Friday 19 December 2014

Get with the programme, Mr Barroso

Published 22/12/2013 | 02:30

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso

So it seems like Mr Barroso, who claimed this week that Europe was a victim of us rather than us being victims of Europe, needs to get with the programme. Mr B doesn't seem to be quite up to speed with the narrative. Someone needs to fill him in on the story.

The story is that Poor Paddy took the hit for the whole of Europe. It wasn't our fault, but we sucked it up anyway, because that's the kind of guys we are. That's just how we roll here in Ireland. And that's why everyone loves us. So when everyone and their euro got in a bit of trouble, Paddy bailed them all out. We paid off every gangster going just to keep the whole show on the road. We were the victims here. Not that we would ever play the victim card.

And now we're back and everything is going to be fine again. We have taken our medicine and we are to be congratulated for the hard choices we have made and the sacrifices and the selflessness of it all. And doesn't the ESRI's John FitzGerald of all people say he's going to have to re-predict his predictions and, shure, isn't that as good as Garret himself telling us? And after all the hardship, we are finally getting what we deserve -- rising property prices, BMWs and the inability to book a table at a restaurant.

But no one seems to have told Mr Barroso, that jumped-up Portuguese guy who would probably be working for Paddy on a golf course in the Algarve if he wasn't the President of the European Commission. Barroso got mixed up in the narrative and he forgot to say how great Paddy was for saving the eurozone. Instead, he mistakenly said: "It would be wrong to give the impression that Europe has created a problem for Ireland and now Europe has to help Ireland."

Silly man. He got it backwards. He thought the story was that Europe was the victim, that the "major destabilisation of the euro area" happened because of our banking crash and that "this happened under the responsibility of the national authorities of Ireland".

You see there's his mistake right there, that word: responsibility. Nothing happened under the responsibility of the Irish. Because Mr Barroso will find if he checks that we were not responsible for anything. He can ask anyone around here. It wasn't our fault. He could even ask Olli Rehn. He is a man who is familiar with the narrative. Olli Rehn knows that the correct thing to say this week was that the blanket guarantee was a mistake. Paddy was just being too generous, and honest to a fault, two of our worst qualities, and we were the victims of whoever bounced us into that damn guarantee.

Rehn knows the score, fair play to him. He understands our complexity. We would never even use a word like victim, but if others were to use that word they would be talking about us. And we are to be congratulated. And everything is going to be fine now.

Irish Independent

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