May 20, 2009

Hung out to dry, but the Jugglers must survive

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Two years ago, in the book and accompanying TV series ‘The Generation Game’ I suggested that the imminent recession would be severe and would affect the generations differently.

The most exposed generation, who were termed the “Juggling Generation”, were the young workers who had just been cajoled onto the property ladder and who were largely living in commuter towns outside our major cities and urban areas. These were the people who would lose their jobs, sink under debts and be mired in negative equity.

The Irish “Baby Belt”, that huge swathe of the country where the population exploded in the boom, would slump from the vibrancy of young families and the positive dynamic of expectations of a better life to dejection and anger as the dream evaporated.

At the time, this dystopia was regarded as extreme. Many commentators dismissed these predictions as the work of an idiosyncratic crank making outlandish pronouncements in order to sell books.

Well now it is happening as forecast and the implications for politics and the nature of our society are enormous.

Things do fall apart and sometimes we need to “think the unthinkable”. A familiarity with the rudiments of economics might help too.

If a generation with young families is abandoned in the suburbs with no jobs and negative equity, they face three choices. First, they can emigrate if they can face the upheaval and find a place that might accept them. Second, they can stay here and snarl on the dole, possibly waiting for a political messiah to deliver them out of this darkness.

Third, they can rely on themselves, take things by the scruff of the neck and try to work their way out.

Over the coming years, I hope that they will do the latter.

There are many reasons to be optimistic but it will take time to (a) get over the shock and (b) figure out what to do next.

As you read this, all over the country there are people in desperation who don’t know what to do next or where to turn. As unemployment rises, these private kitchen crises will become more widespread.

The ramifications in terms of family breakdown, psychological problems and social chaos are self-evident. Last weekend, I listened to a GP from one such town, Gorey in Wexford, which has seen its population rocket since 2000.

He explained that the recession was not prompting a surge in attendance of the poor and the old, who are the “normal” visitors to his clinic.

He spoke of young fathers in their 30s, men who had never been to a doctor before, arriving into the clinic depressed, anxious and in need of counselling. They simply can’t cope.

In order to see what’s happening and where, let’s take a drive out from the centre of any of our cities with their cafes, shops, bars, immigrants, students, young workers and foreigners who live in the thousands of apartments built over the past 10 years.

There are still some old inner city residents, but the big demographic change has been the influx of young people, born in the suburbs, back into town swapping the box room in Mammy’s for the box room in town. They are mainly renting, young and single. The recession is biting here but in different ways.

Let’s continue out past the inner suburbs, the original 1940s and 1950s council estates. These houses are built to last and these areas have seen a huge surge in wealth and stability since the 1980s. Gone are the Hiace vans on blocks in gardens, Hallowe’en bonfires and chippers; these have been replaced by black SUVs, holiday homes in Alicante, steady incomes and careers.

If we drive on to the older professional suburbs, we see nothing but red-brick solidity. These people, the ultimate insiders in the Irish parlour game, have done very well indeed. You can see it in their bodies. They weigh less than they did at the start of the boom. Some are over-extended in two-bit syndicates that old college mates in red cords duped them into. As a result, there will be spectacular crashes, which will dominate their dinner party gossip, but ultimately they’ll be ok. They always are. At worst they will become poor versions of the European middle class.

Let’s keeping driving over the ring road, past the toll bridges and the Giraffe Early Learning Centre and creche, past the Woodies DIY, Borders and the chrome and glass VW sales garage. Keep to the left beyond the TK Maxx, Curries and Tescos, the Indian takeaway and the Costa coffee shop. Keep going, you’re nearly here.

Take a right. Into the new estate — yes that’s the one, Knightsbridge Wood. You are in the home of the Jugglers. Here is the carnage. These houses, built in 2003, are all in negative equity. Unemployment is rising rapidly. Unemployment has tripled in counties Kildare, Meath and Laois since ‘The Generation Game’ was published. This is where we are going to see the greatest social problems in the coming years and expect to see the same pattern in the areas surrounding Cork, Galway and Limerick.

(If you want to see the hard numbers underlying this article check ronanlyons.wordpress.com or visit www.irisheconomy.ie)

At the moment this is a creeping geographical phenomenon but it will soon become the single biggest issue in Irish politics.

The Jugglers are Ireland’s outsiders — yet they are our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters, our cousins, nieces, and nephews. They have been hung out to dry and as the most potentially productive generation in the country, if they don’t recover, we won’t recover.


    • D_Ster

      What are the chances of a new political party being formed in Ireland now in preparation for the inevitable general election. As I look at all the different parties in Ireland I am struck by both the paucity of ideas and the lack of any real conviction. Does anybody think that a new and alternative political movement would be able to gain any traction?
      I’m speaking of a political movement more closely aligned to the needs and requirements of the jugglers?
      Any ideas?

  1. Politicise.

    We have a government for the middle aged, by the middle aged. The old paradigm of politics born from two groups trying to screw each other over just after another country got fed up of screwing everyone, is dragging us all down and miring us in old models and patterns.

    The jugglers need to determine what is in their collective interest and form their own political models. Won’t happen tomorrow, but if it starts now there is at least a possibility of getting something done.

  2. Inflammable –
    ‘This’ is the surrogate of the economic Matrix we have before our eyes ………’is this a dagger before me , the handle towards my hand, come let me clutch thee …..’ etc ( Macbeth )

    We can see Murder while we sleep .

  3. Where do the developers and the builders of all these kitsch housing estates get these daft names from……..” Knightsbridge Wood”. For the love of god, can’t they at least give the people who are going to live in these places a bit of dignity, and sense of place. This sort of nonsense, along with the building boom itself is all the more reason to look forward to Fianna Fail been trampled when a general election is called next month. They done nothing to contribute to the economy- it was just a property bubble holding up the Irish economy for the last ten years.

  4. Hi David,

    I think it is no longer useful to describe the economic hardship and pain of Irish society. We need explanations and real public debate to find common approaches to spur economic reform. Recessions and booms are not natural rhythms of economic activity, they are symptoms of specific strengths and weaknesses of the structure of the economy. Let’s remember, the economy is a product of the broader values and commitment of society to work, productivity and innovation. In reality, we have lost this perspective. As a result, politics and economics is in a state of paralysis where the economy is constantly discussed as though society or the state is unable to do anything to speed economic recovery. We need to move beyond the phony war between optimists and doommongers, and start a debate about what kind of economy we want to work towards.
    anemeconomy

    • roc

      Wrong. Recessions and booms absolutely are natural rhythms of economic activity. At least since the time of Clement Juglar (19th century) when he pointed out that “La cause unique de la depression c’est la prosperite”, economists have analysed and discussed the phenomena. The list of serious economists who have devoted their lives to studying this phenomenon is as long as your arm. In fact, also, the phenomenon of ‘failure to recognise cycles as inherent in capitalism’ has been studied and analysed in depth.

      Anyway, my main gripe with your post is that I do not understand how people like you advocate ‘an optimistic looking forward’ to solve problems. Sure, an eye to the future to ascertain what kind of future it may be desirable to create is important (though this is not what you’re talking about either). But the FACT is that everything we need to learn, every lesson – indications of problematic areas that need to be fixed, considerations that need to be weighed up, what groups are more responsible for current pain and thus should bear the brunt of the necessary resolving pain, how proposed solution components are likely to work out etc etc, will be found in our past.

      We are not at our best as headless chickens acting in the world without thought. We are at our best when we change or modify our behaviour based on an intelligent, co-operative examination of past behaviours, and develop new behaviours based on such considered investigation.

      Our recent ‘boom’ past is rich with valuable lessons. It would be the utmost foolishness to ignore them for a multitude of reasons on a number of different levels. Sure, it is difficult for many to dig into this past since very uncomfortable truths about pathological psychological states, and immoral, unethical, and unintelligent behaviours are likely to emerge that strongly apply to themselves. But, ‘covering up’ such truths mean that they such behaviours are likely to continue and remain in the economic and social fabric going into the future.

      However, the fact is that these pathologies are extremely destructive and cannot continue to underlie our economic and social life going into the future. I’m not talking about a witch hunt either. Just that as a nation we need to face up to ourselves and our humanity. This is a hugely difficult challenge. But I suppose that a first step towards it, would be to show people similar in your mindset, that this is something we urgently need to do.

      You know, if we’d even superficially looked with some honesty to the past, we’d have recognised and incorporated in our economic planning the fact that cycles are inherent in capitalism.

      The fact that we didn’t, indicates a serious system failure in this circuit.

      • wills

        wrong: Recessions and booms are an unnatural rhythm that accurately reflects a perverted system that fronts itself as the free market but is in the real world a rigged economic system for the purpose of sharecropping labour on profit for profit sake using a debt – slave monetary model.

        Our ‘recent Boom’ past is false. It was not a boom. It was a bubble. BIG DIFFERENCE> a boom favours all, a bubble favours private interests oppurtunity costing the furture.

        The markets function is not to purge out pathological illnesses. This is an excuse to justify to oneself ones actions in participating in samsh and grab.

        ‘Cycles’ are inherent in a system which is wired and rigged.

        PROPAGANDA PIECE.

        • roc

          It’s hard to know where to start with your wrong assertion (if I can even call it an assertion since it is not backed up by anything).

          Here are some facts; (a) all the essential facts and ideas about business cycle analysis had emerged by 1914. (b) A huge amount of statistical and historical material, and many new statistical and theoretical techniques had expanded the subject into a recognised branch of economics by the middle of the twentieth century.

          Since then, the more important works describing the phenomenon might include, Joseph Schumpeter’s epic ‘Business Cycles’, Wesley C. Mitchell’s ‘Business Cycles’, and the majority of the work of Arthur Spiethoff…

          For a more comprehensive list, you could refer to Professor HM Somer’s ‘Classified bibliography of articles on business cycle theory’, appended to the volume of ‘Readings in business cycle theory’.

          Essentially, a boom is a bubble. It is built on credit and perpetuates itself. Inviolable facts of human psychology underlie them. To understand more about this, investigate the above.

          What you are trying to express above is how capitalism inherently exploits peoples’ labour. Do not mix up the two phenomena. The slight relation between them does not yield any valuable insights to either phenomenon.

          • wills

            Roc. With respect, we differ on what a bubble is empirically, and that’s ok.

            A boom is an abundance episode and it’s wealth effect efficiently allocates through to the net benefit of all.

            Roc: Capitalism does not exploit peoples labour. People exploit peoples behaviour.

            MArx by the by actually contended the owners of the means of production exploited the proleteriats behaviour. The ‘owners’ exploited using the ‘means of production’.

            Also, credit in of itself is in fact nothing more than a process of making purchasing power available which in of itself is good. Problem is the interest / usury tacked on and this is also the genesis of your bubble.

          • roc

            No, we differ on what a boom is. I’m saying that the main factor of it is the expansion of credit. If the providers of credit waited until they got their previous loans back before they lent out more, there would not be any boom. To keep the boom going therefore, you need to keep on building up debt. So normally, little recessionary periods are necessary to clear the debt – liquidate business that are unable to generate enough cash in difficult times, call in loans, clear out the deadwood and start again. It has been termed ‘creative destruction’.

            Now, when this natural cycle is ignored (to protect favoured business, win votes etc), that is when you get big trouble. That is what has happened now. Huge levels of debt have been built up. And the elites want to borrow more to try and keep things going!

            We need to start liquidating and calling in and writing off debt so that we can start again. We can’t get any ‘green shoots’ until the old growth has been cleared away. It’s very obvious how trying to keep this dead and decayed growth going with artificial stimulus (chemical treatment) is going to end up.

            As for exploitation of labour and profiteering, I hate that of course – and have seen lots of evidence of it in the boom. I could rail against it for hours but that’s a different discussion as I said.

            Finally, while Marx bequeathed us with some valuable insights that have informed the work of real economic scientists, his original work is littered with errors and should be treated cautiously. Really, it should only be read by someone with adequate grounding in the sciences for fear of engendering wrong-headed ideas with destructive potential.

          • wills

            Roc: Boom = abundance
            Bubble = overextended credit

          • roc

            And… I can assure you that exploitation of labour and profiteering by the unscrupulous and pathological will continue just as much in the bust as it did during the boom. Just look around you for the new scams gaining footing.

          • wills

            Yep,. i find though the exploiters are less pathological and more cunning.

      • fordprefect

        roc,

        It is obvious you are an intellectual powerhouse and I am sure that your knowledge that was bequeathed onto yourself goes down a treat with your cricket playing buddies in the Trinners bar or the golf club.

        The slight fly in your ointment that may peeve you is that Ireland is screwed. Boom, bubble, ponzi scheme, whatever. Its a lesser spotted owl, no its a tawny owl. Who cares. We are goosed.

        Pontificating (today of all days) is a waste of time. Its like cribbing over the colour of the deckchairs on the Titanic. Fact is this ship is sinking.

        Its all moot to me. I never thought I would find myself queueing in a foreign embassy but this week I did.

        roc (and wills), split hairs all you want, argue that the Sun goes around the Earth, or that Let it Be was the last Beatles album or that water goes down the plughole differently in Australia. The people you are talking at will either be gone or be so scalded and scared they won’t care

  5. MarkC

    That was a very powerful and well-written article, but I have to say, I don’t like the constant labelling of people. Do people who fit the ‘juggler’ definition exist? – of course. But each ‘juggler’ is an individual with widely differing personal circumstances. I would guess that these people are qualified, mostly still employed, and won’t lose their jobs. The recession is just going to be an unhappy waiting game for them in their semi-d in one of these estates. And lets not forget, that many ‘jugglers’ have mummies and daddies who will be dying off and passing on wealth over the coming years.

