February 23, 2011

Bit of something is better than all of nothing for ECB

Posted in Debt · 176 comments ·
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The way things are going, by the end of next year, the interest payment on our total debts — just the interest payments — might well be 85pc of the 2010 income tax take. Income tax in 2010 was €14.125bn and with all the bank debt we are taking on, the interest payments by the end of 2012 will be €12bn per annum.

Our welfare state will collapse under the pressure of these debt repayments and before that happens there will be massive capital flight out of the country.

Now this should focus your mind over your cornflakes as to what is the big issue in the next 48 hours. It’s not the economy, stupid as Bill Clinton said; it’s survival, stupid.

So two days to go, much of the attention is still focused on which way the election will swing. A Fine Gael government on its own, a coalition with Labour or Fianna Fail, or a Fine Gael government propped up by some genetically compatible Independents?

Whatever happens, it will become clear by Saturday night that the only important initiative will be how to renegotiate our massive debts.

And this won’t be just a nice, pleasant changing of interest rates. To put it at its most simple, the only outcome of the negotiations that will save Ireland from sovereign default will be shaving a few zeros off the end of the bank debt figure, with the ECB and the creditors taking up the slack.

We have a simple choice, either we hive off the remaining bank debt — some €22bn of unguaranteed debt — and force these creditors to take a debt for equity swap in the major banks, or we are toast.

However, that will not be enough to stave off a sovereign default, we will also need to renegotiate the €22bn of secured debt in the banks and the €34bn of the now government guaranteed bank debt. In truth this is no longer an economic issue; it is now a legal problem, because the economic and financial question has been answered — we simply can’t pay it all. Let’s have a look at the numbers. It will make you blanch.

At the end of 2010, the net national debt stood at €93.4bn, which cost us €4.8bn in interest. We then have the EU-IMF loan of €62.6bn at an interest rate of 5.8pc which is €3.625bn per annum. This equals €8.6bn in interest payments alone.

But on top of this we have all the bank debts. We have the promissory note which covers the losses at Anglo and Nationwide which amounts to another €31bn. This is money we have to pay out, even though these banks will be wound down.

There is €10.3bn of this due to be paid by the end of 2013 (adding another €500m to annual interest charges on debt, because we will be borrowing to pay them back). Then there is unguaranteed bank debt of €22bn and government-guaranteed debt of €38.4bn — another €3bn in interest payments.

This means a total in interest payments alone by the end of next year of €12.12bn. This is over 85pc of our total income tax take. We simply can’t afford this. The welfare state will collapse in the face of this type of interest payment. And well before this happens, the middle classes will have taken all their money out of the banks and squirreled it away to banks outside the country, precipitating the implosion of the financial sector. This is the pattern we have seen in other countries.

Therefore, we have to re-negotiate everything — all the bank debt, the guaranteed and unguaranteed stuff and pay very little of it back.

But how do we do it? How do we get the ECB and the creditors to play ball?

Obviously, the first way to do this is to make them aware that if they force us to pay everything, we will default and they will get nothing. So they had better get a little bit of something, than all of nothing.

To make this financial pill easier to swallow, we must take the initiative politically. We can do this via a referendum. If we the Irish people hold a referendum on the bank debts now, we can go to the EU with a mandate from the people which says NO. This will allow our politicians to play hard-ball, because to do otherwise would be an anti-democratic endgame.

Rather than deal with the ECB and its unelected functionaries, we deal with the politicians of Europe who are democrats. A referendum, which can be triggered by Article 27 of our Constitution, would be part of a process of making the banking bailout political.

Interestingly there is another avenue, which could internationalise our plight and the plight of Spanish, Portuguese and Greek citizens who are lumbered with potentially huge bank-related debts.

As a result of the renegotiation of the Lisbon Treaty, a regulation was adopted by the EU which allows for the citizens of Europe to demand by petition a change in EU legislation. The “European citizens’ initiative” enables citizens to ask the Commission to bring forward legislative proposals if the supporters of an initiative number at least one million and come from more than a quarter of member states.

A referendum in Ireland could be the beginning of this process because the only way to get an EU-wide deal, which is what we need, is to mobilise citizens around the EU. Given that together Irish, Greek, Spanish and Portuguese banks owe German and French banks over €920bn, there are plenty of other citizens who will have an interest in getting the banks to pay for what the banks have done.

Some people have criticised the idea of a referendum as being anti-European. This misses the point; in fact a people’s initiative is profoundly pro-European.

Think about it. These huge bank creditor debts — the debts incurred by German and other banks because they gambled in the peripheral states can only be paid by four sets of people or institutions.

They can be paid by (1) the ECB, (2) the bank creditors themselves — the bondholders, (3) the citizens of the peripheral countries where the banks who owe the money are located or (4) the citizens of the core countries where the banks who are owed the money are located. Now that the EU leadership has ruled out options (1) and (2), it means that only options (3) and (4) are runners.

If we force the peripheral citizens to pay the debts of the core banks, they will get angry and direct their anger at the EU. If we force the citizens of the core countries to pay for their own banks they will get angry with the EU too. Both outcomes would be bad for the EU project, so therefore only options (1) and (2) are good for the EU in the eyes of the common man.

Thus, for both economic reasons and broad political reasons, a referendum is the way to go. It is our only way out and though not a panacea, it allows us latitude in the negotiations which we need. And ask yourself, who is threatened by a referendum?


  1. Mary Jenkins

    Thanks David

    It’s over to you now.

    • mulcahy

      Agreed.

      I am surprised why people have not demanded of the canvassing politicians that to secure their vote they need to endorse a referendum, and that they need to guarantee that they will accept the peoples wishes.

      Only one party is endorsing this, SF. And, rightly or wrongly, most people are afraid to vote SF due to preconceived notions on their economic policies or links to paramilitaries. To this I say:
      (1) the Unionists have moved on and work with SF in government, why can’t people in the Republic move on, and
      (2) I would not normally align myself with SF economic policy, however as far as I am concerned there is only one economic issue in this election, in fact this is the only issue in this election, what we do with the bank debt……,renege on it. It is private debt with failed insolvent banks. Do not socialize private debt.

      Do not listen to FF scare tactics that say reneging on the bank debt and the EU/IMF bailout would mean the teachers/nurses/etc, would not get paid and the ATMs would be empty. Before we put money into the banking black hole we had enough money in the pension reserve to fund ourselves over the short term. With the banking debts removed the capital markets would have a clear picture of our fiscal situation and lend again. They stopped lending because we took on the bank debts, it was a recognition by capital markets that this was a stupid move by the government.

      Offer the bank creditors equity for their debt. If they do not want to fund the banks as a going concern then they get diluted by any injection of further funding, or the banks get wound down. Sell two of the wound down banks infrastructure to two sound international retail banks for $1 each in order that we have a functioning clearing system. We do not need an indigenous bank.

      We need to insist more forcefully that we all want a referendum. And I would go a step further, we need to consider exiting the Euro. It is not suited to a peripheral country like ours. Right now we could be doing with a hefty devaluation of the Punt!

      • Julia

        Absolutely agree.

      • Nobody here needs persuading Mulcahy. I’ve flat out told FG LAB and FF that so long as they accept the principle of the deal, they have no chance of getting by vote as that position is immoral and a line I won’t cross. At least I can say I didn’t sit on my hole and do nothing except bitch. Democracy is a contact sport, I feel I’ve done and continue to do as much as I can.

        Its sad that we are about to go off the cliff. Just a reminder for you all that it didn’t have to be this way, and it still doesn’t

        http://www.ibec.ie/IBEC/DFB.nsf/vPages/Economics_and_taxation~Ireland_as_a_place_for_business~ireland-by-the-numbers-video?OpenDocument

        • miec

          I also have to concur with this, I contacted all of the main parties and the only party who is committed openly to a referendum is Sinn Fein, I received no response from the rest. The decision is up to us if we choose to take it.

