April 4, 2011

Save us from the gombeens

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 89 comments ·
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Last Friday, I sat in the Palace Bar on Fleet Street in central Dublin, listening to a wonderful rendition of Flann O’Brien’s play, Faustus Kelly. It was the anniversary of his death, on April Fool’s Day 1966.

This celebration, called Mylesday, will go some way to rehabilitating the life and times of one of our literary greats. Given the April Fool’s joke that has just been played on the Irish people, maybe Myles na gCopaleen would have had something to say about this.

Faustus Kelly, which was written in 1943, is a skit on the provincialism of Irish politics.

Kelly is the chairman of an unspecified urban district council who does a deal with the devil before the local by-election.

He makes a pact with the banks and the local big-wigs, and sees this as the be-all and end-all of politics.

When Kelly and his gombeen friends enter the real world of high politics, they are simply unable to leave the local behind.

For example, when discussing the great ideological wars of the time – and remember, this is 1943 – Faustus Kelly contends: ‘‘I believe that man Stalin is a black Protestant. He looks like an Orangeman to me.”

Rather than see the big picture and the interests of the general population, Kelly does deals with the local bankers and landowners because this is the world he sees.

When we examine the April Fool’s bank bailout, we could ask ourselves if we have changed at all. Do we still see the world like this?

Nearly 70 years after O’Brien wrote Faustus Kelly, our politicians are still making pacts with the banks that will impoverish the young working population of Ireland.

A generation is being forced to pay for the whole country and, ultimately, this won’t work, because it is not right.

Back in 2007, I wrote a book called The Generation Game. It focused on what the future would hold for the subjects of my previous book, The Pope’s Children, and why this generation – mine and younger – would pay for the delinquency of the boom.

We would pay in negative equity and higher taxes and we would have to fork out for the banks, which were, back then, bang out of order.

The book predicted that all bank equity would be wiped out and that Anglo would go bust.

The only problem with that prediction – which at the time was ridiculed by bankers – was that it wasn’t pessimistic enough.

The book also suggested that, in terms of national comparison, we would end up like Uruguay – a former Latin American champion that grew rapidly, borrowed too much and fell to earth.

At the time, the mere suggestion that we might compare Ireland to Latin America was regarded as off the wall. I can now say that I was wrong. We are not Uruguay. We are worse than Uruguay.

From a generational perspective, it is worth noting the age group of most of those people who are saying that there is nothing we can do about the banking crisis other than stumping up all this cash to keep these banks alive. Most of these are from the generation that actually won’t be called on to pay.

When I turn on the TV or radio and listen to the debate, it strikes me that the men – and it is only men – who are toeing the establishment line are older and greyer than the majority of the population. These middle-aged chaps in suits, fast approaching the end of their careers, are deep in the establishment and really have nothing to lose.

Equally, they can’t get their heads around the fact that the world has changed and that the old certainties are over.

Now, I know this is a gross overgeneralisation and I don’t want to offend anyone, but there is a clear generational divide on the issue of the banks.

When a state decides to borrow loads of money for something, the generational deal is simple: the ruling generation gets the benefit and the future generation pays.

The greater the debt, the bigger the future burden, and the assumption is that the future will have the wherewithal to generate the cash.

Now, if the investment increases the productivity of the future generation – as for example education does – this will be the makings of a contract between one generation and the next. But if the borrowing does nothing for the future generation – for example, putting money in bankrupt banks, which does nothing for future productivity – then we just have one generation robbing the next.

This is important because the legitimacy of any policy has to be based on fairness, not just between the rich and the poor, but also between the young and old.

What would a banking policy framed by a member of the generation that will have to pay for the banks for the rest of his or her working life look like?

It would certainly involve putting all the banks into examinership, not receivership. An examinership is the Irish version of Chapter 11, and this law is on our company law statute. It is designed to keep a business open, to find a new buyer and is based on the simple capitalist rule that the old debt is never honoured in full. The receiver assesses the liabilities and the assets, and pays out what is there to creditors who line up in order of priority.

All creditors except ‘‘trust creditors’’ – depositors – take a huge haircut.

A new buyer is found for the business after this restructuring and we start again.

So who might buy the Irish banks from the examiner? Maybe not European banks which might hold Irish bank bonds and will have lost money. Why not Chinese banks? The three biggest banks in the world are Chinese and they are looking for exposure to the eurozone.

They could buy an overvalued (and soon to lose out) French or German bank, or they could buy a cleaned-up Irish bank.

We could put into the deal a kicker for the cash we the Irish state have already invested, so we could get our money back as the bank recovers with the economy.

This would gain us few friends in the European elite, but would save our younger generation from having to pay the staggering bill of the older generation.

The world has changed. China is the world’s banker now. We have to see this and drop our European provincialism and our genuflecting to the ECB as the only buyer in town.

There is a world that wants to invest in Ireland, but we have to drop our Faustus Kelly approach to finance and see that shafting our young to protect our old and curry favour with the ECB is nothing more than an April Fool’s joke.

And we are the fools.


  1. grougho

    Good evening all,
    Following the protests in Ballyhea (a small village in north Cork) we in fermoy have started something similar. Needless to say these protests are against the massive amounts of money we are giving the banks. Articles have appeared in local papers as well as in todays examiner and tomorrows irish mail about these protests. also a representative has been on drivetime this evening.

    we are looking for other villages, suburbs, and towns to follow suit.

    what we have been doing is marching behind 2 banners, “fermoy/ballyhea says no” one at the front of the march and one at the back (for traffic to see). Afterwards we go to the park for a picnic.

    if political parties want to join the may do so, but we are non affiliated and their banners are not welcome.

    every sunday.
    please join or or better still start your own.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJuZIgp6XrE

    you may email us at fermoysaysno@gmail.com

    • grougho,
      I do believe your actions have the potential to swing this thing around.
      There is nothing politically more powerful than people power – Anywhere! – Ever!
      Your actions I hope will be imitated up and down the country until we reach a critical mass.
      I believe that such a critical mass can move proverbial mountains!
      You have my heartfelt best wishes, but far more importantly, I will personally look at what we can muster up here locally.
      To Ballyhea and Fermoy I salute you!
      C’mon the rebels!

    • shtove

      Wish you the best. People must get together and take it to Dublin. And they need to stay there until the dictators have fled.

