December 22, 2010

Last-gasp bluff is now a debt sentence for us all

Posted in Banks · 129 comments ·
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Tonight I am heading to see ‘Scrooge’ at the Grand Canal Theatre. I have to reveal an interest and not a little bit of fatherly pride as my daughter plays one of the children.

She has been excited all month by this and of course, the whole family now know all the words and all the chorus lines.

The whole thing prompted me to re-read Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’.

“Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.”

While watching moral bankruptcy unfold on Monday’s ‘Prime Time’, I considered that Dickens’ opener could be changed to suit our situation.

“Morality was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of its death was signed by the developer, the solicitor, the banker and the regulator. Cowen signed it himself. Old Morality was dead as a door-nail.”

Moral bankruptcy is not something that can be measured by an accountant. It is not something that can be decided by a court. It can be measured by holding a mirror up to the actions of the people who caused the financial crisis and asking two simple questions. Is this right? And — is this fair?

The obvious answer to both questions is no, and this reflects the moral bankruptcy of our legislature, who would rather cut blind people’s pensions and carers’ allowances, than see their friends in trouble.

Let’s consider NAMA.

NAMA was introduced to prevent the losses in the property market being realised by the banks although they deserve to carry these losses as a result of their reckless lending. The underlying logic of this disgrace was that the government wanted to keep the banks in private hands. Therefore, the losses had to be shouldered by the people so that the banks could be recapitalised by private investors. So moral bankruptcy is the very foundation stone of NAMA because NAMA was constructed to give the people the bill for the banks’ property fiasco, in order to give all the upside to private investors.

However, as predicted by this column, this has not worked and the private investors, conscious of the huge losses in the banks and the likelihood of more property and housing defaults, have run a mile from the likes of AIB.

So AIB, along with Anglo and INBS, are nationalised. But if the banks are nationalised, the (morally bankrupt) raison d’etre for NAMA disappears because nationalised banks don’t need to pretend that they are privately viable anymore because the losses are on the balance sheet. We don’t need another layer of bureaucracy, when you have just nationalised banks. So why not wind down NAMA? Or at least the part of NAMA that pertains to AIB, Anglo and INBS.

This is not an insubstantial figure. NAMA figures as of end September by bank are available in the following publication: (http://bit.ly/d5e7oL).

On page 19 we see the breakdown of NAMA subsidy to the delinquent banks. The AIB total is €23bn, Anglo’s is €36bn and INBS’s is €9bn. To that you can add about another €8bn to AIB as yesterday’s NAMA statement included an extra €16bn from AIB and BOI, but refused to give a breakdown.

But the reason NAMA won’t be closed down has less to do with economics and finance and more to do with the fact that when you unravel NAMA, you see it for what it is: a rescue scheme for the professional classes. There are over €2bn set aside for professional fees in NAMA. There are over 70 firms of solicitors on the payroll of NAMA — and you are paying for all this.

So a small clique of insiders is benefiting from this and you, the “outsider”, pays for it. Indeed, so certain of their position are they, that they don’t care about even offering the slightest semblance of morality. Like the banks, which have lied and lied and lied again, the professional insiders are giving the two fingers to us — the people who pay their wages.

Take the case of Foy solicitors which was raised in the ‘Prime Time’ programme. Foy is one of the many solicitors that have been contracted by NAMA for the provision of legal services in relation to the acquisition of bank assets by NAMA. But as we learned on Monday night, they are also helping developers move assets out of the reach of NAMA. All of this is, of course, completely legal but, it must be asked, how it can be allowed to happen.

Of course, the moral bankruptcy extends way beyond all this. Yesterday, the European Commission approved the latest bailout of Anglo, Irish Nationwide and AIB. (See press release here: http://bit.ly/hNouMa). The bigwigs in Brussels have decided that it is acceptable for the Irish taxpayer to continue to pour money into the black hole on St Stephen’s Green. In case you missed it, this line from the statement means we are giving further guarantees to Anglo: “Anglo Irish Bank will furthermore receive a guarantee covering certain off-balance sheet liabilities (derivatives, clearing transactions and transactional arrangements) that will ensure that Anglo Irish Bank can continue its daily activities as a going concern.”

Note 16 of Anglo’s 2010 interim report puts the notional value of that bank’s derivative positions at €184.77bn.

While it is highly unlikely that the derivative bill from Anglo will be close to that figure, the fact that we are now going to guarantee Anglo’s off-balance sheet items is madness in the extreme.

The Irish guarantee is incredible already. What was a last-gasp bluff over two years ago, allowing us the space to sort out our banks, has now become a debt-sentence — and it didn’t have to be like this.

This latest addition is insane.

Not so long ago a government minister accused me of suggesting that the government’s behaviour was treason. Maybe her description is now accurate. To go along with an EU-devised scheme to foist the debt of the trading book of Anglo on the people is treasonous.

To do it now, when they are in their last days in power and with a poll support rate of just above 10pc is pathetic.

Whatever new government comes in should rip up this deal because, the second part of the sentence from the commission is even more infuriating. It is talking about keeping Anglo going as ‘a going concern’. Do these people have any grasp of reality at all? Anglo only opens its doors in the morning because of the billions of taxpayers’ money pumped into it.

To call it ‘a going concern’ is a complete mis-statement of facts.

The problem for Ireland, caused by the moral bankruptcy of the insiders, is that very soon, our country may no longer be able to continue as ‘a going concern’.


    • shtove

      Scrooge’s virtue was that he saved the fruits of his labour.

      That inclination to save is seen as a vice by many people – but they’re the type who dip into everyone else’s pockets. In other words, Tiny Tim’s family was really made up of scroungers in the banking and welfare industries.

      Scrooge’s tragedy is that he gave in to Tiny Tim, and ended up with a sentimental reward. What Dickens failed to point out is that the reward was worthless, and everyone lost out.

      The End.

      • Harper66

        Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.

        Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.

      • Sugglew

        Isn’t reitterating that the system functions as it is slightly missing the point that we, and not just in Ireland, are heading down a moral abyss? Moral faculties are being replaced with economic sense. And it’s as obvious as it’s ever going to be right now because within a couple of generations the only people who know anything about morality will be clerics (if God was real we’d have been saved by this group a long time ago) and frustrated intellectuals reading Ancient Greek literature. That’s real, that’s how culture moves. It abandons ideas and takes up new ones. The one that’s being abandoned all over the world right now is the idea of personal responibility. The death of God is being filled by economics instead of responsible thinking. I hope the next generation can see the filth of the one I belong to.

  1. adamabyss

    subscribe.

    • irishminx

      Strong words David that need to be said, over and over again!

      I have many adjectives I could use for our Government, bankers, property developers and legal people, however, I’ll refrain.

      They are not listening to the people now and never will!

      I don’t believe one of the above, has a conscience between them. They have lost the plot and are inhumane!

      Bah Humbug!

      • Today is the death knell for the shareholders in AIB. The depositors have been loked after, the Bondholders have been looked after and those many thousands of IRISH people that showed belief in Ireland’s main Bank and invested (life savings in a lot of cases)in their shares have been shown the door. THIS IS NOT RIGHT!

        If you have debt in AIB and shares let them sing for their money —sick it up their NAMA!

        • jgarrihy

          What is wrong with us as a people. Where are our pitchforks? I am a quiet non-violent guy. I chose to emmigrate, but if there’s a march on, I’m there!!I still love my country, my home. If somebody robs my home, would I vote for them?! Lets get real people! Sorry, needed to vent….

      • irishminx

        Before life get’s a bit more hectic, May I wish you all safe journey’s home and may God bless you and yours now and always. May the peace of Christmas be yours and here’s to health in 2011.

        Warm regards,
        Minx

  2. [...] Last-gasp steep is right away the debt judgment for us all | David McWilliams [...]

  3. CitizenWhy

    Maybe Ireland could sell itself to Russia. They would like an outpost in Western Europe.

    • Deco

      In Ireland’s case, you cannot sell something if you no longer own it, and it is now owned by somebody else.