  6. gadfly55

    How much money do these jugglers owe, not just the banks, credit unions, credit card, loan agencies, family? The underlying problem as Krugman has just said is debt, and there is no way out of this unless globalisation is stopped, and regions become more self-reliant and carbon neutral. The political classes are not capable of leadership, and the media is collapsing from falls in advertising and the changes in information access on-line rather than print. The consequence is political instability as the poor and middle class are squeezed relentlessly and the elite gather greater amounts into private equity and off-shore tax havens. The G20 indicated the strategy necessary in London, but the implementation is fuzzy, and eventually will be ineffective at preventing further concentrations of immense amount of capital into the control of a very, very small group effectively controlling the economy of the planet. Only political action can prevent this, and as we can see here, all politics is considered local, when in fact, it is global, but this is exactly the way we are fobbed off into distractions about our own immediate problems, rather than acting on the larger issues.

  7. With this Matrix at my back I am asking myself the question ‘do I want my nation to be relegated to a county council borrough with no statesman that I can call to be Irish in europe ‘ or do I want my country to emulate Norway and remain independent politically at least?
    My jugular decision must be made on Polling Date June 2009.

  8. G

    A depressing but chillingly accurate article.

    I think the human side to this ‘crisis’, the impact it has on the different classes is very useful and is often not mentioned in the mainstream press. Those in the solidly built, red brick, leafy subarbs will be fine, it is the youth who are taking a massive hit, I had the same chat with my GP, he said the numbers seeking medication for stress has gone through the roof, I pray something gives, something has to happen. An experienced school teacher friend of mine in his 60s said he sees the Irish falling into a depressive state, a mindset of resignation, that is very dangerous, we need people to rise up, become proactive, take back our society.

    I agree that we should be focusing on solutions, negativity just leads to more of the same.

    However, I do remember in 2006 elections that the commuter belt especially around Dublin, voted their FF candidates back in (?)……I felt very let down at the time, FF got away with it yet again….’don’t change a horse midstream’ I think was the political mantra they swallowed.

    Look its very simple, the vast majority of people (myself included) got completely screwed over by a small minority of bankers, business people and politicians – it isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last – it’s in their greedy, alpha nature to do so (not condoning it for a second). That is why we need as much regulation as possible for all these people, I personally think they should be locked up or committed, just look at the House of Commons, Brown said yesterday that MPs couldn’t be trusted to self-regulate their finances (the most petty of things) – these are supposedly the ‘lawmakers’ of the land – politics and capitalism is in crisis, I hope it leads to something better for the average Joe, but again I ain’t holding my breath, I’m checking flights out of here.

    But where I work I see already the next generation of ‘suits’ coming out of the university system, they are colder than the previous generation because they grew up with nannies, broken marriages and unrealistic financial expectations. They certainly aren’t the Pope’s Generation more like Generation X.

    They don’t engage, no pleasentries, no thanks for my efforts to advise on employment opportunities. In the year I dealt with a class of 35 students, I got one email from a student to say thanks for bringing a job opportunity to their attention, and she was German!!

    I thought to myself we are completely f**ked if these people get into positions of power.

    A dangerous vaccum exists in Irish politics, which in time an even more dangerous strong man could fill, that too has happened on more than one occasion in human history.

    On a more immediate and basic level, we need a general election so the people can speak and democracy can once again assert itself over arrogance and folly……..but we are approaching a bust flush in terms of Ireland as a functioning society and economy – I see trouble on the ground and the signs for the future are not encouraging.

    • wills

      An article that reads like a script for a zombie movie.

      Ireland is facing it’s rot.

      The sewers stink in every town, overloaded with sh1TE AND p1ss.

      Ireland now is a willy wonka factory minus charlie.

      Only the greedy fat dumb and happy are in charge.

      Now whaddawedo David. We FIGHT back and put charlie back in the choclate factory to exemplify exemplify exemplify.

      The culture of non self reliance must be eradicated.

      The technological gadgets are the new plough and steam engine.

      Time to put them to their rightful tool function and invent into reality an economy and culture our ancestors were called upon to do with the tools they invented.

    • Deco

      You are correct. The commuter belt all voted back in FF. And they did it again in the last election. The digout episode never registered on the richter scale to people under 50. The jugglers were simply too busy working and making money and believing all the nonsense from Ahern. [Wake up people!!!].
      People over 50 who spent their life referring the country were disgusted.

      Similarly with the Nice and Lisbon Referendums – both times. The jugglers all did as they were instructed by the media. The jugglers swung for Yes votes every time. The cheif flaw in the juggler generation is that they believed too much. They lacked scepticism which prevailed in the poorer and more traditional sections of the community, and amongst Irish people who worked abroad, and actually learnt how the world really works.

      Scepticism can save your skin, from glorious debacles like Ahern’s Ireland.

      An interesting subject would be the reaction to the Roy Keane Saipan saga. That was heavily centred on attitudes to authority, the media, the belief system, and trust in Irish institutions.

      The juggler generation have not made the intellectual connection between believing in nonsense and getting the results of nonsense. In particular the fact that an entire generation acting in unison can get it all completely wrong – especially if they are led astray by commercial concerns. This generation needs to break free of marketing spin and understand the basic principles of a life lived without advice ‘from our advertising sponsors’.

      • wills

        Deco fully concur and by the by i am a juggler..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • René

        What is the solution to all this disaster and where did it come from? I do believe the heart of the problem is the media and advertising. For example, the so call genuine articles in printed media about lifestyles are basically advertisements that cleverly fool the reader in believing that it comes from real journalists. Just take look at all the ads, it is all based on indulgence and extravagance and do we really need all that?

        Deco, your post: “This generation needs to break free of marketing spin and understand the basic principles of a life lived without advice ‘from our advertising sponsors’. Absolutely correct!! That is exactly what we need and is crucial to how we should go forward. So how can we make a sensible culture and lifestyle for the future:
        - I think (now that we have digital broadcasting at our doorsteps soon) we should introduce a new national TV and radio broadcaster financed by the taxpayer.
        - This new broadcaster should act like a whistle blower or national consumer agency
        - Other national Irish broadcasters is obliged by law to promote this new broadcaster by a allocating percentage of the broadcasting
        - This new broadcaster will act like blog and is therefore able to straighten the skewed and distorted information to the public.
        - This new broadcaster will stimulate the upcoming social entrepreneurs/enterprise and will get revenue from the same

        Any ideas?

        • G

          Some ideas Rene –

          - Elect a new Government

          - Create a new political party that actually represents the people – move away from centrist politics

          - An Independent Media (not subject to government licence fee and approval)

          - Investigate all those in the business and political elite who had any involvement in bringing the State to the abyss, end to tribunals as a means of investigating alleged corruption (should be carried out by Dail committees, with set deadlines, like successful DIRT enquiry).

          - Abolish the Senate

          - Abolish RTE

          - Cut the salaries of all public servants i.e. President’s salary to be cut by 70%, Taoiseach 60%, TDs 30%, Senior academics 50% etc
          medical consultant pay by 50%, senior RTE presenters by 90%

          - Develop a greener economy

          - Develop Irish owned industries

          - Nationalise the banks

          - Greater distribution of wealth targeting the disadvantaged

          - Universal education and health care

          - Affordable housing for all

          - Make property speculation a criminal offence

          - Better infrastructure – every city should have an integrated bus and tram system, and massive use of cycle lanes based on continental model, affordable trains to all major cities (train from Cork to Dublin is ridiculously priced – I can fly to Berlin cheaper!!)

          - Creation of a TGV train to run between the four major cities Belfast, Dublin, Cork and Galway

          - Stronger relationships with Scandinavian countries, utilising their engineering and social expertise

          - Stronger relationships with former colonised countries

          - Creation of Irish peace corps (volunteers assisted by the government with expenses who would go out and work in developing countries – builders, teachers etc)

          - More worker democracy in the workplace – end of vertical management systems

          - End of use of Shannon airport by foreign military forces

          - End to Ireland’s involvement in the arms industry

          - More educational and cultural programmes on the national broadcaster and a winding down with a view to removing all foreign soap operas and other low grade programming

          - Better treatment and resources for asylum seekers and immigrants

          - Greater accountability and transparency in Irish universities to do with tax payers money, time spent by lecturer’ researching and teaching, monitoring students progress both in and out of university

          - Creation of an Irish Open university, move away from bricks and mortar to online university!

          - Overhaul of the university sector as a whole, weeding out overly theoretical classes, education must have direct applicability to working world, increased funding for Arts/Humanities – outstanding basis for education, creation of centralised colleges of arts, science, business and law in all universities – monitoring of academic performance.

          - Removing Irish as compulsory subject in primary and secondary school and offering Chinese, Portugese or Spanish (major languages of the future)

          - Greater financial regulation of all privately owned businesses

          - Creation of a massive innovation/entrepreneurial fund for those seeking to create new businesses and jobs especially in IT and construction sector – tangible products as opposed to the concentration on the ‘financial services sector’Creation of an innovation committee that analyses best practice in all industries abroad with a view to implementing in Ireland

          - Finanical education, communication and presentations skills classes and music and art classes to begin in primary school

          - Strict division of church and state, end of church involvement in education

          • liam

            Might I add…

            - Single-TD political constituencies
            - No more than one Dail/parliamentary representative per 50,000 (or maybe even 100,000) of population

            Of course all politics is local, but 100,000 is a lot of pot-hole filling. On that scale I would expect national issues to have greater impact on a wider constituency than granting planning permission to the local GAA club. That’s my empirical feel anyway, anybody have any better knowledge to support/counter this?

            Both of these first otherwise the others are I believe unobtainable.

          • liam

            oh and I nearly forgot: Devolution of activities carried out on a local level to local authorities, with accountability residing with locally elected officialswith parliamentary veto in the case of overriding national concerns (building transport infrastructure for example).

            Nonsense or not?

            Finally, Open Government, i.e every document, tender, contract negotiation, criminal proceeding, policy document, administrative procedure, licence to practise, PS payscale, PS job description, report from any department or agency, and statistical information etc. available online for free, in an extensible form and for scrutiny by all, including itemised local and national budgets for both spending and tax income. Implementation? These guys have figured it out already:

            http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2009/03/gpo030909.pdf

          • René

            That is some list.

            But how do we go about changing or thinking caps? I think the media is the basic source of the problem. We have an old fashion media system that is contantly looking for viewers and listerners. So they create lots of drama for nothing to get their advertisement revenues. Should we continue like this?

          • wills

            scintillating list G.

          • liam

            René, everybody likes to blame the media. But there is a reason they are producing such tripe (its not entirely the fault of advertisers) its demand. If ratings for programmes with a shred of intellectual stimulus were higher, they would be produced/commissioned or at the very least bought from the likes of BBC4 etc. (Have you noticed by the way that there are so many talented ex-RTE types in the BBC? On Radio 4 they seem to pop up all the time..)

            So the demand problem goes back largely to inadequate policy making, the wanton and active encouragement by recent administrations of the creation of a me-feiner attitude amongst the general population, the anti-intellectualism inherent in cute-hoorism as practised by the leadership all the way down the line. Basically, on a national level, the Irish are utterly incapable of a structured debate on almost any topic, with the possible exception of premiership football. And is it any wonder with the example of that shower of chancers inhabiting Kildare Street? Deco has captured very cogently the problems involved.

            So back to solutions: I seriously think the reduction of TDs, in conjunction with the devolution from the Dail and its members of significant local decision making has legs. (i think it was) Jim’s excellent post in the last article on the Irish “Government” acting like a county council got me thinking about this. The creation of an in-built tension between the local (parish-pump) and national authorities, mediated in part by the voter is interesting. And its no more audacious than anything on G’s list if we’re honest. But I need to think it through some more.

      • Garry

        An interesting post Deco…the influence of marketing/advertising…and how to be skeptical without being cynical…

        • G

          @ Rene – like a lot of people, been thinking about the nature of the Irish state for some time, drafted that thing up as a means of starting a debate, with the proviso that no one has all the answers and that ideas can change.

          The media plays a major role – read Chomsky’s ‘Manufacturing Consent’ and ‘Understanding Power’ – two great books, the first takes the media in the US absolutely apart, the other is an expose on how society and power works.

          Also on Youtube watch Chomsky’s interview with Andrew Marr (BBC) from a few years back, Chomsky takes him apart and in the process exposes ‘journalism’ and the ‘system’ extremely effectively. Marr comes across as a light weight, public school boy.

          • liam

            I thought Chomsky’s main gripe was that the media was acting on behalf of the state, not the population, the idea being that it was mutually beneficial to the media and the government to do so. If the state funded a genuinely independent media (perhaps by constitutional mandate) or if people were a bit less, well, thick basically, the current scenario couldn’t happen.

            A poor education system that does just enough to make you economically productive but not enough that you might actually develop critical faculties has far more to do with this.

    • Deco

      Another point should be mentioned.

      Throughout the boom, on the RTE news, whenever there was any form of bad news on the economy, RTE would have a health story as their number 1 story on the evening news. This was always the case. It mystified me as to why this was the case.

      But look at it from the perspective of a wage earner in their 20s. They feel healthy. Even if they have a reckless lifestyle. They are young, therefore they feel healthy. And a story about health care for sick people or old people is more or less a distraction to their upbeat state of mind. An impetus to change the station or tune out or even just be mildly in a state of concern before the economy was mentioned. In any case, the economy and any foreboding signs gets shoved aside.