      Problem is most protestors will be calling for free education, free healthcare, free welfare (“Obama’s gonna pay my gas bills!”) – and the dictators will promise the world, and the protest will end.

    • beatmaster_bee

      grougho, about time some-one has the balls to start this. The tide of people power was too much Mubarak and his cronies, now it is time the unelected bureaucrats in brussels to hear our voices and end this madness

      • malone

        Grougho

        Good to hear that you have finally gone and done something but unfortunately I think you are wasting your time. You can have all the protests you want
        in Fermoy and all the other places you want but I think it will come to no avail. If you had gone and organised everybody in Fermoy to stop paying their mortgages to their local banks or something to cause real hadaches to the banking bastards or the goverment i.e national strike then you would be starting something. If everybody did this then we would get real results. Civil Disobiedence is the only way.

    • donal jackson

      Good morning Grougho, Sadly, i believe you’re wasting your time marching. We have a group of pusillanimous politicians and nothing will move them. I would suggest that we take note of the election in the USA next year and 50million of an Irish diaspora voting. Mr Obama might step in with the money if we don’t like Mr Trichet’s rules? It’s just a thought but for me, its better than marching.He might even guarantee us against default and we could get the money from China? The extortion being perpetrated against us now needs to be answered.

  2. grougho

    oh at 11.15 from the church car park in fermoy to the town park

    • Sickofit

      Well done Grougho. I’ll be there next Sunday morning.

      As someone once said – “In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired”. And I can tell you, I’m sick & tired of of the gombeen culture in this country.

      Let the Movement begin for the common Irish person who is being ask to hand over the hard earned money to support the gambling of the Irish ruling class and it is these ruling classes through willful greed and stupidity have put the county in a position where it is *completely* dependent on the kindness of strangers. And most of those strangers are not only very unsympathetic towards Ireland but have a back catalog of real grievances against the country.

  3. wills

    David.

    I dont think it s a generalization whatsoever.

    The babyboomers since the 1960′s have unleashed apocalypse on the world.

  4. wills

    David,

    and these baby boomer bunch of bastards used you to to spoofer in their *getaway car* blanket guarantee.

  5. shtove

    David, I mostly agree with this article, but your view of China as the world’s banker is way out of focus.

    The Chinese have been doing the Irish thing to the n’th degree. Read David Pettis – short term they’re going to have alot of trouble from their attempt to direct the economy by ordering credit through their godawful regional banks. Long term, the people should do well because they’re willing to work. But if those people have their way, and the state loses its grip, we probably won’t be calling it China anymore, will we?

    Sad to see Irish people incapable of helping themselves. Another victory for the state and its global financiers.

    The young must go on strike and expose the pyramid scheme. Up to now they seem to have fled the oul’ shithole. Let them march on Dublin instead – shut it down until the gombeens flee. If not, they’re idiots who don’t deserve independence.

    There is a reason to the Arab spring.

  6. DanFitz

    David, have you ever had a devout Christian sit down and tell you how Jesus has changed their life, or been stopped by Hari Krisna and ask to make a donation and buy a book?

    My point is that before they even open their mouths we switch off. You’ve made a career of making sound suggestions and observations about the Irish Economy but why is it that no one in power seems to be taking much heed. Your books are like Self Help Books for the Nation but like all self-help books they stimulate plenty of discussion and anxiety, but very little change.

    Its about time that people started doing things for themselves and stopped waiting for other people to come and rescue them. Its alot easier be a hurler on a ditch or a whinger in a pub or a talking head in the media than it is to go out and create something. We need to start believing in our selves.

    And that’s why David’s recent venture with regard to our diaspora and making contacts is an example of what can be done. It’s things like these that need to be promoted. Go to the Young Scientist’s Exhibition, The Crafts Fair or dozens of other events around the country highlighting positives. Oh and download last weeks The Business Show from Silcon Valley.

    “Save us from Gombeens” is a mis-nomer, it should be “Save us from ourselves.” And however bad the people “in charge” are now the reality is that I’d support them before I’d support anyone advocating violence or public disorder.

    The people we should follow are those who have built something not those who only have experience knocking things down.

    Best wishes

    D

    • I’ve read this daft slime stuff before that suggests those knocking the gombeens knock those making a contribution to the country as well.

      The exact opposite is the case. Those knocking the gombeens make a distinction between gombeens destroying the country for everyone including destroying it for those making a contribution.

      Often its those making the biggest contribution that are the most virulent in knocking the gombeens.

      The fact is the hemorrhage of young people, doctors, engineers, Phd’s postgrads and grads have been knocked out of this country by the gombeens.

      Plus their older peers carry the burden of mortgage arrears and the penal extraction of payment for losses they were not responsible for.

      The real knockers are the gombeens!

      • I’d also make the point that’s been made recently that social conditions based on unfairness and injustice create ripe fertile ground for people of violence to exploit. Its another reason given our recent history that justice and fairness need to be followed to the letter. But such calls for justice and fairness are simply ignored! How long therefore before the recent riots in London get replicated here in Ireland?

      • Deco

        {
        The fact is the hemorrhage of young people, doctors, engineers, Phd’s postgrads and grads have been knocked out of this country by the gombeens.
        }

        Yes, well those that are not enslaved by supermotgages, lifestyle debt, the compulsion to consume or “bread and circuses” represent a real and serious threat.

        It is best that they emigrate. So that the gombeens can continue unhindered. Intelligent, but possibly misinformed people represent a serious threat when they have nothing better to do than figure out what the system is doing to them.

  7. adamabyss

    subscribe.

  8. Malcolm McClure

    Early this morning, just after midnight, a caller on BBC 5 Live Steve Nolan Show, a 50 year old Belfast man called ‘Edward’, became the voice of Irish terrorism. Coldly and calmly he said he understood the mindset of those republicans who had murdered his fellow Catholic and Irishman, Donan Kerr in Omagh. Deaf to other caller’s responses that his opinions were those of a tiny minority of Irish people, he insisted that such acts would only stop when Ireland was reunited. Callous about his lack of human feeling for innocent victims, he said that he had been a member of the IRA, had served time in prison, and he equated civilian bomb victims in Ireland and England to Gadaffi’s mercenaries killed by British bombs in Libya.

