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Recovering sovereignty? If only… January 25, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.
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Yesterday, or was it the day before, was the second anniversary of the departure of the Green Party from the FF led coalition in 2011. How time flies.

Meanwhile, Vincent Browne asks a crucial question or two this last weekend when in his SBP column he considers the rhetoric of economic sovereignty swirling about the issue of leaving the ‘rescue programme’.

They [the Government] talk about recovering Ireland’s sovereignty and being released from the dictates of the troika. But there is nothing the troika insists on that they wouldn’t do in the absence of the troika.

And that is a central fact. This Government far from being forced unwillingly into following the diktat of the troika has with in some instances unseemly enthusiasm embraced those diktats – another aspect of this being that those diktats are somehow in and of themselves ‘necessary’ to implement in order to ‘reform’ our situation. And he notes that:

More tellingly, via the aegis of the fiscal treaty, which they insisted we approve, and via the new banking union, which they will insist we approve, plus the rigours of the single currency constraints generally, they are ensuring a never-ending abrogation of sovereignty – permanent supervision by Brussels of our budgetary, fiscal, economic and competition strategies.

But it is this which I think gets to the heart of the issue:

In any event, why would we want to leave the rescue programme, since it will make no difference at all to the austerity policies – no recovery of independent decision-making of any consequence – while almost certainly requiring us to pay a higher interest rate for state borrowings?

In other words, the stuff about recovering Irish sovereignty is baloney.

And it is this which shows up just how cosmetic this talk about exiting the programme actually is. When we exit we – as individual citizens, and from our individual perspectives – will be in precisely the same situation as before. There will be no material change at ground level – and again this is assuming we exit. I think this, and I’ve mentioned it before and again this week, is an huge error on the part of both Labour and Fine Gael – the idea that somehow in the absence of those material improvements on the ground amongst the electorate, that the abstractions of the deficit and the programme will somehow get them support.

It’s also a problem in so far as it appears that they believe they can somehow take credit for exiting the programme when in truth it is because they have aligned with those diktats that they will ultimately be able to or not – which is to say that they had no choice in the matter and that the troika has limited to a remarkable degree the room for alternatives, or rather that this government and all likely alternatives were never going to be courageous enough to choose an alternative.

And Browne points to this too:

All of them tell us about the recovery of Ireland’s reputation internationally and imply they are responsible. The only contribution they have made to the recovery of Ireland’s international reputation has been because of their compliance with the troika’s demands, their abandonment of their solemn election promise to seek burden-sharing on the bank debt and to forget the blather about “Labour’s way or Frankfurt’s way”.

Well worth considering as claim and counter claim is made in the next few months.

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Comments»

1. Richard - January 25, 2013

I wrote this piece on the idea of ‘recovering sovereignty’ a while back http://criticallegalthinking.com/2012/04/20/notes-on-the-loss-of-sovereignty/

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revolutionaryprogramme - January 25, 2013

Good piece

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WorldbyStorm - January 25, 2013

+1

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Dr.Nightdub - January 25, 2013

The second-last paragraph is particularly powerful.

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2. CL - January 25, 2013

Connolly did say something about the futility of hoisting the green flag without breaking the connection with capital.

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