Letter in today’s Irish Times…
Madam, – I was interested to see that Brian Lenihan apologised for his role in the catastrophe that has enveloped us (Newstalk interview with George Hook, reported in Home News, April 16th). This is in stark contrast to the attitude of Brian Cowen.
I am enraged, when I see Mr Cowen taking credit for standing firm against citizens in his direct employ, making them take some of our pain, so that we can continue to borrow at the catastrophic levels and cost to meet the liabilities he has engineered in a structural way into our system.
I wonder if any finance director, later CEO, of a private enterprise were in office when it delivered a financial return of (rising) liabilities of €57 billion and (declining) income of €32 billion, would there be any way that he could continue in office? If it merely happened on his watch, would he not feel compelled to resign in shame, before an immediate push achieved the same result?
Of course the degree to which it was Mr Cowen’s fault, either directly, personally or by virtue of his being the leader of a government which delivered the worst performance of any since Nero allowed Rome to burn, is debatable. But it is a ridiculous and dishonourable thing to blame Ireland’s woes on international turmoil, as Mr Cowen has done.
I am therefore furious that I still have to look at him, as he takes credit for our continued ability to borrow vast sums, as if that were his answer to the question he must be privately and should be publicly answering. I am also furious that, in decades to come, as patients still wait on trolleys in our hospital and those who work and pay tax now to correct his mistakes must live on much reduced pensions, he will still have multiple guaranteed and inflation and promotion benchmarked pensions to see him through a comfortable dotage denied the rest of us.
How does Mr Cowen face his people without shame? Why does he not do the honourable thing and resign and waive some of his pensions, which he clearly does not deserve? All I am able to do, to reflect my futile frustration, is affirm that, even when all of this is a distant memory, I will never vote for him or his party again. – Yours, etc,
Blackrock, Co Dublin.