Clever Strategy or a Leadership Bid
Noel Dempsey followed up on his call to see those members of the Anglo 10 ‘nailed‘ with the quote that they had committed ‘economic treason’ yesterday. As Shane Ross noted back in April, this was not the way that the 10 saw it, an neither did the regulator or the politicians briefed by Anlgo.
MINISTER FOR Transport Noel Dempsey has sharply criticised those who were involved in wrongdoing in Anglo Irish Bank, accusing them of engaging in “economic treason”.
Mr Dempsey said he and his Cabinet colleagues wanted to see the people responsible “pay a price”.
“I have heard a huge amount of nonsense about why people are not in jail. You have to collect the evidence; it has to be investigated thoroughly and I and my colleagues want to see the people responsible [pay] for that,” he said.
Either way, the government are steadfast in their refusal to publish names for ‘legal reasons’, taking political blow after political blow and watching legitimacy sapped by the duality of public sector marches and complete loss of confidence in the private sector at government’s ability to direct the economy in the wider public interest.
Cowen and his top Ministers Lenihan and Coughlan have taken a hammering for the appearance of covering the Anglo 10. This may or may not be justified, the Ministers certainly feel aggrieved at the description from the opposition benches but Noel Dempsey has been far more trenchant when asked about the topic. He wants them nailed, wants them named and wants to move on.
He is saying what people want to hear from government but the question is whether he has the backing of government to do it or whether he is positioning himself in the event of Cowen’s authority completely sapping away. There has been some debate over on Cedar Lounge about the likelihood of an election and, like Michael Taft, I think that sheer historical force may have drawn this term in power close to an end. If that moment has not yet occured it is hard to see it not happening in the coming weeks.
The Anglo ’10′ has proved to be a distraction from the budgetary crisis that will see them try to find upwards of €12bn in the next four years. The mandate that was given in May 2007 has all but disappeared. Brian Lucey is on the money however when he said on Saturday:
Brian Lucey, professor of finance in Trinity College, said it was important to remember the policies that have caused the current crisis were created by a Government for which 44 per cent of the electorate voted.
“Part of me says those 44 per cent should take the burden now. The problem is what we voted for, not the Galway tent. We voted for these policies.”
He said from a banking perspective, the reality was we now paid on average twice as much as the Dutch and Germans for our macro-economic debt.
“That’s the price of our national profligacy.” He said it was “worrying” the lack of basic economic knowledge among Government Ministers he had met.
“I think the Government is trying but they are at sea. They keep coming out with less and less credible policies. We need vicious policies now and we’re not getting them. The international markets don’t believe the Irish State. I am convinced the Department of Finance does not understand international bond markets.”