I am hardly the only Irish person who shudders at the thought of Taoisigh going to the United States of America for St. Patrick’s Day. The sight of these plastic Paddys with the crystal bowl of shamrocks in their sweaty little palms, wearing the carefully knotted green tie, is embarrassing at the best of times, but Enda Kenny’s (Fine Gael) Darby O’Gill act is particularly toe curling.
The Irish Times, of Saturday March 15th, tells us that during a dinner he, “issued a direct plea to the speaker of the House of Representatives to quickly forge a deal on immigration reform.” Further on, the paper of record tells us that somewhere, presumably between the prawn cocktail and the corned beef and cabbage he departed from his prepared screed to say the following about Irish immigrants. “This is unfair. They want to earn their money. They want to pay their taxes. They want to sing their national anthem and when they sing it they want to sing it in the land of the free and home of the brave which they aren’t at the moment.”
This is his government’s contribution to reducing unemployment at home. They ease the road to emigration. Add to that they make believe job of the Gateway and JobBridge schemes and you have the frankest admission of the future that this government holds out for Irish workers.
Those of us with long memories may recall that during the recession of the 1980’s Brian Lenihan Senior, a Fianna Fail big beast of the day, told us that Ireland was incapable of providing work for it’s people, that there were too many of us. He said this in a country with probably the lowest population density in Europe. So you see Enda’s mounful tune has a long tail.
Further, the present economic upswing is a sickly child that could expire quite suddenly. It is important to Kenny and his eager accomplice Eamonn Gilmore (Labour) to keep the emigration door open. The Gateway and JobBridge schemes fulfil a dual purpose, they act to depress the wages of those already working while reducing the unemployment stats. So, there you have it, it’s all for the best in the best of all possible worlds……….provided your part of the ruling elite.
And a Happy Paddy’s Day to you.