January 3, 2011

Tuning into swing voters

Posted in Ireland · 113 comments ·

It’s 8.15am on New Year’s Eve.

AC/DC’s Thunderstruck – a song that, if you have been frequenting night clubs down the country recently, you’ll have noticed has replaced Amhrán na bhFiann as the finale of choice – is blasting out on the Morning Show on Radio Nova.

Over on Morning Ireland, Brian Cowen is telling me about the wonderful life and times of Bertie Ahern as the self-reverential ding-dong of Irish politics rambles pathetically on. For those more interested in Angus Young than Aengus O’Snodaigh, Brian Eno than Brian Cowen or Rory Gallagher than Ruairí Quinn, it is clear that radio stations like Radio Nova are filling a vacuum.

Although no figures are out yet, it seems that Nova has got people talking, which is exactly what radio stations have to do to succeed. I know a little bit about how difficult this is. As the first voice heard on Newstalk’s Breakfast Show years ago, I now realise how difficult it is to get people to tune in, no matter how hard you try.

The Radio Nova mobile phone app was one of the most successful downloads last year. Its Facebook page is going from strength to strength and anecdotal evidence, from the quality of its ads in recent weeks, suggests it is doing the business.

It is tapping into something. It has identified a new type of person: its target audience. It is focusing in on ‘Nova Man’.

While Breakfast Roll Man won the last election for Bertie, based on the promise of unending prosperity and the upward march of the housing market, Nova Man might determine the next election.

Whereas Breakfast Roll Man was full on, wedged up and incessantly, infectiously optimistic, Nova Man is circumspect, knowing and, above all, Nova Man has been burnt. He is not easily impressed. He knows what he doesn’t like and it is the establishment parties with their vested positions, but he doesn’t know yet what he does like and from what he sees there is no real alternative. No one is speaking to Nova Man.

I noticed Nova Man first on the sidelines at an under-eight soccer match. Five dads were on the side of the pitch rhapsodising about this new station, Nova, back in early October.

These men, in their late 30s and early 40s,were rejoicing at a radio station playing Teenage Kicks before 7.30am, playing the Doors’ LA Woman, Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb, the Clash’s Rock the Casbah, Blinded by the Light by Bruce Springsteen, Rat Race by the Specials or Monkey Gone to Heaven by the Pixies – all before the children were dropped to school.

When they weren’t talking music, they were talking politics and finance and how we are going to get out of this mess collectively, which was of course, nothing more than the personal becoming the political.

Nova Man was facing huge problems and wanted to discuss these in the context of our society, rather than in the context of himself alone.

A few days later, a taxi driver eulogised About Nova describing it to me as ‘lad rock’.

He spoke of a sort of guilty pleasure that lots of men and women experience when they hammer out the riff of Radiohead’s Paranoid Android on their own ‘air guitar’ at a red light in Castleknock. It is the same sweet satisfaction that many get from tapping out the beat of Smells Like Teen Spirit on the snare drum that is your steering wheel while stuck in traffic on the Stillorgan Road.

Just for a beautiful minute, to Nova’s soundtrack, you are Slash strutting the stage, stroking your Stratocaster to Sweet Child o’Mine at Madison Square Garden, rather than the product manager of a new brand of breakfast cereal.

Like the blokes at the soccer match, what bonds all these Nova people together, is demography, a shared, unpretentious musical heritage and nostalgia.

The fathers at the football match come from all sorts of backgrounds – some are professionals, some are civil servants, some self-employed and more than a few are in deep financial trouble, either having lost their jobs or entered negative equity, with businesses struggling or a combination of all three. They have a stake in this society, they have children, homes and a life in Ireland.

Most emigrated in the 1990s and came back to build the place. Some made silly mistakes; most didn’t but are now being asked to pay for the greed of others.

They are angry, not least because they are the generation that has been shafted twice by Fianna Fáil, first by Haughey and then by the Ahern/Cowen axis.

What they remember is going to bed as kids in the suburbs in the late 1970s and early 1980s with a radio listening to Radio Nova – Dublin’s most successful pirate radio station.

They remember having the tiny Korean transistor under the covers and hearing Out of Control for the first time ever and thinking could these guys really be from Dublin?

They also remember Haughey telling their parents to tighten their belts.

The old Radio Nova was their childhood. It was exciting, illegal and therefore coveted.

They were too young to get the famous Radio Nova Boogie Bus, which left outside Trinity to take adults to a den of iniquity called Club Nova in Kilternan, where in my mind anyway, only beautiful things must happen to beautiful people. After Tamango’s or Flamingo’s, Club Nova was Dublin’s Studio 54,Manumission and Pasha rolled into one.

Today, the suburban child who fought sleep to learn off the opening lines of Rattrap, who did his best Geldof snarled lip attitude is part of a crucial demographic in Irish society.

He is Nova Man. In the months ahead, he will be a key battle-ground for the political process.

He is too old to emigrate, too young to give up.

He is too conservative for radical change, too radical for more of the same.

He has too much of a stake to knock everything down, but realises that everything needs to be rebuilt. And he wants someone to listen to his story.

The party that wakes up and tunes in to Nova Man, will be the one that gets the people talking.

  1. adamabyss


    • irishminx

      Sorry to hi-jack you Adam, however, I think this is important to read. Please share this link and spread it far and wide. Some of you will know this already. It is important that everyone does know this information.


      • irishminx,

        Appears you are prone to manipulating the verifiable evidence, scientifically objective, nature of the debate here, into one based on personal emotion and religious conviction.

        Icke has a long history of fanaticism doing the same thing.

        If we stick to verifiable evidence and not the Icke mentality and world view, we can learn from each other, rather than stupidly being indoctrinated by the kind of raw emotion that leads to racism and religious prejudice of one kind or the other.


        “Icke was a well-known BBC television sports presenter and spokesman for the Green Party, when he had an encounter in 1990 with a psychic who told him he was a healer who had been placed on Earth for a purpose. In April 1991 he announced on the BBC’s Terry Wogan show that he was the son of God, and predicted that the world would soon be devastated by tidal waves and earthquakes. The show changed his life, turning him practically overnight from a respected household name into an object of public ridicule.[2]“

        • irishminx


          I am sorry you think “I am prone to manipulate the verifiable evidence, scientifically objective, nature of the debate here, into one based on personal emotion and religious conviction”. Firstly, I don’t believe I have that much personal power on this site. Plus I dislike like the misuse of power. Have I hurt you in some way?!?

          I don’t believe you know me, even though I believe we met once, but hardly spoke. I don’t in fact have any religious beliefs, though I do believe in God. And I don’t believe you can judge me emotionally either. For when a body judges another, he/she judges self. Plus you do not walk in my shoes, as I don’t walk in yours.

          My only intention in putting up that link was for information purposes only!

          As for Icke, I don’t know him either, I came across his link today for the first time. However, what he says, has truth. Look at what is happening economically world wide. No current Government, including our own, is listening to ordinary people, why? Because there is gain for them. It always comes back to that, even in an unhappy marriage!

          I will take a look at the link you kindly put up cbweb, thank you for your response, however, I will leave it with you. I also believe everything I do, say, think and write is 100% about me and visa versa.

          Again, I am sorry you feel as you do. I still think I have freedom of expression. Don’t you?

          • We’ve the freedom to uphold freedom of expression but we’ve also the responsibility not to abuse it.

            I’m not taking what you say personally but rather alerting you to dangers about in these times of cults that point the finger of blame onto the innocent, whoever they may be, street beggars, migrants, coloured people or jews.

            Sorry we didn’t get to speak at Kilkenomics. We were in a group at a ‘very loud’ venue. Having watched recently “The boy in the striped pyjamas” and knowing how our ‘government’ have rewritten democracy, I’m very conscious in these times of how extremist views can be led to and by any kind of false propaganda.

