By Patrick Brogan
As what usually happens when a nation’s leader steps down, the media have eulogised Enda Kenny. They have portrayed him as a man that made difficult decisions with the people’s best interests in mind. Ireland survived its most turbulent period in recent history and it is because of Kenny’s foresight that the troika left and the economy rebounded.
The problem is, the mainstream media in nearly every part of the world live in an ivory tower compared to the rest of us. Relatively secure jobs, nice houses in nice areas, children going to private schools and private healthcare are things many in this country can only dream of. Not so long ago, some of these things were attainable to ordinary working people, if not all of them. This is the world journalists live in. Devoid of the grinding circumstances of poverty. And it is grinding, poverty has a way of constantly reminding you that you have no money.
The people that live under those circumstances will remember Enda Kenny in a very different way, and it wont be with any fondness. Why is this? Are the hoi polloi just ungrateful? Are the plebs not smart enough to understand sacrifices had to be made? I think everybody would have accepted sacrifices if it meant the country would benefit long term. The problem is the fairness. The people with the least to spare were thrown under the bus whilst those with the most actually benefitted from the collapsing economy.
Consider Fine Gael‘s old pal Denis O’Brien. His estimated net worth increased in this period. When the rest of us were told we had to pay water charges — thanks to Alan Kelly–, O’Brien was there to mop up the profits. Sickening really. And people can go on about him making difficult decisions all they want, but it is clear Kenny blamed the ordinary Irish citizen for the mess and not the coked-up, law-breaking bankers. How do we know? He told us;
Think of the the disruption that was caused by that Thatcherite view on finance. Homelessness went through the roof, hospital waiting lists got worse, the housing crisis increased, the whistleblower scandal went to a new level of disgrace and numerous other tragedies took place under his watch. All to preserve power and trickle down economics. Was this all part of his social contract with the Irish people?
He was incredibly awkward. His numerous gaffs and racist jokes will not be missed. Although others will go on about his successes , the marriage referendum for one, I will not because he did so some good, but it is far out weighted by the bad. A Marriage Referendum is not going to impact on bankers, is it? His cronies were always protected. This is what he will be remembered for by most of the Irish public. He never offered any solutions that would benefit ordinary people because he was incapable of doing so. His drive was power. Power himself and the people around him. Off you fuck, Enda.
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