Jude Collins

Thursday, 2 August 2012

How I wish I'd done economics. Like Fintan.

Sometimes I wish I'd done economics.  Then I'd be like Fintan O'Toole - and so many other people - who are able to see their way through the financial/economic undergrowth that the present recession has plunged us into.  Fintan's writing in the Irish Times  this morning and he's firing on all moral cylinders, criticising the thousands of people who came out and supported Sean Quinn in his time of need. Totally wrong-headed, Fintan explains. All those people, including people like Colm O'Rourke and Mickey Harte and Brian D'Arcy - totally wrong and verging on pig-headed. Just because Quinn was a big GAA supporter and an unrepentant nationalist, it doesn't mean he was right to do what he did.

Which was? Well, you're asking a non-economics graduate, but as best I can establish it,  Quinn borrowed money from the Anglo-Irish bank to buy properties ( or was it build?) Come the economic crash,  the Anglo-Irish Bank turned out to have been making loans it couldn't stand over, one of these being Quinn. So the government in the twenty-six counties took over Anglo, and are busy chasing down Quinn for what he owes. Quinn, as I understand it, is doing all in his power to stop the government taking his money. Fintan says that's our money he's trying to hold onto.

I don't know much about money but I do know a thing or two about Fintan. He's anti-nationalist and anti- to-the-power-of-10 republican.  I also know that he - how can I put this - sort of feels queasy in the presence of culchies. Or  groups like the Wolfe Tones. You know - people who don't know their a capello from their arse. Coarse people. People who haven't got the kind of refined manner and searing intelligence of Fintan.

Quinn fits into that detested-by-Fintan class, I'd say. The other thing I'd say is, if I had a bunch of money and the government was trying to take it from me, I'd bust a gut trying to stop them too. Yes I know. Not the right spirit. I should realise I'm putting my hand into the pocket of the humble taxpayer when I don't 'fess up and hand over all my worldly possessions. But I just wouldn't. So from my confessed state of financial/economic ignorance, I'm instinctively on Quinn's side. Something tells me that I'd rather line up alongside Mickey Harte in a moral argument than Fintan O'Toole.

Final thought: why was Sean Quinn so stupid as to give employment to thousands of Irish people instead of taking time out to get himself a knighthood? I mean, if there's one thing blunts the wrath of Dublin 4, it's a nice knighthood.


  1. I hardly leave responses, however I looked at a lot of comments here "How I wish I'd done economics. Like Fintan.".
    I do have a couple of questions for you if it's allright. Is it only me or do a few of the responses look like they are written by brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are writing at additional online social sites, I would like to follow you. Could you list of every one of your public sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?
    My blog post payday loans online

  2. Jude

    I'm a huge fan of your blog, and agree with you on 99% of your views, but I feel you have a serious misunderstanding of this situation.

    Simply stating that you haven't got a great grasp of economics really does glaze over Quinn's sins in this case.

    I do agree with you that Fintan is a prat, but I agree with him. However I don't believe all those involved in the protest fully understand the the situation either

  3. O'Toole's point is that the rally attendees have taken Quinn's side because of (tribal or other) fondness for him, not on the basis of the facts of the case.

    You appear to be making O'Toole's point for him by saying you're taking the same side as Mickey Hart, not on the basis of the facts, but because you prefer Mickey Harte to O'Toole.

    Surely this same faulty logic is what was to blame, on a macro level, when Lloyd George's government took the side of northern unionists, disregarding the facts of the case in favour of those with whom they felt greater kinship.

  4. Most of us would agree that there are likely to be few members in the Fintan O'Toole fan club.If he has an antipathy to the Wolfe Tones that's all right with many of us.Few would also disagree that over the years Sean Quinn provided lots of employment in the disadvantaged border region.But it surely goes too far to portray Mr Quinn as some sort of victim.He can't have been unaware what he was getting himself into with Anglo and for a man who was already a billionaire it smacks of undue greed.Even if one accepts the view that he was just a simple countryman trying to do his best ,he must have had plenty of well qualified financial advisers who would have appreciated the inherent risks.Getting away from the emotion of last Sunday in Ballyconnell,it is perhaps more instructive to read the considered and objective view of someone like Jim Fitzpatrick (B B C) who presumably has no axe to grind.Your hatred of Fintan and Independet Newspapers should not blind you to the bizzare business practices in the Quinn group which led to this debacle.It is worth noting that your favourite party Sinn Fein seems equivocal on the matter with Michelle Gildernew saying one thing and Mary Lou another.Despite the attempt to play the G A A card,it should not be presumed that all its members share the view of those platform speakers last Sunday

    1. Check out "the eye of newts" opinion on Sean Quinn, half way through