Jude Collins

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Timing and those tapes

In politics, timing is very important.  Neville Chamberlain took a very bad time to wave that piece of paper about and talk of “peace for our time”. Gordon Brown waited until the financial house had begun to crumble before he thought calling a general election might be an idea. Brian Cowen and Fianna Fail similarly kept telling people it was at worst a soft landing they were headed for, even as the wings of the economy began to fall off. Now we have these bank tapes. 

The night before the Fianna Fail government bailed out the banks, top cats at the Anglo-Irish Bank are heard laughing at the way they’d lie about what money was needed to survive and singing the German national anthem as they chuckle to each other.  Enda Kenny is outraged, apparently, by this and has talked of “an axis of collusion” between Anglo Irish Bank and Fianna Fail, who were at the helm in 2008. Kenny’s partner in coalition, Labour’s Joan Burton has called on Fianna Fail’s former Taoiseach Brian Cowen to ‘fess up to those phone conversations in 2008. “Can he tell us exactly what happened in it, can he find a mechanism to just come forward and say what happened and what did  he know?”

Good woman yourself, Joan. Flush the toe-rags outs. It’s such a pity that a shadow then falls on  today’s coalition of Fine Gael and your party, Joan, the party of the ordinary man and woman,  Labour. Because these tapes are from 2008. So let me count -  2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 - that’s five years. So besides wanting to know what the hell Fianna Fail and Anglo were doing, concealing these conversations from 2008-2011,  another question even more pressing though unasked is “What the hell were Fine Gael and Labour doing, sitting on or not knowing about these tapes from 2011 until now?”  You can tell that it’s a factor that’s worrying both parties, by the yelps of Enda and Joan.  I think it was Freud who talked about projection, where we project onto others the faults we ourselves are most guilty of. Maybe that explains Enda and Joan’s fury at Fianna Fail for not coming clean earlier: getting very indignant tends to deflect interest in what they  were doing over the past two years. Did they  - Fine Gael and Labour - know about those tapes and thought nobody would be interested? Hardly.  Did they not know about those tapes, and if they didn’t, what kind of uninformed gombeens are they?

As O’Casey said in Shadow of a Gunman, “Oh Kathleen ni Houlihan, you way’s a thorny way”. Too right, Mr O’Casey. And nearly a hundred years later, Kathleen is still being led up the boreen by a shower of wasters and chancers. 

It’s time for some fundamental changes.

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