In penning this, it is not part of my function to defend the FG/Labour Coalition government. It can defend itself. However having listened to a few weeks of Joe Duffy on RTE radio it is becoming glaringly obvious that Duffy has a detestation of Enda Kenny and the government. He loses no opportunity to snipe. We have had regular comments about Time magazine and today we had Kenny “kissing” Merkel. He seems to be obsessed with the Kenny appearance on Time magazine. He has mentioned it so often that he is becoming an out and out bore. We have almost daily wailing from Joe on the state of the economy. Every government cut is outlined by Joe as he seeks to plunge a dagger into the heart of the government. No opportunity is lost to spell out what is wrong since the Coalition government came to power. I have yet to hear him spell out in crystal clear terms that Ireland is spending 41 million euro more daily than it is taking in, in taxes. It has a national debt of c €170 billion. It is reliant on IMF/EU funding to plug the deficit. Cuts and tax rises are essential if the deficit is to be bridged. That’s the economic reality. The cuts have a context not outlined by Duffy. It’s a case of doom and gloom from Comrade Duffy. Today he was joined by Eddie Hobbs who further embellished the programme with a litany of all that is wrong.
Big strides are being made by many Irish companies as the economy rebalances from an over dependence on building and construction. Irish exports are up. There is much to be positive about in the country. One would never think so listening to Liveline.
The Comrade is concerned about the tax burden. In his concern for the taxpayer he never mentions the TV license. Interesting is it not? Our Joe is into populism. He seeks to portray himself as a defender of the middle class. He is nothing of the sort. Duffy was the fifth-highest paid presenter in RTÉ in 2008, the last year for which figures are available, earning €408,889. It is believed that he may have taken a 30 per cent reduction would bring his fee back to €286,222. He is grossly overpaid working 6.25 hours per week. No fear that Joe would work for a more realistic salary. Thats only for the little people.
Joe should have the courage of his convictions and put his name before the people at the next general election. Then the electorate could test his folksy populism. He might have to come up with solutions for a change.