      • wills

        elementary deduction my dear deco,.. sublime

      • RTE are getting more and more discredited Deco. A cursory scan of the news published across the internet gives the lie to their editorial policy.
        One or two home issues then switch to Burma last night.
        O’Pravda.

        • wills

          I think putting ryan sputterily at the helm of LAte late show tells it all.

          • jesus i couldn’t agree more.
            more entertainment he says he wants.. no more long winded political debates he says. — yeah thats exactly what this increasingly numb and superficial society needs Tubs you jumped up Toy Show presenter.

          • G

            @ curran_c

            precisely, point very well made, he won’t be talking to his brother much then – farce upon insult……………

            A ‘State’ contractor doing well in the midst of chaos always makes me suspicious………………..

      • gadfly55

        Deco, on the beam as usual, RTE is the propaganda organ of the STATE. The boys upstairs as GAYBO called them, are in charge of the tone, the style, the production, the emphasis, etc. everything except the actual objective facts, which they will ignore if it doe not suit the spin determined on high. The jugglers are due some severe reality adjustment, and their families for the delusions of grandeur and loss of common sense. Sin in haste, repent for 20 years, and beggar the rest of us.

      • G

        RTE ‘News – someone with a bad hip who caught a superbug in Letterkenny, cut to Mary Harney ‘we are running an excellent service……..blah, blah, blah………..cut to Fergal Bowers outside some god forsaken place (grey and wet backdrop).

        Next, political story, ‘shouting match in the Dail’, cut to a guy in a rain coat outside ‘government buildings’, cynical tone from a hack who has seen it all a bit too much………….

        Next, a guy shot in Limerick or Dublin, cut to forensic team in white suits walking around a poor estate, cut to grey courthouse building, over-weight judge, eager guard in the backdrop cut to heavily makeup’d reporter with a depressive look and air,

        Then non-entity story from mid-west correspondent (Iowa, Montana) with an over done country accent to keep the provincials happy (those people in Dublin etc etc)

        Back to Sharon for haugthy but misplaced tones, over to Pascal for some news from the South (does anyone care?).

        Over to sports with the introduction ‘good night to you all’ from a guy with a Scandinavian look from the 1980s, then back to how-much-am-I-getting-paid-for-this, retirement only 15 years away Brian Dobson, then over to Charlie (our Washington correspondent) on what a great guy Obama is…..change, vision, leadership – what about Afghanistan Charlie??????

        Then the weather (it’s going to be raining for the rest of your life if you stay in Ireland)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        And then finally, a bull runs through a shop in Mayo, back to the studio, all smiles, see you at 9pm, cue music, shuffle papers, Sharon fancy a drink Sharon in Doheny and Nesbitt………………………BULLSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

        • wills

          fist in mouth laughing at this G: soooo true…..
          How about,. the SIX —————————— One news……. and …….. the 60 second before the SIX…………………………….ONE news propaganda piece on behalf of the catholic theocratic state with gombeens peering vacupusly into middle earth distance awaiting the return of fairys and leprechauns.

          • G

            Always thought that minute after 6 0′clock nuts as well, for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee (the Irish State) we are f**ked………………………

            To be honest it should be called ‘the suggested news after 6.01 as it has a tendancy to start at 6.02, 6.03, 6.04………..’ I’ve given up watching in any case, it contributes nothing, offers no solutions, just drags my day down, I am focusing on the future, starting businesses, creating employment and when it happens they won’t be getting an interview!!

          • G

            @ wills

            “catholic theocratic state with gombeens peering vacupusly into middle earth distance awaiting the return of fairys and leprechauns.”

            If this doesn’t give me a heart attack with laughter nothing will!! Maybe the second coming is happening in their living room or workshop, Marx got it write ‘opium of the masses’ – we can look forward to the afterlife, nobility in poverty sh*t……………..these people should give up the tranquilisers and take to the streets.

            People tend to forget that Christ was a social revolutionary, a man of action, throwing the money merchants out of the temple etc, he certainly wasn’t locked away in a convent or monastery!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Christ was all about action, but the church turned him into some kind of controlable wimp!!

      • René

        That generation of early twenty wage earner as we know it today and of the last 20 years, with their foreign travels, excessive consumption and thinking that life can’t be extravagant enough will soon be a thing of the past. You already see more young people coming back to their own nests now they have been let go from their jobs and also after living the high life. Now they are dependent on their parents support and will come to their own senses.

        • G

          @ rene

          don’t see anything wrong with young people trying to get the most from life, believe that can be a positive engine, I travelled the world myself (on my dime) but parental support is welcome – my time will come and I have no problem helping my children to see the world and enjoy themselves, but tempered with reality of course. Indeed, travelling broadens the horizons and as Mark Twain said ‘puts an end to narrow, xenophobic thinking’. One gets to identify with the struggles of so many all over the world and has less of a chance of being seduced by the capitalist prostitute.

          Being duped by a government and media is a different story. People heavily indebted because the system was rigged, because it was setup to fail – now that I have a problem with. I also have a problem with the arrogance that accompanies some of the ‘well-to-do-kids’ ‘the entitled ones’, you see them emerge top in RTE/PRAVDA, government and business elites and we see the damage that can be done by those who see themselves as the golden boys and girls – maybe that is the Generation David should examine.

          William Golding nailed this section of society in his masterpiece ‘Lord of the Flies’ – he called them all out.

          • wills

            G: BULLSEYE

          • Deco

            The way to deal with this problem is to have a more meritocratic society.

            You are right we need to put an end to all that nonsense. Meritocracy is essential to longer term institutional reform and societal improvement in Ireland.

  9. Deco

    Excellent article.

    The jugglers are also the people who will turn the society from being staid and hierarchical and closed. The jugglers are the high end productive private sector workers who have to compete with China, and at the same time pay taxes for Lenihan’s bailout, Ahern’s quangos, the various overspends and the social crisis that we are entering. This is the part of the population that is stretched emotionally, financially and health wise.

    The jugglers are now the volatile element in Irish society who will change electoral allegiences quickly, and who are now doing the waking up. From the section of the population with the greatest anger you can expect the most agressive political stances. They are unlikely to fall into line. The jugglers were bombarded with lifestyle marketing and that is now unsustainable. The days of being blasse about everything are over. The pretentions are over. There might even be the possibility of ‘community solidarity’ which never existed before. There is a massive feeling of helplessness. The society is in a state of shock. The media are protecting “our advertising sponsors”.

    The first thing that the jugglers will demand is that everybody, makes as much an effort to carry this country, as they do. How this will be implemented in taxation policy is hard to say. And there will be demands for greater efficiency in the state sector. There will be demands for far more transparency from all areas of Irish life. Bear in mind that a sizeable proportion of the jugglers have worked a few months in foreign advanced countries, or have ideas about how things should be done.

    What sort of political requirement will the jugglers ask for ? Something along the lines of Shane Ross. Fairness. Hard work. Honesty. Transparency. Bad news for the boring old boys who have been running Ireland since the mid-1970s. Bad news for the political establishment too. The power magnate who lacked integrity and who was able to mobilise a politcal machine to generate votes is a thing of the past. These people are educated, and have more in common with their grandparents than their parents. They are not as liable to make compromses.

    The high tech fast generation are about to get very dismissive with the Irish economic and political establishment. Right now this sector wants hope and reform. Massive doses of both. Quantities of reform that will shake Ireland to it’s roots. More than the rest of the society is prepared to tolerate with the possible exception of the disaffected constituencies along the Atlantic, who voted for a collection of motley independents at the height of Ahern’s power, denying him his overall FF majority. Expect the agricultural and industrial sectors to be similarly disaffected.

    The worry is that we will not reform Ireland quick enough, or not reform it properly. And that for that reason we will become an Iceland. It really is on a knife edge for our banks. And the whole society depends on the banks to survive, or at least fail outside the system and not inflict misery on the rest of us.

    Ireland can survive this if we change a lot of things fast. Behaviour brings results. And we need to change our behaviour if we are to have any chance of getting different results.

    • gadfly55

      Disaffected communities along the Atlantic, as in Sinn Fein or Independents like Marian Harkin? There is already a fragmentation on the left of the spectrum, with ageing and deepening right of centre holding onto threads of previously dominant mythologies of Irish identity, ever desperate to protect the difference because we are Irish. The more the world changes, the more resistant to change these people become. The Ganley propaganda is directed at the disaffected, who are fulminating with resentments stoked by the media, such as the latest carnage in Westminster, over small beer expenses, worth less than paper clips at RBS and HBOS. The Tower of BABEL with antagonisms from each screaming individual has created a noise beyond reason or persuasion. Pure chaos echoing the chorus of eemented souls in HADES.

      • Deco

        What is happening is WestMinster is not ‘small beer expenses’ – it is an outrage. And the clowns in WestMinister (New Labour in particular) are helping the gamblers in RBS, NRock, etc…

        Marian Harkin actually stands for doing a job for her constituents. Something that the main party candidates seem to be lazy about, when they can rely on media connections and deep pockets in the political party organization to get them through. Harkin has to stand for more than just a military exercise of poster planting, subtle media endorsements (which is what RTE seem to specialise in), not-so-subtle media endorsements (which is what the Irish Times specialises in).

        In other words, Gay Mitchell, Prionsias De Rossa, Eoin Ryan and Mary Lou can get away with being utterly useless. And believe me, they are utterly useless.

        But, lacking a party machine and money, Harkin has to actually to the job properly. Which is by all accounts what she does. Fair play to the people that elect her – they are using democracy far more intelligently than other sections of the electorate who send the same muppets in everytime, expecting a better representation this time around.

    • G

      We now have a religious crisis (child abuse), a state sexual crisis (who are we as a people when 1 in 4 suffer some form of sexual abuse), an economic crisis (with a government hell bent on protecting the movers and shakers), a political crisis (no leadership, no vision), an employment crisis (so big it deserves its own heading)…………..and in the middle of the egg throwing, disgruntled voters, threats of violence, a farming group raids a Tesco meeting to the surprise of all.

      It is definitely heating up, and still Cowen goes on smirking, the markets nor more importantly, the people, are impressed…………….and RTE/PRAVDA do their best to keep their lid on it all, but what do you expect from state run media…………..maybe Joe Duffy will show the way – such a bloody joke, time for independent media, non-elitist, that reflects people’s needs and interest, most people switch off the radio at noon, we are dealing with a de-politicised and dumbed down culture.

    • G

      Time to get real.

      There will be no reform, just crisis upon crisis and Brian Lenihan Jnr will ape Brian Lenihan snr and wring his hands at the airport as the flower of our youth depart for foreign shores.

      That has always been the solution to Irish problems, let someone else sort it out. Cowen would welcome a decline in population, it would mean less abuse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. i think we’ve all become jugglers thanks to those clowns up there in that one ring circus we call a parliament. at this rate we’ll hav to be jumping through hoops eight nights a week til the end of the summer to pay this off.

  11. and the same again next summer

  12. wills

    Excellent link here on putting shape on Crony politico economic dynamics now running Ireland into the bog.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200905/imf-advice

  13. Dear Mr Larkin

    Thank you very much for your email and for your kind comments. I agree that the general principles of Article 45 are indeed very interesting. In fact I quoted from it – last week – provision 2 iv “That in what pertains to be the control of credit the constant and predominant aim shall be the welfare of the peple as a whole” in the debate on the banks.

    I am forwarding your comments to my colleage and the Labour Party representative on the committee Leas Ceann Comhairle Brendan Howlin TD.

    Thanks again for making contact.

    Yours sincerely,

    EAMON GILMORE T.D.
    LABOUR PARTY LEADER

    • I’m chipping away people.
      EG was the only one that answered my mails.

      Davids article sublimely steered away from Enoch Powell but the implicit vistas are there.
      Meanwhile, the Ladys not for turning. Harneys henchmen are steering Cork/Kerry towards single acute services in CUH. This is a death sentence for people in remote areas. This woman is so far removed from reality, or indeed basic humanity, now that she has to be put out of office. The current HSE policies are an aping of discredited UK policies from a decade ago.
      We have a Cabinet dominated by three people, none of which were elected to the mandate they hold.
      We are rapidly heading out of an apathy stage to a stage of anger that Feelin Failed are failing to recognise.
      People can suffer a lot but to back someone into their front door where there’s nowhere else to go will lead to trouble.
      It’s not just the Jugglers either. It’s hill farmers, supermarket suppliers, small shopkeepers, the general down stream supply chain. Everyone squeezed with no one to speak for them except in broad platitudes. Tired old faces with tired old ideas left behind in a world that is rapidly changing before us.
      The young, bright and challenging muted to protect tired old dogma.
      Agree or disagree, that farmers invasion was a warning. We’re not like the fiery continentals yet but we’re starting to bubble.

      • G

        agree, the centralisation of services is a complete joke, my sister gave birth 6 months ago in the CUH, the place was like a train station complete with pregnant smokers outside the building, I would have preferred her to have given birth on a packed train in India than the CUH, also the CUH is aligned with a major flight path into Cork airport, if something unfortunate was to occur…………..the planes fly over head at a few hundred feet every half hour to hour – what a bloody joke.

        Next to the hospital on public land is the skeleton of a private hospital…………..need i say more……………

        To Harney ‘for God sake, go!!!!!’

