Saturday 24 February 2018

No poker risks for government

Sir -- The Sunday Independent (November 6, 2011) came with a front-page banner calling on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to "man up and stand up for Ireland". Your analysis pages are filled with articles promoting an Irish adoption of the Greek approach to the EU. What planet are Sunday Independent journalists/correspondents on? Have they seen just how successful the Greek approach has proven to be?

At the first EU summit following the general election, Taoiseach Kenny refused to make any concessions on the 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate in return for a reduction in our bail-out loan rate. This apparently incensed Sarkozy and Merkel who deferred a rate reduction, and the Irish media promptly turned on Kenny for "overplaying his hand". What lessons did the Government and the Irish media learn? I suspect the former learned much and the latter little.

Journalists/commentators are the classic hurlers on the ditch: they can promote any policy/ strategy without having to face media scrutiny if it turns out to be a disaster. So they can happily propose approaches that equate to "all-in" in poker terms. No government can, or should, ever take such risks.

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