June 16, 2010

FG infighting shows the politicians still don't get it

Posted in Ireland · 106 comments ·

When I see the carry-on at Fine Gael, the week they have Fianna Fail on the ropes, I despair. Not because I have any historical allegiance to Fine Gael, but because it is the biggest opposition party and it seems to be intent on letting this appalling Government off the hook. Maybe I’m wrong, but there is a sense that the political class is now so remote that much of it lives on another planet.

For the past two years, in poll after poll, the people have been screaming that they want change, but time and again we are let down by party machines. For Fine Gael the problem is the leader, because every time there is a poll the people seem to baulk at Enda Kenny. This problem doesn’t look as if it is going away.

All the while the economy is getting worse, not better. Unemployment is moving upwards and credit is drying up.

Every month for the past two years more than 6,000 people have been made redundant. The financial markets are effectively shut to Ireland. So there is no credit.

The inter-bank market — the market where banks lend to each other which is the essential lubricant of the banking system — has closed down for Irish banks. The only bank that will lend to us is the ECB, the lender of last resort.

But how long will the ECB continue to prop us up? And what type of Irish economy is being propped up by the ECB? Is it a vibrant, competitive economy or simply a financial concubine happy to be drip-fed European money without any idea of what it will do when the master tires of this set-up?

Greece has been downgraded yet again and now the fault lines in the euro are once more evident with the peripheral countries owing billions to the core countries — money that is unlikely to be paid back.

According to a BIS report this week, French and German banks had exposures of $958bn (€776bn) to Greece, Spain, Ireland and Portugal, including $174bn (€141bn) of government debt. This is the sort of debt that can destroy the German and French banking system.

As a result of these imbalances no one will lend money to our banks because they don’t trust them. Financial markets are based on trust and once that is shattered it is almost impossible to get it back.

It is against this background that we are experiencing the total disconnect between the political class and the economic reality.

Will a change at the top of Fine Gael make a difference to your life? I put this question to a number of shopkeepers in Dalkey. Their answer was unanimous: there was a strong view that it won’t make a jot of difference to people who are trying to stay in business. These are the people who employ people, and if you examine the Irish economy, you see that the vast majority of us are employed in the local service economy, so this is what we have to get going.

Therefore, the most important arena for the recovery is your own locality. If we can get more of us to spend locally we can begin to rebuild the economy, slowly but surely.

While our national politicians talk about national goals and turning the country around, the actual process of turning begins locally.

In the first decades of the last century, Irish independence was engineered by a series of local initiatives driven by the spirit of building a new country. We can do this again if we just stand together locally.

For example, this weekend is the Dalkey Book Festival (www.dalkeybookfestival.org). We have a fantastic line-up and the aim is to get people into the town to listen to local authors and go to the shops, restaurants and bars or just go for a stroll up Killiney Hill or down to the beach.

Watching politics won’t make that happen. You have to get on the phone and do things for yourself. Lots of towns are suffering in the recession; they have to make things happen for themselves because the longer we wait, the worse the recession will get and businesses will close. And, when businesses close, they don’t open up again in a hurry.

Back before the foundation of the State when all these vibrant local initiatives were taking off, the political manifestation of localism was abstentionism. As Westminster became increasingly remote, it also became irrelevant. The nationalists set up parallel political, social and economic structures for the betterment of the country and they didn’t wait for the imprimatur of the established political class. As the man on the Nike ad says, “just do it”. And they just did it.

The way mainstream politics in Ireland is reacting to the crisis in the economy and in society, it is not difficult to envisage an “abstentionist” culture becoming popular. When the main opposition party is fighting with itself rather than pulling together in some form of unified movement based on national solidarity, it isn’t hard to imagine a situation where people just give up on the Dail as an irrelevance. It risks becoming the ultimate “insider” chamber where the “outsiders” in the rest of the country matter little.

But this is not the end of the world, in fact it is a liberation. Countries rejuvenate themselves from the bottom up. People start their own movements, their own initiatives and the country changes in an organic way. Once the connection between the political establishment and the people is broken, it just becomes a circus.

If we look at what is happening outside the country in Europe, it is clear that a mass default on the periphery is on the cards. It is impossible to say when this will be, but the numbers just don’t stack up.

This will be an epoch changing event, because the system that allowed the huge debts to build up will be rendered illegitimate. Whatever replaces it will be based on the central and somewhat hazy notion that the old system was “wrong” and there is no going back. This is likely to prompt local political change where the old structures find it difficult to adapt. The more remote they are in the crisis the less adaptable they’ll be. This is where local action will come to the fore.

When you see the main opposition party tearing itself apart at such a time, it’s hard not to conclude that they just don’t get it.

David McWilliams performs ‘Outsiders‘ at the Peacock from today until July 3

  1. Gege Le Beau

    I sense this is necessary, a small part of the change needed, removing a leader is a messy business, think it could have been done another way, but think also that this was inevitable. But yes, there is an argument for ‘Nero fiddling while Rome burns’, 440,000 unemployed with more on the way can testify to that, we are not at the races, some of the worst aspects of the Irish character have come to the fore over the last decade……..we are reaping what FF, the PDs and an ineffective opposition sowed, to blame the regulator or others like Harney did recently is simply an attempt to escape responsibility for bringing the country to the abyss, we are poorly served.

  2. jkforde

    The only way out is: wean ourselves off money as the sole currency; humbly educate ourselves in how we are solely dependent on the natural systems to keep us alive; drastically lessen lifestyle expectations; rediscover our natural humility and smell the tea. People say daft things like “I just can’t live without earning 55,000 a year, I just can’t!” These people, which are most of us, just don’t get it. None of us are getting it.

  3. lff12

    I think you are correct in assessing FG’s ridiculous carry on.
    Right now FG might as well disband as their credibility either way has gone down the tubes. The time to dispose of a leader was after the last dismal election performance – this is probably too late for FG, and realistically, how is it that you can dispose of a leader while a councillor who took 20,000 for “consulting” redgarding access to lands in a massive conflict of interest sits pretty on her seat speaks volumes regarding the party.

    FG had some reasonable ideas regarding the economy but really they are not really radical enough, but then again, aside from the Thaterite-style right, who is? Most of what I hear from the left is the same: tax, spend and protect the already pampered public sector. That isn’t a solution. Nobody, nobody is critiqueing Labour’s already failed economic plan – it is simple unfeasible. It would take us back to 1979. Meanwhile FG don’t know what to do.

    Perhaps what is really needed is a breakaway from FG and formation of a new party based on terms of political need and not dated, obsolete nationalist emotional attachments.

  4. Reality Check

    “If we look at what is happening outside the country in Europe, it is clear that a mass default on the periphery is on the cards. It is impossible to say when this will be, but the numbers just don’t stack up.”

    This has all been predicted by the great Economist Kurt Richebacher My gusess late 2012/Early 2013 Barrons online have predicted this moment to be “the perfect financial storm”


  5. Get Over It – Its the Start of The Moon Pull and there is lots more to come – WOBBLE .

  6. If we personally want to walk away from this debt, does David have any suggestions on where we should go. What about Canada?