      Maybe rephrase the comment along the lines of “maybe the bankers in Paris/Frankfurt/London could sell Ireland to …”

  4. CitizenWhy

    It might be a bit offensive, considering Ireland’s sad state, to wish everyone a Merry Christmas from the US, so instead I will wish everyone a blessed Christmas.

  5. Deco

    Nothing shocks me anymore concerning the practice of “business” in this country. At the very core of “business” in Ireland, we have Irish Company Law.

    If anything needs reforming in this country it is business law. Currently business law is a spagetti junction that favours those with the most expenive lawyers, and the expense of the population as a whole. Any chance that we might have a “plain common sense” legal code concerning business ? So as to put an end to this nonsense of developers owning 200 companies. Or even politicians have 200 different bank accounts (Lord Lucan). I mean other countries like Singapore, Canada, and the US(before 1980) are able to devise a Common Law approach to business that makes common sense.

    I was astounded to hear that a Class Action suit by the shareholders of an Irish company against their management/directors is not possible in Ireland. But in other Common Law countries it is to be expected in the light of reckless behaviour. Instead each shareholder is required to prepare their own case and get their own solicitors. It is a “legal profession freindly” aspect to Irish Company Law.

    Surprisingly enough, there was nothing illegal in the famous Permo to Anglo loan request, either. Enst & Dung did not have to pay a fine for not knowing what was going on when auditing the accounts for Anglo concerning directors loans.

    There is no need for a formal corporate takeover of Ireland. The legal code is so corporate-misdemeanour-tolerant that there is no need for such formal measures, when the same effects have already been acheived. The only thing that is necessary is for the media and the political system to do as they are paid, and produce a loud pointless phantom resistance.

    Change that will be superficial and keep things going as usual – now remember to support our advertising sponsors.

    • CitizenWhy

      Very good point. Poland, alone among Eastern European countries, reformed its commercial legal code under the guidance of 3 lawyers from Harvard Law School. As a result of this, plus being outside the Euro Zone and thus having its own weak currency to deflate or inflate as makes sense, is now attracting the US businesses that Ireland used to attract before adopting the Euro. A relatively weak domestic currency is an incentive for foreign companies to locate operations in a country and thus create jobs where the wages would mostly be spent within that country (no shopping sprees to NI and New York).

      Any reform of a commercial legal code would have to be guided by certain principles such as balancing the common good and private profit, ensuring that risk takers suffer the consequences of their risks, providing orderly bankruptcy and reorganization processes, restrictions on lobbying and hiring politicians during and after their terms in office, the need for outside directors on corporate boards (including foreigners), limits on political contributions, when government support and intervention are allowable and limits on that support, etc

    • Pedro Nunez

      Subscribe,
      the law in Ireland is existential law, for the existance of the legal profession in the pocket of those with the deepest pockets (allegedly), but so are the accountants who don’t even get struck off for giving loans to artificially inflate their companies’ share price!

      Laws: We know what they are, and what they are worth! They are spider webs for the rich and mighty, steel chains for the poor and weak, fishing nets in the hands of the government. ~Pierre Joseph Proudhon, quoted in The Match!

      As Leona Helmsley said “We don’t pay taxes/accountability. Only the little people pay taxes/held accountable”,

      or as Otto Bismarck said, “People who love sausage and people who believe in justice should never watch either of them being made”.

      Gombeen go Bra!

    • Deco

      Irish Business Law – suitably accomodating to both a failed/flawed management concept, and corrupt business practices.

  6. The IMF/ECB bailout was nothing but a bailout for the banks. NAMA ia a bailout for the banks, but has clearly failed, -> the IMF/ECB signal above.

    The whole episode is an episode in moral turpitude.

    Tricky Trichet’s umbrage at Lenny’s collaborator act of financial fascism according himself dictator status in dealing with the banks clearly shows ‘Tricky’s only concern for Ireland is that Ireland has money to back back German/French bondholders. He’s worried bondholders won’t get first bite of the Pension Reserve and NTMA remains, that Lenny might burn him!

    McUseless in a revealing act of moral turpitude has
    been corrupted into the circle of moral debasement. She has disenfranchised the courts of its democratic role in protecting citizens. What way did the voting go at that meeting of the council of state?

    The arrival of the IMF/ECB into our affairs has brought about our titanic demise. This was our €85 bn gash below the waterline. The only question is, when will we default?

    Moral turpitude = €85bn = the bankers, developers, political and professional class have had their feeding bowls topped up, but they’ll soon slurp their way through that and be back foraging for more!

    Could we have a full statement from McUseless on her reasons for her support of Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Bill?

  7. malone

    And If I may use a bit of salt from the hard pressed local authorities here in Ireland who should have ordered more salt when they knew that this latest spell was coming to rub ito the wounds.

    Today Bank Of Ireland will increase its fees for current accounts to 28c per transaction unless you do 9 transactions in a 3 month period and have 1000 euros a month going into the account every month.
    or have a outstanding Balace of 3000 € in the account and according to other reports the other Banks will do likewise in the near future ?

    Its not bad enough that they have robbed us blind but want to do it all over again and nobody is saying boo at the minute but the pressure underneath the blow valve has gone up by another 10 PSI

    I think what David said is right , how much will we tolerate and how long will we go on tolerating like this before the whole thing erupts ?

    Maybe revolution in this country is as is the fact of Ireland defaulting just a matter of time ?

    • Deco

      I suppose if they charge enough fees they might make up the difference caused by giving a senior executive whatever it was they gave him last week. “We have no choice in the matter”.

      This is the problem in corporate institutions that are riddled with cronyism. All sorts of nonsensical, uneconomic decision making exists – purely to facilitate these bigwigs doing favours for each other.

      And besides if that senior executive had that bonus stopped, well BoI would have been able to reward him in another method. Like appointing him to be a director of a company on the ISEQ that has BoI asset management as a major investor, or that has BoI as the main banker.

      Cronyism results in subpar economic performance. But if you can charge the bill to the ordinary joes who are supporting your business model because they have the green button pressed, then you can get away with it.

  8. Deco

    To understand the grip that moneyed interests have on Irish society, just look at the laws that are enacted, and what they facilitate.

    Most of the lawmaking in the last fifteen years has been designed so as to find better things to do than make bad businesses liable for their misbehaviours. And then when disaster strikes, we get demands for Keynesian stimulus packages/bailouts to provide a lifeline to failing businesses.

  9. DavidIreland

    Well done David.

    Fianna Fail are the party who arrogantly strutted around claiming the high moral ground of Irish nationalism and a lineage from Celtic times.

    There are now exposed as a bunch of inept chancers, spoofers and traitors to Ireland who will sell the whole country down the river to save their friends who provided the backhanders, brown envelopes and personal bailouts.

    Have they no knowledge of history.

    It is a repeat of 150 years ago. Fianna Fail have replaced the British Establishment, the property developers have taken the place of the Landlords and the rest of us are the peasants. The landlords live in their massive mansions, strut around in their fancy carriages and live the high life abroad. Nothing has changed although the number of mansions has increased, the horsepower of the carriages is greater and villas in Spain/Portugal/Switzerland/USA are a nice addition to the the fancy pad in London.

    The only difference I suppose is that the whole business is much more exposed to public scrutiny that that of our poor ancestors.

    Please everybody, stop voting Fianna Fail.

    • Deco

      Correction. Vast stretches of Irish society has been exposed as “a bunch of inept chancers, spoofers, etcc..”.

      Mainstream opinion in Ireland went into subprime intellectual territory. This is evidenced by the “feel good factor” that was induced over borrowed money.

      The problem with saying FF are responsible is that you allow a lot of people to hide behind that. An entire mentality that grew and developed over the past 30years is responsible. Ahern with his big red alco nose is just the personification of the delusional mindset.

  10. Deco

    I still don’t see what the systemic importance the Bank of Fingers has to the rest of the Irish economy.

    Capitalist consequences for capitalist failure. Flush INBS. Euro-capitalism, a socialist bailout for every failed bank is nonsense. The political state is too powerful, when it gets to the point that it is answerable to anybody to the detriment of everybody. And this is where the EU is heading.

