The Live Register jumped a staggering 6,600 in May, making a mockery of the government's claim that we have "turned a corner". Such optimism is at best dangerous, at worst treasonous, in the current economic climate. How can an Irish government be so irresponsible as to actually claim that our economy has bottomed out and will soon start the long haul back to some semblance of real growth when multi-nationals lik HP seem set to cut jobs here? How has our economy turned the corner when we still have more than 300,000 houses unoccupied in this country, 32,300 people in arrears on their mortgage (not including the 15 odd thousand who are paying only with government support), and the prospects of ECB rate rises in at least the next five to ten years? How can our economy be on the rebound when we are borrowing €500 million a week, and as the maestro David McWilliams notes, the global markets may soon cut off our supply of credit?
It is becoming increasingly clear that this government is simply kicking to touch, playing for time and hoping that they can avoid as many cuts as possible before the next General Election in 2012. They can then hand the entire mess over to Fine Gael and Labour, who will be blamed by an amnesiac electorate for having to take truly tough decisions, before Fianna Fail can swan into power again, surfing on a wave of pork-barrell promises.
I do not hate Fianna Fail, the Republican Party, the party of Sean Lemass, the party of the urban worker and the rural labourer. But I hate this government, deeply, totally, instinctively, as they have put the selfish interests of the newly-monied and propertied ahead of the common good. There is nothing more vile or harmful to a society, and especially to a Republic, then "socialism for the rich, and capitalism for the poor". Sadly, this has now become Ireland's official state ideology.