The reality of international credibility

Just like that

When will Brian Lenihan accept that the people of Ireland are not fools? At lunchtime on Sunday he stressed again the importance of international confidence in Ireland and the government of which he tenuously remains a part.

He did so without blinking, without any sense of irony, despite the tragic-farcical actions of his own party over recent days.  He did so without any acceptance of the fact that his decision to underwrite all Irish banks was precisely the one which cast us in such poor light.

All across the media, from the BBC to CNN, Al Jazeera to the Washington Post, we have become a case study in the meltdown of a political establishment.  Credibility is not the first phrase that crops up in these reports.

Pause a while and consider how the world looks at small countries whose political hierarchy breaks down.  Iceland, Belgium, Greece, Tunisia.  Credibility is only restored with a complete change of leadership in the political class.

If Brian Lenihan understood international credibility, or he was honest about its importance to Ireland, the change in Ireland would have taken place two years ago.

The Green Party decision on Sunday afternoon to withdraw from government now makes it more likely that we will go to the polls in February rather than March.

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