We’re all part of Brian’s army, back row, left to right: John Gormley, Eoghan Harris, Mark Costigan, Peter Sutherland, Mary Coughlan and Dermot Ahern; Front row: Brian Lenihan, Marc Coleman, Feargal Quinn, Brian Cowen (c) and Diarmuid Gavin

Scientologists have a word for it: it's called 'auditing', the process of removing painful memories from one's past so the budding Scientologist can work towards a clear mind and a future devoid of obstacles.

Now it seems some of the media, pundits, commentators and the political establishment have some words for it too: we need to move on, stop the blame game, put on the green jersey. Because we're all in this together, right? There's another word as well – 'consensus'. Consensus is the new black, and consensus will be sold to us, because, after all, it's for the good of the country, right?

A consensus on a consensus is emerging. Weeks before Green Party leader John Gormley appeared on RTÉ's News at One on Friday to discuss a national cross-party consensus on budgetary measures, the idea that we were apparently now ready to 'move on' was already forming, first in scattered punditry and culminating in a front-page editorial in the Irish Independent last Saturday.

There was even a conference on 'Positivity in the Media' a few weeks ago, which was addressed by businessman Denis O'Brien, Senator Feargal Quinn, journalist Marc Coleman and others.

On 25 September, garden designer Diarmuid Gavin made an emotional appearance on the Late Late Show and presented a 'state of the nation'-type oration saying, "We're in this situation, but you and I have to do something about it. We have to get up off our bums, we have to make a change in our life, because if we don't make a change and we decide it's just blaming we'll never get anywhere," adding, "Ireland will solve its financial problems. We'll take the medicine, and these will be stories that are in the past". He then went on to berate what he called "negative thoughts".

Gavin's outlook seems to be the opinion du jour, with several key figures along with some newspapers agreeing with him that it's time to stop asking questions, stop seeking to apportion blame, and just get on with it.

Gormley says his search for an economic consensus is about "the national interest" and patriotism is at the heart of this new chorus, a chorus that is increasing in volume. On Black Thursday, justice minister Dermot Ahern was interviewed by Matt Cooper on Today FM's The Last Word, and his choice of words, especially when discussing the opinions of former EU Commissioner and chairman of Goldman Sachs Peter Sutherland, were especially interesting.

"I think he is someone of some authority in this area," Ahern said. "He's somebody who always wears the green jersey and looks after Ireland and speaks up for Ireland's interests."

Sutherland has been on a media drive recently berating the "wall of negativity" that he feels on visiting Dublin, commending the government's approach and urging people to be more positive.

"Somebody who I don't often agree with, Vincent Browne, who castigated people recently in one of his articles for saying this country is bankrupt," Ahern said on The Last Word. "We are not bankrupt. Per head of population we still have way above the average income per head of capita than in Europe."

Apart from a call to patriotic arms, Ahern's main problem seemed to be with how Ireland is perceived by the international community, and the impact that has on confidence in our ability to rebuild the economy. Indeed, the international media has had a field day with Ireland recently, from cracking jokes about Brian Cowen on Jay Leno, to articles about Bertie Ahern hiding in a cupboard for a television ad in the Wall Street Journal. Who wouldn't want to hurry along and forget those two incidents alone?

Eventually, the Irish Independent pinned its colours to the mast in its unprecedented front-page editorial last Saturday: "It is time we toned down the strident and seemingly endless public squabbling about the roots of our economic problems. It is time the people of Ireland made a collective decision to stop beating our breasts and move forward together."

Newspaper commentators are a curmudgeonly lot. The usual reaction in commentary is to rail against the status quo, but sometimes, as has happened in Ireland, opposition thought actually becomes the status quo; the national consensus becomes one of opposition, which is obviously horrific news for the government. What to do then but rally people against that consensus?

There are parallels between what is happening here and how British prime minister David Cameron is handling the UK's situation. In a keynote speech to the Conservative conference on Wednesday, Cameron rehashed the 'Big Society' idea, even trotting out Lord Kitchener's famous "your country needs you" line. Cameron said Labour was now the status quo and spoke of his coalition government in a new light: "We are the radicals now, breaking apart the old system." He also spoke of "pulling together" saying, "your country needs you. When we say 'we're all in this together' that is not a cry for help but a call to arms."

Perhaps the difference is that Irish people are still looking for answers: what happened, what's happening, what's going to happen. It will be harder to sell us a consensus, and for everyone to start singing from the same hymn sheet, when most people aren't sure what exactly they're pulling together for.

In the Seanad, Eoghan Harris called Fine Gael's reluctance to engage in cross-party cooperation "absolutely pathetic". Elsewhere, positivity is being pushed and naysayers are being attacked. Merrionstreet.ie, the new 'Irish Government News Service' seems to portray an Ireland in a parallel universe, where Brian Cowen is comfortably interviewed without any curveballs by government spokesman Mark Costigan, and where most of the news is good news, at odds with how the public is feeling.

Worst-case scenario after worst-case scenario is being presented to the public: Nama is the only game in town and if we don't sign up to it, we're in big trouble; we have to guarantee the banks or else we're in big trouble; we have to keep Anglo Irish Bank afloat or else we're in big trouble; we have to make monumental cuts and this budget has to be severe or else we're in big trouble. And now, we have to apparently have a consensus or else... Move along now.