Monday 5 December 2016

Seeing red over so-called green shoots

IMF boss Christine Lagarde said last week that Ireland is 'fixed'. Gene Kerrigan would beg to differ

Published 10/03/2013 | 05:00

Enda Kenny greets Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, ahead of a meeting at Government Buildings
Enda Kenny greets Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, ahead of a meeting at Government Buildings

LAST week's visit by Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, had the air of a state occasion. We're well used to the bowing and scraping that goes on when monarchs stroll among us. By now, word has gone around the global elites, and the visiting ruler is always well-briefed on how to charm the local yokels. Wear something green, start with the "cupla focail" and throw in a quote from Heaney. The usual suspects will melt in puddles at your feet.

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And so it was. Our ruling class lacks confidence (though it reeks of arrogance). Lagarde's mere presence provoked the usual crawling. She's an enforcer whose primary responsibility is to protect the interests of the world's bankers and bondholders – but our elites behaved as if they were welcoming the Queen of Hearts.

Michael Noonan was reported to have blushed in Lagarde's presence. The Irish Times didn't just claim her as a friend of Ireland, an editorial declared her to be a friend with "benefits". I'm not kidding. The Irish Times does not appear to be aware of the meaning of the term "friend with benefits".

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