The chief warden at the State’s watchdog compound was not happy to hear the news, so he rang Tanaiste Joan Burton to vent his anger.
Tanaiste; is it true, is the Government giving birth to yet another watchdog?
Now, now chief, calm down. It’s only a temporary measure; as soon as the election is over we’ll have the new arrival put to sleep.
But Tanaiste, we’re already overrun with watchdogs, they’re everywhere and, as you well know, none of them actually watch anything.
Yes, I’m aware of that chief but they do give the impression that there’s regulation and, as you well know, that’s all that matters to politicians.
What about the biggest, most expensive watchdog of them all, the Financial Regulator? Surely it’s his job to watch the banks, surely you should set him on the banks to make sure they treat those in mortgage difficulties with fairness?
Ah bless your innocence chief. This has nothing to do with fairness for ordinary people in trouble with their mortgages. No, this is about protecting the banks, to give them every opportunity to extract every last penny from the peasants.
But…but…Michael Noonan was here just the other day talking to the watchdog about the mortgage crisis and I heard the Taoiseach call on the banks to be nice to those people desperately looking for help.
Now chief, I’m beginning to lose patience with your naivety. My colleagues Michael and Enda weren’t actually demanding action, perish the thought. No, like myself, they were giving the impression of action, a completely different breed of animal, so to speak.
What about the cost Tanaiste? Every watchdog in this compound costs a fortune to maintain, a board, expenses, bonuses, the lot.
As I’ve already said chief, when the election is over we’ll quietly put this watchdog to sleep and continue with our policy of protecting the interests of the banks.
By the way chief, are you calling me on a smart phone?
Tell me, where did you get the money for such an expensive item…?