Last Tuesday I was @ our Xmas Twindig in the Clarion. It was wonderful to meet with our growing community, in some cases for the very first time in a face to face setting. One of the peculiarities for me of the social networking experience is when you meet people for the first time offline. It’s often feels like you already know but you don’t already know this person – It’s a good kind of mind warp.
Needless to say, I did a traditional Irish thing and drank one drink too many. The following day was budget day here in Ireland and as I sat listening to Brian Lenihan’s budget pains – my hangover became a little worse. The predicted 4 billion in savings is to be broadly welcomed – you could probably argue that in fact more was indeed needed. No, what really disappoints me about this budget and this government is their absolute predictability. The “do more with less” concept is a cornerstone of innovative leadership, yet all we are offered is “do less with less”
This complete lack of creativity now infests the establishment within this small country; we may aspire to travel to noble places like “Smart Economy” or “Global Irish”. Yet in the face of adversity or more importantly opportunity we consistently demonstrate “no smarts”.
These are complicated and complex destinations, so perhaps now is the time for us to revert to the Church – because as I see it, all we currently have to get there is prayer.
Let’s take this back to a more obvious opportunity wasted! one which is borne of our absconded Tiger. The public/private debate that raged in the run-up to this budget may have served its purpose in terms of leveraging cuts in public pay. It however is candy-floss when compared to the real issue. The real issue in terms of our public service it not a people or pay issue – It is a system failure. Postponing responsibility for and not fixing this when offered an “in your face opportunity” concludes what?…….Not only is the public system broken, but our ENTIRE system must now be broken.
Blame the Government Niall? NO! The fact is that blaming the government is no good, It has achieved nothing. The blame rests squarely as the feet of the Irish nation. A wiser man than me once said, the thing with being a small island is that you must continually seek to look outward – you must look beyond your shores. He was right! All of our achievements have come from Irish people who looked outward, they had GUTS and they had VISION.
Our tiger tricked us to believing that we no longer needed that perspective. He conned us into thinking that we are the centre of the universe….. “Throw more turf on the fire Bertie, because there is plenty more where that came from”…..Yes, the really unfortunate legacy of the tiger is in his tail….. He has LOWERED our collective expectations, we appear to continue to believe it’s as easy as …. Why are we not now asking different questions? consider different questions lead to different answers, even BETTER answers….. For instance, have we still got the stomach for the fight?…..Do we lack the vision to come up with the plan?
Rant over, hangover already starting to feel better 🙂