| 3.2°C Dublin

It has been a hard week for jobs and national pride

As a nation we don't half love a bit of internal conflict; particularly a conflict where neither side will back down. For 30 years we had the Troubles. For two weeks we had Roy keane. On Monday we had Hangar-gate.

This is the story of 300 redundancies at SR Technics, Ryanair's bid to save them, two parties who will not talk to each other, and a Tanaiste who would not get involved.

Michael O'Leary was not amused.

"Here we have the world's largest airline offering to create 500 jobs and they couldn't even procure a hangar . . ." he told RTE News At One. His tone dripped with contempt, and the more restrained it was the more contempt there was in his voice. He said that he had tried to correspond with the Tanaiste about brokering a deal, mainly because he won't talk to the DAA.

"This correspondence took place last September when there was a three-day Bun Fight in Farmleigh to talk to the diaspora about how we are going to rescue the economy and create jobs!"

He added that if one of the multinationals such as Dell, Microsoft, or Google offered 500 jobs they'd be building campuses and industrial estates and generally FALLING all over themselves.

And there in lay the problem. We welcome our foreign investment knights, but when faced with ourselves -- it's intractable civil war.

Joe Duffy's Liveline was hot on the heels of Hangar-gate -- in fact, it was he who gave it the name. Inevitably, there was a concentration on the human cost. Every former SR Technics caller was identified by their length of service. Ten years, 20 years, 30 years, they had been working there. Now their final act was to wind up as a guest on Liveline.

Joe wanted to know: Who did they believe, the DAA or O'Leary? Yet this reductionist polemic seemed curiously at odds with the reality expressed by his callers. They weren't into taking sides.

They wanted O'Leary and they wanted his jobs. But Duffy wouldn't let go so easily. Despite facing a lifetime of unemployment, Joe wanted to know if they could work for the Union Breaker himself, Michael O'Leary. Don't we just love to create a bit of conflict when there is none?

It is, of course, the refusal to compromise that will lead to failure, though according to the vastly engaging Kevin Myers self-induced failure is what we do best as a nation.

On Tuesday, he was locked in conversation with Tom Dunne about the Paris rugby disaster. Myers was adamant that the team was selected with failure in mind. Specifically, he believed that, not only were some of the wrong players selected but that Ireland has a cultural inclination to want to lose.

In fact, the last-ditch penalty that we conceded to the Welsh in final play of last year's Grand Slam match was "a subconscious desire to want to lose". Then he broadened the theme: "We had the strongest economy in Western Europe and it wasn't enough, we had to blow it apart."

"We are not comfortable with being cock-of-the walk," agreed Dunne.

"More like cock--up of the walk," replied the psycho-analytical Myers.

But where does this desire for second place come from, asked Dunne? Apparently, part of it comes from the dewy-eyed mythologising about historic failures, including the 1916 Rising, and the subsequent dysfunctional effect that the culture of failure has in a modern context.

Don't be surprised if this thinking finds itself in another form.

And now it has with 500 jobs on their way out of the country. That's failure alright.

News at One, RTE 1, 1-1.45 daily The Tom Dunne Show, Newstalk106 9-noon weekdays Liveline RTE 1 1.45-3pm weekdays