          • paddyjones

            Is that all we have to bargain with ….a referendum. I think we should all leave the country and leave it to the public service and multinationals. This country is really fucked …12 billion in interest payments by 2012. There is no hope left. we wont have a balanced budget until….ever. how are we going to repay the debts…
            150 billion to ECB
            70 billion ECB for NAMA
            94 billion national debt
            130 billion to German banks
            40 billion to French banks
            100 billion to UK banks
            65 billion to EU/IMF
            It is absolutely hopeless

          • Hey Paddy,
            Don’t be so despondent! I think you’ll find that most of those figures are not technically sovereign debt! That’s our legitimate debt and that’s the point!
            And if Brian Lenihan and Brian Cowen and their families want to pay it off – Well that’s okay by me!
            But I nor most likely you ever gave them a mandate to straddle a lumbering debt on our families shoulders! Nor did we give such a mandate to the EU or anybody else for that matter.
            A referendum gets us a new hand to play with in a game of poker that the two Brians, totally out of their depth, tried to play on behalf of our families!
            Not having a referendum is equivalent to us folding!

          • jbchalk

            Its all under the heading of “THE New World Order” Ireland is a pawn in the big game. Its end game for fiat based currencies world wide. A debt that can’t be paid wont be paid! The ECB & Fed Reserve which is a corporation of private bankers have and will roll out our new world currency and all will be saved. We in the US are already in lock down and awaiting their final solution. Most Americans don’t know it but they have already lost their Republic.

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by David McWilliams, Paul Fallon, mucky dunne, dazriot, Kieran and others. Kieran said: #IrishEconomy Just read McWilliams, certainly has focused my mind away from who will form next Government. http://bit.ly/dFZ7cw [...]

  3. Deco

    The past few years have indicated that we do not get a referendum, unless the nEU empire decides that it is either unavoidable, or necessary to further facilitate the journey towards empire building.

    Option 2 listed above is the only fair option. Option 3, and option 4, will not be discussed openly at this point in time, until after the next EU treaty -or as indicated by Sarkozy – after the amendments are made to Lisbon. (M.Martin-please note, sarkozy regards Lisbon as a self amending treaty – your cast-iron guarantees amount to nothing more than an insincere soundbite).

    The problem is that the people who will be asked to take the pain in option 2, are extremely well connected. As Jens Peter Bonde has indicated, Brussels is awash with lobbyists and commercial interests trying to “influence matters”. As Naomi Klein tells us, this is what happens when business meets the media and meets democracy. You get a shamocracy. We should know in this country – we have been living with it since CJH.

    So I propose option 5. The Harney doctrine. We tell Brussels that we are closer to Boston than Berlin. That means we understand the concept of capitalist failure. Time for the bondholders to stop using the EU as a means of getting their money back when they should have done a proper analysis of Seanie Fitz, Fingers, Boucher, Murphy and Sheehy. This is capitalism folks. The bonds are worth nothing. In future read up on due diligence before investing money in poniz schemes controlled by a state ruled by Bertie Ahern and his cronies.

    To quote Mr.T, in his role as BA Baracus – Bondholders “meet my old friend PAIN”.

    My advice to the new government – “dithering is not a strategy”. If this government is to have any realistic probability of solving it’s crisis it will have to ignore the ICTU-IBEC rule by social partnership nonsense that produces so much incompetence and ineptitude. Continually being at the disposal to both of these two “vested interests” producing dithering, and time wasting.

  4. Chicken & Egg

    Why Wait NOW …..we are unable to influence the Elections …what we need to do NOW is commence immediately the milleneum petitioning and submit it to EU.

    So what are YOU waiting for ?

  5. mully

    Most if not all readers of this article will be aware of this harsh reality coming down the line. However its unbelievable how many people in our country neither know nor care that this is the situation we face. I don’t think FG will have much success in changing our fortunes-God forbid we send poor old Enda over to bat for us against the European pirahs! Unfortunately too many people have had enough of this whole episode and are not engaging in dealing with nor even wanting to discuss the debt levels anymore. I think we’ll just bury our heads in the sand, accept the rubbish from the political parties namely FG and FF who don’t seem to know what’s going on and we’ll crawl blindly into the endgame by which time it’ll be too late to do anything.
    Another point- Where are all our highly paid civil servants/advisors and what are they doing to the rectify our current economic situation?

  6. I thought this country is full of juristic eagles and one of them would like to make a name for him-her-self; and advise us how to get about it. I mean a referendum. For free of course, it is for the survival of your country after all, their will be no one to pay for you and your pals in the future and you can prof, their might be one…. a future where even juristic eagles be paid a common wage….
    Where is this class hiding? And than who would take advice from big blue eyed Brain lenahain?

  7. Ciaran H

    Please stop using the word bailout it is a loan.
    When Charles Darwin published his book ‘the origin of the species’ in which he said we are related to monkeys, some commented ‘what if anyone should find out’. Mary Harney famously said that in relation payments to politician ‘if you pay peanuts you get monkeys’. Even when we feed the monkeys with more than peanuts, we end up with stale unused nuts. Its seems if Kenny Co hide their head in the san as he has, it we all go away and no one will know that the Irish fools who pay Gambling debts others are fucked. We will be living on potatoes, skins and all. Sticking our heads in the dirt like Kenny and Co, on positive note, it may easier to find the spuds in the dirt. What is wrong the mentality of the Irish colony of the EU that we continually lick arse, no taxation without representation.

    • BnB

      It’s a bailout alright, but only for the banks and their bondholders. It’s not “our bailout” as Enda Kenny described it a few weeks ago.

      • Ciaran H

        Bailout disadvantage;
        Instils a corporatist style of government in which businesses use the state’s power to forcibly extract money from taxpayers. I think we should give the Germans Dunlin 4 that would clear up a lot of shit it’ got to be worth at least 85 billion I would not miss it or the people that live we could have a wall around it call it the bailout wall
        The word bailout is known by most to be a helping hand therefore; the term loan is a better term.

  8. ladygee2

    I agree totally with David’s call for a referendum in which the people decide what the incoming government is going to do. I also agree that the citizens of the EU get down to signing a petition to make the faceless bureaucrats in Brussels ‘sit up and take notice!’

    As to Ireland defaulting on it’s sovereign debt the chances of that happening will get closer and closer as the year progresses unless someone with balls ‘sticks it’ to the ECB/IMF. Why should the debts of private banks be lumbered on the citizens of this country? To hell with the banks I say! Let the bloody banks go to the wall!!! There are a lot more banks in this country than Anglo-Irish, BOI and AIB!

  9. wills

    David.

    Article argues a series of points from a certain perspective, your perspective.

    The German and French banks and relevant power brokers are perceiving the *bank bailouts and stratagems* from a different perspective than the perspective you are writing on.

    Why dont you put yourself in the shoes of the interests who are calling the shots and thread their perspective from where they are playing this into your perspective and widen the discussion out a little more and see what happens !!

    • wills – that would be explosive .

    • I think that would be an interesting academic exercise to carry out. No doubt it would make a good book. I’m not sure it would help guide us on the possible solutions to our particular situation however, since the extent to which we (as in the Irish) can influence these externalities is limited, to say the least.

      The first part of dealing with any problem is admitting you have one. In my view, the efforts of our hosts and others are best directed at this particular task because it makes the practical ways in which our politicians and others can find ways out of this situation much clearer (though certainly not simpler). Its all about focus.

  10. adamabyss

    subscribe.

  11. paulmcd

    Report on the Crisis to date

    MAIN POINT TO GRASP
    Our politicians set low personal standards and then fail to achieve them.

    MAIN ACHIEVEMENT OF LAST 4 YEARS
    FF drove us to the edge of a PRECIPICE.

    LIKELY OUTCOME
    With FG certain to be the largest party we are about to make a GREAT LEAP FORWARD.

