November 22, 2009

Ghettoisation of the nation

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Last Friday’s 9.55am train from Limerick pulled out on time, hurtling towards the ‘Junction’. As we sped past the waterlogged land on a beautiful morning, commuters on the train were going about their business as normal, reading about the treacherous Thierry Henry in the paper and chatting to friends on the phone.

As we arrived at Limerick Junction – a bleak enough place which hasn’t changed an iota since the early 1980s – a talkative grandmother cornered me to discuss the ‘‘situation’’. I regretted having the last pint in Limerick’s wonderful White House the night before. It probably wasn’t absolutely necessary.

The Cork train arrived just in time and I settled in, gazing out the window and thinking about how normal the country seemed, even though we are nearly bankrupt. Is this how it will be? Will we meander on as if nothing is happening, until we wake up and realise that the credit taps have been turned off?

When you look for real signs of the massive fall in our income, when you look for signs of the €20 billion-odd budget deficit, it is easy to convince yourself that these things are remote. But as you travel through the countryside ,you slowly begin to see the trauma. Every town the train passes through has the same ‘ghost estates’ on the outskirts – desperate places that are worth nothing, or next to nothing. How will these mortgages ever be paid?

At Thurles, the guy opposite me got chatting about how he’d lost his job in April. He was a young accountant, and he was going to Dublin to do his fourth interview since then. He had expected to bounce back in May or maybe June, but having scoured the papers since then, he was beginning to sink. He’d expected dozens of interviews and was confident that, having finished the first year of training, he’d be fine. But six months on, nothing was emerging. He was 24.

We nattered away until Heuston Station and, as we came closer and closer to Dublin, more and more ghost estates appeared.

From Kildare to Dublin, all we saw were rows and rows of empty housing estates, which were beginning to suffer from what has been called the ‘broken windows theory’.

This is when a neighbourhood begins to falter. A window is broken here and there, and soon the place starts disintegrating. If the windows are not fixed straight away, it sends out a signal that it is fine to break windows. Then the rot sets in.

In time, rather than being ‘worth something’, the houses begin to cost the owners. But the owners might have lost their jobs, so they don’t have the cash to fix up the house and, in short order, the places become quasi-ghettos. This has happened in many parts of the US. It could well happen here.

The key to the ghettoisation of our ghost estates will be the rate of unemployment.

If unemployment continues its upward trend, these places will be abandoned – and might ultimately be pulled down in a crime prevention move in the years ahead. The one thing that will drive crime in the years ahead is youth unemployment (but more on that later).This all sounds radical now, but the lesson from this crisis is that what sounded radical last year is now mainstream, and what sounded mainstream last year just sounds silly.

If we look at the chart from the US, we can see a clear correlation between the rise in unemployment and the number of properties that are being foreclosed on.

While there are outliers like Florida, where foreclosures seem to be running way ahead of unemployment – probably due to defaults on the huge amount of holiday homes in the state – the trend is pretty much as you’d expect.

In Ireland, we will see a similar pattern emerging. I expect unemployment to rise significantly next year as the financial industry contracts. This will mean large layoffs in our banks and insurance companies.

As well as this, the public sector will contract after the budget cuts, and retail employment will fall away after Christmas under the twin pressures of higher taxes and charges, and the strong euro driving thousands over the border to shop.

If we look at our unemployment figures, we see a potentially explosive rise in youth unemployment, which has not been properly documented yet. According to the CSO’s quarterly national household survey,12.1 per cent of our 15to 19-yearolds were unemployed in July 2007.This has jumped to a terrifying 36.4 per cent. Think about it – more than a third of our youth who are not in education are unemployed.

In the next age group, the 20to 24year-olds, the figures are equally frightening. When this government came into power, 8 per cent of this group were unemployed. This figure stands at 23 per cent, or close to one in four, today. In the key 25-34 age group – the ‘Pope’s Children Generation’ -13.4 per cent are out of work now, as opposed to 4.7 per cent the month that this government won the election.

The three-fold rise in unemployment in the 25-34 age group is why defaults will increase dramatically. These are the first time buyers who were shamefully cajoled into getting on the property ladder. Now they can’t repay their loans. Many thousands will simply walk away from their houses, hand in the keys and turn their backs on yesterday’s false dream.

When these houses become vacant – with no one to rent them, because you need jobs to have a healthy rental market – these estates will become classic breeding grounds for marginalisation. Some of the 35 per cent of those between 15 and 19 who are idle won’t be long finding these estates to hang out in. This is the way it goes.

The gardaí will eventually stop patrolling the estates, and the places will fall apart. Again, we have the evidence from US cities which, in the 1970s and 1980s, were allowed to deteriorate. The people who live in these estates will try to maintain standards, but they will eventually flee in the face of constant crime.

Many of the young men like the guy I met on the train will just head off if they can’t find jobs, and try their luck in the likes of London, Sydney or Boston. We are just witnessing the tip of the iceberg now.

We are living in extraordinary times, and we need extraordinary policy changes. Thus far, we are just seeing incrementalism because we have been lulled into a false sense of security by the calm before the storm. However, to get out of this mess, we will need to entertain extraordinary remedies. Otherwise, a country with close to 30 per cent of its youth under the age of 25 on the dole could become very, very angry.


  1. Lius

    It’s like watching a train crash in slow motion, everyone is so stunned about what is about to happen it has caused national paralysis. No one can move due to the horror of what is about to take place. But when the awful events finally take place and people see the extent of the somouldering wreckage there will be uncontrollable anger in the streets.

    • Your comparison with a train wreck is flawed in that it suggests we are now in an abnormal situation.
      I would argue that the abnormality was in the celtic tiger era.
      The crash is a realisation that the celtic tiger world was just a dream to which we became so accustomed we see reality as an ugly catastrophe.
      In time we will see that the real nightmare lay in the four hour commutes to work, the day long creches we put our children into, tomorrows child abuse centres, and we were the abusers, and on and on. That was the real nightmare, the derailment from simpler values. Behind every dark cloud is a silver lining

  2. National Strike to-morrow is liken to a runaway train at high speed without a pilot and the greatest national hypocracy since the foundation of The State and will be the final straw that breaks the camel’s back to cause the demise of The Euro ( a’ la Irlandaise ) .We can ill afford a strike and more importantly its purpose is ill founded .We should not be challenging each other to wanting more money rather instead to agreeing to know how to share it equitably and investing it in our children to help them to find work.
    The Blue Moon rises NOW and the Danger has begun .
    This is not a Government Warning .This is YOU down The Tube.

    • tony_murphy

      I agree that the strike should not go ahead. It will mainly hurt ordinary people. There are better smarter ways to passing a message to government.

      • We need plenty of marching! Public sector and private sector.

        We need it to be let known the fools mantra ‘we are all in this together’ is not true.

        Financial Times magazine recently rated Lenihan 19th out of 19 surveyed on how best they we’re responding to the global banking/financial crisis, in 2008 he came second last.

        However, to read sections of our media The crew who got us into this mess are doing a great job!

        Feted by sections of the media with propoganda in favour of this incompetent crew, taxpayer money pays the bankers, their piratical/incompetent boards still in place!

        NAMA is winding banks down to be little more than credit unions and the morons who ran them into the ground get crazy starstruck salaries.

        Notice how lightly some of this crew get interviewed on RTE while hostility is often handed out to the
        opposition?

        Nothing from them on ghettoisation/detroitification/disempowerment and impoverishment of the young. These get light media coverage, unlike above.

        People have had enough from them and need to publicly show their displeasure, nature itself is out of
        kilter as long as they remain at the helm.

        @fahyil unlikely we’ll withdraw from euro. More likely the ECB will flood Ireland with more IOU’s allowing more money to be printed to (theory) kickstart development -the hope is growth led inflation will reduce the burden value of debt.

        It’s like building a house under an overhanging cliff and hoping it won’t rain!

        Our incompetent government lost in the trickery of Irish banking is impoverishing the future as well as the present.

        Smart economy isn’t it.

        Not:)

        • tony_murphy

          think of those in private sector who need to keep their jobs, public sector striking will put those jobs at risk

          think of those in hospitals needing treatment

          why should students be denied a chance to learn?

          why do people do business with these banks for instance? anyone who does business with them is feeding the beast. there are better ways.

    • G

      strike ironically might work to government’s advantage, savings in wage packet!

      But you have a point on hypocrisy when it comes to Union leadership, majority of members are on low wages, and their voice should be heard, think strike is ineffectual but would rather see it than not, still believe we need to do a ‘Greece’ on it, take to the streets and not leave until Government is forced out.

      • ian

        forget about hyprocrisy of the union leadership ( they couldn’t run an effing bath ). How ironic was it to see our beloved leader calling for fair play over the hand ball affair last week. If he took his own advice he would piss off into the sunset ( a magnificent gesture of fair play ) and let us start rebuilding our economy.

  3. Tim

    John ALLEN, you are right about the strike in that it is a stitch-up. Rather than 330,000 workers, their families and children, included in the 850,000 schoolchildren, all marching on Dail Eireann to convince the govt to “share it equitably and investing it in our children to help them to find work.”, we have, with Trade Union collusion, instead a “Divide and Conquer” strategy, with mini-pickets outside thousands of workplaces.

    It will achieve nothing.

  4. fahyil

    If a possible solution is for Ireland to withdrew from the euro, does anyone know what would happen euro bank deposits in Ireland in the immediate aftermath? Would they lose a lot of their value. And will mortgages and other loans still be denominated in euro. How can the public or private debts in this country ever be repaid?

    • liam

      Can’t speak to anything but the first question the answer to which would be massive capital flight. Presumably there would have to be some negotiation with the ECB on the initial exchange rate, which would lock in private debts and the resultant inflation would presumably reduce them dramatically. Its hard to see how the country would not face either a massive increase in national debt, or default. However, that is exactly where we are now, and as much as a shock to the system as leaving the Euro would be, it would do wonders for competitiveness in the long term, I suppose.

  5. liam

    David, a useful warning. Will it take the possibility of Irish police or Irish soldiers shooting rioting Irish citizens on the streets of Dublin, Cork, Limerick before a critical mass of the political classes realise they have screwed up big time?

    • severelyltd

      The question of civil unrest will start tomorrow with the public service strike. Our military are being drafted in to protect our politicians holed up in Leinster house while their normal Gardai bodyguard are on strike. The Gardai and army have already shown their disdain for the government with the Gardai saying they wanted the bankers charged and the army having suffered massive cutbacks in the boom times. My worry is that if there are riots then having trigger happy goons running about in uniforms could spark something unsavoury. We have roughly 10000 Gardai and the same in the Army. The numbers don’t add up if you have 500K unemployed who are willing to fight. If the situation came to a head I think the states security services would quickly turn on the Government. The other week Gardai not in uniform surrounded the Dail in protest. If that isn’t a clear message I don’t know what is.

      • G

        They’ve got the guns, we’ve got the numbers.

        Can’t see a shot being fired to support this government, the army made their position clear a year ago, with members saying they didn’t want to be used as strike breakers, reitred guards marched in front of me a couple of weeks ago with a banner that said ‘retired gardai want bankers jailed’

        If the people come out on the streets, this government would be gone in a week, that is what is needed but hasn’t reached critical mass yet, another 3 months needed, harsh budget, more unemployment, more calamity Coughlan/Cowen/Lenihan et al, and Feb/March you may see something, just needs a spark…..

  6. denisk

    The people on strike, will learn pretty soon that they are only hurting themselves.
    They will come to realize that it`s their own families and relatives that are being affected by their actions, and this carry on will stop.
    Youth disaffection and violence will be another story, as David has recognised.
    Denis

  7. liam

    Interesting article on the European sovereign bond markets:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/86a7ca6a-d794-11de-b578-00144feabdc0.html

    • Malcolm McClure

      liam: Sovereign Bond price provides our best window on the future.

