Monday 5 December 2016

There goes Enda with his funny stories again

It's very odd that we take it for granted that the Taoiseach is not to be fully believed some of the time

Published 25/10/2015 | 02:30

Mouthing off: Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking during the plenary session of the European People's Party Congress in Madrid, Spain Photo: Getty Images
Mouthing off: Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking during the plenary session of the European People's Party Congress in Madrid, Spain Photo: Getty Images

This is a queer country and no doubt about it. Take the Taoiseach. The Taoiseach was off in Spain during the week mouthing off again about the apocalypse he saved us all from. Now, it should be said first off that the Taoiseach, and his Government, did bring this country back from the brink, or certainly were on duty while the country came back from the brink.

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It has been an extraordinary turnaround for this country. Think of where we were even a year ago, about the depression that stalked the land. And now a year on, we almost feel normal again. And, of course, things aren't perfect. And, of course, too much of the turnaround is to do with dumb luck - weak euro, oil prices, low interest rates. And, of course, too, these things can change very quickly. And, of course, too, the reason there are low interest rates and a cheap euro is because of a greater threat, that of slow growth internationally, which could ultimately scupper us again. But so far, we have been lucky, and we are managing to grow while most of the world slows down. Not forgetting, of course, it was cheap money was what got us in trouble in the first place.

Even with all those caveats in place, you would still have to say that things have picked up hugely during this Government's tenure. But somehow, this is not enough for the Taoiseach. The Taoiseach wants things to be more dramatic. He is not alone in this. From Pat Rabbitte to Joan Burton, members of the Government have been at pains to remind an ungrateful public just how close to the edge this country was five years ago. They assume, correctly, that people forget and move on quickly and begin to take stability and maybe even prosperity for granted again. It is probably part of our survival mechanism as human beings that we have a great ability to forget pain.

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