    CHANCES OF A “REFERENDUM”
    With Enda as Taoiseach, a community somewhere in Mayo will be deprived of the one village idiot on the Emerald Isle who simply does not understand the meaning of the word.

    TWO YEARS HENCE
    The economy will continue to plummet; it will hit rock bottom; Enda and Gilmore will then start digging.

  12. Deco

    [ it’s survival, stupid ].

    Yes, this is where we are now. This is how the Binge era ended, when all the nonsense was over, people trying desperatly to survive. No need for 1000 round trip pissups in Barcelona anymore or apartments in Sunny Beach. Things are more rudimentary. Before the fall came an awful lot of pride. But the point being that after all the pride came an almighty fall.

    We are not done with stupidity just yet. There is still an awful lot of it passing around as cultural currency. Since this debacle began, the cry has gone out to give stupidity another chance, again and again. And when you reach the point of survival, then you realise that it time to not give stupidity a chance anymore.

  13. BrianMc

    Agreed, it is survival.
    Is it just me, or does this (goo.gl/IDdcP & http://goo.gl/3kbxE) make it feel like this is the eve of the battle of Armageddon.

    Best Wishes,
    @BriMcS

  14. Gege Le Beau

    The incoming government is not so radical. They are still talking of putting billions into zombie banks and getting the interest rate dropped, the game has moved on as outlined above.

    Think this government will try to limp on in good right wing, neoliberal fashion and busy itself with the detail of government, time will run out and they along with what is left of the Republic be floored by external debt, then societal implosion begins, hence the capital flight now, those who have money to get out and can do so see the writing on the wall.

    Failed State.

  15. btec.bob

    I feel as if I am in the back seat of a car hurtling at a wall. I don’t know how to drive but I know we should adjust course. I tell the driver repeatedly that I don’t want to hit the wall and to simply turn the steering wheel, I am unsure if he is listening. I feel apathy setting in and I think that even if the driver does turn and avoids this wall that we still have a long way to go with many walls and he is still drunk.

    While I agree that changing the driver will help I am concerned that the pool of drivers we have to pick from have all been drinking at the same bar.

  16. Brollachain

    @David
    BEfore you lead us up a garden path with your casual call for a referendum based on Article 27, you should at least look at what that Article says – starting with the first clause

    “Article 27
    This Article applies to any Bill, other than a Bill expressed to be a Bill containing a proposal for the amendment of this Constitution, which shall have been deemed, by virtue of Article 23 hereof, to have been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas.
    1. A majority of the members of Seanad Éireann and not less than one-third of the members of Dáil Éireann may by a joint petition addressed to the President by them under this Article request the President to decline to sign and promulgate as a law any Bill to which this article applies on the ground that the Bill contains a proposal of such national importance that the will of the people thereon ought to be ascertained…..”

    This refers to Article 23, the first clause of which reads as follows
    “Article 23
    1. This Article applies to every Bill passed by Dáil Éireann and sent to Seanad Éireann other than a Money Bill or a Bill the time for the consideration of which by Seanad Éireann shall have been abridged under Article 24 of this Constitution.”
    http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/attached_files/Pdf%20files/Constitution%20of%20Ireland.pdf

    So, Article 27 cannot apply to a Money Bill, Article 22.1 defines as follows
    “Article 22
    1. 1° A Money Bill means a Bill which contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the following matters, namely, the imposition, repeal, remission, alteration or regulation of taxation; the imposition for the payment of debt or other financial purposes of charges on public moneys or the variation or repeal of any such charges; supply; the appropriation, receipt, custody, issue or audit of accounts of public money; the raising or guarantee of any loan or the repayment thereof; matters subordinate and incidental to these matters or any of them.”

    I may have missed something.
    Perhaps you would let us know what your lawyers friends think of the likelihood that your proposal will actually get any legal traction – within the existing constitution.

    As regards those who call for an EU citizens initiative, this needs to carefully considered, given the basis on which has been implemented in accordance with the Lisbon Treaty
    “Once the legislation is in place, a “citizens’ committee” consisting of people from at least one fourth of the Member States (i.e. currently seven States) will be able to register an initiative with the Commission. After the Commission has made an initial admissibility check, they can start collecting signatures either on paper or online.

    The required million signatures must be collected within 12 months. A minimum number of signatures needs to be gathered in each Member State for them to count towards the seven mentioned above, ranging from 3750 signatures in Malta to 74,250 in Germany.

    Member States will verify the signatories’ details. For this purpose, each State will decide which information is needed and most will require an ID card number. All signatories must be citizens of the European Union and old enough to vote in European elections.

    At the end of the process, the Commission will decide within three months if a new law can be proposed, and it will have to make its reasons public.”
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/public/focus_page/008-106348-001-01-01-901-20101203FCS06328-01-01-2006-2006/default_p001c011_en.htm

    Personally, I favour getting Swiss-style citizens intitiative into our Constitution, as a means of counterbalancing the inertia of the incumbents and the comfort of the governing classes…
    “# Frequent referendums on minor changes to the federal or cantonal constitutions, new or changed laws, budgets etc,
    - referendums on constitutional changes are mandatory
    - referendums on laws are “facultative” (only if 50,000 citizens, i.e. roughly 1.2% of the electorate, demand for it)
    Learn more about Referendums in Switzerland

    # Corresponding rules apply for referendums on cantonal and communal level. While referendums concerning budgets are not possible on federal level they are common on communal level. It depends on the 26 cantonal constitutions whether they are mandatory, facultative or possible at all.
    The number of citizens that may demand for a cantonal or communal referendum depends on the size of the corresponding electorate, as a rule of thumb, about 1% are usual.”
    http://direct-democracy.geschichte-schweiz.ch/
    Note that even in Switzerland, referendums concerning budgets are not possible at federal level.

    FYI, in 1996 I proposed a Swiss style citizens’ initiative in a submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution. See p. 27-30 and 88ff here http://www.2nd-republic.ie/files/1.pdf

    I did not exclude Money Bills or budgetary measures.

    While recognising David’s experience as an economist, I do believe that there are lots of things we can to do change our way of governing ourselves – within the terms of the EU-ECB-IMF agreements. In fact, I would go so far as to suggest that we must do those things, if we are to have any credibility that we can manage ourselves approppriately after the excesses of the past 10 years – excessive spending and guaranteeing.

    We now need to design, implement and use a series of checks and balances to limit the scope for excess by the powerful, whether they be public or private, elected or appointed in order to ;
    · ensure competence and moderation in government
    and
    · overcome inertia at government level, both national and local;
    so that our constitution is a framework for a free government that limits, restrains and allows for the
    exercise of political power, which we as citizens of a Republic own.
    We need to ensure that our way of governing ourselves has both
    · the means to be successful for the common good with increased democratic accountability
    and
    · the capacity and of adapting to the changes that constantly descend upon it.

    We citizens need to ensure that the state’s decision making-processes are structured and
    disciplined. We need to copper fasten new ways of governing ourselves to avoid the kind of
    muddling through, inertia lack of foresight, and reversal that mark previous efforts at
    reform.

    To ensure this, I am firmly convinced that we need to embed both
    · Swedish style Freedom of Information
    and
    · Swiss style direct democracy
    into our constitution.

    However, these steps will take longer to research, consider and implement.

    For expediency we must take those steps which we can, just to get us started on political and institutional reform. Only thus can our skills and energies open the paths to sustainable standards of living and greater justice for all who wish to live and work here.
    If anyone has read this far and want some detail on what I consider the steps we can take, without constitutional change, I refer to my contribution to the Dublin City Business Assocation (DCBA) 10 point manifesto on p. 56ff here http://www.dcba.ie/static/doclib/Towards_a_Second_Republic.pdf
    i

  17. Figures above are understated, according to
    Namawinelake total exposure of the state is close to €400 bn read especially comments here:

    http://bit.ly/hpvnlr

    There is no need for a referendum right now. Our politicians are playing blind man’s buff as they try to catch the debt elephant blindfolded. They’ve blindfolded the electorate. It’s unlikely information/education re the continuing banking crisis will reach the majority of politicians, never mind the electorate.