      Gillian Tett says “It is even easier to anticipate a sharp rise in bond yields — and a corresponding sharp fall in bond prices — particularly when central banks stop their quantitative easing programmes. Some smart hedge funds are betting on just that.”
      Of course she has it the wrong way round. It is the selling of the bonds that improves the yield.
      There is definitely some funny business going on.
      3.5% War Loan is bouncing about over a short term range of 10%.
      Can someone please explain what that is all about.

  8. roc

    “However, to get out of this mess, we will need to entertain extraordinary remedies.”

    Are you crazy? The people in charge are corrupt, inept, and totally compromised by their stakes in the systemic exploitation of latter years of our country’s resources and youth etc.

    Better for them to do nothing. The reason is because POSITIVE FEEDBACK LOOPS will make anything they do make everything far worse. We have seen plenty of evidence of this in every single significant action they have taken so far in respect to this crisis.

    I repeat, better for them to do nothing and look towards their own house.

  9. Puschkin the Black and White Cat

    I get sick when I hear the name union. I appear to me all the unions members are Public Service or Protected Sector (ESB, CIE, Banks etc). Can any tell the CAT are there any “real workers” (people who produce things) in unions any more. So the Unions are just another manifestation of the state on our backs. Please if anybody has numbers the CAT would like to hear them, numbers of Public Sector, semi-sate and protected workers in unions versus the number of productive works in unions.

    • Tim

      Puschkin the Black and White Cat, a trawl through the Union websites will yield some answers;

      You may wish to start here, though:

      http://www.ictu.ie/about/

      …. as it clearly states near the end of the page that ICTU represents “..over 832,000 members”.

      Now, there are about 330,000 public sector workers, leaving over 500,000 private sector members of Trade Unions.

      I do not know if you will consider these to be “real workers” (people who produce things), but I am sure that they consider themselves to be so.

  10. SLICKMICK

    We are definitely going the way of Chile,Uruguay etc.With no World Cup next summer, irate punters could toss this place into anarchy.Ditch the euro and this will give some breathing space.How are FF still in power?.Never learned to drive Dave?.

    • G

      Latin American parallel interesting, going the way of Argentina, unemployed, indebted population with government making every wrong move in the book, interesting times ahead……….

  11. MK1

    Hi David,

    As someone once wrote, we are really Up The Junction.

    I agree that the deteriorating (on average) situation will lead to increased crime and delinquency, etc. I also agree that the broken window problem can be the start of a crack in an area, and problem areas do nothing for society.

    However, I dont think it will be the cause of underutilised youth, at least not at first. I can imagine where the larger ‘under-occupied’ estates will become areas in the future where the kids of now 0-10 find themselves with less to do when 11-20. This problem will take the guts of a decade to manifest itself.

    Ironically, under-occupied estates are likely less problematic than the estates of the 1980′s.

    DavidMcW> Thus far, we are just seeing incrementalism because we have been lulled into a false sense of security by the calm before the storm.

    Agreed. We aint seen nothing yet and the 22 billion we are borrowing this year to pay for this years bills is but forstalling the flood of problems that would be here otherwise. 22 billion is one of the biggest stimulus packages going and we are still sinking.

    So much for the problems. Now, lets get back to some solutions.

    A recovery bond was mentioned I think. This would be where people put in money to save and get a good interest rate, and the gov doesnt have to go to the open markets to borrow. Savers could gain by getting better interest rates than the open market and the gov would gain by paying less than they do now for money on the open market. A win-win ….. you would think.

    Of course the question would remain: how much arer Irish people willing to invest in themselves? And if the money is only being used to pay for inefficient services today, why ‘invest’ in Ireland Teo at all? Is it a case of everyone for themselves? Are we a holed Titanic?

    MK1

  12. gadfly55

    At least a tinge of reality. The word for today is entropy, to which all the negatives associated with physical destruction and social disintegration can be attached, so that the present run of misfortune which has Cowen zombified, (did you see him with Gormless last night trying to be grateful for frontline workers in flood areas doing their duty for the people on Tuesday, as opposed to his duty to the banksters?) can be understood as the natural condition of existence in a fragment of a sub-Arctic island intermittently under one mile of ice, and generally under a flood of rain for months at a time, and generally inhospitable to its inhabitants who are more prolific and successful in more benign climes. The fact is, anyone with an ounce of wit not totally snookered with depreciating property as their wealth, will shortly be departing, and if they don’t, the people left here will endure social chaos beyond present comprehension of depression and downturn.

  13. gadfly55

    There is no way out of here, so quit believing you can find a way out of here by borrowing more money. The country has to cut, cut, cut because there is no sector other than Big Pharma FDI, that is making money, and not much of that actually finds its way into this economy, other than wages and salaries, and taxes derived therefrom. We are a very little fragment of waterlogged drift in the global tsunami, and the deep submarine currents, previously beyond our view on the helm of prosperity, now toss the fragments of our wreckage into an abyss beyond Hades.

  14. wills

    David.

    It’s worth reminding how did this happen.

    Too much lending, borrowing, spending in sum, a binge on materialism.

    The binging hit the bricks and the result is a ‘snapshot’ as detailed in your article.

    Ghettoisation.

    Ireland fell apart at the seams in the consumer binge rabid mania.

    Ghettoisation.

    Rabid consumerism ate ireland up and left a carcass in its wake.

    At least in the eighties we had soul and the mystic. All gone.

    The only hope of recovery of our soul as a nation we ever had was for the post celtic tiger mutation too go over the cliff and smash into the ground.

    Thank chr1st it has.

    Now, how will we go about fixing things.

    NAMA is a disaster and a false start rubbing salt into the wounds.

    We missed the first step with world cup the gods were not happy and stole it from us.

    Until us as a society really take a good look at ourselves and how rotten and hollowed out as a people as a society we are our recovery will be one false start after another.

    One false promise after another.

    Only truth will fix the books this time.

    And its going to hurt.

    Ghettoisation of the soul of the country is a good diagnosis and economics ain’t the cure.

    • Tim

      wills, yes on everything, but, especially this:

      “Ghettoisation of the soul of the country is a good diagnosis and economics ain’t the cure.”

      I also think this is spot-on:

      “Until us as a society really take a good look at ourselves and how rotten and hollowed out as a people as a society we are our recovery will be one false start after another.”

      Let’s keep at it……..

    • wills

      EDIT
      : > Until us as a society…….after another.

      Should read

      : > Until ‘us’ as a society take a good look at ‘ourselves’ and how diminished and hollowed out as a people….. after another.

      NOTE : the ‘us’ and ‘ourselves’ is in the proverbial use of the words.

      Wills.

  15. Garry

    Amazing what a trip on public transport can do for ones humour…. :)

    Cant see you doing any ads for Iarnroad Eireann… “Its time to take the train”

    Start playing a bit of Radiohead, Joy Division or whatever to complete the misery…

    The decisions as to who will pay for Seanies gambling debts was made in Fianna Fail headquarters and in the Anglo boardroom… Hopefully the right fuckers will be burned out when it all kicks off in 2011. ..

  16. wills

    An interesting link here to further the theme on ghettoisation of the spirit.

    The brits are reneging on a sweet heart deal with our gov and are now deciding on to dump 7 billion euro toxic debt into NAMA.

    The brits see irish society for what it is and never falter too exploit it any chance they can.

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article6926921.ece

    They see a broken country like a broken window and surprise surprise why not dump the toxic loans after all over there, what does it matter!!!!!!

    • JJ Tatten

      Wills,

      I’m hoping this isn’t the beginning of a series of ‘Brit-bashing’ comments – that’ll achieve nothing other than playing into the distracting hands of faux-nationalists in Fianna F***wit. The notion of Perfidious Albion is a Gaullist fantasy. As an Irishman in the UK – I can assure you that RBS’s level of concern for the financial well-being of the UK citizen is on a par with that which it has for the Irish Citizen. It’s all about shafting the little guy – irrespective of creed.

      However, I see it as somewhat encouraging that the Irish Govt officials where:
      a) naive enough to consider a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ binding;
      b) daft enough to think the British banking fraternity’s memory didn’t stretch back to October 2008 -http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article4878388.ece – revenge is a dish best served cold don’t you think?

      This is further evidence of the Govt’s breathtaking ineptitude – but also evidence of how easily they can be taken down by the Irish electorate. There is silver lining in this cloud.

      Anyday now I expect Cowen and his gormless duelling-banjoes mug to appear on TV saying “look Ma, I done got me a bag o’ magic beans”

      • wills

        JJ Tatten -

        i welcome your comment, but, please do not confuse an observation with emotive resonance. I am not ‘brit bashing’ and in fact if i were i’d b bashing myself partially.

        This idea i forward relating to brits is valid. The brits do carry a history of economic gazumping when the time meets with their delight. This is on their account pragmatic mercantilism and why would it be any different. THe brits are the holders of the keys of the global economic system and so it should be.

        My difficulty with their MO is it is hidden and so lends itself to hypocrisy and the brits always pride themselves on fair play and just like it is in ireland cheating proliferates.

        • JJ Tatten

          Wills,

          If you’re referring to the British ‘Establishment’ – then you are correct.
          But there is now more of an Anglo-American hue to that establishment, and the notion of fair play which they perpetuated (but never practiced) is actually taken quite seriously by a very large proportion of the ordinary British citizenry.

          Unfortunately, like the Irish, they are slow to realise that they’re being shafted by the same establishment because it is generally not how they expect people to behave. As such, they will always be on the reactive backfoot when dealing with said establishment until their Spidey senses are more finely attuned to the malicious manoeuvrings of Fat Cat & Co. You are right to highlight the hypocrisy – but that establishment and their forelock-tugging cohorts are the only true hypocrites – The Square Mile is no more representative of the British people than RIRA is of the Irish.

          This is a global issue exacerbated by those FF darlings in the Dail and the emergence of an effective, talismanic, Lilburnesque agitator is, I hope, only a matter of time. Maybe an economist could gingerly step up to the plate?…

          • wills

            JJ Tatten -

            I’m referring to the clusters of peoples across the social spectrums bottom up and top down whom conspire too game an economic system designed for gambling, a central banking system using a debt money system.

            And they ply their swindles taking the non cheats too the cleaners year after year, decade after decade, century after century irrespective of social class or standing.

            So, this would account for the mealy mouthing going on the radio all day over their houses flooding and looking for hand outs.

            Both in Uk and ireland. Shysters everywhere.

          • wills

            JJ Tatten -

            ‘these clusters’ are rent seekers.

            Always on the mooch for something for nothing first chance they get, whether they be banksters, buliders, wholesale land dealers, mechanics, welfare fraudsters,politicians, noblemen, they are everywhere kerchinging their ugly paltry economic system we are all tied up in by them.

  17. Malcolm McClure

    There ahas been much discussion recently in DMcW’s blog about the Henri handball incident.
    Maybe it was pay-back time. See:
    http://irishsoccerinsider.wordpress.com/

  18. The media are constantly looking at the causes of the current crisis as if to understand how it happened would in some way resolve the matter and lead us out of the financial crisis we are in. Understanding how it was reached is not going change it, nor indeed is it going to provide a clear path out of it because analyzing it in this way assumes there is a goal to reach and that it is necessary to figure out what is needed to reach that goal.

    However there is no goal. No one has defined, or can define what the end result will be for a positive outcome. There is no way of knowing what a positive result is as this assumes there is a comparative measure to test as we can’t go back to where we were.

    There is little point in looking to find a solution using managerial or creative strategic rationale if there is no pre-determined target.

    Rather than having an idea where we are going the entrepreneurial evolution of a goal is the most likely outcome. This may seem illogical to strategic or managerial thinkers, or analysts who are looking to take existing criteria and expect an outcome of a certain range. However in an entrepreneurial world there is logic in dealing with given means and allowing things to evolve by making use of the situation as it arises to eventually come out with the best of what were imagined visions. Some of these may well not even be imagined at this time.