    This exchange with various other callers, who attempted to demolish his arguments on the basis of common humanity, continued for most of an hour and made my blood run cold.

    Is it possible that it was this kind of bloodymindedness that brought Ireland its brief years of prosperity? In the course of time England, Europe and USA became heartily fed-up with the generation of bombs and terrorism, and were prepared to pay almost any price to pacify the island. “Give them full employment and a decent standard of living and maybe they’ll behave themselves?”

    If so, the policy worked well, leading to the Good Friday Agreement, but when the IRA destroyed its explosives and weapons, the taps providing bountiful wealth to both north and south were soon turned off.

    Has someone now decided that extortion by threat of violence is the way to restore Ireland’s prosperity? England has just given the PSNI £200 million to counter Edward’s threat.

    I don’t apologise for going off topic, a David’s piece is a bit convoluted this week.

    • Praetorian

      Regrettably, despite the changed reality, there are some who are not for changing, they are clinging to the old hatreds, the failed history of conflict.

      Those people might have to learn the hard way, but a young life has been taken, a most terrible and shameful crime committed and for that there has to be judicial consquences.

  9. All moral imperatives raised by DmcW are off the table.

    The wild Irish horse has been broken by The ECB/IMF and we’re trotting obediently around the corral built for us.

    The only hope is default will come quickly and that this will bring about a more positive response from our paymasters.

    Trouble is any benefit will be siphoned off into the pockets of the Irish pirates who created the mess….

    Fortunately, money/economics is not everything so like Myles/Joyce…and many before us, we’ll have to devise ways to rise above the crap around us:)

  10. grougho

    thanks for the support all,
    i hope small acorns will indeed grow.
    in the meantime we have set up fermoy says no on facebook, please can people spread this around and we will link to other like minded groups
    thanks and goodnight

  11. Gege Le Beau

    Very hard to save a place that seems hell bent on its own destruction.

    However, I attended the talk tonight with the former Icelandic MP Lilja Mósesdóttir who fought tooth and nail for a referendum on the Icelandic bailout which the Icelandic people got and promptly rejected the governments plans. More than that, the Icelandic people are on referendum number II which they will vote on this coming Saturday and looks like once again they will vote against the government plan to pay off ludicrous external debts (they had their interest rate reduced from 5.5% to 3.2%).

    Along with the demonstrations across Ireland (glad to see Fermoy in my home county making a stand), there is growing campaign to call for a referendum on the continuing recapitalisation of the banks, it is one measure among many which the people of this country, who have been sidelined, not by gombeens but serious professional operators, can take ownership of. The people are an after-thought, the interests of the banking fraternity is the only item on the agenda. The effort is slowly beginning.

    The Icelanders also formed ‘the Icelandic Guard’ which was made up of regular citizens who prevented houses from being repossessed, thereby keeping people in their homes, real organisation, real solidarity.

    Interesting, the trade unions in Iceland played no substantive role, we have to ask serious questions of Ireland’s Union leadership who to my mind were not at the races during the boom, it is time for a complete clearout, new people across the spectrum not the tweedledum and tweedledee that has gone on for decades, we need radical change.

  12. uchrisn

    There is a law in Ireland that commercial rents cannot be reduced. Where did that law come from? Why isn’t it being changed?
    It seems that the banks, hedgefunds etc have lobbied the politicans to implement the law and then not to change it.
    Many businesses are only working to pay the rents. So you have the guy working and running the business getting very little and the owner of the building taking the main profit from his work. If business gets better the rents will go up, if it gets worse they won’t go down.
    In a comment about this on the dail one TD was heard to say ‘If we change this law pension funds will be the losers’. This got me thinking about who exactly the politicans are representing. They are represting the average aged voter, around 50, prob the same age as themselves with property and a pension or some type of investment in commercial or residential property. So we have this law legalising price fixing on commercial rents to benefit investors.
    These owners of and investors in Irish residential and commercial properties seem (like the banks) to be prepared to keep multiplying the debt of the whole country instead of taking the hit. Meanwhile young ‘starters’ cannot afford to rent/buy homes and/or start businesses. Where is the tipping point? Its seems the owners and investors in Irish residential and commercial properties – mainly over 40′s are not going to reduce the rents/prices. They were loaned the money by foreign banks/ investors. So no tipping point just more loans from the foreigners to cover their previous loans and a gradual decline/Japan like stagflation for years.

    • Gege Le Beau

      Labour through Ciaran Lynch TD (Cork South Central) tried to introduce a motion in the Dail during the term of the last government, which would see commercial rents revised downwards or at the very least renegotiated, the motion was defeated. At the time I thought that spoke volumes of the real agenda behind the rhetoric.

      There was an article recently of a cinema which is close to folding because the proprietor allegedly doubled the rent from €100,000 to €200,000 per annum, which if true is madness unless he wanted them to move on. In any case, the high streets of the major cities & towns are being emptied (see Carl O’Brien’s series in the Irish Times), it is astonishing to witness but that is one feature of a massive economic contraction and if the numbers coming out of government are anythng to go by (shortfall in revenue of €7 billion) and they continue pumping billions into dead banks, then Ireland has a minimum of 10 more years of this: declining wages, economic uncertainty, almost zero disposable income, non-existent consumption, levelling out of unemployment (to 17%), emigration topped off with highly paid politicians talking about ‘job creation’, ‘knowledge economy’ and ‘getting the economy moving again’ – hopefully the phrase ‘green shoots’ will be left to one side. This would seem like natural ground for Labour to capitalise on but they do seem like a rabbit caught in headlights.

      With mortgage interest rates set to rise and the IMF review out shortly (I expect them to make life tougher for the Irish citizen based on their track record in developing countries where the targeted social spending first i.e. welfare, health & education), Ireland is in quite a pickle and still the populace takes the lash, we have to go out with our pots and pans if need be and amass outside the Dail otherwise FG/Labour are going to continue down the path to ruin (none so deaf as those who wish not to hear). I think demonstrations in Fermoy etc are welcome, but you have to go to the centre of power to be effective, we haven’t arrived at that stage yet it seems.

      Iceland managed to do that (David McWilliams visited the country I believe so maybe he can shed more light on the situation there and how it can assist Ireland). The banking debt, sovereign debt and NAMA puts the total debt around €300 billion, 2.5 times Ireland’s GDP……we won’t even make the interest payments so it is over to the people because this is surely beyond the so called ‘political class’. I expect a hardening of political views in the next year, coalition lucky to survive but that is the least of our worries.

