Eamonn Gilmore and Labour in the data free stratosphere – they know the numbers but dare not address the consequential reality.

Writing in the Irish Times on Saturday January 8th 2010, Eamon Gilmore has a point that a New National Agreement is likely to contribute to national recovery. However, the brutal truth is that the effective delegation of national economy management to the Partnership Agreements during the past decade has been an abdication of the duty of government and a bypassing of parliament by the executive. In the context of trying to borrow up to 12%+ of GDP, external lending agencies have a controlling interest in the broad parameters of the national budget. Therefore, while it is legitimate to encourage national social solidarity in the face of this crisis, continuously avoiding the issue of stating where cuts in government expenditure should fall is disingenuous. Will Mr Gilmore try to reverse cuts in public sector pay when in government? No because even if he tried, the bond market would stop him soon enough. He should remember that financial irresponsibility today will burden the lives of our children tomorrow.

Politically this has worked for Labour by getting or allowing the public sector workers especially to believe that Labour will somehow “save them”. That labour will cossett those of us working in the public sector from the harsh realities of the Bond market and from the IMF/ECB. There is simply no possibility of this happening. The figures simply do not add up. It is abundantly clear at the doorstep that Labour is seen in that positive light. It is simple to predict the instant unpopularity of Labour in government if they do not correct this impression prior to polling. I hope Fine Gael force the numeracy issue onto centre stage.