    • Black Cat

      Canada I think, they are meant to actually benefit from climate change projections (in terms of food productivity at least) I have read a blog from an Irish family who moved there and they love it and say their kids love it too. Australia has major water shortage problems ahead of them I think

  7. Tull McAdoo

    I think its that half-hearted approach to challenging FF on their policies on Nama, Bank recap etc. that left George Lee very disillusioned with Fine Gael. I have always held the belief that there would be a good few of FG backers caught up in this property bubble madness, as it only stands to reason that insiders that back FG would not have missed out where they could avail of some handy inside money. I refer back to a post of mine some time back where I outlined the makeup of the Leitrim County Council, as being a straight split between FF & FG and we all know the awful mess they produced in ghost Estates etc. up there.
    I always suspected that the spin doctors in FG were happy to stay “just behind the curve” in terms of their protests regarding FF policy. They were happy to watch Cowen and Linehan and FF burn. They could see victory was within their grasp given an election of course, but because FF could tie their futures to that of the Greens it meant that the Government would hang together as opposed to hanging separately, which had the result of putting FG under the public spotlight to defend “the people” from this onslaught of cuts etc.
    FG were found out to be a Party of insiders who were just like FF and would do the same if faced with the same problems. They were happy to reap whatever support they could at FF expense, whistling by the graveyard and realising the truth and that was in relation to FF “ there but for the grace of God go I “.
    Baby Brute or from now on Richie Bruton /Richie Ryan will mean nothing to the “outsiders”. John Bruton and Alan Dukes both ex leaders of that Party have already thrown in their tuppence worth so we expect nothing to change in terms of the status quo.
    If happy Gilmore has any cop which I suspect he has, he should seize the initiative now and kill two birds with the one stone, and maybe its about time in all. This old phoney civil war between the same bloody vested interest insiders in FF/FG has gone way to long, people are sick to their bollixes of the whole lot. FF/FG insiders are a luxury this Country can no longer afford and yes before ye all jump with the obvious, there is a disconnect between the Des Gravytrain, David Beggs “please sir can I have some more” and the rest of the union polite biro pushers that Happy would need to deal with. Interesting times indeed. Tull.

    • coldblow

      +1 on all points.
      Crotty saw FF and FG as the tweedledee and tweedledum of Irish politics, serving property interests. I wonder to what extent their power bases are rural?

      The George Lee episode really showed how things are. In recent crticism of him John Drennan in the Sindo recently said that Lee couldn’t ‘hack it’ because the Dail is where the big boys come to play. Not impressed. FG would be a change from the present lot, but would not represent ‘real’ change, hence possibly a wasted opportunity. David’s instincts are again correct. Grass roots activity making the established institutions irrelevant – I’m trying to think of historical precedents, well there are many but not all of them with happy endings I’m afraid. I’ll have to have a little think about it.

      • George Lee wanted to go straight into the front bench, as if he was something wonderful and special. I’ve never heard any of his ideas for getting out of recession, so I assume he doesn’t have any.

        It seems he couldn’t hack it and it turned out to be a mistake for Kenny to include him in FG.

        • Deco

          Sean_Kelly based on the quality of analysis coming from the FG front bench, George Lee would not have needed to have had a high opinion of himself to have thought that he deserved a front bench position.

          As far as I know, there were only two economists in the Dail, and Enda Kenny has managed to piss them both off.

          • Leo Valadkar, Ciaran O’Donnell and Richard Bruton are all high calibre politicians. Even Eamon Dunphy can criticise, anybody can do it. Talk is cheap and that’s about all George Lee ever did, I never heard any ideas coming from him.

    • Deco

      FG had a love-in session with IBEC in January. Even thought George Lee got more than 50% of his electorate, and was a trained economist, Lee was left out. I don’t know who took his place. Maybe it was somebody who became an expert on the economy when the economy became an issue of critical importance.

      In any case, it indicated a lot of things. It indicated that in FG it is not the person that is most suitable that is appointed to the position. It indicated a belief in ‘show pony’ candidates. (FG seems to target GAA county team managers in particular as candidates). But most insiduously it indicates that when a political movement gets big enough in Ireland, they go grovelling to IBEC for funds and ideas. And clearly Lee was the last person you want to witness such nonsense.

      Then we had the second FG love-in. They scheduled a weekend in Paris to meet the OECD – again on a matter of discussion of economics. And they left Lee out of that as well. I mean he is an economist. And he was left out. Interestingly enough this visit to the OECD was timed to coincide with Valentines Day (maybe Enda and Lucinda wanted to stop bickering). And it also coincided with a rugger mathc that Ireland were expected to win. (for the blueblood element in the party).

      Lee found out that it takes a long time to be trusted as an insider in a clique. And maybe he found out alos that it was not worth it in the end.

  8. Where is the money gonna come from to support all these local small businesses? I’d much rather go to somewhere like Tesco or Aldi that is far cheaper and offers greater choice. I’d try to buy Irish and local produce where possible, but at the end of the day it comes down to price and quality. We are in a free market after all.

    Supermarkets are run more efficiently and renders these local main st shops redundant. It would be far better if they shops closed down so the people running them would then have time to use their skills and brainpower on something new that would actually bring money into the country, not simple redistribute it.

    As for FG, Enda Kenny just isn’t up to snuff so its about time a far more skillful politician, Richard Bruton had an opportunity to lead the party. Kenny had 8 years as leader, he’s had his chance. When Labour come first in the latest poles, the writing is on the wall for the current FG party leader. If Labour come to power here, I’m telling you all its time to get out of Ireland. They’ll screw up the country economically, socialism doesn’t work. We’ll have lazy bums on the dole getting bigger handouts, while those who wish to start businesses and wish to work hard to earn money will see far less opportunities.

    This is a good time for Richard Bruton to become leader, as it’ll give him just enough time to show what his policies are in the run up to the next general election. I can see Bruton as FG leader winning the next election by some margin. I hope they won’t need overrated Labour either, though Gilmore is a talented politician but that Joan Burton is clueless. She thinks Paul Krugman is a great economist for example.

    Actually, all the female politicians in the Dail are hopeless except for Mary Halafin.

    • Deco

      When the Anglo Irish Bank got into serious trouble, and the recession became undeniable, Joan Burton was on RTE’s Six One News. I can remember it well. She was outside Government buildings. And they asked her what she thought.

      She went straight into whining mode. And she produced the most absurd quotation from the political establishment yet.

      She uttered “we are in this recession…because…we have no money….we have run out of money…that is why we are in a recession”.

      So there you have Econ 101 from Joan Burton. Recessions happen when you run out of money. What does she want a prize for stating the completely obvious ?

      By the way she was instrumental in the ILP manifesto of the last general election which wanted to reduce taxes, increase spending etc…. Exactly the sort of behaviour that gets criticism as ‘irresponsible’ from the ILP, when other people do it.

      • Deco.

        ‘Recession comes from running out of money’

        I dunno. I am more of the viewpoint recession comes from providing credit in a way which makes business codependent on access to more and more debt and like a Ponzi scheme until it falls apart on top of the non ponzi scheme economy and destructs into being a recession.

        • Deco

          wills – you are correct. There is a credit cycle. At the peak of the cycle credit is available for all sorts of nonsense. Like the DDDA plan for Ringsend. Or the shopping centre David mentions in Nenagh.

          But Burton, at that moment was completely clueless. Of course being a politician she is an expert at sounding concerned to such a degree that most people never examine the factual content of what she is saying.

    • Julia

      Of course I don’t support every woman in the Dáil. However, women in Ireland are the main shoppers in the household. Women know the price of milk, bread, nappies, washing up liquid, electricity bills, doctors bills etc. They are the main carers. They are still the ones rearing the children. They are the ones, and some men, who are looking after their elderly mothers and fathers, doing their shopping and cleaning. They know the cost of everything and willingly work for free because they they have an emotional investment in their families. Regardless of economic upturns and downturns this work still has to be done. Lazy unemployed people spend their time juggling which bill to pay. They frequently can’t buy the school books their kids need in school and don’t have the extra luxury of other books in the house that we all take for granted as important for kids as they grow up. Living in poverty is no fun.

      Just watch the next budget as the ministers cut social welfare again, tax the lower payed, as an incentive to the unemployed to get get up off their arses and work, thinking the poor can take the pain better than someone earning E50,000. God, I despair sometimes.

