December 27, 2010

Burning the bus drivers

Posted in Banks · 125 comments ·
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Last Wednesday evening, in thick snow, as cars slid and sneaked tentatively past the wonderful Church of Ireland church In Monkstown – the one built like a chess set – I hopped on the 7 bus.

The driver was courteous and good humoured as he ferried dozens of people safely home.

There was no grumbling from him, just doing his job, lugging a 20,000kg people-carrier through Dun Laoghaire, up the Sallynoggin Hill around icy roundabouts, whistling as he went. As I waited to get off the bus, he looked in the mirror, winked, laughed and said: ‘‘Mind yourself now, head, Happy Christmas.” I thought to myself, he has taken me home, but how will he get home?

Where does he live?

He was about the same age as me, possibly with a young family, so where could he have afforded to buy and settle down in the boom?

Dublin Bus drivers earn €33,000 per year.

The chances are that he lives in one of the many new estates around Dublin and bought his house in the early 2000s. So he is in negative equity, facing higher taxes in the future – and, who knows, perhaps cutbacks at Dublin Bus.

As a driver of the number 7, he will be based at Donnybrook garage.

There are not too many bus drivers living in the D4 or D6 areas, so how will he get home? Who will take him home in the snow after the last bus, which he will be driving, has stopped running?

It is public sector workers like this man who have kept the country running in the snow. It is lads like this on the average industrial wage who get up early, trudge into work and take the rest of us from A to B. People like this didn’t cause the bust.

People like this didn’t lend to Anglo – or borrow from it. People like this won’t be bailed out by Nama; nor will they get paid obscene salaries to transfer bad loans from one state entity, AIB, to another state entity, Nama.

Rarely has the gross unfairness of our country been put in such relief as it will be this Christmas.

Our government believes that it is fair to ask this bus driver to pay for the gambling debts of the people who lent to Anglo Irish, AIB and Bank of Ireland.

The bus driver has already paid in decreased services and negative equity, but now he will be asked to pay again, this time in the form of higher taxes, to bail out the likes of Deutsche Bank that lent to AIB. If this corporate heist isn’t evident now, it has to be stated again and again, and every single day up to the next election.

The reason it should be is because this is a system called capitalism. If we drop the very essence of capitalism- rewarding success – and we replace it with a system that rewards monumental failure and gives the bill to the average worker who is innocent, then we undermine the entire country.

As a consequence, the election in March has to be a referendum on the banks. This country can remain solvent and can recover, but only if we separate the banks from the state.

Once we have done this, we must answer the question: who pays?

Who will pay for the misadventures of the European banking system? I say the European banking system because, for every borrower on the periphery of Europe, there was a lender in the core of Europe.

The euro has led to a huge cascading of funds out of the core banks into the periphery banks. Trichet has presided over a huge inter-bank, inter-country Ponzi scheme.

According to the Bank of International Settlements, the Irish, Greek, Spanish and Portuguese banks owe the German and French banks €984 billion.

They know they have very little chance of getting their money back because most of the money is gone, ploughed into construction sites and grandiose building projects which currently stand idle.

Because someone must pay, there are only five ways out of this:

(1) The periphery banks go bust.

(2) The core banks take a huge hit to their capital, with massive write-downs on these dodgy loans to the periphery. ( 3) The periphery taxpayer pays.

(4) The core taxpayer, mainly in Germany, pays.

(5) The ECB pays by printing more money and ‘‘giving’’ cash to the banks on the periphery.

Up to now the solution in Ireland has been that taxpayers in the poor periphery (like my bus driver last night) pay for all the mistakes of the periphery banks, in order to bail out the core banks for their mistakes.

It isn’t so much a policy of ‘‘burn the bondholders’’, as ‘‘burn the bus drivers’’.

This conceit keeps the periphery banks open, screws ordinary workers in poorer countries, and prevents the core taxpayers paying extra – and it is all presided over by the ECB.

But it is grossly unfair and, in extremis, it undermines the euro – because the long-term implication of all this is a prolonged recession on the periphery and the related and ongoing threat of a default.

This default threat is what has been driving up Spanish bond yields, because the markets know that, when they come back from their holidays, this problem will be there to face all of Europe.

2011 will be the year when the euro comes under enormous pressure, and it is hardly likely to end the year the same currency as it started.

This is Ireland’s best opportunity, because an EU-wide crisis gets us off the hook.

An EU-wide crisis is the only event that will prevent Dublin bus drivers paying for the sins of the likes of Sean FitzPatrick and all the Seanie Fitz wannabes at AIB, INBS, EBS and Bank of Ireland.

What does it say about our political elite that it will take a continent-wide crisis to protect the average transport worker, who has worked heroically in the past few days of ferocious snow?


  1. adamabyss

    subscribe.

  2. Tim Johnston

    Great article!
    And where does that leave us voters? The lack of leadership on this issue from the main parties is disturbing.

    • TJM

      Hi Tim

      As Voters were stuffed as we live in a democratic dictatorship. We get a crack at democracy for one day in every 1800 or so, then we hand over democracy to the Rulling elite the opossition dont even get a look at what decisions are being made in our name so what hope have we. We need to reinvent our republic. The french have done this five times since Louis lost the head so why cant we. I suggest that every one at this blog look at the following site http://www.directdemocracyireland.org/ where a possible change to our democratic system can be made but it will take voters like you and me to step up to the plate and mabe with a bit of luck we can change the systim.

      Regards

      Tony

      • irishminx

        In my view with regard to Direct Democracy Ireland, I agree with their one policy, which is, to bring power back to ordinary citizens, through referendum. Seemingly Ireland had this in it’s very first constitution in 1922. However, over time it was eroded.

        The challenge, as I see it with the general public is this…..If we go with the ethos of DDI, it will mean a huge change in the mind set of each person in this country, as we will all need to take responsibility for the way Ireland is governed. Historically, we have preferred to allow “others” to take that responsibility for us, thus, we have relinquished our own responsibility. We have, although, I know I or you could argue we trusted our current representatives
        to do right by us as a nation. They haven’t. And we write here and elsewhere about it!

        My question here is, are we as Irish citizens ready to take responsibility for how we are governed? Because that is in essence what Direct Democracy Ireland is all about.

        Their policy is to bring power back to the Irish people. This means each and every one of us will need to take responsibility for how we want Ireland run. This in turn means we will all need to be more mature and accountable to self and each other. In addition we as a country will need to take action for self, rather than just write and talk about what way is the best way forward for Ireland and her citizens.

        Am I and you ready to take on this responsibility?
        I’d like to think we are.
        I’m not sure though.
        I am ready to take on this challenge, because I believe it is the only way forward for us as a nation to become a mature society.

        Are you ready for the Direct Democracy’s challenge?
        Action speaks louder than words, in my experience.

        • George Dillon

          I’d favour a lot more consultation and public input in major national decisions. For example, we have never had a debate or consultation (never mind a referendum) on Fianna Fail’s immigration policies. The polls show about 70% of people oppose Mass Immigration, so they should have their say.

        • Seven

          The Direct Democracy approach would be dependant on the education of the masses, but who would supply the information needed to make these decisions? Can we depend on the press?
          The politicians would have depended on Economists, one hopes, but again, which Economists? Obviously not David, but others, which a huge input from Europe and the IMF.

          • irishminx

            Our communication system could be the Dáil T.V. and radio. It’s in place already and of course we can use the net. The citizens information office’s, which are country wide. As well as Community Welfare office’s, dole office’s and health centres. The creative idea’s of Irish people are also endless.

            I hope this helps Seven?

        • Seven

          It does help Seven…
          Thanks

    • Deco

      It is not just a leadership problem. Just look at the policy frameworks of each of them. Of course, this is largely irrelevant now. The IMF/Brussels is providing the money. This means that the IMF/Brussels decides the economic policy framework.

      Every decision that Lenihan made was referred to Brussels. And Brussels gave the thumbs up for all the controversial decisions.

