The Dáil resumed today and opened my political season to scenes of wild jubilation in Dublin, with the announcement of interest rate cuts in the terms of our super dooper bailout deal. I never saw Mickey Noonan smile before, so I guess there's life in the old guy yet. Ireland rate in now a less penal 3.5% and could save the taxpayer €1-5 billion each year, though the Department of Finance are playing down that figure tonight.
So here's one for Mickey. Plough a half a billion into less cuts in December's budget and the other half into enterprise and announce it this week, so Ireland doesn't have to face the next four months with pessimism that goes past what even the word can offer. If you could spare even half a million on filmmakers that would go a long way to in the short term too. Call me!
It might be reason for celebration, but the bottom line still remains the taxpayer was penalized for a generation while the greatest swindle in our national history still goes without one-iota of accountability - for anyone. There are men out there, literally in debts of billions being paid handsomely by NAMA, and 'Top' civil servants retiring early with million euro payouts and pension bonanza's. It's a painful injustice to have to bear when you read the likes of this.
This Dáil session will do well to equal the extraordinary happenings of the same time last year when Fianna Fáil's debacle at their drink-in slowly led down months of political intrigue this country is unlikely to see again for some time. From lies to the public, to bailouts, to loss of sovereignty, to games of golf with villian of the piece, Seanie Fitzpatrick, they were swept into insignificance by a public who just had enough of nearly two decades of (pick your own word) and wanted nothing more from them.
The honeymoon is over but, I think Fine Gael for the most part have the tools to ride it out. I'm not so sure about Labour though. With Gilmore now the target of press concerning his meekness at the cabinet table and Joan in the department of social protection, this coming four months could do the party significant damage. A very significant opposition they would have been if they had not jumped on the Fine Gael bandwagon. How much significance will they have if the weight of public opinion goes against them over the coming months? Fine Gael would be in prime position to possibly secure an overall majority and ensure a return for many for that lucrative second term.
It's also an important session for Sinn Féin and perhaps to a lesser degree, the United Left and Fianna Fail. Sinn Féin could capitalize significantly should Labour show signs of distress. The United Left are calling for mass demo's against austerity, but how will that fare for them against the weight of the people as a whole? By all accounts the Croke Park agreement is safe and that was to be expected.
But Ireland is leaking jobs in significant numbers still. Emigration remains a problem, though too some, I'm sure it's a Godsend. Banks remain zombies. Nothing going anywhere except exports oversees - citizens included.
I don't rightly know what is going to happen as Ireland enters its fourth winter of discontent in a row. For some it may only be their first or second, but some are battle weary at this stage. If forums and places of comment are anything to go by we are a pretty divided people in lots of respects. That's what makes me think, like the changing climate, their might be many such winters to come yet.
Little new blog experiment at the bottom of this page. There is a 'vote for me button'- little blue one - which if pressed rises blogs further up the rankings on a blog host site. I'd like to see if it has any impact over the coming week as a test subject for writers and blogs. So if you can spare a second to travel down and click on it that would be just super.