Saturday 18 November 2017

Medb Ruane: Listen up, Mr Cowen. People don't want a 'Stepford Wives' interpretation of the news ...

In the good old, bad old days when Bertie Ahern was Taoiseach, he told a bunch of dissenters they should die by suicide. He said "sorry" later, but the contempt stuck. Everyone was supposed to sing from the same hymn sheet -- and the song was all about Him.

Brian Cowen was slightly more measured when he spoke about dissenters this week and told the Irish media to focus on positive news rather than what he calls "pervasive negativity". The prod was a credit rating from Moody's that downgraded Irish government bonds, and also said that economic prospects were moving from negative to stable.

What planet is he on, I wondered. The downgrading damages Ireland's reputation and forces Ireland to pay more for credit than, say, Germany. That's bad news by any standards. Add on 440,000 unemployed, 10,000 hotel rooms too many and an insidious campaign to lower the state pension and what have we got?

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