  3. paulmcd

    David, Excellent article which serves as a timely reminder of the gross inequalities in our society: a society where politicians of all shades blindly and blithely ignore certain obscenities at work in our democracy:

    EXAMPLE

    The average member of the Oireachtas claims more in tax-free expenses/allowances than the bus driver, with the worse offenders making up to 80,000 euros from this element of remuneration alone. These tax-free sums are over an above the c. 90,000 euro salary for a TD.

    A substantial number of TDs who were voting for a cut in the minimum wage are claiming the equivalent of 10,000 hours and over on the minimum wage as their “expenses” – I sent a reminder to Michael Lowry and others of this fact several days before the vote, and a fat lot of use that was!

    10,000 hours represents 40 hours x 50 weeks x 5 years.

    There are gentlemen and ladies in the Dáil who are claiming as “expenses” IN ONE YEAR the equivalent of 5 YEARS FULL-TIME WORK ON THE MINIMUM WAGE.

    They themselves deserve to get no more than minimum pay, if this pay were to be performance related. Above all, they should have the opportunity to share in the earnings plight of the ordinary man.

    • paulmcd

      Oops! Some silly typos above. For “worse” I mean “worst”; and for “than the bus driver” I mean “than the gross amount that the bus driver earns”.

    • Deco

      That expenses regime is tax free.

      And also bear in mind that the expenses regime in the public sector influences expenses claims in the private sector for mileage and for the type of items that are classified as expenses. This allows managers in the private sector to increase their tax free earnings, and thereby reduce the overall tax take.

      On a previous job, I was sent to Donegal for an conference. I was astounded when the mileage receipt came. I then realised why the managers in the office where I worked were always on the road for any excuse they could find. I realised it was a tax free income.

  4. wills

    David.

    Couldn’t agree more with this article.

    What the article explains is we are all living under a private banking criminal syndicate used by hidden forces to run and control society.

    They happen also to control the media and culture and they use it to spoof to the masses that we are living in free market capitalism. Its a lie. We all live in what is known as a collectivist system.

  5. ladygee2

    Once again you’ve ‘hit the nail on the head’, David.

    Why should the ‘outsiders’ have to put their hands in their pockets to bail out the ‘insiders’ and the European banks???

    The only thing any sane man or woman can do is when their local T.D. comes a calling during the election campaign is to ask them the questions in regard to what that T.D. is going to do about reversing the IMF/ECB loan and are they in favour of separating private bank debt from sovereign debt. If they don’t give a satisfactory answer to those questions then you tell him or her that you won’t be voting for them and then send them off with ‘a flea in their ear!’
    It’s high time that politicians of all persuasions be told that they’re not going to be hoodwinking the electorate any more!!!!

    David, you should stand for election along with Fintan O’Toole, Shane Ross and the others who have been speaking out about what’s been happening in this country over the past 2 years.In fact you all should try to form a new party that puts the country and the ordinary citizens first!!!

    • Deco

      Tintan O’Fool is ILP, and has produced serious gaffes in his time. In my mind he is also an opportunist, getting really outraged and making all sorts of promises, and then liable to turn opportunist when it suits. It sounds sophisticated, but beneath the pretence, there is an agenda. Eh, no thanks.

      Shane Ross, is an Independent, and has done a great job in revealing all sorts of misdemeanours. We are living with the consequences of everything that he warned about. But I guess Senator Ross will stay on, because he realises that he is needed.

      We need new parties and new TDs. Not just one party, but many.

  6. Great article with well deserved homage to our elite Dublin bus drivers. It was no mean feat of theirs to deliver the service they gave to the public during the snow.

    They deserve to be given truth about their sellout by craven, incompetent, Goebbels like lying propagandist gobshites like Biffo The Clown and Lenny Wrong.

    Looking forward in 2011 to a proper one on one interview with Lenny on the banking crisis from someone who knows economics? Perhaps we’ll get this during the election campaign. Maybe we can all draw up a list of questions and DmcW can put these to him sometime early 2011?

    It would need to be at least a three hour interview:)

  7. Engology

    Great Article. Unlike the Bus Driver, the Politicans, who must take responsibility for the mess, can afford to take what is pain to the rest of us.

  8. John Q. Public

    There are a lot of morons on the average industrial wage too. Bus drivers are secure in their jobs. Public and private sector unions are nothing but a curse in this country. I meet parents all the time that tell me how awful it is that their children are going to be saddled with debt forever because of Seaniefitz. Well boo hoo, these are the same morons who would gladly see their children with a 120% mortgage that takes 45 years to pay off, traipsing around Harvey Norman every weekend buying crap they can’t afford with money they don’t have. They had no worries when it was that type of debt did they? if anything they would boast about it. The poor old Irish people should try and be honest with themselves and admit they went wild during the boom years and take some responsibility.

    • paulmcd

      JQP: I have a brother who is a moron and he has contributed more to society in his own small way than most of our politicians ever will in their entire lifetimes.

      MORONS, incompetent and destrustive ones, are disproportionately over-represented in the upper echelons of our dysfunctional society.

    • >>and take some responsibility

      Plenty drank the whisky that was handed out to them, but lets look at who was handing it out, how and why.

      Rightly the Garda concentrate more on the distributors/suppliers and dealers and less on the poor addicts!

      Maybe you can’t see the wood for the trees and just cannot see the bigger picture:)

  9. ex_pat_northerner

    John Q Public you’re swallowing part of the propaganda being spread by those in charge..ie that all the money that was borrowed by Seanie Fitz and his mates went to help or was loaned to Irish citizens and somehow turned them into uber consumers.. Read the figures and you’ll see that most of the money loaned to Irish banks, never went into Ireland, but was wired straight back out again. Some of it did fuel the boom in property here, but a hell of a lot never benefited Irish citizens at all. That is one of the biggest cons being perpetrated on the Irish people.. the Ah ya had it good and partied now pay for the hangover! There were fortunes made and lost through gambling on the UK,Bulgarian,Spanish,French,Croatian,Italian,Cyprus,Romanian, Polish even US property markets, but they weren’t made by average Joe Soap.. and with NAMA these losses are being socialised (to use a bit of corporate management speak – you should know how that works in hierarchical organisations). Yes people went wild and made bad decisions, but the banks didn’t do the due diligence (and were aided by solicitors and estate agents– why are legal fees so much more for conveyancing in Ireland than in the UK by the way? ) Also there’s still a sh!t load (and a lot of it is sh1t) of derivatives still needing to be unwound. The off-sheet balances. I would so dearly love to bring back the true meaning of testify – Where one swore on your testicles.. because at least then the insider bastards would be stopped from breeding.

    • Deco

      who loaned money to all these Irish people paying ludicrous amounts for the London Savoy Hotel, The Citgroup building, the Berkeley Hotel site, and the multimillion price tag mansions in South East Dublin. (I still cannot understand the pricing).

      Irish citizens did go imperial with the property buying, and did consume ridiculosuly – the manhattan shopping trip nonsense comes to mind.

      If this money was being circulated around in cricles – then the ECB are responsible for this mess, along with the Financial Regulator. What did it take to be a member of IFRSA ? Some of them are underqualified for what they are doing….

  10. John Q. Public

    ex_pat_northerner I know all about that foreign stuff.
    A lot of Joe Soaps bought into Bulgarian property pyramids and got stung. Free will, it’s a bitch!

  11. CREST

    An election in March has been mentioned in David’s article.
    I have asked the question before about the 2 byelections in the south east, and understand that a decision in pending, and before the courts.
    Surely as this decision is of National importance, should be taken more searously by the courts.

    Already a precedent has been set with the previous decision in the Donegal election.

    With FF almost certain to loose both byelections again, and also loose the majority in the House.

    My question, is the Judiciary conspiring to keep this corrupt Government in power by dragging out their decion for as long as possible.

    Regarding the 30 or so Developers, if the Government were serious about the welfare of the people who elected them to serve their rights, they the Government, would bring legislation under urgency to take control of the developers and the developers wife’s assets.

    • vincent

      The Banks and their Legal-Eagle buddies are working hand in hand here. Something to think about, Is Legal and Lawful the same???