  11. Pedro Nunez

    The whole public service in Eire is run on cronyism, folk get appointed over others to job before they have the professional qualifications or have completed their training because of who they know or what theiir dad did, or who they were.

    In the H.S.E they are giving voluntary severence to all the competent ones and we’re left with the epidemiological dross/gombeenites, like they found the emigration of the fittest in Roscommon in the 50′s-70′s and the residual population had one of the highest rates of schizophrenia in the world.

    As FF say in the new New Irish language strategy http://www.fiannafail.ie/news/entry/new-irish-language-strategy-a-major-boost-for-the-gaeltacht/

    “Nil aon gombeen mar do gombeen fein”

    What a load of lazy sentimental self-serving populist sh1t.

  12. corneilius

    It is insane. Clinically so.

    Ireland and her people need group therapy and fast.

    Without looking at the psychology, the intergenerational patterns of abuse and their effects, without understanding how the abused ‘adapt’ to a situation where abuse is constant, no future Irish Government will do any better.

    They say that psychosis is the breakdown in the struggle between self-healing (which is a natural phenomenom) and denial (which is the often first response to an atrocity, but if it remains becomes part of the problem) that precedes breakthrough IF the appropriate support is available.

    “THE ORDINARY RESPONSE TO ATROCITIES is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable.

    Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried. Equally as powerful as the desire to deny atrocities is the conviction that denial does not work. Folk wisdom is filled with ghosts who refuse to rest in their graves until their stories are told. Murder will out. Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims. ”

    Judith Herman

    • corneilius

      Judith Herman wrote those lines as the intro to her book “Trauma and Recovery – from domestic abuse to political terror”

      http://www.jimhopper.com/trauma_and_recovery/

    • Deco

      The authority problem.

      And delusions are becomming more easily entertained with every decade. The greatest delusion of all – “modern sophisticated confident educated young people”. Would that be the people who bought shoe-box apartments in Sandyford, or the young people who got degrees in areas where there is no labour market demand and who are on the plane out of the country.

      The purpose of “beer and circuses” and other delusions is to prevent common sense being used firstly as a methodology for living your life. The problem with common sense is that it liberates people in ways that are not supportive of our advertising sponsors.

      • Zaphod

        “The problem with common sense is that it liberates people in ways that are not supportive of our advertising sponsors.”

        VGsuperior

  13. Gege Le Beau

    The year finishes with one of your strongest articles.

    Once again we see people on both sides of the deal, how can they lose? While the ‘outsiders’ as you term them aren’t anywhere to be seen when there is money to be made, but as we look at our pay cheques we see the money deducted to pay for these criminals, while judging by the Prime Time programme, the massive financial changes in Ireland has done little to alter the profligate ways of others.

  14. Malcolm McClure

    David said:” Moral bankruptcy is not something that can be measured by an accountant…. It can be measured by holding a mirror up to the actions of the people who caused the financial crisis and asking two simple questions. Is this right? And – is this fair?”
    Och sure, David, ’twas always so. … KJV informs us that it IS fair:
    “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth snow on the just and on the unjust.”

    Merry Christmas.

    • wills

      hah ? Run that by me again Malcolm!?!

      • Malcolm McClure

        Wills: If you were expecting fairness, the real world ain’t like that. … If you were seeking a world where the good are happy and the bad suffer, you will find it in the Afterlife, not in this one.

        • Hi Malcolm,

          not yet… not yet!

          ;)

        • wills

          Malcolm,

          Still no idea what original post means.

          On the *tort* remark above I use my right to reply with the following word,

          The world I am seeking is the a world thats been robbed from me by b@stards and b@atards and more b@stards,

          And if I aint anytime soon relying on the afterlife for justice I intend to see justice here on earth and I will.

          • .55 cal and a Charles Bronson attitude would be useful to coral some of these b@stards together into crokepark and have a wee chat with them in public.

            No wonder they are driving Maybach’s, fully armored of course.

          • Malcolm McClure

            Georg: It’s Christmas. What happened to Peace on Earth and Good(wills) to all men?
            :-)

          • Damn straight Wills, people must pay for their “sins” in this world, its the only one that matters.

          • Malcolm McClure

            Liam: Muslims and Jews are the “Eye for and eye and tooth for a tooth” people, and look where it has got them. Christianity suggests that we be a bit more circumspect about blame and retribution. Especially at this season.

          • wills

            Yo Malcolm,

            Certainly not seeking revenge or vengeance I am demanding justice.

  15. Julia

    David, that is an excellent article. It sounds as angry as we all feel.
    Do you know I think you personally are influencing the citizens of this country. Having an article in both the Indo and the Business Post you are getting to two seperate groups of people and thereby addressing well over half the population. It’s sort of like Monster Rallies. You could be the one to get us Monetary Emancipation.

  16. wills

    David.

    To read the articles review on NAMA is blood boiling.

    To read ’bout ANGLOs off balance sheet codology is putting me into a form of self combustion.

    Coupla things.

    First NAMA is not a failure as such but moreso a fantastic success. The fact NAMA made it into reality is a success of immensity for the *professional insiders*.

    NAMA was a test of credulity on the nation. NAMA was an experiment in social engineering. NAMA represented for the insider elites and politicos a giant leap forward for how far the controllers of society could go in order to use the tools of government in fixing a bloody scene. Much like mafiaso callin in a clean up crew.

    So NAMA made it clear to the outsiders that there really is an insider group running this State and it challenged anybody to do anything about it.

    So it means NAMA is the door opening into a new frontier of the banks operating fiat paper money scams. The banks can now use the States bond issuance and the taxpayers labours and use it all to fix any fiat paper money scam the insiders dream up of next.

    Also, isnt it interesting that since the NAMA bomb was dropped on the Rep of Ireland we’ve been hit with a raft of new taxes nobody a few years back would ever have thought possible. We get the IMF now in charge. We get ANGLOs off balance sheet crap off loaded onto regular joe, the list goes on.

    This is all a shock doctrine in operation here and NAMA was the Shock event to pave the way for this.

    And *this* where does it all STOP.

    How far is this NAMA social engineering experiment going to go where will it end up!

    How much control does the IMF now wield over our country.

    Who is actually in charge of this country.

    This is fcuked up.

  17. BrianC

    Little to say save we now must get used to being on the treadmill of debt slavery. There are an elite in Ireland who will not have to bear the penury consequences of an inept govternment. Actually it may be more apt to aver to the tragic fact that those in power conspired to enslave the ordinary citizen on this debt treadmill whilst they avoid the penal cost consequences of the debt treadmill.

  18. Julia

    Dear Adamabyss,

    Regarding gambling legislation, you are an expert on this industry. Michael Lowry is planning a casino in Tipperary. It sounds awful to me but Native Americans make great money from casinos. It sounds like another license to print money for ML and his friends. I think we should be taxing winnings above E1000 or some such figure. And earnings too.

    What can you tell us about the industry? Hillarious isn’t it? I’m asking you about an industry we’ve all been talking about for the last 2 years on this site!

    • adamabyss

      Hi Julia,

      Well I wouldn’t know where to begin. I got into Internet Gaming back in 1999 when only 16 countries (approximately) in the world (most of them small islands in the Caribbean and the South Pacific – also the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean) were willing to issue licences for this sort of online activity.

      Nowadays it’s all come back onshore. The Yanks (initially) and then the Europeans saw how much their citizens were gambling overseas and how much tax (and ancillary) revenue they were missing out on so they took steps to squeeze the small countries out of the market by some legal and other not-so-legal / underhand methods.

      I didn’t know how big gambling had become over here until I moved back recently and noticed that in my own hometown of Lucan there are at least six bookmaker’s shops as compared to the single one I remember up to quite recent times (when visiting). It seems like an epidemic.

      No doubt Lowry has some scam in prospect in Tipperary. I don’t agree with excess gambling myself, or participate (apart from maybe a fiver on the Grand National once a year or whatever) but I didn’t have a moral objection to working in the industry; in the same way as I wouldn’t object to working in a pub. However I would not work for a tobacco company under any circumstances, no matter how much they offered me. Everyone has their own moral compass I guess.