        • A friend of mine spent the last two days on a trolley and another person in there told him that, when RTE were on the way to film the queues some time ago, people were moved to other areas to make it look good.

          • G

            no surprise there, such behaviour is common in totalitarian regimes with state run media see – Soviet Union, Saddam’s Iraq, Amin’s Uganda…………………..

            CUH is a centralised farce………but the unhealthiest looking Health Minister will have long left this planet by the time it reaches boiling point…………

            She’ll be in the big clinic in the sky telling the Lord how to run things, I can see her now – ‘Christ, have you ever thought of co-location, there’s a buck in it……plus having the rif raff in here really lowers the tone you know…………..’

          • Deco

            This is absolutely sickening. We are becomming like East Germany before the wall fell down. A society where the term ‘official’ brings immediate scepticism amongst the general public.

    • wills

      Furrylugs: Reads well, no fluff, solid,…

      • I’ll be on to young Howlin now. Tim was supposed to find out where A45 is at?
        If I knew enough “important” people, I’d be asking them to write a open letter to the committee but that will come in time.
        I wonder how one would start an A45 movement? Kind of a peoples parliament based on founding principles as opposed to skirting round the law like the cute hoors do at the moment.

        • wills

          furry: spreading the word on the truth about the debt – slave money system and it’s usury trap would be a good way, perhaps..

          Now that so many poor eejits have been sucker punched by this system it in fact might start Q and A sessions in their brains at night and trigger a push of some kind,,,,,,,,,,

        • Tim

          Furrylugs, I am told they have not got to it yet; they are at 42 and 43 now.

  14. Josey

    Frieds, roamers, countrymen…
    Greetings from Italy. I’ve been away now from Ireland for 2 months, lost the aul job and decided rather than sitting or standing in long dole queques I’d put myself to learning a new skill, Italian in my case.

    I’ve since kept away from the mass media and despite everything I used to read here the World is still turning. I’d advise anyone who can get out of the country for even a short while to do so, escape the constant downbeat humm that is omnipresent in our fair land, the mind will again expand and contact with different cultures will both show up our pros and cons as a nation/ people.

    Believe me we are a loved people, anytime I’m asked where I’m from and tell them I’m Irish the general response is “Ooohh Irlanda che bella”

    They know of our music, our dancing and have sympathy for what we have suffered in the past.

    I think we have become too self obsessed, there is a need to step back take a breath and then come at our problem again from a different angle.

    In a sentence from here I think we need to cut down the dead wood with a big sharp axe as Shane McGowan said. Thats the whole political, banking class.

    We’re far too tolerant as a people, will it take another 800yrs before we do it????

    • wills

      greetings to you josey from NAMA Rep…!!!???

    • gadfly55

      They love us, sure aren’t we great, and have another. What do you have to report of consequence from Berlusconi land, apart from worse public budget deficit, draconian anti-immigration laws, earthquake devastation, at least three major criminal organizations inextricably entwined with the economy and government? Great move, go somewhere worse than here with better weather where you know nothing whatsoever. Brilliant way to cope, no doubt.

      • liam

        At lease Italian criminal organisations have the decency to refer to themselves thus, rather than masquerading as financial institutions with pseudo-nationalist monikers…

    • Garry

      Fair play to you Josey

  15. MK1

    Hi David,

    Yes, you are right, in that some people will be more affected and ‘caught out’ by the credit bubble correction than others, and this is partly due to their generational position, when they ‘had to’ buy,m get married, have families in whatever order they chose, and whatever burb they could afford.

    But in a way I agree with MarkC above, there are individuals behind all of the averages, and indeed any statistician will know that the average person doesnt actually exist. Try as we might to depict the typical ‘juggler’, the reality is that such a depiction will be in the minority, perhaps as low as 100 to 1. But as an average, it could be very acccurate.

    We never had 2.3 kids, nor 2.1 nor 1.8 kid families, or whatever. But economists must slice and dice in this way and I do understand where you are coming from in trying to visualise and put an identity on the various classifications, categorisations and demarcations of people, their wealth, living standards, incomes, etc, etc.

    MK1

  16. Garry

    Yeah, they have been hung out to dry, they bought the rope, tied the knot and put their head in the noose themselves….
    I remember several conversations between young co workers and collegues the same age as myself… “I couldnt sleep at night owing 200k” was a common saying from older people, back in 2000.

    We sleepwalked into this, though the longer it went on the harder it was to resist, what was excessive borrowing quickly became normal….. I haven’t heard the “couldnt sleep” comment for years; we got tired of being laughed at, either joined the crowd or offered advice privately to people in the hope some would listen.

    Whatever hardship can be alleviated should be alleviated for people…..we need PEOPLE to survive with hope for the future. Not banks, not developers, not political parties or institutions…

    We have only a very limited amount of time and money to do this and are pissing whats left away trying to sustain the unsustainable

  17. lff12

    While all these stereotypes are wonderful the reality behind them is far less simplistic. There were people who bought homes in 05/06 who DIDN’T take out 100% mortgages but instead threw their entire savings into it, not only reducing their risks of negative equity but reducing their overall spend on mortgages long term. On the other hand I know of people who took the 100% on offer but didn’t borrow for furniture, thus again shifting their risk.

    There are people also (like me) who “opted out”, and instead of chasing huge money etc in Dublin, moved to Cork, settled for a smaller wage (and a full flat rate salary with no overtime or bonus, so I’m not looking at a wage cut like some people have seen), maybe lived in simpler shared rented or cheaper Victorian conversion rather than a fancy apartment that we well could have afforded.

    There are others again who just saved the extras. Others who maybe did the “right things” and put up as big a deposit as they could and thus are less hit.

    My point is that people don’t fit into the categories above as simplistically as they seem. Some of the people who benefitted from the celtic tiger are hard hit indeed, but others who benefitted less and so were less dependent were not.

    Lastly, nobody was “cajoled” into buyng homes. I simply felt I couldn’t afford it on the incomes I was on, regardless of the massive pressure I was under. I underwent years of persistent lecturing from bankers, friends, colleagues, families all trying to “prove” to me how wrong I was and how terrible things would be for me by the end of the decade when I was paying out 33% of my income in rent while my pals basking in lovely houses. Well now those pals are paying half their salaries on mortgages, while I pay out about 1/6 of my income on rent.

    • “Lastly, nobody was “cajoled” into buyng homes.”

      I wonder would that stand up to an investigation similar to the mortgages mis-selling fiasco in the UK.
      I’m a veteran of that particular event and when I returned home, poorer but wiser, I was astonished when a bank manager told me “don’t be stuck for money”. I had no credit rating here, only recently started a job which by standard credit policy wouldn’t have allowed me the mortgage I needed. Maybe people inexperienced in money matters weren’t cajoled but the people they trusted, the bankers and mortgage advisors certainly sold a pup for personal gain ie. commission. None gave one single iota of time to responsibly making these “clients” fully aware of the magnitude of the debt they were getting into. The rose tinted allure of “owning” their own home blinded people to the long term risks.

      • Garry

        I think cajoled is fair enough…. no one was forced but a climate was created

        1) Only losers rented anyone under 30 without a house was a loser.
        2) Only old losers paid the mortgage and cleared debts —- the fun thing to do was release the equity and buy a holiday/car/suv —- But the smart thing to do was release the equity and buy an investment property

        Equity and rent was dead money, get it working for you; stop being a loser, become a success… sign here.. Oh and dont haggle, thats shows how poor you are.

    • wills

      Exactly1ff12: this house / property ownership in Ireland became and is a sledgehammer been swung every which way but loose at the weak the daft the vulnerable the simpletons and the easily led.

      The scoundrels and the scam artists and the POnzi merchants and the crony politicos and the gombeens and the mean ruthless bast@rds who cream every cent out of your pockets used the sledgehammer to rob pillage and plunder and smash and grab and thieve and steal whomever they get away swinging the property axe at.

  18. Dilly

    There is a Dave Alan sketch from the 80′s, where he takes the piss out of the banks. He was ahead of his time, because the sketch goes along the lines of how, the banks used to tell him to “piss off”, now, if he even just stops outside one, he gets dragged in and offered money.

    • Dilly

      Sorry that should read Dave Allen.

    • coldblow

      There was an interesting programme on British telly a good few years ago (about 15) about the changing role of bank managers. Former managers described how they once had a certain standing in society and could be relied on to give out impartial advice but that they were subjected to increasing pressure from the banks to meet targets. They could see where this was leading to but there seems to have been plenty of younger people to fill their shoes.

      This reminds me of a chance conversation I had a few weeks ago with a former employee of one of the big two banks. He wouldn’t have been at the top but sounded like a regional manager or similar. He got out after just a few years and said the pressure would have killed him otherwise – there was serious money being made and there were some very sharp brains there. He had a string of properties bought to let before the prices rocketed. Reckoned a 12% drop in costs, wages etc would sort out the country’s problem. Said I should buy within 6 months, or at least not to let the no. of months go into double digits, just in case there was “a disaster”. Said that Irish women made the best employees of any anywhere: they were ruthless and didn’t complain about glass ceilings, whereas Irish men were too passive. I asked him about political corruption but can’t remember the reply. On DMcW: “I wouldn’t disagree with everything he says, he is obviously passionate about what he says.”

  19. G

    WHY HAVEN’T LABOUR CALLED OR STAGED ANY PUBLIC POLITICAL MEETINGS OF ANY NOTE?????????????????

    I haven’t seen Gilmore in Ireland’s second biggest city (with 40,000 unemployed) – it’s so obvious and yet never happened?????????????????????? Not a single senior person has come down from Dublin to address the people, I am astounded. Obama was all over the place (Ireland is a lot smaller), talking to people, shaking hands, where are the so called future leaders?

    This must rate as one of the most politically cut off countries in the world!!!!!!!!!!!! (body politic and populace).

    I am astounded that no major meeting by any of the main parties has been organised, they all seem to be longing for their summer holidays, a bloody disgrace during what is supposed to be the ‘greatest challenge ever to hit Ireland’!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • coldblow

      Crotty’s ‘memoir’ (A Radical’s Response) mentions the fact that while the grass roots membership were opposed to the Single European Act theLabour Party leadership were not. Their conference was to be held in Cork in 86 (going by memory here) and this would have brought the leadership into line but according to Crotty there was a minor strike by the workers at the venue. They used this as an excuse to call off the conference.

    • huffnpuffpolly

      G
      Eamon Gilmore has been all over the country. Michael D and Joan Burton have also been up in the North West. I’ve seen Eamon in Longford and Sligo. My colleague here assures me Eamon has been to Cork city in the last couple of weeks.

      • G

        @ huffnpuffpolly

        He may have been but he obviously left no impression, I’ve my ear to the ground and heard nothing, saw nothing advertised, he may have met the usual Labour crowd, maybe a room of 100 people, but he hasn’t reached out and that was my original point………….with need rallies not railing against the machine, anyone can do that, I’ll do it for 150,000 per year!!!

        What’s this attraction with the northwest, I emailed Gilmore on this and he said he had addressed a crowd of 150 in Mayo – I mean come on, I think we need bigger thinking than that!

        • G

          Everyone is talking up the crisis ‘worst in our history blah blah blah’ to save their own butts, seats, party, and most of all their money!!!

          But they sure as hell aren’t reacting like its a crisis, no public address, no appeal to the nation, all BS!! Our politicans are sluggish, out of shape by and large and completely out of ideas (not that they had many)………I saw Cowen meeting the Chinese Premier a few months back, it was a cringeworthy moment………..we need dynamic people.

          Out with the lot of them…………..

          • huffnpuffpolly

            @G

            so what do you suggest.
            I belong to no political party but this time I got off my butt and I’m supporting a Labour candidate who I think can do a good job.
            The people of this country have to take responsibility for who they elect to govern, so stop blaming the politicians. They’re not ALL the same.
            Just look at Tim’s emotive language about Public Sector pay, the Garda who protect us, the Nurses who heal us, the Teachers who singlehandedly raise our kids.

            We need real debate and anybody who can still vote for FF after all this, the Bertie/Brian Dobson interview, the line that the economy was fine, Mary Harney of a failed party in charge of our Healthcare. Get off your butts and do something. Take responsibility for Change.

  20. The key distinction is the unemployed, the insecure and the rest of the workforce, say 70%.

    Apart from where friends or relatives are victims, most of the 70% will be mainly concerned about their own net income.

    Those in their 40′s onwards, who become unemployed, will end on the scrap heap, like the old days.

    70% was also the public support for Ahern and McCreevy when they along with economists and social partners gave the two-fingers to the European Commission’s criticism of the 2001 Budget.

    As happened with Haughey, there was a lot of revisionism later. The same applies now.

    The democracy is imperfect but they were elected three times.

    Free education was introduced in 1968. There shouldn’t be a free pass for idiocy.

    Ireland is one of western Europe’s most conservative countries and the Irish are consequently very resistant to change.

    http://www.finfacts.ie/irishfinancenews/article_1016709.shtml

    • G

      this line about the Irish (whoever they are) being the most conservative in the unvierse, just doesn’t wash with me anymore, however people seem good at two things, making excuses for in excusable behaviour and denial (see Catholic Church)!!

    • wills

      FiNfacts: “..those in their 40′s onwards, who become unemployed, will end on the scrap heap, like the old days.”

      This is a load of old baloney this above assertion. Ireland is in deep deep need now for people in their 40′s and 50′s and christ 60′s too and i would contend 70′s and 80′s.

