Why bad news travels fast in this country
We will get through this but you wouldn't know that from some commentators, writes Willie O'Dea
Published 07/11/2010 | 05:00
To paraphrase Jim Callaghan (the former British prime minister, not the Fianna Fail Dublin city councillor), "Bad news can be halfway around the world before good news has got its boots on".
It was that sort of week last week with stories of Jim McDaid's resignation and the holding of the Donegal South West by-election eclipsing reports that Government tax and spending figures are on target, that the number of people signing on had fallen for the second month in a row and that Nama was already returning a small profit.
The public and media mood is understandably still in the zone when it is more attuned to bad news than good -- as if good news stories might be illusory and not really believed -- just yet.
I say "understandable" as it is difficult for someone to accept statistics or figures which do not accord with their own personal experience.
This should not dissuade us though from pointing out the good news and putting our situation in a proper context. That certainly appears to be the ambition and theme of webpages and sites like www.youtube.com/ IBECInformation, www.irishrecovery.com and others who are at trying to restore a sense of confidence -- both at home and abroad. Whatever the source; the bottom line is that we can and will get through these difficulties.
This is not a message you will get from Michael Clifford. For the vast majority of you who have no idea who he is, I should explain that he is the Sunday Tribune's lead columnist. As I understand it, one of the reasons newspapers employ lead columnists is to attract additional readers. Clifford's success in that area may explain why the Tribune now only marginally outsells Ireland's Own.
I mention him as a recent appearance by me on TV3's Tonight With Vincent Browne show provoked him into a characteristically snide and bitchy outburst. A bit rich, I thought, when his own stints on that show can be described as underwhelming at best -- and he was just there to comment, not defend or debate.
My appearance seemed mostly to bother him as I was there to support and explain the Government's policies. Clifford has a particular antipathy to Fianna Fail and all its works and pomps, though he neglects to mention his family's strong Fianna Fail connections.
When it comes to futile negativism, he does, however, come a poor second to the crypto republican councillor Louise Minihan who threw paint at Mary Harney.
No doubt little Miss Eirigi is going about telling the people of Ballyfermot that her "direct action" was all for them -- like hell it was. It had nothing to with their plight and had everything to do with getting her name in the papers, a feat she seems incapable of achieving by anything she has done on Dublin City Council.
For the first time, I can feel sympathy for Sinn Fein. They were the gullible ones who not only made her a canvass leader for Aengus O Snodaigh but then worked to get her on the council only to find she was a viper in the nest who renounced them barely a month after the last local elections.
The one thing I can deduce from her actions is that she is a downright hypocrite. Why?
She wants people to think that if she was minister, she would tell the people from whom we borrowed almost €20bn this year that she will continue to spend their money as she likes and they will just have to cough up more when she wants it.
I suppose it is just possible that she believes her blackguardism will have the same impact on the international markets as the men in berets had on the terrified bank clerks they attacked and robbed during their "struggle". If so, then the charge of blatant hypocrite can be reduced to one of stupidity.
The only question remaining is if little Miss Eirigi is prepared to recognise the court of public opinion?
Willie O'Dea is a Fianna Fail TD for Limerick East