Some time ago Mata Harney said:
"If unemployment were to rise in Ireland because of the slowdown globally, then we just wouldn’t issue the work permits"Brendan Howlin fired back with a trenchant defence of economic migrants, regardless of petty capitalist considerations:
"Now we see the immigration issue as something that can be turned off when there are economic pressures in the economy. The Tanaiste actually boasts that she can turn off this tap to remove the pressure."Now less than three years later, his Party's leader (sic), petty capitalist Pat Rabbitte is turning his hand to plumbing.
RTE's report: "a new work permit system to control the numbers of people coming to work in Ireland from outside the State may be necessary. Speaking on RTÉ Radio's Morning Ireland, he said such a scheme should be examined in the wake of the Irish Ferries dispute, although he did not say whether or not it should be implemented. Mr Rabbitte said that while the new diversity in the workforce would enrich Irish society, it should be 'sensitively managed'.
Obviously as an immigrant myself I feel Howlin's quite considered Dail speech, quoting as it does Canada's under-resourced but far superior model, has lost its force like so much sensible thinking in Labour with the advent of Pat the Plank. In terms of people who were much better in opposition/backbench than government, PR's up there in the pantheon with Charlie McCreevey.
(hat tip Potatriotique)