Marc Coleman: 'Fifty Shades of Red' is new hot read of the sadistic left
In Ireland's new morally upside-down culture, talk of new taxes has replaced that of reforms, writes Marc Coleman
YOU really have to hand it to the Labour Party. It hasn't got its way over Frankfurt on bank debt yet. And if it does, ESM support for banks will be more likely to go to Bank of Ireland and AIB than to IBRC. But still you have to hand it to Labour, because in almost every other area Labour's way is trumping Fine Gael's way hands down.
Take Leo Varadkar's call for a pause in public pay increments. Leo was merely making a point already made by Labour stalwart Fergus Finlay last year. But that didn't stop Eamon Gilmore slapping him down. But when Joan Burton suggested hiking PRSI, you could have heard a pin drop in Fine Gael.
Then there is property tax. Last year Fine Gael described a tax on the family home as "unfair". But, like the troika, Labour's left regards it as sacrosanct. To Labour, owning your own home is -- never mind negative equity or being unable to pay the bills -- a sign of wealth. So it must be taxed. And unlike Fine Gael, which has no "intellectual" policy capacity, Labour has Tasc, Siptu and other think tanks to fight its corner on these and other issues. And it has more friends in the media. So, every time, it wins hands down.