  9. Dilly

    The political parties are upto their necks in the property and land business. Maybe this will finally be their undoing. We know that Anglo was kept afloat, and NAMA was brought into play because our political class and their mates needed to be saved. Well, if and when it all collapses anyway, this will drag this lot down with them.

    • You don’t know what your talking about. Anglo had to be kept alive unfortunately or else confidence would be lost in Ireland’s economy and all the debt would have crippled this country. It would have cost more to simply let Anglo go bust.

      • Dilly

        Sounds good to me. Let it all burn.

      • Dilly

        The property and land situation is going to bring it all down soon anyway. They are all upto their necks in it.

      • Whose ‘confidence’ are you referring too? The money lenders who are owed money, the ‘insiders’ confidence? Cos anyone outside the inner loop with unfettered access to political power and wink and nod loans what confidence worries are there here except making sure you stay in with the contacts who make the decisions to lend you the money and this confidence is all about who you are in the inside loop and nothing more. its now revealed the developers got massive loans only having to show up at the bank in person.

        Confidence my eye.

  10. dermo

    Take a good look at what’s sitting in the Dail, a complete bunch of economic illiterates.They spend their time on auction politics ,act like a bunch of populist social workers, leveling this country into the floor with a mire of welfare ,crippling taxes, nanny statism ,servile dependency .People should forget about government and half the regulations in business and just get on with it.People should look after themselves and their families first and others later.

    • I agree with that. Everytime there is a problem, pathetically you see people crying on the frontline to the government or going on to Joe on the radio having a moan.

      Anyway, we are all spoilt in reality in comparison to our parents and previous generations, not to mention the billions on this planet below the poverty line. That’s never celebrated and in the boom all we wanted to do was fuck eachother over in the property bubble. That’s one of the reasons why I think nationalism is a delusion, its really every person for themselves.

    • cora322

      Get the constitution changed and lets Get rid of all politicians
      lets take this opportunity to get rid of all politicians and bring in 10 good people with experience of running businesses. we have a population the size of Manchester so why do we need all these TD’s not to mind the councilors- many of whom have no experience of ever having worked in a proper job and have no experience of the day to day struggles that ordinary people experience. Now with the internet things can be organised so quickly – look at Tunisia and Egypt
      rgs cora.

  11. coldblow

    DMcW’s article put me in mind of a Hutton article from before the British election:


    It’s funny (or maybe not) how so much of it applies just the same to ireland.

    “The electorate is not dumb. We know the wealth of the last two decades was fairy dust. We know bankers don’t know how to help enterprise. We know the country has to make its living differently in future. We know that requires a mix of belt-tightening and huge investment. We do not see why the public services we rely on should be emasculated while the business and banking leaders who caused the crisis lead lives of unearned opulence. We would like to hear our political leaders talk in these terms. We want the next government to begin the work.
    So far it’s been a phoney electoral war. Let’s hope it gets better fast.”

    And here, instead of ‘Quantitative Easing’ you could read ‘Nama’ (alright, maybe without the ref to share prices):

    “Any lingering doubts as to the truth of this should be dispelled by the astonishing story of quantitative easing, all £200bn of it. If any other central bank printed £200bn and injected it into the banking system over 12 months, you might expect some part to find its way to business. Indeed, when the programme began, this is what the Bank of England hoped. What actually happened is that quantitative easing cash is going where cash has gone over the last 20 years — to support property and share prices — because that is what the UK financial system is set up to do.

    “Quantitative easing has become the most flagrantly regressive public policy intervention in modern times. It has enriched the wealthy further by putting a floor under especially high-priced property, boosted share prices and done nothing for small- and medium-sized business.”

    • Coldblow.

      Exactly, this is it. This is what is going on and how it is been serviced and preserved by those who benefit and are positioned to cream from.


  12. Deco

    The incident that told me that FG don’t get it was the George Lee incident. There is not a single problem solver in the Dail. And let’s face it Joe Behan is about the only one in there who has any integrity with regards to standing up to the IBEC-ICTU power nexus.

    David is correct. You cannot rely on a bunch of opportunists whose main punch lines are “the other crowd are the problem”, and “elect us and we will give you something for nothing”. Oh yeah, and “we care”. Apparently, when the public respond negatively to all this punch and judy episodes in the Dail debate, the problem is neot due to pretenscious button pressing politicians, but the problem is public cynicism.

    I can also see where David’s analysis of the views of the small businesses of Dalkey is leading. These are the people who are paying for all the various local vote getting schemes in DLR Council. Every local authority is full of hard sell opportunists who will levy anything that might create jobs, and then throw the money at voters dressed up as some sort of solution making exercise. The objective is always to sound great in local newspapers and to enthuse the activists into knocking on your door, to do their bidding.

    Best of luck with the festival. Solving Ireland’s problems does not have to be festival. It can be cleaning up a local amenity that is covered in rubbish, doing an evening course, working harder, helping relatives in their work. It might be giving a word of encouragement to a stranger, or telling the truth to help them do a better job. It might mean reading a book about personal development, having a healthier lifestyle, or being more productive. Or it might be loggin on this site and doing some thinking – thinking that cuts through a lot of the BS and the sacred unwritten assumptions that are prompted into the public consciousness.

    All these things are anaethma to the Irish concept of authority. But that has been proven to be farcical.

    The FG row has similarities with the Saipan Saga. Except our advertising sponsors had paid big money on the premise that Ireland would watch all that advertising space. But it is not just an FG problem. FF/FG/GP/PD/ILP/SF – take your pick – they are all expert at posturing, pretending and dodging their responsibilities. Judge them by their deeds, because talk is cheap and they produce a lot of talk.

    An individual with a conscience and a clear mind does not need to wait for the politicians. Change the ground underneath them.

  13. MK1

    Hi David,

    > As a result of these imbalances no one will lend money to our banks because they don’t trust them.

    Its not just trust. The level of debt our banks have is so high that lenders are reluctant to give them more money. There are safer havens with similar returns elsewhere. If our banks can get rid of their debts the trust will magically come back.

    As for supporting local enterprises, its all well and good in theory but econ101 tells us that specialisation and scale is better value/more productive than village economics. I like villages though as do many so people are willing to pay a premium for that ‘quaintness’ feeling compared to a supermarche.

    As for politics, YES, I fully agree that FG’s debacle (and there can be no winners in the long run) shows us that a NEW grond-up political movement is much overdue in this country. But who is going to start it? Ironically, George Lee had a chance to at least participate in it as he had a Dail seat and could have resigned from FG.

    Could a NEW PARTY start around Ireland? It cant be local only, it has to want to support the change that people are craving for and work on a National level. Dave, you could be a part of it you know …… at least an adviser. Time to get active. Or time for a revolucion perhaps???


    ps: website, seems a bit slower to me ….

  14. Tim

    Folks, it is our old friend, “Democratic deficit” again. FG spent Friday-Monday seeking votes for Bruton/Kenny instead of canvassing Independents and FF backbenchers votes against Cowen. Political naiveté, or something worse? I know what I think.

    Then, just this afternoon, the Oireachtas Finance Committee walked-out on Peter Mathews! Yes, walked-out on a man talking sense to them.

    I believe that Alan Dukes refused to answer Shane Ross’ questions, as well, claiming he didn’t “have to answer” them.

    Make of all that what-you-will. I’ll leave you with an interesting link regarding our “austerity measures”:


  15. David, you say

    ‘But how long will the ECB continue to prop us up? And what type of Irish economy is being propped up by the ECB? Is it a vibrant, competitive economy or simply a financial concubine happy to be drip-fed European money without any idea of what it will do when the master tires of this set-up?’

    I say…

    ‘Un f’n real this sentence.’

