Labour's integrity deserts them abroad, just as at home
The last thing Eamon Gilmore's party seem willing to do is reform public sector salaries, writes Anne Harris
Published 29/05/2011 | 05:00
KNOWING who your friends are and knowing who your enemies are would seem to be basic survival skills. In life as in politics. The fact that, on the evidence of this last week, our leaders can't tell the difference doesn't augur well for their survival -- or, more importantly, ours.
For two weeks the country distracted itself with visitors and visionaries, and who can blame us? Displacement is a normal response to impossible situations. But there was a hard core of reality too. The British Queen and her ministers extended a hand of friendship. You could say they put their mouth where they had already put their money at the time of the bailout. And Eamon Gilmore seemed buoyed by signals sent out by Cameron and Hague about some sort of western seaboard alliance. The kind of thing that would give the Labour leader a bit of ballast when next he met the Germans or the French.
And as though to steady further the national nerves, that marvellous woman Sharon Bowles MEP, chairwoman of the Economic and Monetary Affairs committee of the European Parliament, came here to tell us that our resentment of the terms of the bailout was justified, saying that we should not be forced to change our corporation tax, as we had already "taken one for the team" by accepting the bailout in the first place.