    But the debt will have to be dealt with and during negotiations it will be put shockingly onto the table.

    Some deal response will have to be done.

    At this point, because of the seriousness of the choices involved, we should have a referendum. The electorate should be fully informed.

    The questions on the ballot paper should include questions similar to, ‘Do you accept the terms on offer?’, ‘Do you reject the terms on offer’, ‘Do you support a departure from the EZ’, ‘Do you support return to a new PuntNUA currency’, ‘Do you support joining a sterling backed monetary zone?’, Do you support declaration of bankruptcy of too big to save Irish banks and repudiation of their losses by citizens?

    Its possible Glass Steagall Basil 111 Reforms and a bailout for Ireland with support from an insurance fund/bank levy, restructuring and debt for equity swaps, may be on the cards and Pigs will Fly, but this is not likely.

    Added benefit of the above approach is the ECB will be forced to put a better deal on the table if they know it must persuade our electorate and not just gombeen politicians like Lenihan, read Michael Lewis here: http://bit.ly/elX9rm

    We did reject on 13 June 2008 the Lisbon Treaty by a margin of 10%.

  18. btec.bob

    Our politicians are outclassed and outmatched in these financial negotiations. When they get good professional advice which is in the interest of Ireland they ignore it. If they get asked to account they claim ignorance and point fingers.

    Further more remember the promises that are made by these politicians are trade-able for the alliances that the parties will need to make to form a government. All the time washing down their commitment and accountability to the Irish people.

    If we get a chance at a referendum I will vote “No” to taking on these debts and if asked again (as our euro controlled government like to do) I will still say “No”. It is our money! Any the huffing and puffing from Europe is frankly just noise. It does not make it our responsibility to repay the big boys gambling debts no matter how much they shout.

  19. george

    David brilliant exposition of the economic reality, and the horrible social consequences of it.

    So are we going to allow ourselves to be pushed to the edge of the cliff by the “already elected government” of the elite and the banks?
    Are we going to allow them to treat us as fools, and do nothing about it?
    Or are we going to rock the boat?

    I’m not telling anyone what to do, but I’m going to vote for Sinn Feín, because among other things, it’s the only political party that have promised to have a referendum in the lines of what you’ve proposed.

    If you know that the powerful and greedy are going to put the last nail on the coffin, in which you are still alive and breading, you won’t have much time for lucubration, you have to act quickly and decisively, or you go down into the hole and you’ll be confine to history.

    The French weren’t blasé when they had their revolution from which the concept of “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité were born. Thankfully we don’t even have to kill a fly, metaphorically speaking only few “fat cats”.
    So who other than Sinn Feín is offering us a lifeline here?

    • george

      sorry breathing!!!

      • juliehogan

        poor george! keep breathing anyway! i know the most frustrating thing is the fact we re led to believe fine gael have it won. hope that sinn fein wouldnt be too extremist and lefty. . they sometimes come across as a bit pit bullish. now a coalition with labour would soften it a bit but eamon would still have the sincerity to want to challenge the current situation. . i think anyway..

    • Deco

      The French Revolution was a load of bullshit.
      It started 25 years of legalized murder, conflict, theft, criminality, invasion, ‘aggrandizement’, and imperialism. Some of the rich suffered, but as many profitted from the entire episode. It was a complete sham.

      By 1815 the world from Egypt to Portugal to Moscow had seen enough of it.

      It has been one of the the most overglamourized scams in history. Behind all the beautiful rhetoric was a system that rewarded deceit, fraud and meglamania.

      And it did nothing for the liberty of the French, only giving them equality only under six foot of clay, and engaged in vicious wars that showed that fraternity meant you did as the French regime instructed.

      • george

        But also remember that not so long time ago we were monkeys. And still underneath our fancy dresses, customs, and gadgets, we have some hair left, that associate us to nature and universal laws, that gives us very little options when the greed of some compromise the needs of others. I wish God would have being more kind and clever, but within limited and imperfect solutions we have to choose.

        In Hamlet, Shakespeare ask us two fundamental questions. “To be or not to be?” and after it he ask “Whether it is nobler in the mind of men to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them?”

        In my view “fancy talk is over”, and within limited solutions, we have do to something about it. And the least we can do tomorrow is to “rock the boat” otherwise we’ll end as “food for the sharks”.

  20. wills

    David.

    Lets think about this.

    Here’s the rub.

    What if.

    Lets consider *what if* on the following.

    What if the 1 Trillion UK, French and German big boy banks is built on the derivatives wall street pyramid currency hokey pokery.

    What if the big boy banks exploded lending because they know something us outsiders dont.

    What if the Euo big boy banks know that the dollar is on the way out.

    What if its the case that the USA own huge oil lakes and decided to keep it a secret.

    What if the USA decided to do a deal with the Arabs back in the 60′s.

    What if the USA agreed to give the Arabs the know how and capital to suck the oil in the middle east out of the ground.

    What if the deal involved the Arabs agreeing to buy USA debt when the USA bought the oil.

    What if the USA then milked the arrangement in the full knowledge that the USA owned massive oil fields but decided to keep them capped until the dollar arrangement with the Arabs was bled bone dry.

    What if this arrangement now with the Arabs is on its last legs and the USA are now crashing and burning the dollar in order to pave the way for a new currency and the uncapping of their secret oil fields. Thereby opening the floodgates for the wild lending of Euros that the banks in ireland tapped in on.

    What if the Arab dictators are au fait with this knowledge and are now freaking out over their uncertain future with mountains of paper dollar s the USA are now crashing and burning up in smoke.

    Think about that for a few mins and then ponder the gameplay the Euro big banks are playing off on the rest of us.

    • btec.bob

      but when you boil it down isn’t it simply “No”?

      I won’t pay the gamblers debt regardless as to who they are.

      • wills

        Yes tis true.

        But also,

        One has no choice but to find out the real story in order to be able to make demands which carry power and weight and game changing.

        • btec.bob

          I worry that the disillusioned Irish switch off when we add the detail. One person one vote, I think we need to ensure that the message is simple and clear to ensure that the people do come out to vote/speak/shout/protest.

          What is been done to the Irish People is wrong on every level, simply say “NO”

          No – to paying others debts
          No – to making the country be hard-insolvent
          No – to giving away our resources
          No – to the fire sale
          No – to chronysim
          No – to things that are not fully disclosed

        • You are alleging that maybe you are the 7th Wise Man of Hindstan !

    • Bingo!
      Someone is awake to the fact that we are controlled by Petro Dictators.

  21. idij

    Aw look, if we get a referendum on this, which is unlikely, the question will be a fudge with no satisfactory right answer.

    I’d love to believe that FG actually care about democracy, but they don’t really, no more than FF did when setting up NAMA, approving and extending the bank guarantee and negotiating the IMF deal, and paying off some unguaranteed creditors in full a few weeks before an election. Even our so called president doesn’t think these things are important enough that we should be bothering our sweet little heads worring about them, certainly not that they are of such national importance that our will ought to be ascertained.

    What you will hear from the next government anytime they push through some piece of stupidity is that they already have a mandate from the electorate because the general election was fought on those exact issues.

    • Philip

      No one of the major parties care about democracy above and beyond it delivering them to power. But is it any different elsewhere?

      That said, this issue will grow inexorably. It cannot be ignored – no need to worry about what anyone says.

  22. Philip

    I have been looking at the FG performance, it lacks media bling and imagination. I am encouraged by the general lack of belief by the media in Mr Kenny. The media for all its worth has played its part in delivering us into this mess. FG may be the counter-intuitive solution needed. A party of boring, grey headed reliables.

