Communicating in a time of crisis

Right now we do not know for sure whether Ireland will require EU or IMF support to secure financial stability. In fact, we don’t know whether there have, or have not, been discussions between the Irish government and EU officials or other member states about this. We don’t know what exactly the implications of a ‘bail-out’ would be were one to take place. We don’t know what impact any of this might have on the previously announced targets for cutting the public finance deficit. In short, we the people are pretty much in the dark about everything.

When there is a crisis, communication is almost as important as taking the right substantive steps. The key ingredient that will create confidence and a positive outlook, both at home and abroad, is a popular understanding of the position and of what must now be done. The Irish government may well be taking all the right steps, but it is not sharing its thinking with the people, and this is creating uncertainty and a loss of confidence. I confess that I cannot understand why the Taoiseach has not been on television explaining the position and the actions that will be taken to lift us out of financial crisis; indeed I don’t know why he has not been doing this on a regular basis. An ad hoc interview on a news programme, though probably better than nothing, is not a substitute.

An increasing number of commentators have been calling for a change of government. For myself, I doubt that would make much difference to our chances of recovery, and it would seem to me that political continuity right now has benefits. But there needs to be leadership, and this must include proper and visionary communication. This has been completely missing, and I suspect that our current difficulties have been aggravated by that. It is high time, perhaps beyond time, that this is corrected.

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7 Comments on “Communicating in a time of crisis”

  1. Jason Michael McCann Says:

    “Political continuity right now has benefits.” This is true insofar as we all understand that it is the political elite who shall be the only beneficiaries of such continuity. As Fintan O’Toole has pointed out in the Irish Times and the Guardian this week, the political system in the Irish Republic has a tenuous relationship to Republicanism. In terms of social standing this present government is far from representative of the people of Ireland; the extent of political nepotism beggars belief. No, fundamental political reform is required. A change of government is as useful as an ashtray on a motor cycle.

    • Vincent Says:

      Well it depends on the republicanism. Look up helots.

      • Jason Michael McCann Says:

        Vincent, of course it depends on the Republicanism. The problem with the state of affairs in the ‘Oirish’ Republic is that it resembles no form of republicanism.

        • Vincent Says:

          Look at the American form. Who would have thought that they would be embracing the Catholic Church and all other manifestations of fundamental christian.
          Republicanism today have a history of militarism at some point in their past. They tend to be made up of the non-commissioned officer level or their descendants and where almost always there is a general/prince figure lionised.
          But what they need more that anything is the Helot whom they hate and fear.
          And that’s it, there is nothing more. Here in Ireland though, we have a Labour party that is so stupid and all up in their own intestine that they cannot tap into the disaffected. Moreover they lose seats that were so staunch Labour like Kerry and South Tipp that you’d have to wonder if they had been infiltrated. But by WHAT, lordy knows.

  2. anna notaro Says:

    Ireland’s European affairs minister Dick Roche was on the BBC this morning
    Interestingly some British newspapers have reported that Ireland’s decision not to go for a bail-out now is due to the fact ‘that Ireland’s sovereignity was difficult to achieve so they are not going to relinquish it so easily!’ I wonder whether this view is shared by the ordinary Irish citizen…

  3. copernicus Says:

    The economists view is the Irish govt fears that its independence will be afftected by going public, but Irish situation is know around the Western world and in Europe. Remaining in Euro Zone does not give sovereignity. I cannot why the Irish PM cannot take people into confidence.

    News papers like Guardian have commentators recommending Ireland leaving the Euro Zone, so that its gets back its real sovereignity by reverting to the Punt. Indeed, many economists say, some in Germany too who I know that Germany should leave the Euro Zone and gets back its mighty Mark, which means Euro unravels and thiscurrency was not workable in the first place.

  4. Jason Michael McCann Says:

    Whatever comes of this, and I doubt that it will be the worst case, it is clear that the situation is critical; truth be told – and I hope my future employers read this – I couldn’t care less. What I do care about is that the most vulnerable people in Ireland have been made to suffer for the folly of others, and more austerity will equate only to more suffering. “Do not harm the oil and the wine.”

    Ireland left the control of a liberal democracy and into the fire of an Italian absolute monarchy, and more recently into an aristocracy. “Republicanism” certainly means whatever the republic wants it to mean, however, whatever form the Irish republic takes must be one which is committed to the protection of the weakest member of our society. Any appeal to helots, implies that the lower income families of Ireland are slaves. We-they are not. Freedom has been dearly won, and every “citizen (hellene)” has paid the price of this liberty.

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