      Picasso painted his most gut wrenching paintings in his 80′s.

      Stanley Kubrick was directing up to the day he died.

      Freud wrote his most universal and distilled down work in his late 70′s, civilisation and its discontents.

      I mean this sentence people in their 40′s out of work are headed for the scrap heap is horse manure. (with respect)

      • Hmm. My contribution.
        Charlie Chaplin made daddy at 80.

      • You are an idiot if you believe that ageism doesn’t exist in the workplace – - even more so at a time of high unemployment – - that was the point I made.

        Where did I imply that older people have no contribution to make?

        So spare the claptrap on Picasso etc.

        • G

          It exists but it can and has to be transcended.

          To be fair, the nuance of your point probably wasn’t picked up on plus there is also a drive in western capitalist countries to sling anyone over 45 on the dung heap so that young twenty somethings who don’t know the game can be used like the cannon fodder they are (until they reach 45, are indebted and have a few kids running around)…………….

          Again I would encourage all bloggers to make their points in a respectful manner, an inability to do so speaks more of the person than any would-be criticism.

          End of Sermon from Saint G of the Holy Mound!

    • Deco

      MH
      ” Ireland is one of western Europe’s most conservative countries ” Utterly incorrect.

      Ireland is probably the most liberal country in Europe. If not, then Ireland is definitely as liberal as any other. In fact I would rate it between Ireland and UK for being the most liberal country in Europe. Large sections of the Netherlands and Sweden are not liberal at all as the Irish think they are.

      Concerning resistance to change. It depends on what you describe as change. There has been a massive amount of change in Ireland in the last twenty years. Most of it directed by the theories of our old friend Mr. Bernays.

      Ireland’s institutions and old boys networks do not want to let go of the power they hold over society. This is the resistance to change that is strongest. You will get all sorts of change in Ireland as long as those in power stay in power. A lot of the movements for change are completely futile because they change stuff that is of marginal signifigance.

      Therefore you are talking about two completely unrelated dimensions. The two are completely unrelated.

      Ireland, is proof that you can have a very liberal society and absolutely no change of the institutions of the state. In fact the institutions of the state adapted to the new liberalism, and became totally self-indulgent and aggressive. Look at the PDs – the most liberal party in the Dail, or the President, who has all the catchphrases – whilst taking the system for all they are worth.

      We have very simplistic left-right debates in Ireland that fail to inform us of the true nature of the political establishment in Ireland. The dominant ideology is not Marxism, Liberalism, Catholic Social Doctrine, or Centrism. Or anything else even. And anyway if you look at the other modern economies you will see that the old left-right thing is nothing if not divisive. It prevents societies moving forward. Europe has not moved forward very much since the Treaty of Maastricht. In fact in area after area Europe has lost ground to the English speaking countries, and the Asians since 1992. Only where the Germans are involved does Europe actually hold ground. There is a massive lethargy in Europe compared to the dynamism in Asia or West coast America. Yet, both right and left refuse to address the topic.

      The dominant political ideology in Ireland is opportunism. Which is great for “our advertising sponsors”. There is plenty of PR gimicks, deceit, coverups, and status obsession thrown in for good measure. This opportunism exists in the Ross O’Carroll Kelly belt as much, if not more than in the Killinascully belt. Except it looks far more professional, acceptable and polished. In other words we don’t even get to be entertained while we get screwed. The standard ideologies are applied so that key players in the political establishment can further their lifetime earnings potential and feed their egos.

      The biggest problem I think is that we have a lot of people who want political advocacy but who have not actually resolved clearly what will improve matters in this country. We know what does not work. And the one thing that will not work is a left right divide – because this has made basket cases out of the other PIGIS countries. Look at Spain. Another basketcase – except it is lying through it’s teeth because if the truth was known the Euro would be in massive trouble. A case of “we are all agreed that the problem shall not be officially recognised as that serious”. If we had a sharper left right divide then we would become even more porky that we already are. And as things stand, with our levels of corruption and institutional incompetence the last thing we need is even greater political stagnancy. The real problem with the left-right divide is that you get neither side being accountable to the electorate – instead trying to control the media and throw insults at the other side. It becomes silly. Tintan O’Fool wants this to happen. It has been his life’s ambition. His ego is more important it would seem than our necessities.

      It would be better to have a range of options to select in the political process. And not to have a large media backed political critical mass than is an institution to control the system. This is the goal of all poltical parties and many media magnates. But we need a a more meritocratic less controlled political choice list. That way the electorate would be king. Not the media or the party power magnates. It would be a political establishment open to good ideas, instead of a political establishment obsessed with nonsense. [which is what exists in the other PIGIS countries].

      David McW brought us all here, because he wants to get above all the nonsense and the clutter. To have clear thinking and to understand what is happening in our society. His position is to apply intelligence to the problems we face, not ideological heritage from the obsolete battles in the media of the 1970s.

      We are here to follow David’s leadership. He correctly analyzed the boom and it’s inherent nature. He will come as close as anybody else to understanding the nature of the bust.

      • Politics in Ireland= a sellers market.

      • “Ireland’s institutions and old boys networks do not want to let go of the power they hold over society. This is the resistance to change that is strongest. You will get all sorts of change in Ireland as long as those in power stay in power.”

        You could have added in the Catholic Church to the mix but it was knocked off its pedestal because of sex abuse.

        Its ridiculous to have said in your rambling comment that I am “utterly incorrect” while confirming where power still lies.

        As for “liberal,” what does that mean?

        What planet do you live on if you believe the Irish easily embrace change?

        It requires a serious crisis to prompt attention from policy makers.

        As for social change, it has usually followed years of court action.

        • Deco

          MH – you missed the point. I was not rambling.

          Ireland spent a generation trying to become like California, and telling ourselves we could be as good as Sweden. Instead, we will end up like Wales – broke, and living off subsidies and intellectually empty. But the media coverage of the entire event is gripping, right ?

          I am correct in respect to where the power lies. It lies in the institutional bodies both public and private -but especially corporate Ireland. IBEC and the ICTU, two bodies outside of the electoral process dominate policy, are effectively lobby groups. In other countries, people complain about the influence of lobbyists on policy. In Ireland they practically run the country. The combination of sweeteners to get the likes of Des Geraghty on state board (after he failed to become an ILP TD) and the lack of competition policy in regard to IBEC members is destroying our economy.

          The political process is dominated by the media. There is never a proper analysis of anything. Instead it is a shouting match. And the standard of debate is absolutely abysmal. The whole thing is as predictable as RTE’s afternoon show.

  21. Tim

    Folks, There are fairly stark anomalies between what Alan Ahearne says in the IT today and what Vincent Brown says in a different article on the same page.

    Ahearne:
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0520/1224246950236.html

    Brown:
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0520/1224246950210.html

    Brown is effectively telling what we already know: that Somers blew the whistle on the fact that he knows nothing about how NAMA will function and was not consulted about recruitment, skills required, etc.;

    Ahearne is telling us that everything is hunky-dory with NAMA, all meticulously planned and the people at the NTMA (Somers) are well positioned to run it.

    Surely, this is more evidence to suggest what I posted some time ago: that Alan Ahearne can no longer be trusted in his pronouncements on the economy since he was bought by the Minister of Finance and appointed as his economic advisor?

    • Deco

      While we are here to understand the true nature of the problem….Alan Ahearne might be in a predicament that he already knows the true predicament…and he is afraid that it would undermine national bond sales….in which case, we must nod and say nothing :))))
      …in the nashnall ihnterest…

      Nobody thinks NAMA is properly planned. But our scepticism creates pressure for those involved to do it properly…if we were obedient muppets…with no scepticism…then it would be a flop.

      Yes, Tim you are right – we must be cautious concerning what Alan Ahearne is doing.

      BoI and ILP are supposedly bottoming out. But both BoI and ILP have slow burning problems and will still be in trouble in three years time. AIB is in utter chaos, and has a more short problem – in particular with respect to business loans going sour. AIB does have assets to sell. But when they are sold AIB is still going to have a very rought 12 months.

      INBS and EBS are heading over the cliff. But nobody seems to notice. Lenihan is rushing aorund trying to get bonds to get the money together before the sticky stuff his the rotary object. A case of Lenihan for once being ahead of the problem. A rare gift considering the rest of the PIGIS and Britain are talking about green shoots. Trust not what I say, but as I do. Lenihan’s actions seem to suggest that he is preparing for utter chaos six months from now.

      Which is probably the real advice from Alan Ahearne. Alan Ahearne was one of the strongest critics of the boom, and if you read his articles before he started helping Lenihan, you will see that they are very doom ridden. So, I reckon Ahearne is doing what he sees as the correct action so as to get the Euros into the government before long term bond rates sky rocket.

      In which case we should simply thank Ahearne for lying….

      • Tim

        Deco, if that is correct then Lenihan made a very intelligent decision to hire Ahearne; yet I am still very dubious about the constant repetition of the fact that Alan was formerly involved in the US Fed as a manifestation of his bona fides: surely, that organisation has been shown to be utterly toxic?

        I just cannot seem to get away from the facts being borne-out, following on from what a very arrogant minister told me last October (one who, though arrogant, usually tells me the truth);

        He said: “The economy is in meltdown” ( while banks were still saying, “We’re fine, we’re fine!”).

        I am just very wary of the machinations within the known FF modus-operandi and watching for the signs of Ben Elton’s “STARK”.

    • wills

      @tim, deco, this observation maybe premature but there seems to be a pattern emerging through the crony politico economic spectrum,. let’s take a look. There appears to be a NAMA china syndrome type meltdown working it’s way through the irish politico network and it’s forcing anyone who comes within its forcefield into real decision making. Somers for example pull the ejector lever and was outta there. Lenihan has a look about him like he is backtracking and i could go on. So perhaps the banks toxic waste is so toxic its contaminating everything it touches, and it’s destructive corrosive impact on the financial system is non fixable and its burning away into the fabric of the crony network and nobody will take responsibilty for it, no-one will touch it, it’s too toxic,…. there is only one solution and the problem is the solution is wrapped up in the extinction of banking elites and the ruling elites refuse to defer ownership of banking power no matter the cost and Joan Bruton sees this, she has the data she know’s the banks are bankrupt cos of this doomsday toxic waste and vincent browne know’s it and the waste is out in the open melting down POnzi Rep’s politico economic system, a slow burner,.. and it’s over, it’s just a matter of how and when.

  22. Original-Ed

    David, on the RTE1 Mooney Show this afternoon, rubbished Somers in his capacity as head of NTMA – despite all the spin we’ve had about how great this one million euro a year public servant is – our national debt, from way back, at 30 billion is still 30 billion – not a cent off it and on top of that, the losses in the pension reserve fund , for which he has responsibility, are huge. Perhaps it’s just as well that he doesn’t want to take on NAMA.
    Our future doesn’t look good if he is the best we’ve got – we’re been fed a load of shite and it’s obvious that nobody wants responsibility – high salary, yes, but responsibility, no! – Privilege without responsibility doesn’t last long
    Plunder with a good dollop of PR spin appears to be the new way of becoming a patriot – expect Arbour Hill to be rezoned and sold off sometime soon.

    • Garry

      Have to say my first reaction to Somers frankness was fair play to him for lobbing the hand grenade into the room and walking out. It takes balls to do that.

      He’s a wily operator, far too smart to just say the party line…. sure if he did that, then he could have no excuses when it all goes pear shaped. He’s setting expectations.

      And he knows the politicians just want to be able to set the thing up and then refer all questions on all dealings to Somers, they’ll be canvassing on behalf of their buddies in private while backing away from the steaming pile of shite in public. NAMA, never heard of it; ask Mr Somers, hes the boss… If it wasnt for NAMA we wouldnt be closing that hospital…

      That said, he was probably using his one chance to be frank.

      • Tim

        Garry, ….. or he is completely incompetent, not having reduced the national debt one bit and having lost billions from the National Pension Reserve Fund and, therefore, not worth consulting. Just another figure-head-buffer between govt and reality so that no-one ever has to accept responsibility for anything.

        • Garry

          He could well be dreadfull at his job, but those were the actions of a man who saw a threat and reacted…The threat he saw was that he was being lined up to be the fall guy for FF’s NAMA bailout

          Yep, we would have been better off simply paying back the national debt and not investing anything. But you dont start something like the NTMA just to lodge money in the bank every month. They were given a brief to invest. Who set it up?

          To me, its another example of why borrowing to invest is madness…Its OK to borrow to start a business or buy a home or do something for yourself personally but playing the markets when you owe serious money has always struck me as brave/stupid/greedy. Far better to take the boring route of clearing the mortgage early etc, at least the returns are guaranteed. And then go again.

          Im sure the financhial professionals would laugh at this but then their commissions etc depend on selling more products.

  23. AndrewGMooney

    Everything depends on how issues of debt renegotiation/forgiveness and bankruptcy are resolved. Social cohesion depends on this. Cue rant:

    The power of troubled Developers to form a ‘union’ to legally challenge the valuation of any holdings transferred into NAMA stands in stark contrast to the lack of reform to personal bankruptcy laws affecting the ‘average Irish citizen’.

    There will be a minority of citizens who, for whatever variety of reasons, find themselves unable to straddle an abyss of debt, thus facing a costly bankruptcy ordeal of ‘traditional’ hypocritical social stigma, humiliating court action, and up to 12 years wrecked credit rating.