    Now, whether we like it or not, telling the EU where to go is not an option. The Ponzi scheme has hit the world and we need to plug into the right place to make sure we lessen its effects. Unilateralism in any form is not an option. We need to understand an awkward situation where Germany or France becomes anti-European because of our selfish referendum being taken seriously.

    FG and its backers have a lot to loose. Screw this up an we’ll have version of Egypt in 12 months…guaranteed.

    • btec.bob

      I actually agree. Play nice to get what we want (fairness)is a far better strategy than to simply saying “No”. If we say “No” outright we back the European Powers in to a corner and that is not in our interest.

      However non of our parties bar SF have been clear in letting us know that they get it. It is not our debt. We are simply the first in a line of casualties that are due to a mismanaged EU who was drunk on its own self importance. SF have the luxury of knowing that they won’ be in charge in the next government so they will not have to follow through on their promises. They can set them selves up with a bag full of stones to throw at whomever is in charge. Non of this gives us the Irish people any comfort.

      It is asking a lot to trust our political system who have failed us so badly, so often and with such dire consequences.

    • Harper66

      Philip,

      Just been trying to cut through the mid management newspeak in your post.

      From what I can gather you’re equating the insolvency of our country as an “awkward situation”..and the refusal of the majority of people in Ireland to take on private banking debt as selfish….you also seem to be suggesting we plug something into the right place…might said item requiring plugging in be the fan which the shit is about to hit?….and it will be a lot sooner than 12 months with or without the grey haired reliables.

      I must admit at the start of this year I felt a little optimistic….I was under the impression a group of economists would enter into coalition with FG. I thought the independents would keep FG in line I was even willing to over look some troubling facts such as the party demanding Public sector reform contained the man who negotiated the consultants contracts Dr. J Reilly….now that’s counter intuitive.

      The entire election campaign has been spoof and spin without any debate on the important issues. I spoke to a friend of mine today who is struggling to keep his business going..he described to me in detail just how dire things are..there is no more money left to run a business and so the trickle down will gather pace…and still the game of politics trundles on disconnected from what is happening right outside the press conferences…Phil Hogan says he is not in a position to take a pay cut due to personal reasons….perhaps your right don’t rock the boat and maybe it will all go away…

      God forbid the Germans or French become anti-European if that were to happen they might have to pay back their own banks losses.

      • Well said Harper!
        Bye the way.
        Is it just me or is Dr. J Reilly actually Brendan Grace?

        • Harper66

          I think he is a part of the holy trinity – Brendan Grace, Dr. J Reilly and Eoin “Bomber” Liston.

          • Colin

            Brilliant. And did you see him do an impression of a pirate when listening to Vincent’s question? Arhhh me mateys, shiver me timbers!

      • Philip

        The Germans, French and the rest of us are in the same boat. All are insolvent. Saying we are different only polarises and you eliminate your ability to negotiate. We are 4 million in a group of 400Millions. That’s what you have to plug into. You do not give it the 2 fingers.

        France and Germany are made up of ordinary voters who are like us with blinkered views of us versus the rest of them and the politicians sway accordingly. Our referendum based NO would be leveraged by the vested interests to turn EU against us via the media and our example of what happens to ireland would be used to keep the rest of EU in check.

        Rocking the boat is not an option for a mouse.

        • Harper66

          Philip,

          You are describing a situation where if we do not toe the line then Europe they will crush us…is that the case?

          You are of course ignoring the fact that so far,as savage as things have been,the average person has been protected from the full brunt of this Irish and European collapse. This is the year when we will no longer be spared…interest rate rises, mortagage default, evictions, the final death throws of the economy as it shudders to a halt.

          There is no more money to pay the taxes that are required to finance this economic lunacy.We are past the Rubicon what we are seeing now is the result of decisions taken in 08, 09 slowly working their way through the system.

          yet you are advocating doing nothing…and maintaing the charade.

          No one is suggesting rocking the boat or giving two fingers what I am suggesting is we give the truth – there is nothing left to pay you with and it is not legitmate sovereign debt…..

  23. persilschein

    Right, this is the LINK TO THE EU PETITIONS:
    https://www.secure.europarl.europa.eu/parliament/public/petition/secured/submit.do?language=EN

    I’ve signed other petitions on PETITIONONLINE.COM .

    I’ve done that in capitals as there’s no font options here, which is reputable and much easier than the EU format, I think.

    Do we have enough handwringing now? Let go of the keening until we are economically dead. The wording of the petition would be important.

  24. They can’t see it!
    They won’t see it!
    When it happens they’ll claim it was a complete surprise to them.
    It will be because of outside extenuating circumstances beyond their control!
    They’ll sell Wicklow or lick whatever arse they have to in order to protect their own families interests!

    They will be the last to suffer if indeed suffer they ever will.
    When you’re in their position and you try to understand you’re like a man trying to relate to a woman giving birth. (It must hurt huh?)
    Or a reflective Parish priest once wondering what it’s like to have to pay an ESB Bill? –

    My point is simple – the mainstream party politician cannot help us now because they can no longer relate to us.
    Whatsmore they’ve proven it!
    Which one of them is angry?
    Seriously think about it? On the edge of the precipice caused by dishonesty, deception and ineptitude. Which one is truly angry?
    Which one mentions with appropriate urgency the promise to bring these criminals to justice?
    Which one offers openness and transparency about AIG or NAMA?
    Which one of the retirees are openly ashamed and seriously apologetic or indeed feel any real responsibility?
    As George Lee said about Enda – “He’s a very nice man!” And I’m sure he and a lot of them are.
    But what we need most today is passionate leadership – and that normally doesn’t come in the form of a Schoolteacher. (No disrespect to Schoolteachers but historically leaders of men they tend not to be)
    And that’s what we’re attracting!
    I’m sorry but I think that catastrophy is the only thing that will change our ways. How we ever thought schoolteachers were going to lead us to fiscal discipline and commercial success is beyond me. Especially when they come from a cream pensioned three months summer off culture.
    If I was a politician I’d be subscribing to sites like this?
    If I were at the same time an honourable man I would probably post a comment on how truly sorry I was that I watched my party lead us to doom or as an opposition TD I stood idly by. And even if I did this anonymously on the site you’d probably recognise me in real life because not only would I give the impression that I truly give a fuck but I’d also be the one that you’d spot and say to yourself – “Now that fella get’s it!” Or
    - “He shares our anger, our frustration, our pain!”

    And when I spot one like this running in my constituency – he/she will get my vote!

    Alas I can’t see us getting a referendum unless Enda’s boys eventually conclude (probably too late) that there’s no other way!
    If I’m wrong I’ll be very happy!

    • Paul

      – Enda and Noonan are both National Teachers this to me is like the Class Room Taliban Economics taking control and both are Taureans which again means each are gendered seperately as in Dame Enda and Fagan .

      So the two top men in the new government are essentially Siamese joined by the horns ( bulls ) .

      PS Poor Meehall is also a teacher but with a cancerian ( water ) touch so watch him crying his heart out in oposition ( think of The Devil Wears Prada – Myrill Streep )

      • Colin

        Look where a solicitor and previous to that, an ahem accountant lead us to! Look at the spoofery of a barrister in charge of the nation’s coffers. Have you forgotten McCreevy, an esteemed member of the Chartered Accountants.

        The country needs someone who is not afraid of taking advice from people like Mathews, Ross and Sommerville in Government and people like David outside government. Ideally, the country should be run by Engineers, but for some reason which I don’t understand, this group is apolitical.

      • Would you believe Saddam Hossein was also a Taurean now try to imagine we have two of them ruling us after the elections and three when you include Eamon Gilmore .It begs to ask ….Why are there three Saddam Hoseins ruling the country …that brings me to ask …where is comical Alli?

        • The Apocalypse of The Three Dark Men

          Today we Vote and we know some things will happen and more we dont .

