Jobs relaunch is water under the bridge

JOBS! Jobs! Jobs!

You can’t move these days without Brian Cowen announcing another major jobs boost. Look! There he is on a barge — water-bourne jobs a go-go — happy days are here again!

It must be so comforting for the half-million people on the dole and the other 100,000 who have had to flee the country to try and experience the dignity of labour to know Mr Cowen spends so much time relaunching his relaunched jobs plan yet again.

Yesterday’s canal-side jobs push by the Taoiseach and Minister for Mass Unemployment Batt O’Keeffe was completely different to all the other launches because, hey, it was by a canal side.

The trouble for the job-pushing duo is that they’ve done this about four times in the past month alone and pretty soon people are going to start asking why we still have record unemployment — remember the launch the other week when they said they’d be creating 1,100 jobs a week? Priceless.

Soon we will all have at least three jobs each just to keep pace with the booming employment market we are endlessly told is just around the corner.

But when not inhabiting fantasy jobs world, the Taoiseach can also be found busy writing notes to his political pen pals.

We may be in the age of Twitter and email, but for our dear Taoiseach, it is forever 1938, and much like Neville Chamberlain returning from Munich boasting peace in our time with the immortal line: “I have in my hand a piece of paper signed by Herr Hitler…” Mr Cowen can wave pointless stationery around as well.

The Taoiseach, who is referred to by his flunkies as “the T” — it’s easy not to confuse him with the A-Team’s Mr T as he is more at home in the B-Team — came out of his sulk after Green leader John Gormley and Brian Lenihan cooked up the consensus codswallop without telling him, and did a U-turn embracing it.

It took “the T” a week to put together his note inviting the other leaders to tea with the T, which is just silly as a tweet would have done the job instantly and in less than 140 characters: “Stitched-up by Gormley/Lenihan behind my back so let’s all pretend we’re doing something, chat, disagree, do nothing. Later, T…”

The Gormley/Lenihan ruse did create consensus in the fact that none of the party leaders want anything to do with it but feel they have to go through the motions.

The tragi-farcical irony is that there was consensus already on cutting the deficit to 3% of GDP by 2014, but all this to-ing and fro-ing makes it look to our masters in the money markets that everyone’s actually at odds.

But not to worry because Eamon Gilmore has an amazing plan to get us out of the slump. In fact it’s so amazing he doesn’t want to tell anyone about it just yet for fear of getting us too excited.

He’s going to keep it secret until after the election as a nice surprise for everyone and so not scare off even one potential voter attracted to his particular brand of fuzzy, people-friendly policy-lite politics.

With Biffo holed below the waterline, ever angry Eamon is banking on the belief that hope floats — but his annoying ambiguity could still sink his chances of being Taoiseach.


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