Sunday 4 December 2016

Appeasement still not a good policy

Published 12/06/2011 | 05:00

Few images will capture the utter loneliness of power better than Brian Lenihan's chilling description of how, having fought Ireland's economic crisis to 'the gates of hell', he stood alone, by the melting snow preparing to fly out to Brussels to sign away our economic sovereignty.

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Comparisons have been made with Collins in London but Lenihan, on that fateful morning, was more like the brave Czech president Edvard Benes in 1938 who, surrounded by sly friends and avaricious enemies, was forced to transfer the Sudetenland to Germany in the hope that the can of a Second World War could be kicked further down the road. Can-kicking didn't work then and it won't work now.

Mr Lenihan was to learn in time of the perfidious nature of a more modern group of sly 'partners' who 'bounced' Ireland into our so-called 'bailout'. Last week, Fine Gael finally appeared to have absorbed a similar lesson. The party's pride in its status as the Europhiles of Irish politics meant the Taoiseach's critique of France and Germany's 'unfair' treatment of Ireland was telling. It is a bit late in the day for the Eurosceptic penny to drop but there can be no other response to the scenario where Ireland is being blackmailed for fun by the Franco-German axis of convenience for a prize that is not worth a penny candle.

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