It’s a funny thing:  the more that Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his little toy wind-up Finance Minister, Michael Noonan, put the boot into Greece prior to this weekend’s referendum, the smaller in stature the two seemed to get.

And they never looked all that big to me in the first place.

As they threw a few shapes and, following the instructions of their own masters, told the Greeks what they should be doing, they just dwindled and dwindled.  To tell you the truth, it was even more embarrassing to have them on the world stage than it normally is.  I mean, here were our two lecturing the Greeks on Democracy — the Greeks, the irony! – and of course it was the thought of a bit of the auld Democracy breaking out that had them trembling in the first place!

After all, we never got a referendum when it came to a bailout; and Bondholder Noonan wasn’t too happy at the thought that it might suddenly be made crystal clear that we could possibly have managed to do better than the years of pain that were foisted on us.  That would have meant negotiating, though; and although I’m not a great fan of Gerry Adams, he said what we were all thinking recently, during Question Time:

“[Kenny] kowtows to a right-wing ideology and is shamefully uncritical and subservient to Brussels…  It does not suit the Taoiseach to have a government in Greece that proposes alternatives to the austerity politics that have increased inequality in many EU states, including Ireland.

“How would the Taoiseach know [about negotiating]?  They are doing something you never did – namely, trying to negotiate on behalf of the people who gave them a mandate.”

Imagine how the feelings of Kenny, Noonan and the rest of the swine must have swung over the last few days.

On the one hand, by Saturday it looked as if Greek citizens were beginning to fight amongst themselves; and that is something that our lot have tried their damndest to achieve here, with their ruthless enforcement of the Water Charges.

On the other hand, if the people actually did vote NO in any kind of numbers, then these two craven Eurolackeys would have to tone down their words – which is just what has happened.

Kenny’s cough has been well softened until Merkel gets the chance to brief him on what to say.

And as for Noonan, there were no jokes about feta cheese out of his trap this morning.   All he could manage was a mousey little squeak that was a far cry from three days ago:

“Ireland will continue to engage in an effort to reach a successful conclusion to the negotiations.”

Dear God, do the people of Greece not have enough problems without our two beauties going in to help them?

All over the country this evening there will be the usual barstool philosophers shaking their heads and mumbling about the pain that is ahead for the Greeks.  And that’s true.  There is pain ahead.

However, having been bullied, threatened and even had their banks closed due to the unelected Thugs of the Eurocracy, at least the Greeks can say that they have tried to change something.  Those same deep thinkers at the bar counter will always be there to say what should have happened whilst never attempting to change anything themselves.

In the Woods

I thought yesterday of the way in which these fellas just hunch over their pints and accept that nothing can be changed, whilst sneering at those who try.

That’s because I was reading a crime novel set in Dublin —  In the Woods by Tana French.  I’m not going to recommend it, even though I’m enjoying it, because the bad guys don’t get punished.  And some readers don’t like that.

Well, I did mention it was set in Ireland, didn’t I?

Anyway, here is a scene where a detective has to investigate something that may involve his politician uncle and is asked if this might be a problem:

“We all knew what she was asking.  Irish politics are tribal, incestuous, tangled and furtive, incomprehensible even to many of the people involved.  To an outside eye there is basically no difference between the two main parties, which occupy identical self-satisfied positions on the far right of the spectrum, but many people are still passionate about one or the other because of which side their great-grandfathers fought on during the Civil War, or because Daddy does business with the local candidate and says he’s a lovely fella.  “Corruption is taken for granted, even grudgingly admired:  the guerrilla cunning of the colonized is still ingrained into us, and tax evasion and shady deals are seen as forms of the same spirit of rebellion that hid horses and seed from the British.

And a huge amount of the corruption centres on that primal, clichéd Irish passion, land.  Property developers and politicians are traditionally bosom buddies, and just about every major land deal involves brown envelopes and inexplicable re-zoning and complicated transactions through offshore accounts.”

Still, that was written in 2007.  It’s not like that these days; no cronyism, nothing.  Fine Gael threw all that carry-on out as soon as they got into government.

Of course they did.