Calling bullshit on the negotiations narratives

I’ve been hearing talk that another election would cost us €40 million euros, everyone is saying it. It came from Noonan so it must be true (leaving aside that he is not the expenditure minister) and that the caretaker government of the moment were perfectly capable and comfortable enough to pluck numbers out of their arses whenever it was convenient during the last Dáil term.

But even if it were true, and for the purpose of this piece I’ll accept Noonan’s word on face value, what does this figure mean??

Whatever way I look at it, it means fuck all, this is just foreplay so that party partisans can accommodate the unthinkable.
Don’t fall for it.

In other news the government is continuing to overspend because their economic projections were padded with bullshit. Caretaker ministers have the power, but lack the interest to rein them in. This reining in won’t happen until a new government is formed.

So at least a couple of hundred million has wasted since the last Dáil was dissolved, compounding this, tax receipts are running €700 million below expectations for the first quarter.

As things stand it could easily be July before we have a functioning government, by which stage billions will have been pissed away.

€40 million only sounds like big money to you or I. But it’s less than a tenth of one percent of annual government spending.

That’s the kind of money a limbo government loses in a week.

We’ve to be careful of the stories that are playing out, the game of the moment has two actors and three audiences, the players are FF and FG, the audiences are the partisans of both parties, and then also the poor bedraggled electorate who possibly have to vote for these guys in the future.

The party leaderships are in the middle of a process where each side has to convince their partisans that they’ve no other option but to enter goverernment with the old enemy.

The secondary game is to convince the “possibles” that if the talks are not working it is because of that other shower of bastards.

The party leaderships are going to string this out until the partisans accept that there is no alternative, and this stretching out process is way more expensive than another election would be.

It may be that having a second election (soon) is cheaper than letting FF/FG fumble around in the dark for months, thus having a second election (soon) may be the least worst option – the decision to call a second election (if necessary) ought not be impeded if the alternative is just a psycho-drama acted out for the benefit of the party faithfuls.

What can we do? We can make the story about how much this fucking around is costing, and ignore the PR speak which is targeting the partisans (€40m etc.) and do our best to decode what is actually happening

It’s one thing for us to be talking about €40m elections, but if we talk about instead the €30 million a week it is costing us because back benchers from both parties are more concerned about what happened in Ballyseedy, and Beál na Bláth back in 1922 than they are in what is happening in those places today.

Call them out on their bullshit.

They need to get into government and start governing, there is nothing between the two parties, in terms of policies, neither is there in terms of seats.

Both of them need to realise that a unity government is the only viable government that is available to us for probably the next 8+ years, and that their relationship is now akin to the German CDU/CSU.

Maybe it’ll take another election to get there, I don’t know, but indulging in the fiction that they are rolling out at them moment will leave their party honour intact. Fuck that. We’ll end up here again in another 18 months (the longest any prospective government is likely to last anyway).

Face reality or GTFO, those are the only options that we should leave open to the members of the Oireachtas.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Calling bullshit on the negotiations narratives

  1. Peter James

    You talk of -over-spending not being reigned in and money being wasted- because of the care-taker government. Surely some of that spending is effective, health for example. Lack of investment now is just storing up problems that must be tackled one day and will cost more.
    And how can you be sure that a new election will produce a substantially different results?

  2. Shea

    Its been the wish of lefties to get a ff/FG government for a long time and maybe some of their expectations will come true, that it will realign Irish politics on a left right devide or maybe people will vote the way they always did in terms of tendency but just not for the ff fg brands.

    How good have lefties done this time? Are we counting shinners this week? Are they they in a strong enough position to fill the anticipated newly created void? Do they have the structures in each constituency that can rise when this new Dawn comes?

    it needs to be stated that such a government is going to be shit. If this is not something to attempt to obstruct then lefties better work their bollox of and make the most of it.

    • Shane Conneely

      I’m not a great believer in the left-right divide, politics in Ireland has always felt as though it is a policy free zone. Policy is what the civil service develops, governments usually just schedule the implementation: X happens before Y, and Z gets delayed for another 2 years, that kind of stuff. We haven’t had a track record of governments that develop policy, given that I don’t see how a FF-FG coalition would be better/worse than any other one we’ve had to date.

      As for the story among the leftists, that their lack of success has been the blame of the others, it’s weak, not obvious from the data on ideology in the Irish political environment, and too useful for resolving their emotional conflicts for me to lend it much credence

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