      It seems gambling is out of control somewhat though in this country, like a lot of other things. People really should get back into reading books as far as I’m concerned. A lot of those Native American communities you mention have been absolutely ruined by it, with attendant alcoholism etc. Places like Atlantic City in New Jersey too have been destroyed.

      They probably will tax it, bringing in revenue, some people will get low paying jobs, Lowry and his mates will line their pockets, but on the whole I don’t agree with this at all. It will drag the whole area down; if anyone in this country could take a long term view then they would think of better things to do in our rural areas to attract people and improve the country’s image.

      If you want to know anything really specific about the industry, just email me at adamabyss@gmail.com

      Adam.

      • Julia

        Thanks Adam, not very cheering information but I wasn’t expecting it. I’ll get back to you.

        • Johno

          Im actually in favour of this Casino / Resort for the simple fact it creates jobs.

          Im not naieve enough not to know that lowry is scaming this from some angle.

          But i know people from thurlus ( im sure im not the only person on the board or indeed the world that does :) ) and they tell me there is no work in thurlus factories closing etc etc and they are hoping to get work from this.

          Personnaly I dont have problem with the betting industry. I dont think its out of control. Its fun and people do have the right to spend their money. I do think they should tax bets like they use to. The idea of taxing winnings over a grand is silly. Tho in the 80s in the uk punters had a choice to pay tax on their initial bet or pay tax on their winnings.

          • adamabyss

            In the absence of any other jobs it would be better than nothing Johno, I agree with you there.

            I’m just sure they could find better things to set up in that part (or any part) of the country.

            They’ll take the easy cash every time though and forget about the long term implications.

            If someone gets a reasonable job in the casino and can save a bit of cash, they should get out as soon as possible and set up their own business doing something useful for the community. That’s all anyone can do on an individual level. You are not going to stop Lowry and his mates unless there is change in Dublin.

          • Johno

            Sorry adam but for some reason it wont let me reply to ur post below!

            Im not advocating everyone run down to their local bookmakers n stick a 1000 on the Jollie in the 320 :) but betting ( like evrything really ) in moderation is fun. And i agree 100% that if there was anything else it would be better than this. Becasue as we have seen in the last 10 there are some in the country who cant do things in moderation.

            I dunno how things as a whole are going to change in this country but they have to.

  19. ladygee2

    According to FF Senator Brian O’Donnell’s views on trying to increase the amount of people who can speak Irish from 83,000 in 2010 to 250,000 by 2030 has all the trappings of a new police force being formed who’s uniforms would most likely be dark green in colour, crossed by Sam Browne Belts and Conradh na Gaelge armbands!!! Eine Volk! Eine Reich! Eine Fuhrer!

    Shades of Nazi Germany, circa 1933 to 1945!

    What a complete and utter arse hole!!!!

    • Deco

      A heavy state program to bailout out the Irish language.
      Whatever did the Irish lanuguage do to deserve this sort of curse ??
      Sounds to me like something from the Soviet Union when there were five year plans for everything, and the results were known in advance, and the official results differed greatly from what was really “acheived”.

  20. michaelcoughlan

    Hi Suds, sucks or whatever it is the fuck you call yourself. It’s me again.

    Oh deary me another spectacular G-Sucks success story.

    http://www.hedgefundsreview.com/hedge-funds-review/news/1732150/fsa-fines-goldman-sachs-gbp175-million-abacus-investigation

    Oompa lompa oompty doo,
    G-Sucks yet again in the Doo Doo,
    Oompa lompa oompty dee,
    A bonus all around with company fees!

    Anyone here on this blog see a pattern when taken in context with the ever increasing desperation of David’s articles? When you read articles like and the one David just posted about the absence of morality and witness examples of such as described in the above link it must be obvious to all of you the way that these people view the world. We view the situation through the lens of moral awareness whereas the sociopaths in charge of financial institutions are not burdened with such frivolities. WHERE WE SEE FAILURE THEY SEE SUCCESS.

    Sun Tzu who wrote the 13 chapters in the art of War said that “if you know yourself and you know your enemy your victory is not in doubt but to make your victory complete you must know the heavens and the earth”.

    It must be obvious to all of you that in knowing our enemy we must first accept that our enemy is not burdened by moral or social conscience. We must first however know ourselves which means owning up to and be fully aware of our own short comings so that we can identify and appreciate such talents and strengths as which we don’t posses ourselves in other colleagues around us.

    I don’t want to sound dramatic and I am most certainly no conspiracy theorist but these people have declared war on our great Republic. I fear the day is coming when the revolution as called for in the last article may be the only thing that stands between us and abject slavery and penury.

    The time may also be coming when each one of us may be faced with the same question that the young pilot and the 100 year old Italian citizen were debating in the novel Catch 22 and the question is “is it better to die on your feet or live on your knees?” I am a free man of a great Republic and I know my answer.

    • corneilius

      In Ireland it’s “we can complain about the IMF but we can’t defend the Survivors of Church and State Institutional Abuse….”

      That level of self knowing is being avoided, BIG TIME, in Ireland.

      The residential School System story is a far greater crime than the IMF story (which is relatively easy to deal with : Iceland).

      What is it that stops the Irish people fom defending the Survivors? From hanging those who protect the vatican, who indemnify the vatican and themselves from civil and criminal liability?

      Honest Self Knowledge, methinks! Fear of the known but not admitted?

    • CitizenWhy

      Why shouldn’t they see success? Money is the measure of success for them, and they are making out quite well from Ireland’s desperate economy, thank you very much. No matter what the circumstances they will make money.

  21. macroscian

    Most people here see whats going on……
    but the problem is that 90%+ of the population are ‘zombies’ for all intents and purposes and don’t really get it….. they are obsessed with their soccer(m), soaps(f) and X Factor(unisex). They are but voting fodder for those who have the money to pump out the propoganda at election time….. eg it is expected that FF will win over 40 seats.

    So the problem is…. How do the people who are aware of the scams, corruption etc and who have an interest in the common good get it across to that big majority of the population who are easily fooled
    !!!!!

    • Everyone who can make his voice heard in one or the other way counts!

      Then again, what I realized since the better part of last year is a submissive indifference, down right to ignorance.

      Hence, there are those who like to be fooled, hopeless. Then there are those who just don’t know for a variety of reasons, there is hope. Then there are those who claim to know and tell you it is all because of Lehman brothers, they are the worst.

      Then there are those who know very well, people who have it all and could make a difference on many levels, but they never can get enough, continue to play the ‘game’.

      I despise them!

      Say you reach all of them who don’t know and those who are insecure, then what?

      Next stop… station desperation, or you can provide a valid and workable alternative, the latter is what we need, and the refusal to look to Iceland is stereotype, but it is an alternative in deed.

      The Euro as we knew it is a thing of the past, old powers cling on to it with their teeth, but there is no way to deny it, super powers crumble, ‘new’ powers emerge, the European Idea in itself was a scam that had only temporary value, the cultural and political differences as well as economical imbalances were never addressed, a missed opportunity by all accounts.

      Look up the story of rare earth metals in the past few weeks alone, then remember…. the silk road….

      Best
      Georg

  22. Tull McAdoo

    What you are dealing with here is your basic primate..Neanderthal Gombeenicus.
    Now I have worked with these before.
    A few tip’s:

    (1) Clean out earwax, to allow for reception of new ideology.
    (2) Bring to spec-savers, or they will continue to crash into trees.
    (3) Speak in short sentences.
    (4) Use limited vocabulary to avoid confusion.
    (5) Ask questions like “do you need a medical card”, “did you get your grant”

    I am writing a new book on the subject , it is called “FF the missing link”

  23. [...] See the article here: Last-gasp steep is today a debt declare for us every | king McWilliams [...]

