Yesterday, in the Irish elections, there was a political earthquake and the party that had run the country forever was swept away in a wave of voter anger over the country’s economic meltdown, sweeping in a government that will take over a country mired in financial crisis and tied to a multi-billion euro bailout from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.
I hadn’t thought about Ireland in years, but I’m thinking about it now and about the devil’s bargain it has struck with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. In November I read that “The 85 billion euro bailout agreed to on Sunday evening between the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the Irish government will enforce the demands of the financial elite through the further impoverishment of the working class. It will ensure that those responsible for the current crisis are protected from any losses, while state finances will be raided once again to bail out insolvent financial institutions. While ordinary working people will suffer the devastating consequences of the deal, the bailout ensures that the financial speculators whose criminal activity brought about the crisis will escape unpunished.”
Ireland is widely famed for its voice. It has long, centuries long, experience in voicing its anger and demanding justice. Even though it has had the crap beaten out of it time and time again, its indomitable voice is never completely crushed. Now the trumpet has summoned it again to voice its anger again at having the crap beaten out of it again by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
The EU and the IMF may have some very nice people running things. I have heard that there are some excellent golfers at the EU and the IMF. Still, you can’t blame the Irish working class for being miffed at being beaten to smithereens by the EU and the IMF. The folks at these places call this financial punishment of the Irish working class “rescuing Ireland from insolvency.”
Inflicting the maximum amount of pain – called fiscal responsibility – on the working class and poor while leaving untouched the crooks responsible for the catastrophe (called top-level important bankers) has led the EU and the IMF to lash out with detailed explanations of the 15 billion four-year austerity plan imposing spending cuts and tax increases to help meet the costs of the bank crisis and the terms of the EU/IMF rescue.
I think of Ireland being flayed alive by its “saviors” and I am reminded of the limerick:
Oh, blow the man down, bullies, blow the man down
Way! Hey! blow the man down
Oh, blow the man down, bullies, blow him away
Give me some time to blow the man down!
Someone asked me if I had anything against the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
“Yes,” I said. “Yes I do.”