By Tir Na Saor
This writer did some shopping around for facts and figures on Iceland’s economy – loud and smug are the warnings, after all, from social media Statists that if anyone other than the core parties got into power, economic apocalypse would surely follow.
Well Iceland as most readers probably already know is a country who took one of the most daring and drastic actions imaginable in response to their economic crisis – they dissolved their entire government, rewrote their constitution and jailed their bankers when faced with the question of having to pay back bad debts to the banks. You know; they actually allowed democracy to take its place. In doing all this they also had the chance to bail-out homeowners who were in debt, too.
Well having taken these actions, and then having mysteriously faded from the mainstream media’s radar, Fine Gael and Labour apologists could rightly be forgiven for thinking economic Armageddon inevitably followed. After all, if it’s not on RTÉ, it never happened, right?
Wrong. Iceland’s unemployment rate is brushing up against 2% going into 2015; it is cheaper to rent property in Iceland on average than it is to rent property here in the Republic, and while their consumer price index generally puts them as being a more expensive country than Ireland, the difference in rating is a pretty laughable 9%. Given that Iceland has one of the highest qualities of life on the planet, and the people’s money is NOT being stolen through household and water charges, etc., to pay back bankers (who, it must be repeated, are languishing in Icelandic jails), therefore meaning that Icelanders have more money in their pockets on average than an Irish household, a mediocre 9% shift in CPI hardly seems to this writer as qualifying “economic apocalypse.”
But you be the judge. Should we fear political alternatives to Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil if all of the above is the harvest we shall reap for that most egregious of sins; to believe that the government is WRONG? If you believe that you could withstand such an apocalypse in Ireland as 2% unemployment and cheaper rents and a dissolution of Irish Water and abandoning of the Household Charge, then spread so all family and friends can know the truth.
2015 will be the year that party politics in the Republic died screaming, and democracy took its place as the rule of this land as was intended one hundred years ago.