The latest report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on Ireland is damning.
The economy will shrink by 2.4% next year and the country will suffer from permanently lower living standards. The property bubble, an unbalanced tax system and inadequate banking regulation are the principal causes of the collapse according to the OECD.
Defending its rosy assessment of the Irish economy just 18 months ago the OECD said that on that occasion it had based its findings on statistics provided by the Irish government (Irish Examiner).
And therein lies the central problem facing all outside organisations and governments when dealing with Irish politicians and officials – they will always be lied to.
Lying, dissembling, hypocrisy, misrepresentation and denial are part and parcel of the Irish official mindset; it’s a mindset that has become an integral and fully accepted part of Irish culture.
When outside organisations are dealing with Irish officialdom they invariably assume they are dealing with a typical Western democracy where honesty and accountability are seen as crucially important aspects in running a modern state.
On yesterday’s Lunchtime Eamon Keane picked up on a sentence from the OECD report concerning the setting up of Nama which demonstrates the naivety of outsiders when it comes to dealing with the Irish.
For Nama to fulfill these roles it is essential it has the necessary resources and expertise. That appropriate incentives exist for those working with Nama to achieve its objectives and that its independence from political and industry pressures is ensured.
Even a cursory examination of the Nama project cannot but help conclude that it is being set up under a cloak of secrecy and deception specifically designed to serve political and industry interests.