    This means that entrepreneurs are the most likely to be the most successful survivors in a recession as they tend to expect the unexpected and treat them as obstacles to be navigated rather than fixed barriers. That said isn’t it time to stop hiring analysts and professors and engage with entrepreneurs and build on their ideas? Scientists fail in their experiments all the time. Governments have failed in their lack of regulatory supervision legislation as well as their wasteful spending and inadequate infrastructure. What can some visionary ideas do? IFSC came from Dermot Desmond, who never sat in government.

    Sadly the educational system all the way up to MBA teaching does not go far enough to show students that the world is not made up of case studies and while we can learn from history we still have to remake the future.

    • roc

      Yep, the media like to find their neat little causes. Reminds me of when the US had those big electricity blackouts. The media a few weeks later had a picture of a relay on the first page that was the cause of the whole thing… What utter nonsense. When you’re dealing with such large and complex systems it doesn’t happen like that. You are dealing with complex systems theory, not cause and effect.

  19. adamabyss

    subscribe.

  20. I think we all should stand up on boxes to see what cards the gov are playing otherwise we shut down The Casino

  21. G

    It’s moving beyond a few broken windows and disgruntled youth…….

    IMF warns second bailout would ‘threaten democracy’
    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/economics/article6928147.ece

    • liam

      I would suggest that in Ireland the first bail-out was a clear enough indication of the status of democracy in Ireland: a fond memory.

      • G

        More like a business run society, one party masquerading as three, with the people turned into ‘mindless consumers who make irrational choices’, the usual bread and circuses, poor education system (pre-fabs anyone) not for those in fee paying schools (part subsidised by the State because some ministers and friends went to such schools), Pravda/Ape like Media which bases stories off press releases or the latest car crash, the disadvantaged forever stigmatised (you’d never see a mug shot of a bankster in the Evening Echo), democratic deficit, deference to the rich and powerful (see latest salary debacle at AIB)……………..Go to work, send your kids to school, follow fashion, act normal, walk on the pavements, watch TV, save for your old age, obey the law.

        Repeat after me: I am free.

        A social explosion might just upset the ancien regime, end to major salaries for RTE nutjobs, end to exploitation of working people , proper representation in the Dail, end to property speculation etc………we live in hope.

        • Deco

          G – not only do we have one party pretending to be three, sometimes I think we have three parties pretending to be three.

          For example after the last general election the main media ILP cheerleader, Tintan O’Fool(IT), begged Pat Rabitte to consider getting into government with FF under Ahern. To Rabitte’s credit he ignored Tintan. But Rabitte then resigned(I don’t know why) and passed the ILP leadership to a man who has tried to be Bertosconi 2.0 – promising all sorts of unrealistic nonsense to everybody. More of the “something of nothing” political promises that have now bankrupted the economy. And it is not just an Irish thing. Brown is doing the same thing in the UK – talking about government for the benefit of the poor, and delivering government for the rich.

          We have become a bread and circuses society. Shiny on the outside, and hollow on the inside.

          • G

            To be fair to Fintan, he’s been close to the mark for a while (I wouldn’t agree with everything he says, and arguments can be a bit hollow at times).

            As for Pat Rabbitte, well as my father used to say about him ‘just a mouth’ – plus he was on Vincent Browne praising Michael O’Leary’s role in Lisbon II – hardly the Che Guevara of politics – sell out and I emailed him to tell him so.

            One of the many problems of Ireland is the failure of the Left to unite and come up with a viable alternative, right wing parties like FF and FG have had a field day, in the Dail bar they must be wondering how it is so easy, especially FF who are still in power.

            I hope there is some sort of social revolt, as I can’t see the old ways changing, the ancien regime in all its mediocrity, bull shit offices, dirty , run down cities, where most people in positions are influence are on the take, the money hasn’t trickled down like it should have, it was squandered away.

            Did you see article in Sunday Times where Mary Hanafin’s mother won €62,500 compensation against Leinster house, Mary was busy lecturing parents who had lodged compensation cases over their children who had playground accidents, leading by example then…………..

            As for floods, no doubt to my mind that serious questions have to be asked of ESB, maybe they’ll be posed by the quiet media after Limerick is washed out, then there will be no excuses.

            Also complete breakdown in communication between the company and local businesses, no public alert of the consequences, done in the dead of night, absolutely amazing that no one was seriously injured or killed.

            Banana Republic!

          • Deco

            G – I would not cateorize FF as a right wing party. Right wing parties tend to annoy large elements of the electorate and make their hard choices up front. FF avoid annoying anybody, end up annoying many. The hard choices are being forced on them. I would categorize them as centre left. Bertie Ahern was great mates with the ICTU bosses. Didn’t Bertie even claim to be the only real socialist. Ahern embraced the spirit of a excessively bureacratic state model, that the right of centre parties tend to distrust distrust. Tintan himself seemed to think that Bertie Ahern was the leader that the ILP never had. Ahern himself made promises to the electorate with other people’s money, and with money that had to be borrowed. He was half a socialist. It is just that he never taxed the rich. Many of whom were backing him.

            My distrust of Tintan comes from the fact that tends to take a genuine greivance and turn it into justification to support his pals in the ILP. And that is what everything from Tintan amounts to. A roundabout way to bring in the reader, and then get them wanting to support the political party controlled by a middle class careerist misadventure to the left. Tintan is great at finding out what is wrong with Irish society. His solution is fairly predictable, Happy Gilmore and Co.

            I did not know Rabitte was praising Michael O’Leary on the VB show. I would expect better of him.

          • Deco

            G
            We need reform and a lot more transparency.
            The Irish concept of management has failed. The Irish concept of authority has failed. We need a “clearing of the decks”.

            We need a culture of reform. The Irish culture of management is designed to fit in two flaws and survive despite the consequences. These two flaws are
            i) Nepotism
            ii) incompetence.
            And this is achieved by market rigging. The workers in today’s Ireland do not get scelped by their wages. The workers in today’s Ireland get scelped when they go to spend the money to buy their essentials. The best display of this was on Eddie Hobbs’ RipOff Republic series. That had to be stopped in acqueicence to “our corporate sponsors”.

            The starting point woulf be to drop the €1000 fee to see what is going on in any state organization/quango/public company.
            It should be scrapped. It would be the first step towards reforming our society.But nobody will protest against that. A foul in a soccer mathc and 200000 people go on the net and protest. But transparency in the state structure, and nobody can identify what is happening…for this neglect we deserve the mess we get as a result.

      • Jonathan Hannon

        People seem to live in fear of the terrible IMF bailout. The EU have essentially done what the IMF wanted to do. The IMF is, apart form been a plaything of of strong G7 countries like france and Britian, and organisation for helping on commercial terms struggling economies, hence Ireland. The catch is that its usually smaller economies or developing economies. Not supposedly advanced euro economies like ireland. The EU cant lend directly to countries so they have still managed to do this by lending to the banks who will then buy goverment debt bonds. The only catch is that we’ll be dancing to the tune of the ICb for years to come. All this to protect the honour of their beloved EURO. This is the game the government continues to play while the media persist in indulging them with the lines and press releases about saving the banking system and “getting credit flowing again”. The banking system will be saved, Nama will work, but to who’s gain. Certainly not those lost 19 year old kids hanging out in davids so called ghost estates. I agree with davids ascertain on these estates, they are run down, they were horrible to start off with and now they are overan by kids drinking and taking drugs. The oberver ran a story this weekend about walton in liverpool. It talked about institutional unemloyment and generational unemployment. Area’s like walton have continued to suffer becuase when they started to go into decline, thatcherite policies did not strech to investing in these area’s. No investment in so called social capital, housing, health(does this sound familiar) and today Walton is an area where 28% of people are claiming some kind of benefit. We are heading here.

        • G

          Little incentive to work, boring jobs where people whittle away their lives, few opportunities for people from a particular socio-economic background.

          I worked in an office where two bitches bullied the crap out of me, I was on the average industrial wage, there was little or no protection for me, I eventually caught them on their own poisonous rope, but it was a dreadful experience (I recommed Tim Field’s book ‘Bully in Sight’).

          I found a way to work things out, but work in my new place is still a struggle, juggling bills etc wondering about it all.

          I see people on the dole, know it ain’t fun but sometimes I do wonder if I would have been better off………

        • Deco

          Jonathan-areas like Walton continue to go into decline. Correct. But mostly these areas vote non-stop for British Labour Party politicians. How come these the BLP cannot deliver after 12 years plus in government for these areas ? Thatcher was twenty years ago. Yes she did allow the industrial heartland of Britain to disintegrate. But for the most part all the British Labour Party did was exploit the situation with a monopolistic control of the political system – unless the LDP got the better of them. The Tories are not responsible for the state of Northern England, because they have not been in control of Northern England. Labour are responsible for the state of these areas – they have been continually in power in these areas, and have become rotten and corrupt with nepotism and exploitation of the entire scenario for their own personal and political gain. It is politicisation of the Welfare state as a means of buying votes. It was not what the Welfare State was originally designed for – but it is what has happened since the 1960s.

          • G

            Deco I was being gentle when I called FF right wing, in my book they are extreme right wing, use of Shannon by foreign military, association with International war crimes including most heinous under customary international law namely the crime of aggression (see Iraq and Afghanistan).

            Ireland’s involvement in arms trade estimated at a billion a year, sell off of natural resources to foreign multinational with questionable human rights record, savage attack on working people vis a vis draconian budgets, cuts in social welfare and child benefit, nepotism of the highest order, zero accountability from ministers, efforts at creating two tier health system (Harney and her American backers with trips to the super bowl to discuss options), Dail expenses scandal, attempts to re-introduce fees (existence of two tier education system with proliferation of private schooling for those who can afford which further disadvantages the poor) greatest income inequality in the OECD, 58% of families living on less than €40,000 per annum, 300,000 availing of St. Vincent De Paul assistance, almost 500,000 unemployed with only one meeting of Couglan’s employment committee, no crisis organisation setup to alleviate dole backlog or major efforts at co-ordinating job creation/policy, attack on low income families and single mothers, while tax dodgers, off shore accounts and super rich pay no tax, tax exiles, Bono and the lads, faux socialist claims from a former Taoiseach who presided over a economic and political fiasco, the current incumbent completely inept and barely literate, no broadband, poor infrastructure (roads especially), children still taught in pre-fabs, non-existent navy to patrol the coastline hence Ireland regarded as the gateway for drugs into Europe, fiasco at Fas with a budget of 1 billion, cosy cartel with financial services, developers and bankers, no regulation, no corporate enforcement, if that ain’t right wing I’m not sure what is…………centre left it is not……and all of the above is only the stuff in the public domain…………

            I almost feel like breaking into song ‘we didn’t start the fire, it was always burning since the world was turning’

            Fintan O’Toole looks like the tooth fairy in comparison to FF misdeeds.

          • wills

            G -

            Is your book available.?

          • wills

            G -

            OOps, i think it was idiomatic ‘in my book’…!!! whoops

          • Jonathan Hannon

            I take your points on board, yes your right Labour have been in power for this long. But, people that live in these area’s find it morally impossible to vote for the tories. George osborne will inherit a peerage one day, while cameron and boris are ex bullington boys. Social class divides are still really strong in the UK whick skews their limited form of democracy more. To labours credit they have invested in health and education in area’s such as walton, albeit by way of PPP’s. This ties into david’s overall theme of ghettos. These area’s were deserted by tories, whio dont really give a damn about anything anything to far north of london. But if an entire generation are left with no hope, no training and little education then a rot sets in. This rot has been there nearly 30 years now, so its the next generation that suffers. No matter how much money any government gives to these area’s its not the answer anymore. It takes big thinking abnd new idea’s, not petty and grubby politicians only ever interested in the next election.

    • G

      Thansk Wills…………….

      Not the first person to ask, just infuriated at what the land of Ireland has become, between the horrific sex abuse scandals, the political and business corruption, with the average joe and jill picking up the tab for a meal they did not enjoy.

