Fine Gael's policy is to grin and bear the pain
Enda Kenny and Co like to be liked in Europe, but it's about time they knocked a few noses out of joint, writes Brendan O'Connor
Published 08/05/2011 | 05:00
GOD knows we are glad to have a Taoiseach who is a happy chappy. Every morning he walks to his office in Leinster House with a spring in his step, chatting to his people along the way, and getting a bit of fresh air for himself.
It contrasts sharply with our last Taoiseach, whom we would see arriving in his car, looking dour and surly. And God knows there's no harm in a bit of positivity either, after the paralysing gloom that our last leader too often brought to proceedings.
But you have to wonder. What is it that Fine Gael is so damn chirpy about? What is it doing that has made it so pleased with itself? Fine Gael was mainly elected to stick it up to Europe and to bring change from what it told us were the disastrous economic policies of the last government. But essentially, since Fine Gael got in, it has got nothing more out of Europe than Lenihan ever got, and has continued, verbatim, the allegedly disastrous policies of the last government, with, if anything, a little bit of extra austerity added for good measure. Last week, as it announced with much fanfare that it was to pay Yanks who helped job creation, we heard that it would be financing this by attacking the already ruined pensions of people in the private sector.