  24. stiofanc02

    The fate of wise men who refuse to be involved in politics is to be ruled by unwise men. Something like that. Merry Christmas and have a safe new year!
    I have run my entire house on 80% wood,10% coal and 10% electricity for heating and hot water for the past two months! The experiment with the new back boiler is working! No oil since May as the solar panels did most of the work this summer! They arent getting a look in in the past 2 months however, too little sun and too f,kn cold! Santa is on his way. Slan.

  25. Do we the people have any grasp of reality at all?
    NAMA
    IMF Sellout
    Political Corruption
    General Election
    Social Anger Unleashed
    Further Financial Collapse

    We All Saw It Coming BUT We Still Brought It
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czvxyDgqxmM&feature=player_embedded#!

  26. oe1

    The future of ocean wave energy in Ireland now depends on getting EU funding for a joint project in the new year. This is the last chance to develop the technology in Ireland before it goes overseas. There wont be an industy here in the very near future. There is a modest budget – definitely below the 26 million earmarked by the government renewable energy development plan. Instead Ireland is paying 2 billion for NAMA fees. The mind boggles.

  27. ladygee2

    Why oh why do government after government and certain people who might be described as being members of ‘The Hierarchy’(those people who think they run the country on behalf of the Irish people) keep on paying lip service to the Irish Language? The majority of the population don’t speak it or can’t speak it, so, what’s the big deal about it??? If people were interested in speaking the language they’d go away and learn it, (that is of course provided they wanted to go away and learn it in the first place). The majority of the population don’t live in the Gaeltacht areas, so, why do government after government keep up this pretence? The money being used to promote the Irish Language could and should be used for far more important things then trying to force a language down the throats of the Irish people. I hate to have to say this but the truth hurts, and that’s that English is the first language that most of us hear and most of us learn to speak. Wasting money to try and preserve a language that most of us don’t want to learn or speak is totally unjustifiable!!!!

    • CitizenWhy

      Good point. My mother, an effective teacher in a Limerick slum (shortly after Independence), finally got fed up with Ireland and left when the government ordered her to start teaching in Gaelic. She told the authorities that the children were mostly abused and lacking in confidence, and that speaking to them in a foreign language would be another form of abuse that would further sap their confidence. They did not listen, so she claimed she could not speak Gaelic when in reality she was fluent in the language and they knew it. Her ancestors in the 1846 census were the only Irish family in their area listed as fluent in Gaelic (as well as English). They kept the language alive to help forge a cultural Identity separate from that of Irish subjects of the British crown. But they were not fanatics and would never insist on a policy harmful to children, especially poor children.

    • paulmcd

      The Gaelic revival failed because there was no leadership from elected representatives.

      De Valera, under his “Gaelic is First-Official Language” Constitution, ought to have required all elected representatives to debate “as Gaeilge” in the Houses of Parliament . . . err, Oireachtas.

      He should have started by setting his own Fianna Fáil Party members a deadline by which to reach the objective of fluency “as Gaeilge”; but he failed to do so, helping to establish the Fianna Fáil tradition of kicking the can down the road. This farcical attitude is what has been contributing to the disastrous attempts at resolution of ALL our problems since the foundation of the State.

      It is amazing that, even today, primary school teachers are expected to have a “working knowledge” of Irish.

      Judging by the Houses of “an Oireachtas”, we have difficulties galore to be resolved with second-official language.

  28. John Q. Public

    Is this money that AIB was given today really a bond in exchange for shares? No actual cash (because there is none) handed over? Can AIB then exchange this bond with the ECB for hard cash and then we owe the ECB the money? If so it sounds like ‘factoring’, a debt being passed to somebody else and we can do nothing. In a year we will be like Davey: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsHWZHaqe1Y

  29. paulmcd

    GREEN PARTY “SUCCESS”

    GREEN PARTY + AIB = ECONOCIDE = ZERO CARBON EMISSIONS

    • paulmcd

      The above is my “off-the-Cuffe” reaction to earlier news report.

    • Deco

      Just wait until you see the Climate Change Bill. In the greatest peice of hard sell since Bertie told us to spend money we had not got on houses that we did not need and to pay for it with an economic model that was never going to last. “Don’t be talken dowen the ekonameeee”…

      Ireland will meet it’s new climate change commitment by reducing economic activity and by getting Irish people to leave and consume carbon somewhere else.

      It all makes perfecked sense.

      • Colin

        “Ireland will meet it’s new climate change commitment by reducing economic activity and by getting Irish people to leave and consume carbon somewhere else.”

        Its true, and funny. An Irish solution to a so-called “global problem”. Its enough to drive you to the drink.

        • paulmcd

          I would love to know how a member of the German Green Party perceives his Irish counterparts.

          It is beyond belief that Irish Greens – supposed eco-warriors, diehard conservationists, etc – are determined to promote the interests of and sponsor the salvation of Irish and European Institutions, dedicated to the creation of Excess Credit and Waste, which are at the root of our unfolding economic implosion.

          Let the Irish Greens be remembered only for RECYCLING hopeless bailout policies and crazy, ill-thought-out ‘solutions’ for the institutions concerned.

          There is a real need for a political party dedicated to eco issues but the Irish GREEN PARTY is certainly no longer it.

  30. Mother of Three

    Why is nobody listening, and everybody just talking

    • BrianMc

      Yes, I know what you mean.
      The answer to your question “Why is nobody listening, and everybody just talking” is that there is no one person or group of concerns who are trusted to be leaders.
      Why is that.. It is because the electorate handed over responsibility for economic policy a long time ago (say 2001, to FF) & then concentrated on “getting on”.
      Unfortunately the interests of the elected (FF) were not sympathetic with the electorate.
      This is fact has not yet manifested itself in concerted reaction.
      Hence the chaotic response.

      My concern is why has no concerted reaction happened. What, I wonder, would it take for a concerted reaction to happen.

      Regards,
      @BriMcS

    • BrianMc

      By the way, what was it that you wanted to find out or say by participating here?

      No-one here has the ultimate answer (though some believe they do).
      No-one in the DoF/Cabinet/LeinsterHse has either.
      But your participation here & elsewhere online will certainly inform your own opinion, if you keep asking questions.
      At least you are asking.

      @BriMcS

    • Too much music in the background

  31. Deco

    Well look what Santy has brought the Irish people as a Christmas present …

    http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/aib-nationalised-with-euro37bn-injection-of-taxpayers-money-2472618.html

    Or maybe that is Santy coming to the AIB bosses…..

    All that is missing now is for McUseless to come on TV and to tell us that we should celebrate and feel proud.

  32. wills

    AIB s xmas present a whopping 3.7 billion euros in ready made cash direct from NPRF.

    Banks come first economy comes second.

  33. Good evening,

    as long as we do not acknowledge the direct links between economical decisions and warfare waged on Nations, we are looking at the world with one eye closed.

    THE WAR YOU DON’T SEE is John Pilger’s latest work which I found as a 7 part series on you tube.

    Highly recommended!

    Best
    Georg

  34. antmcd

    Woohoo, look at David try to be the revolutionary. Commendable, but useless. Until David and the rest of you here start doing something, then the country is destined for disaster.
    Now, you can talk away to eachother but it will achieve nothing. I have been reading this for years and you have done nothing. Now is your chance. How many of you will do something in the next election? None is the answer. Less talk and more action. The people talking here could bring this country out of recession. Gege, George etc. What are you going to do apart from talk?

    • antmcd

      Thought I should say that I live in Berlin. They are laughing at us, getting the Irish taxpayer to bailout their banks. Can people here, supported by David, not get their act together and sort this out. I know nothing about economics, but I know that this is not right. Come on, you are our only hope. Get a party together and clean up.

