14th May 2011
The euro is fallin' apart, the Germans are gettin' the heeby jeebies meanwhile the doomsayers and the conspiracy theorists are havin' a field day.I'm gettin' a fierce bad feelin' in my water about this feckin' crisis. When you see the celebrity economists competin' with one another as to who can give us the worst news then it's time to be on the lookout. Every month, when I get the cheque with my councillor's allowance I wonder if it will be the last one because every time the Manager gets up to speak at council meetins he has the look of the hangin' judge about him; all he is missin' is the black hat.
There is no doubt but this new government has raised our spirits ever so slightly, but for how long? Tom Cantwell is not impressed, "I think they've given us the kind of lift a wonder-bra might give the poorly endowed; tis little more than a short-lived optical illusion."
The article by Morgan Kelly last weekend put the cat among the pigeons altogether; the doomsday scenario he painted frightened the bejaysus out of half the country, you'd want to be drunk or in a coma to have escaped the effects of the ripples it caused.
Of course it led to much discussion in the local hostelry. Unknown to himself, Tom Walshe often breaks his own ban on talk of the recession and in fact regularly leads the conversation.
"Begod, lads," says he, "if that fella Kelly is right we'll all be in the poorhouse before we know it."
"Sure we're in the poorhouse already," said Cantillon, "except we don't know it."
"They're all talkin' about problems with the euro, but what would happen if we pulled out of it?" asked Quirke,
"We'd be lookin' at Kathleen Ni Houlihan's mournful face gazin' at us from the back of worthless banknotes," says Cantwell
"Ah, but there's the question," continued Quirke, "would we go back to the punt or would we put our pride in our pocket and return to the Queen's shillin'?"
"Now you have it," says Cantillon, "I was readin' an article the other day and it made sense of the whole lot. Accordin to the author the Second World War is still goin' on except, this time, the Germans are winnin' and the Brits are on the back foot. Of course, the Brits are beside themselves and are tryin' everythin' to gain back the ground they have been losin.' A few months ago they gave Ireland a big wad of money, supposed to be part of the bailout, and now the Queen herself is comin' to call. These things are no accident. The Brits need all the friends they can get before the Germans have total control over the whole kit a caboodle without havin' to fire a shot. So Her Majesty is comin' with an offer; if we pull out of the euro, herself and Mr. Cameron won't see us short. They know damn well if we pull the pin on what they regard as a German currency the whole thing will fall like a bad load of bales and sterling will be king of the currencies"
"Ya," says Cantwell, "and I suppose Hitler himself is runnin' the German operation from a bunker deep in the Black Forest."
"No, actually," says Cantillon, "the bunker is on an island off the coast of Greece; why do you think all the trouble started in Greece?"
"For jaysus sake, Cantillon," says Cantwell, "we're in enough trouble as it is without people like you goin' around the place spoutin that kind of gobshitery, the next thing you'll tell us is that our economic woes are a curse from God brought on by our bad livin.'"
"No," says I, "that's the latest Fianna Fail position on the crisis; they have a new policy document describin' the economic bust as a time of trial inflicted from on high, our woes have nothin to do with the fact they were in government before, durin and after the arse fell out of the country."
"Less of yer mockin' ," says Cantillon, "we're only small fry in a big game that's goin' on since the 1930s. Mark my words, no sooner will the Queen be back on her throne in Buckingham Palace than twill be announced that we are rejoinin' the sterling area and Angela Merkel can go jump in the Rhine."
"Listen," says Cantwell, "I think we should pull out of everything; the EU, the Euro, the IMF deal, the ECB and tell the whole lot of them to feck off; we're not payin' any debt because we, the plain people of Ireland, didn't incur any debt. We should start from scratch with a whole new currency.
"And what should we call it?" I asked.
"In honour of the way we behaved over the past few years," says Tom Walshe, "I think we should call it the "Hooro."