boxes to elect a new government our economy was circling the toilet bowl and about to get flushed; we were told we the people would pay billions to bail out the banks; the Celtic Tiger was fed on a steady diet of greed and subsequently died from obesity; unemployment was heading for 15%; worst of all our sons and daughters had begun to revive an old Irish tradition of emigrating to anywhere but here.
At that point the voters said ‘enough’ and booted out the same old crew that reigned supreme for nearly twenty years. We said we needed a new kind of government that respected the people and didn’t pander to the demands of the corporate beast.
The new government prescribed a hair shirt and regular doses of austerity. We said okay anything, but please fix it.
They fixed it – sort of – and the economy is beginning to build again. We’re the white-haired boy of Europe. But is it real? Or is it another bubble economy?
All I know is we’re beginning to float, unemployment is down to below 9% and some of the lost children are actually coming home. Did the ‘new hope’ government we elected to hate to fix it after all?
Maybe they did, but to their shame and our frustration they’ve begun to spend spend spend again and are now beginning to fall back into the old promise politics they swore to run out of Ireland like St. Patrick did with the snakes.
Hopefully the Celtic Phoenix will escape the fate of its feline predecessor, but from what I can see at this point I doubt it. Only time will tell if Irish voters are mature enough to see through this post depression regression and tell the lip serving politicos what to do with their bribes.
Ironically that old joke was originally from a comic strip in 1935 and the question was in fact “How can you tell when your husband is lying”. Needless to say the answer was the same. Go figure…