      • michaelcoughlan

        Hi Vincent,

        On the previous article you posted a link on the sovereignty trust bank in the US. Is it possible to do something like that here because if it is we wouldn’t have to wait until we solve the problem in the current account deficit until we default we could do so as soon as a similar entity was established in this country?

        Anybody got any suggestions on this issue it would be very good to post them now because we can achieve nothing without liquidity in the system to allow some sort of banking function to operate until we have put the ship on even keel.

  12. “As a consequence, the election in March has to be a referendum on the banks. This country can remain solvent and can recover, but only if we separate the banks from the state.”

    Does anyone here know which political parties advocate a separation? If the election is to be viewed as a referendum then which, if any, would currently be on the ‘yes’ side?

    (BTW John Q – I live in a village of approx 800 people and I could count those who went wild on one hand. Stereotyping the nation?)

  13. John Q. Public

    Mick Regan, C’mon I’m not stereotyping a nation, just certain age groups and professions. We should be serious and ask ourselves if we really want the celtic tiger back in the form it took. I know all too well the poverty that existed in that era too and never got addressed, that’s why I blow my top when so many Africans get all the benefits here that have cost billions of euros. Let’s put our own people first and live sensibly if we can.

    • The return of the celtic tiger – therein lies the risk. What we need is a form of prosperity that encompasses all society. But what we face is the possibility/likelihood of an ever greater chasm between those who have and those who don’t.

      Was listening to a well spoken woman on the radio recently saying she had got rid of the TV as she couldn’t affort the licence. That’s a little sign of what could become the bigger picture, with all its consequences.

      Whatever government we end up with, it needs to have a socialist influence. Otherwise we’ll end up with the fast train with the fortunate on board, and the slow train (or no train) for the rest.

      Fairness and social cohesion should be one of the key priorities of whoever we elect next, else to my mind we’ll all be poor as a nation.

    • Julia

      Africans! You’re absolutely right! I’ve always found and from extensive research have found that racism and in fact, a general policy of xenophobia has time and again been proved to be an ideal solution to an economic downturn. Put them out on the streets I say. Send themback to where they came from. Sure don’t we send money out to them in those foreign countries via Trocaire and Goal? Can’t they be happy with that instead of coming over here taking our jobs and our women? They’re all living like millionaires in those asylum centres. I believe it’s caviar and foie gras all the way in those places.

      Never mind those people who point out that until this generation, although we had the highest birth rate in Europe our population never grew. It never grew because the children were always bred for export. Since I was a child (I’m not young) school essays were always about emmigration and unemployment. That’s how I know a lot about these subjects. Sure enough and after practicing emmigration and unemployment, protectionism and xenophobia for about 60 years it all paid off and we had the heady years of the Celtic Tiger.

      I suggest we only give benefits to the “deserving” poor. No Africans and no tinkers( they are all spongers too ). Check for pasty white skin, freckles, bad teeth, a slab of beer and a bag of asphalt at Dun Laoghaire. Lets put our own people first.

      • John Q. Public

        Good woman Julia!

      • irishminx

        Initially Julia I thought you were taking the pee, when I read your post.

        I disagree with you and John Q.Public.

        Remember in this world, we are all human beings.
        No matter our colour, beliefs or race.

        The common denominator between all human beings is, our deepest desire is to be loved unconditionally.

        • Thermus B. Airgetinin

          You disagree with just about everybody who doesn’t fit in with you’re non-existent cosy little innocent world don’t you irishminx? Utopia doesn’t exist… get over it. Angela Merkel (no less) has openly stated that multiculturalism has failed and, like the African residents of the former Butlins Mosney holiday camp, doesn’t work.

          I took my wife and my brother and his wife out for lunch on a Mothering Sunday (about 4yrs ago)and afterwards went for a drive. On passing a sign pointing to Mosney, I asked my party if they wanted to go to Butlins to see what it was like now that it was commandeered for the use of foreigners. We drew up to the gates and were stopped from driving any further by the gateman, “Only asylum seekers and refugees allowed beyond this point” he informed us. I played dumb and said that I thought that this was still a Butlins holiday camp. “Oh it’s still a holiday camp but it’s not run by Butlins anymore” When I asked what he meant, I was astonished by what he told me.
          Anyone who claimed asylum were sent to reside in the former holiday camp in the full knowledge that it took on average 2yrs to process their case. During that period they had 2 years of completely free living. No food, clothing, rent or heating bills. They were given mobile phones with weekly top-up allowances and told which “designated” taxi firms to call when they needed to go somewhere. They were given sitting times in the main dining hall for breakfast, dinner and supper but as they “wouldn’t get out of the scratcher before noon” they would instead, after supper, take the breakfast food to their chalet’s to cook on primus stoves next day. They were “breeding like rats” with “females of all ages, shapes and sizes” from the surrounding towns and north Dublin areas clambouring for “entrance” most week-ends. One inhabitant named Immanuel was so prolific that he was thought to be “in double figures” While those on the outside of the fence were “doing their duty” and adding a little colour to their (and our)lives, those on the inside were not to be outdone (so to speak). Whenever the patter of tiny feet was heard from within, and there were many such occasions, an army of providers from social welfare descended upon Butlins bearing gifts. Clothes for Mammy, clothes for baby, medicines vitamins, buggies, blankets and bottles. The hundreds and hundreds of euro that we mere mortals have to fork out in readiness for our new babies, these leeches got for nothing. They’ll neither work nor want. Given the tidalwave of the “New Irish”(excuse me while I puke)influx, what do these parasitic people add to our culture? What do they bring to the table other than dirty dishes? When you can suggest or provide a serious answer to that sort of situation or why you believe we have a moral duty to bankrupt ourselves in feeding these thankless and, in an alarming number of cases,criminal individuals, irishminx, I may be tempted to swallow your guff about my deepest desire to be loved unconditionally. Until then, I’ll carry on smelling the roses during my wakening hours and during my dreamtime, perhaps you and I will dance merrily through the land of milk and honey.

          • Your argument is with bureaucracy and social services – delays of 2 years etc. The rest is offensive begrudging racism.

            Re ‘They’ll neither work nor want’ rubbish, I’m sure most would love the opportunity to work.

            Here’s the reality behind how Mosney is making the recipients of its services mentally ill!

            http://bit.ly/cNXIkE

            Perhaps you should try to educate yourself more before publishing racist ill informed nonsense.

            http://bit.ly/hirIib

          • John Q. Public

            They lived much better than a lot of Irish citizens during the boom years.

          • irishminx

            @Thermus
            Those human beings in Mosney are in what is called “Direct Provision”. They get 19 Euro a week from the State. If you would like to live in their circumstances, be my guest. I would NOT like to live in the conditions those human beings live in. These human beings suffer hugely from depression and do their best to survive their life conditions. The rest I’ll happily leave with you. I am sorry you feel as you do.

        • Julia

          Dear Irishminx, please read the post below to cbweb. Apologies. I sometimes get so sick of individuals who use minority groups as punching bags. I’m disturbed by the conversation I seem to have started though.

        • John Q. Public

          Do they love us back? Bullshit they do, it they who are taking the pee out of us! Billions worth.

          • irishminx

            John Q,Public

            It doesn’t matter to me whether or not “They” love me, it is vital I love me.

            I do wish you love.

      • Julia, you are obviously an exenophobic witch who would be more comfortable if this state were turned into a variant of the Third Reich. Foreigners should be welcomed and treated fairly and helped to make a full contribution to improving our broken state. We can be enriched by their diverse cultural backgrounds and we can celebrate the rich diversity of their beautifully coloured skin. Many of them already provide employment to Irish people.

        • Julia

          Irishminx and cbweb. Irony is lost on you. Of course I agree with you! I thought by being offensive in the extreme I could make my point. I should stick to straight talk.

          Both of you are absolutley right.
          After the Famine this country was devastated, it’s population halved and the land owners lived in England. It was a famine that need not have happened. One million Irish went to the US and UK. They were uneducated and poor but they made new lives for themselves there and they all contributed to the increasing prosperity of those countries.

