As I write this we are driving through Florida on a promotional tour for Slane Castle Irish Whiskey listening to Kings of Leon. The opening track to “Come around Sundown” is “The End”. Yes, Biffo, the lyrics do say “this could be the end”. People have been asking me what’s wrong with our Prime Minister. I’ve been explaining that he suffers from nasal congestion and we are going to have an election to clear the tubes. It really is the end but will it be a new beginning ?
The crisis facing our country is so deep that I have my doubts whether the existing participants in the political process have the vision or the courage to grasp what really needs to be done. At the heart of it is the fact that there is something rotten and dysfunctional, not only in the manner in which our own country has been governed, but also at the heart of Europe. We have been forced into a form of fiscal slavery by the conversion of bank debt into sovereign debt. The French, German and British banks lent our rogue banks billions. Of course they wanted us to take the bail-out. It gets their banks off the hook but enslaves the Irish taxpayers.
Is the die cast ? Endless Kenny, well handled by Minister for Enda , big Phil Hogan, will become Taoiseach. Eamon Gilmore will become Tanaiste and there will be a tussle over Finance, but Michael Noonan will probably shade it and eureka we will have a new government with a solid majority, even if elements of Labour and Fine Gael are pulling in different directions.
There is something fundamentally depressing about this general election campaign. It arises from a sense that behind it all is a tremendous sense of foreboding, a realisation that after it is all over, the real battle begins, and it will be fought not in the Dail chamber but in the corridors of power in Europe.