Why, oh why are the opposition parties going to the meeting called by Department of Finance officials today?
Brian Lenihan once again says it is all so complicated and so difficult, and we must ensure the passing of the Finance Bill. Department officials are backing him up technically but let there be no mistake, this is purely a political play.
The Finance Bill needs to be enacted within four months of the budget, not including any time in which the Dáil is dissolved. There is no need to pass it as is.
Yet again we hear talk of how important it is that we fulfil our obligations to the EU/IMF agreement. Even the Minister says the Finance Bill contains details which have been ‘effectively approved’ by the IMF. He says it is important for our reputation, and the opposition are allowing him to get away with it.
Our reputation is in tatters. Across the world there is bemused incredulity at how our political leadership has imploded. Like the dismembered knight from Monty Python.
The reality is that Ireland’s economic future is a lot more important in global terms than our politicians are willing or able to recognise.
If there are changes to the agreement pushed through by a new government, they will be accepted. The alternative would create far more dangerous cracks in the world economy and the EU Finance ministers and the IMF are fully aware of this.
The opposition may be freezing with power so close to hand. They are missing the opportunity which the Green Party decision to withdraw from government has presented. That is the ability to reshape the agreement that will loom over their time in government. If they go along with the passing of the Bill they will give themselves an excuse that their hands were tied.
Folks, here is the knife to cut the ties that will otherwise bind you. Who is willing to take it in hand by boycotting today’s meeting and forcing Fianna Fáil to go straight to the President. Who indeed?