Face in the mirror
• I have read an awful lot of Europe bashing in your letters pages over the past weeks and months. The Germans seem to be responsible for everything from the price of plastic bags to Thierry Henry's handball. May I remind the Irish people that the Germans did not take part in any Irish elections? They cannot be blamed for any of the opportunists and cute hoors who were elected to run the country for the past umpteen years.
Nor did they run the banks that lent money to all and sundry without thinking twice. They were also not responsible for the inflated civil service, greedy developers (aided by greedy bankers) and the general waste of public money by successive governments.
There is a culture of dishonesty in Ireland that starts at the top. The politicians get away with it, so why shouldn't everyone else follow suit?
Rascals and scoundrels are applauded for their cunning rather than shunned as they are in Germany and elsewhere. That tide seems to be turning now as it seems to be dawning on people that gombeen men and crooks are not the ones who should be entrusted with running the country, the banks, or the big Irish employers.
Everybody looks for a scapegoat when times are tough. It's human nature. But it's hard to admit it's your own fault. Maybe the sanctions being enforced by the Europeans are burdensome, but it was all your own doing.