          After today we will stand behind a great wall made up of three masons who will fortify their rule upon us .Part of that wall will be ‘falla luimnigh’ ie walls of limerick and we will be encased inside ; and

          Watch the emergence of ‘Uniforms’ and ‘Insignias’ ie medals of honour .This will take the appearance of a revamped Civil Defense and local civic groups employing they unemployed youth to chastise those that are unsocial and to replace private workers with their new ethos ; and

          Local Logic will be restored and local iniatives will commence to build up community presence ; and

          Subsistence farming will flourish to supplement loss of previously earned income ; and

          New Propaganda will emerge with a new sense of authority and a new book of values published ; and

          Sports Track Suit Clothes and Hoodies will be prohibited to be worn in public places unless for a valid reason ; and

          New local employment will be created for many especially the youth and payment will be in stippends and coupons ; and

          The Western Corridor will emerge as a priority and speed ahead with rail and road transports and coastal research intensified ; and

          Shannon will emerge from the doldrums and Cork will wane ; and

          Fisheries will be enhanced as part of the renogiations with EU ; and

          Watch Limerick Watch Limerick Watch Limerick ; and

          Cork will remain a periferal capital in the periferals ; and

          Watch the emergence of the Credit Union whereby they will deliver to their customers two seperated local currencies ; and

          Tax Laws and Corporate Laws and Financial Laws will be Enforced vigorously ; and

          Watch the emergence of a revamped new tax zones ( behind the walls );

          Watch the Shannon River .

          It will be a new era of authority and enforcement and submission and we will need to learn the old art of genuflecting but this time to the local comrade officer who will be seen as the new benevolent .

  25. Thomas Cooke

    A number of quotes come to mind as it seems the general population have been mesmerised by the election. Karl Marx said “religion is the opiate of the people” I wonder if it is true to say that an election in Ireland is crack cocaine for the masses? But then it was Adolph Hitler who said ” By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell – and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed.” that my friends is exactly where we are now in Ireland today. Most people are prepared to believe in the myth propogated by FF FG etc

  26. BnB

    I’d be happy to sign a petition for a referendum but I’m not too confident that it would get much support from the rest of the Irish population.

    Ireland already has a referendum on the EU/IMF loan this week anyway (general elections are supposed to be a chance to vote on important national issues, aren’t they?). But if the opinion polls are in any way accurate, around three quarters of voters will choose parties that offer little or no change to the deal. So I’m afraid that we’ll just have to watch the next government take over where the one before it left off.

    The only question is how long the FF/G continues before the whole system collapses. I don’t often agree with Vincent Browne but what he said in this week’s SBP could turn out to be true:
    “This election is not historic, aside from the devastation set to be visited upon Fianna Fáil.
    The next election will be the big one. That may see the destruction of the other establishment parties as well”.

    • BnB

      Another SBP commentator that I rarely agree with is Tom McGurk, but he sums up the current political system perfectly:
      http://www.thepost.ie/commentandanalysis/the-old-party-game-in-which-were-the-losers-54613.html

      • I apologise for my ramble above – Tom McGuirk has said it again but far more eloquently than I.
        I think when you read the article not only will you find it impossible to disagree with his points but you’ll also realise there ain’t no referendum coming!

        Irish Politicians are somewhat like Egyptian Salmon –

        In de nile!

        • No need to apoligise there Paul because your points are true. The is a complete disconnect between politicians and ordinary people in Ireland

          Everyone is still pretending all will be ok but give it another year or two and this government will collapse like FF did

          It is the same old belief system spouting the same old nonsense and when they threaten the existence of the welfare state then they will become politically toxic very quickly. This is why the next election will be the big one and where there could be a massive swing to the left

          I find it hard to believe that this country is still so right wing and that people can’t see that it was free wheeling right wing economic policies that created this mess

          The sooner this country turns away from the right the saner it will become. Some people think this a battle for survival between the banks and the welfare state and they are right

          The polls are telling me that most of the Irish people have still to reach this conclusion and that they have no intention of ever doing so. Sad.

  27. johnm

    the Australian perspective on Ireland.

    foreign correspndent is an australian version of panorama …

    here is a link to the show on this week , a 20 minute section about Ireland .

    in a press conference,20.39 into the show…watch as brian lenihan answers a question about families being wrenched apart….makes my blood boil…then talking about the construction boom in which he and his party leader take full responsibility for it…..is this the first time they have admitted this ??

    http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/

    you will have to cut and paste as links are not showing up.

    also here is an article from last weekends the age about the possibility of default…

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/greece-and-ireland-likely-to-default-on-sovereign-debts-or-face-recession/story-e6frg8zx-1226008409318

    • Harper66

      John,
      interesting links, thanks.
      agreed RE; Lenny in the press conference – how easily he brushes aside the pain of so many people….

    • Deco

      Johnm
      -thanks for that first link. It is the type of documentary that you never get from RTE.

      A lot of people are leaving – and it is the highly productive, driven enthusiastic people who are going. The Cowens, Kennylites and Gilmores of this world are staying put, because they will get a comfortable life, and have it already sown up, having extracted loads of money in exchange for pretence and mediocrity. The David Beggs, Jack O’Connors, Turlogh O’Sullivans, and Danny McCoys of this world are still in power, making sure that they get what they want.

      The two stories are extremely sad.

      I guess that people’s attitude to money will have completely changed before we get out of this. No more of the squandering Irish as we seen in the era of the Ditherer. We were given signals along the way that all was not well. Keane told us all was not well with authority in Ireland, in the Saipan Incident. Eddie Hobbs told us in “RipOff Republic”. David told us it also. But everyday for over a decade the news service both public owned and privately owned beamed out optimistic nonsense, and cheered on the lemming crowds.

      And now, “it is about survival stupid”.

      David McW is in the documentary too. He correctly points out that we have a “Golf-ocracy” in this country. For some peculiar reason, the elite all seem to meet each other in the golf club. Drury’s Glen, the K-Club, Portmarnock, etc… Shane Ross as much as told us in “the bankers”.

      Lastly, I watched Lenno, and I realised he is a clueless buffoon. No sense of shame.

      First step begins tomorrow, with the ballot paper. Independents to shake it up. The party machine is there to lie and misrule. Shane Ross, Paul Sommerville, and Luke Flanagan will probably get in, despite the way RTE have bombarded you with party clowns, and ignored these candidates. The are anti-establishment candidates with an ethos that the individual is fed up with institutional incompetence. they reflect the fact that the institutional left have their snouts in the trough post CJH. Donnelly, McGuirk and a few others are outlying possibilities. And as usual, rural constituencies along the West coast are liable to throw up unexpected surprises that those iholding power in the state institutional complex simply cannot comprehend.

      The greatest nightmare of IBEC and ICTU is that the balance of power is held by a group of independents who adopt Shane Ross as their spokesperson on economic and state institution related issues, who will basically make an issue out of accountability with respect to what is going on in the institutions of state. It would be the complete reverse of the Bertie Ahern era. It would be the complete antithesis of the Ahern stitch-up that is officially called “social partnership”.

    • imithe

      Hi John. I watched this programme on ABC last week. What struck me most about the show was not the sadness of the stories but the incredible scenery filmed by the show’s cameramen. Probably having been out of the country for so long, I’d forgotten how beautiful the place is.

  28. Burdenedbydebt

    I just created an on line petition for a referendum, Please sign it and pass it onto others that you know, put it on your facebook page, put it on twitter or on good ole email We need to put pressure on the incoming government and give them the cards they need to sit at the poker table. I don’t have any political allegiances, just an ordinary citizen as you can see by my username. http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/referendumbankirl

    Thanks

  29. juliehogan

    ok.. its big and its a disaster. so why are we still being brainwashed into believing that the ‘tongue twister twins’ kenny and noonan will be the people to get us through it? the only people with the intelligence guts and passion for change, the only people open to challenging this bailout agreement is labour. the rest of them are bursting at the seams for their term of glory but they really dont have the guts or brains for it.. i really hope ireland has learned enough not to get sucked in by spin again.. heres hoping eh?

