The last time I checked there was a harp on the front of my passport, not a picture of Michael Fingleton
The other day I met a German radio presenter from ARD, the German public radio station. I've known her for quite a while -- since a brief spell working on the German economy in the 1990s for an investment bank. She, like many other foreign correspondents, has been sent to Ireland to see what is going on here.
After a while, I wondered why she hadn't asked me anything about the Government, or the prospect of an election or what new political constellation might emerge here. She joked and in an exaggerated German accent laughed: "David, it doesn't matter who your next prime minister is, he will have no power -- we own you now, and he will do what we tell him."
The problem is that the joke is on us. She touched on the nub of the issue: the Irish elite is prepared to sell the sovereignty of this country to protect the likes of Roman Abramovich and other vulture investors who bought up third-rate Irish banking debt at a discount and are hoping to get paid in full.