Lectures, shirts from Paris

IT must be wonderful to sit on a pension of 140,000 euro and lecture people about tightening their belts.

IT must be wonderful to sit on a pension of 140,000 euro and lecture people about tightening their belts.

This is the kind of smugness that former Fine Gael leader John Bruton is now coming out with and it’s rather similar to one CJ Haughey who also lectured the Irish people about “tightening their belts” while he himself was buying belts, brogues and shirts from Paris at 2,000 euro a shirt.

Most of us are trying to keep the shirts on our backs and shoes on the kids but here we have another politician telling off the President and saying it is “immoral and anti-social” to borrow more to stimulate growth.

Of course it’s not immoral and anti-social for the Americans or the Japanese to do it.

The Japanese economy has been a basket case for the past 20 years. But the markets are not going to turn their backs on Japan because the Japanese can simply print their own money. And so can the Yanks.

But we are now governed by the European Central Bank, who in turn is governed by the Federal German Republic.

The Germans, like Mr Bruton who is chairman of the Irish Financial Services Centre, want austerity to continue, even though European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has said austerity may have “reached its limits”.

There is no maybe about it. It has. The stirkes have already started. Nobody needs a lecture on austerity from someone on 140,000 euro a year.