Sunday 23 November 2014

Free at last, just like Nadiba

Published 15/12/2013 | 02:30

Enda Kenny: 'under huge pressure to be everything to everyone'
Enda Kenny: 'under huge pressure to be everything to everyone'

We were exclusively leaked the Taoiseach's script for tonight's Address to the Nation:

My fellow citizens. You will notice that although this a momentous occasion for our country, I am doing my serious face. I have been warned to do my serious face because apparently we don't want to look too much like we are inordinately pleased with ourselves.

We are though, in fairness. Today we exit the bailout and throw off the yoke of the foreign oppressor. As I like to say, the Indians are gone from the Merrion Hotel. We will ignore for now the fact that they will be keeping a small office in the Central Bank. And let us ignore for now, too, the fact that our budgets will be dictated by Brussels for evermore. Let us ignore all that in favour of quoting the words of Nadiba, when he said: "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty we are free at last." We are like a pigeon that has made it across the border from Shankill to Bray, out of the frying pan, and into the sky.

And I have to say to you that this is all down to you, the people of Ireland, and the sacrifices you made. You took pay cuts, cuts in your social welfare, you lost your jobs, you saw your children emigrate, all so that guys who had bought Irish bonds and bank debt cheap could be paid back the full price of that debt. Oh they laughed at us then. But who's laughing now? Paddy is out of the bailout and in a few generations our descendants may even manage to pay off all that debt. Paddy is the best little country in the world in which to do business, thanks to our low wages, our generous incentives and the fact that we don't charge people any corporation taxes. Who's laughing at Paddy now?

I say I have to say that this is down to you. And I do have to say that. Because I am speaking to you. When I am off talking to foreigners I will, of course, have to tell them the truth, that you all went insane and that we brought all this on ourselves. I think the important lesson we should take from all this is that we managed to go through three years of this bailout without learning a thing.

Who's laughing now Troika? They thought they would reform us -- whip our legal golden circle into shape, fix our medical system, sort our public sector, force us to deal with youth unemployment. The poor fools thought they could reform us. Well they might be the IMF and they might manage some reforms in some thirdy worldy South Americany tinpot countries but they hadn't met Paddy. Paddy is, and remains, proudly unreformable. Who's laughing at Paddy now?

Paddy still stands proud, still pursuing Fianna Fail's economic plan, waiting and hoping for another property bubble, or a tech bubble, or whatever bubble they have for us. And Paddy has burst their bubble before and he'll do it again. Already we're promising tax cuts and talking about the need for more property in Dublin. The fools, the fools, they thought they could teach auld Paddy a lesson. But Paddy stood firm, and didn't learn a thing. My fellow citizens, good night to you.

Irish Independent

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