22 November 2010

Slow down, you move too fast

I began to write this post just after 9am this morning, and again at 11am, and again at 1pm, and now again at 3pm, for it seems every time I get more than a few lines in events in the nation overtake me and render my musings irrelevant.

Draft 1 - The country is no more. We have gone with our cap in hand to the EU and the IMF and have accepted their quarterly review and approval of our spending as a condition of a bailout. We are no longer in control of our own budget, our sovereignty is no more, it is deceased, we are an ex-nation.

Draft 2 - The Greens have pulled out of government. Well, not exactly. 30 minutes later than planned because they couldn't get the Taoiseach on the phone to break the bad news to him, they announce to the world that they are pulling out and demanding an election no later than the end of January. After they support the budget. And the four year plan. And the EU/IMF bailout. Meaning that after the horse has bolted they are offering to hand the barn over to the next guys, with an EU/IMF enforced plan on what to do with that barn for the next 4 years. Even in death the Greens manage to invent new ways to weasel.

Draft 3 - Jackie Healy-Rae and Michael Lowry, the very epitome of political opportunism, announce they will not support the government in the upcoming budget. The government remains in power only through the support of all FF and Green TDs, the rump Mary Harney (sorry, the rump PD Mary Harney) and two independent TDs, Messers Healy-Rae and Lowry. 82 government votes vs 79 opposition. If Healy-Rae and Lowry vote against the government, and the opposition win the Donegal by-election (which barring something unfortunate involving a live boy or a dead girl, Sinn Féin look set to do), that would leave the government with 80 votes to the opposition's 82 votes. Assuming all opposition members vote against the budget (not a sure thing, at least according to Fine Gael's Michael Noonan the other night) then the budget fails, the government falls and an election happens now, or early January at the latest.

Draft 4 - Fianna Fail backbenchers start muttering about Biffo going now, rather than January. Talk begins that he might not last the night.

Draft 5 - Sinn Féin storm Leinster House (or the gardens thereof). I heard this via Twitter (yup, it took a crises of national sovereignty to get me back using it), grabbed my camera and dashed off to Merrion Square. Unfortunately by the time I arrived there the gardai had ejected them (somewhat forcefully by all accounts) from the grounds of government buildings and the few remaining placard-bearing shinners were walking off down the street bruised, battered but seemingly happy with their morning's work. I can be accused of being many things, but a Republican (in either the American or the Irish sense of the word) is certainly not one of them and I have no love for the shinners, or their Judean People's Front counterparts in éirígí, but it has to be said that almost all of what passes for direct action being taken on the streets against the government has been instigated by these groups (and again, not always in a manner that I approve of). It was heartening to see the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union's call for widespread civil unrest, along with supporting ICTU's pre-budget march on the 27th, and I hope that many more unions will follow (who will no doubt be spurred on by the imminent EU/IMF-forced abandonment of the Croke Park Deal). Of course events today and over the next 24 hours may render such protests unnecessary, but there is an anger on the streets that may not be contained even if the government does fall.

So there we are now, a pretty interesting day all round and its not even 4pm. Who knows what this evening will bring?

also, if you are on Twitter, follow the #wasitforthis thread. They can take everything else from us, but we'll still have our sense of humour. Slightly more tattered and with water coming through the holes, but reasonably intact nonetheless.

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At 5:40 pm, Blogger g man said...

The shinners protest, if you can call it that, felt more like a monty python sketch. Is that all we can come up with. The future is so bright, I gotta wear shades.

At 5:43 pm, Blogger Unkie Dave said...

I agree completely on the farcical nature of the protest, but given the dearth of protests in general I commend anyone that gets up off their arse and tries to do something.

More people are growing 70's pornstar/Highway patrolman 'tashes at the moment than are marching on the streets...

At 11:17 am, Blogger 2BiT said...

This is an interesting alternative:



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