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.