            Anyways, next time I get to meet your lovely self, we’ll talk about the Rotschilds as bankers, couldn’t care about their zionism. Recently a gobshite here was spouting rubbish against poor buggers forced to live in the Butlin’s concentration camp on €19 / wk……

            On radio this evening there was talk of orqanised gangs of children being bused into Dublin to beg on the streets. Story of one able bodied adult jumping into a wheelchair…The story was denied by professionals in the field who said, if this was true, it was an exceptional case. Not sure I’d like the job of begging all day in the streets of Dublin in a wheelchair?

        • irishminx

          I’ve read some of the link you posted cbweb and I do not like the Jewish racism, you will know from my previous posts, I do not like racism, as you also commented on same.

          As for lizards, well that IS OTT!

          I still hold this truth for my self, each of us is a leader and each of us has our own truth, which will collectively solve our economic abyss, which I hope will bring about a more humane, equal and eco friendly world. Our world is beautiful and I believe all human beings are too.

          It is at the end of the day about choice. Choice to live according to the natural laws of the world or as basic as the choice to click into a link on the net.

          Thank you for bringing that link to my attention.


          • Seven

            Good Man CB, seven’s da magic number!

          • irishminx


            Thank you for your latest response, I didn’t see it before I wrote my last post.

            Yes that venue was too loud in Kilkenny. And yes, maybe someday we will meet, because I actually do like what you post and I find you very informative.

            I have spent my life giving information, I know that when I give it, everyone will hear me differently, as we are all different.

            I laughed when I read this “gobshite here was spouting rubbish against poor buggers forced to live in the Butlin’s concentration camp on €19 / wk……” That was me cbweb! People in direct provision are given €19.10 each week, it is pocket money! They are fed and found too. They are given more money if their need is to feed themselves. However, I didn’t call Butlin’s a concentration camp. However, Direct Provision does not honour their dignity as human beings, in my opinion.

            I understand information can be manipulated, however, if I manipulate it, I am responsible, but if someone else manipulates it, I am not.

            Thank you for being courageous and decent cbweb. It is not often easy to do on a public forum like this. However, I believe it is all to the good.

            I look forward to the day, when I can shake your hand.

            Keep up the good work you do.

            Le meas,


  2. Malcolm McClure

    David: I agree that the mood of the time is captured by music, but are Brian Eno and Rory Gallagher really what the nation is feeling right now?
    I seem to hear more of Metallica carving through the Siberian chill these days.
    Heavy Metal rules OK.

    • Peter R.

      Sorry Malcolm – I have to disagree, Metallica are not quite heavy enough these days – Cannibal Corpse, Eyehategod or Cradle of Filth are a more appropriate soundtrack.

    • Seven

      Don’t Give Up as sang so beautifully by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush….
      “In this proud land we grew up strong
      We were wanted all along
      I was taught to fight, taught to win
      I never thought I could fail”

  3. Dorothy Jones

    As a Nova Woman can I suggest that a suitable soundtrack for Bertie / BC / Callely et al might be ‘Two Worlds Collide’ by the the Inspiral Carpets? I mentioned it before here are some of the lyrics:

    ‘What have I done with my life
    Is this the end when two worlds collide

    Today I stole the sun from the sky
    The colour from the heart of a rose
    Today I took food from the hands of a starving child

    That’s what makes me a madman…
    That’swhat makes me a madman….’

    Good background music to the article of yesterday’s Sunday Business Post on Bertie by Diarmuid Ferriter entitled ‘A Leader Without Vision’ which further exposes him for the dreadful politician and person he is.

    • Fergal73


      What have I done to the country?
      Feck the country, I’m alright Jack. (-ie Healy Rae)

      Today I told the people to tighten their belts
      (while I ate foie gras and wore charvet)
      Today I stole money from the taxman
      (while I turned a blind eye to infrastructure needs)
      Today I told people to go off and commit suicide
      (some people listened to me)
      Today I signed off on rezoning
      (while I pocketed a brown envelope)
      Today I put a friend onto the board
      (while others boarded the emigrant plane)
      Today I gave myself a bonus
      (while I reduced the minimum wage)

      That’s what makes me a Fianna Fail-er
      That’s what makes me a Fianna Fail-er.

  4. Peter R.

    Excellent article David – I’ve been teaching my son Amhrán na bhFiann with the word ‘Fowl’ at the end of the first line (Go Dustin!).

  5. Johnny D

    Normally I’m in total agreement with you, but this article makes me despair.

    Nova Man does not inspire me. “He is too conservative for radical change, too radical for more of the same” — sounds like someone who doesn’t believe in anything. The politician best placed to cater for Nova Man is one that doesn’t believe in anything either. God knows it is that type of politics that got us into the mess.

    My point is not in support of any particular party or philosophy. Its rather that as long as citizens avoid being challenged and keep looking for a messiah that tells them what they want to hear we are doomed to keep repeating our mistakes.

    Your article the previous week was on the money. The incohate rage you described are citizens whinging like a mopey teenager rather than an engaged and active citizen.

    Your colleague Professor Morgan Kelly (who like you pointed out the emperor had no clothes) wrote in November where Nova Man is likely to end up: “an inchoate rage and despair that will transform Irish politics along the lines of the Tea Party in America. Within five years, the Civil War parties are likely to have been brushed aside by a hard right, anti-Europe party”.

    Dave, its decent open minded public figures like you need to step forward and put themselves before the voters now. Otherwise Ireland is likely to follow Italy replacing the corrupt Christian Democrats with the corrupt demagogue Berlisconi (by this I mean Fianna Fail being replaced with a “new party” in the next few years that providers a new and more effective home for insiders).

    A pressure group standing in the 2011 election on a three point platform of reform – Bond/Equity Swap, Political Reform and breaking the power of the insiders would be enough to set the agenda for the next election and cause the new government to dance to your tune.

    You can reach Nova man. You have a limited window of opportunity. For the sake of the country — use it!

    • juniorjb

      Quite right, Nova man is the Last Man, a being without convictions for whom politics is no more than the administration and management of an entity he refers to as “The Economy” but which he never really defines. He also includes a significant minority of insiders who will ultimately refuse to rock the boat, despite a great deal of apparently impassioned ranting. He will criticize, but is just as likely to be heard opining that we should hand it all over to a selected group of top businessmen or whoever and let us be led by the nose by different bunch for a change.

    • Harper66

      Hi Johnny

      “A pressure group standing in the 2011 election on a three point platform of reform — Bond/Equity Swap, Political Reform and breaking the power of the insiders would be enough to set the agenda for the next election and cause the new government to dance to your tune”

      You have got it one.

      • Johnny D

        Thanks Harper

        I’m not against FG/Labour per say, but there is a section of the electorate that won’t vote for an existing party and probably don’t want to vote for a universal manifesto offered by a traditional party.

        The idea of a “Pressure Group” as opposed to a “New Party” is that it requires less organisation and has a specific focus and limited time span. By all means establish new parties of whatever hue later, but a high profile celebrity campaign based around three specific reform points will drag the 2011 election debate in one direction. It would smoke out FG and Labour as they try to chase the “Pressure Group’s” potential voters.

        A mandate would be sought for:

        1. “Burn the Bondholders” — Bank Resolution and Forced Debt/Equity swaps
        2. “Political Reform” — New Constitutional Convention with its membership selected similar to the way juries are. Candidates for the group would support a system that separates the executive from the legislature (as in the USA) and replace our electoral system with one that reduces the power of clientalism that the existing one fosters. Real local government reform with directly elected council executives and a dramatic cut in the number of local authorities.
        3. “They Work for You” — bring Political and top Civil and Public Servants pay into line with European norms (benchmark them if you will)

        The group will be prepared to coalesce with any party that will implement the three points above. In fairness to Fine Gael or Labour they will have wider centre-right and centre left agendas across a wider social and economic policy area. That’s fine and there is no need to compete with this. In fact the above proposal is taking Jackie Healy Rae and Michael Lowry’s tactics and applying them to national reform ends.