          After the Civil War in this country our population remained the same for a long time. We did not become a prosperous country. We were kept ignorant and poor by a fearful political elite and the Catholic Church. We did not open our doors to new ideas or new people. We were famous for being a homogenous nation. Joining the EEC was beginning of progress for us and for women especially. Our population remained the same size, 3.5 million until the 1990s. I’ve been told that Ireland needs a pop. of about 8 million to be self sustaining. Otherwise we remain an exporting country forever. So we need people from other countries, including Africa. They already contribute so much to us, culturally and economically and I hope, will continue to do so.

          My apologies again for that poor attempt at satire. I’ll stick to the day job in future.

          • Julia, Good to hear yu’r no witch, cheers:)

          • irishminx

            Julia, I’ve just read your clarification and I wish to thank you for your courage.

            I was confused by your post yesterday and read it a couple of times, as initially, I did think you were taking the pee.

            Like you said in the post above, during the famine, there was a mass exodus of Irish folk and if we didn’t have the option of going to the US and UK what would have happened! In my opinion, what goes round, comes round, now it is Ireland’s turn to take people into the country to give them a start at a new life and benefit from their input. Like the rest of the world benefited from our input for decades now.

            Go raibh mile maith agut Julia, Slainte.

        • Thermus B. Airgetinin

          Bollicks!!!!

        • John Q. Public

          Left-wing, liberal looney, poppycock!

      • paulmcd

        Julia, The lifestyle in the asylum centres sounds a familiar one for less-than-competent finance executives, bankrupt builders and developers, and clueless politicians.

        Let’s intern all the above: We would not want these people to be sponging off the taxpayer, would we?

        Would you classify all these individuals among our “deserving” poor?

        • paulmcd

          By the way how would you define tinker?

          Would you include everyone whose name is MCDONAGH, as in a certain NAMA executive; CONNORS, as in middle-aged American tennis player in case he lands some day at Shannon; REILLY, as in the celebrated Tony O’; STOKES as in Stokes, Kennedy, Crowley; Gannon as in well-known developer; etc, etc, the list is endless???

          • Julia

            Posters. I’m quite facinated by the reactions to my post above. In the past tinkers were a respected group of skilled, travelling craftspeople. The assumption that Travellers are people not worthy of respect is amazing. ALL human beings are worthy of respect!

          • paulmcd

            Julia, You are giving out mixed messages and people are confused.

            Nothing I have written suggests that tinkers are not worthy of respect. We probably all have some tinker blood.

            I have been highlighting the celebrities of family names associated with “travellers”. Our greatest writer was James JOYCE, and one of the few former rugby internationals whose name I can summon is Tony WARD.

            I am old enough to remember the dawning of the age of supermarkets and plastic containers; and prior to that tinkers served a vital role in most communities.

            Today they may be horse dealers or scrap merchants, again serving a vital function in society.

            There are respectable “professionals” in our society who serve no useful role – think of McUseless in the Park and her FF cronies.

          • paulmcd

            “ALL human beings are worthy of respect!”

            McUseless, Cowtow Cowen, and Lenny the Liar are not worthy of any respect whatsoever!

  14. Fiona

    Hi David,
    I first noticed you on some program about 6/7 years ago and I sat up and listened, you made sense. I thought finally someone who sees what’s going on.
    I waited for you to be ‘heralded’ … it didn’t happen and I wondered why.
    After a while I realised no one wanted to hear you, there was no place for you in the ‘frenzy’.
    I am delighted that you kept on going.
    I am relieved that you persevered.
    I am heartened by your articles and insight … and your ability to put things into perspective.
    Thank you for your courage and convictions and for not loosing your head!
    Regards
    Fiona

  15. Deco

    Very postive Christmas type article.

    Several points.

    First, the lesson for working people over the last two decades is to not believe the mainstream “manufacturing of consent” line on anything. Because those that did are up to their necks in trouble. Because in every society, there are mantras issued to manufacture consent. These comments like “rent is dead money”, “get on the property ladder before it is too late”, and “how many houses to you have ?” “how many stag weekends did you go on to Barcelona/Lanzarotte/Alicante/Amsterdam/Riga ? ” or whereever).

    33K is not a lot of money to be earning in boom time binge era Ireland. It is so insignifigant that there is no section in the Friday Property Supplement to the Old Schitzo on D’Oliers Street telling you what 33K will buy. Instead you need 20 times as much to find out your level in the IT property supplement. And it needs to be discretionary, because the locations are usually Provence, or California – and South Dublin.

    33K is also below the threshold for maximum PAYE. This means that if you are that bus driver and your do over time – you get taxed at 50%. Recently Eamon Gimmemore proposed that this get increased to 58%.

    I don’t know where that busdriver lives either – or how he will get home. Presumably, he will have to drive in a car. It is unlikely that he lives in the area beside Donnybrook.

    I can remember a program on RTE, around 2002, with a bus driver buying a car in one of the Las Vegas style car-showrooms in Lucan Liffey Valley SC. It was in that moment that was called a downturn, because Ahern, Harney and our advertising sponsors decided that the word recession was to be censored. The busdriver was buying a new car. I turned the program off because I realised that this was a lifestyle statement and an instruction to consume. I was driving a much older car, and I thought to myself – how can he afford this. The sales staff seemed to be saying “now is a great time to buy”. Totally Parlon-esque !! But I was happy for him. Anyway I figured that the point of the program was to tell us that even bus drivers are driving swanky new cars – and therefore we should all be buying new cars. It was Ahern era-consensus nonsense. I figured that it was the type of consumer benchmarking that goes on in the Irish media telling parts of the population that need to upgrade their spending. And it might be possible that Ahern’s buddy Uncle Bill was the owner of the car retailer.

    I am bringing this up – because the point I am trying to make is this – we were instructed to live beyond our means.

    And our predicament now, the individual predicament of everybody in our society, is determined to the extent that we had faith in this media conveyed instruction to consume.

    And that is survival hint number 1 – it is recommended to NOT take instructions from such lifestyle benchmarking mechanisms, to join in a lemming rush. It is better for your own long term survival to take a dim view on such nonsense.

    Oh, by the way – has anybody heard Radio DJs talking about broadcasting in the Alps or the Pyrenees while enjoying the ski slopes this year ? Kind of ludicruous really in consideration of the amount of snow that is prevalent this winter.

    I know it might sound cruel on the bus driver – but there are a lot of people in Ireland today who have spent years in college studying, who are earning much less than the bus driver. They are price-takers in the sense that they work in the private sector. Some of them are chancers, and some of them are slaves.

    We now have the state deciding that energy prices need to go up in order to fund investment in the national grid. We see that the ESB was able to throw a billion across the counter to buy the only scalable competitor in the island. The ESB’s cash reserves were obviously never an option for such projects. I am coming around to the view that the ESB is “going imperial”. The price for all these adventures will be provided by the consuming public. As Minister Whine commented – the pricing will be “rebalanced” so as not to induce criticism from Intel CEOs, and the IDA. This means that the corporate customers will not get a price increase on their electricity bill. The bus driver, and the bloggers on this board will carry the can. (On top of anglo, Nepot, the Duopoly, Permo, the ministerial pensions, FAS directors, RTE ‘personalities’ on 500K who talk about the recession, and TDs who spend more time writing soccer articles for Murdoch Media than they spend in the Dail). Beer and Circuses to keep the masses dumbed down.

    As the Hobbit told us in Rip-off Republic, the real problem in Ireland is the cost of living. There is a consensus to keep up the cost of living up. And NAMA is part of that consensus. It is Keynesianism for the property sector. The whole cost structure of the Irish economy is ludicrous. But NAMA is a market resticting mechanism. We even had the Minister for Housing, that muppet Cuffe, telling us that houses will have to be demolished. And there will be social housing. But letting the price drop so that the muddling classes(borrowing from the Hobbit) can buy a house is a big “no-no”. It is just unacceptable that any political party provides those that do the work in this society with any sort of market mechanism. And Mama Harney who spent the past two decades instructing us about the primacy of the market is silent.

