The media loves a good yarn. The media’s attention deficit has seen them flit between coverage of nuclear armageddon in Japan and mortal combat in Libya without getting to the heart of the matter in either case.
Take away their diagrams of nuclear reactor cooling ponds and images of fast jets and various armament options and there is precious little of value in the reporting. Usually so fond of providing ‘analysis’ there is a notable absence of thought about the long term effects of the destruction in Japan and what this might mean for the country and its government, or consideration about the potential for a change in the regional power dynamic in north Africa should Gadaffi be brought down by the Libyan rebels.
While the media in Ireland rightly turns its attention to local issues, it also exhibits an idential failure to get to the heart of the matter. We see today the Irish Independent the headline: ‘Our fight to survive: EU in Noonan’s line of fire‘. As an example of hype this is right up there with the most laughable. A more honest description would be Noonan like a rabbit in the EU’s headlights. The piece opens:
The ‘mother and father’ of political and diplomatic battles is looming for Ireland as Finance Minister Michael Noonan goes into tomorrow’s eurozone ministers’ meeting in Brussels.
He will seek to form a grand alliance of smaller European countries in our colossal battle with France and Germany to stop the “torturing” of Ireland and save its low corporation tax rate.
The channelling of Saddam and embellishment of his words notwithstanding, this piece may as well have been written by the former Iraqi Information Minister, Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf. It isn’t going to be much of a battle when Noonan has no weapons at his disposal, as the third paragraph makes clear:
And although taxation rates will not be on the agenda, Mr Noonan intends to use the occasion to build up a relationship with politicians from other countries in the 17 member eurozone.
And that is the problem. The Irish people voted for Fine Gael because they are desperate for a renegotiation of the EU/IMF bailout. Why? because the demands it makes for spending cuts and tax increases are causing the Irish a significant amount of pain. It is ridiculous of the Irish Independent to describe the EU as being in Noonan’s line of fire when the EU is calling the shots. As this humble blog explained back in February, Fine Gael’s win changes nothing:
Bar some tinkering around the edges nothing will change. Ireland’s voters will still be paying higher taxes and experiencing huge cuts in spending on public services. They voted for change but will not see any, because when all is said and done the government of Ireland is cannot be found in the Dail, it resides in Brussels. No one was able to vote for or against it.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, but generally the menu of an establishment you are familiar with gives an idea of what is going to be put on the table. And it was just four days ago that the menu was published. With classic EU doublespeak the headline gave the illusion of flexibility – EU/IMF delegation gives Ireland green light for bailout changes – while the body of text confirmed the usual rigidity as it explained:
But according to the Minister for Public Sector Reform Brendan Howlin, they accept the programme for government as long as the new administration agrees to raise the same amount of money from cuts and tax hikes.
The Irish voted Fine Gael because of the promise to renegotiate the bailout. The bottom line? Nothing will change.
The deckchairs can be re-arranged in the grand buildings where power once resided, but now that power has been handed over to the EU by the quisling politicians who put their own interest and prospects before the people they were supposed to serve, nothing that is said elsewhere means anything any longer.
When reality finally dawns in the Free State one wonders if the people will remember the spin pumped out by the timid, establishment hangers on in the media who tried to keep the deception running. They are every bit as much to blame as the politicians they helped to bring this situation to pass.