        It would shake up the election. Given the contest to lead the next government that is taking place between Fine Gael and Labour it could open up entirely new possibilities if they won a dozen seats. Unlike the Joe Higgins/Richard Boyd Barrett “People’s Front of Judea/Continuity Judean People’s Front Alliance” it is the type of independent flash in the pan radicalism that can make a meaningful and lasting change for the better. The short lived Clann na Poblachta in the 1940s gave us Minister for Health Noel Browne who eradicated TB — something good that lasted far beyond his short lived party. It would need a few David McWilliams, Elaine Byrnes and Fintan O’Tooles to get it the necessary traction.

        Plus David McWilliams would be a far better Radical TD for Dun Laoghaire than Richard Boyd Barrett.

        “Burn the Bonholders Alliance” – what do you say David??

      • Deco


        The IBEC-ICTU Mussolini method of running the state has got to end. Haughey invented the idea, and Ahern fed it until it became an out of control monster that now has it’s tentacles everywhere.

        Ireland is a small country, and this sort of nonsense between careerists in Irish businesses, and politicians in the trade union movement is wrecking the country.

        • Harper66


          I agreewith your comments about IBEC&ICTU.

          I think this Government (or next Government depending on the timing of the election ) will use the escape clause in the Croke park agreement. The average worker will realise that they have been played like a fiddle.It was always going to be that way. the CP agreement was a stop gap measure to ensure the higher paid in public life could escape serious cuts while the heat was on. Hiding behind the small guy, if you like. I presume Begg et al are still on the same money as 2008?

          I do however also take huge exception to the clattering empty vessel that is IBEC, they are the mud rakers and shit slingers for those who share their crooked right wing agenda.

          For what it is worth,I have equal contempt for both.I have said this here before the notion of left wing and right wing have become archaic ideals.

          It seems to me at present the only game in town is taking money from the many to give to the few.This thought troubles me and I want to do something.Deco your clearly an intelligent person what do you suggest is the way to unravel this cartesian knot?

          • Deco

            I agree with you on the idea of right vs. left being a bit of a joke. Just look at the UK or the US. It becomes a case of same difference. In Ireland IBEC and ICTU have become the permanent government – who exercise power through their proxies, and use the media to drive through what they want, as shown in the Lisbon 2.0 debacle.

            Personally, I reckon at this stage IBEC should be disbanded. It is a lobbying organization. It is headed by a bunch of spoofers, and is backed by the financial might (sic) of the Irish banking and retail sectors. It is a holding company for corporate influence.

            I think that ICTU is gone well beyond it’s mandate, sticking it’s senior members, or cronies, onto just about every state quanago of significance that exists. In fact I can see how having ICTU powerful in running state institutions will result in the trade union movement becomming corrupt. This is inevitable. We have the ICTU appointees to FAS, DAA/Aer Rianta, RTE, ESB, CIE and the HSE and they all have nothing to say about recent scandals. But when an opportunity arises to show off how great and just they are, then they are very easy to get onto the media. I just found out that David Begg was on the board of the Central Bank of Ireland. He should resign. He has been talking about punishing the bankers, but he was responsible for letting them away with all that reckless behaviour in the first place, by not doing his job properly.

            Call and end to the social partnership process. Senator Shane Ross has said it is undemocratic and he is correct. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that IBEC and ICTU (two lobbying umbrella groups) must be consulted at all times in the formulation of national policy. Nowhere in Bunreacht na hEireann does it say that appointments to state bodies and institutions should be allocated every time with consideration of unelected representatives of lobbyists. A lot of people in this country get annoyed when they hear of lobbying in Washington. But here thinks are at a mafia level, with the lobbyists appointing their own cronies direct to the boards.

            I think it is time to call for a seperation of state and IBEC/ICTU. (for some strange reason it seems the media is turning a blind eye to this …”please support our advertising sponsors”.)

    • irishminx

      @Johnny D,

      I hear your heart aching despair. Then again, maybe I am projecting?!?

      Your three point platform of reform are good ideas.

      My question is, why do you need David to step forward?
      Why don’t you step forward? Everyone here IS a leader.

      Each citizen in Ireland needs to be responsible and accountable for what’s happened and for what will happen in the days/weeks/months ahead in Ireland. I’m not pointing a finger at anyone here, for the record. I didn’t gain in the tiger years, however, I am responsible for my lack of action and for not speaking my truth. Therefore I am accountable for what I failed to do.

      Whatever we do as Irish people, please go with care and mostly do whatever you can do with and from your heart. To do that, I / you need to learn to live from
      hearts starting right now.

      Coming from our heart, is what will save us.

      I wish you well.

      • Johnny D

        I agree with much of what you say irishminx.

        While citizens have to be responsible actors and be more diligent in attending to their duties we do live in an age of celebrity. You only need to scroll down to the bottom of this page to see why David needs to seize the initiative. There is a guy who can’t register to vote in County Cork and he contacts David – why? Because he trusts David. He could have contacted numerous other public representatives (it may not be popular to say it, but many are decent people) but he trusts David because he feels he knows him.

        Public figures such as David do have a power because they have the capacity to inspire. The idea I outlined above is not for celebrities only – ordinary citizens need to come forward, but public figures have an added responsibility by virtue of the power they already possess.

        The thing that makes me want to thump Vincent Browne every night I see him on TV3 is that he is always writing columns questioning why we as citizens accept so much of the inequities in our society. However he always side steps why he as a citizen with the advantageous platform and profile of his numerous media outlets over the years never put himself before the voters to offer them the choice he believes they were denied (and he had numerous opportunities to do so).

        Now in his 70s he glibly criticises less articulate and less widely experienced citizens who stand for public office when he could have stepped forward to build public support for the policies he advocates.

        Just to clarify I’m not saying David is like Vincent Browne – that would be a grevious insult that would deserve my being banned from this site!

        Best wishes

        • Harper66

          I think you are spot on with your comments – in particular the following the points you made..

          1 – keep the mandate very simple and as defined as possible to unite people as opposed to dividing them. I know Fintan O Toole tried to get something going with limited success I think it is due to the fact he has his own baggage (which serves to divide people)but also some of the items he was pushing for were too broad (for example he wanted to see measures implemented to have more women in the Dail.Regardless of whether you agree with this or not it is a divisive issue) The mandate must be focused on economics.

          2 – I agree that a well known figure is vital to unite people and give credibility to the whole thing.I also agree with you that David is seen by the majority of people as a trustworthy figure.

          I think in order to get anybody to “lead the charge ” so to speak – they would need to see some activity organised by people on a local level.If that was to happen I think it would be easier to convince some one to head it up.

          Something needs to be done.The problem is as each new article is posted on this website the ideas and comments get archived and the suggestions go no further….perhaps this time may be different?

    • Deco

      Johnny D.

      You commented
      The politician best placed to cater for Nova Man is one that doesn’t believe in anything either.

      Take your pick. Bertie Ahern. Michael Martin. Mary Hanafin. Mary Coughlan. Pres McUseless. Tom Kitt. Enda Kenny. Brian Hayes. Simon Coveney. Olivia Mitchell. Eamon Gimmemore. Moan Burton. Joe Costello. Sleeveen O’Caoilain. Ad infinitum.

      Every one of them tries to come across as a “safe pair of hands”. As essentially sympathetic and quich to fire out the answer that will press the right buttons with the public. Just don’s ask any of those pretenders a direct question. Usually, a safe pair of hands is some opportunist who is ready to sell the ordinary people short, and look after his cronies.

      Maybe, the main objective of our “advertisng sponsors” is to make sure that the media has ensured that only candidates that will continue the current economic arrangement will get power.