  35. LKSteve

    Another excellent article. Thanks David. All I can add is that during the 80′s, after I moved to Dublin to find work (Yes – I was a Culchie living amongst the Jackeen’s), as young as I was I knew something stank really, really badly in Ireland. As a single man in those dark days, I was being taxed to the absolute possible. This was during the days when Haughey was telling us that we all had to tighten our belts while having Charvet hand-made shirts flown in from Paris.
    I resolved to escape the thieving, parasitic state that is Ireland & her banks & bolted as soon as I could. I have only been back once for any reasonable length of time, just before the peak of the boom, to recoup some of my taxes in the form of a fully subsidised course of study leading to a degree. I left again before the ink was even dry on my degree & am living & working in Australia. Ireland is now a financially bankrupt state but has in my lifetime at least always been morally bankrupt. The financial bankrupting of the country was inevitable as you can’t leave crooks in charge of the treasury & expect anything else. I feel there will be a positive outcome to this, when the Irish people finally realise the folly of their ways for voting in candidates based on ‘what’s in this for me’. Fianna Fail is already sunk & the rats are swimming for shore – I quote from an article in this week’s indo “After serving in Cabinet for over 13 years, Mr (Noel) Dempsey will pick up a golden goodbye of €313,000. As a retired TD and former minister, Mr Dempsey will get annual pension payments of around €119,800 — almost €30,000 more than the basic €92,672 salary he would have received if he was an opposition TD after the election. He follows Dermot Ahern, Beverly Flynn, MJ Nolan, Sean Ardagh and Rory O’Hanlon into retirement.”.
    I have no idea what the Irish people are to do at this stage but I don’t believe continuing membership of the EU will bring any benefits. The country needs to reclaim its sovereignty, tell their creditors to get stuffed & start all over again, this time with qualified people in charge of the state, not bully-boy Fianna Fail hench-men & women.

  36. Colin

    Happy Christmas David, your articles make me believe I’ve not gone mad. Thank you.

    And a Happy Christmas to all the Posters here, thanks for sharing all your experiences and insights which I surely benefit from hearing about.

    I wish everyone a Prosperous 2011. I actually think Ireland’s economy will further deteriorate but everyone has to stay strong, especially the unemployed, the sick, and those who feel they have no hope for a better future. Don’t let the insiders get you down. Ignore the RTE Pravda “I’m an adult get me outta here” consensus. Broaden your horizons. Inform yourself, challenge your own opinions, don’t be afraid to change them too.

    Peace to all.

  37. vincent

    “The Secret Of Oz”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U71-KsDArFM

    • Malcolm McClure

      Vincent: Thanks for that brilliant link. Recommended to everyone who can devote an hour and half fierce concentration over the Christmas hols.
      The way forward is in there. Perhaps we have been blind to Lenihan’s real objective, if it’s the New Punt, otherwise his name will live in infamy for all time.

      • I think you are according Poor Lenny a degree of vision, foresight, planning, authority and wisdom, the craven wretch doesn’t deserve:)

        • Malcolm McClure

          cbweb: The Euro is a bankers currency. We need a people’s currency, issued by the government with a transparent, restricted, total amount. Since all the existing currency ATMs are set to work only with euros, we need an interim solution. The only possibilities are the dollar and sterling where alternative ATM mechanisms already exist.
          Could we use sterling paper currency as interim notes (overprinted with a harp and pattern perforated), until we can establish an exchange rate and print our own New Punts?
          Then turn all the nationalized banks into savings banks as in North Dakota and old Sweden, and outlaw the practice of gearing reserves.

          • Interesting question, Malcolm, others with more expertise could throw more light relating to a currency switch. Yes, we go out of the euro, but I’d favour keeping the euro note but adding a watermark and additional mark, IMF or HARP, blazoned in the middle. http://bit.ly/g6LIyV

            We would need a floating exchange rate and retain the practice of gearing reserves, if this is what you mean, for the banks at 8%.

            But this reserve nb should be in gold and/or silver and managed by the NTMA. Strict protocols for the bank would need to be driven by the NTMA or similar organisation to outlaw dodgy practices and reckless risk. Derivatives, CDO’s and paper money transactions would need to be curtailed if not outlawed.

            AIB, Anglo, INBS senior debt would need to be burned as part of the resetting of our bankrupt economy as we face default.

            Society here would need to be cleaned up including the Church.

            Did ye hear the Brady fella spouting hypocrisy for Christmas Day, him after been implicated as accessory in the interrogation of a minor threatened into silence during the year?

            What a Banana Republic we have become? Lots of work to be done:)

          • Currency switch debate should include a debt free President Lincoln style ‘Greenback’ interim solution per OZ link above, to free from the fiat money or gold backed/or deregulated paper, that is the private bank money supply choking our economy at the moment.

            +1 Malcolm, the practice of gearing reserves is really of benefit to private banking, rather than the consumer, its created all sort of hazard, inflation, deflation and speculative risk, product of private bank cancer.

            Returning to a private bank system based on a floating currency pegged by gold would be an improvement on Trick’s throttling of our economy.

            But a savings bank system, greenback based, backed by government in favour of citizen’s and controlling the money supply, is an ideal, and more just system, that could wrestle power away from the Rotchchild boa constrictors/bondholders.

            “You shall not crucify mankind up on a cross of gold” William Jennings Bryan
            Democratic National Convention, July 9, 1896

            Is this achievable for a small island such as Ireland?

            Thx for link Vincent

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi Vincent,

      It is with my most humble and sincere gratitude that I thank you for opening my eyes as to the futility of gold backed monetary system.

      It has caused me to have a sea change in my outlook and I am going to think long and hard about my current attitude to the way in which I am trying like all other citizens of our great Republic to deal with that which is being foisted upon us by the hidden hand.

      Thank you for posting this link!

      Best regards,

      Michael.

  38. “The War You Don’t See” by John Pilger I managed to catch on TV recently is a documentary you must see, watch out for reshowings or catch extracts on youtube or here:

    http://pkpolitics.com/2010/12/21/the-war-you-dont-see-on-free-media/

    Here you see the power of propaganda, manipulation of the media, which define the terms ‘nobody’ and ‘everybody’. So, ‘everybody’ gets blasted with propaganda, every effort is made to ensure ‘nobody’ gets the truth.

    In a local parallel to Pilger’s examples of truth manipulation, Lenny Wrong on radio during the week stated how his government had unequivocal international support for its response to the banking promise.

    S&P, Fitches, Moody’s the international rating agencies who’ve downgraded Ireland along with international commentators such as Prof Joe Stiglitz, Krugman, Max Keiser and many, many others e.g the governments of Sweden, Finland and Iceland who’ve followed more successful paths in the recent past, do not count.

    There is an Irish Gombeen government propaganda machine in full swing to make sure you do not have the truth. Propaganda will ensure that elements of the media e.g Pravda RTE will not challenge on any falsehood that threatens the status quo; a minimum of dissent allowed of course.

    So simple questions, what is the evidence for WMD’s; where is the evidence the €85 bn will save this economy; can we afford this €85 bn loan at 5.8%? Will it save this economy from destruction? These questions go unasked and unanswered.

    Instead, the latest recruit to the propaganda machine, who is McUseless, will pollyanna like attempt to lull the population into a form of stoic indifference.

    Sure the economy will sometimes be good and sometimes be bad…sure life is more than economics…all this while the taxpayers purse is being stolen to pay for the fraudulent lending of private banks and the insider cabal who borrowed all and blew it all….

    McUseless has neither the moral depth nor informed point of view able to explain or defend her actions to us in supporting The Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Bill, 2010 giving draconian powers to Lenny Wrong.

    John Pilger forensically asks simple questions of leading players in the propaganda machine that supported the War in Iraq, many of whom express how they were manipulated and used to disseminate falsehood. It’s a must see journey for anyone interested in how media manipulate truth.

    When do we get to see it on RTE?

    OT, ‘Taking Sides’,shown on BBC1, Dec 21 set in Germany in 1946, catch a repeat of this, if you can: ‘Istvan Szabo’s film probes the soul of a conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler, who was feted by the third reich’ On one level the film was rather dead, on another the interrogation of Wilhelm after the war on the question of his collaboration with the third reich, as an examination of how insiders benefit from all the trimmings of public patronage, is fascinating to watch.

    Isn’t it fascinating how in Ireland, in spite of huge opposition from other parties, in spite of huge opposition from the public, government have been able to run rings around the opposition and the media and enforce a banking policy abhorrent to the majority of people in Ireland. This is being done with the same lies and deceit as the WMDs of Iraq.

