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A long week in politics


Sir -- The week opened with the ripples of the Nyberg report tickling my toes. Moody's and the aptly named Standard and Poor's have long consigned us to junk bond status. Nyberg was too late. He raked some manure back and over but ultimately no one was to blame. The golden circle lives on.

Next up was the photo opportunity of the year. Anglo Irish was having its signs taken down. Finally, the carcass of the bank that broke a nation was going to be interred. As they say in my old village: "Bad cess to them." Some €40bn up in smoke, but at least the ogre was dead.

Finance Minister Ruairi Quinn was photographed flanked by gardai, as a lady carried her child who needed special help in the local school. How could she speak to the minister, flanked by uniformed officers? Is this de rigueur for ministers when they now meet the populace?

Mr Quinn stated that during his term he was going to get rid of unqualified teachers in our schools.

Do it this term minister. Email each school manager and tell them to employ qualified young teachers. Get rid of the retired teachers, those who lack a formal qualification and give the jobs to those who are qualified.

On the BBC, Brian Lenihan gave a version of our and his woes, and all the pressure he was under from the bold foreign banks. Too late sir.

The sons or grandsons of the mohair suits and Easter revolutionaries did their Easter ceremony gig. As they stood to attention, heads slightly bowed did any of them whisper to the 1916 leaders that the nation they died for had been lost in a high-class game of poker, quickly adding that if we could get back building and rezoning that we might have the nation back by 2016.

Just as Anglo Irish sank into the morass of the past, I was startled to see it was taking over the Quinn Insurance group. I thought that it had gone away but no. Two days after the signs were taken down, it arose from the grave to scare us once more. It wants Quinn Insurance but not the debt. So hail, hail, the taxpayer will fork out another two per cent levy to give a bank that gobbled €40bn another €650m to €700m.

Now tell me once more, was it Quinn that tried to save Anglo or Anglo that tried to save Quinn a few years ago? I am mixed up at this stage.

Finally, as we take solace from the coming together of the community over the awful death of Constable Ronan Kerr, we scarcely blush when the revolver of Countess Markievicz is sold at auction. This revolver dispatched another unarmed Irish constable to his death in 1916. I suppose that's what makes us the great little country we are.

I'm writing this on Wednesday. By Sunday who knows what will have happened?

As I await the corncrake and the cuckoo, so too I await word from a councillor or TD who attends work, a meeting, or an event, and fails to claim any expenses.

It's easy lads, I worked for 40 years and never once got paid for going to it. It just takes getting used to.

John Cuffe,

Dunboyne, Meath

Sunday Independent