Wednesday 13 December 2017

Nama is one big, fat Orwellian nightmare

Not only is it a secretive and pointless quango that is answerable to no one, says Brendan O'Connor, it's also potentially dangerous

QUANGO: Nama chairman Frank Daly, left, and chief executive Brendan McDonagh. Photo: Tom Burke
QUANGO: Nama chairman Frank Daly, left, and chief executive Brendan McDonagh. Photo: Tom Burke

It's not easy, with so many crises on the go, to keep track of them all and give them all due attention and respect.

Things that would obsess us every day in the normal course of events often get forgotten about these days for weeks on end because we have even bigger fish to fry. Did you notice how we managed to put Nama to the back of our minds there for a while? Because Europe, or the world, was on the brink of disaster most days over the summer, Nama became just a little local difficulty and slipped down the hierarchy of disasters we should be paying attention to.

So well done to Prime Time the other night for reminding us again that Nama, the biggest secret society in the country, is still grinding on, the biggest quango ever, a state within a state. In fact, that notion of a state within a state was interesting because Nama, if anything, is more powerful than the Irish State; more powerful, in ways, than the Government. The Government, God bless it, can't do much off its own bat these days; it is just a bunch of local administrators who put into effect the whims of the troika and purr contentedly when they get a pat in the head from Olli Rehn or someone for being the poster boys for austerity.

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