      • shtove

        I don’t see how that is natural ground for Labour to capitalise on. They operate pretty much on the same principles as Gordon Brown’s party, which welcomed the false creation of growth through unaffordable credit and welfare payments.

        The UK is also fcuked – it’s just that they were able to buy time through a devaluation of £ by 25% when the banks blew up. But their economy is even more dependant on the banks.

        Ireland could have said No, but it didn’t. The UK has no choice but to say Yes.

        • Gege Le Beau

          @shtove, yes it would seem our Labour party is more New Labour than Real Labour, the leader of which looks like he is being pulled along a bit like Clegg in the House of Commons (both seem to have expressions on their faces which say ‘how the hell did I get myself into this mess?’). Both parties may suffer come the next election, if they even get that far.

          Clegg’s party seems to be splitting apart at the seams all to Miliband’s advantage, but he doesn’t convince me either. Serious lack of good political leadership in both parliaments, but then when was it different? Maybe if someone like Tony Benn had got in things would be different or would he have been overwhelmed by the forces laid out against him? While in the US, its probaly going to take a billion dollars for Obama to get re-elected with Mitt Romney shaping up as the possibly Republican contender.

          • Deco

            Gege, you should not take anything that the ILP leader says in any way serious.

            I mean this is the man who when asked about the 520 K his wife got from the Dept of Educ for a corner of a field in County Galway, said that it was her business and therefore did not incrimate him. Then we have his daughter’s involvement in the Shell case – when nobody thinks she is a legal einstein.

            Cronyism – the main platform of ILP participation in government.

    • coldblow

      Was it last night I was half-watching the upward-only rent reviews being discussed on Pat Kenny’s Frontline on RTE? I think it must have been. Someone mad the allegation that it was a common trick for the landlord of a shopping centre or wherever to take one of the tenants aside and to ask him to accept a higher rent along with a confidential side-deal whereby the landlord would recompense the tenant by fitting out his shop for free or something similar. Apparently the arbitrator could only work with reference to the published rent and so everyone else got clobbered for the higher rent. The word ‘corruption’ was used.

      • Colin

        Yeah, saw it, I was gonna say that it was an unbelievable revelation, but when you think about everything that happened and continues to happen here, it would be a huge surprise if there was anyone left in business in Ireland who wasn’t crooked.

  13. The Sun Room

    Much debate of what will happen soon is gaining prominence and much of that debate delves into a somewhere ‘where no man has gone before’ or will again .Many already proven financial instruments and plans have been mentioned and proposed and articulated and all hold grey spots .

    I am reminded of the planet Earth and contemplating what direction do I go .If I am a worm I am more likely to think logically and squirm my way into the ground and believe that after the storm I will rise again and hope the birds dont eat me.

    If I am a bird I probably feel more optimistic and am sure I will perch on a safe rock and watch the storm pass by and when it has I will fly away again and catch a worm.

    The storm I do know will be very strong and one I have never seen before not alone experienced.

    We are in a moment of NOW searhing for oracles and new light to lead us from a dark spot .The words of business have never been written for what now faces us and the words of law hardly exist that is worth talking about .Stewardship from the Irish Houses of Finance and Management ( Accountants and Bankers ) and Law ( Bar and Law Society )is noticeable absent and a cold bleak wind blows in their domain of entrusted power & leadership.

    We are left with those we elect to represent us ( politicians )only to discover they have no power .We have been deceived to believing we had empowered them sadly in vain. We only watch words spoken and no lips moving and realise they are Puppets .

    So the worm and the bird must live and the grass must grow and we must get back to doing that we can do is best.

  14. John Allen weather forecast for medium future
    “The storm I do know will be very strong and one I have never seen before not alone experienced.”

    The next decade will see the complete failure of conventional economics. http://goo.gl/xKXAH
    Irish referendum “I read there’s a call for a referendum on the next bailout in Ireland (this would be no. 5). Good, great, make sure it takes place, guys, and then vote it down massively. After that, have a referendum on whether you still want to be in the Eurozone, but don’t wait till autumn to do it either, or someone (Greece, Portugal) will be ahead of you, and the first one who threatens to go will get by far the sweetest deal.
    http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/

  15. Lius

    People will never revolt until they feel the hunger in their bellies like the people in North Africa. Thing are still too comfortable in Ireland for civil disobedience.

    Our Social Welfare system is designed to keep us quiet but unfortunately by accepting these handouts and keeping the peace we are racking up a huge bill for our children and their children.

    We will never bite the hand that feeds us.

  16. ….. property prices rose on a par with London, Paris or Tokyo. None of this would have been possible without banking, which facilitated the laundering of revenue and found ways to recycle it in real estate and commercial transactions. Banks were also the instruments of governments, providing credit to secure the lasting allegiance of local entrepreneurs….

    You shall be forgiven to think that the above describes an Irish problem.

    http://mondediplo.com/2011/04/06money

  17. Colin

    David,

    Its too late, the country will be destroyed by the gombeens. The country is inherently corrupt. We would need to be invaded by foreign armies to rid ourselves of the gombeens.

    We need large percentage reductions in commercial and residential rents. We need the cost of living to fall. We need businesses to have hope in the future to create employment.

    Wills is correct, the babyboomers or Jagger generation have been a stain on humanity. All the way back to student protests in Paris in 1968 and then California, all they wanted was instant gratification through sex, drugs and easy money, and this generation are now demanding a good pension when they retire, and have my generation paying for it through higher taxes, less services and a lower quality of life and a higher cost of living.

    You’ll be proved right again David, and very soon. Keep up the good work, at least you’ll make the gombeens squirm in their chairs.

    • Malcolm McClure

      John ALLEN: Let’s hear it from “The Jagger Generation”?

    • coldblow

      I think you’re more or less right there, but David was non-judgmental about the Jaggers in his book which struck me at the time as unusual. I think he saw them as just being in the right place at the right time, and besides they seemed to share the same social views etc (“they were right”). Actually there was a lot of luck involved and it’s hard to blame people for taking whatever luck comes their way, well up to a point anyway. Actually David’s approach here gave me confidence in him as an honest broker without an ideological axe to grind.(By the way, there’s also a chapter in the same book called “Perfect Storm” which we are now starting to experience.)

