Th government of one of Europe's most settled democracies dances to the tune of the country's largest meat market. He is givben huge amounts of export credit so that he can trade with the worst dictatorship in the world. Everyone tells the politicians that this is a crazy risk, but the ministers persist. The deal will bring jobs, development, prestige. The cattleman can't be denied. But not even the beef being shipped to Iraq is what it seems to be...This is Fintan O'Toole's brilliantly readable reconstruction of the biggest scandal in Irish political history. The cattle industry has always been at the edge of Irish politics, the values of the ranch an embarrassment to those who would have preferred to keep people, not cattle, on the land. This compulsive book is about the victory of the ranch over democracy and accountability. It is also a unique insight into the way power works in Ireland.