      • Johnny D

        Its worth taking the time to pick through the boring details of Oireachtas debates or policy documents. There’s plenty of differences there, but they’ll never fit into a soundbite and they’re “too boring” to be reported. Its the citizen’s duty to do the boring task of informing themselves and then making an adult choice.

        As long as citizens don’t bother with their duties of scrutinising the choices they have, as oppossed to running away from them like a mopey adolescent we’ll get nowhere.

        If your criteria for assessing whether someone is not worth listening to is the fact they have been elected to public office we’re in big trouble. In the 1930s people didn’t want to listen to all the “noise” and “rowing”. They ran away from it in many cases choosing to hand over to some strong man who would sort “them” out (whoever “them” were). We all know where that left us.

        People have choices. Often they run away from them. While the media have a massive role in informing or misinforming – at the end of the day over 18s are adults not children and have to be responsible for informing themselves.

  6. ladygee2

    Sorry to have to say this,folks, but this seems to smack of the ‘Dublin is Ireland Syndrome’. Radio Nova is a Dublin radio station, so, whatever David or anyone else in the Greater Dublin area has to say about this radio station the rest of the country knows nothing whatsoever about it. This country of ours has a population of about 4.5 million and around 1.2 million of that population happens to live in the greater Dublin area. That leaves around 3.3 million people around the rest of the country who have either never heard of it or even had a chance to listen to it, so, we don’t know what you’re talking about.

    David, might I suggest that when you publish articles on this website in the future that they’re articles that apply to the whole country and not to a particular part of it.

    Other than that keep up the good work by sticking it to ‘The Man.’

  7. SOMK

    Politicians appealing to minority swing voters, is not what this country needs. This is the politics of winning not the politics of reform, this is the politics of Clinton and Blair, focus groups who are asked their needs and desires and from these attractive policy is born rather than from critical thinking about the forms and structures of Irish society which have allowed this disaster to take place.

    Adam Curitis’ brilliant film “The century of the self” covers the rise of PR and how it’s corrosive influence has created a “me” generation and spread into politics in the early ninties. It’s easily found online and well worth watching.

    We seem to have economists and journalists in this country rather than philosophers and thinkers, and with the greatest of respect, economists are expert at one thing, money and it’s patterns, journalists deal only in the relatively immediate (they study journalism rather than history or political science), and what they can offer is limited by that. What is needed at the next election is a respect for deeper broader thinking, new ideas, voters need to stop listening to their bloody egos when it comes to selecting politician, to look deeper and demand more.

  8. TonyB

    A small point hidden in a huge swamp of middle aged nostalgia – boring!
    Economic insight is something you do very well, David; please stick within the remit.

  9. Hi

    David here. This “Nova Man” article was meant to be a bit of fun. Apologies to women, people from outside Dublin and philosophers (hope that covers it!).
    I agree with the idea that politics should be about big ideas and not pandering to a constituency, but I suppose it is beneficial to be aware of both the ideas and the people you are talking to.

    All the best Happy New Year and thanks for all the comments – they keep me going.


    • Joseph

      Hi David,
      Happy new year.
      I enjoyed the debate in the Leviathan tent at the Electric Picnic last year.

      I’m a mature student of Human Resources with an Economics module: Economic & Social Policy, with an exam next week. You may be bemused to know none of the 80 odd students in the class found a solution to the banking crisis, at least that met our lecturers satisfaction.

      I humbly suggest the following:

      We – Europe / Euro-zone, the US and other markets respective central banks have lost control of the money supply because of derivatives, securitization, leveraging expanding credit beyond what would be manageable fractional reserve banking. In 2010 we got some figures for Anglo’s liabilities, but have compounded the mistake of the bank guarantee by also covering off balance sheet items.

      The “Off balance sheet” tactics of all players shows the deficit of ethics permeates our culture.

      The ECB / EU needs somewhere for the securitized debts to unravel and this may be the IFSC.

      The bits and bytes on computers there represent funny money, through financial voodoo, increasingly abstracted from a tangible asset.

      So how to gracefully unravel this? The €5 euro note in my wallet has a serial number. This could be supplemented with a 2d bar-code or other machine readable checksum or validation code, to, for example, fight counterfeiting.

      Cheques used require the harp symbol, legal documents used be embossed with postage symbols – a stamp duty from it’s original meaning.

      Now we all have familiarity with purchasing vouchers with validation codes to add credit to pay as you go mobiles.

      What’s needed is a validation code for electronically encoded instruments.

      We could quickly wipe out all the non cash assets and liabilities by introducing a Tobin tax for all tradable instruments, akin to DIRT. If you want the asset or liability to be recognised as real, (and further to be traded now or in the future – with penalties for late actualisation of the instrument) the tax must be paid. While a classic Tobin tax is on transactions, that’s secondary here, with the primary objective is to get a true picture of the accounts. With digital signatures we can give every computer stored asset and liability a serial number. Companies should be required to do it on their balance sheets before shares can be traded.

      This innovation, if done correctly, could place the IFSC as the leaded of m-commerce and e-commerce.

      The tax level could be determined by an auction basis, where the reputation of abstracted assets could be judged by the declared tax paid – and by having a public infrastructure for validation of individual and collective assets.

      A standardised 2d bar-code, at say 150 dots per inch, could be used as stickers to reconcile existing paperwork with computer records, with the folio field used to reconcile old and new accounting systems.

      I like another comment/thread that described what’s going on in Anglo like unravelling last years Christmas fairy lights, as they go through transactions that they thought they’d never have to look at again.

      I am sure you can think of other applications. However the sales point of the new tax should be reputational, like a Royal charter used to be. The public key infrastructure could be extended to include all entities involved.

      Lets make the reconciliation pay us (as we pay for it).

      Lets make the future.



      • uchrisn

        Joesph, its good to hear some different suggestions for making the financial system more regualted. There have been suggestions and articles on regulation by respected figures around the world. For example that financial institutes need to radically increase their core capital.
        The main challenge to this is the power of financial institutions and their central importance as a source of revenue for developed economies.
        Banks such as Bank Of America, J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs and all of their off balance sheet transactions are a massive source of revenue for the U.S. economy. If they went belly up think North of England when the coalmines went out of business in the 80′s.
        So these financial institutions are getting some new regulation via Basel 3, however of course its purposly not enough.
        One way to deal with this would be to make more developed economies less dependent on financal institutions for revenue.

        • uchrisn

          As the U.S. prints trillions more dollars to subsidise their financial institutions all countries holding dollars as foregin reserves are losers. Also these new dollars can find their way to cause new bubbles in developing economies.
          This the major issue at the Seoul G20 with an American President actually being marginalised for the first time in the group the Americans handpicked themselves.
          The Europeans will side with the Americans as they have always done for trade barriers etc. leaving the developing countries out in the cold.
          Developing countires are making their own financial alliances, China/Russia/Brazil are not using the US Dollar as a reserve currency anymore.
          Interesting times lie ahead.

      • Unfortunately, the state of the world’s currencies fiat money system at present is so perilous, it is beyond redemption. Global debt, OTC unregulated derivative trading, printing of money, inflation, would appear to have the perfect economic storm brewing. Your suggestion including regulation/tax in some sort of regularised derivative exchange may occur in some sort of post 1913 Fed repeal act, after the world’s economic bubble pops, but, not before. The world’s currencies are owned by private banks who already have the power to tax. They don’t want the ECB or any other government taking that power away from them.

