Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

11 things we’ll be thankful to the recession for.

Posted by Jason O on Sep 5, 2011 in Irish Politics |

When we eventually emerge from this recession, and we will, there will be things that happened during the recession, or more likely, we were forced to do during the recession, that we’ll quietly leave in place, or possibly even be grateful for.

1. We will have recognised that benchmarking was just Bertie giving people other people’s money.

2. We’ll pay attention to how much water we use. Like normal countries.

3. We’ll have less politicians. And they’ll be cheaper.

4. Everybody will pay some tax on their income.

5. Borrowing will no longer be easy. Demanding extra spending will no longer pass without some challenge as to who pays?

6. We’ll ask do we need big capital projects as opposed to just wanting them.

7. Someone will have gone to jail for a white collar crime. Fingers crossed on this one.

8. There will now be a significant left-wing presence in Dail Eireann.

9. One way or the other, we will finally have confronted what we really think about Europe.

10. Fianna Fail’s dominance of Irish politics will have been destroyed.

11. We will have become a price aware society. 

5 Comments

Paul Evans
Sep 5, 2011 at 11:02 am

Hmmm. We’re in the mess we are because we didn’t have enough politicians and the ones we did have weren’t doing the job they’re supposed to do – preferring pot-hole politics to deliberation and regulation. Let’s not get carried away with this anti-politics populism.

And I can see the appeal of your no.5, but I dread the drift towards a democracy where taxpayers regard the state as a joint-subscription where they get out what they put in.


 
John McGuirk
Sep 5, 2011 at 5:38 pm

One will be thankful for a left wing presence in the Dail only in so far as it forces natural conservatives in the system to actually think about what they believe and why.

I’d never argue that economically, at least, we haven’t been a conservative country governed by conservatives. The problem is that that conservatism has always been denied, lest we be the dreaded Tories, and any intellectual expression of it repressed in favour of extolling the virtues of pragmatism. As a result we’ve had a century of short-term policy frameworks implemented without any intellectual or ideological framework, and it’s created a political system that favours winning elections, and not losing them. It has no real answer to “what kind of government should we have, and what should our relationship as individuals to that government be?” or “how best should society be ordered to maximise freedom, responsibility, and prosperity?”.

These are basic questions that people in other societies tackle at an early age. In this country, we avoid them, lest we be accused of being ideological. It’s corrosive. So if a strong left emerges, it’ll only be useful in creating space for an opposing intellectual framework. If that does not happen, that new left will be as intellectually redundant as Fianna Fail in 30 years, or sooner.


 
Jason O
Sep 6, 2011 at 7:38 am

I agree with your broad thrust. I want to live in a country with a loud left, but not one run by them! Actually, the problem with the Irish Left is that they keep hedging their bets, and refuse to tell voters that socialism is a deal, whereby everybody sacrifices in the common good. Deep down they know that Irish voters just don’t trust the state with their money, and so try to expound a people-less state funded by the magic of the Golden egg Rich.


 
Jason O
Sep 6, 2011 at 7:41 am

Paul: We have over 1600 elected officials in this country. We don’t have enough?

As for joint subscription: It’s not unreasonable for people to know that if someone else wants something, someone else has to pay for it.


 
Paul Evans
Sep 7, 2011 at 8:57 am

Jason,

I started to reply here, but it got a bit long and I think it’s a bit rude to post whole blog-posts in someone else’s comments – especially when they only focus on 2/11ths of the original post!

So I’ve posted it on my own blog here:
http://nevertrustahippy.blogspot.com/2011/09/elected-officials-joint-subscription.html


 

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