If it wasn't bad enough having the IMF turn up like your mother, suggesting you spend a little less on takeaway pizzas and suggesting you ask your Uncle Mickey for a job at the car wash, Ireland are now suffering the indignity of having Westlife trying to perk them up:
In his assessment of the Irish economy, Nicky Byrne is blunt.No wonder the Irish government kept denying they were going to seek a bailout - they were just waiting to deploy Westlife distributing tin-eared platitudes. That'll sort things out:
"Things are very bad," he says.
"But when things are bad you need to dig deep and pull together. We're a good enough nation to do that."
Byrne's bandmate Kian Egan thinks that most people still hold the country in high esteem.It turns out that rather than quantitative easing, Westlife's plan to refloat the Irish economy is to release an extra flow of stereotypes into the system:
"I don't think the image of Ireland is down," he says.
"The people are down, but Ireland is the most beautiful country in the world and the people are some of the friendliest in the world."
"Anyone who has ever been knows it's a fantastic country for a pint of Guinness, a night in the pub, a bit of a laugh. The surf here is amazing, there's so many great things here. Tourism will come back up big again.That's all it's going to take, then - just get the Dáil to agree to increase the craic levels and everything will be fine.
I suppose at least they didn't ask Bono. Although there'd be something quite pleasing about the Dutch using U2's tax funds to bail out the Irish.