Syriza's megaphone diplomacy has not got it anywhere
As they watch Greece pushed to the very brink this week, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Finance Minister Michael Noonan must be feeling hugely relieved the crisis here has passed. And maybe a little smug and self righteous that the "bang the table brigade" (BTTB) in this country have been proven wrong.
Over the past four years, the BTTB - in politics, the media and even among economists - have insisted Irish governments have been too docile and submissive in dealing with the ECB, the EU and the IMF. Ireland instead should have put it up to the Troika, laid down the law and, like Howard Beale in the film 'Network', declared: "we're mad as hell and we're not going to take this any more".
These siren voices got loudest when Syriza came to power. When Yanis Varoufakis, the 'too cool for school' new Greek finance minister, did interviews on Irish radio, the cry went out 'why can't we have a finance minister like that'? One leading financial commentator confidently predicted to me that the Troika would find dealing with hard-nosed and tough Syriza a little different to our meek and compliant lot.