    This is the nub of it. This is so true it makes me queasy reading it and absorbing its intelligence.

  16. Another humdinger from the article is……….

    ‘As a result of these imbalances no one will lend money to our banks because they don’t trust them. Financial markets are based on trust and once that is shattered it is almost impossible to get it back.’

  17. David, you say..

    ‘It is against this background that we are experiencing the total disconnect between the political class and the economic reality.’

    So, is it the case nobody in political power is actually taking responsibility for the situation the countries macroeconomic situation is now in and getting down to brass tacks and fixing the plumbing.

  18. We live in a bizarre topsy turvy world. Gege Le Beau already given this url http://bit.ly/cbOK2W Seems old nepotism/croneyism has turned its face against the leader, Kenny. I’m not FG nor do I belong to any political party, but it appeared to me Kenny was mostly the only asset FG had, winning more and more votes every election.Good leaders require good followers too! However the party faithful,’the FG rump’, ‘ loyal, colleagues being for the most part silent and useless have now surpassed themselves ‘ ‘salivating if not frothing with ambition’ with an own goal you couldn’t make up. We now understand why the upside down world has Anglo as systemically important to the Irish economy, whereas on the contrary, the upturned boat Anglo has to be terminated and brought to boot in a real world. On it goes, this Alice in Wonderland island of ours, where the leader of the opposition is fighting for his political life when the real villian, Kown the Ignoble refuses to resign following damning Reports on the home grown banking crisis. I’ve a few notes here from Rigley Watson here, more on Honan when I find the time: http://bit.ly/dcW7uG By this time tomorrow, Richard Bruton, Fine Gael’s political own goal suicide bomber may be leading new fine Gael (cough old fg) into the political maze that is Circus Dail Eireann. Enjoy, folks, or cry, I’m off on my holidays.

  19. paddyjones

    I think the writing has been on the wall for Kenny, everytime he makes a public appearance such as the late late he loses support.
    In europe there is going to be massive default on loans , this is expected and the ECB will be called in to bail out not just banks but entire countries and so even their credit will dry up. When the lender of last resort runs out of money what will happen?
    I can not understand why the dollar is so strong after all their national debt is heading for 14 trillion dollars more than Europe which brings me back to expected defaults in Europe. Irelands national debt including NAMA will be 140 billion at the end of this year thats worse than Greece per capita. If we are not the next Greece then we are damn close to it.

    • Black Cat

      Paddy Jones I want to know what’s going to happen too, if the lender of last resort runs out of money? I was hoping someone here would have the answers? In addicted to money David was in Iceland and he said, ‘but life goes on’ at the end. But I think the Icelandic peoples neighbours helped them out didn’t they? And they have had a better response than us to their situation.

  20. I can’t help but agree with you David on this one.
    The infighting in Fine Gael in only adding to the despair of the ordinary people of Ireland and it is forcing the middle ground to seek alternative pastures and extreme ideas last month now become more appealing. Moderate thinking people are now openly calling for the forceful removal of the unelected Taoiseach Cowen and the rest of the gangsters in the Dail
    Ps. I like you new layout of the Blog template!

  21. David.

    I’ve just tried the ‘BROWSE THE ARCHIVES’ link and it is FANTASTICO.

    REALLY BRILLIANT, really it is quite something to have all that info right there so quick and simple to access and archive.

    Posters have a look it is SUPERB.

  22. Black Cat

    It’s really bad timing on the part of Fine Gael, they have distracted everyone from Cowen’s plight, but if they get a better leader maybe it will be worth it, is Kenny that bad or is he just not media friendly/unlikable personality? Personally I am against him as he has promised to reverse the new legislation against animal cruelty if he comes into power

  23. Talking Backwards

    The Refrain : To Hell or To Connaught

    We are witnessing in the Politics of NOW the re-enactment of the ‘Act of Settlement ‘ that was followed up by the the ‘Act of Satisfaction’.The purpose of these acts were to confiscate huge amounts of land for payment to the Cromwellian soldiers and to reimburse Adventurers ( investors) in this conquest of Ireland.There was mass transportation to Connaught and Clare of all classes of Irishmen above landless labourers .
    To assess the lands due for confiscation a property survey was carried out by an Englishman who studied philosophy named William Petty.The names of Settlers were well known to Cromwell and had assisted him in his conquest.

    It strikes me to be so familier how the past and today are just one moment in NOW.

    • Original-Ed

      John Allen,

      Bystanders were penalised then are they are today – nothing has changed.

    • coldblow

      “Investors” is the right word as Ireland became I suppose the first victim of international modern capitalism, land having becaome a scarce, and valuable, commodity in England.

      Re time, you’re probably also right. While we live in a rolling 3-sec ‘present moment’ mental construct, in a religious (and therefore the most fundamental) sense, and also in terms of advanced physics, time loses its meaning. (Been reading John Waters’ excellent Beyond Consolation.) Can’t see FG taking this on as a policy consideration though.

    • The Act of Attainment followed making a list of all the named individuals who had fled the country and were deemed to have assisted the ‘most horrid invasion’.

      The Patriot Parliament came into place .

      The Penal Code

      The Banishment Act

      The Established Church

      The Popery Act

      The Friendly Discovery

      It is not difficult to read the from the past the same allignment with the Moments of NOW upon us .

  24. Oil Spill on The Breakfast Table

    Am I getting this right ? Yesterday we are told in the Oireachtas that what we have paid into Anglo €22bn is LOST for Eternity.Now accross the water President Obama is attempting to secure that BP Oil be responsible for the clean-up costing to date €1.5bn .This is nearly 15 times the cost we threw away into Anglo in a whim.Had we waited and then volunteered to do all the cleaning up ourselves employing all our own people for 15 years we would have had no umemployment and we would have received some satisfaction somewhere else that would have paid up the bank debts due.We have lost our creativity in Politics.

  25. Sack The House of Gombeens

    • Really my last post afore the hols.

      I’ve advocated culling of TD’s to 50% before. Lets begin with Fine Gael. I call on all TD’s on the losing side to immediately resign their seats, to save themselves and taxpayers further embarrassment and cost! That should make it interesting!

      Meanwhile Kowing the Ignoble escapes once again.

      • Gege Le Beau

        Could certainly scrap the Senate and severly curtail the salary and expenses of the President, but it seems they will never feel the cut. Speaks volumes of the political elite and their priorities, McAleese is shameless to my mind.

  26. DH

    FF will be in power for another two years, Cowen has said as much so regardless of the state of the nation, it is highly unlikely their position will change regardless of how the opposition carries on.

    I’m not a FF or FG supporter but I am in the anti-enda camp and I think the country will respond well to FG once Enda is gone and the party has settled. The sooner that happens, the better prepared FG will be for the next election. Whether the New FGs actually have the will to make real changes is another debate altogether.

    I would love to see the best people from accross the parties form a new party with the intention of moving this country in the right direction.

    • Gege Le Beau

      Someone should do a family tree of the Dail – The nine rebels include five TDs with deep Fine Gael roots including Mr Naughten himself (son of former TD Liam Naughten), communications spokesman Simon Coveney (son of former Fine Gael minister Hugh Coveney), social protection spokeswoman Olwyn Enright (daughter of… former TD Tom Enright), foreign affairs spokesman Billy Timmins (son of former TD Godfrey Timmins) and agriculture spokesman Michael Creed (son of former TD Donal Creed).

  27. Malcolm McClure

    Kenny is fighting like an alley-cat to retain leadership of FG, apparently supported mainly by old-hand urban bourgeoisie. The younger and western culchie TDs want a new leader.
    If Kenny had put half the effort into attacking Cowen that he has into splitting his party, he would have been Taioseach long ago. Doesn’t he realize that it takes more than a hairstyle and a schooltaioseach’s image and credentials to lead a great nation?

