The IMF sent their best twelve: Myths, Metaphors & Irish (Debt) Redemption

The metaphor is not yet sovereign.

In a strange twist of globalisation, I listened to RTE Radio 1, driving through Oxfordshire when the announcement about the IMF came. The digital radio cut in and out, pausing and catching itself as it slipped from the 3G Network. As we passed a large born-again Christian sign reading 'Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins,' the radio cut back in to news that the IMF had sent twelve of their best men to discipline Ireland, to bring the good news.

"Going forward"

Many commentators proudly presented modern, confident, prosperous, liberal Celtic Tiger Ireland as having left the dogma of faith and belief in the past. It might be more accurate to say that some dogmas were traded in for others. For in a country where government seems to be incapable or unwilling to shift from the orthodoxies that have caused such damage, tacking the phrase 'going forward' to a sentence is really a kind of prayer.

Smashing Open the National Character Reserve Fund

"Time and again you have proved you can overcome adversity. And this time you do not face the challenges alone. Europe stands by you" – Olli Rehn, 9 November 2010.

Mr Ajai Chopra (pictured), IMF Mission Chief to Ireland, left the country the other day with a parting flourish. RTE's David Murphy asked him if Irish people ought to be fearful of the IMF. Chopra responded that the IMF's role is like that of a firefighter when a house is on fire or a doctor when a patient is sick.

As the Story is Told: There is No Alternative

If there is one phrase that could be used to describe the strategy used by the Fianna Fail/Green Party coalition government since this crisis began it is that there is no alternative to what they are doing. It's an opinion shared by the vast majority of the Irish media when it comes to resolving our fiscal crisis. Slashing government spending is the only way to resolve the crisis – austerity is a fact of life, and the sooner we accept that harsh truth, the better, or so the argument goes.

"The country is broke"

Everybody knows that Ireland is broke. So many important people have told us this so many times that it simply must be true. The story is so familiar at this stage that it almost writes itself. The good times are over and we will have to stop living beyond our means. Even the risk takers and thrill seekers who made the desert bloom in the first place are on their uppers. We will all have to tighten our belts. But at least we're all in this together...By Colin Coulter


“The IMF bailout will save us”

Brian Lenihan and those members of the government that now defend the bank bailout are insisting that the funds from the IMF are like an overdraft. They will only be drawn upon should they be needed. These funds have been described by him as the“firepower that stands behind the banking system”, to protect us against the worst effects of the markets.


"Now is not the time for the equality agenda”

The European Commission has told Europe’s governments to see gender equality policies as a long term investment not a short term cost. Seeing equality as a luxury, which can wait, and not as an essential component of recovery has profound consequences. But a more equal society is a fairer society, one in which people can have decent housing, good working conditions and participate with others in the cultural and social life of Ireland.