    Our financial war was fought in favour of the banks by Lenny Wrong & Co, both he and Biffo The Clown got it wrong, over and over and over again. They’ve succeeded in bringing us to financial Armageddon, the future of Irish taxpayers under grave risk. The countdown to default has begun.

    Have a Great Christmas and remember every cloud has a silver lining!

    • Gege Le Beau

      Powerful film, available on youtube. The wars like the financial crises are engineered by people who hide behind labels like ‘banks’ or titles like ‘consultant’, ‘financial advisor’ ‘general’, ‘soldier’ ‘headhunter’ ‘liqudator’ ‘estate agent’, ‘politician’, ‘political class’, it is just people, flesh and blood, here today, gone tomorrow.

      The citizens, the ‘ordinary’ person who has to perform extraordinary acts of financial balance, have nowhere to hide, they take the hit at source, without a say, their families suffer, their children have less, education is curtailed, the blind live on less, the carers search for more ways of making their few euro go further, the pensioner looks on wondering what kind of Republic is left, the youth flee, the rest struggle while the rich get bonuses and all the advantages that come from having money, status, connections, the right (wrong from a societal point of view) schools go on producing the reckless elite with their sense of entitlement like the choir boys from the Lord of the Flies, their fruits, a wasteland of financial and economic destruction from which they do not suffer, others do, for they have destoryed a land which struggled for centuries to be born, a land which caught a ninety year breath of freedom only to see it snatched away, its hands once again clapped in irons by foreigners and sentenced to penal servitude, a debt slave in the market place, examined by bondholders and money men while the political elite are paid off, put out to pasture but still refuse to go quietly with their talk of tough deicisons, pain…….but pain for whom? The man with the 200k in the pocket or the man and woman out of pocket by 200, 300, 400 per month.

      It is a sad day after visiting my 82 year old aunt and 86 year old grandmother and wander their working class streets and not be able to recognise the place of my birth.

  39. Gege Le Beau

    Joke: Do you know what would have happened if it had been 3 wise women instead of 3 wise men who came upon the nativity? They would have asked for directions, arrived on time, delivered the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, brought practical baby gifts, and there would have been peace on earth, pass on to two wise women you know :-)

    If only women had been in charge of the banks, the government, NAMA, ECB, German & British banks………..

    Happy holidays to one and all, lets hope 2011 brings us the change we need and want.

    • StephenKenny

      Mrs Thatcher…….

      • Gege Le Beau

        It doesn’t stop there……………we need not look further than our own cabinet (past & present) to see perfect examples of those running with and not against the system. Hopefully the current crop will be seatless come the next Dail, I can handle the recession what I cannot handle are the daily pronouncements from Mary Coughlan, Mary Hanafain and Mary Harney. All I want for Christmas is to see those 3 gone from office, this is a chance for the Irish people to show what they are made of, otherwise, it is a one way ticket on Aer Lingus for me.

  40. Christmas Day should be a positive day for everyone, a time of reflection and looking forward. I’m beginning to agree with others on the site that we’ve done enough reflection.

    Its time to do something.

    Its Time To Get Our Money Back.

    So, here’s a few suggestions I’ll lend my name to for 2011. How’s about a new political party, the RIP (Reform Ireland Party). It doesn’t have to be successful, merely brought to birth?

    When the election takes place, how about a silent group march handing out posters around Lenny’s constituency, with placards asking for our money back, what schools/hospitals do you want us to close today, the lies Lenny told, etc? Volunteers needed.

    What about a radio station with music all day, Black Eyed Peas to Bach, interspersed with discussion on links given on this and other sites related to the financial war being waged against us
    by our government banker collaborators.

    Some internet apps with information, etc etc.

    One project I may have interest in is a website devoted to whistle blowers, something along the lines of wikileaks, but one for Ireland.

    Plenty of work to do above.

    Happy Christmas!

    • Harper66

      Hi Cbweb,

      I agree the time for reflection is over and now is the time for action.

      I cannot decide which would be of more benefit forming a “protest” party or else a movement that would exist only as a means of informing and uniting people underneath a banner of economic and political reform.

      I think it would be vital that any such group should only stand on economic and political reform. The point should be to unite as many people from as many different backgrounds as possible. Irelands weakness is in the fact that our society is splintered. This something FF and Co. pray on time and time again…

      I would love to see a protest in Dublin based solely on highlighting the economic and political treason commited in this country in recent (and not so recent)times.Again it should be “apolitical” so as to avoid turning anyone off or giving anyone an excuse to knock or avoid attending such a gathering.

      I belive a successful large protest would have an enormous effect in injecting knowledge, confidence and self belief back into the electorate before the election.

      I think St. Patricks day could also be a focal point for some kind of protest (very late I know)

      RIP Party…excellent.

      • Pastor of Muppets

        Well, I’m not sure that forming another small political party that could fall into the clutches of FF is the answer.

        Large scale protest is difficult, even for the well-intentioned and determined, given the demands of work, family and associated travel. At best you might be able to muster one or two large scale demonstrations and to be honest, bringing the likes of central Dublin, for example, to a standstill will probably only alienate more potentially sympathetic people who are just trying to get their day’s work done.

        So, I’ll be voting on my usual party lines as I believe, and live, their ethic. Of late, it’s been very noticeable and getting out there and helping in the community allows me to explain why I’m doing it and that it’s related to my political and social beliefs. People around you, you’ll find, are much more receptive to your point of view while you’re out looking for their lost pet, shoveling snow off their drive, giving them a lift to the shops, defrosting their water pipes, pushing their car when it won’t start etc than if you’re blocking their way to work.

        What I will be doing with the representatives of our failed political parties is that when they come to the door, I will allow them to go their length, and engage them for as long as possible in an encouraging manner. When I’ve wasted as much of their time as possible and they make to leave, I’ll put my coat on, pick up my notes and follow them door to door, pointing out the damage their party (and they by extension) have done to our educational and health systems. To our financial systems. To our environment. To our rights as a sovereign nation. The asset-stripping of our natural resources – fisheries, oil, gas, etc.

        I’ll not be pushing any party political agenda in particular, just chanting the facts and failings. If nothing worse, I’ll be seen as a crank. At best, I might get the message across that what we’ve had isn’t the best we can get as a nation, not politically, socially, economically or environmentally.

        If even a few of us did that round our own streets, estates, townlands etc, we could, I think, do a lot more good – compared to another party that might be well-intentioned but ultimately powerless and would just split the vote.

        A bit like quitting smoking, there is no ‘good’ day to start. Today’s the day to do it, not Jan 1st, March 17th, etc. Based on my own code of ethics and my analysis, we already have a party that to me does what it says on the tin. You mileage may vary, but the above is how I intend to do it. I already go door to door canvassing and doing leaflet drops, the above is merely another tactic I intend to employ.

        • Harper66

          Hi Pastor,

          what you are advocating is grass roots political activity and I admire it. It is the most realistic way of developing an organisation and support for that organisation.

          It is a strenght of SF. I recall several years ago a phone in discussion after a disasterous local election by FF (would it have been around 04 some time?) a chap rang into say he voted SF because he had a broken street light outside his house and in the resulting darkness undesirables were starting to gather – he contacted FF no result then FG no result then Labour still no result finally he contacted a local SF councillor and the light was fixed.

          I take your point about the development of responsible grass root politic and I agree.

          I do however feel that some form of cathartic protest is needed. A show of solidarity to those who are suffering thanks to FF and the Greens and the rest.. and more importantly for those next in power it would be a show of strenght.

          Simply voting out FF and the Greens at the next election will not be enough of a rejection of the policies they introduced.

          Policies such as taking the IMF money (refuse to use the words bail out anymore), bankrupting the country to pay Anglo bond holders etc….these policies must be looked at again by the next government.

          I am afraid the next government will simplpy say “what is done is done”…unless of course the people show them that it is not the case.

