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O'Toole, Fintan

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The Irish Times - Ireland | 30/11/2010

Irish don't want help

Tens of thousands are demonstrating in Ireland against the austerity package planned by the government after it receives billions in loans from the EU and IMF. The liberal daily The Irish Times also fails to see the point of the package: "Would the Irish people, if asked, vote for any of these measures as decent solutions to our very real dilemmas? That the answer is so obviously 'no' tells us the brutal truth: Irish democracy has been abandoned by a zombie government. A weak, demoralised rump administration, served by the same Department of Finance that oversaw the gestation of the crisis, went into bat against the big powers of global finance. A government that was spooked and stampeded by the small-time bullies of the Irish banks was never going to be able to stand up to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB). The losers, however, are not the Irish governing classes, who have shown themselves so impervious to shame. They are the Irish people, whose sense of democratic citizenship has been rudely stripped away."

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