    • Gege Le Beau

      Spot on!! Game is up no matter what happens, a house divided cannot stand……..he had his run, had his chances, an opposition leader will never get the kind of ammunition he has had, took Labour to get rid of O’Donoghue, ego driven not policy driven.

    • Deco

      The difference between Kenny’s rutlessness in trying to retain his leadership, and his softy approach to Cowen, suggests to me that leading FG is about the height of Enda Kenny’s ambition. Considering that his commentary on economics come straight from the party spindoctors, we should be lucky that he is not running the country.

    • Colin

      “If Kenny had put half the effort into attacking Cowen that he has into splitting his party, he would have been Taioseach long ago.”

      Simply the best sentence of analysis I’ve read anywhere so far. I really wish I had thought of that. Well done.

  28. Philip

    Our politicians had an “abstentionist” culture as long as I can remember. Many thanks for articulating this David. Local parish pump presenteeism has led to a complete disconnect with regard to national needs and it meant our eyes were completely off the ball with respect to our standing in the world.

    The games in Dail Eireann are irrelevant now. I would campaign for a national abstentionism on the part of people to turn their backs on this nonsense. Do not Vote, Pay taxes, Debts etc. on the pure basis that you are not being represented in any way shape or form until such time as they wise up. Support your local community, tear up all official demands relating to this government. The mechanism for this approach would require brighter minds than mine to derive. But it is a necessary prerequisite before any change will commence.

    Among some of the posters and indeed DMcW as well, there is an implied assertion that all will be well once we sort out the credit problem. We just need to be competitive and it’s business as usual. ‘Fraid not. Ireland will never be at the races in the way it once was no matter what happens and you can forget about dreams of trying the old trick (with Boston) of being closer to Bangalore/ Shanghai than Berlin. Fact is that the whole world’s means of generating real wealth with a fair balance of trade between the nations with roughly equal rights etc. has been exposed as a sham. China and India will have trade barriers mounted against them as Western economies try to stem social unrest. Real jobs in the west have been destroyed by technology. we are facing a world where the majority of well educated people will be unemployable because no one can afford to buy because they have no job etc….it is not because of a credit deficit, it is because we have eliminated the need for people.

    So we need change and we need good governance. But we need a recognition that we are dealing with a new world where the knowledge economy has really arrived and the 25% long term unemployed (which I suspect is the real picture today) needs addressing with a new form of economics. David, it is this latter issue that is coming at us and is ultimately the main reason for the worldwide imbalance and financial turmoil. The shanigans are merely a derivative of the desperateness that exists to try and preserve what wealth we perceived we have in terms on income…property was supposed to be the pension.

    • Philip.

      On the ‘credit provision’ model and fix it and all else will follow is I believe what will happen.

      If Credit is provided in its tool function / as a utility, if its is provided along these lines I believe everything else will ‘right’ itself.

      If one looks at it in reverse and see’s that providing credit in a way which determines it as an opportunity to profiteer off, is suicide.

      • Philip

        I do not quibble the need for credit as “utility”. And indeed it is obvious the unregulated leveraged boom in stocks for the last 2 decades used hi-tech innovation as the boiler room for huge gyrations we have seen particularly for the last 10 years. Such were the nature of the mergers that companies worth millions found themselves being bought for billions using funny money with the operational people on the ground left to pick up the pieces and save money (make cuts) to service debts. Eircom being a recent case in point.

        That said, we need to recognise we have a timing and expectation problem. So far, we have a educational, industry market mix that drives and relies on a supply chain of cheaper and cheaper goods and services. This alone drives wealth creation to lower cost and lower civil rights economies. I have seen this in action for the last 15 years. I saw it in the US 20 year ago as jobs came here. I saw it here as jobs went to Poland and I have seen in there as jobs head to India and China. In no case have I seen any backfill of significance. As one US friend of mine observed ..engineers became burger flippers and if they had enough cash…landlords.

        • Philip, ‘engineers becoming burger flippers and then landlords/’ idea comes down to the incentive driving the person forward. I know engineers who are redundant but stick to business as an activity in wealth creation.

          Yes we have high numbers of people in business chasing a ‘buck’ but I hold the view if credit provision saw its elemental reality in full flow and in use as a ‘utility’ slowly gradually business activity would return to utilitarian center and see a transactional culture blooming in wealth creation and flow of ideas moving fluidly in the right direction enhancing the community sense of well being and prosperity for everyone and buliding a community of tactile living guided by an incentive to do business in pursuit of wealth creation first and profit following through on its own steam generated from the basics of business practice and free market principles been adhered to.

  29. Deco

    On the topic of “getting it”….maybe….finally….Ireland means business….
    Eh, no. That is ‘the other Ireland’. Two systems. One means pricing to get the business. The other means pricing to rip-off.

    When I saw this headline first, I had visions of a giant windfarm off the coast of Louth, or Malahide. But then that would result in more NIMBYism. When it is the location of another superdump in Kildare that is NIMBYism. But when it is the location of an incinerator near to where all the rubbish is generated it is something that local TD is against as a matter of principle.

    Competition in the electricity market is very very restricted. Best of luck to the Brits in their efforts to get their energy business in order. The only way any idea gets adopted here is if the Brits do it first. Maybe we will see councillors in Fingal County Council might be visiting the location of the wind farm in 24 months time, getting in premiership matches and a few pints along the way. On a “fact finding mission”. The rest of us have the internet for fact finding.

    Meanwhile, the clowns in the Kildare Street Circus are busy creating motions of no confidence in each other. This is hilarious in a sense – because the people have no confidence in any of them anymore.

    I see that Harney is clear that there will be no more money for the Rape Crisis Centre. Of course this has nothing to do with Anglo and the 22 Billion rape of the Irish taxpayer. But don’t worry, as Dan Boil promised the nation when Dell was being closed – “saving the banks is more important than saving the factories”. It is always a matter of priorities. Boil wants the binge to continue, as long as it involves loads of silly green ideas like bike to work, and no serious green ideas like allowing co-operative energy producers to threaten FF’s vote in the ESB unions, or the GP’s ambitions of feeding activists into state jobs.

    • Deco

      Muppet of the week award.
      This week’s muppet of the week award goes to the Lord Mayor of Cork who has banned the ‘R’ word. When I first heard the ‘R’ Word. WDF is the ‘R’ word ? I tried to think what profane terms began with R. Maybe he meant ‘Rip-off’. Or maybe ‘Riot’. And then I found out that Cork’s Lord Mayor has decided that the word “RECESSION” is no longer politically correct (in a consumerist, debt induced sort of way). He has started a campaign to fight the doom and gloom. I don’tknow – but sounds like Dubya fighting terror, Harney fighting rumours, and Cowen fighting allegations. He wants words like rebirth and renaissance to be mentioned instead of recession. I don’t know about you – but I find this patronizing and an insult to the intelligence of ordinary people.

      Look, if we had a right recession, allowing Anglo to go down the drain, and not going on with the NAMA nonsense, then we could say that we would get a renaissance. If the cliques were left to deal with the consequences of failure and not bailed out, then new generation would take over and there would be an improvement. But there is no rebirth as long as you are bailing out the culture of gombeenism. The Lord Mayor is selling himself to gombeens as somebody who can turn back on the spending, without asking for either reform or allowing the cronyism to meet it’s deservings. Sounds like a “safe pair of hands” type politician. Exactly the type that lobbyist organizations IBEC would want to say deciding state policy.

      • Deco – could the ‘r’ word soon me ‘remember’ in other words write off what we have learned on this blog and submit to propaganda.

      • Deco. Para 2 is an accurate observation on the superstructure sporting up on occupying the hubs of power circuited into the central banking system money making.