      I find it personally and intellectually insulting to be living in these times in Ireland and I want change!!!

      You begin by highlighting the issues, making people accountable, demanding better public representation, I personally believe a peaceful social revolution is required, I hope it comes because we are failing as a Republic.

  22. ThomasFergus

    Hi All,
    Time to tune in to Confessions of a Public Service Worker. I will be on strike tomorrow and to say I’m dreading it is an understatement. I fully expect verbal abuse (at the very least) as I’m on picket duty at lunchtime in Dublin city centre. I have serious reservations about the whole thing, yet I’m seething that this politically, financially and morally bankrupt government sees fit to hand over billions to its buddies while telling us there’s no money in the kitty, and while it’s buddies in the media ipso facto blame PS workers for the crash.

    Anyway, a little context. I am a member of IMPACT. Last February, IMPACT asked us to vote in favour of a series of measures up to and including strike action, and we voted 60-40 against. I thought some of the leaders might have got the hint and resigned, but a bit like our political leaders they came back in October with the same question. In the interim, however, the govt introduced an emergency budget with the now infamous “pension” levy, a 7.5% tax that tries to fill the black hole in the govt’s finances for this year caused by the crash in tax receipts, and which most certtainly does NOT go towards my pension( I already pay a tax to cover my pension, but sure we shouldn’t let truth get in the way of divide and rule tactics).

    By the time we voted 84% in favour of taking a series of measures up to and including strike action, I suspect most PS workers were outraged at the pension levy lie (if they had told us they wanted to cut our pay I would at least applaud them for telling the truth) and at the constant verbal assualt in the media led by the likes of the execrable Stephen Collins and the despicable and disugsting Eoghan Harris; allies both of the establishment thugs that have ruined this country.

    Of course, what we voted for was a series of measures “up to, and including, a strike”. Once we voted for this, our betters in the union leadership decided that we strike first; take measures later. IMPACT, my union, is led by Mr. Peter McCloone of FAS Florida junkets fame, and it is an absolute disgrace that this first class cabin buddy of Mary Harney should be “leading” my union. Last Tuesday, at a a meeting of our section that was to deal with the strike, more than 3/4 of our time was taken up with trying to formulate a way to get rid of this guy (the inertia of bureaucracy is a great way to kill off opposition). I suspect many other union members at grass roots feel exactly the same about their leaders.

    So we enter this strike in complete confusion, half hearted protest yet seething resentment at the outrageous behaviour of the establishment. Example: two members of our management, although in IMPACT, are organising the work roster for my non-union colleagues on the day, while most of their work will actually be done by the rest of us over the following days. I can honestly say our section will cause zero disruption, yet we are to take a day’s pay cut for this. It seems like we’d rather be in for a penny than in for a pound, yet they’ll take the quid off us anyway!

    Our non-union colleagues, many of them my friends, will cross the picket (without any hassle from me) and will work because they do not believe that the union should represent them (fair enough), yet these same people never once turned down all the ridiculous pay rises (and they were ridiculous only when taken in isolation, not in the context of massive house price and service inflation) granted to our section during the Bertie years, and if the union succeeds in mitigating the pay reductions, they will also benefit. And they won’t even lose a day’s pay. I serioulsy thought of leaving the union, yet if I were to do so, I would have to negotiate my salary with the massive state apparatus of government in order to satisfy my conscience; I could not leave and pick up the inflated pay cheques and hard earned conditions that my union fought for, while sneering at them from the outside. Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold………

    Finally, I am embarrassed that the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants are also on strike; those in the upper echelons of the Civil Service (over 100K in many cases) certainly do have alot to answer for in this crisis. Recommending savage pay cuts to PS workers on the one hand, while striking against cuts against their own inflated wages on the other is sickening to behold. But then again, it is sickening to behold the public sector/private sector bunfight, a useful distraction provided by our media and govt to keep the proles at each other’s throats.

    As Harold Nicolson wrote having foretold the horror that would become of Europe following the Treaty of Versailles……”To bed, sick of life.”

    • Tim

      ThomasFergus, well said, Sir.

      More truth.

      That’s what we need.

      George Hook, on Newstalk 106, asked this question several times this evening:

      “Why, when we have a flooding-natural-disaster in the country, do we have a strike tomorrow?”

      I answered his question, thus:

      “George, We have a strike tomorrow for the same reason that we have devastation from floods: our leaders fell asleep at the wheel, at best and, at worst, are CAUSING physical, emotional and financial pain to the people of Ireland as a result of corruption! Corrupt banking, planning and general government. That’s why we have a strike! From Tim Nelligan in Wicklow.”

      He did not read it “on air”.

      I wonder why?

    • G

      Great quote from Harold Nicolson, one to remember, J M Keynes was staunchly against Versailles, indeed Clemenceu said that in twenty years there will be a second war, he was out by only two months.

      Your points are valid, I am on the average industrial wage while my Head of Department is on 150,000, he treats the place like an atm, is never available, and has two other jobs on the go, a total disgrace, the department is a joke, staff are demoralised, most claim to be working from home, but the great works have never materialised, their is no accountability, people pulling a wage but little else.

      public service in bad need of reform when you see people on serious salaries abusing the system day in and day out, it is demoralising for us on lower wages who work and want to make a contribution both my collegaue and I spoke of heading to Australia this morning because we see nothing here for us………………

      I left my Union 4 months ago as I was disgusted at SIPTU leadership, at the obscene salaries, at the cosy partnerships with FF, which has come home to roost, and like the banks, the same people are in positions of power, totally discredited leadership who cannot be unseated, virtual dictatorships.

      Jack O’Connor’s performance on Frontline confirmed my worst fears, I won’t be spending my hard earned money so he can enjoy the 150k and celebrity status!

      Union members should clear out their houses, then they could talk with some justification, now its just the hear no evil, see no evil brigade with their manufactured outrage because their salaries depend on it!

  23. wills

    Ghettoisation of the planet.

    The great global warming POnzi scheme EXPOSED.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125883405294859215.html

  24. Deco

    David – the crux of your article is that we have created the perfect economic conditions for crime.

    But I thinks that it is possible to say that we have the perfect legal framework for crime. And we also have the perfect political establishment for crime. The centre don’t care, the right want to exploit the situation, and the left want to mollycoddle the crims. Nobody looks on it as a problem to be solved. If anything the legal profession seem to think that crime is an industry to be fostered and nurtured !!!

    Even if there was no recession and no ghost estates we would have spiralling crime.

    We will eventually live in a second Wales. Poor. Squalid. Full of depressed people who only cheer up when they get away from each other. Relying on handouts. A dependent culture. Led by politicians whose main expertise is begging and extorting funds from somewhere else, and make a song and dance about it. A political quagmire and an economic disaster zone. Big on sports and small on jobs. Proud. But depressing. An underperformer with the young people rushing to get out, and make a life elsewhere.

    We have a choice. And that choice exists firstly in the intellectual realm. Do we think about solving the problems ? Or do with think in terms of perpetuating them by continuing to live in a state of denial ? We can choose responsibility, or we can choose blame.

    The problem is that there is such an inherent volume of lying going on still in Irish society and in Irish public life, that we are currently aligned to continue the denial.

    • Fergal73

      Choose emigration.

      If you’re in your teens or 20′s why in hell would you stay in a country that has mortgaged your future and that of your as yet unborn children?

      The electorate kept voting in conmen and parish pump politicians and now the country has what it deserves. Maybe we should re-join the Union, or look to be a satellite state of the US, like Puerto Rico. We clearly can’t elect responsible governments, so we might be better off ceding our independence.

      All options should be considered in this mess.

    • ThomasFergus

      Agree with much of this, but it’s extremely harsh to say that the left want to mollycoddle crims. The left want to put corporate crims, Mr. Big drug dealers and smugglers behind bars; they do not want to see the likes of the hapless drug addict who robbed Bertie’s St. Luke’s constituency get 10 yrs, or street corner drug pushers get 10 yrs either. And I make no apology for saying that even though we should go after the keanes, Collopys and the McCarthy Dundons in Limerick, the first and last problem with that city is the (pre-Celtic tiger) massive social division of that large town into the middle class munster supporters of dooradoyle and castleconnel, and the walled, hemmed in communities of southhilll and moyross. All facilitated by the local FF bigwigs such as the bould willie o’dea of course.

      • Deco

        TF – not being from Limerick I have no idea about the source of the problem. But I do know from meeting people from there that there is a class issue that is worse even than that of Dublin twenty years ago. (I think it has moderated over the years slightly). Groucho Marx is your typical ‘local bravado politician’. Good for talk, just don’t give him anything involving responsibility.

        We have a ridiculous criminal code. You can get locked up for not paying a TV licence. But all sorts of misbehaviour result in no punishment. Then we had the Sheedy affair. In my mind the entire political spectrum in Ireland has failed to deal with the crime issue. The only one who gets aggressive on crime is Martin Ferris, and he is a hypocrite. None of the mainstream parties are tackling the crime issue.

        There is also the class dimension to crime. Big boys like CJ and Pee can do all sorts of funny business. sNeary ignored the laws that he was supposed to implement. This is the Annabels analogy. Basically certain people do not “look” like lawbreakers. It extends to the entire society, and it is a dishonest construct that prevents an honest appraisal of the crime activity sector in Ireland. Bono is a celebrity and is therefore respectable. He can declare tax in another jurisdiction with lower rates and the media shower him with praise. But some mechanic with grease on his hands and who takes cash and does not report it, is a low life tax dodger.

        For certain -every year crime gets worse. Year on year. And the professions involved in the Law and Order economy are evidently not fixing the problem. The political establishment have no clue what to do, based on the track record, even though the majority of them are lawyers. We even have lawyers like Dermot Ahern who are responsible for tackling crime, and who will never comment to the public about it – but who cannot keep their mouth shut when there is an opportunity to talk about soccer.

        • Colin_in_exile

          The Source of the problem is that certain politicians, (Eddie Wade (FF) in particular, Groucho switched sides recently, might have something to do with the Limerick East constiuency been redrawn to exclude rural Limerick) are unwilling to accept where a city ends and where the countryside starts.

          On the county side of the 50 year old boundary, you have middle class suburban Limerick neighbourhoods like Dooradoyle, Raheen, Gouldavoher, Castletroy, Monaleen, Annacotty. Local authority housing was not allowed in those neighbourhoods since it would have brought down the value of existing houses there. Local authority housing is confined to inside the city boundary, which explains why average house prices in the city are below other cities in Ireland. Wade and his ilk see the suburban areas outside the boundary as a cash cow to finance council activities in rural county Limerick, and therefore want to retain the status quo. Wade ignores the damage this policy has done and is doing to the city, but he doesn’t care because he’s a me feiner and originates from rural county Limerick.

          So, you have a situation now where, you have enormous duplication of services, as well as services outside the boundary presently administered by the County Councils, are under-resourced due to the higher priority accorded to the larger rural hinterland, insufficient land available within the current City boundary to accommodate the proper functioning and growth of the City, serious social imbalance caused by the loss of population
          from the City to the extended area over the past thirty years, which is
          manifested by extreme social deprivation.

    • G

      There just seems to be a lot of talk from people but little to no action, amazed someone hasn’t stepped forward to start a new political party, that would seem like an obvious step in the right direction, give the people an alternative!

      • liam

        wills, get a grip. this is not conspiracy, its cock-up.

        • wills

          No, its faking data liam.

          • Tim

            Liam and wills, alot of “Global-Warming” theorists/scientists/reasearchers derive their R&D funding from perpetuating the fear.

            I am unqualified to debate the proposed science of the matter, but I know Educational-funding-starvation when I see it and the scramble for the most profitable “research”.

            Just think: If “Education” were seen as an end in itself, if the progress of the human project as Learning were truly valued, instead of monetary “Profit-is-King”, how different things would be?