      I largely agree with you about the instant gratification, the Sibling Society, rejection of values/authority stuff. As Deco once pointed out here, at least in the US the students were demonstrating against Vietnam and the draft. What were they demonstrating against here? Oh yes, the Catholic Church, the people who had provided many of them with their privileged education.

      But I think it’s more an old-fashioned class divide than a generational one, as the wealth is passed on. I note that when Garrett Fitz. sold his family house to pay for his debts to AIB (I think he paid off about 50k and about 200k was written off) it was his son, the estate agent, who actually bought the place. At least Fitz. didn’t have a flawed pedigree. Don’t you think it was nice that the Fitzgeralds were able to keep it in the family?

      I once knew a girl from Carlow, a friend of a friend. She was a bit dim and used to go in for this radical chic stuff big time. My friend told me that she would still remind her from time to time that her family were one of the biggest landowners in the county, just in case she ever forgot that.

      I think I last saw her at a progressive theatre performance in Dublin 20 years ago. It was supposedly about the Famine and I passed outside by the dressing room afterwards where the actors were all on a high with excitement and the success. I think it was supposed to be some sort of experimental thing, which meant it was chaos. On one side of the stage a piano was being played erratically while on the other side someone was reading out pompous sounding statements, presumably representing govt and landlords. Elsewhere various figures were coming and going. But the bit that sticks in my mind was the girl at the front of the stage kneeling in front of a miserable looking weed which was supposed to be a potato plant and saying in a whiny voice, over and over, “Grow, grow, leetle flower! Pleeese grow, leetle flower!”

      In case anyone thinks I’m attacking the left here I should add that around the same time I attended my one and only opera performance as part of the Dublin Opera Festival. I sat behind a woman who came to her seat wearing a freakish hat with gigantic feather which she never took off. The queue jumping at the bar during the interval by the well-dressed patrons was as breathtaking a display of in your face arrogance as I have ever seen (I haven’t been to any Orange parades). Shaw would have enjoyed it. It said in the programme that you have to suspend belief to appreciate opera.

      Flann O’Brien was right about so much.

      • Deco

        Coldblow – I was reading that story that you told us, and I have to say it is all true. I cannot get for the life of me how the left gets hijacked by the children of the aristocracy. I reckon it is because of some sort of opportunism.

        The radical movements in the US in the 1960s were formed on several key policy platforms
        1) Repeal of the Jim Crow laws in the states that were the Confederacy during the US Civil War. (Incidentally, practially all of the Jim Crow laws were instituted by Democrats).
        2) Opposition to the expanding Federal centralization of power, with increased issues concerning transparency and accountability (as evidenced later in the Watergate scandal, and much CIA behaviour)
        3) Vietnam, and military conscription.
        4) Social issues relating to contraception, lifestyle, popular culture.

        But in Europe, it seems that the student revolt was mainly a bunch of spoiled brats making a name for themselves, and becomming policitians. In Europe it was a Revolution of Spoiled brats. A lot of them adopted and experimented with Marxism and Communistic philosophies concerning power and resources. The problem is that these people are now running the EU. Prime example is Barrosso. Blair and Brown came from similar routes. It is a case of people using the masses to further their own careers and agendas. They have succeeded, to the point that their dogma is the policy that is always implemented. Classic example is the Brown dictum concerning Iceland being a pariah state for burning those who loaned money to the Icelandic banking system.

  18. Save the People

    David, Congratulations, I am delighted that at last you are bringing to the attention of the Irish people the option of China. I hope that you continue and expand on the options and benefits available from the Chinese financial sector. It would be of great benefit to the Irish people, if on the national forums available to you, that you explained to the Irish people the various financial packages that have been made available to different countries around the world.

    I would again respectfully suggest to you that you examine, and then explain to the Irish people the option that China would give us to jointly develop our national resources, e.g. the 11 trillion euros of gas already identified by Royal Dutch Shell as existing off the west coast of Ireland.

    • paddythepig

      Your comment from a previous article.

      “Secondly the almost $2 trillion the U.S owes China is at a rate of 0% interest and is based on trade agreements.”

      Can you back up this statement please?

      Furhtermore, your assertion that we have 11 trillion euros of gas is based on the following quote from wikileaks from a Shell source in 2008.

      “there could be 20 or more Corribs out there – or very little – depending on how the exploratory drilling progresses this year.”

      Can you tell us how many field have been discovered by Shell since 2008?

  19. John Q. Public

    FG will just continue more or less the same policy as FF. Did you see Alan Shatter on the Frontline? This simpleton can’t even grasp the crazy rent situation ravashing the heart of the city and he is a solicitor!

    • Colin

      I saw it and he’s not a simpleton, he is merely looking after the landlord class. He doesn’t see the situation as being crazy, he just thinks that rents should not increase, that the landlord takes a large slice of the revenue the tenant generates.

      And the other contributor made us aware of the corrupt crony-like side deals that landlords make with a single tenant to offset the high rent with a cute hoor stroke like providing free car parking, a side deal which the other tenants know nothing about, a side deal not on the contract whose headline value is shown to the other tenants so that they feel obliged to believe it and therefore feel obliged to pay what the landlord asks for.

      Davitt would be spinning in his grave on hearing this carry on.

      • Praetorian

        Register of Interests of Members of the Dáil Éireann
        Registration Period 1 January, 2010 to 31 December, 2010
        http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=17765

        SHATTER, Alan (Dublin South)

        1. Occupational Income ……..
        (1) Solicitor (Partner): Gallagher Shatter Solicitors, 4 Upper Ely Place, Dublin 2;
        (2) Property Owner (Investor/Landlord): 4 Upper Ely Place, Dublin 2;
        (3) Author: 4 Upper Ely Place, Dublin 2.

        2. Shares ……………………..
        (1) Shares: Standard Life: public quoted company;
        (2) Shares: Basta Holdings, 6 Harlech Grove, Clonskeagh, Dublin 6: manufacturers of builders hardware; (
        3) Shares: Aran Candy Ltd., 7 Northumberland Rd., Ballsbridge, Dublin 4: manufacturer of sweets.