      • Deco,
        I’m living in Cork having returned from 28 years experience in politically correct lands. What runs Cork City Co and Cork Co Co are so far up their own arses imitating and aping their “Betters” to curry favour they have lost the ability to function in the role(s) to which they have been elected.

        This relatively juvenile Nation is descending into a comfort zone only occupied by the hopeless and useless whose modus operandi is recreating the classical mistake of patrimonial, self serving and self absorbed subservience normally reserved for Palace courtiers in 17th century France.

        The President bestows benign gifts, Peter Barry is bestowed the freedom of Cork midst much pomp, spurious certificates and other awards are doled out to the proles in recognition of charitable efforts(so long as one belongs to the right “sort”) and fine wine is quaffed by the bewigged as they debate what is best for the commoners.

        I’d ask people to read Michael Davitts address to the House of Commons where, to me at least, nothing really has changed at all and worse, we’re in a full circle where civil service politics now rule the land.

        • coldblow

          Reminds me somehow of a telly review by Declan Lynch (The Silent Savagery of the Pampered Elite – Sindo 29 June 2003). I think it’s a post-colonial thing myself, to be able to embrace BS on such a heroic scale.

          “FURTHER along the leafy avenues where the mandarins live, Dr Garret FitzGerald seemed remarkably chipper in Fine Gael – A Family At War . As Eoghan Harris put it, Garret was the best and the worst thing that happened to Fine Gael, the best because he saved them, the worst because he gave them the delusion that they were a liberal party.

          I suppose even this was partly due to the fact that Fianna Fail at the time was “conservative”, so Fine Gael felt obliged to be whatever Fianna Fail wasn’t. Yet they are getting full value out of their tribulations, three substantial programmes which at least makes Fine Gael seem important, something they can’t quitemanage to convey themselves. BERNARD Manning knows who he is. A funnyman, a fat bastard, but most of all an Englishman. So it was brave of him to go India for Bernard’s Bombay Dream , the subcontinent being a prime target for his gentle brand of mockery.

          And he died there, in the comedic sense, in the snooty Bombay Gymkhana Club, where they responded to his act with utter disdain, the silent savagery of the pampered elite.

          Prophetically, the heat had been getting to Manning as he waddled around the city dreaming of English rain on his face.

          “Don’t tell me I’m going to f**king die in Bombay!” he wailed.

          But he did. “

          • As opposed to a true Funny Man. Tommy Cooper died on stage and they all laughed thinking it was part of the act. Tragic yes, but also the ultimate tribute.
            I can’t nor won’t spend much more time trying to vocalise my disgust with this one party state. My views on the principles of Article 45 of our Constitution are well known here. We won’t get a new Party nor will we get any local movement of any value.
            We’re polluted and polluted badly. The whole body Politic is infested by indolence. I’m filling my fridge for a long number of months now and that is uppermost.

        • Deco

          Concerning Peter Barry getting the Freedom of Cork, could somebody tell me exactly what he did for Cork ?
          It sounds to me as if this is the type of thing that FG do as soon as they win enough seats on the local authority chamber. Maybe in ten years time we will have Dublin City Council bestowing the Freedom of Dublin on the Drumcondra Ditherer, when FF control the council again after ten years fooling around from various coalitions of ILP, FG, GP, SF etc… gangs. I mean, it seems to mea that all Peter Barry ever did was hang around long enough.

          Even more worringly, we are seeing FG in the process of contructing role models for younger people.

          You are correct in a sense, concerning the hierarchy and the awards dished out to the ‘right’ sort of people. In essence those that perpetuate the lies about Ireland is one big societal glue, when really it is as Wills points out an elabourate system of “ponzi economies” that perpetuate lies so as to make sure that the insiders get money for nothing, and the rest of the population gets…nothing, while being relieved of something.

          I don’t suppose that other FG’er Eddie Hobbs would get an award for saying that the Irish business culture is rotten with the rip-off mentality….Not a chance of that happening. Maybe some remote village in West Cork full of crusties, London dropouts, hill farmers and unemployed people might do this. But we should not expect it from ‘respectable’ society.

    • Dilly

      The gombeens do love their facthunts.

      • Dilly

        I am on the dole at the end of June. But sure, as long as i dont mention the R word everything will be ok. It is a bit like putting your head under the duvet when scared. I think only a serious correction will wake these gombeens up and get them to face reality.

        • Deco

          Dilly I am very sorry to hear that. I hope that you find some opportunity before then. But it will be very hard work getting a new job.

        • Colin


          Sorry to hear that, at least you’re in good company. Use your free time to keep fit and healthy, enjoy the good weather we’re having and keep all options on the table.

          I’m in this situation for 6 months now, and I’m beginning planning my emigration to Australia.

          • On making a new start, I’d consider Canada too. It’s not the States with all that jazz but has a great quality of life. I’ll soldier on here for a while yet, mainly because I’m a little older and I’ve already done the emigration tour twice. If push comes to shove and I’ve no other option, having discussed this with the other half, if I go again this time (the third time), there’ll be no back nor backward glance either. My life isn’t a rehearsal and Mother Ireland can head to hell in a bucket if this, or what’s coming, is the price to pay to live in ones homeplace.

        • Dilly.

          Keep *doing* in the moment and keep the *worry* under control by keeping a diary and writing down your thoughts and idea s and memorandum of your day on an ongoing basis, this ought to give your mind inner breathing space to work against any feeling of despair or claustrophobia.

          • My philosophy is there is lots of work to be done so do it and maybe a job will arrive too
            I am self employed since 1977 and always working.Flexibility is my best friend.

          • Dilly

            Thanks guys for all your comments. I have just found out this morning, that I have to be gone by next Friday. I am going to keep my options open. Canada sounds good. I don’t have much debt. I got out of the property game, after listening to people like David McWilliams and not running with the herd, so that is one less thing to worry about. I have a good bit of money saved (about two years wages if I was still working), I own some physical silver, a few commodity stocks. Bank of Ireland were trying to get me to buy shares at a reduced rate recently. That letter went straight into the bin. I was around for the last recession, so I am used to hard times, ill do just fine :-).

  30. laceyjody

    David, in this article you say: ‘Financial markets are based on trust and once that is shattered it is almost impossible to get it back.’ This confuses me because you have said time and again that financial markets are”forgiving”. Indeed, your argument for why we should have let the bank collapse in the first place was premised on the principle that markets have short memories and are willing to re-invest whever the conditions are right. Could you explain the apparent contradiction?

    • Laceyjody : I believe you have quoted two different contexts in one question .The above is where there is a collective ‘dead end alley’.In the previous article he shows ‘a creative genius’ of a plan.

  31. Gege Le Beau

    The more things change, the more they stay the same

    Such A Parcel Of Rogues In A Nation

    Fareweel to a’ our Scottish fame,
    Fareweel our ancient glory;
    Fareweel ev’n to the Scottish name,
    Sae fam’d in martial story.
    Now Sark rins over Solway sands,
    An’ Tweed rins to the ocean,
    To mark where England’s province stands-
    Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

    What force or guile could not subdue,
    Thro’ many warlike ages,
    Is wrought now by a coward few,
    For hireling traitor’s wages.
    The English stell we could disdain,
    Secure in valour’s station;
    But English gold has been our bane-
    Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

    O would, or I had seen the day
    That Treason thus could sell us,
    My auld grey head had lien in clay,
    Wi’ Bruce and loyal Wallace!
    But pith and power, till my last hour,
    I’ll mak this declaration;
    We’re bought and sold for English gold-
    Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!
    ~ Robert Burns

    • Deco

      Interesting in the context of what happened last September in the Lisbon 2.0 farce…..