      • Ok then, Harper66, let’s start the party:)

        Here’s what I have in mind. We’ve already succeeded in the firts objective, which is to start small.
        We need a constitution or set of articles we can agree upon, such as the following:

        1 that the constitution be amended to include a formal declaration that the right to freedom from exploitation by banks and other private interests be declared

        2 that all bailouts or loans on behalf of taxpayers require the holding of a referendum and majority consent of citizens following adequate debate in the media and in the Dail

        3 that the Freedom of Information Act be amended to include the right of all citizens to full disclosure on information regarding negotiations with the banks and other financial parties on their behalf.

        4 that alternative currency mechanisms be examined:

        a) withdrawal from the euro
        b) floating currency
        c) dollar/sterling based exchange rate
        d) gold/silver based exchange rate
        e) ‘greenback’ government currency with state savings banks

        5 ‘burn bondholder’ senior/subordinate bondholder
        negotiations to renegotiate bailout begin immediately

        6. that all public services be examined with due regard to international best practice with the view to obtaining value for money services by taxpayers and citizens.

        7. that salary levels in the public service and government be brought into line with a) what is affordable by taxpayers b) international best practice in regard to an economy of our size

        8. that RIP party be a think tank dedicated to act on behalf of citizens in the acquisition of knowledge, expertise, good advice, best practice focused on the financial affairs of state.

        9. that members of RIP dedicate themselves to informing the public and themselves on matters relating to the banks and financial affairs of state in defence of the rights of citizens

        There’s a few ideas. I would imagine a fairly small intellectual movement group looking for grassroot support.

        10 that members look to internet technology to disseminate information and gather support e.g facebook, meetup, conference software, forums, publishing tools.

  41. The following was entered by me on the 12th October 2010 on this blogg :

    Avoid False Ratings Prophets :
    This is the above heading of this article .Trying not to be false about what lies ahead before the Christmas Pudding .Our energies will need to be more focussed on whether we can roast our goose this year and eat it cooked .The week before Xmas day is foreboding a ‘frustration of energy ‘ all around us .This is serious especially because of the seasonal time of the year it happens to be and the damage it can cause easily.It can be a lack of energy and/ or the sudden explosion of it .Either way this manifestation is dangerous and fatal .
    In economic terms the possibility of the following may arise :

    Another Volcano
    Nuclear Power Plant
    Shortage of Energy Supply
    Aviation Chaos

    On a social level it can mean :

    Failure to Implement Government Policies
    ( eg serious rebellion against the new budget )

    Strikes
    Protests
    Social Attacks

    Like same time last ( as I predicted then on this site ) year the events are similar but not the same .There will be magnificant pulls but with less planets engaging in same .Instead it is more about a ‘ twisted gut’ like an apendix , and with lots of pain where the energy is trapped and eventually forced to explode .

    Politically

    Kown will crack his head
    Lenihan will lose energy

    Michael Martin may gain points from these events

    A new leader will rise from nowhere from the benovalence of the earth energy and his recognition will not be identified until middle to late january 2011 .

    Domestically ( in the kitchen speak )

    Get Your Hot Water Bottles ( as I said last year )

    Appliances may break down ( oven / cooker )
    Coal / Fuel demand may increase ( so buy now )
    Car Repairs done now
    Insulate Home
    Gas Appliances are more dangerous now

    Finally :

    Drive Slow and Go Slow ( very seriously )

    Dangerous Period :

    18th December to 26 th December 2010

    ——————————–

    What part of the Moon Wobble don’t you understand ?

  42. vincent

    Question: As we went through the education system, how often did we here anything about Sovereignty. I recall hearing nothing about Sovereignty in the history class or indeed any other class…

    • As long as people do not understand that the Banks have gained substantial profits from the ‘debts crisis’, the entire discussion is running like Lenihan moves, in circles.

      The back on the envelope calculation allows a simplified look at Germany and France for example.

      State bonds on a 10 years basis that were offered in 2006 gained 10% to date. This is roughly 316 bln profit for banks that bought german and french 10 years bonds.

      The same banks wrote losses in the PIGS of -149 bln, which leaves a profit of +167bln

      Go figure!

  43. Ireland has the highest breast cancer mortality rate in Europe! Why the Hell would the Irish Independent think it to be of public interest to learn about Mr. Lenihan’s personal state of health?

    I give a flying Bull whether he has eyeball cancer or earlobe aids, really!

    What concerns is his unjustifiable decision to bailout Anglo Irish Bank and his lack of opening the doors to all affairs concerning Anglo Irish Bank.

    Of the 32% deficit in Ireland, 20% accounts for Anglo Irish Bank alone.

    May be someone cares to explain THIS instead of writing about the finance Ministers personal health issues.

    • vincent

      Irish-Independent, I suppose at this stage we shouldnt expect anything less from the mainstream media. Masters Of Manipulation…

  44. wills

    Malcolm good read on post up there on *sovereign money*.

    On the rest of it I reckon a distillation of the system into its real truth and then moving ahead of the curve on the insiders narrative is the way to go.

    • Malcolm McClure

      Wills: Agreed. Perhaps it provides a narrative to which we can all converge before the election? This blog needs to support a simple message everybody can understand. Can we come up with a slogan and see if any of the established parties takes it up?
      “Puntnua for the people” or something simple like that.
      Suggestions?

      • vincent

        ” WE THE PEOPLE ARE SOVEREIGN “

      • Malcolm: You ask a very multi layered question there particularly as many people on this site come from different points of view and sometimes opposing points of view.

        But is there some common thread coming through? I think there is.

        I think there is the belief that the bailout was a failure from a negotiation point of view. Bailout for us is like more alcohol for an alcoholic is a failure. There is the view that the bailout is merely a bailout of bondholders. Combine the two together with bailout paying interest to bondholders and being spent on the doomed NAMA project, Croke Park Agreement and we’re sunk.

        But if renegotiation of the bailout is the message to go out, what is the message and can renegotiation succeed? Both LP and FG seem to signal they will renegotiate. If they do, it must include the burning of Anglo senior bondholders. It must include a reduction in the interest rate from 5.8% by at least 3%.

        Realistically, I agree with FF, there can be no bailout renegotiation especially on new terms above. Trichet’s main concern is that his bondholders get their money back, rather than Irish citizens.

        This means we have to bite the bullet and leave the euro to ‘PuntNua’.

        So perhaps our message can be as simple as, we need to burn senior bondholders, return to PuntNua and a floating exchange rate.

        But, I believe a majority on this site want to go further than that, principally because of our ‘insider knowledge’ of how global debt backed finance works and the amount of havoc this is causing particularly to Ireland.

        There is opportunity to send out a further message, that is, that we use the banking collapse here to install a new and safer banking model, that is, one not built on debt, more loans, more borrowing, more bond debt issuing. Let’s take the power away from the ‘Seanie’ and ‘Fingers’ model of casino gambling with our money supply and return the money supply to those who earn the money, the citizens.

        Lets install a safe banking system at the cutting edge of banking based on the model of the Bank of North Dakota:

        http://www.stateline.org/live/details/story?contentId=476951 :

        For more on how a banking ‘greenback’ non debt financed banking system in favour of the people can operate, see Vincent’s video link above, or read

        Ellen Brown, J.D.,’Web of Debt’

        http://webofdebt.wordpress.com/

        NBNBNB monetary proposal here ideally suited to cleaning up Ireland’s broken banking system because of many similarities we have to the economy of North Dakota

        http://webofdebt.wordpress.com/monetary-proposal/

  45. Did you see the film on TV over Christmas ‘Counterfeit’ ……..anyway to obtain the exact quality of the paper notes of the Sovereign Pound during WW2 professional Jewish prisoners discovered that the currency paper was made from rags .

    I think we have a situation today of ‘rags to riches ‘ for EU Banks with the help from manipulative Lenihan.

  46. We have moved from the film ‘ Greyzone ‘ to ‘ Counterfeit’ all under the baton of Lenihan

    http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,2332720,00.html

  47. CitizenWhy

    Taxes for the good of the Irish people, not one cent in tribute to the banks.

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