        • Joseph

          When the bubble pops, what will hold value? Then it will be beyond redemption because most debts won’t be paid. Abuse of power will cause chaos. To avoid this, derivatives need to be unwound, in all forms, from a subway token to the most complex instruments. If both buyer and seller of a securitisation instrument consider it worthless for taxation purposes, it should be treated as worthless and unenforceable. As the sellers know it’s true worth, and are putting their reputation on the line, they should be obliged to take back ownership of any instrument they’d not be prepared to pay an evaluation tax on.
          If the ATM’s stop working, Tesco’s and other companies with loyalty card infrastructures may become the bank. There will be a gap in the market for a corporate backed currency, so setting up a reputational tax could be flexible regardless of whether the currency is hard or soft, internal or global.
          Exchange rates between currencies determine their respective values, again with a large reputational component.
          As more tokens and fiat currencies emerge, an infrastructure for a verifiable serial number is a mechanism for measuring the money supply.
          I forsee us taking picutres of our money with our mobile phones to validate the issuser. Look at the difficulties spending notes from the North of Ireland in the UK. Who’s to say the money’s good, unless reputations are solid (and tax pre-paid).
          We may be being paid in company script, so it would good to know the companies accounts are solid.

          • @Joseph “When the bubble pops, what will hold value?”

            Great question. Following a G20 summit, maybe a Basil IV that will ban all derivative trading and force derivatives to be liquified under a new world currency exchange in a new world currency, the YEY. Local currencies would follow the gold/silver standard. G20 (or expanded version) would seize control of all central banks, repeal the FED act of 1913, and give the power to issue currency back to citizens under NTMA type organisations controlled by governments on behalf of citizens, all under a central, world bank. What chance do you think that sci fi project has of coming about?

          • Joseph

            The forum post may appear in the wrong order, but I agree with your comment re sci-fi and go with the 2000AD comic currency name of “The Credit” Cred for short.

          • @Joseph, yes banks will resist any attempt to regulate OTC derivative trading, or any attempt at a regulatory framework that will mean loss of power.

            But resistance is futile, the fiat money system will pop sooner rather than later. Only then will be considered reforms along the lines you, I, or anyone else will propose.

            What we have at present is the stuff of sci fi, you couldn’t make it up. Ireland under the dominion of the EU/IMF bailout, but that was science fiction too, or so we were told by some amateur economists led by FF, or visa versa:)

    • Happy New Year to you and loved ones too David! There are only two stations in Ireland one can listen to without getting inner ear aids or ear lobe cancer, lyric fm and raaaaaaaadioooooo noooovaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!


    • Johnny D

      Happy New year to you too David.

      I’m being a bit unfair on you, after all you’ve toured the country and you are only explaining what you’ve seen and what has been said to you. Your article two weeks ago in the Business Post captured the darker side of this:

      “It is difficult to explain why the main opposition parties have failed so manifestly to galvanise the people, but clearly there is a vacuum. There are plenty of good people on the opposition benches, but they haven’t managed to convince many voters of their merit.

      Nature dictates that the vacuum will be filled — by someone or some movement. Sinn Féin is gaining ground at the moment because it is radical.”

      You can see the insiders in about 18-24 months constructing a new party filled with lots of ex FF people and some disgruntled FGers with Tony O’Reilly’s press backing them. The same unaccountable snobs in the Sindo that lashed both you and Morgan Kelly will be filling the vacuum and “Nova man” will swallow it hook, line and sinker all because its “New”.

      The vacuum is dangerous David – you could help lead that frustration and fear in a decent and honest direction.

      • Deco

        YEs, but the Irish establishment will dictate that the vacuum gets filled by one of the existing options, so that you get a continuation of the nonsense of the consensus of vested interests who are in control…

        • Pedro Nunez

          Ya ‘four legs good, two legs bad’ chorus led by the negligent architects of systemic failuure, our own ‘Napoleons’ and their sychophantic ‘Snowballs’.

          We’re stil a peasent class people prepared to swallow hard and dig deep in putting up with peasent class gombeen politics.

          If these interests ran on an explicit ‘Peasent class politics for a peasent class people’, 20% of the population would still vote for them!

    • uchrisn

      Happy new Year, I encourage David to keep writing insightfull and educated articles which are generally proven correct in the passage of time. The mainstream media is gernally owned and run by rich people, RTE is run by a government which has been in power for years, so its nice to have access to independent artilces online.

    • alanmcmenamin

      David, a bit of fun in the gloom of recession is well taken. Unfortunately we are not overly disposed to fun and laughter at the minute when people all over are being nova’sized’. In Donegal northwest we saw lots of Nova Men & Women Vauxhall Nova Car imports (we southerners call them opel corsas in the 80-90′s) so we have been exposed to the nova Phenomena of different kinds for quite some time.

    • Gege Le Beau

      David, two quotes for you on philosophers and critics.

      “Philosophers have interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it” ~ K. Marx

      “No village, no town, no city has ever put up a statue to a critic” – W. S. Churchill

      And to finish it all off:

      It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

  10. walkcork

    David this is a load of old codswallop. So you have found that SOME men in Dublin, who are disillusioned with party politics listen, to Dublin’s Radio Nova. What does that tell us? Abslolutely nothing.

    You can’t slice up Irish society nicely and cleanly and put it into cutely labelled boxes.

    It’s simplistic and puerile, and as an educated man you shouldn’t be indulging in this drivel for the odd headline.

  11. wills


    I luv the article.

    I also reckon you the article is defining a reality more than one may think it is.

  12. wills

    I remember Radio Nova. I remember the music played.

    I also remember the energy Radio Nova emanated.

    So much so that I also remember the establishment shutting Nova down, like a meat cleaver coming down on it and shutting it down for all time.

    Nova asked the listeners to honk their horns at midnight when the establishment had its way with Nova and shut it up.

    Pirate radio was the excuse giving. Anyone who loved Radio Nova knew this was a lie and that Nova was shut down because of the energy it transmitted and the influence on the young kids it was having.

    That is what happened and I remember it like it was only yesterday.

    Nova was part of an artistic renaissance that got hold of Rep of Ireland for a number of years before the establishment caught up with it and time moved on and popular culture ended and the zeitgeist shifted into new technologies.

  13. Iv’e never heard of Radio Nova but it sounds interesting.
    Iv’e not seen Breakfast Roll Man around these parts for a long time and only the other day I mentioned this thought to her indoors and she agreed that he was a species that has become extinct. No more. Finito, Bereft of life. Very sad. Such a wonderful character would make an excellent comedy sketch for someone like Daft Mattie

    I have no intention of being labelled a Nova Man as it sounds like a guy in a cheap shirt and tie driving a little box car into a boring office job every morning wearing hair gel and ponging of too much Lynx spray. No doubt he will also be modern man who is in touch with his emotions and all that palaver

    By pandering to the insecurities of Nova man and telling him that is ok to be a moral coward and accept that we don’t need big changes you are in danger of keeping this nation in a state of infantilism. Most of us on this forum are grown ups and can handle the truth even if there are many out there who have still to grow up and get a grip

    On this occasion David you get the wet towel. Poor show.

  14. silverbullet

    The intro line to Ian Dury’s “Plaistow Patricia “best describes what most Novamen thinks about Fianna Fail and their cronies.

    • coldblow

      I looked that one up – very good. I have some Dury music and let Jr listed to selected tracks (when ‘Er Indoors isn’t around of course).

  15. pjdub22

    What better place for “self-reverential ding-dong of Irish politics” to air itself than on the equally self reverential and nepotastic (sic) RTE. I don’t want radio Nova either give me Phantom any day. Radical political reform, civil service reform, RTE reform, Ireland reform – now please. I’m off to watch ‘Reeling in the years-1962′.

