It’s a real pity that junior minister at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Brian Hayes’s opinion piece in yesterday’s Evening Herald is not online. In it, he claims that what he calls “Chicken Licken types” and “failure addicts” do “drag people down and undermine our confidence and ability to deal with difficult and complex issues” Brian seems to have a bit of an obsession with “Chicken Licken” and although a Google search won’t return his Evening Herald article yesterday, you can find previous occasions which Brian deployed the fabled chicken to illustrate what he sees as unfounded hysteria.
Now, when referring to “Chicken Licken” and “failure addicts”, you might be thinking that the €130,042-a-year junior minister was indicating opponents in Fianna Fail or Sinn Fein, or perhaps economists like national treasure Dr Constantin Gurdgiev or Michael Taft or even the infernal meeja with its all pervasive negativity, but no, Brian tells us “some of the most prominent Chicken Lickens are on the backbenches of Dail Eireann where their message of doom would make a hell-fire preacher proud”.
So, who could Brian be referring to, at all, at all? The Oireachtas website has a glossary of political terms and says “backbenches (backbenchers) – the backbenches are the seats where TDs or Senators sit if they are not Ministers or spokespersons for their party”.Given that all of the Opposition is on “the front bench”, that is, they are spokespersons for their parties or independents who speak for themselves, Brian can only be referring to those in Labour and Fine Gael. But who?
Of course the finger will inevitably be pointed at Deputy Peter Mathews – pictured above – who has crusaded since 2009 to warn of the cost of the banking crisis, and who, as recently as a month ago was repeating his message that the banks still hold hidden losses and that the cost of the bailout will increase. Deputy Mathews has also been critical of the decision to sell 35% of Bank of Ireland to a group of North American businesses.
For many, junior Minister Hayes is himself a Chicken Licken who has been warning the sky will fall in if there is any default on banking debt. And unfortunately for us, Foxy Loxy in the guise of the ECB has succeeded in luring Chicken Licken to its demise by getting it to convert flimsy and illegal promissory notes into sovereign debt.
You mightn’t be familiar with junior Minister Hayes, so this is a reminder via Japlandic, of the junior minister after he challenged us all to contribute ways in which we might solve the yawning budget deficit.