        3. Directorships……………… A shareholder and executive director from 28 June 2010 to 06 Decemeber 2010 when transferred share holding to 3rd party and resigned as director having completed my involvement in it’s initial startup: Worldwide Infrastructure Alliance Limited, 4 Upper Ely Place, Dublin
        2: objects of company are to provide consultancy assistance for Irish and other EU companies in relation to public and private sector procurement in respect of infrastructural projects and tenders outside Ireland with particular emphasis enhancing prospects of Irish companies successfully tendering for projects both within and outside the European Union.

        4. Land ………………………
        (1) 52 Bushy Park House, Dublin 6;
        (2) 173 Bushy Park House, Dublin 6;
        (3) 39 & 45 Royston, Dublin 12;
        (4) 4 Upper Ely Place;
        (5) 5 Sprangers Yard, Dublin 2;
        (6) 41 Bridgewater Quay, Dublin 8;
        (7) 53 Smithfield Village, Dublin 7;
        (8) 7825 Verona Walk Boulevard, Naples, Florida, USA; (9) 8040 Wilfredo Court, Verona Walk, Naples, Fl., USA;
        (10) 1149 San Marco Road, Marco Island, Florida 34145;
        (11) 9 Skylark Court, Swan St., London, England;
        (12) 203 South Dock, Royal Victoria Docks, London, England;
        (13) 9111 Capistrano St. South #8302, Lely, Naples, Fl., USA;
        (14) 34 Block A, Smithfield Market, Dublin 7: investment & lettings.

        Other Information Provided: All property detailed is jointly owned with another (the “other” being one of two others in respect of each property) save for last property listed (Smithfield Market) in which I have only a ¼ beneficial interest with a ¼ interest vesting individually in 3 others.

        • @Praetorian

          Surely a Solicitor/Director/Multi-National Property Owner/Developer and Shareholder can only be in politics for the love and wellbeing of his fellow man?

          Surely a man such as he knows infinitely more than me the unquestionable morality of upward only rents?

          Surely “Solomon-like” will be his wisdom as a minister for justice? Treating the rich and poor as, well rich and poor really???

          Surely a man such as he nor any of his friends, loved ones or associates could ever have had an Anglo-Irish bank Account?

          And surely neither loyalty to friends, family, fellow shareholders, associates and business partners could ever sway him from doing what’s best for the average citizen?

          Perish the very thought!

          And let’s face it –
          Who would know what’s best for us –
          Even better than what we think is best for us, than this key member of Enda’s team!

          And look – there’s even more comfort for you – there’s a whole feckin’ team of them!

          We’re spoilled I tell you!

          Spoilt rotten lucky b**tards!

        • Colin

          Great Post Praetorian. I suppose I can now summarise it as Mr Shatter merely looking after his own self interest first and foremost. The question I’d like to ask him now is why does one man need so much property?

          Keep up the great work!

        • Deco

          @Praetorian

          Excellent observation. The three properties in Florida is a big surprise.

          I wonder what is the position of Deputy Shatter concerning property taxes. Of course, he will be able to pay. All of those properties are in good rental areas. He is generating an income. And he was able to buy in good areas.

    • Deco

      Never mind the rent business. What about the fact that his party has a massive influence on the setting of rates ? That the two government parties between them, control practically all the local authorities oin the state – and they are not reducing rates. Yet local authorities continue to waste money as before.

      Rates are even more non-negotiable than rent. And beside, if you don’t like the rent, you can always move. But moving to a different local authority area is a move that is too far for customers.

  20. Lius

    There will be no radical change in fiscal policy unless the people revolt (or the Government implement democracy via a referendum on the bank debt – unlikely), this is now patently clear from the FG & Labor U-turn on their election promise “not another red cent will go into the banks “.

    The people of Ireland will not countenance a revolt while their Government dole out €40,000 per annum to them in social welfare benefits. The Status Quo is guaranteed until the money runs out, then watch the revolt start.

  21. Praetorian

    With China, how do you square investment with ethics?

    Ai Weiwei’s arrest is part of China’s new crackdownWhile the world’s eyes are elsewhere, a wave of oppression is engulfing China’s activists — is the time for EU dialogue over?
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2011/apr/05/ai-weiwei-china-eu-dialogue?INTCMP=SRCH

  22. breltub

    Fr.Ted was actually a documentary.

    Take that as a basis and the current country starts to make sense:

    Fr.’Michael Lowry’ Ted “The money was only resting in my account”

    Fr.’Minister for Finance’ Dougal: “I’m no good at judging the size of crowds Ted, but I’d say there’s about seventeen million of them out there”

    Jack: DON’T TELL ME I’M STILL ON THAT FECKIN’ ISLAND!!!

  23. Would someone go down to the Dáil, knock on the door, and see if anyone is in? I’m getting the distinct feeling we’re on the Marie Celeste:)

  24. Lads,
    I’m worn out from it!
    Does anybody think that when the Queen comes to visit us, we should just have a little ceremony and hand ourselves back?

    • Praetorian

      There is a group of people who apparently seem to be serious about the suggestion that Ireland should rejoin the Commonwealth, including Eamon Delaney who featured in an article in the IT last month:
      http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0315/1224292162961.html

      But the idea and those originally floating it have been around for quite some time, doubt it will wash with the Irish public anytime soon:
      http://www.reform.org/site/

    • Maybe you mean a Vendor Take-Back Mortgage where we arrange a loan from the EU/IMF/ECB to give to UK to help them with the financing of reacquisition of Ireland Inc:),

      or

      Sale by auction with the Queen, Obama, Prince of Monaco, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Putin and Gadaffi in attendance

      Not sure we’d complete a sale though:)

  25. Tim

    Folks, even if this isn’t true, the response of “Official Ireland” will certainly be interesting to watch:

    http://www.businessandfinance.ie/news/ganleybehindnewbank

    • Everybody named in the article has stated that they are not involved and that the story is fantasy. Ganley has asked B&F to remove the article.

      Pity, its a great idea, even if it had come from cock like Ganley.

    • Deco

      High time that somebody decided to create a bank that would offer competition to the moribound, bankrupt banks.

      I am assuming that this is not true, based on Liam’s comment. Ganley knows nothing about banking. But then I suppose neither did Brian Lenihan when he took them over….

  26. [...] http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2011/04/04/save-us-from-the-gombeens Filed Under: news Newsletter [...]