  16. walter

    Hi Dave

    we are about the same age , new wave rock generation if you like
    I left county Cork on Jan 16th last for France to work as export sales manager for a small company manufacturing imaging systems for biological research. My Wife and 11 and 12 year old kids joined me in early May. In November I got an undated letter from Cork County Council, saying if I didn’t reply within 10 days, I was being struck off the voters register. I asked my wife where was the envelope (for the date on the stamp) but she had put it in the bin.
    I agree that our generation need to do a lot more, and I have been thinking about the generation gap since before I heard of you, honest, well we are around the same age, and I agree that our generation has not been very visible in the management of general Irish business, never mind the economy, and I often thought over the 11 years I invested in Ireland that knowhow was not being put to use.
    The actions of the cork county council, striking me off so rapidly are, in my opinion, purely political, by people who know me perhaps, but I have no doubt that it is anti democratic and anti human rights. As a citizen of Europe, I cannot vote anywhere at the moment. Are there any smart barristers willing to take a test case to the European court of human rights on my behalf? It would be worth doing because it does not feel right to me. this is the second time it has happened to me in my life, but I am older now and I do not want me or my family treated like this, and there is surely a case of undue haste, I feel like I am barely gone, my house is still there by the way, and I will pay local taxes… if there were any! Ah no we dont want to upset those who have several homes, or ghost estates even

    and yeah I saw last week that they are giving out certificates if irish heritage to rich yanks.
    Why should born and bred but migrated irish people have no vote?
    so we can sell passports to aussies etc who have an irish grandmother?
    can we not make a distinction?
    oh yeah its too complicated

    • Johnny D

      From what I recall we have reciprocal voting rights with the UK (local, general and European elections). Brits can’t vote for our president as we can’t vote for their queen.

      The arrangement with other EU states is that you can vote in EU elections and local elections.

      The question I would like to know is how did Cork County Council know you moved away? As long as you make the annual return on time renewal it is easy. After that date in mid November you have to present at the Garda station. I had to do so when I moved house in January three years ago — there was a lot of voter fraud in my area so I can understand why I was put through that. When are you next back home?

      I think the electoral commission is replacing the county councils after the next election. 33 local authorities can’t manage the national register. A few years ago it was thought there were 800,000+ inaccuracies on the register – what a joke!

      Your wife shouldn’t have thrown that important document in the bin! Similar thing happened to a friend of mine. His wife was a Fianna Failer….

    • Hi Dave,
      115 other countries (and just about all of the developed world) allow their expats to vote in country of birth elections in one form or another. Ireland is way behind on this yet there’s still no political will for a debate. Old outdated fears and a lack of vision regarding Ireland in an international context is preventing progress.

      I’ve no doubt there will be some commenters here who view the idea of emigrant voting rights with suspicion, but (and hopefully David won’t mind) here’s something to look at – http://bit.ly/i8E0CW

      • Apologies – meant to address to Walter!

        • Certainly anyone who has left over the past 5 years should be allowed a vote. Further back than that, maybe the statute of limitations comes into play:) Perhaps there should be an emigration form you need to sign and witness to declare you’ve emigrated, not just gone for a holiday for two weeks to make sure you qualify for tax exile status.

    • Deco

      Walter – they might have taken away your vote, but I bet they will still levy your house in Cork with the new property levy. And if you own a premises that can be charged with commercial rates, they will levy that also.

      Basically, they will levy for every penny they can get their hands on. And they will cut you out of stuff where you might be getting something.

      It is a kind of a assymetric intervention.

  17. I remember the origional Radio Nova & could pick it up on hollidays 80 miles outside Dublin with a longwire ariel & and amp. Although they mostly played music the good thing about all the pirates was that although they were illigel they waren’t clamped down on heavily at that stage so they represented a mixed bag of people & views from society, this I found interisting. After the regulation licences came in the new stations just became lick a***s for the establishment so I scraped by radio. Today radio must conform a lot to the establishment’s propagenda or its licence is not renewed so its realy about pedaling lies. Radio these days is junk media, bin it.

  18. DarrylConlan

    Just fyi David, Slash is principally known for playing a Gibson Les Paul, not a Fender Stratocaster!

  19. jupiter4

    For the purpose of writing an article, its tempting to describe a slice of Irish society as Nova Man, but the description lacks the punch and truth of the Breakfast Roll Man, a character who so aptly described the people we all saw every morning in their ubiquitous 4WD’s munching on their heart attack in a roll. They were everywhere, urban and rural. If Nova Man exists then he is urban, the lads in Mullingar are still tuning into country and that is unlikely to change in the forseeable future.

    If music reflects the society we live in, then as a population we are all more likely to be Mary Byrne Men (and Women). I’m not a fan but the nation turned to her during the X-Factor as she was the only Irish person on the horizon who was actually doing well, and moving from the till in Tesco onto the stage captures everyone’s heart, and secretly we too all wish we could escape the doldrums of these days and run away with the circus.

    In bad times, people turn to what will provide some security for them and in the past, that was the Catholic Church. That escape hatch and salve for the soul is no longer there, so its AC/DC or Metallica (although I think doom metal would be more appropriate these days than trash). If that is plausible, then its a reflection of how mature we have become as a nation, we prefer rock music for solace than the arms of the Church …. rock on!

    Finally, let me suggest a character that has been around in Ireland for a very long time …. India Rubber Man. He is the voter who will vote for FF no matter what. I was sitting in a cafe on the north side of Dublin only last week, overhearing two men in their early 60′s lamenting the passing of so much talent from the party as the rats jump the sinking ship. They were archetypical FF soldiers, wearing ill-fitting pin-stripe suits and one even had a sheepskin coat. FF has long ago lost its heart and it became whatever we the people wanted it to be. If coalition with the PD’s meant holding power, then they could become neo-cons over night. Or back to socialists in a flash (remember Bertie’s definition of socialism? The Government letting us all wlak around the Botanic Gardens, wasn’t it nice of them?) They represent a slice of Ireland that we badly need to see the back of, the people with no moral or political compass, no ideals, no political beliefs, only in it for what they can get from it. Our political landscape is full of these types, from urban council up to the Dail itself. Maybe Nova Man v. India Rubber Man will be the XBox hit of 2011?? I wont hold my breath.

    • healthadvisor

      Yes Jupiter, India rubber man scares the life out of me. I have met 40 yr olds at home who still trot out the line “sure whats the alternative?”. Today, i told a dr in work that as Irish people we were corrupt, and he said no we actually had decent people. My response was that we don’t want to know we are so corrupt, even more corrupt than the Arabs, who do deals behind their parents backs. I intend to remind the india rubber men of their legacy, that by continuing to support an institution like Fianna Fail, which is not dissimilar to the Roman Catholic church, is wrong. The actions of Fianna Fail are wrong and will be seen in history as the reason for the downfall of this country.

  20. Deco

    Two categories are more numerous than Nova-man.

    2FM man/woman and Newstalk man/woman.

    I expect Newstalk man to have a significant impact on the election, and also on the policies afterwards. Newstalk man is alert, sceptical, and is always looking for the catch. He double-guesses whatever he is told, and is very coy. Newstalk man is sceptical of the entire establishment – and will act in a way that is anti-establishment. If things sound too easy, then he gets suspicious. He is a fox, or an old dog who has learned many a trick.

    2FM man/woman is more of a comfort seeker, looking for reassurance that everything will be OK, has an aversion to worry, hardship, or anything that might make him think beyond the superficial. 2FM man goes with the flow, and looks for others to give him direction. Intellectually he is lazy, but he is a threat to nobody – least of all the establishment. He is a sheep, seeking the safety of the flock.

    Newstalk man will influence matters by voting. 2FM man will influence matters by not voting, or by half-heartedly switching from the Ditherer 1.0 (Ahern) to Ditherer 2.0 (Gimmemore).

    The swing voters are the Today FM listeners who would like the soft existence of 2FM man, but who have been shoved by the world into the direction of newstalk man.

  21. Juanjo R

    David et all,

    Here are 3 wild general ideas to change the political landscape here;

    1) Hold elections on SUNDAYS only with access to changing the location of ones vote to be improved.

    2) Make it a legal obligation for everyone to vote with a REAL and IMMEDIATE fine if you don’t ( those with Doctors certs seriously ex only exempted ).