  30. Ciaran H

    stop caling this loaqn a bailout

  31. Ciaran H

    It’s a loan not a Bailout It’s a loan

    • idij

      Just on the term itself, a bailout is frequently a loan.

      I agree however that it is not for our benefit, and is in fact contrary to our benefit.

      • Ciaran H

        Bailout disadvantage;
        Instils a corporatist style of government in which businesses use the state’s power to forcibly extract money from taxpayers. I think we should give the Germans Dunlin 4 that would clear up a lot of shit it’ got to be worth at least 85 billion I would not miss it or the people that live we could have a wall around it call it the bailout wall
        The word bailout is known by most to be a helping hand therefore; the term loan is a better

        • haha you made me laugh there.
          Sell D4? Why I never even thought about it until now.
          So radical. I like it

          • Ciaran H

            Yes, we could have checkpoint Charlie
            Well Dave McWilliams wanted to sell Achill I like Achill it is sound it has a use I miss it I certainly would not miss D4 and its people. I think quickest fix for the debt is to give sanctuary to all the autocratic leader such as Mubarak has 70billion Gaddafi well I sure he has lot those two together would clear our debts and hell if we need a president we have one to spare

        • Deco

          +1000%.
          Excellent idea.
          They can have the Banks, the Circus Maximumus Minimumus complex that was built with 400 Million Euro PAYE money courtesy of Johnny Cash, RTE and John Gormless.

          And we can throw in the most expensive part of NAMA, including houses owned by Johnny Ronan, and Swiss Cheese.

    • If its not a biscuit its a bar

      We should stop kiti katying our sovereign financial burdens .

  32. milking the system

    Gormley recon’s you sold them the Emf deal now’s your chance to sell the Emf and Brussels something too, and here it is, In the interest of biodiversity Ireland should take the same stance as Australia, that is, Ireland lending itself by nature of being an Island can be the balance in seed product, and animal stock for Europe, with organic and livestock embargos, the country would swing the GDP ratio to produce the 6% growth cherry’ and all the EU would be losing would be a few flowers from Amsterdam and about half the total food consumption of a city like Manchester, not much of a gamble to be sure the country could meet its repayments, and considering they already have most of our fish, it would be no big deal. The double bonus pay back would come when some disease or bug contaminated the European stock, Ireland being GM free and with indigenous seed stock would have the capacity to restock the food chain, and we would provide this service, for a little fee, seen as it would require the purifying of our water table from the contaminations attributed to our failed industries, think of 200 containers heading for the docks each day, and factor in the 200 not coming in, and the result is economic security, and who thought we could be saved by the humble spud ,

    THANK’S

  33. Reality Check

    “The twist is to take all government assets and put them initially into one large corporation to facilitate distributing 70% of the shares, pro rata, to every citizen now living, 15% in trust for the next generation to be born over the next 21 years, 10% for the folks who allow it to happen, and 5% to be sold in the world’s capital markets.”

    http://irishlibertyforum.org/researched-articles/104-applying-doug-caseys-reasoning-to-ireland.html

  34. Thomas Cooke

    When you discuss Davids position with election candidates in private a surprising number agree that we can’t afford the cost of the bank debt on top of the national debt. There is a move towards candidates who express this view in public. Unfortunately there isn’t enough such candidates in the field or likely to be elected to make a difference in the inevitable outcome unless FG are within a few seats of an overall majority and the majority can be reached with a few new vision candidates. More likely though that they will wrap the Lab comfort blanket around them for protection. It’s very important that no matter what the outcome of the election we need a strong movement like this to drive the elected and unelected government to higher standards of performance. Thanks David for having the guts to stand up to the system and pointing out that indeed the Emperor has no clothes!

  35. Harold Plinth

    David, I consistently agree with your analyses, assessments and recommendations. Clearly nobody in any of the parties that will be able to form government are with us.

    Perhaps it’s time to turn the spotlight (laser beam) on what will happen given the predictable circumstances after the election. As it is clear that none of your sound suggestions will be implemented, what will the next 6, 12 and 24 months hold for our beleaguered island? How will the inevitable come to pass? What hopeless half-measures will the major parties take to attempt to stop the Titanic inevitability. What lies, misrepresentations and treasons shall we be alert to? How can any one of us claw a measure of survival from their disaster?

    I agree with your assessments David. You have been spot on all the way. If nobody will listen to you/us then we are not influencing the outcome. What then will be the result with which we must cope, and how can we best go about surviving when the major parties all wish us ruined? This might be referred to as the realists assessment and reaction. Best wishes.

  36. Harold Plinth

    I found this a very thoughtful video concerning state collapse.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrz5ucQACo8&feature=player_embedded

    The speaker, Dmitry Orlov, titled this Peak Oil Lessons From The Soviet Union, however the parallels are strong and refer to what communities might do following the collapse of the state. The causes are not particularly relevant, but the result and reactions are. Harold

  37. Jargon

    David,
    you talk so much sense, you get us all optimistic about the the opportunity of deciding our own future and then you go on 2 of the most watched political shows ( the eleventh hour and Vincent Browne) and say next to nothing about a referendum. You had a chance to reach the wider public and bottled it.
    Very dissapointed.

  38. george

    A transcendental question from Shakespeare, and a very simple one from me.

    “Whether it is nobler in the mind of men to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them?”

    Are you tomorrow ready to “rock the boat”, or are you going to give yours to the “already elected government” of the Banks and the Elite?

    • george – its better to think for he that shoots the arrows and causes the outragious fortune will die in his pool of madness .To think is more noble and to be more noble is to listen to your own pulse for you dont know the hour you have left.

      • george

        John: 200.000 people already left, and 200.000 ready to go. We already can be taking of a re-election!
        No wonder there are so many Irish rebels abroad and so few at home.

        • We can always have many elections for it tests the mind to think and if 200,000 leave and do not vote then they can come back when they want to vote .To love your country first you must leave and find out where you really are. Wait till more leave for they will come back with new ideas and a new beginning.It is only when the box is empty that the desire changes to want to fill it again.

          • george

            I would hate to think that most of the Irish rebels will stay abroad. And over here we rather talk about “myths and legends”, than deal with harsh realities by not confronting it.
            Isn’t that what some people call an Irish solution to an Irish problem?

          • Maybe but there is a choice .We have a greater caoacity for Endurance than most.

  39. Bit of something is better than all of nothing for ECB

    This is the above caption .It reads like ‘the sum of the parts is greater than the sum of the whole’ eg a farmer with three seperate located small fields will get more money whe sells them than the farmer who sells the field with the same total acres because there are more farmers interested in the smaller fields than the single lot and that increases the price for the smaller lots.

  40. [...] David McWilliams – Bit of something is better than all of nothing for ECB: The way things are going, by the end of next year, the interest payment on our total debts – [...]

  41. paulmcd

    Ill effects of Irish banks’ losses on overseas parents.

    Recently I referred to the disproportionate effect of losses at Irish National Bank on the profit and loss situation at the DANSKE GROUP.

    Irish National Bank is only 4% of the operations of DANSKE, yet Danske recently announced that impairments from Irish National Bank were 36% of total impairments for the entire group.

    Yesterday, Ulster Bank whose parent is the RBS Group announce results with losses more than doubling resulting in a hugely disproportionate ill-effect on its parent:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2011/0225/1224290835851.html

    “RBS injected a further £3 billion into Ulster Bank, bringing to about £6 billion the total capital injected into its Irish subsidiary.”

    Today, Friday 25 February, Lloyds Bank announced a return to profit.

    However: “In Ireland, bad loans rocketed to £4.3 billion from £2.9 billion in 2009.”

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/0225/breaking4.html

    THESE RESULTS ARE VERY DISTURBING and highlight the need for the even-more-reckless, indigineous COVERED institutions to be PLACED INTO RECEIVERSHIP, wiping out all remaining shareholders, if any, and also wiping out all bondholders if they are unable to refinance the institutions concerned.

