Tuesday 6 December 2016

Brendan O'Connor: Ve haf vays of making you cut

Published 31/10/2010 | 05:00

This is what Angela Merkel told reporters after the European summit last week. "I think it is important to create a clear culture of stability in Europe. Europe makes us strong but Europe needs rules. It must be successful."

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I'm saying nothing. But does it not make you nervous to a German talk in such, ahem, forceful terms, about Europe making us strong, and the need for rules and even a clear culture of stability. Stick a moustache on her, put that all in a German accent, have her bang the lectern a few times and it would make you a bit nervous. Of course, I'm joking.

Brian Cowen is apparently happy to follow the rules. While it was thought he might tell Adolf, I mean Angela (joking again, of course), that we would need a new Lisbon referendum, he basically told her it would probably be OK, danke. Of course, if he is like most Irish people, he will have slightly welcomed a matron with a German accent telling him about the need for rules and punishment.

I would like to be the first to dust off my lederhosen and offer a cead mile willkommen to our new German overlords, but it seems Martin Mansergh got there first.

Herr Mansergh told the Dail on Wednesday that unlike the editor of this newspaper (a paper some of the more forward-thinking staff members are pushing to have renamed Der Sonntag Spiegel) he has "no phobias about Ireland becoming more like Germany, as we belatedly internalise the logic, disciplines and advantages... of eurozone membership."

In recent months, some people have asked why we couldn't be more like the Greeks, out killing each other on the streets over cutbacks, or like the French, who did not take the outrage of being forced to work beyond 60 lying down.

But it seems the new mantra of our politicians is going to be that we need to be more like the Germans -- logical and disciplined in pursuit of the ultimate goal.

But we have always fancied a bit of Fritz in this country. From Francis Stuart to Dev, we've always been trying to leave them in the back door.

Now, we are throwing open the front door to them. While the Germans aren't supposed to invade countries any more, it seems that like vampires, as long as you invite them in, it's OK. And we're inviting, as long as they'll keep paying the bills. If the price of that is a bit more discipline and logic and rules, who are we to argue?

Colm O hEochaidh likened Fianna Fail to the Nazis during the week when he called for a de-Fianna Failisation of the country. He should be careful what he wishes for. Fianna Fail could soon find themselves exterminated, along with many of the other illogical things we Irish hold dear.

I think you'll find they didn't sing The Lakes Of Ponchartrain at Nuremberg.

Oops, did I nearly mention the war?

Sunday Independent

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