  27. breltub

    Buying Silver

    I’ve just been looking into buying silver online, I remember one of the regular posters on here advocating setting up an online a/c an using silver as payment

    From looking at kitco they seem to charge about €6 per 1 ounce coin. There also seems to be “virtual silver” online that charges less but you never get to hold your product

    Anyone got some good advice about buying some silver as a safe storage of wealth for the moment?

    I’m considering it

  28. noeldigan

    David,
    No matter how you look at it, we are realistically, albeit not technically, already in receivership. We have protection from our creditors, given the subordinated guarantees/loans from the IMF and ECB.
    We have effectively achieved a Chapter 11 situation, whereby the powers that be, guarantee our budget outgoings and short-term liabilities for the foreseeable future, as long as we keep our noses clean.
    But, we have potential enormously underrated assets. I do not mean Rockall, the Cliffs of Moher or Croagh Patrick (though they may be a few Chinese or Indians around that fancy a few trophies here), I mean the Irish Banks. AIB and BOI are essentially both our assets. They were collectively worth the guts of €50bn at the top of the market. Sticking it out and realising a €20-€30bn listing/sale on these assets would take the sting out of the short term cash-strapped misery. Let them function, give them cash flow and force them to lend. They should then return good earnings and on conservative p/e’s get us our money back.
    We must take a positive spin on the whole situation. The mind-numbing negative spin that prevails in this country is destabilising faith in the future. The rot has got to stop.

  29. Deco

    Contrary to what the Irish media has told us about gombeens, the best example in recent years, was urban, sohpisticated, trendy trendsetter, “with-it”, liberal and a complete party man. He practised Keynesian economic stimulus, and never beleived that there could be too much inflation. And he told us that he was always a socialist.

    I am referring to Bertie “the ditherer” Ahern. The architect, project manager, and financial planner behind Ireland’s economic crack up boom bust cycle.

    To be a gombeen is not a label – it is a profession, to paraphrase Josef Stalin (not that I want to get into the habit of paraphrasing paranoid meglamaniacs).

    A gombeen is somebody who specialises in the “something for nothing” business. The problem is an intellectual problem. We keep telling ourselves that something for nothing is desirable, acceptable and does not come at a cost. This is complete rubbish. Therefore as Mr. T says “meet my friend PAIN”. Ireland is meeting the pain for it’s reliance on a failed intellectual concept. It is derived from modern Irish contemporary culture. This has nothing to do with refrains about 19th century belief systems, and the need for some sort of covert mildly Marxist political philosophy. This is much simpler than that. This is to do with the fact that we regard the politcal process as the subverter of any virtuous behaviour, so as to extract resources from the do-ers (the juggler generation) and to pass it to the insiders (the gombeens).

    We have messed up politics and economics, not just in the state system but also right across the private sector. It all comes together in that pile of manure that can be termed “the Irish concept of career management”. Practitioners include Seanie, Drumm and Drummer, Brian Goggin, Rody Molloy, Calamity Coughlan, etc… Just get yourself into authority, and make sure your don’t let your incompetence result in you being replaced.

    The Richeliue authority concept is killing us. Roy Keane said it all in the article about Saipan.

    Get ready for the debt tsunami.

    • @Deco

      I wonder does this resonate with you?

      I call it my Efficiency Deficiency Equation

      Number in Public Service – 300,000 approx

      Number occupying management roles – 50,000 approx

      Number formally trained in Management – 500 (mostly returned emigrants)

      Most out of place – you guessed it – 500

      • Deco

        I know people working in Public Sector. And they all tell me the same thing. No accountaility. Incestuous levels of politics. Too many (useless) layers. Too many positions. Insufficient planning. Insufficient response. Rampant levels of waste at the behest of self-serving crooks. And the Unions are not going to do anything about any of it.

        In the late 1890s, James Joyce coined the pharse “Dublin is the world centre for paralysis”. The best jobs to be got in Ireland at that time were in administration in Dublin. At the time, Ireland was institutionally held down. Social status was connected with “insidership”. Access to wealth was likewise. There was a Richelieu culture with regard to authority. The people were monitored and controlled, without them knowing it. The people were also treated like children often. It had contempt for the people, and was obedient to the power centre. (In those days, Dublin Castle and Maynooth).

        A lot of that same culture prevails to this day.

        Of course the people will not buy it.

        Therefore you bring out the Green Jersey, and start talking about pride, and before you know it, you get the people suckered in. Lemming rush.

        • Deco

          By the way, this thing about frontline services.

          The problem with frontline services, is the frontine in the battle. Meanwhile the wasters are hiding in the background in case they might get spotted.

          You had Ditherer boasting about us being a super-exporter of software, while the PPARS project was floundering in the HSE, because so many vested interests were deliberately preventing it from working. As a result, Ditherer instituted benchmarking (which was a votebuying strategy). I don’t think that Gilmore is any better.

          • Praetorian

            @Deco, there is a lot of truth in what you say especially when you look at the scandals at FAS, their budget of one billion euro (I wonder are their outcomes monitored by an independent body) and the failures of the HSE.

            There is a failure at the senior level but accountability doesn’t seem to appear in the lexicon. There was too much money floating around which enabled a great deal of patronage to take place (clientelist/nepotistic nature of Irish society), this is highly demoralising for people who want to provide a proactive and friendly service and has driven many a talented person from these shores.

            Working in such an environment, especially at the coal face/lower levels with that type of activity going on can lead to demoralisation, cynicism especially when one becomes intimately familiar with how the system actually works, which can be characterised as a revolving door of promotion and for the politically connected while stagnation, lack of opportunity and indifference if not hostility for those not ‘so fortunate’ which can result in a poor working environment where services suffer. Bullying is also quite a feature and from what I have read and heard over the years.

            It is this nuance that is totally lacking in any media analysis or Private sector commentary of the public service with a few individuals focusing on days off for the senior members of the public service (days at the races, half day to cash cheques etc). There is little to no mention of the efforts of people in the public service who go above and beyond the call of duty for the public, who work late for no extra pay, who take the low pay and the daily stress and have to endure the criticism which at times sis downright insulting.