          • liam

            Right. Now look, this is extremely silly nonsense now chaps. I don’t want to get in to this again, its ridiculous and pointless. I call bullshit on the whole hoax thing, and the hoax-hoax etc thing and thats the end of it, you won’t convince me otherwise.

            Tim: every scientist that ever lived was beholden to a sponsor, does that also mean the relativity and gravity are conspiracies? Or are we to dismiss all people who are experts in fields in which we are not as compromised, therefore with opinions of no consequence? As you are no doubt keenly aware, this kind of thinking is what we get when general science education gets thrown out the window and everybody want to become an accountant, a lawyer or a bloody banker.

            ills: I don’t recall either I nor anybody else I know who studied the same undergraduate physics courses as me (many of whom are now competent scientists in their own right) undergoing brainwashing-101 to convert us to climate change advocates (or maybe I somehow missed all of those meetings…). Because that is exactly what you are suggesting. Are you sure about that?

            One could interpret this kind of casual language in almost anyway one wants to, especially as we have no context and no idea what he is actually talking about.

            But then again people have a tendency to hear what they want to hear. And isn’t that the sort of idiocy that has turned Ireland completely upside down?

            Claiming that there is a giant coordinated conspiracy of silence and Spartan academic discipline (that in itself is hilarious!) belongs in the same category as the JFK assassination conspiracy nonsense, moon landing hoaxes, and alien abductions, along with all of the sad lonely Americans on the Internet who invent these fantasy worlds of conspiracy theory to give meaning to their empty lives by wrapping themselves up in a theory inside an enigma inside a secret… etc

            Though I don’t advocate it, I can think of a lot of reasons that a bunch of scientists with a lack of imagination and presentation skills would have done what they have done, especially if they were producing output for non-experts, whom they perceive as having no understanding of the nuances of their interpretation. Worst case, these guys cocked-up ten years ago and have been caught. The fact that it took ten years for their transgression to come to light in a highly competitive peer reviewed environment should tell you something. If they were claiming something completely at odds with observed reality, it would have been plainly obvious even back then.

            Wills, ‘cock-up’ is faking and getting caught. And I’ll tell you something else: LOTS of people do it. At some point the stupid experiment doesn’t work, or the equipment that is twenty years old and clapped out produces nonsense, but there is a mark at stake. It never gets noticed, because the results fit what is already well verified and understood. This doesn’t make people who do this bad scientists (maybe good engineers though…)

            In the eternal contest between cock-up and conspiracy, cock-up historically wins every time.

            I give you the benefit of the doubt of course, but trust me, jumping on this without full possession of the facts and circumstances is idiotic in the extreme. Anyway its now part of conspiracy lore, judging by the Internet traffic, and therefore rendered meaningless.

            What the hell has this got to do with empty houses in Ireland anyway? Oh yeah. Believeing what you want to believe, hearing what you want to hear. “Never mind the naysayers, if they want the world to end so bad, maybe they should go hang themselves”, to paraphrase.

          • Malcolm McClure

            Sorry Liam, You are completely wrong on this. I have downloaded the complete dossier and read hundreds of damning emails. At its roots is the Global Government idea, which might also be behind the present worldwide financial crisis.
            Conclusion Climategate is the biggest scientific fraud ever.
            I recommend you read:
            http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/24/the_fix_is_in_99280.html
            Also see what President of Rumpuoy says in the second video on the Alex Jones channel:
            http://69.84.25.250/blogger/post/Emergency-Viral-ClimateGate-Fraud-Exposes-Dirty-Tricks-Agenda-For-Global-Government.aspx

          • liam

            Malcolm, you know what? Believe whatever you want.

    • tony_murphy

      I’m a firm believer in climate change. Oil companies are trying to discredit it.

      Either way, I believe we need to live more sustainably and stop fighting for resources.

  25. lff12

    The global warming “hoax” is probably itself a hoax. Believe this from flood ridden Cork. What planet are these 4×4 luuvies on?

    Great points David but the “broken window” effect is about crime not society – the idea that tackling “petty crime” will lock up at least a percentage of those responsible for major crime. Its the same policy that persecutes individual drug users because the police cannot catch big dealers, and then proclaims itself a “success.”

    The problem with these estates is that they are caught in a vicious circle between overenthusiastic speculation driving excessive rents and mortgages, and a lack of available tenants or purchasers.

    Others of course, are simply crap houses in crap places. Come visit Rathcormac, you’ll just love it.

    • Deco

      The primary influence on the flood in Cork was the behaviour of the ESB. We will find this out in days. Put it this way….Gormless has not opened his mouth about Global Warming. Because it would only backfire to Whine and Whine’s policy of pampering the ESB and providing GP activists with jobs in the ESB – one of the few parts of the state system to be taking on new employees.

      • ThomasFergus

        Not wanting to defend the general incompetence of the ESB here, but I believe the Iniscarra dam was shut to drain the lee so they could search for a missing body of a young student who fell into the Lee last week……human error maybe, but a difficult calculation was involved, even if it backfired.

        • I’d back you on that Thomas. The lad was a neighbour and was found this evening. TLHMOH.
          We’ve dealt with the Iniscarra managers before and they’re clued up to be fair to all.
          What is wanting is the flood modelling carried out by others.
          http://www.leecframs.ie/floodmaps/default.asp
          The flood modelling is flawed and does not take all the Hydrogical information into consideration.
          Additionally, Cork County Council fundamentally failed to monitor nor impliment any form of emergency plan. Their website was down all weekend with no responsible person in evidence.
          I might not be an economist but on the subject of Disasters and Emergency Management (DEM), I do know my stuff. Watch this space.
          BTW, apologies for going off topic. Did this forum not debate the broken window theory last year??

          • Duh – that should read Hydrological

          • Tim

            Furrylugs, I’m glad you are ok, though (been trying to make contact).

            Thanks for dipping-in and putting fears to rest.

          • Deco

            Furry – according to yesterdays Independent – the ESB let the water through, and never told anybody in Cork County Council, or Cork City Council. I find that a bit irresponsible.
            I have heard the rumour that the gardai were looking for a body in the Lee. This is very sad. We do not know the full story there, and God help his family.

            The local authority website being down is a fair sized shock. But surely there should have been bulletins on local radio.

            And in any case, I still think there would have been a problem. Cork is a located narrower valley than any of our other large urban areas.

        • Tim

          ThomasFergus, True; and complicated decisions made. I remember Rt ing search-messages for him on twitter last week.

          Things are rarely as simple as they are portrayed……

      • G

        I’d have to agree with you Deco, however the failures are not restricted to the ESB, also massive government and state agency failures, some towns with half built flood defences, others with none, prompting one TD to say that we will see the benefit of these defences next year!!!

        Cork completely washed out because there is no flood relief system with specially constructed channels that take water away from the city as oppose to flushing it down the hight street like some giant toilet.

        It is beyond belief to see Cowen stand there and defend government policy, the proof was behind him, the whole place was f***ing flooded!!!! And he gets away with again, instead of being in the Dail bar he should have been readying the nation for climate change – no vision, no class, no style!

        The Glucksman gallery was washed out, with art work damaged, why it wasn’t moved to the top floor is beyond me, in fact why would anyone build a gallery next to a river which routinely floods, same goes for UCC IT building and Tyndall institute, contrary to public utterings, these places had virtually no flood protection bar two security men holding the doors back!

        The ESB with its artificially high electricity prices, karma came back to haunt it!

        • Ah the Floods ,….oh yeah it’s the ESB’s fault !, Will Irish people every sober up! we had very heavy rain fall with westerly winds, if the ESB did not run a systematic release the flood water along with what had already been held back due to the young cork man been missing in the lee, the dam could possibly have given way. It’s not as simple as blaming this State Power Monopoly for the flooding of Cork city.
          I presently have the company of an Italian friend who is a professor of Economics in Siena Italy , we were in Kilkenny watching on RTE , Mr John Gormless praising the public works for the successful flood barriers which were working in Kilkenny city,
          My Friend starting laughing as we had come via Thomastown that morning and it was flooded. Andrea was laughing saying ,we have the same government as Sicily ! as we had not fixed the problem , we just moved it further along the river.
          Our Winter of Discontent is without any doubt certainly hitting home now

          • G

            Indeed, but the ESB do share some culpability, no doubt, reports highlighted issues, but government should have flood relief systems with specially constructed channels that take excess waters out to sea and not flood Ireland’s major cities and towns, further wrecking our economy, and if i hear ‘unprecedented, unforeseen’ then I will lose it, because nothing could be further from the truth, scientists have been predicting heavier rains and flooding for Ireland for years now, short termism and a government which is a threat to the State are the real culprits.

            I wonder will the 132 staff in the five star kingsley hotel who all lost their jobs be compensated by either the ESB or the government for this bloody scandal!!

          • Colin_in_exile

            G,

            You are correct. Here’s a brief edited down version of my Final Year Project. Note the final paragraph.

            “Some of the recent winters have been extreme. The 1994-1995 and 1993-1994 winters are the two highest winter precipitation (rain) totals since the series began in 1840. The role of a warm ocean, transferring latent energy to the air and to cyclonic systems in it, may be inferred as the major cause of the autumn/winter precipitation maximum in most of Ireland.

            Both precipitation and river flow in Ireland experienced a change point year near the mid- 1970s. Since that time, annual and monthly (March and October) precipitation has increased especially on the west-coast sites. Furthermore, this change has been accompanied by an increase in the frequency of wet hours in some months (mainly march and October). An increase has been identified not only in the frequency of extreme events since 1975 but also an increase in the rain depth for most storm durations and return periods. The increase in mean annual precipitation since 1975 has been 10%. This increase has been concentrated largely in the month of March and to a lesser extent in the month of October. The other months, particularly in the summer months show, less change in the mean monthly precipitation.

            It seems the North Atlantic Oscillation (High Pressure over the Azores, Low Pressure over Iceland) index has a close relationship with the climate change in recent years. Increases in precipitation, temperature and in the NAO index have been documented since the mid 1970s. The index has become increasingly positive since 1975.An increase in the index, indicates an increase in the Westerly Winds, resulting in more rain over Ireland.

            The increase in depths and increase in river flows correlates with the increase in the NAO index. It is clear that Ireland is experiencing an enhanced hydrological cycle of increased precipitation and stream flow and this enhancement began in the mid -1970s. Many studies have indicated that the broad-scale thermal characteristics of oceanic areas exert significant influences on the magnitude and spatial pattern of precipitation receipt in nearby continental areas.

            Off the south west coast water temperatures seldom fall below 10°. The temperature contrast that this creates in winter between the ocean surface and the overlying air has a dual effect. First, it triggers convective motions, which move with the westerly circulation and release the bulk of their precipitation over western parts. Secondly, it enables a transfer of sensible and latent heat to frontal systems, which are rendered more active at this season in western margins.

            The implications of this enhanced hydrological cycle particularly on the west of the island are critical with regard to flood management. Managers of lakes, rivers, reservoirs and dams need to take this changing climate into consideration. The disastrous flooding in the west and south of Ireland in the last twenty years is the result of the enhanced hydrological cycle. If the trend persists, managers and engineers involved in water resource and flood control should consider climate change in their designs.”

    • wills

      BAD URBAN DEVELOPMENT

  26. Dilly

    We have had these weather conditions before, when the Roman’s ruled Europe, it is all cyclical. But, people only think back to when records began i.e. when property speculation, trips to NY and fancy Mercedes became popular.

  27. Josey

    Lads,
    more on the leaked emails from east anglia;

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100017451/climategate-how-the-msm-reported-the-greatest-scandal-in-modern-science/

    blows the lid off the global warming fraud. I’m so glad cos for a minute there I was worried about haing to pay a carbon tax……..phew :-)

  28. Deco

    I have listened to the radio to an appeal from the West of Ireland concerning support for families in East Galway. It is very shocking. People are looking for blankets, and clothing. I do not know the rest of the situation. Those who have not been affected by the flood are very, very lucky. I get the feeling that the clean up effort in the West will take about one month. Bear in mind that we are talking about areas where there is a low percentage of young people thanks to decades of emigration and rural depopulation.

