“The iron has ent-ered [sic] Brian Lenihan’s soul. On the surface, he is the charming, engaging, gracious Lenihan we know, but there is a new steel in his make-up, a distinct impatience to get things done. One senses that he has a shorter fuse these days with banks, bureaucracy, public sector work-to-rule, and with rich men, bailed out by Nama, who are continuing to live like lords. Lenihan in this mode has all the hallmarks of a man with a fight on his hands — but one who is relishing the fray. I’ll let his words speak for themselves. “
So begins an hilarious piece of journalistic theatre in The Sunday Independent – Fawning and Lenihan complimenting each other in turn as they work through a staged set piece during which Lenihan makes clear he had prior knowledge of what the questions would be. John Bird and John Fortune, move over please: these guys leave you in the ha’penny place when it comes to political parody.
Fanning gives Lenihan ample opportunity to rehash his holed-like-Swiss-cheese economic policies and in the process the latter again reveals himself to be utterly in a thrall to the banks. On the same day that he accuses low paid public sector workers of being bullies for defending themselves against his plans to impoverish them all, he has nothing but understanding deference to and reverence for the biggest chancers and bullies of them all: the Irish banks. Yes, it’s important to get the banks lending again and any day now that might be happening. Yes, it would be desirable if Irish banks would stick to the ECB lending rate but the poor dears have got themselves into a terrible pickle and are finding it hard to secure affordable credit from people who are prepared to trust them. Nothing for it but to let them screw Irish mortgage holders even further into the ground by breaking with the ECB and increasing rates here in Ireland. Unlike public sector workers whose pay he is threatening to dock if they don’t lie down and meekly accept the economic kicking he is planning for them, it would be undesirable for there to be ‘political interference’ with the banks whose excutives and political facilitators can only be paid a king’s ransom to do their jobs or else they will flounce off in a big huff. Besides, he’s got two cardboard cut-out directors on the boards of each bank now so the national interest is secure. The brazeness with which politicians and the media are prepared to insult our intelligence never ceases to surprise and amaze. Link to interview comes with a health warning for those of delicate mental or physical disposition.