Pat Rabbitte responded as follows when asked about the disgustingly high salary (About €800,000) paid to the chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank, Mike Aynsley (Newstalk).
Rabbittee: well, you know, you could write a whole book about why it is that bankers regard themselves as the masters of the universe…this bank pretty much brought down the country.
I can’t make any stab at explaining it to the man or woman on the street why it is that people at the top of the financial ladder think that they’re entitled to salaries of that order.
But, (here’s the but) I have to say, you know, you have to attract talent against competition in the market place where top people in banking are still commanding salaries that the man or woman in the street just can’t accept.
Ah, god be with the days when Rabbitte was a socialist, a man who stood with the ordinary man and woman in the street, or at least pretended to.
Nowadays he dismisses them with contempt as he rushes to defend the greedy bankers.
If only he was a minister with some power – oh wait, he is.
Here’s what he thinks of all those angry people struggling to pay their mortgages while the bankers pay themselves lotto type salaries.
Rabbitte: well these tensions are not confined to Ireland…it is a fragile and dangerous situation, there is huge anger out there.
But anger is not a policy. Anger won’t cause this economy to recover and whether we like it or not banks are essential to the recovery.
This idea that anger is not a policy is the stupidest, most patronising, most arrogant response that any politician can make.
Anger IS a policy. Anger, for example, lies at the heart of the justice system. When humans see/experience injustice they get angry and demand retribution, they demand justice.
Anger is the evolutionary trigger that allows/forces humans to respond to harm done to themselves or to others.
When anger is absent or misdirected the corrupt become rich and powerful.
So why do Irish people quietly listen to such patronising bullshit from the likes of politicians like Rabbitte?
I think it’s because Irish people are, for the most part, politically ignorant. They don’t fully understand what real democracy is, they seem to believe that power comes from the top down rather than from the bottom up.
For most Irish citizens democracy is simply a matter of voting for the local gangster in return for a few crumbs from his heavily laden table.
We can only hope that the current crisis will trigger an awakening in the Irish people that will result in the whole rotten system being swept away forever.