  29. G

    We live on an island shaped like a saucer according to the Irish Times…………John Allen might derive something interesting from that in terms of moon wobbles!

    Oh, and no one died from the flooding, aren’t we lucky – if this is the level of analysis from supposedly the number one paper in Ireland no wonder the country is f**ked!

    Editorial
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/1124/1224259337030.html

  30. The Great Change :

    I think the reality of mortality and non-infallibility of the system we live in is finally dawning upon us but is it too late that is the real question.It is easy to understand now after watching the great floods around the country how it was possible that Dun Aengus was originally a circle and a Space Center of another kind in another time. The Elements of nature speak louder now than the whispers in The Dail can ever possible do and unless we have Leadership our calls for Hope are gone down the rivers.We are in the blues .

  31. Dilly

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=16218

    The first paragraph of this article is refreshing, even if the rest of the content usually leads
    people that I know, to tell me to stop talking down our economy.

  32. tony_murphy

    America soldiers are normally from poor backgrounds, struggling to pay bills

    I guess the European Army will contain many poor indebted Irish

    They don’t need draft in US, so rich middle class kids don’t have to go to Iraq and Afghanistan

    That’s the future if you ask me, thanks to all those who campaigned for, and those who voted for Lisbon

  33. [...] of the nation – David Mcwilliams Ghettoisation of the nation [...]

  34. wills

    Liam -

    “believe whatever you want”.

    What’s that mean?

    Are you implying Malcolm is easily led. LOL

    • liam

      I happen not to agree with Malcolms conclusions, I offer no further attempt at persuasion as I think his position is based on faith, not evidence, therefore defies reason.

    • Malcolm McClure

      There follows, for any doubters out there, the text of an email from the dossier dated 2002:

      From: “paul horsman”
      To: m.kelly@uea.ac.uk
      Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2000 14:45:23 -0700
      MIME-Version: 1.0
      Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
      Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT
      Subject: climate negotiations/wto etc.
      Priority: normal
      X-mailer: Pegasus Mail for Win32 (v3.12b)
      Status: O

      Hi Mick, (Mick Kelly of University of East Anglia CRU)

      It was good to see you again yesterday – if briefly. One particular
      thing you said – and we agreed – was about the IPCC reports and
      the broader climate negotiations were working to the globalisation
      agenda driven by organisations like the WTO. So my first question
      is do you have anything written or published, or know of anything
      particularly on this subject, which talks about this in more detail?
      etc.
      All the best Paul. (Paul Horsman of Greenpeace)

      Need one say more?

      • liam

        Does not prove that there is not science question to be answered. Can easily be read as the GP guy attempting to make precisely this distinction. Why are we still talking about this?

        • Malcolm McClure

          Liam asks ‘Why are we still talking about this?’
          Well, Ireland is just a pimple on the WTO globalization elephant’s bum. If you doubt this, just google “WTO Globalization Agenda’
          All Ireland’s financial problems can be traced back to this gargantuan snare put in place by the G4-?G7 -?G20 long ago.
          Once we are all broke, there is no choice but to capitulate. David’s comments on ghettoisation are just a step along the road to hell that is paved with good intentions.
          Did Liam follow my Alex Jones channel link?

          • liam

            I did Malcolm, and I still consider the whole CRU debacle trivial. (Both the opinion pieces you offered contain exactly the type of invective and selective supporting evidence techniques you have accused others of employing when their position opposes yours, and both are supremely unhelpful and unenlightening).

            Ireland’s problems are quite simple: we have a government that is unwilling to protect its citizens, and would rather look after their mates first. There is nothing hidden or secretive about the fraud the Government is facilitating, its plain to see for those who care to look.

            I agree that the G-X certainly provided the necessary environment for this catastrophe to occur, no argument there at all. But it is entirely a consequence of a Government that wilfully jumped in with both feet to casino capitalism that we are in the mess we are in.

          • Malcolm McClure

            Liam: The governments aren’t entirely to blame. They were led like lambs to the slaughter by Economic Hitmen like John Perkins.
            We had sub-prime governments that were easily persuaded to fall into the clutches of the banks.
            They mortgaged Ireland’s independence up the river, first to Brussels via Lisbon treaty but ultimately to Washington by EU diktat.

          • Malcolm McClure

            Liam believes my position is based on faith not reason so he places me in the same category as 31,486 American scientists, including 9,034 with PhDs who have signed the Global warming petition project.
            http://www.petitionproject.org/review_article.php
            The above article gives a very comprehensive scientific review of the evidence. The text of the petition is as follows:
            “We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
            There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

            Enough said.

          • liam

            At what point did I say there was a connection between human activity and GW?

            Your position, which you have outlined in the past is that there is no such thing as GW and even if there is, the effects are nothing to be concerned about, and you have suggested that the popularly perceived negative impact of GW is the result of a massive world-wide conspiracy between the entire science community and the political establishment.

            You have no more evidence for this assertion than the people who you attack for insisting on the alternative extreme, GW = the end of the world.

          • Malcolm McClure

            Liam: You paraphrase my comments out of context and distort my serious reservations about the conduct of a small identifiable group of scientists. You foist on my authorship words and constructions that not only are alien to me but seem deliberately ridiculous. That mode of debate is the last resort of a charlatan.
            Enough said.

          • liam

            If what I have written above seems ridiculous to you, then either you need to understand that that is exactly what comes across when you make some of the claims that you make on GW/AGW etc.

            When you suggest that there is a huge global conspiracy to invent the concept of global warming, that it is in your own words “a lie” the burden of proof I think is on you to back this up. As I have said repeatedly, notwithstanding the political manipulations and nonsense like carbon taxes etc, throwing out the science seems foolish, given that there is no dissent on the hypothesis that there is a problem coming our way.

            Name calling doesn’t seem like your style Malcolm, I hope that is a temporary aberration.

          • wills

            Liam -

            The case for rise in temperature due too rise in C02 is not proven.

            Also, the burden of proof according to common law rests with the man made global warming lobby.

          • liam

            Wills, whats proven and whats not proven:

            That depends on your criteria for establishing beyond a doubt a connection. Yes, you are entirely correct, nobody has yet devised an experiment that could prove that hypothesis, despite it being over 100 years old. On the other hand, no verifiable alternatives have been offered. So far is the best theory we have (to explain 20thC warming).

            What is beyond dispute is that temperature is rising, which could give us a problem, maybe a serious one. Do you not think that in the light of this knowledge it would be highly irresponsible not to at least investigate what the magnitude the problem might be, and what corrective/mitigating action might be taken?

            Or should we believe the corporations and oil barons who want us to continue consuming their crap and enriching them when they tell us that there is no scientific consensus? That most definitely is a lie. Since you mention lobbies just who’s interests do you think the AGW lobby serves?

            Law is for lawyers, and lawyers have limited usefulness when it comes to establishing truth. If one is going to turn around and say that all of science is not only wrong but is engaged in a deliberate mass deception, then I think the burden of proof lies with the person making those claims.

          • liam

            Malcolm, you might reconsider proposing the Oregon Petition as a supporting argument for your cause. Its non-peer reviewed (unless you count as peers other right-wing nut jobs), contrary to the claim made on their web pages, and its junk posing as science from which the NAS, which they tried to claim had published this stuff, has gone to great lengths to distance itself from. They have repeatedly had to edit and cut blatantly false claims and remove fraudulent attributions from their literature since they first came in to being in 2001. That some of the signatories have Ph.Ds proves only that there is no shortage of morons who will sign this kind of rubbish, and that possessing a Ph.D does not exempt anyone from idiocy.

          • Malcolm McClure

            Liam: I shall charitably assume that your cantankerous persistence with this issue derives from a total ignorance of global climate through geological time. As a primer, may I suggest that you look at the diagram headed “Global Temperature and Atmospheric CO2 over Geologic Time”. in http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html
            Perhaps then you might understand:
            1. That we have been talking at cross-purposes.
            2. That any climatologist who ignores this broader picture can make no meaningful contribution to a scientific debate.
            3. And for that reason why dilettante pseudo-climatologists become fodder for any politically motivated environmental claptrap that raises its ugly head.

          • Malcolm McClure

            Liam: In your 6:08 reply you raise the issue of peer review which is at the heart of the UEA dispute, as Jones and his proGR colleaguesare accused of using a lock-hold on prominent peer-reviewed journals to suppress opposing opinions. Where that strategy failed they accused anything critical of their position as having been part of an oil-industry dis-information campaign.
            In taking that stance you are aligning yourself with Ed Begley, a prominent Al Gore supporter, who completely lost the rag in an interview with Fox news yesterday. See the second part of the video in:
            http://daniel1979blog.blogspot.com/2009/11/climategate-us-congress-to-investigate.html
            He, too, was leaning heavily on the peer-review defence.

          • liam

            You’re welcome to stop any time Malcolm, I’m not going to let you get away with assertions you cannot substantiate.

            We are arguing at cross purposes, I agree. Clearly illustrated by your contention that anybody who doesn’t agree with you is “fodder for any politically motivated environmental claptrap that raises its ugly head”. Thanks for that, though again, personal insults are probably not the way forward.

            I am aware of the geological record on the matter, we are not living 300M years ago and our cities and infrastructure are based on certain assumptions about the underlying environment which may turn out not to be true. Even if CO2 is only a proxy for global temperature rather than a prime cause, such rapid change in CO2 levels and temperature are unprecedented (even if the levels themselves are not), and there is no historical reference to indicate what the consequences might be. However if you dismiss any link between CO2 and temperature increase, then pointing at the historical record surely proves nothing? You can’t have it both ways.

            Its entirely possible by the way, that on the science at least, you have lucked out and are completely right (though I think it fairly improbably). Do you not think that given the uncertainties effort might be best directed at find out what is going on? The levels of public funding these guys get is miserable compared to what gets spent on defence, and bailing out banks, and is minuscule compared to the profits of the oil industry. So where do you imagine the power and influence lies, with some public sector scientists, or with some of the richest private corporations in the world? What have we all recently learned about power and influence in notionally democratic societies?

            But according to you and others, we can’t trust experts (in this case scientists) because even the system of peer review is part of the conspiracy to delude us. Has it not occurred to you that this is also very nice way to dismiss the science without examining it at all? Its also fashionably anti-intellectual.

            Yours,
            -The Cantankerous Charlatan.

          • liam

            Since peer review is the basis for all scientific credibility, then throwing that away means we throw away all science. Claiming that peer review is a mechanism to suppress dissent is the same argument used by the Intelligent Design whackaloons when their pseudo science gets rejected.

      • wills

        LIam –

        Science is like anything else which is man made, it is flawed.

        On global warming itself, what i think is very straight forward.

        Cosmic rays.

        The sun is the driving force on earth s temperatures.

        Anthropogenic causes are non comparable with a burning star like the sun.

        • liam

          Thats nice theory. How about some evidence please? Why did the Bush administration put the kibosh on a satellite that would have measured this directly and proven once and for all if the sun was a factor or not?

          What do you mean by non-comparable? Of course the sun is the main heat source. Its the atmospheric dynamics where the uncertainty lies and where humans may, I repeat may be having some influence.

          • wills

            Liam -

            What i mean is what i posted.

            The sun causes the temp rises nervy scientists fake data on.

          • wills

            change nervy for neurotic if need be.

          • wills

            Liam -

            On the ‘ed begley’ link i watched that yesterday and it is a classic.

            Begley has decided the choice is made, the evidence is in, there is only but one option and the time for listening is over.

            Beware of fanatics and the man made global warming fraternity is spilling over in fanaticism as the world cools down again for the last 7 years.

          • liam

            I neither know nor care who Ed Begley is. I asked you for evidence, and you both resort to attacking people, me included. Presumably your expectation is that now I should defend this guy. Smooth.

            I am extremely aware of fanatics wills, that is why I am always careful to check the FACTS before quoting non expert lunatics with an axe to grind in support of my case.