    Sanctimonious Victorian debt laws are hardly the foundations on which to rebuild Ireland Inc as an entrepreneurial export powerhouse, which appears the only sane, plausible possibility. From Dragon’s Den to Debtor’s Prison? That’s not going to build an entrepreneurial export-driven Celtic Dragon. Is it?

    http://www.accountancyireland.ie/dsp_articles.cfm/goto/1338/page/Personal_Bankruptcy_—_Is_it_time_to_change_the_law?.htm

    Britain overhauled its’ bankruptcy laws to, supposedly, ‘foster entrepreneurial risk-taking’. I wonder if those changes will be revoked should the Keynesian Stimulus fail and the whole ‘Growth via Shopping Experiment Paradigm’ goes from chronic dysfunction to uncontrollable collapse?

    The Prince of Darkness, Lord Mandelson, tells the world that the process seeking help from the IMF needs to be ‘de-stigmatised‘. Fair enough. The quack Quants got it all wrong. Markets are not rational. Risk can’t be sliced and diced away. But, if Governments worldwide have a ‘get out clause’: What’s the ethical foundation on which to blame the ‘ordinary folk’ who listened to the Big Swinging Dicks and signed up to party like it’s 1999? Even though it was 2006.

    Without the opportunity for the genuine ‘fresh start’ and personal re-invention that non-judgemental bankruptcy provides, there’s a limit to what any individual can do to mitigate personal disaster. No matter how ‘motivated’ any ‘Declan in Deckland’ might be to start over from scratch.

    These ‘private kitchen crises’ need to be at the forefront of any public policy response. Monageer. Debt. Tragedy. Will such familicide happen again? This is not to ignore the alarming possibility that, as David hints, a ‘kitchen cabinet’ of an entirely new and unwelcome politics may emerge from troubled suburbs across Ireland’s Baby Belt and elsewhere.

    I wonder why some American states have non-recourse mortgages, but others have full-recourse? Presumably, due to the specific culture and politics which emerged in the history of each state. Must Google and learn more.

    I wonder why Iceland allows itself to be a Debtor’s Hell and a Creditor Heaven by indexing consumer debt to rising inflation? Must ask Michael Hudson to go over it once more.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1891813807725728505

    Hmmn, so what is the difference between an Irish and an Icelandic oligarch?

    If more meretricious nonsense emerges from the squalid labyrinths of Irish banks and (God Forbid) the bluff of the Irish State Guarantee is actually called; no doubt there’ll be appropriate Emergency Legislation prepared to enforce the rights of International Creditors.

    But what about the ’little people’ who dutifully pay taxes? Until they’re surplus to requirements. Or too old. At 40. But still with 20 years mortgage payments left. The gentrification of debt peonage.

  24. wills

    The mainstreet comm banks assure us the losses on balance sheets are mostly comprised of loans on property assets specifically related to property magnates and massive commercial property speculation.

    These losses are an event due to a slump in the property market. The once profit yielding loan is now a toxic debt and the quantity of which is too large to sort out and must be fixed with gov help or else crdit will never flow again across the POnzi Rep and the island of Ireland will sink into the sea.

    Is it possible though there is a different version of the real truth remaining undisclosed.

    We are told on a daily basis via media there is a global credit crunch. We also know the last 10 years has seen credit falling from the sky like never before. WHy? because of a wholesale credit system which created a humongous amount of credit via sketchy debt instruments, off balance sheet operations, massive leverage and derivatives.

    Also, securitization – which is the conversion of pools of loans into securities. It formed the asset-base upon which the investment banks and hedge funds stacked additional leverage creating an unstable debt – pyramid that could not withstand the battering of a slump market.

    Did the irish comm banks partake in this gambling fiasco or not.
    Are the magnificent toxic debts killing the banks solvency and their credit function and so putting the irish economy on pause, are these debts in fact gambling debts moreso than property de=valuing losses…..

    Banks in USA and UK and europe to lesser degree spun the wheel in these markets and got badly burnt and we are been told here that the Irish banks are different and remained good catholic irish boys and girls and went home after a hard day’s work at the office and never never never did they throw the dice on the derivatives gambling casino.

    I for one ‘don’t think so’,,,, any one else agree….?

    • Tim

      wills, the web is very tangled. It beats the Gordian Knot.

      Let’s keep at it. There will be a “cut” somewhere.

  25. wills

    Anyone who clicks tim’s link above at Irish time’s will discover NAMA head chief revealing that merrill lynch are been hired to render advice. Fee charged is according to somers is 6,000,000 euros of taxpayers dosh.

    If anyone is interested, go to my link below and one will discover Merrill lynch’s heavily involved in the derivatives casino and central to a new model been used for ailing banks drowning in derivatives gone south, to use to resolve the problem.

    Make of it what you may, but could it be lynch are been called in for advice on derivative debts on or off the irish banks books.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100534820

    • Tim

      wills, I agree. CDOs, CDSs, derivatives, securitisation, …… all gambling. Losses. Toxic losses. Toxic debt.

      Think about this:

      “Safe as houses!” That is a saying; and it has merit: investment in housing has always been a reasonably good investment as long as one invested for the long-term prospect of return: “tick-over” with rent, maybe……. but you never loose, long-term. House values dip and rise over time, but the house (and the land it is built on – because God isn’t making anymore land, so it is a finite resource) accumulates value over time.

      Short-term, you may have trouble if you only bought (high) to flip quickly and it goes low too fast (as has happened). But, long-term, if you can wait, your investment is sound. Or, as in my case, you bought a house to be a “home”. In that case, it is a long-term thing anyway.

      Negative equity is only a financial problem for the person who cannot afford the repayments on the house and needs to flip it quickly – this may become a toxic debt. The homeowner who can service the mortgage does not have to be worried by media reports of negative equity because he is living in his home and raising his family with that roof over their heads.

      The roof over their heads has an intrinsic and extrinsic value: intrinsic is the land it is sitting on plus the bricks, mortar, wood and tiles on the roof; extrinsic is the security of knowing he has a roof over his family’s head and can live life and you cannot put a measured value on the “man’s home is his castle” syndrome, so it may be priceless and beyond value in that respect.

      Now……. why would anyone need a NAMA for such an asset?

      Why would anyone need to set up an asset management agency to manage the loan over 20 years to “work-it-out”?

      They wouldn’t.

      But a derivative has no such intrinsic or extrinsic value; it only has a “nominal” value on the day it is created; then its value fluctuates on the emotional whim of the market. If it suddenly becomes worthless, or virtually worthless, since it is only a “virtual” (false) asset, in the first place, well, ……

      …. it might need an agency to spend 20 years fooling someone to re-purchase it, alright.

      I do not think that houses/property constitute our REAL economic problem.

      • Tim

        Problem is, of course, any “investor” buying these derivatives, these “assets” over the next 20 years is going to expect a return; a profit.

        Where in the Hell is THAT gonna come from, only Charles Ponzi economics?

        Really, though……. where is the profit for these fantom investors going to come from on CDOs?

  26. CREST

    The masses that are still working are screwed more and more for the transgressions of the elite.
    Back through history Ireland had a mechanism to counter such embalances,various groups emerged with varying degrees of success.
    Today Sinn Fain have become Me Fain, as has other orgainzations like the Trade Union’s.

    As a previous comment , a great vacuum now exist , waiting to be filled.

    Achilling thought for those that live in Ireland.

  27. [...] This is a topic I have visited in the past. It is dangerous to ignore our young people and attempt to smash them into line. The recession provides the perfect cover for doing that as RIF’s become more commonplace and uncertainty leads to societal problems. [...]

  28. jim

    How about some fun and games for the forum.First up we have the well known game called “the prisoners dilemma”Lets be coy and call Fianna Fail prisoner 1 and lets call the Banks prisoner 2….Now for the higgorant among ye Ill just zip over to wiki and steal their description of the game.Big shhhhsh….. “Two suspects are arrested by the police. The police have insufficient evidence for a conviction, and, having separated both prisoners, visit each of them to offer the same deal. If one testifies (defects from the other) for the prosecution against the other and the other remains silent (cooperates with the other), the betrayer goes free and the silent accomplice receives the full 10-year sentence. If both remain silent, both prisoners are sentenced to only six months in jail for a minor charge. If each betrays the other, each receives a five-year sentence. Each prisoner must choose to betray the other or to remain silent. Each one is assured that the other would not know about the betrayal before the end of the investigation. How should the prisoners act?” Jasus is’nt cyberspace great,I never even left my seat….Prisoners are charged with robbing the people of Ireland for their own Personal gain over the last number of years.

    • Tim

      jim, ….. Oooooooooooh! Are you tellin’ tales out of school?

    • fordprefect

      NAMA is coming in because you can’t be a TD and be bankrupt.

      • Deco

        eh…what about BCF ? She managed it….of course that was a different story….well pumped up with self-assertiveness…as I said the dominant ideology in the Irish political establishment is opportunism…

  29. Tim

    Folks, I just got this pop-up for saying that to jim (sorry jim, that I said something so offensive).

    http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/a-note-on-comments

    • I’d like to know where my innocous-
      Definition follows-
      in·noc·u·ous Listen to the pronunciation of innocuous
      Pronunciation:
      \i-ˈnä-kyə-wəs\
      Function:
      adjective
      Etymology:
      Latin innocuus, from in- + nocēre
      Date:
      1598

      1 : producing no injury : harmless 2 : not likely to give offense or to arouse strong feelings or hostility : inoffensive, insipid
      – in·noc·u·ous·ly adverb
      – in·noc·u·ous·ness noun

      …comment went to last night.
      Ronan my friend……??

  30. jim

    So now we know both prisoners decided to stay silent (in the best traditions of the Mafia).The initial sentence was loss of some head honcho’s from the Banks and loss of European and Local elections for Fianna Fail.BUT,BUT,BUT, the arresting Public and Markets did’nt buy that shit,and suspects were re-arrested on the steps of the courthouse.SOOOO,both suspects decided after a good chat and with the Altruistic motives need for co-operation or in plain person’s terms (threw in persons their instead of mans ,dont want to be tarred with fee paying,boys club,blah di blah meeeooowwww )”hang together or hang seperately”…Anyhoo suspects decide on new game called “the stag hunt” The stag in this game will be the Taxpayers and the hunt will be organised by lets call it NAMA. P.S. Ye can feck over to wiki yourselves and see what that game is about,Im cutting cost’s here people,download limits and all that shit.Im not like ye in Ireland,Im being affected by Global events here in OZ…I will tune in tomorrow night to see how the stag’s are doing.TIP from Me run like fu.k stags the wolves are closing in.OOPPPS did I give the game away.;-(( Sorry.

    • ye didn’t mention the 1 in 4 report of abused children here jim?
      It’ll be racked up over the next few weeks to cloud the local votes.
      Classical pravda techniques..
      Off for the cocoa now.

  31. jim

    There’ll be another 1 in 4 report in a few years time,by the time the Bankers and ZANU-FF are finished with the jugglers et al…p.s.Mrs.Furry has you spoiled with that auld cocoa. Sleep well man.

    • Ah Jazzus jim, life is good. The little pleasures?
      I’d another nice little mail back today from Eamonn Gilmour. I’m hoping EK will read this blog and reply to a mail I sent him 3 weeks ago. Not that I’m holding my breath. We’ve all said here what can we do. Unless we jump up and start throwing stones, which we can’t because the blasphemy laws aren’t passed yet, I’m just using the local elections and the internet to make a complete nuisance of myself. As in like hello Fools, I don’t believe ye so what are ye going to do about X,Y & Z.
      They need me now more than I need them. Good time to get on the old email? Don’t bother with Feelin Failed though. They don’t seem to think we’re worth a reply.
      Just Takin’ the Water Boss.
      F

  32. Just doing a little research here and the thought popped into my mind.
    Bilderberg really f**ked up.
    Nite now

  33. Garry

    http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/government-may-seek-to-extend-deposit-guarantee-1746363.html

    So the government have split the guarantee and are extending the guarantee of all bank debts while thinking about extending the guarantee on deposits…

    If the deposite guarantee is let expire, remove all your money from Irish banks….You have been warned, keep a very close eye on this

    We must demand that this kills off NAMA….. If the banks debts are guaranteed then why buy the shite off them also…..Let them chase the developers, keep the politicians out of it

    If NAMA goes ahead, time for the pitchforks….

  34. Bankrupted TD = ‘banksTeD’

    So we need to ask ourselves first are we voting for a ‘banksTeD’ and if we are when the revelations come clean the ‘banksTed’ has deceived us and should be jailed or at least be removed from office and lose all financial entitlements including pension rights .

    Maybe the electorate should insist ,in addition to maintaining the existing requirements ,that an independent financial banking audit be carried out on each and every elected representative to include ascertaining the following :

    What bank guarantees ( incl UK & NI ) are in place ; and

    How much bank loans they have exposed themselves to ; and

    What securities they have personally pledged against the said bank loans ; and

    The selected dates should include 30th Sept 2008 , 31st Dec 2008 , 31st March 2009 , 30th June 2009 , 30th Sept 2009 , 31st Dec 2009.

    How can a bankrupt TD be deemed to do an HONEST day’s work for their constituency with a serious personal financial problem.The electorate should DEMAND their rights are listened to and show that transparency to all the voters.Our nation needs proper legally elected representatives in office without personal systematic financial banking burdens .

  35. Malcolm McClure

    I had been going to submit a profound piece on the national Debt/GDP ratio when I realized that the treatment of children in the orphanages and reformatorys, over at least 70 years has far greater implications for the Irish psyche than mere economic prognostications. Were these the other Pope’s Children who were forgotten in David’s book?

