Saturday 7 December 2019

Phobia about voting in the dark

'To vote or not to vote?': Referendum Commission chairman Judge Kevin Feeney.l To vote or not to vote. A No vote means Ireland will have serious funding issues, with social unrest an inevitable consequence.

On the other hand, the Norwegian Sovereign Fund dumped all its Irish government bonds last week, giving its verdict on where things are going as regards our sovereign debt.

We know by now that politicians say things they do not believe to be true and defend positions they know to be untenable. What is the difference between Bertie Ahern's irrational prognosis of yesteryear and the present Coalition's sincerity?

One useful adjunct to public discourse would be if the betting shops gave odds on government policy. If Paddy Power set odds of 20 to one against Ireland defaulting on its debt, this would mean more to many than David McWilliams's arguments or the ratings agencies' abstruse gradings. The politicians would decry, of course, the bias of the betting shops but then be reminded that they could bet on themselves.

A Yes vote is trickier to interpret. It suggests that eventually we will have to live within our means but until then we can keep increasing our sovereign debt so we can pay back banks and institutions and that, as a sop, the State can continue to live in the manner to which it has become accustomed.

With their left hand, our politicians wag the finger of austerity -- but with their right, they continue to stuff money down their trouser-fronts.

I confess that unless the Coalition comes up with some half-plausible scenario as to how Ireland will get out of its debt crisis, I will not vote.

Tony Dolan
Milesian Avenue, Dublin

Irish Independent

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