    • THE lovely lass o’ Inverness,
      Nae joy nor pleasure can she see;
      For e’en and morn she cries, ‘Alas!’
      And aye the saut tear blin’s her e’e:
      ‘Drumossie moor, Drumossie day,
      A waefu’ day it was to me!
      For there I lost my father dear,
      My father dear and brethren three.

      ‘Their winding-sheet the bluidy clay,
      Their graves are growing green to see;
      And by them lies the dearest lad
      That ever blest a woman’s e’e!
      Now wae to thee, thou cruel lord,
      A bluidy man I trow thou be;
      For monie a heart thou hast made sair,
      That ne’er did wrang to thine or thee.’

  32. Deco

    Brian “I am not abdicating responsibility” Cowen, and Eamon ‘Ditherer 2.0′ Gilmore have both been given a present from FG. And own goal. A real Rob Green performance.


    Well, that is the end of that. In an economic crisis and the leader of the opposition had two reasonably good economists on his team. And he pissed them both off. Remarkable achievement. One left disenchanted. And the other was sacked.

    The Saipan Saga – we still have learnt nothing. Cowen will probably go on the booze for a week over this. There is a hope that this might end up like the Albert heave against Haughey. Reynolds lost the war but won the battle. But having Baby Brute on the back benches is a disaster. I don’t agree with everything he says. But he does at least agree with David McW on ANIB/INBS/EBS and NAMA.

    Last year on the NAMA vote, a lot of opposition deputies missed the vote. The government got NAMA throigh even with abstentions and missing government TDs. Makes you realise what a pantomine the whole thing is.

    • MK1

      So, what have we learned from the Fine Gael leadership battle? For one, it shows a party deeply divided and the dirty laundry was laid out in a very public way. What was said can never be forgotten despite the smiles and weak attempts yesterday of the ‘losers’ to say that it will be business as usual. Politics may be the art of the possible but the schisms run deep.

      There is a rural v urban divide, an east versus west, a younger versus older. What I dont get is that the ‘young turks’ and Bruton clearly underestimated Kenny’s ability to fight. Also, what I dont get is that its not as if Richard Bruton is smooth, charismatic and faultless. Regularly he dithers, stumbles, mutters and stutters when under pressure. This was not gonna be a conversion from a Michael Foot-like character to a Tony Blair.

      Politics is about image to a certain extent, but perhaps it shouldnt be. Enda Kenny personally may come out stronger, but the party as a whole must be damaged and the ‘young turks’ wont be going away. Their timing now was woeful though, and their choice as leader in Richard Bruton wasnt much of choice if you ask me. The young turks have demonstrated naivety in the extreme, and several of the more savvy elders got caught up in the ‘hype’ and may rue that decision for the rest of their political lives.

      Will it be the last heave? I dont know. How can Kenny keep the ‘young turks’ down forever? Perhaps that cant be done. We will have to see. If he does manage it, it will be extremely good management for sure.

      Kenny 1
      Bruton 0


  33. @Webmaster
    What was handy in the last website was the latest comments toolbar thingy where, if one was busy, one could log on and flip quickly through for an update. I don’t see this facility here now or maybe I’ve missed it??

  34. quickpenny@hotmail.com

    David , you are , as always , right on the money . If we do not correct our ways really fast , then we are in BIG trouble . The Greeks are still 211 billion in the hole . France is currently holding 1 trillion of the PIIGS high risk debts , default for any one of the PIIGS could spell utter disaster for the French economy and trigger the end of the Euro . I hope that the Euro will not dissolve , however it is a strong possibility . I believe that August 12th could very well be Judgment Day for the Euro . Cheers

    • Deco

      Quick Penny – you hit on an interesting point that nobody in the media seems to get. The scale of French loans to the PIGS. We never think of the French as being as wealthy as the Germans, the Dutch, the Swedes, etc… But there is a lot of money in France and most of it is reserves built up during the “glorius three decades” (1948-1978). That was when France invented all over the place in modern technologies like plastic, aviation, much of nuclear power, shipping, culture, etc…

      The problem is that the Mitterand Revolution turned France into a closed space in terms of invention. There was “le minitel” and that was about the height of it. Regulation. State intervention. Bureacracy. The country that invented the term “malaise” has been stuck in a 30 year malaise. And the money is looking for somewhere it can make a better return than in France, where the private sector is policed so thoroughly. So the French banks, doing their own form of subprime messing about, loan to the politicians in the Med. (and really they should have known better).

      And we have the big EU bailout of the PIGS with more regulations to enforce repayment. And it is the IMF style approach. Sell the national assets. So effectively statist extremism in France is producing oligopist extremism in Greece. The Greeks are selling their number one port Pireaus, to the Chinese. The Greeks are also selling part of the railway network and the postal system. In fact the Chinese are doing well. They are swapping paper money for real assets. And the Greeks will then send the paper money back to the French banks. The unsustainable habits that produced the crisis are now uninterrupted. Business as usual in the Greek establishment. Public sector workers get paid all sorts of allowances that are absent in the public sector elsewhere. Politicians continue to buy votes. The feel good factor is not diminished by any intellectual hard look in the mirror. The establishment is protected.

      Don’t be surprise if it comes here next. Naomi Klein talked about the Shock Doctrine. Well, now we have the aftershock doctrine. And it is about maintaining the appearance of business as usual on the surface, while a country’s assets and wealth get completely misappropriated, and a corrupt elite get maintained in power. It is a new for of control, or even infleunce. Like something out of the Art of War. And it is backed by merchantilist policies coming from you know Hu.

      All that is required is a population of people who are most comfortable when they are living beyond their means, and entranced by an establishment that prevents them from seeing things any other way. This is a long term trend that has been developing in Western politics for over 40 years. It is based on the idea that politicians are there to be Santa Claus, and to fix life for the citizenry.

      David’s article is based on the premise that the approach is financially bankrupt (in addition to being morally bankrupt). As such, it is a revolutionary concept, to an electorate that is increasingly moving towards the Ditherer 2.0. How can politicians and their games be part of the solution when they are part of the problem all along ?

      Since the fall of Soviet Marxism, the West has gone down a road towards the same inefficiencies, and uneconomic processes as the Soviets. This is evidenced in the state bailout plans for the rich, the over consumption, the excessive debt, the continual efforts of central bankers to make housing as expensive as possible to induce consumption and puch up the GDP statistic, a persistent tendency of political establishments across the spectrum to institute hundreds of quangoes, and a deliberate effort to create as many policies as possible so as to create bureacratic complexity.

      Basically, I expect it to collapse in a heap at some point. And society will get more dysfunctional, all along the way. Because there is a deliberate effort to make this so. And at some point the entire currency regime in the Western democracies will collapse. OPEC will want 170 USD for a barrel of oil. The entire suburban promise, will collapse exactly as JH Kunstler is predicting. But the cliques at the top will continue to screw the rest of the population. It will remain business as usual in that department.

      • Malcolm McClure

        Deco: You have provided a real ‘tour de force’ assessment of the problems that face Europe. Totally brilliant and should be read carefully by all as a clear statement of the wider political problems we face.

        Even if the banks get sorted, this deeper malaise will never be cured as too many politicians and civil servants have a vested interest in its perpetual growth.
        As you say, a solution requires a prior collapse, and we haven’t seen that yet. The unemployed have had the stuffing knocked out of them, while the employed still live in cloud cuckoo land, hunched over their laptops, expecting that the solutions will arrive by broadband, rather than by the sweat of the brow or from the barrel of a gun. Fear takes a while to reach a critical mass, then it becomes infectious and finally explosive. Let’s keep cool heads as FG panics and taps out its SOS message to the nation.

