The Economy vs the Environment

24 June, 2009

Leviathan Political Cabaret 19/05/09  http://leviathan.ie/ 

I was a first-time attendee at this regular happening, in the Button Factory in Temple Bar, Dublin, hosted by David McWilliams.  The theme on the night was The Economy vs the Environment.  On the right hand side of the stage, and presumably designed to represent the right politically, were Petrel Resources’  Managing Director David Horgan and Paul Sommerville,  Head of Private Clients, Delta Index.  On the left (in both senses I suppose) were television presenter Duncan Stewart and Eamon Ryan, our Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources.

Duncan Stewart not only tried (and largely succeeded) to hog the discussion and single-handedly    to answer all the questions from the floor, but his contributions showed his general daftness and economic illiteracy.  When one of the panellists suggesed that promoting free trade with Third World countries was an effective way of raising their level of economic development, he professed to be astonished that the very thing that had led to the current economic meltdown was been suggested as an aid to development.  If I couldn’t tell the difference between financial de-regulation and free trade, I think I would be a a bit slower to publicly shout down reasoned arguments from an opponent.

Mr Stewart also showed  his colours (deep pink?) by baldly stating that his main concern about development of wind farms as an energy source was that some people might end up making a profit from it.  I suspect that the Eamon Ryan, one of our smartest and most dedicated ministers, was embarrassed by the overbearing and ill-informed contributions from his “colleague”.

Come on, guys, surely you can do better with your selection of panellists?  On the other hand, I thought the musical satire from Paddy Cullivan and the stand-up comedy from Jarleth Regan were both excellent.

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