    3) Give all persons born here and currently holding Irish passports but living elsewhere a full right to vote ( via post ) for a number of TDs in a list system. This would mean that the people who emigrate – possibly the most pissed off people – get to vote. They are and the most likely to vote for change!

    This would likely up the turnout rate from 60 something to 90 something per cent and encourage a full and more to the point an INTERESTED participation in real democracy here.

    Brazils last election under similar circumstances as listed above had a 98 per cent turnout rate as opposed to our last election turnout of 67 per cent.

    If this happened I’d say the disenfrancised ‘outsiders’, so frequently mentioned about this site, would be come a group be politically reckoned with,which would change the power balance away from the conservative status quo and force a change.

    Nova Man TIMES 3 or 4 say I!

    Probably won’t happen, though.

    P.S. BTW David, where is Nova Woman in all of this?

    P.P.S. Oh and sorry – I meant to post these suggestions a few articles ago but I couldn’t register on the site for some reason.

    • Deco

      Forcing people to do something is not the answer. I mean you want to force people to vote. Have you ever looked at the gobshitery that has appeared on the ballot papers in recent years. Just look at the list for the last Euro elections in Dublin for example.

      PJ Rourke has an excellent book on the matter which captures the essential dilemma.

      As the George Lee event showed, people are desperately seeking better candidates. And the current politicians have reactions that range from conceited to venomenous when any better standard of candidate appears on the scene.

  22. Juanjo R

    Sorry but theres an obvious typo on point 2 above – please ignore ‘serious ex’.

  23. Celtic Bookmakers & Rubber Bandits ( Horses ):

    Re: Receivership

    I just watched Ivan Yates speak eloquently and lucidly and to the point .He is a good example of how the FF have distroyed the Good People of Ireland and how Bertie brought the country to pieces .I would propose him as member of the new national party that the people need.

    • Gege Le Beau

      I wouldn’t be seconding that. Not all can be blamed on the economy, Labrokes and others still standing, Paddy Power’s is actually expanding…..people make calls, win some, lose some, a lot rides on decision-making, experience, ability, Yates may have the gift of the gab but going by his Six-One interview, it seems he has little else left. I wish him well all the same.

  24. Deco

    Ivan Yates is going into receivership. But, surely Celtic bookmakers is of systemic importance to the Irish economy, and merits a bailout.

    Let us not forget how these wonderful concerns got their bailout.


    Now, maybe Ivan might have bondholders, and maybe they might be as important as Anglo’s bondholders. To well connected to fail.

    You have to hand to Ivan. He knows how to take capitalism like a real capitalist. He tells the truth that his business has failed. He obviously did not know enough about gambling. (Maybe he could have hired Sean Quinn as a consultant to impart the Mighty Quinn’s deep understand of the area ???).

    I mean Boucher, Doherty and Fingers are capitalists until things get tough, and then they reach for the inner socialist in their souls. They look for favourable government intervention. And just then, Barroso comes along like the Fairy Godmother, except in this fairy tale the three ugly sisters get the pot of gold, and Robin Hoods robs the peasantry and gives their grain to the fat lazy drunken slobs in the Castle Keep.

    Ivan Yates is telling us that capitalist failure brings capitalist consequences. But we have Fingers (such a high profile charity endorsing CEO), who is sitting on his pension pot having run INBS into the wall, and onto the taxpayers lap, and will not hand any of the loot over. And he expects the Irish Company Law to vindicate his position. In fact, he is probably correct in this regard – Irish Law, being designed as a means to provide lawyers with a living when it should have been designed in effective, and simpler terms – probably will vindicate Santa-bearded rogue….

    • coldblow

      Agree with you to a point, but presumably he is protected by limited liability and is drawing ministerial etc pensions?

  25. Deco

    Concerning the collapse of Celtic Bookmakers, does the Irish taxpayer need ownership of a gambling business ?

    I mean in Ireland the government is running just about everything. We have the Quinn Group, owned by Anglo, owned by the government. It makes industrial goods and cement. It runs hotels, and owns shops in Eastern Europe. And is in the insurance business.

    We have the NAMA hotel chain. We have NAMA commercial properties. We have NAMA residential. And we have NAMA overseas. And in NAMA overseas, we have loads of divisions, commercial, residential, etc…

    Plus CIE, the ESB, RTE, etc… competing with private sector organization and have various quasi oligopolistic arrangements to make sure that their competitors never get too big (like what happened with RyanAir).

    Maybe the success (sic) of the Irish economy is derived from the fact that the local branch of the European Liberals is running everything…

  26. Deco

    Rumour has it that somebody went into the Drumcondra outlet of Celtic bookmakers, and won a very significant sum on the horseracing….so much that the firm was bankrupted. Obviously, the bookies don’t know as much as this rogue punter who has such an amazing capacity to win money at horses…

  27. Deco

    What is most impressive about Ivan Yates, is his admission of responsibility. In essence he gets responsibility.

    Two days ago the Ditherer showed us that he is ignorant in the area of responsibility. He was in charge of a country for 10 years, and we get drivel at the end as he sneaks out to get one last swipe at the public purse before heading off to a retirement that will probably involve as much time in Malaga and lecturing other people how to run their affairs, as it will in Drumcondra.

    • Gege Le Beau

      He could hardly avoid it as it was so glaringly obvious, buck stopped with him as head of the show, business is a lot more clear cut than politics, no where to run unless you are a billionaire developer, then you own the bank or the State in the case of Ireland.

      Passed through Dublin yesterday and today, place like a ghost town, lost count of the number of shops and pubs with shutters down (middle of the day), game is up for many in the New Year, 2011 is going to be one hell of a year.

    • Pedro Nunez


  28. Good article homage to good radio.

    Never been tuned in to the herd mentality myself, but I suspect Nova people clued in, is somewhat bemused by the fact he/she looking, as they occasionally do, above the bunker, clued in as they are, can’t really make out the lie of the land.

    This makes things slightly askew and nervous.

    I suggest Nova novices pay more attention to politics and economics and study more about both.

    They should also pay more attention to technology.

    For fun I streamed a webcam onto the internet last week, the same technique can be used to stream your own radio station.

    Internet radio from around the world can now be sourced by Nova fans. Radio has much better potential than TV advertising and with the internet and podcasting its possibilities are limitless.

    Nova people are waking up to the fact that someone has pinched their wallet and future prosperity. It looks like even more damage can be done to them through the global debt crisis coming down the tracks.

    They want to know the tricks used to bring this situation upon them:) Good to know they are waking up. They know there are lions about in the long grass, but are not sure which way to bolt:)

  29. Ivan Yates – What he did in his business strategy was normal unfortunately for him the weakness of his air sign ( Libra ) took over and he ended up with what is essentially bad company and that swayed him.He listened too much to the music and could not hear the words.

    • I listened to Ivan today on News At One. Banks wanted to give him €14 ml, he only took €6m ml and ploughed it into some bad investments. High rents bled his business and are still doing so. He failed to diversify into the internet and profit as others did by the move. Discretionary spending upon which gambling is built has dried up with our economic collapse. Good to see gambling joints closing as they’ve ruined many a life. Hopefully Ivan The Terrible will find a better source for his talents.

  30. Ivan Yates – He is definately someone who has leadership qualities but he needs to toughen the edges of his jaws and use street wise thinking .

    • Julia

      I’m sorry for Ivan. I definitely couldn’t be an entrepeneur, I don’t have the bullish temperament. Imagine putting up your wife and children’s house and your mother’s house as collateral. And his soul no doubt! There used to be a joke about computers – nothing can go wrong gowrong gowrong gowrong gowrong…………………………………….