  16. Deco

    This article went into circulation yesterday.

    http://www.tribune.ie/business/article/2010/dec/26/central-banks-ious-for-insolvent-anglo-could-mean-/

    This is a serious indictment of bad management, and bad corporate culture. And it is an indictment against cronyism, and the type of tolerance that exists in the Irish system for recklessness. It also shows the real negotiating position of the state in the midst of the IMF deal. Ireland held by the Ballsbridge bankcentre. No mention of this in RTE or by the Old Schitzo.

    It the result of liberal banking decisions, and amateurism combined. To quote the Ditherer “the boom is getting boomier”. Now, we face the reckoning of the era of Irish arrogance and excess. In real life, you get consequences for behaving like an idiot. Unless you are the ditherer – in which case you get a TD’s pension, free flights from the FAI, and few words in one of Mr. Murdoch’s comics.

  17. Deco

    This comment is bordering on arrogance (pride).

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/fionnan-sheahan/fionnan-sheahan-martin-ff-badly-needs-major-surgery-after-poll-2474902.html

    Somebody needs to tell Michael Martin that the electorate will apply the surgery that he is talking about, possibly in the process getting rid of him. No loss !!!. Where are those cast iron guarantees to the Lisbon Treaty that he talked about ? is he going to tell Sarkozy that he cannot amend the Lisbon Treaty ? Micheal Martin is the type of sly schmoozy useless spoofer who needs to be shoved out of the political establishment and expensive ministerial cars !!

    • Tull McAdoo

      The whole bloody country heading down the toilet and Fionnan FF hack Sheahan has nothing better to write about than one of his Cork buddies and his chances of becoming the next failed and corrupt leader of bloody Fianna Fail.
      What do you reckon Fionnan , that this clown will be the next, Jack bloody Lynch. Sorry pal but there is no money left to borrow anywhere in order to double the national debt just like Jakie boy did back 1977, by the by we still have that shit on our balance sheets 33 bloody years later.
      Let me spell it out for ya Fionnan, Fianna Fail are fucked and they have nobody to blame for that but themselves. I am sure your boss at Independent Newspapers will be calling you aside one of these mornings and reminding you who your NEW advertising sponsors are and “enough of the old FF spin doctoring already” if ye get me drift.
      What really would interest me Fionnan is why that habitual liar Linehan did not think it fit to tell the people of Ireland that some of the loans that the Irish people were landed with were not secured on property at all. Why were some developers given large loans to develop sites but that they never bought the sites but only bought “the option to develop” the site. What was transferred to NAMA was not land with proper clear Title Deeds but only a piece of paper that gave an “option to develop “ and if that option was not taken up within “what time frame” then where does that leave the original deal?

      1. Does the land remain in the ownership of the original vendor?
      2. Was this some sort of scam to avoid “stamp duty” or other taxes?
      3. Did the owner of the land envisage applying some future ground rent like some absentee landlord from our previous master’s across the pond?

      Anyhoo you get my drift young Fionnan from the people’s Republic of Cork. In conclusion Fionnan , I could give a continental fuck what Mickey Martin’s plans for his own future are, as I am more interested in finding solutions for clearing up the bloody awful mess that he and his pals have left behind them………..

      Deep Breaths Tull, think nice thoughts, land of saints and scholars, Dun Aengus, mushrooms, soft day thank God, aaaahhhhhhh.

      • Tull, you make some serious allegations about the quality of loans transferred to NAMA. I assumed all loans transferred were at least secured on some property. How can NAMA make good these ‘unsecured’ loans to the taxpayer. Hopefully Shane Ross or Kathleen Barrington or PRimetime or some other investigative reporters will explore the points you make in indepth fashion. You need answers to those questions. Keep asking them and badger some journalists in the hope of persuading them to investigate further. The worry is NAMA is so protected and surrounded with its walls of secrecy, deception and hidden by legislation from taxpayers, that such answers will be hard to find.

      • Deco

        Tull – I enjoyed your commentary there. You have put Minister Martin in his place. At least until the electorate finish him off…

      • paulmcd

        There are countless questions in relation to NAMA with answers which the Government and NAMA executives are either too embarrassed or too ignorant to disclose.

        I am most interested in how discounts were applied. For example, in relation to completed property schemes, we must remember that builders/developers expect profits of 150% of cost.

        SIMPLE EXAMPLE

        SALE PRICE OF HOUSE = 250,000

        COST OF BUILDING HOUSE = 100,000 financed by bank

        PROFITS FOR DEVELOPER = 150,000

        To my mind there should be no discount applied to original loan in this instance.

        However, NAMA did not wish to have “fire sales” to dispose of slow-selling developments at COST PRICE and thereby recover 100% of amount borrowed.

        I am thinking of one development about one mile from my home. 4 of the 40 units sold when the development was launched in 2007 and not a single unit since then.

        The estate has been deteriorating and no-one would buy today. Personally, if one of these units was offered to me for free I would not take it with the prospect of property tax and water charges on the horizon; plus, I have no desire to be a landlord.

        Also, I suspect that the Government will have local authorities use property tax to buy ghost estates for social housing with accompanying problems of dislocation, vandalism, graffiti, etc.

        I feel sorry for the 4 owner/occupiers to be in the situation they are in and if some of the stories I have heard in relation to the granting of planning permissions locally, then there are local councillors who should be in jail.

    • gee_emee

      Agreed. All of Fianna Failed are responsible for this mess and let’s not forget that despite Hanafin’s call to stop dwelling on the “history”. Let’ s consign her and her cronies to history.

    • Deco

      Basically, Minister Martin takes the view that the problem for Fianna Fail is the organization. Everything else is probably OK then. Useless morons in ministerial office, is acceptable. The boozed up Taoiseach who did inhale the binge era whiff, and who acted in a dope like manner is acceptable. Ivor Callelly, Lord Lucan and the north Dublin maFFia is OK too. Rody Molloy, Uncle Bill and other cronies on state quangoes is also not the problem.

      The problem is the organization.

      I find this hilarious. Because, at this stage a lot of people in the FF organization have been mumuring that the problem is the “officer class” to quote John McGuinness.

      Minister Martin is loaded with arrogance. It was a few months back, when, in response to Brian Cowen’s popularity going below 10%, he declared the problem was that there was a communication problem. Eh, I disagree actually. Ahern had a communication problem – but Cowen comes across loud and clear. And then Minister Martin talked about the mandate, even though the combined FF-GP vote was 17%. Minister Martin did not tell us about declining maths standards – though to be honest that is what I see with regard to Minister Martin. 17% does not constitute an overall majority or any sort of majority. And then there were Minister Martin’s solemn declarations about “we respect the vote of the people” over Lisbon 1.0 – before he decided to have a re-run.

      I think that the people of Ireland have moved on from listening to the type of semantic bull…. that is the core capability of Michael Martin…

  18. Malcolm McClure

    Zzzzzzzz—-zzzzzzz

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi Vincent,

      Thanks for posting this. If anyone would care to view the 2min’s from 1:19 to 1:21 it will SCARE THE LIVING S**T OUT OF YOU.

      • irishminx

        It does scare the crap out of me.

        My questions are, if we take this film and it’s information and relate it to Ireland, what happened all the money that was made during the boom in Ireland? Where is ALL the money going from each tax, you and I pay? Is it going into the Governments, bankers, property developers and now the EU & IMF pockets?????

        The more I read and learn, the more I see the corruption, greed and evil in the world I live in.
        My heart is heavy with sadness. Evil prevails when good men do nothing! I believe it is time to act.
        This is not a world I wish to pass on to my children or grandchildren.

        I don’t believe we need a leader, I believe we all need to be leaders and to act now for the good of humanity.

        • michaelcoughlan

          Yes absolutely.

          And the first human to consider is yourself and then your neighbours. Forget the scumbags in the Dail. We will never change them. Start with self then reach out to help fellow citizens.