        • wills

          Liam -

          Slight error on your post regarding my motives.

          I am NOT attacking you nor anyone else.

          Its not my style and please grant me my right to reply on that.

          Again, i am NOT attacking you.

          • Malcolm McClure

            Liam: I am not attacking you either, just pointing out your lack of expert knowledge regarding a subject you obviously care about passionately, but merely intuitively.

          • liam

            Malcolm, then why the Ed Begley stuff(“this puts you in the same category as”)? Why call me a charlatan (“the arguments of a…”)? i mean, I really don’t give a damn, but its hardly helps you make your case ands it makes me less inclined to try to understand your point of view.

            btw, on the seven years drop in global temps wills, again you are correct, again its not quite a simple as that. The last seven years drops in the most extreme case represent about an 18% drop on the increases experienced since 1980. In fact, from 1940 to 1950 there was a drop almost as big as the increase in temp from 1980. It doesn’t change the fact that the over all trend for the past 150 years is upward at an unprecedented rate. Its entirely possible that the last seven years are the signs of a self correction in the climate system, or its the sun dimming or whatever, but to claim that this disproves GW in the absence of any data other than the temp record is wishful thinking.

            Again, I do not claim that you are wrong, I simply have no time for what you are proposing because you throw away the science on the basis of politics.

          • liam

            Wills, apologies, you did not attack me.

            There are fanatical morons on both sides of the argument. The Ed Begley argument was hillarious as they had clearly picked up a hot-head and then just pushed his buttons. The interviewer’s nonsense about lightbulbs was classic flame bait, and was actually what they spent most of their time talking about. Begley’s point about peer review is an important one, regardless of Fox’s best efforts to present it as infotainment.

          • liam

            Liam: I am not attacking you either, just pointing out your lack of expert knowledge regarding a subject you obviously care about passionately, but merely intuitively.

            Malcolm, in all fairness, this from somebody who seriously proposed that a single volcanic explosion produced more emissions and warming than the entirety of human existence? That is a very spacious glass house you are standing in.

          • Malcolm McClure

            Liam: Pre-industrial increases of carbon in the near surface and atmosphere were caused in the geological past by the erosion of oil and gas bearing structures, volcanic eruptions, meteorite impacts and the dissociation of oceanic methane hydrate. CO2 balance was quickly restored by plant and microbial life that thrives in such conditions.

            Don’t worry your head about it, Liam, everything is under control.

            (With apologies to other readers of this blog, as we have strayed far from its purpose, perhaps to demonstrate the complexity of issues faced by decision-makers)

          • wills

            Liam -

            “throwing away the science cos of the politics”.

            Nope, not the case.

            My discerning of the case for and against the CO2 thesis is that,

            the sun is the agent of temperature change and shifts, and,

            Global warming if indeed is underway on mean averages, say too 100 year time scale, is in my estimations based on my discerning of the facts a natural ebb and flow of the cosmic ray solar system mechanics and very little to do with anthropogenic s.

            Also, its fine no need for apology liam, posting is not a perfect science either, and malcolm is merely sparring the facts, in a scintillating fashion, as he does with me and by george it ‘s an art of a brilliant lawyer at work.

          • wills

            also, liam, on the lightbulbs fiasco.

            More fake green tyranny forcing me to buy a poisonous light bulb with a horrible harsh lighting effect.

          • wills

            Also i agree with Malcolm completely on the ‘worrying’ end of it, as i posted alot of it is down too nervyness and neurosis and i again agree entirely with malcolm that it is under control even though from some angles it may look instable.

          • liam

            Actually my original motivation was to indicate that finding reasons to discredit the scientists, rather than the science is a kind of popular anti-intellectualism employed by elites to keep the sheeple in line. Exactly the type of nonsense that has Ireland where it is today.

            Greenwash is even worse (green cars, green airports!!), those mercury carrying CFL bulbs are a disaster waiting to happen. Prob do wonders for bottled water sales when our water table is irrevocably poisoned. Galium-nitride based LED bulbs a far more responsible option.

            So. Beach front apartments all around then is it? Put your money where your mouth is?

          • liam

            … and don’t get me started on the poxy carbon tax.

          • liam

            wills, the interviewer’s objections to CLF bulbs were based on his hilarious Republican cliché of armed Government agents para-sailing through his skylights at three in the morning and taking away his God given right as an American to chose whatever lightbulbs he wants to chose. etc etc. Doubly funny as the US now represents the future for many of us as a state where you can be detained effectively indefinitely without trial or simply have the shit kicked out of you by the police for tweeting while in the vicinity of a G-20 meeting. You don’t see many Fox anchors getting too upset about that kind of un-American activity.

            Like I said, the whole piece was infotainment and advanced nobody’s arguments.

          • wills

            Liam :

            I reckon, if it’s the case the funding for anthropogenic research is minimal, it is just as well for all of us.

            I

  35. wills

    Liam –

    looked for malcolms invective but could not find it.

    But what I did find is emails straight out of ‘man made global warming’ h q central that is very suspect.

    Oh dear!

    Mind you the premise that global warming is man made is incredibly hubristic.

  36. wills

    Liam -

    on the ‘nothing secret about the fraud gov is facilitating’.

    The ANIB cover up! OR

    AIB / BoI cover up on off balance sheet numbers.

    • liam

      NAMA is completely out in the open, everybody knows about it, and there are plenty of commentaries and critiques of it in the public domain. That is what I mean by there is nothing hidden about what the Government is doing.

        • liam

          Yes really. they are doing and they clearly don’t give a damn what the citizens think. They are so arrogant that they think the public does not need to be persuaded. That was very clear when I saw Boyle and Fahy in the flesh. They have no need to hide anything because they can and will do whatever they please. Isn’t that exactly what so many on these pages have been railing against?

  37. ian

    in the words of the great songwriter
    noel gallagher ” PANIC IS ON THE WAY “

  38. wills

    Liam and Malcolm :

    Newsnight last night BBC 2 covered this story as leading news.

    Coupla interesting points came out.

    First, the research unit do not research in transparency. Despite funded by taxpayers.

    Second, mooted the emails hack was an inside job, a rather concerned employee apparently over the mashing up of data to fit in with man made global warming hoax on the pop to get carbon tax going and a world tax collecting agency. OR

    to quote Gordon Brown, Obama and the rest of these loopers a New World Order..!!!!!! what the hell is that….!!!!!!!!!!!!! anyone know per chance……

    • liam

      Have you ever worked in academic research wills? There are a lot of reasons not to publish data. IPR and publication rights being two for starters.

      They are substantially funded by the Wolfson Foundation, not the taxpayer.

      Same as it ever was wills.

      • wills

        Yep i have liam, post graduate qualified actually.

      • Malcolm McClure

        liam: There is an Excel file in the dossier giving a complete breakdown of UEA CRU sources of funding from 1991 to 2009. Total from a whole range of sources is £13,718,547 of which £1,168,587 was given by US DoE for Profs Jones and Wigley own studies.

        Tim Osborne separately got £937,936 from various sources between 1994 and 2003.

        The Wolfson Foundation is not mentioned as donors.

        • liam

          Guilt by association now is it? So what if the DoE funds them, what does that prove? the DoE, DoD, NIH, NSF fund lots of people outside the US.

          If Tim Osborne’s income from ‘various sources’ (a nice vague “we all know what that means” reference) is listed in the CRU’s income statements, then it is most likely research income. In other words, its income awarded to Osbourne that went on research carried out by the CRU, some of which may have been contract research. Maybe all of it.

          You appear to be attempting to suggest that he is compromised by what you incorrectly imply is personal income, is that the case? If so, say so clearly.

          Why are you still hanging on to this? Its trivial.

          • Malcolm McClure

            Liam: If its trivial. why do you insert the heavy breathing innuendo of quotation marks (and bracketed comment) around my economical and innocent use of various sources?
            Much of that money was spent flying all over the world to conferences inflating the GW mob’s reputations and collective ego. (For which IPCC was given the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.)
            This is just another manifestation of the MP’s and TD’s and FAS expenses scandal that has had a good run on these pages for several months.
            It illustrates perfectly the ‘Don’t tell on us and we won’t tell on you’ mentality.

          • liam

            Lookit, its very simple. You both don’t like the politics, so you want to throw out the science as well. That’s strikes me as just silly.

  39. Colin_in_exile

    David,

    Who owns the empty houses in the ghost estates? The Developers.

    Who will be the losers if ferral youths take over these estates? The Developers.

    Solution: Why don’t the developers sell these houses at current market value (defined alone by how much a potential 1st time buyer is prepared to pay for the 3 bed semi)? Can’t sell them for 150k? Can you sell them for 125k? No? Can you sell them for 100k? Yes? Great news, lets shake on it, here’s the keys. Isn’t it better for them to get something for the houses now, rather than nothing but maintenance headaches for the next few years?

    • Alan42

      Colin , developers , investors and NAMA own them . They are worth nothing as they are either in the middle of nowhere or there is no infastructure or jobs nearby . They were built simply for the tax breaks to be bought by investors simply for capital gain .
      Imagine an open air casino and you have run out of chips .

      • Colin_in_exile

        Alan, They can’t be worth nothing. Surely they’re worth at least 50k? Why don’t we try to find out how much they are worth? Some people could even pay cash for them.

        Couldn’t one house be converted into a small grocery shop, another into medical centre, another into post office……this isn’t rocket science? Look around all the old neighbourhoods in our cities and towns, the shops/post offices/banks/chippers/butchers all occupy premises which were originally designed for residental use, but were altered for commercial use many many years ago. Why can’t this be done again here?

        • Alan42

          Colin , I am in my 40 ‘s and I remember growing up in an estate where the local shop was in a shipping container . It was very enterprising by whoever ran that business . You could plonk down Sydney Opera House and the Golden Gate Bridge onto these estates and it will not make a blind bit of difference if there is no jobs .
          When social rot takes hold it is like a cancer in that it eats away at anything that is positive .

          • Colin_in_exile

            Well, then we can talk about the allotment movement again, give these unemployed people an acre of land to grow their own veggies and whatever else they want to grow. Its very therapeutic I’m sure. Give them free fishing licences, allow them catch their own fish in our many lakes and rivers. Its a move back to a simpler life for these unemployed people, but a life which can open their eyes to new challenges.

            Result: Crime is lowered, self esteem is raised, healthy lifestyle promoted, good vibes among communities etc…

            Long term result: we have people who are employable who can return to the workforce (when labour costs, energy costs & economic rent costs have been slashed to allow us regain competitiveness) , have a roof over their head on a very low mortgage, a feeling of empowerment instilled in themsleves and hope springing eternal.

          • Alan42

            Colin , I have a very nice life in Australia . I am a citizen and will spend the rest of my life here .
            What I am observing from Ireland is a horror show . This is the 80 ‘s again . But someboby thought it would be great idea to throw on a lot of debt this time around .
            Ireland is broke . The government have no idea about what to do . They have no control over their currency and can do nothing to stimulate the economy .
            The only industry we have is multinationals which are doing ok and keeping exports up . Yet we have no tax revenue and are in complete freefall as the whole thing was based on tax returns from building houses for builders to build more houses for sell to more builders who were all coming from abroad to build houses and buy houses .to sell to other foreign builders who were about to arrive .
            On top of that the multinationals are looking to move to India , Eastern Europe or China and leaving us with nothing .
            The government talk about a ‘ smart economy ‘ . It must be really smart if its going to operate without broadband .
            What really upsets me is that here we are again with the offspring of the 80′s government who are so wrapped up in big pay and expenses that they are unable to understand any kind of hardship or even reality . Are we expecting The Tanaiste to deliver some kind of economic miricle ? I think most people are just happy for her to find her way to the Dail most days .
            Take David here . The doom monger of the Celtic Tiger and the property bubble . But from all I have read over the years he was always positive . That seems to be lacking in his recent articles .
            I lived through one f**king economic and social nightmare and it is a disgrace that it is about to unfold again and all because of incompetance ,stupidity and greed .

