Saturday 16 December 2017

A new spirit of 'get up and go' will lift all of us

We can get out of this mess and for just €25bn we can, as a population, evacuate the country, writes Cathal McCarthy

It's very hard to tell you exactly when I realised that I had the answer. But that's the nature of genius: when did Leonardo decide that the Mona Lisa's smile wouldn't show any teeth? At what stage did Newton hold the apple and think 'so that's why it fell downwards'. All I can tell you is that sometime on Tuesday evening it came to me. The answer to all our problems.

Of course these things don't come out of the wide, blue, yonder. I was a bit stressed. I'd been trying to follow the implications of Anglo Irish losing €8.5bn in the first six months of this year. Best case has it costing us about €25bn. Worst case pushes that up to €35bn. That's on top of the €25bn we're borrowing right now from the same people that we owe the Anglo €30bn to. Let me see now: there's another three or four billion that we'll have to pony up for Irish Nationwide as well. And the billions we've to find for AIB.

I say 'we' there. That 'we' shouldn't be taken as denoting everyone involved. No. The 'we' meant there is the poor, dumb, beaten-down-into-the-shite, suckers who're going to be paying for this. The people who, through their own exertions and decency, have ended up in the middle strata of Irish society. Doing their best, keeping the law, paying the tax, watching now while their pockets and savings are emptied and thrown at the debt the same way you'd throw a bun at a bear.

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