Snapshot of a tragedy

The essence of the Irish tragedy was laid out for all to see in the space of 5 minutes on RTE Radio 1’s ‘Morning Ireland’ programme today.

“Lip service” and “assurances” are the new terms for “cute hoors” and “big house mentality”.

Fully 50% of all Irish companies are guilty of paying only “lip service” to the code of corporate governance that exists in this country. One wonders what the breakdown of  these numbers would be if the foreign owned businesses were separated out from the ‘home grown’ variety. It doesn’t take a genius to intuit that there would likely be a big divergence between the two nor as to which would be better.

That other beacon of excellence, the Financial Regulator, was happy to accept the assurances of AngloIrish’s lawyers concerning a share support ring. Such a scheme is illegal in most jurisdictions and for which a director of our most famous national brand, Guinness, was jailed less than 20 years ago. It came at a time when there were high levels of stress in both financial markets and concerning AngloIrish itself.

This implies that the Regulator was too lazy to bother checking for itself whether it might be colluding in an operation to decieve the market as to the true value of the bank. That a firm of lawyers would have the barefaced cheek to attempt such a manouever should come as surprise to no one anymore but it surely warrrants investigation as to legality.

This is not ‘Wild West’ banking; this is ‘Alice in Wonderland’ stuff.

But sure as long as we doffed the cap to Brussels and adopted their silly regulations and appointed our mates to their silly structures we could go doing what we liked with the money that flowed from their coffers. Weren’t we the ‘cute hoors’ outsmarting the ‘eejits’ in their ‘big house’.

It is scarcely credible that the Taoiseach can seek to hide behind the need for due process with regard to the ‘Golden Circle’ of 10 members of this ring when there has been no provision of due processes under his watch as either Minister for Finance or Taoiseach.

‘Due process’ is going to catch up with him soon enough. But it might catch up with all of us too. Truly, people get the politicians they deserve.

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