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What, Gombeen in Chief?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2017 at 03:28:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kenny is living proof that you don't have to be an intellectual genius to be a moderately competent politician. He has managed to develop a lot of positive relationships, kept his enemies at bay, and played the realities of power as he saw them.  He was helped in this by the incompetence of Fianna Fail, and by the fact that the talent pool in Fine Gael is very small indeed. But he will go down in history as one of the more successful Taoisigh, having pulled Ireland back from the brink of bankruptcy into quite a remarkable recovery in a relatively short period of time.

He also took the lead in outing the shenanigans of the Catholic Church at a political level and presided over, if not actually led some important reforms.. He is the only Fine Gael leader to be re-elected as Taoiseach, despite the fact that a predecessor, Garret Fitzgerald, was much more gifted in may respects. It has always been fashionable to scoff at his limited abilities, but many who fancy themselves as more gifted haven't done half as much.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Feb 24th, 2017 at 03:45:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But he will go down in history as one of the more successful Taoisigh, having pulled Ireland back from the brink of bankruptcy into quite a remarkable recovery in a relatively short period of time.

Having been around when the Irish economy was finally allowed recover.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2017 at 03:56:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well he would have been blamed and excoriated if the Irish economy had continued to implode, so I suppose he is entitled to claim some credit when it recovered.  But yes, I agree, the degree to which the Government can actually claim credit for the recovery is generally overrated. They could also have done a lot more harm - such as cut core social welfare rates - which thankfully, largely due to the presence of the Labour party in his prior Government, they didn't do.  

Many on the left will also argue they should have "burned the bondholders" in Irish banking debt, and perhaps they should have. But perhaps the low interest rates which are now enabling the relatively cheap re-financing and reduction of national debt are also, at least partly, because they didn't do so. The debt GDP ration is due to be down to c. 75% this year, down from 120% a few years ago - and NAMA has still to unwind some of the bad assets it accumulated.  That's a pretty major reduction in a short period and puts Ireland in a significantly better position to face the headwinds of Brexit and Trump.

Is there another economy in Europe which can claim a similar recovery?  I suspect the Greeks would be glad of it.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Feb 24th, 2017 at 04:18:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We have no shortage of Gombeen men (and women) in US politics - no small number of Irish descent. Thanks for the language lesson.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2017 at 06:25:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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