          • Alan42

            Colin , I have always thought that your posts well thought out and intelligent . But are you trying to be funny with you allotment post ?

          • Colin_in_exile

            No, I’m serious Alan, and thanks for the complimentary comment. They can be given the allotment on a rent free basis, maybe 1/4 acre would be sufficient. What have we got to lose? A reason for some people to get out of bed in the morning, get some fresh air, not all the unemployed will have to do this, but lets give people the choice.

            ……what I’m attempting to do is try to find a solution for the ghost estates. They’re already there, we can’t unbuild them. How can we get jobs for these folks? Reducing our cost base is the most important aspect. Knowledge economy? Collison brothers, can you hear me, where’s our knowledge economy? Its in Canada? Oh, ok then….
            Can we improve our infrastrucure? Can jobs be created here?

            Aussie government won’t let all these people in, so our Irish govt can’t pass the buck on this.

          • Alan42

            Colin , now you are really pushing it .

          • Alan42

            ” What have we got to lose ? ” I think a lot of unemployed and highly indebted people sticking cabbages where the sun does not shine in people making stupid proposals .

          • Colin_in_exile

            Alan, I remember in the 80s, some Dubs got sick of living in crime ridden estates, and decided to take themselves off to rural Ireland – to empty cheap “ghost” houses, with many ending up in west Clare if I remember correctly. I think Gay Byrne invited them on to the Late Late one night, and all were delighted with their move to their new locations. I’m sure some thought that these people were mad, but at least they had an improved quality of life, and felt safe in their homes.

            I accept what Ive written earlier might seem bonkers to some, but I’m only brainstorming, throwing out ideas……but something has to be done before history repeats itself, and as David predicts “Then the rot sets in.”

            Have you got a solution for ghost estates?

          • Alan42

            Colin , you are really pushing all the wrong bottons today .One of my best friends from back in the day moved down the country on that scheme and both himself and his wife ended up getting murdered .
            I know you are only brainstorming and putting ideas forward and you are trying to be positive .
            But F**k it , here we are again with an entire generation cast to the scrap heap and the same old political elite have driven them there .
            We need complate change . We need people in government who come from a business background driven by a sense of public service . We need people like David , Mick Wallace , Dermot Desmond etc .Who know how business and markets operate , to go in and try their hand and move us into the 21st century . Somebody you could have least have confidence and a little bit of trust in . Somone who is even a little bit inspiring .

            Ghost estates should be razed to the ground , they are worth nothing if they are nowhere near employment or potential employment and most of them are not .

          • Colin_in_exile

            Alan,

            Have a look at this. Someone quite happy with a 1 acre allotment.

            http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/former-businessman-lives-on-no-money-for-a-year-1954259.html

        • Colin , you are 1000 per cent correct , of course they are worth something ,let’s say actual land value today plus labour costs and materials with 15 to 20% mark up for the developer ( who will still be at a loss due to his agreed original land value )
          It would not take a lot of work to turn some into the small shops and services desired.
          I have suggested doing this before and why not to attract into the country ex pats give them these houses for free if they come to settle here and open a business.
          But there is no point doing any of this , until we kick out and JAIL the present political scammers bankers and government advisers

        • Ruairí

          Colin_in_exile, I agree. They are worth something. They are worth a hell of a lot to someone who could not afford their own place until now.
          With the savings or contribution to the NAMA pot, that would offset money that could be used to invest in government-backed schemes that would generate wealth, and jobs as a by-product. e.g. renewable energy, e.g. mining, e.g. use of empty NAMA commercial properties to locally assemble consumer goods using much-reduced Irish workers’ wages.
          There is no way that a built house is worth nothing. Not in a country that is thinking. The lack of jobs is key, but it is answerable in a fair and thinking society and leadership. It is not answerable though Alan42, by our referring to our current parameters. In this current scenario, where a house is an investment vehicle still (that”s what NAMA aims to restore), then no, those houses are not worth a lot. But as a home? Priceless.

          • G

            I’d like to buy a home, would offer 100,000 but developers are too greedy and too indebted to give them up or come to an arrangement, they are sitting idle for a reason, the boys expect a deal, a bailout or some return from the market.

            Half of Ballincollig is sitting empty, the Elysian tower in Cork City is empty, all 17 floors, the boys are sitting on it, ghost estates all over the country, meanwhile thousands upon thousands live in inadequate/substandard slum landlord accommodation or wait on absurd housing lists…………

            No intervention by the government of course, we need a dam rising!

      • wills

        they are worth what a buyer will pay for them.

        And this is free market capitalism. Buyer seller deal.

        I’ll buy them.

        No problem i will pay a price for them just give me the chance too alan42.

        But that willl not happen because NAMA said so.

        NAMA will not let me but them at the real market price.

        Oh no nama will make me pay a rigged price or NAMA will leave them there fallen apart cos i cant buy a house a proper price cos every one else bought a house at a bubble price so there.

        Ypu are a bad man now go away. NAMA will stop you buying your house at the real price ha ha !!!!!!!!

        • liam

          In other words, NAMA puts an artificial floor on the price, that is not dictated by market dynamics. The developer and his creditor the bank both know that the state will come to the rescue with an o- average 47% mark down so are not interested in doing deals with regular punters who might insist on a 70-80% mark down (based on other property crashes, this is not unrealistic).

  40. Alan42

    Good article and finally I am glad that somebody has written about it .
    This is the bread and butter of long term recession .
    After the drama of such titles as ‘ NAMA is highway robbery ‘ come the long boring and soul destroying life in the ghetto .
    Once all those people with massive debt default on their loans the government will have to house them and they will do it in these ghost estates as the government will after all own them . There is no infastructure in them , shops , schools etc and crime and hopelessness takes root . Pretty soon it becomes normal and looking for a job or trying to collage is something that is out of your league . You’ll be an outcast for even trying .
    The brightest will emigrate and the less bright will live off the State and Ireland will limp along for generations .
    The irish government simply don’t care as they are too protected by high pay , pensions and a life long career in politics to either care or understand ..
    Once this ghettoisation of the nation takes root it will be like a cancer on society and will kill any hope of a future for Ireland .

  41. Colin_in_exile

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1ZeXnmDZMQ&feature=PlayList&p=18D98EBC81FEA982&index=0&playnext=1

    The future of American suburbia, we will follow since we’re closer to Boston than Berlin after all. Kunstler is a very good presenter, you’ll enjoy his humour here.

    • wills

      Colin in exile -

      SPOT ON. Why not sell the houses off at garage sale prices and the ghettos problem is neutralised.

      UH But we can’t have that can we.

      Why?

      Cos the rent seeking serfs will not be indentured wikk they, and we cannot let that happen.

      This goes to the root of NAMA.

      NAMA is all about keeping the property out of the reach of a demographic who must be kept in servitude and tied to debt repayments.

      Property must be controlled at all cost, kept in the hands of the rent seeking class and moochers.

      Somebody please pass me the sick bag.

      • G

        A guy I know, an accountant has over 15 houses, mostly rented out, he believe’s he is providing accommodation blah blah blah

        If we had a fair and equitable system, these property speculators, who flip houses for profit would be run out of town!!! And rightly so!

        A house should be a home not a commodity, greey motherf*******

    • Colin,
      A great link , shows me I was not alone in my views back then, it just again shows really how much is out there that so many haven’t seen and need to be shown

  42. Tim

    Folks, the “dogs-on-the-street” are finally beginning to realise that the govt is destroying the economy with cuts. Taft comments on the destruction here:

    http://www.progressive-economy.ie/2009/11/hall-of-mirrors.html

    The downgrading of equality and human rights in our society, of which ghettoisation is part, is examined well here:

    http://www.irishleftreview.org/2009/11/24/owngrade-equality-human-rights-assessing-impact/

    Incidentally, I heard something very interesting on George Hook’s show this evening:

    An “employment expert” (whatever that is) stated, in discussion about public sector workers and the economy, that the (scary, scary!) IMF “…moved into Romania and told all public sector workers they must take 10 days off per year, unpaid.”

    Now, he was using this as some kind of threat to workers her in Ireland and I have searched the web for a specific reference to this on romaniawatch and the IMF site and cannot find it, so if any of you can, please let me know.

    Anyway, if the statement is true, the IMF is a considerably more benign force than our own government is.

    My employer has taken an extra day’s pay a week, every week, from me since last April’s budget; in other words: only paying me for a 4 day week, while I work 5 days.

    At least the IMF doesn’t expect the Romanians to work for free on their 10 days without pay.

    • Alan42

      Tim , where does the money come from that pays your wages for your ‘ teaching addition ‘ ?

    • wills

      tim,
      the public sector workers are going to be squeezed like lemons for lemonade and the ruling powers will use the ‘benchmarking’ runaway gravy (for some) train as the cover too exact the ‘punishment’.

      The ruling elites are going too go for broke on the public sector workers using the lack of sympathy from the private sector workers.

      The’who blinks first’ game is ON. Will Blair hold his nerve and on moral principle declare his hand and pull the rug from under the ruling elites and do what is least expected, call for an arms too good old workers rights against the bourgeoise and call an all out strike on the moral precept that this is no about public v private but rich v poor and galvanize support from all sectors.

      The public sector can take on the elites and win. They have the means to do it with.

      And i as a private sector worker could get behind this route.

  43. Tim

    MK1, “Up the Junction” was a No. 1 single for “Squeeze”; I think Jules Holland was the Pianist, but I cannot remember the year.

    • Philip

      Tim, the cuts HAVE to come. Ireland cannot afford it. All our rates of pay have to drop dramatically – the market is doing it in the private sector and will force it on the PS eventually.

      We either loose people or cut rates. We cannot risk increasing taxes to destroy FDI or what little real wealth generation in going on.

      Ireland has walked itself into a situation which is unsustainable. It is a pity that the only meaningful narrative we can bring to bear is….PS vs Private.. We need good governance and leadership – how do we create a marching flag to that?? How?

      • wills

        Philip, the cuts can come second only when its equitable first.

        • Ruairí

          It is that simple Wills. People must show a sense of fairness. The public sector should be expected to devalue wages when the real social boil has been lanced: – NAMA and consequences for bankers and gatekeepers. But will Mr Wimpy inflate their wages or mortgage relief automatically when the ECB raises interest rates? Strange how the rules of the wealthy are immediate and the rules of the poor are far away and vague.

      • wills

        The top tier private, the elites are not taking cuts, YET they are the harbingers of doom.

        • Tim

          wills, top-tier public workers are feeling no pain, either; that’s the place to start.

          Philip, the cuts have to come, but they should start at the top – with the people who really ARE overpaid, in both sectors.

          Alan42, I know where the money comes from: the private sector/export workers; the problem is, their bosses are paying very little in taxation (between 13% and 25%) on earnings (profits) in excess of 250k and 500k+ pa.

          • wills

            tim, the public sector workers may find it difficult too delineate between the differentials in pay and could get messy going forward in a proper manifest all out strike on differentiating higher public sector income earners from the lower.

            So, i say, why not do this.

            Public sector workers just dig heels in and refuse any further cuts going forward. Send the energy back the other way plain and simple.

            This $400 million number is a rouse, a chess move on the board. The number is an excuse too push forward on an agenda nothing to do with cuts.

            The ‘cuts’ is a stalking horse . Another diversion away from the real game in town which is the elites holding onto power going forward into new arrangements.

            The 2 billion a week add on too debt is an excuse to push on the public sector workers cuts and so on.

            Public sector workers should just say No, No cuts, we are not taking the cuts the cuts are quackery and just part of an other agenda that we are no longer playing ball with full stop.

  44. Philip

    We simply cannot substitute the windfall taxes from stampduty for anything else or we’d deflate faster than we can inflate via public spending. This is the dilemma we face. This is what being screuuuuuued is all about.

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