Friday 23 February 2018

Failed ideology of the 'Left Quartet' has been exposed

Eoghan Harris

Eoghan Harris

In his ard fheis speech, Brian Cowen spoke simply about the crisis facing our country. But I was not surprised to see the perverse heading on the Irish Times leader last Monday morning: "A Missed Opportunity".

In reacting to the current crisis, the Irish Times is influenced by the same ideological pre-occupations as RTE. Let me spell them out. On one side we have the Left Quartet comprising the Irish Times/RTE/the Labour Party/public sector unions. The LQ promotes the interests of some 370,000 permanent and pensionable public sector employees at the expense of 1.8 million private sector workers, on poor pensions or none, all of whose jobs are at risk.

In recent months, the LQ has leveraged a legitimate populist anger -- which should have been limited to a minority of delinquent bank chiefs -- into a large scale, anarchic anger aimed at anybody and anything. Behind this angry smokescreen, the LQ advances its ideological agenda on the new budget -- to fill the €22bn hole in the public finances by direct taxation without cutting too deeply into public sector pay and pensions and without privatising State bodies.

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