Thursday 8 December 2016

Marc Coleman: Forgive debtors or risk wrath of God

Published 16/12/2012 | 05:00

Contrary to what Pat Rabbitte says, the promissory note has been paid, but there is still hope.

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Some of us are still traditional enough to believe Christmas is more about moral messages than giving gifts. And my favourite moral message of all is in the parable contained in Matthew chapter 18, verse 21, which basically goes like this: A master forgives one of his servants of a massive debt only to find that the same servant has had one of his own slaves imprisoned for a far lesser debt. Cue righteous anger and the wrath of God and the hypocritical servant is ultimately tortured, jailed and probably killed. Such is the penalty for moral inconsistency in the Bible. So – as we saw last week – it is in politics too.

Last Sunday, Pat Rabbitte pleaded for forgiveness from the Government's masters in Frankfurt. "We didn't pay the promissory note this year and as far as I'm concerned we're not going to pay it next year. It's as simple as that." Now actually it isn't "that simple". We traditional Bible-reading types don't like correcting our elders and betters. But on this one, I have to correct Pat. Go to the latest (November 2012) Exchequer release and look under 'Sources and Applications of Funds' and you will find an item 'Promissory Note issued to IBRC' with two asterisks beside it.

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