  19. Someone should call ‘The Magnificent Seven’ to defend the position of taxpayers in the coming election. Individual economists and commentators critical to government are being picked off at will by government propaganda. Its even possible government can persuade the public they’ve stabilised the banking system. In actuality they’ve holed the economy below the waterline and while it may appear stable sitting on the water, they’ve put us on a countdown to default. We appear not to have any coordination of response worth talking about to set Banking AS The Main Agenda!

  20. Deco

    People are also copping on to McUseless.

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/why-was-mcaleese-silent-in-hour-of-need-2475698.html

    I have a suggestion. I think that Cowen should propose Calamity as candidate for President. For the sake of continuation from McUseless.

  21. Deco

    Gormless needs serious criticism over the Ringsend incinerator.

    The GP are OK with landfill, as long as that landfill is transported to somewhere that does not vote for them. After the next election, they will have the entire country to pick as a suitable destination for landfill sites – because they will be wiped out.

    Gormless himself is in a rather precarious position. We have constituencies like Cavan/Monaghan, Waterford, Galway West, and Laois-Offaly where the quota is greater than 12,000 to get elected. And we have constituencies like Dublin SE where people get elected on half that. To be honest, it is unconstitutional. It seems that Dublin SE will now lose a seat, to somewhere else. Which means that Gormless really has it stacked against himself.

    Therefore, somebody who should not be in the Dail (he got far less first preferences than Joe Higgins) is determining policy so as to ensure that he continues to survive.

    the headline says it all

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/brian-brennan-gormley-headed-for-political-dustbin-after-year-of-failure-2475678.html

    Or maybe he might get recycled and show up on the new Climate Change quango that he is trying to institute….

    • Tull McAdoo

      “ANGLO Irish Bank has spent €100m on outside advisers in relation to the bank rescue, 90pc of it since it was nationalised last year, documents discovered by the Dail Public Accounts Committee (PAC) revealed last night.” So writes Donal O’Donovan and Emmet Oliver over at the Indo (Last night being 3 days before Christmas).
      Cowens close pal Fintan Drury it seems managed to get his snout well into the trough via Drury Communications and yes ye have guessed it folks that infamous old “basking shark” Peter Suds dropped by for a handy 3million………..

      http://www.independent.ie/national-news/broken-anglo-spends-euro100m-on-external-advisers-2471674.html

      • €3 ml to Suds G Sucks to get advice from them on why their derivative and senior bondholder exposure to Anglo should not be burned? Lol. The same advisers who advised Seanie on where to burn his billions!!

        This is exactly why all senior management of Anglo should have been let go as part of a cleanup begun in 2008

        Its still a toxic cesspit stinking to high heaven!

        • If you look at the commissioned reports into the banking crisis of Honohan and Regling/Watson

          http://www.bankinginquiry.gov.ie/Background.aspx

          there is no analysis on the glaring question of the role played by advisers such as Suds. What was their advice, what were they paid for? Forget about Chinese walls, G Sucks conceivably could be out there using Anglo as a battering ram to short the euro.

          The question is do these advisers have criminality liability for advice given that obviously contributed to Anglo’s downfall?

  22. lff12

    This reminds me of ENRON really. ENRON went bust. The leadership were jailed. Its accountants had their license to practice removed, leaving a company with a pristine history an empty shell within years.

    What do we do here? We pay the leadership gilt edged pensions and undeserved bonuses, and let them thumb their noses at us from the US and other offshore locations while they literally laugh all their way to the bank. No jail for Drumm, Bertie and Charlie McGiveaway. In Iceland they are charging their former leader, ours still laughingly talks about going for presidency. PWC and the other cheerleaders of the massive fraud Ireland perpetuated on it and the world are now “consultants” to NAMA, NTMA and other essential vehicles of massive state fraud.

    Then instead of letting bust companies go bust, we take on their debts, pay the day to day wages, reward their failures repeatedly. And worst of all, we pretend that they are still worth something instead of letting them naturally wind up. We pretend they are still doing business.

    What I really want to know is this?
    What day to day business is Anglo carrying out? And whatabout the huge credit control and lending divisions of AIB and BOI, what are they now doing? Permanent once had huge numbers dealing with massive residential mortgages – where have they gone? What exactly is it that the government are paying for now?

    • Vast amounts of time and staff are working on the transfers to NAMA. Its a total waste of time. The same staff could be occupied in liquidating the toxic assets instead of working everyday to increase the losses on these assets to the Irish taxpayer. Before handing them on to another vast herd in NAMA to further toxify them with more cost!

      It’s as if a vast herd of wildebeest found a watering hole. You see after the banking collapse of 2008, they had nothing to do! So NAMA became a big watering hole for them as they were brought onto the taxpayers payroll

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYM6LqDJLiM

    • vincent

      Look what Bertie is up to now… http://www.woodlandleague.org/

      • “The Irish Government is moving closer to a huge sell-off of the public forests managed by Coillte (The Irish Forestry Board) to private investors. An area greater than 1 million acres, equivalent to two medium sized counties will be lost forever. This will include some of our most valuable native woodlands, wild places and some of the last refuges of our native flora and fauna.

        Interest has been expressed by Swiss finance company Helvetia Wealth – who own the International Forestry Fund (IFF) – chaired by Bertie Ahern, (ex-prime minister of Ireland) as well as The China Investment Corporation.”

        Above is the usual second stage in typical IMF/ECB bailout scenario. Once the Pension Reserve and NTMA funds are pillaged by Tricky Trichet, next stage is the selling off for a song of state assets such as Coillte.

        Same thing happened in Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and other Latin American countries and across Asia, more details in ‘Confessions of an Economic Hitman’ John Perkins

        A feature is to get someone like Suds or Bertie with a ‘for sale’ sign over their heads to give it respectability.

        • Deco

          It is likely that the ECB and Brussels is pushing for this. And they are pushing for this to be sold via the corporate route. Selling part of it in small sections to ordinary citizens (like the Estonians did) is a complete no-no with our compliant elite.

          The pace at which this occurs is a metric for the measurement of Ireland’s ranking in the list of banana republics of this world. The more corporate freindly the process, the higher our ranking on the banana republic index. It seems as if the ditherer is once again “commited” to making this country into a banana republic.

          Michael Davit, Charles Stewart Parnell, the leaders of 1916, the leaders of Ireland in the War of Independence must be turning in their graves at all of this.

          • The more one ponders the role of Tricky Trichet, Brussels and the ECB in the whole bailout thing, the more the evidence seems to point to a concerted effort to hobble this country with penal taxes, selling off of national assets, and corporate friendly policies that see nationalism, self determination as a disease to be treated as an alien virus.

            Citizens of Ireland have been enslaved to corporate financial banking interests and led to the guillotine by FF.

            Collaborators such as Lenny Wrong and Biffo The Clown who’ve sold out this nation would indeed make the founders of this country turn in their graves.

            Anyone of those you mention is head and shoulders above any of these ignorant sleazebags who’ve ruined the country.

            Its so embarrassing to be led by a government of gombeen morons. I’m sure Tricky Trichet can’t contain the laughing anytime Biff or Lenny appear holding court in Brussels!

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAjONwkn_cM

            “On St Patrick’s Day you should spend time with saints and scholars, so I’ve two more stops to make”……hahaha…true!

            Have they put back the election date again to squeeze in another trip over for everyone?

    • Deco

      There are similarities with Enron. Enron was actually dubya’s number 2 campaign contributor at one stage. I can’t mention who number 1 is because they are a major employer in this country.

  23. gearoid

    great article, anyone in the Limerick area, a group organising loosely under the “claiming our future” is planning a large citizens assembley type event in the new year. we’ll be organising when we get together after the holidays… anyone interested make contact on “Claiming Our Future Limerick” facebook page, or email limerick@claimingourfuture.ie

    • As taxpayers, don’t forget to ask for your money back as well:)

    • There is a lot of serious claiming back to do for anyone living in Limerick be it City or County because my experience in the Dublin Metropolis is ‘terrorism from the top brass of civil servants in Dublin’…….it is sickening and frightening and there is a real sense of active racial and ostracisation that the next generation in Limerick will suffer terminally .