    Last week I wrote “Politicians at every level depend on keeping in touch with their electorate, but few electors raise questions of endemic corruption with their representatives.–Shame on all of us.” There is a word in Gaelic for such shame. TÃ¥mailteach. If it were daubed on every church door lest we forget.

    If joining the EC did nothing other than make us aware of international standards of care for defenseless children, it would have been worthwhile for that alone, never mind the transient economic benefits. The story of how children have been subjected to abuse on both sides of the border (Lisnevin at Millisle and St Patrick’s in Belfast were just as bad) in recent times is a national disgrace. Yet only Furrylugs has mentioned it above.

    We cannot say that nobody knew what was happening. That was the excuse in post-nazi Germany about their treatment of the Jews, and it took more than a generation and unstinting hard labour for the world to forgive them. We cannot claim that it was fear of authority that permitted the perpetrators to get away with it as the Law even today protects the identity of the guilty. We cannot claim that stability of society requires that some deliberate unpleasantness must be allowed to happen. That was the excuse used for torture at Guantanamo Bay.

    We cannot escape to the rhetoric of economics when the elephant in he room is not finance but trust. And who can trust a nation that treats its own defenseless children in such a way?

    This is why the debt/GDP matter is quite irrelevant today.

    • Tim

      Malcolm, quite right.

      Yet, even today, as people thump their craws about the past abuses, we neglect the services that should protect children.

      We prognosticate on the recession and attempt to “prioritise” public spending, while removing the right of children to school books.

      In Ireland today, no adult can physically hit another legally: it is assault.

      Yet any and every parent is legally allowed to hit their little child and it is not deemed assault.

      We legislate to levy everything; legislate to save banks; but thousands of little children will be physically hit and emotionally hurt today, no matter how much of a diversion the report will be in the media.

    • “(Lisnevin at Millisle and St Patrick’s in Belfast were just as bad)”

      The Kincora Boys home was no picnic either.

    • Dilly

      I received an e-mail this morning from a friend, it just had this quote and nothing else.

      “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children. ”

      Nelson Mandela, South African black civil rights leader (1918 – )

      • It’s shameful Dilly. The more I read about yesterdays farce and think about what this society tolerated the more disgusted I get.
        What are we now in the eyes of the world?
        Diddly diddly porter loving child batterers?

        If we all gave just one minute to actually think about the detail of what happened – disgusting and no-one brought to justice.

        • Dilly

          I have tried to debate with people in the past, but, it usually ends in an argument, and then finishes with the comment “if you don’t like it then leave”.

          • The ultimate denial defense response. or guilt?

          • G

            @ Dilly, that’s happened to me too, I was told to Cuba if I think that system has much to offer.

            I guess we can add intolerant to the growing list of Irish characteristics.

            Watched Channel 4′s coverage of the abuse issue, it was their headline story, and thought, that’s it, there is nothing left……………….who would want to come, not to mind, invest in this grubby little place………….

    • Garry

      I’m a little nervous of these occassions… talk is cheap, and just makes people feel good…

      One other news story that sickened me in the last few weeks was the guy who was imprisoned on an abuse charge, who was innocent but only found out the child (now an adult) had retracted the allegation by chance meetings. And that person got zero co-operation from the DPP…..Have to praise the person who fessed up but the actions of those in the justice system were disgracefull.

      Its part of the same problem, institutions are respected and protected but people are not, whether its the church, the banks or the institutions of the state. The mentality is to protect the institution at all costs, doesnt matter about the individual

      How do we stop this happening again? The same rights, rules & responsibilities for everyone…. just like AndrewG is referring to on a different matter

      The church is one of the biggest landowners in the country, force them to sell assets and rent. Why not have a levy on church income to compensate some of the victims… When orders/priests etc see the bottom line is affected then they will change. And its a public reminder that their actions have cost them.
      So it happened in educational facilities run by the state… How about an abuse levy on all workers (and retired pensions) in the education sector… Inspectors, teachers, caretakers etc.
      Same with the banks, how about a levy to make workers and regulators there pay for some of the damage?

      Isnt it terrible and then sending the bill to everyone doesnt solve anything

  36. Another Marie Antoinette moment yesterday;

    ” Told he was at the driving wheel when the economy crashed, Mr Cowen responded:
    “I’m sorry — the economy hasn’t crashed. It’s going through a severe contraction.” He said he didn’t accept the Government had blown the boom because everywhere he went he saw new hospitals and freshly-built schools and roads.
    Mr Cowen said the “swift and severe change in fortunes” had not been predicted by anybody.”

    Well now, thats ok then. Hopefully our contractions will lead to the birth of reality, something this Taoiseach is sadly lacking any grasp of.
    Since several notable people, notwithstanding 2 books on the subject by our host, had being warning about a downturn I can only presume the reference to changes in fortunes relates to the personal wealth profiles of the elite.
    Roll on the General election.
    Can’t come quick enough.

    • Tim

      Furrylugs,
      “everywhere he went he saw new hospitals and freshly-built schools and roads.”

      … yeah, that’s because he only goes to those places on those roads; Why would he be pictured in a rat-infested, damp, roof-falling-in, overcrowded-30-in-a-classroom school? Arrived at by a road with the grass growing up in the middle of it built for donkeys and carts and not cars?

      And the hospitals? St. James’ in Dublin has a lovely, modern, “very glassy” vestibule…… but the part of that hospital I had to take my 8 year old daughter to for surgery was away from the glassy building, across the car-park and in….. yes? …….. a Pre-fab!

      Now, I am not complaining here, really, as she felt perfectly at home because it was a pre-fab; she thinks this is normal life and that school and hospital, etc., are all like that (they nearly ARE!) and that only home is bricks-and-mortar; everyplace else is “pre-fab”.

      Politicians do not get photographed in the pre-fabs; they go to the “Glassy Vestibule”.

  37. not only did he of at least some of his economists know, but the crash is actually written in the genes of the entire debt based inflationary money system. exponentially rising debt will only keep going as long as the real economy is expanding ahead of it. once the credit bubbles started in the U.S and here at home it was end game.

    again, its very simple,l either he knew it was coming or he didn’t.
    if he knew adn did nothing: he’s negligent so he should go.
    if he didn’t know: he’s incompetent so he should go

  38. More money squandered in Harneys pursuit of failed UK NHS policies.

    “ONE OF Cork’s main hospitals said yesterday it would not participate in any discussions to implement a plan commissioned by the HSE that would see the centralisation of all acute hospital services in the city and county at Cork University Hospital.
    Mercy University Hospital chief executive Pat Madden said the board of the 152-year-old hospital had voted to reject a report commissioned by the HSE South on the reconfiguration of hospital services in Cork and Kerry.
    The report by Horwath Consulting Ireland and Teamwork Management Services recommends the transfer of all acute services from the Mercy and the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital in Cork city and from Bantry and Mallow general hospitals to CUH.
    The report says that such a move, to be carried out over a five-year period, is designed to establish a regional centre of excellence at CUH which would provide the critical mass necessary for the delivery of quality outcomes.
    In the sixth year of the programme acute services at Kerry General Hospital in Tralee would be relocated.”

    So the whole of Cork and Kerry will be depending on one super hospital. Who came up with this drivel?

    (1)
    “Mott MacDonald has substantially strengthened its health sector capability with the acquisition of leading clinical management and business strategy consultancy Teamwork Management Services. The firm specialises in redesigning health services.”

    (2)
    “Horwath Bastow Charleton is one of the leading Chartered Accountancy and Business Advisory practices in Ireland and is the representative firm in Ireland of Horwath International, a worldwide group of independent accountancy firms with over 400 offices in 370 cities with some 16,000 staff worldwide.”

    A bunch of number crunchers and a foreign consultancy responsible for this sort of services delivery.

    http://tpa.typepad.com/bettergovernment/2008/01/major-study-on.html

    My niece was recently quoted 15k for some dental work here. She got it done in Poland for 3k with flights and accomodation included. Totally satisfied with the work completed and 12k better off.

    It’s not just the bankers and developers that are failing the country.
    Apologies for the non-economic biased rant. I might need that super-bug centre later in life and the prospect horrifies me.

    • Deco

      I might sound a bit cynical…but I have to ask what are they doing for 15K…replacing an entire set of dentures with gold….as Mama Harni sez…shoparound…

  39. huffnpuffpolly

    Huffnpuff greets you all from Sligo
    No time to lurk or blog.
    I’ve joined the Susan O’Keeffe campaign as a volunteer in Ireland North WEst. First time i’m actively involved in a campaign or party but I was energised by a certain man who is a neo-liberal on economic issues and arch conservative on social issues, so i decided to do what I could to prevent him being elected.
    i agree with creditcrunchr we have to look at the type of economy we want but we also need to look at the sort of society we want. boom and bust may be cyclical but the height and depth are due to economic decisions made by business and government.
    Wake up and smell the roses.

  40. @wills

    This link should assist in your quest for a CDO MBA.

    http://www.structuredcreditinvestor.com/breakingnews.asp

    • Philip

      Ugh!, I think it’s a rubbish artcle. It says nothing new and presumes a business as usual view to recovery assuming you cut wages, diminish rights etc etc etc. Very one dimensional reinforced by the view of our own one dimensional MO’Leary. Mind you, the article was taking the mick a bit with Mick by highlighting the victimising nature of the man with his girlie calendar and bumming a euro off a flight attendant.

      So upshot is…screw the workers and their rights etc and fire as many of teh PS as possible we should be returning Ireland to the good old sweatshop it was (albeit more hi-tech) just like the old days.

      We are a nation of opportunists (which is true) but useless at taking the long view That’s all it is. Understand the weakness here.

    • Original-Ed

      That article tells it as it is – any of us that have been through failure know that it’s best to shoot the wounded and start afresh – dragging things out only prolongs the agony . O’Leary is saying that in his own way.

    • liam

      I cannot abide this Michael O’Leary hero worship nonsense. He just loves to cultivate that image of being the casual “here is how it is lads” best buddy type. Lets not forget that he is as successful as he is because of the huge increase in demand for international flights the perceived rise in prosperity has brought.

      He’s an exemplar himself: He bought his own private Mercedes taxi so that he can ride in special commuter lanes and not have to sit in traffic” …an exemplar of being just another cute hoor.

      The article is a good enough summary of the situation though i cannot see how the promiIs Ireland not already being bailed out by the ECB? How are tax rises avoidable ses of the “Government” that it refers to are in any way realistic. I suppose what can be taken from this is that propaganda is working to some extent.

      • liam

        crap, that post was completely broken.

        I cannot abide this Michael O’Leary hero worship nonsense. He just loves to cultivate that image of being the casual “here is how it is lads” best buddy type. Lets not forget that he is as successful as he is because of the huge increase in demand for international flights the perceived rise in prosperity has brought.

        “He’s an exemplar himself: He bought his own private Mercedes taxi so that he can ride in special commuter lanes and not have to sit in traffic” …an exemplar of being just another cute hoor.

        The article is a good enough summary of the situation though i cannot see how the promises of the “Government” that it refers to are in any way realistic. I suppose what can be taken from this is that propaganda is working to some extent.

  41. Philip

    What Ireland needs now is a Simazine for clouds so they cannot rain. Something that kills any seeding possibility. That’s what’s killing this country and is the main reason the Romans never came here and properly sorted out the place.

    • Philip

      Maybe we could get Michael O’Leary’s jets to seed the clouds as they roll off the atlantic and fill up those valleys that Spirit of Ireland is on about. It would eliminate windmills, save the birds, give us endless energy as it tried to rain more and more and MOL would be in clover.

      • Interesting. Apparently anti aircraft guns can be used too. But there’s a hitch. The by product of silver iodide is chloroform.
        Now, if the batteries were sited along the Kerry coast to intercept the worst of the clouds, the noise and chloroform would stop those buggers winning the next 40 All Irelands.
        Must remember the tablets tomorrow.

    • coldblow

      Actually I think it’s the reason we missed out on the slow evolution of capitalism in the forests of Western Europe over the ages: clearing the land, setting aside seedcorn, accumulating capital in tools and livestock for ploughing. Our wet, mild climate made tillage unattractive, even making winter fodder – a pastoral tribal people stealing one another’s cattle. I understand this is what happened to the Normans: they soon abandoned the unequal struggle, threw aside the plough and reverted to the pastoralism of the Gael becoming in the process “hiberniores ipsis hibenioribus” (not sure of the grammar there). England’s climate was a bit better but it was still on the margin of the cradle of capitalism. Cue the emergence of the wool trade and the “commercialization” of the land, the dissolution of the monasteries and an insatiable land thirst. Now where could they find more of this scarce commodity? We know the answer to that one… (You’d think I know what I’m talking about!) Yeah, the rain has a lot to answer for!

  42. Philip

    I would like to get a sense of proportion of what is really going on. That news on this morning’s Morning Ireland regard the withdrawl of 2M Euro from the abused victims while the lawyers budget remained untouched nearly caused me to crash the car. We have really lost it guys.

    As for the DMcW’s article – stating the obvious, but with skill. Now, I would like to know how we can have a current deficit of 28Bn and keep it filled in with bonds when we all know they’ll never be paid back unless something serious and I expect rather newsworthy is going to happen soon….very soon. We are heading for austerity measures as a matter of enforced policy on the plain people of Ireland with no hope of light at the end of the tunnel.

