Friday 18 August 2017

Bruce Arnold: Kenny must get tough to put us on right road

Shortly before Enda Kenny became Taoiseach, and promised he would "hit the ground running", I expressed the hope he would be running in the right direction. Within weeks, his position and approach were being questioned and this has gone on, fuelled in part by noises off-stage, principally by Brian Lenihan, trying to claim that he got it right but was betrayed by the ECB and the EU. Jean Claude Trichet has now come back to deny this.

Trichet has not done so as a good democrat, releasing documentation and making himself available for public scrutiny, before the European Parliament or in Dublin. His role could then be challenged. But then, Trichet is not a democrat. Within the EU's totalitarian regime, he is close to being the senior dictator, amenable to no investigation or questioning and completely outside parliamentary control of any kind. That is what the EU treaties lay down. Most significantly, his fellow directors -- Patrick Honohan among them -- cannot control or change him. So much for the 'democracy' that now governs us.

I still believe Kenny might get things right. What he is working for centres on a confrontation with Trichet where Ireland will obtain long-term funding from the European Central Bank, releasing the country from the absurdity of week-to-week funding. The bailout was inevitable but the attached conditions were not. That was where Lenihan and Brian Cowen fell down and are trying to cover up. It is this that makes Trichet an oligarch of the worst kind, abusing our democratic integrity.

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