    If necessary, the State will reopen the old banks under new names after the bondholders fail to refinance.

    • mishco

      New names? Anglo-Irish Bank …. Bank for Reconstruction and Developers;
      Allied Irish Bank …. Paddy Power HQ
      Bank of Ireland …. Goldman Sachs (Dublin Branch)

  42. BnB

    German academics push for EU sovereign default plan:

    “Almost 200 German economics professors have signed a declaration rejecting current proposals to resolve the eurozone debt crisis, instead calling for a way for distressed countries to declare bankruptcy.

    “We call on the German government to take measures in event of a failure of the European rescue mechanism and to quickly establish with European partners a detailed plan to manage the bankruptcy of heavily-indebted eurozone countries,” said a text published by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily.

    More than 200 professors were invited to sign the document, and 189 did so”.

    http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/germany-eurozone.8rx

  43. New Currency Name for Ireland

    Its time we should start to think what name we should choose given that we do not have a history of battles and swords in the last hundred years or so and its important that we should chose a name that is significant and has a purpose that we all can embrace and find a purpose to connect with.

    This will not be easy because we have been the subservants to others in our immediate history.Nevertheless , we should not allow some foreigner to take that preogative from us or a corrupt senior civil servant steal the opportunity either.

    Using ‘Punt ‘ part 2 just cannot be tolerated and does not fit the picture it sounds more like a sinking titanic that a sterling santuary.Using ‘Pound’ would insult the intelligence of our forebears .We need to be innovative and the name should be significant .

    We have still Time to nominate a new name before its too late.

    • adamabyss

      The Harp. That will do. Off to vote Sinn Fein (Eoin O Broin) in the next couple of hours. Have a nice weekend every one.

    • How about;

      The Bribe
      Made up of 4 Nudges,10 Nods and 100 Winks.
      On the back I’d have a design of Smoke and Daggers and a wishy washy watermark.
      On the front I’d place a random design involving a mansion, a yacht, an island, a racehorse and a Charvais Shirt.
      Why these images I cannot say (they just kinda appeared to me)

      There would surely have to be a motto also. How about ;

      “Numquam in flagrante dilecto” meaning

      Never get caught in the act!

      Sin a bhfuil!

    • imithe

      What about Deutchmark. Because we know where it’s all going in the end.

  44. Pauls Epiphany :

    ‘How about;

    The Bribe – could we say that with a kerry lilt to it ?

    Made up of 4 Nudges,10 Nods and 100 Winks.

    would a healyrae hat help us understand that ?

    On the back I’d have a design of Smoke and Daggers and a wishy washy watermark.

    Now this is where the Pirates and O Sullivans make their mark

    On the front I’d place a random design involving a mansion, a yacht, an island, a racehorse and a Charvais Shirt.

    Is this Parknasilla Hotel ?

    Why these images I cannot say (they just kinda appeared to me) – so u are on poteen ?

    There would surely have to be a motto also. How about ;

    “Numquam in flagrante dilecto” meaning

    Never get caught in the act!

    How many Kerry men does it take to put up a light bulb?

    Sin a bhfuil!

    Sin a Will

  45. Shale News :

    Petrol is going UP in Price over week end …..Fill Your cars NOW

    …or you might Trip O Li

  46. imithe

    When I was young, me mother told me the government was in place to do the will of the people. I asked, “but what if someone with power decided to do what they (and not the people) wanted?” She said, “the people would have their say and that person would be thrown out”.

    You might think she was a bit naive to think that but no – she was right. Only problem is she forgot to tell me that the people have to IMPOSE their will.

    We have all seen what’s happened over the last 10-20 years. The public has become complacent and forgotten that the government is elected to act in the interests of the people. We don’t impose our will any more, and they have taken advantage.

    And here we are today, just after voting for more of the same. Hurrah. This is very frustrating for most people here – what to do about it?

    The solution is to do like Mr. McWilliams. Make your opinion known. Write to your TDs. Write letters to local and national newspapers. Make yourself heard. Maybe then the agenda will have changed when the next election comes around.

    Love your work David.

  47. irishminx

    David and posters, the article and most of the posts I’ve read, I find depressing. Seriously!

    I need to ask a question and I’m going to do it along the lines of ( Wills, What if )…….(Imitation being flattery Will’s.) :)

    What if, it’s in the interest of the EU & the IMF to financially break us, as a country, then the IMF request we sell the rest of our assets off to them, albeit covertly. (They’ve already asked Greece to do so!)

    Add to this the Middle East crisis and
    What if, they don’t have any oil left…..

    What if, THERE ARE masses amount of oil off the Irish coast…………
    And we no longer own that oil, thanks to Ray Burke et al………….

    What if, this has been the EU’s and IMF’s hidden agenda all along?

    Now ask the questions…..

    “Who is threatened by a referendum?”

    AND

    Who will it really hurt if the truth came out?

    I ask because I wonder why Ireland is being scape-goated with bailing out German and French banks and bond-holders………………………..!

    What’s is worse, we Irish are taking it lying down!!

    (Even more depressing………… *Sigh*)

    • paddythepig

      The IMF and EU didn’t break us ; we broke ourselves.

    • Thomas Cooke

      @ Irishminx. It is depressing when we find that nothing we have already been told was true or the complete story. It’s only when we have reached the bottom that we have the basis for recovery the constant drip feed of bad news is wearing people down. But the day will come when we reach that turning point.

      • irishminx

        @Thomas Cooke,

        I agree, one of my life truths is that I can deal with what I know and I can not deal with what I do not know.

        I do hope you are correct when you say, “the day will come when we reach that turning point.”………

        You see I think we Irish are great for talk, in my book, action always speaks louder than words!

        I live in hope.

        BTW, I am glad you “know” and “know what I mean” :))

  48. Deco

    The election results are coming in.

    FG were the big winners. The ILP did benefit from a swing in the last week. SF are small scale winners.

    FF are the big losers. This is Bertie’s ministers, and the cosy relationship that comes from the “social partnership” model of governance.

    The only FF candidate who increased his vote share, being the one FF candidate who tried to get away from the toxic stupidity of following the Boyle Dictum (we will save the banks before we will save the factories). And the Greens are finished (though they managed to lob in carbon taxes before they left).

    Well Done to Shane Ross – and well done to Paul Sommervile, even if he does not make it. Sommerville was up against very tough party machines who were determined that he would not get in, and who spent a lot of money keeping him down. And it must also be said that the media made sure he was marginalized – because he is bad news for the bondholders (“support our adveritising sponsors”).

    It looks like we are headed for a FG/ILP coalition. This will change nothing. It is still government by IBEC and ICTU by proxy.

    Let’s see if there are enough independents behind Ross to provide a different option.

    • Deco – Finally The Vichy Regime and Petan have been Quashed ……Vive Liberte

    • Harper66

      “well done to Shane Ross… and Paul Sommerville”
      +1.

      It is a real shame about Sommerville. I have the height of respect for him and am grateful for the stand he made….if only we had more like him.

      Ross seems to have a simple and focused plan to group together like minded independents and work with FG if they are sincere – if not I think he will provide good oppostion in the Dail. I am glad he will be there.

      Agreed RE: IBEC and ICTU/FG ILP…I do however think the old ways are slowly changing – for better or worse not sure.

      I have no doubt we will witness a further change in the politcal landscape in the next election….I think M. Kelly( in his article in November in the IT) will be proven right when he predicted the extremes comming to fore in the next election…will Ganley make a reapperance?

      • No way FG will work with independents, they rather snug in with Labour.

        Yes, Kudos to Paul and his busy supporters! A Light in the dark he was.

        • Dorothy Jones

          Yes, a pity he [Paul] didn’t get in. A lot of people had good things to say about him while we were on the trail, so that is a good thing at least. It is not the last we will hear from him…..

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