‘Red Bertie’ rescues Aer Lingus

NOW where did I put my “Workers Of The World, Unite” badge? Now that our great leader has embraced socialism, it’s time for us lapsed lefties to line up behind him.

What’s that? You can’t quite believe it?

After ten years of tax breaks for the rich; of the PD tail wagging the dog: after screwing the great unwashed in the Eircom debacle; of millionaires paying zero tax; of buying Farmleigh for cabinet weekends away; of handing the motorways away; of healthcare on the trolly. (I could go on, but you get the picture).

But never mind all that. Did the Lord Jesus not say that t’was better for one sinner to repent than ….

So where’s the beef? Well, no sooner had Bertie veered leftwards than he was getting stuck into the great carcass of modern Ireland’s free market junkies.

You know, it’s not the rich that is the main enemy of socialism – it’s the aspiring rich. In modern times this is the managerial class – let’s call them the MC.

Nobody loves privatisations like the MC. Nobody loves demutualizations like the MC. Management buy outs are the Christmas and birthdays of the MC.

The Sunday newspaper business supplements are the hymnals of the MC, where the heroes of the MC are lionised, the great successes of private business are lauded at every turn and where, above everything else, more pay and more perks for management is justified in every page.

The MC cheers its champions into the boardrooms of the nation, willing even greater rises and bonuses so that, in turn, the fat will run downwards and bloat the middle-management as well.

The managers of the western world are becoming like the crazed sow that in her ravenous greed turns and devours her own litter.

If this sounds like a socialist rant I have to tell you that the capitalists of the world are getting rattled at the MC’s antics as well.

Shareholders (the people who actually own and invest in these companies) are more often left wondering what happened their profits and plummeting share values even as their managers pay and bonuses soar to the heavens.

So in proving his new socialist credentials Red Bertie got stuck into the departing Aer Lingus management right away. He wouldn’t be privatising Aer Lingus to please a few right-wing economists, he said. He talked about savings “intended to enrich a management team concerned with it’s own position rather than the company’s future”.

Crikey! Them’s fighting words!

(It should be pointed out that Red Bertie’s government oversaw the appointment of this management team so that the ‘sow’ analogy could be usefully deployed here as well.)

Nevertheless, I like the new Bertie. There is not one single, repeat, not one single intelligent reason for privatising or selling off any part of Aer Lingus. If it needs new aircraft, it can borrow money, like the rest of us. If it needs skills, it can hire them.

Long live Red Bertie. (‘Til the election’s won anyway).