      This poison is spreading rapidly and soon that part of Ireland will become a social ghetto …..a national dump.

      • Limerick needs to form its own Republic with its own central independent administration Canton in a new federation in a wider island of cultures ……and with is own Banks , Farming Coops , Shannon River Resources Management ,Independent Aviation Management ,Independent Tax collection Systems locally and nationally and with its own independent council to decide how it is spent and independent election system to send its agreed quota of representatives to the Federal House of Commons in Dublin.This new North Munster might eventually embrace its true historical identity and be known as ‘The Republic of Thomond’.

        • In the interim, before ‘The Republic of Thomond’ comes about, no reason while a bunch of you can’t gather and discuss how to progress important projects for Limerick that everyone can buy into and put cash into, call it ‘The Thomond Tax’ . You could run this company along Brehon Laws rules and hierarchy with the biggest contributors and donors given titles of Tanist or RIG :) Specific projects to be selected in Apprentice Style presos. Lol

          http://bit.ly/gBx25q

    • paulmcd

      This article is a wake-up call for all our TDs who speak mandarin–don’t fall over yourselves, lads, as you rush to the exit of Dáil bar.

      Where working with sums, and understanding spreadsheet formulae, are concerned my Chinese students are light years ahead of their Irish peers.

      I note that China is not expressing an interest in Irish debt, omitting only the ‘i’ in ‘pig’ under its current proposals. They must be very well tuned in.

  24. corkie

    David, I do enjoy you witty way with words. So now we have ‘burning the bus drivers’ to add to our collection which includes such gems as ‘The popes children’ and ‘deck-landers’. Thanks for that. One small problem. I don’t think ‘burning’ is the right word. The bus drivers of this little nation are not being burned, they are being robbed.

  25. ladygee2

    It’s no wonder we Irish can’t get our act together when you go away and read all the different comments that have been made by the various contributors to this web site.I for one now understand why we’ve ended up in the mess created mainly by FF and the Greens, the bankers and the developers and the rest of the crowd of idiots who’ve contributed in the main to the cess pit we now find ourselves in. Some of your comments make some sense, but the majority of the comments made are only what you could describe as being totally laughable. Ever heard of the phrase ‘self praise is no praise?’ Well, that’s what I’ve been getting from all of this since subscribing to this web site.
    Do you know something, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if FF were to get back into government with somebody else after the next general election!!!! Hopefully, they won’t, but you never know what could happen between now and 11th March?

    • Not much to be learned from those whines. But I do agree the subject requires intelligent debate and incisive comment.

      Real facts and statistics and exploration of our current policies and laws in comparison with other countries would help. It doesn’t surprise me this whole area as its related to the HSE and our governance in general, its just another meSS.

      But I’m more interested in the banking crisis than racist side issues and tangents that draw away from that debate:)

      The Queen is coming, should we beg her to take us back? ( that’s irony by the way:) ) !

  26. Deco

    Listened to a very good interview this morning from John McCarthy from Limerick concerning the HSE and the way that the HSE handles depression. It is a complete disaster. Somebody defined “insanity is the process of doing the same thing repeatedly, and expecting different results each time”. This seems to be what the HSE are doing. In the end John McCarthy told that he wanted them to listen to patients – but this is not in their remit.

    You never heard such nonsense in all your life. What exactly is their remit ? Extracting as much money as possible from the rest of the population and treating their customers (the patients) in an abusive manner because they can get away with it.

    What is the problem with authority in this country ?

    • Deco

      The interview was on Newstalk (the Breakfast show).

      It reminded me of the incident with the man from Clonmel who criticized the authorities over the child abuse saga and all the coverup efforts.

      We have an authority problem in Ireland. Saipan – more to it than just a bust up between the FAI and Roy Keane.

  27. Deco

    This is what you don’t want to hear when NAMA owns many hotels.

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/1229/tourism-business.html

    This occurred despite all the “publicity” the country received from Cowen’s early morning interview, Joe the Trucker driving up to Leinster House, several Anglo incidents, and various other events that got international attention.

    I hope this overly expensive, over hyped airport terminal which nobody uses yet might bring some improvement.

    However to be honest, with unemployment extremly high in the Shannon region, along the border, and in the South East – these regions are rather distant from T2….

    • Deco

      I remember watching a documentary by British Environmental activist, David Bellamy – where Bellamy looked at the infrastructure drive that took place in Newcastle many decades ago – and how it was completely oversized for later decades. With Terminals 1 and 2, Stadiums 1, and 2, Rail transport systems, 1, 2, and maybe 3 – are we not heading the same way ? I mean if the DART was extended westward on existing lines – it might have cost less than the Luas, and saved an awful lot of time for a lot of people.

      Infrastructure is investment that must be designed in such a manner as to provide the cheapest possible service to the public. This means that the incinerator in Ringsend might make more sense than sending lorries to Cavan and Kildare and having them return empty. Even more hilarious this will end when the landfills fill up in these locations. And no doubt the next stage will be to drive the rubbish even further away. Absurd, considering that countries with strict environmental regimes like the Netherlands, and Sweden are using incinerators. Likewise, we have fields in West Dublin which are for horses, and we have people commuting from Carlow to work in West Dublin.

      The oversupply of suburban shopping, while main streets in our towns are in visible decline in another example. (I think there was an article on the decline of the main street of Dun Laoghaire in the newspapers about one year ago – much of it due to places like the Dundrum Centre). This increases the McJobs element in retailing – where retailing in heading towards “WalMartization”.

  28. Catching up on some newspaper reading I got time to read last Sunday’s evening and had a great laugh at Willie O Dea. According to O Dea, we’re going to gain from “Two very real benefits” make hundreds of millions of savings on interest payments on the EU/IMF cash. This is because its collateral and won’t all be drawn down immediately.

    The other benefit is the deal recommends reforms to the legal profession and Courts system.

    You too can make thousands in savings on your credit cards by not drawing them down to their limits, bet you never knew that? You’ll save a fortune!

    Colm McCarthy in an earlier article same paper mentioned the blood payment transfusions (my metaphor) out of the Irish economy to the bondholders is likely to exceed the total amount of cash that has come in here from the EU since we joined up!

    How’s about sending O’Dea to Craggy Island? I mean what sort of Gombeen moron mentality is that gobshite able to get away with, if that’s the level of his thinking? Perhaps the EU/IMF could take over the running of this country and implement some more reforms for us:)

    This is Craggy island stuff that’s brought this country to its knees! There’s talk now of FG joining up with remnants of FF to form the next government.

    It looks like we could end up with a worse crowd than what we have. The pro EU/IMF NAMA banker zealots in FF/FG could conceivably bring us from financial fascism to full blown fascism in the blink of an eye! Is this the beginning of the end for democracy in Ireland?

    • last Sunday’s Indo…

    • Deco

      If the IMF deal is that good, bringing in reforms that have been stiffled by the various vested interests….then we should seriously consider getting rid of government ministers and departments and simply asking “AJ” to run the show….

      • With their 5.8% Giant Squid sucking tube, they’re worse than G Sucks. It’s time we burned Trichet’s bondholders and told “AJ” we need a new deal with IMF alone. We could do worse than join sterling and run closer economic cooperation with NI and UK. Euro project has been a financial disaster for us and looks like its about to blow. If Stupid Lenny had taken Downing Street advice, we wouldn’t be up shit creek, as we are now! The whole IMF deal was contaminated and worsened by Tricky Trichet’s greed to get the money back to his bondholders asap. 2011 will see the euro bubble burst. Then what? DmcW above believes we may be part of some general euro wide solution that might get us off the hook. I think he’s being overly optimistic. I think we should follow the lead of those countries who didn’t join the euro eg Sweden, Denmark and UK and get out before the shit hits the fan. The problem is the country is in a political mess and unlike Iceland we don’t have the bottle, the chutspah or smarts to map a course out of the mess.