      • Julia : this event is definately a moon wobble moment its impact on the populace will be felt soon.I remember when he was a teenager in Enniscorthy during the summer months and watching him inside the cattle mart ( up the road from his home )and just talking to everyone around him.He always had charisma ‘ a chatterbox’.
        His family have been close to those earlier original entrepreneurs in the old Irish Silicon Valley in Enniscorthy in the early 19th century ie Davises ( flour ), Jamesson ( Whiskey ) , Biaconi ( radio transmission ) and others whoes empires have since emmigrated to the Americas and UK.These original industrial buildings are either in decay or falling or there is a supermarket / offices in place instead behind the old fascade.
        He has played the business game up front and with transparency unlike fingers and fitzy and other dark horses.He is a true Capitalist and our laws and banking have contributed to letting him down.
        His plight will be a reflection of how bad the reality litmus test in Ireland really is and how terrifying many many others who had dreams too have fallen very badly but are too frightened to stand up .
        He definately has leadership qualities.

  31. Davises Flour : My late mother use to be the Accountant of this company reporting to the Company Auditors in another world since long has passed by and my grandfather worked there all his working life and so too did two of my uncles .What an impact one business was on one family .We all were luckly to have lived and worked the full terms and retire and have a good living .

  32. Deco

    Gormless. What an idiot.



    And still Gormless wants empty lorries driving for three hour round trips every week of the year so that he will be able to hold on to his seat….Look Gormless you are finished anyway, the game is sussed, the people have sussed you out, you were sussed when you appeared standing shoulder to shoulder with the Ditherer, as the Ditherer announced his resignation.

    Now build the thing and get on with it. Dublin City council want. Dublin needs it. And the electricity generated would save Dublin a lot of money. Even the German greens think it is a good idea.

  33. Deco

    Interesting letters.


    The last one makes a very salient point. There is still no austerity in this country despite the IMF involvement etc.. Just look at the scale of state expenditure, including spending on items of questionable economic return.

  34. rhagan@pm81.com

    Sorry David, but the only sign of us becoming a health society again is when he stop listening to economic ‘gurus’ like yourself, when we stop wallowing in amateur economics, and start getting lives again. When I was growing up, in the Sixties and Seventies, economics was for ‘grey’ men and women. Roll on the day when we can can get back to that stage. Enough of this Nova man jibberish. You’re talent as columnist and writer is really rather limited. Try studying the Herald Tribune for some tips really

    • Tull McAdoo

      Bertie, is that you , you old rogue you, turning up on this forum still telling the economists to stop wallowing blah blah blah. No mention of the blue rope this time, not politically correct I suppose, getting to near the election to risk alienating any voters.
      You are an awfull man, you old socialist you….

    • Dorothy Jones

      You’re wrong there……

    • Gege Le Beau

      @rhagan – Think this article is one of the weaker ones and would not agree with all David McWilliams has written but his contribution to the debate in Ireland overall has been useful as has some of the material he has written (I think some of it way off, but that is ok too), I would rather have David in the game with this website that in the shadows working for an investment bank. But I urge caution, I am weary of people getting caught up in ‘glory’ (even a stopped clock is right twice a day).

      Think your comment a bit harsh, time to step out of the time-warp. Popularising economics/finance can have a positive net impact on a society, maybe so many won’t get taken-in so easily especially when it comes to purchasing a house or making other financial/life altering decisions, seems to me ignorance played a pretty big role in the disasters unfolding in a lot of people’s lives.

      I have no illusions about what is going on and what people are up to but it has to be said if people had heeded David McWilliams’ warnings in 2002-2003 they might have saved themselves a lot of trouble, he was screaming ‘FIRE’ but then the messenger is rarely appreciated. Tongue lashings like the one you have given do little but reflect a frustration that should be directed at the politicians.

  35. rhagan : keep writing what else can you tell us we all want to learn from you on this forum.

  36. Tull McAdoo

    Fianna Fail stand for nothing only self preservation and self-interest. They will do a deal with the devil himself if it means hanging on to power.
    The big question that everyone should be asking is “why, does Fianna Fail want to govern Ireland”?
    You don’t need me to remind you what they did with all the money they took in during the property/credit bubble. Squandered.
    Why were they not investing in the so called “smart economy” back then? Why leave the “smart economy” until you are bankrupt and then wheel out some document two years ago and then leave it “fucked up” on some shelf gathering dust because there is neither the money or interest in doing anything about it?
    The answer is that all their buddies are into property and they have no companies waiting to take up the “smart economy” contracts. The “smart economy” was not on the agenda in the Galway tent, but “smart asses “ were. Now they are all caught by the bollix through their own greed, and everyone has to forget that, forget history, forget who’s to blame, forget everything except ,to put your hand in your pocket to bail the fu…rs out.
    Fat chance I say. Let them burn, for they have been dancing around that fire since Don Corleone Haughey was having his ring kissed above in his pretentious little palace.
    Let me spell this out again for the thousandth time, Fianna Fail know NOTHING about ANYTHING except PROPERTY. Fianna Fail have no vision for Ireland, for if they did they would have mentioned it by now!!!
    All FF ‘s time over the last 2 ½ years has been spent putting THEIR PROPERTY EMPIRE BACK TOGETHER AGAIN.

    • You are in top form there, Tull:-)

      It’s even more important to burn FFers for the mess they’ve made and continue to make, than burn senior Anglo bondholders.

      Both need to be chucked onto the same pyre!

      FFers are spending bailout money at the same old trough as we speak.

      • Tull McAdoo

        Time to shift that Couch Potatoe Harney on aswell,and that includes her self appointed medical lobbyist husband and ex fas failure. Record numbers of people on trolleys waiting in Hospitals for treatmenT, NOTHING DONE AND EVEN LESS DONE FROM NOW ON.VOTE FIANNA FAIL, THE PUBLICANS PARTY………

  37. Deco

    Concerning the collapse of Ivan Yates’ business – absolutely no mention of the commercial rates that are being set by some local authorities, which are responsible for many business cutting down on staff. Many businesses that you go into now are employing family members only. This is costing the country thousands of jobs every year. And all to provide local authority councillors with free junkets on St. Paddy’s day, so that they can wrap the green flag around and get sozzled in the name of furthering Irelend’s interests.

    • Tull McAdoo

      Fianna Fail have decided that some gamblers will be allowed to fail, as long as they are ex Fine Gael that is, Cowen is a real comedian….huff puff puff a cure for hoarsness…

  38. Gege Le Beau

    Radio Chomsky is a sure bet as is Democracy Now.

    You won’t hear any praise for Milton Friedman – plenty of common sense and insight.


    Democracy Now

  39. coldblow


    Never heard of Nova. I’m stuck with Radio Kerry, which is crap of course, but not as bad as that bit of Highland Radio I once caught in Donegal which actually left me feeling depressed for a couple of days.

    Presumably Nova play Led Zep. Would it include songs like Since I’ve Been Loving You or would it be Stairway to Heaven (and only Stairway to Heavan)? An answer to this question would go a long way in clarifying matters.

  40. JMcKenna

    Nova man sounds like someone who will swallow the party line. I actually don’t think Nova man is worth paying any attention to. Its more like Nova man’s kids, who Nova man himself is telling to leave rather than pay for the trouble the previous generation caused.

    Anyway I wonder is the expression Nova man more of a strain to find an equivalent of decklander etc. than a meaningful grouping? Nova man could be in any one of a number of economic circumstances which will de group him fairly promptly.

  41. http://bit.ly/efso0Q

    “FORMER Fianna Fail minister Michael Woods is set to receive an annual pension of around €106,000 after he finally bowed out of politics last night.”

    Another one who treasonously sold out taxpayers. He’s the 11th to jump out with the golden parachute.

    For €128 ml, one tenth its final cost to taxpayers, Woods still defends his role in this ‘redress deal’ giveaway.


    Treasonous IMF/ECB bailout didn’t insist on a grab for these bonuses masquerading as ‘pensions’

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