        Nobody would envy Tony Hayward his job when he was blasted by the House committee yesterday. He hadn’t learnt the basic rule ‘when in a collapsing hole, don’t keep digging’. That must be what Kenny told the recalcitrant FGers yesterday. No matter who’s in charge, no matter what you do, you can’t repair the fundamental problem, because of mistakes that were made months (or years) ago.

      • Colin

        I’d be more than happy to have Deco as Taoiseach.

  35. The WOBBLE is Arriving to a POINT

    near ….YOU


    Tomorrow the Gates Open and to Show for Four Weeks .

    • Philip

      Spain will off kicking off needing a few Trillion and our Guarantee for Anglo will be renewed….tanks Mr Taxpayer.

  36. Gege Le Beau

    Not sure about interactivity of new site, logging in is giving me trouble as well as a headache to look at………sorry David, simplicity is one of the keys to life……………

  37. Colin

    Best thing Kenny can do now is resign as the undefeated leader of FG and run for the Aras. His style is more Presidential, he’s a ceremonial kind of guy who suits formal occasions. His cupla focal also helps with this Head of State role.

    FG need to realise that the problem is not the electorate not getting Enda, its FG not getting the electorate.

    I want David McWilliams or Michael O’Leary as Taoiseach, but its not gonna happen. What do the Irish people want in a Taoiseach? Do the people want more FF/Green?

    • Philip

      We need a new party. FG are now irrelevant. The vote for them is just a matter of habit. The penny is dropping with the electorate and with it the end a kenny. If RB et al had any sense and balls – which I doubt, they’d form a new party and pull G Lee back in and who knows who else.

      As for M O’L being taoiseach…NO….Minister of Finance. Let’s dump the role of taoiseach.

      • Colin

        Agreed. A great opportunity to launch a new party free of civil war legacies has been lost.

        As for those “the west is awake” gobshites cracking open the champers yesterday on the news……….is it any wonder we are where we are?

    • MK1

      > its FG not getting the electorate.

      But arent FG the largest party in the country when it comes to the number of councillors, and MEPs? The electorate certainly were “geting” FG even with Kenny at the head and very recently too. The question that people within FG raised, based on electorate feedback presumably, is whether FG could be even bigger, ie: was Enda holding them back? But my gut feeling is that there was also personal political power ambitions in place too.

      > The penny is dropping with the electorate

      Another point I’d like to make is that the electorate is NOT as smart and canny as people/media make out. Not too long ago many people were voting for the PD’s, and look where the PD’s are now. People vote not as single sentient being, its a haphazard collective where we dont know what we are voting for due to the system and the lack of ANY accountability, apart from a 5 year yes or no to person A or B. Its a DUMB system, albeit a ‘democratic’ system. Its democratic deficit crystallised right in front of our noses! And the penny doesnt drop with ALL of the electorate, far from it. FF still has many voters. Go figure.

      > If RB et al had any sense and balls — which I doubt, they’d form a new party

      The county is crying out and in badly of need of a new political party. There is a lot of dismay at the current on offer for various reasons:

      FF – doesnt need explaining, even FFers know that!
      FG – seen as a different colour to FF, just not as succesful or ‘as good’ – FG just want to be FF
      Labour – hampered by lack of principles, lack of national success, everyone remembers the ‘Spring tide’ lie
      Green Party – went back on their principles at the first sniff of power, wipe-out on its way
      Sinn Fein – many wont vote for them due to NI links and IRA links in past
      People Before Profit – very small, perhaps too radical

      Where is the Lib Dems alternative in Ireland, the New Labour, etc, etc?

      A good party could get a lot of seats IF started properly and ran well. George Lee and DavidMc could certainly add to its chances, maybe.

      Tim, you are into politics, right? Why dont you form one. You will need at least 84 candidates, 2 to run in each constituency. Defectors from FG/Lab welcome, FF TD’s perhaps not! You agree?


      • Deco

        I know of a story of a Business Studies graduate who did a thesis on the Irish Political scene as a market in the 1990s. Yes, I am serious. And this is not unusual. It has happened several times. And the graduate in each case, gets money from a political party for their work – provided the others dont get it.

        We need ‘new entrants’ to the political market, if I could use the economic jargon. Effectively, we are at the point of Aer Lingus / British Airways / Air France / KLM dividing up the profits out of the Irish market as it existed in the 1980s. New entrants need to be established. And in the 1980s, national governments and trade unions used the national airlines in collusion for their own benefit. In the same regard, the vested interests are influencing political parties.

        If there are new entrants, we should expect the existing entrants to engage in the political equivalent of below cost selling, to maintain control of the market. We should also expect voracious advertising campaigns to undermine any new competitor. We should also expect a raft of legislation to raise the barrier to entry in the market, so as to keep out incumbents (new competitors) to the mutual approval of all existing participants. This is based on the premise, that none of the existing market participants want to lose any market share.

        Our task, then is to make sure that all these manoevres are revealed to as many people as possible, so as to create the intellectual foundation to prevent such crude manoevres from being effective. In essence, this enforces the entire political set of options to improve their competence level.

        But we can expect that such a development would be aneathma to the vested interests, like like IBEC and ICTU. They would be aghast. And they will attack any form of intellectual thought that undermines their control of the system.

        Analysis. That is what matters. Quality of analysis !! And the internet to let the people know what is really going on !!!! This, to be done, in the tradition of Phoenix Magazine, regarding scepticism as the necessary approach regarding all political offerings.

  38. Generation Levy

    I believe that David should explore the inverse of what is happening to make what should happen.I am of the opinion that everyone over 55 to 60 should suffer a Levy and those over 60 a heavier Levy .Thse monies should be used to employ all young people to replace the older work force.Otherwise when the present over 50s retire after 65+ there will be no Irish Youth left and only foreign labour and foreign culture to contend with.

    • Philip

      Blame modern medicine. People staying healthy for too long is unhealthy :)

      Joking aside…the lack of employment is not because of older people hangling onto jobs. In fact the older age group who are skilled/professional are now more likely to up and leave for sunnier climes.

  39. @Deco,

    Thoughtful post above, thx. Greetings from hols from LA:)

    As the bright star of the eurozone begins to die and contract into a black hole before imploding inward….what does the world do as the same fate awaits other regions across the world, a fairer economic order, or some Seanie banker dictating terms to the serf owers?

    OT anybody pickup on Kowing re bankers levy preference it will fund state coffers as a form of state tax? The more realistic proposal re levy is it be used to manage/bailout bad banks. Has someone misinformed Koing to keep him sweet on the eg 22bn of e.g. Anglo that there may be a way for banks to pay back via the bank levy? Perhaps I’m misinformed on this one, but this makes no sense, or maybe its a propaganda sell to taxpayers to try to sweeten them for more raids on state coffers?

  40. Tim

    John ALLEN, I need a copy of your bank case. Can you give it to me again, please? email tnteacher@oceanfree.net


  41. Alan42

    I am not a expert . But up to 28 Billion has been thrown into Anglo with no hope of a return and it seems that bilions more will be sucked up by Anglo . A bank that by the way , does no business .

    Ireland which is in a depression and dispite NAMA ( what kind of a bank lends in a depression / resession ? )still does not have working banks and a massive personal debt problem on its hands which has been delayed by the moratorium .

    A report was released by respected people which lashed the government . The opposition don’t go on the attack but rather have a very public internal meltdown which results in cries of ‘ Up Mayo ‘

    Ireland is where it is and what’s more it deserves to be there .

  42. Tim

    John ALLEN, thanks for that.

  43. Baby Brut does really cry what a sweet baby he is .His opinions will never be same anymore .The question we now must ask Enda is ‘Is he smarter than a ten year old?’.

  44. Gege Le Beau

    Looks like some industrious person had a good shot at what I highlighted previously!!

    Families in the Oireachtas

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