  29. uchrisn

    I think that number 5 in Davids article is the most probable outcome. The EU will probably just copy the states and to the dismay of most of the rest of the world just start printing Euros to get out of the mess and help their exports.
    However these new Euros created from thin air will be lent not given to the periphery.
    Who knows the limits of the debt to GDP ration. Isn’t Japan’s at 200%.
    Anyway I was reading the website of the central bank of Japan the other day, quite clear compared to the ECB or FEDs homepages.
    One thing that struck me from one of their articles was that they feel that they are the best qualified people to give advice to the EU and the States as they experienced a severe housing bubble and financial crash in the early 90′s which they still don’t seem to have shook off.
    They are literally amazed at how nobody is asking them for advice.
    Personally I think our own central bank/ government /ECB should request to visit the Japanese central bank and go through in detail all of the policies they have tried and failed/succeded over the last 15 years.

  30. Deco

    I presume that the Spanish government knows that there is more to economics, and running a country than just another austerity drive…..like increasing private sector hiring…cleaning up the banking system…and even allowing the odd bank to fail if necessary.

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/1229/spain-business.html

    This is important, because Spain is the debt elephant of the Euro-zone. Three million empty residences, a 21% unemployment rate, and bank balance sheets that are mystery to many.

  31. uchrisn

    http://www.boj.or.jp/en/type/list/link/cb.htm

    Here is a convenient link to all of the worlds central banks homepages, compliments of the Bank of Japan

  32. paddythepig

    This article is camaile. Even if we had the perfect default, and gave not a single cent to any bank, we would still have an enormous structural deficit. The bus driver, the garda, the teacher, the nurse, the doctor are all beneficiaries of our borrowing, and must all be thanking their lucky stars for the support of the IMF/EU. Without their help, they are looking at a 40% pay cut.

    Deep down, I think the public servants out there know this, and are grateful to still be receiving a pay-check.

    I see Joe Behan quietly put an end to his anti-government hissy fit, and voted for the budget. My guess is Joe couldn’t contemplate facing his old teaching buddies and telling them “There’s no money”.

    David is out of touch regarding who the real heavy lifters are in this economy. They are the people working in the private sector in fledgling export oriented businesses. Many are working savage hours, for meagre enough money, poor enough benefits, to keep the taxes rolling for our spend-spend-spend Government. If these people decide to pack their bags, not even the IMF will save Ireland.

  33. uchrisn

    Paddy this is the typical argument of the private service worker.
    Basically teachers educated him, the police make sure his business can operate without being constantly harrased or having his stuff stolen, the nurse and doctor look after his health. Perhaps a visit to central Africa where these public services don’t work so well could give a renewed appreciation.
    The role of the business owner should also be respected in his place in society.
    Both the public and the private sector people are heavy lifters.

    • paddythepig

      Uchrisn, you are avoiding a fundamental truth. The public sector costs too much, is too large and too well paid, and cannot be financed by the existing private trading sector.

      No-one is saying there aren’t some hard-working, and in some case low paid, public sector workers. But, on aggregate, there are too many and they are too well renumerated, and cannot be financed except by borrowing, which is essentially putting the burden on this over-spending on our children and our grand-children.

      It is cowardly and immoral to maintain this imbalance.

      • uchrisn

        Paddy, the public sector wage spending has been and is going to be reduced. Perhaps you would like to see it scaled back by another 40%. How many billion would that save?
        Less than 10 a year.
        What about the money gone into the banks? 35 billion more in the IMF plan, wont be enough.
        35 Billion already gone into Anglo. A bill of over 100 billion for the banks.
        So we could cut the public wages of hundreds of thousands of people by 40% for 10 years to save the banks creditors.

  34. FreeOregon

    Your 5 ways out are not ways out. They do not lead to a viable real economy. They destroy real capital, or shift it, with pain, chaos, and years of suffering to ensue.

    But there is at least one other way out, a way that preserves real capital.

    A Jubilee of Biblical proportions.

    Forgive all debt. Wipe the slate clean. Create debt free potential borrowers.

    Make the creditors whole just as you are doing now – by printing paper currency to cover them so they have no losses. Stuff the banks with money they need to lend by replacing their dodgy loans with cash.

    We are headed chaotically to an economy without credit, with all, or substantially all debt wiped out. But going there chaotically entails “haircuts,” and “defaults” and shifting real assets primarily from those who sell their time – “labor” – to those who lend. And in the end those who lend are not going to be able to run a sick economy in which labor has no stake.

    I advocate that we move immediately to a debt free economy and leave the “means of production” where they are.

    A clean slate means we can begin again, if that is the extent of our imaginations.

  35. According to today’s papers even The Ditherer thinks the EU/IMF ‘bailout’ was a bad deal…

    OT Apparently this government have redefined the term pension. Previously it was understood to be a fraction of your salary. But as a full time TD, in Bertie’s case his pension over salary as TD excess will be €60,000.

    Could we have the Dail immediately reconvene to bring in emergency legislation to deal with this criminal waste asap?

    No.

    Then there is the case of reported advisors to the government with salaries in excess of that paid to David Cameron. More rotten potatoes. There’s the expenses scandal with expenses exceeding salaries. More rotten potatoes! Quangoland with advisors slurping away at our ‘bailout’ slush fund, we know its the latter.

    People have lost faith in the corrupt mess of government of the bankers for the bankers by the bankers.

    Here’s a short piece on the history of the Irish famine that DmcW brilliantly uses as analogy to our current economic woes, he should use it as the basis for a political manifesto to go for election as an independent with the purpose of making The Banks the core issue of this coming lection:

    http://bit.ly/dZiMVu

    “The Irish Potato Famine left as its legacy deep and lasting feelings of bitterness and distrust toward the British. Far from being a natural disaster, many Irish were convinced that the famine was a direct outgrowth of British colonial policies. In support of this contention, they noted that during the famine’s worst years, many Anglo-Irish estates continued to export grain and livestock to England.”

    Leaving aside the analogy to ‘rotten potatoes’ that comes from our toxic loans, we have our looney tunes incompetent, corrupt political system that most if not all Irish people have lost faith in, supporting the export of €30 bn + of senior bondholder Anglo Irish reparations to foreign banks.

    This is from corrupt banks who’ve conned us through political stooges like Tricky Trichet, Hapless Honahan , Biffo The Clown and Lenny Wrong to accept the notoriously penal 5.8% asset stripping madness.

    They’ve made us the land of leprechauns, gombeen morons, that international banks have flipped and turned into their own money making scam. FF republican, patriots nothing but incompetent, gombeen hypocrites.

    Politics instead of serving citizens has been revealed as a self serving way through nepotism and cronyism to freebies and wealth extortion that has partnered with corrupt banks and the invisible hand of a select financial elite.

    AS long as we have the rotten potato mess of pensions, outrageous salaries/expenses, government for and by the bankers, this corrupt core inside our political system, next election is just a case of musical chairs.

    Interesting times ahead as we career along to default. Resistance is not futile!

    We need a new political system not based on ‘I got elected cause I told Johny’s mother where to go to get Johny a passport’, or, emigration is the only answer.

    • Hopefully next election Irish people will show their wrath towards FF and will remember it as ‘lasting feelings of bitterness and distrust toward’ FF in many elections after this one for their treasonous betrayal of Irish citizens and taxpayers and their gift to us of government for the bankers, of the bankers, by the bankers. Also thanks for the criminal and rotten 5.8% outrageous EU/IMF gombeen moron ‘bailout’

  36. Sugglew

    It’s going to take a special mind to come up with an alternative to capitalism but…

    I worry that those with the rare combination of expertise and a lack of vested interest such as David still believe in the merits of capitalism so much as to think (as though it is knowledge) that making the banks private once more will redress the balance or begin the process. Has capitalism not proven that it’s furthest conclusion is a private sector (the industries of banking, law and the corporation) with more power over the fate of the populus than its elected leaders?

    The alternatives are few and I don’t like the idea of taking up arms and venturing into the unknown but I’m not hugely excited about the idea of getting things back to how they were either.

    Obviously this is an issue that applies accross the EU and the Western world.

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