Tuesday 12 December 2017

Ministers differ as patient fails

Tradition tells us that when doctors differ patients generally die. Whatever about medicine, we can only hope the story is somewhat different in the world of economics, for when it comes to our ongoing status as one of the sick men of the European economy, there is no shortage of economic witch-doctors prescribing competing remedies. Sadly, when it comes to the latest escalating squabble between Michael Noonan's way and Eamon Gilmore's way, there is scant evidence of any agreement arriving soon.

The startling claims, which were at best thinly denied, of screaming matches and walkouts indicate that as the dowry money gets ever scarcer, the marriage of convenience between Ireland and its Troika rescuers is not well.

But as the fiscal battlements of the EMS and the Central Bank look ever more grimly at those who dare deviate from orthodoxy, the Government itself is split. On one side the Michael Noonan/Enda Kenny axis of conservatism adheres to the Marshall Joffre's 1916-style 'one last push' theory. Other ministers, such as Brendan Howlin, adhere to the austerity line with a somewhat greater degree of chill while ministers such as Joan Burton are in open rebellion against the grim reapers of the austerity doctrine.

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