    Do not for one minute accept that it should be normal for 40s plus to wind up on the scrapheap…next thing they’ll want you to swallow is that you should kill off the pension holders and the infirm in the interests of managing our health care budget….or that we really do not need to educate too many people or we’ll have not enough farm labourers…’tis all about tightening the belts lads.

    • coldblow

      “or that we really do not need to educate too many people or we’ll have not enough farm labourers”

      Interestingly Joe Lee’s history of Ireland mentions the fact that in the early 20s, just after Independence, the big farmers strongly opposed plans to extend education as it would deprive them of farm labouring hours. The gov. (Cumann na nGael) gave into them. There is no doubt in whose interests Ireland has been governed down through the years.

  43. StephenKenny

    This gives an interesting overview of some of the background to what has been, and quite possibly will be, going on:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200905/imf-advice

    Simon Johnson was the Chief Economist of the IMF.

    • Original-Ed

      Very interesting – the template is a good fit for our situation

    • Thanks Stephen,
      Very interesting. I found the last paragraph called me to re-read it all…

      “The conventional wisdom among the elite is still that the current slump “cannot be as bad as the Great Depression.” This view is wrong. What we face now could, in fact, be worse than the Great Depression–because the world is now so much more interconnected and because the banking sector is now so big. We face a synchronized downturn in almost all countries, a weakening of confidence among individuals and firms, and major problems for government finances. If our leadership wakes up to the potential consequences, we may yet see dramatic action on the banking system and a breaking of the old elite. Let us hope it is not then too late.”

      I’m really writing this as a way of easing myself back into this blog. The abuse of Irish children by an Irish elite… A minister for children who’s lost his humanity and become an impotent voice.

      Croneyism everywhere I look…

      • Tim

        Paul, Welcome! No need to “ease” back in………. just jump back in. Although Stephen’s link is to an old article, it is always worth re-posting – just as the reminder we got about how NOT to (mis) treat children in this country; some things can never be said too many times.

        Let’s outlaw slapping.

        Not that I want to criminalise parents or have them imprisoned and taken away from their kids, but as a marker that, in our society, violence against children is unacceptable.

        Let’s make the statement, for now. If we do, perhaps in a generation we might have children growing up in this country without knowing what it is like to be hit or slapped by the people who should protect them the most: their parents.

        Let us not forget, in this emotive time in the media about this report on abuse, that, although the report shows systemic abuse of children in state and religious institutions, 90% of child-abuse is perpetrated by the children’s own mommy and daddy.

        How awfully horrific.

  44. Tim

    Furrylugs, Philip, two very interesting points on labour costs in the link Furry gave above and Philip said “Ugh!”:

    1) “Denis O’Brien, the billionaire cellphone entrepreneur who also owns a chain of radio stations in Ireland: “I’d be extremely reluctant to invest in France or Germany because of the labor laws. You have too many rules and negotiations. In Ireland we can cut labor costs very quickly.”

    This tells the truth and counters the spin that Irish workers are the best paid in the EU. It also proves that ICTU is a self-serving cabal with no real interest whatsoever in promoting the pay and working conditions of the ordinary workers who pay union subscriptions to pay ICTU bosses’ generous salaries and expenses. ICTU is in bed with Govt. and IBEC, united in exploiting ordinary decent working people.

    2) “I just hired someone who was laid off from a U.S. company – and had been making $200,000 a year – for $133,000,” says Slattery of State Street. “We’re looking at no increase in labor costs for three to four years.”

    This shows that public sector wages are not the issue in our economic crisis; they are not high. With the average Garda protecting us, the average nurse healing us when sick and the average teacher in loco-parentis of our children and educating them, all earning about one third of what Slattery gleefully presents as a bargain salary.

    The ordinary PS worker (not the Drumms of this world) would be very lucky to clear 100 euro per day for their labour; In private sector work, a professional can clear that in an hour and a half or less.

    No, the level of PS pay is not the problem, though the spin says it is; when you argue this, the spin says that it is the number of PS workers that, cumulatively, adds up to the PS wage problem; then there is the ESRI report that shows that, per capita, we have the lowest number of PS workers in the EU.

    The spin says that Denis O’Brien is telling lies in this article…….

    …… anyone here think that O’Brien would lie about that?

  45. paddythepig

    Tim,

    As usual you are talking out your arse. What are you suggesting – that nurses, teachers, and guards should get a three-fold pay increase?

    Wake up will ya.

    Paddy.

    • Tim

      Paddy,

      I am not suggesting anything at all, just trying to show that it is a lie to spin the idea that the wages of gardai, nurses and teachers is the problem; the constant spin in the media that so many people are believing; just what I said, Slattery said and O’Brien said; nothing more.

      You can read what they said for yourself, Paddy.

      No need for you to ram non-existent “suggestions” down my throaght.

      I made no suggestion.

      Do you think O’Brien is telling a lie in the article?

      Quit swallowing the spin that rte and the irish times feeds you, Paddy; you’ll feel better.

      • paddythepig

        Tim,

        As has been explained to you many times, the wages of teachers nurses & gardai is a big part of the problem. Your employer is bankrupt.

        Private sector wages are dictated by the market. No money coming in, no job. There are thousands of people in this situation right now ; you constantly beating your drums for your rather protected interest lobby, to the expense of all others, is an insult to their predicament.

        There are too many of ye. Do you think all teachers, nurses and gardai put in a hard day’s work? I know they don’t. What needs to happen is that the wasters need to be sacked, and the pay of the remainder needs to be trimmed according to what can be afforded. Those who don’t like it can head for the exits if they want.

        BTW Tim, I don’t read the Irish Times, or believe everything I see on RTE. The only person living in la-la land is you. No wonder yourself and your fellow donkeys in FF bankrupted the country.

        Forget your conspiracy theories, and learn to add and subtract.

        Paddy.

        • Tim

          Paddy, get over yourself and get over my opinion. I am as entitled to it as you are.

          There are thousands of teachers in the same position you mention here, losing their jobs; many contract nurses, I’m sure, too. Quit the Public-private sector divide-and-conquer-spin and see these people as what they are: all ordinary workers; all getting average wages and all getting screwed by this recession.

          There are NOT “too many” of us, Paddy. There are too few; and as this recession deepens, despite Cowen’s lies yesterday, you may find that you will need MORE gardai, not less, when the social unrest starts; more nurses to clean up the mess and heal people and , yes, MORE teachers to educate the masses so that we can climb out of the mess we are in.

          If you think education is too expensive, try ignorance.

          If the workers you berate did, in fact, “head for the exits”, this country would have even bigger problems; and, by all accounts, that is exactly what many are doing: record numbers of gardai are leaving this year (700 I am informed) and countless school principals and young teachers being let go – NONE of whom are being replaced, so don’t mess around about them heading for the exits, it is a real problem, not just your anti-PS rhetoric and MY children’s educational prospects are being harmed by the loss of grants to schools, loss of their teacher, not to mention the emotional upset this is causing my children.

          I do not have conspiracy theories, Paddy – I don’t need them; I have the reality that I live with on the ground every day with my own family and the social deprivation this recession is causing to the families of the students I teach – many now suffering unemployment, loss of school grants for their courses, loss of their free book scheme and their teachers as well.

          I am only trying to figure out what to do with this mess too, just like you, but I do not berate or attack personally, anyone here for it, or any particular group of ordinary workers. I certainly have not attacked your profession, since I do not know what it is (unless, of course, you are a banking boss, or a Union boss, in which case I have!).

          Tim.

          • paddythepig

            Tim,

            Can you manage even one week of not plugging your own interest group on this forum? I don’t think so.

            If yours is the standard of analysis being dished out to our kids in schools, I pity them. They’d be better off at home watching the Afternoon show.

            We need more guards? Get real. There are 14000 of them already. What are they all doing? I know some. The ones I know would run a mile from a day’s work. That is fact. That is not to say there are not some excellent hard working guards out there. But I doubt any of them were shouting with you outside Dail Eireann.

            Also, how many full-time permanent teachers have been let go? I’ll bet the answer is ‘none’. And don’t be under any illusion. If any teacher heads for the exits, there will be thousands of good, intelligent replacements more than happy to take their place. You are far from irreplacable.

            You claim to be anti social deprivation? Socially deprived kids need a culture of opportunity, not the economic trainwreck which is all you and your FF cronies offer them.

            When you finally figure out this mess, you’ll realise it was you and your buddies that created it. There would be plenty of money for school books if ye hadn’t created a ridiculous bubble, paying yourselves unsustainable pay increases with the proceeds.

            Paddy.

          • Tim

            Paddy, thanks again for directing your anger at me, personally. I do not have the power and influence over government decisions that you credit me with and blame me for. I also have not been “paying myself unsustainable pay increases”, as I have no control over that, either and had worked hard and struggled to pay the bills all my life.

            Please redirect your ire at the rich and powerful. I am as disgusted as you are with FF and the rich cronies who have caused this problem

          • Tim

            Paddy, also, you might consider addressing the points I make some time instead of personal insults towards me and my job. If you persist in criticising teachers and others in the PS, you should at least be willing to disclose your own occupation and earnings – otherwise it is not honest discussion.

  46. JJ Tatten

    I seem to recall the Irish overthrowing the most powerful, most organised and most well-armed empire the world had ever seen. Why does a liver-lipped gobshite from Offaly pose such an insurmountable problem (his gargantuan gut aside)? Why are we in awe of a shower of self-serving yahoos? We have seen peaceful revolutions in eastern Europe – couldn’t we have one here? If a few thousand disgruntles turned up at the Dail and said ‘Brian, you’re fired’ what would he do? Call in the Defence Forces?…. Oooooh scary – those Air-Sea-Rescue helicopters might strafe the crowd with abseiling ropes and life-jackets. Or perhaps those Uber-fit crack troops in the FCA might throw wet tissues and hurleys at the crowd. Some authority figures – now there’s a laughable concept – and paedophiles (sorry, priests) – might turn up and shout “Careful now”? How many Gardai are trained in crowd-control? Not to mention the oft-asked question – Where does your lap go when you stand up?

    • Tim

      JJ tatten, 120,000 people turned up at a protest march in February 2009; public and private sector workers together. That scared ‘em, that the spin-fabricated-divide was gone.

      The only problem is that the 120,000 were calm and obedient citizens. Even though the off-duty gardai were with us and their on-duty colleagues were with us in spirit, the unions had organised the protest and the union members dutifully obeyed their union bosses and stopped outside Government Buildings, which we own, instead of entering, as is our right.

      All well-behaved boys and girls.

      • JJ Tatten

        Tim

        “As is our right” – spot on there.

        I wonder, if those same 120,000 were to turn up now, would they be so passive? Especially given the fact that, this very day, Cowering Cowen’s Minister for Education – the marvellously, aptly monikered Batt O’Keeffe said that there was “no legal way” that the 2002 deal granting religious congregations indemnity against child-abuse claims can be renegotiated.

        Why not?
        Why not?
        Why not?

        Is the state actually in danger of sanctioning child-abuse? Are they suggesting that the law be used to protect abusers and deny any sense of justice for the abused?

        Were they to march tomorrow, I would suggest that this abhorration of natural justice coupled with the staggering incompetence of Govt might persuade a few of the 120,000 to enter Govt Buildings.

        Am I being overly cynical in suggesting that those ‘off-duty’ gardai you referred to, might not actually have been truly ‘off-duty’?

        • Tim

          JJTatten,

          I assure you that they were with us, both the off-duty and on-duty ones: they are mad as HELL at the way they are being treated; They lay their lives on the line every day in their job and they are being labelled “parasites” by the “business-speakers-going-forward”, IBEC, the govt. and the media.

          Ingratitude, I say.

          Why not? Why did we not occupy our government buildings? We are too well trained to be complient and acquiescent. Sheeple.

        • I think I’m right in saying that the offending organisatons were “guaranteed” a 10c in the Euro hit for compensation costs.
          The taxpayer will pay the other 90%.

          • Tim

            Furrylugs, it is difficult, not being a mathematician or anything, but I calculate, among all the mad plethora of levies (income levy, pension levy, health levy and insurance levy), take a breath…….

            ….. that the ordinary PS worker on the average industrial wage or less, is now down 15% at least on their earnings last year.

            Worst-case-scenario-being-admitted right now is that GDP is down by 7% or 11%.

            Why should ordinary workers lose more than the GDP loses?

          • Tim

            and how can they buy anything, to spend money in the real economy,to keep it going, when thay have no discretionary spending left and are afraid to spend anything they might have?

            People I know in the public service, who were barely surviving a month ago, cannot pay their mortgages and food-bills this month, with the doubling of the levy.

            They do not have enough money to pay now.

            They are being pushed into default with the banks that we are all guaranteeing.

            We will have to pay for their defaults.

            I hope, then, that no-one gets any more wage cuts.

          • Garry

            funny… I think Furry is referring to the religuous orders only paying 10% of compensation costs for the abuse, tim is talking about public sector pay…

            But sure no matter, just lob it all on the national credit card. sure its just a few more trips to frankfurt for Lenihan to sell more bonds.

            Jeasus why didnt we think of that before…. These bond things must be great stuff altogether, the germans are mad for them. Can we get an oul factory going to make a few more of them

            What do you do with a bond anyways?
            Can you eat it? No
            Can you burn it? No
            Sure what fucking good is it then? once you buy it you can sit on your hole and force the seller to pay it all back with interest? If they dont, their children will…

            oops

          • Philip

            127M Cap while the Taxpayer forks up 1Bn

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