EU must fight this takeover
Inspirational tales of derring-do never fail to enchant, but amid the spiritual torpor of a recession it is all the more important to be reminded of the latent capacities of the human spirit. This was provided by the volunteer nurses, labourers and students of the Baltimore lifeboat crew who, as one survivor noted with some awe, "risked their lives for people they don't even know".
Sadly, these traits of courage, married to an ethic of co-operation, are as needed as they are absent when it comes to our political elites here and in Europe. If that clever boy who informed the emperor that he had no clothes was at last week's EU Franco-German summit the sole question he would have asked Angela and Nicolas was "Who put you in charge?"
It is a question, alas, that few in Ireland, outside of Ruairi Quinn, are inclined to ask. However, it is increasingly clear a new age of Franco-German imperialism has arrived. This is not signalled, in these 'progressive' times, by anything as vulgar as armies or war. Instead we are experiencing a fiscal colonialism where the lifeblood is being drained out of Ireland through an austerity programme that is clearly not working.