            I know a young Guard who on one of his first call outs had to enter a room where a man had taken his own life, I know a nurse who has seen more than his fair share of horror in a major A&E. I doubt some of the commentators pontificating about the state of the service, the perks for a small elite, would last 5 minutes in such an environment, yet they fill the airwaves with their narrow pontification on the perceived ‘ills’ and ‘evils’ of it.

            The public service is in need of reform, but to my mind at least, those areas that need reform are the ones closest to political power, making it unlikely that that area will be reformed, what may happen is an Inquisitor style reform where the guns are turned on the lower levels to give the impression of reform carried out so that the political heat can be directed elsewhere. A fudge basically, something we excel at.

          • Deco

            Praetorian. you are correct.

            There are those in the public sector who seek to serve the public.

            But power in the Irish public sector is mostly held by those who seek to have everybody else serve them, and their selfish interest.

            And it is extremely demoralizing. There was massive rage over the Rody Molloy business in FAS. Pat Carey’s appointments also should the type of BS that deserves massive reprimand.

            This is not just a public sector problem. It is rife in the private sector also (where the lads meet in the clubhouse and backslap each other – the assholes making a holy show of themselves on the 19th hole).

            One of the effects of the IT revolution was to enable management to occur with less managers. But in Ireland, there is a career ethic of disregarding this and continuing to overlayer everything with pals and favourites. Hence a massive productivity problem in large sections of the economy. This is masked by the producvity levels attained in the multinationals, and the fact that those on the frontline/production line are put under enormous pressure to carry the system.

  30. foi foi moi moi

    strikes me that if we are going to Burden our future generations with this debt, surely we should maybe give them something in return, think iv propossed it before on this site but lets get 50-100,000 people back in work by taking the lead from Austraila who spent during the GFC to keep people working, and apply an Australian like BER (Building the Education Revolution) project across Irelands aging school and university buildings. Every school in ireland gets a new building or refurb of a standard pattern and design, when you look at numbers of schools across the country its massive. Average age of schools in Ireland is circa 30 years. The Aussies implimented this project to keep people in work, it wont solve all the unemployment but if we are to burden future generations with debt surely we should offer something in return! Aussies spent circa $40-50 Billion, i think we have wasted that on Anglo already!. A school takes around 6-12 months to complete, you get 100,000 people back in work for 12 months what does that do to our tax intake ? can people not see that sitting on our arses for 5 years hoping this will all blow over (like we did in the emergency) will not work this time..PRO-AVTIVE NOT DE-ACTIVE thats what we need to be!

    • Lius

      You won’t get anybody back to work on any scheme for €30,000 Gross with high taxation when you are pay €40,000 (tax free) Social Welfare to them not to work. If a BER was implemented it would have to be staffed by immigrant workers who would end up on Social Welfare when the programme ended like in the last building boom.

      Approx 2 million people cast votes in GE2011, 1 million people receive generous Social Welfare, that’s 50% (half) of the electorate are on social welfare. These are the people who man revolutions but they are too comfortable to get off their fat lazy arses.

      The professionals normally lead revolutions but they are making so much money scamming from NAMA, property repossession opportunities, etc. to have any reason to complain.

      This leaves the ordinary working man (private and public sector alike) and small businesses who are being hammered by cut-backs, taxes, etc. to support the Social Welfare recipients and Professionals (both leeches on the State) while struggling to keep the economy going. They have no time or energy left to get involved in a revolution.

      GAME — SET – MATCH

    • adamabyss

      Forgive me ‘foi’ but what goes ‘GFC’ stand for?

    • Hate to poop on your idea there, but a little context is needed. Fact is we are no longer a sovereign economy. You might be confidently conned that the Dáil(Debt Agency for Irish Lending) Puppet Theatre, has powers to embark on suggestions such as yours, but no it can’t.

      The model you need to work with is reform out, conformity in. So the bills with little details changed before the Dail for legislation by July is 90% FF. Another feature of this model, if it helps, is to consider us operating along the budgetary lines of former satellites of the USSR.

      Yes, the model is corrupt and lacks incentivisation for change; yes, numerous agencies of the state are spoon fed and on the take from the trough; yes, there is competition among government schemes at local and national level for a place at the trough; no, its not capitalism.

      Its a distortion of Lincoln’s phrase, government of the people, for the people, by the people into socialism of the banks, by the banks for the banks.

      Orwell pictured it well in ‘Animal Farm’, some little changes to that book and we have a rubric for Ireland and the Dáil, formerly Ireland Inc.

      So, want employment initiatives you suggest, which I wholly support, sorry but all spaces at the trough are already taken up:(

      • adamabyss

        Oh yeah, that’s probably it Colm thanks. David has a great article today but we can all savour it later.

      • Ajai Chopra and team are in town this week running the DoF and local government, you should take your ideas up with them, but ‘back to work schemes’ are not high on their agenda, they’re choppers, not builders.

        • Praetorian

          @cbweb – precisely. Appalling track record, expect an interest hike not an interest reduction, and more cuts will be demanded along with privatisation, IBEC must be wetting itself (they will never recover from their call to cut the minimum wage).

  31. Tull McAdoo

    Now I don’t like the tone of this article, casting aspersions as it does, in my direction. I have had to deal with the Dublin media all my political life and am all too aware of how, “our way of doing things around here” are viewed.
    We are sending a delegation up to Dublin to protest at the type of treatment we are getting. I will lead the protest myself, ably assisted by Jackie-Healy, the Bull, Frank forty Gaffs, Mickey Casino, Will O’ Brothel, and all the other patriots from the countryside who have served this country, without a hint of self-interest. So put that in yare pipes and smoke it.
    Take it away Mattie Molloy with our theme tune “ the bucks of oranmore”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS7NxJDp4zQ

  32. Philip

    We have 4 weeks of this government. I wonder are we expecting too much too soon.

    If I am honest, I believe the current crowd are bang on course with their manifesto. Already we are seeing interest rate drops being discussed. It is clear the ECB et al have initially given us the push off (like many reluctant beaus) over the last few weeks on initial negotiations. It is clear that communications are intense. The EU is in deep trouble and perhaps the role we play as a country to avoid us going over the cliff is more significant than we realise.

    Looking at the naysayers – and you could include DMcW in this, I see end points (which generally are about us all reaching happiness – nothing new there) and starting points which are a mixture of start a fight to burning fat cats etc etc. with no real feeling of how the day to day keeps moving. We have a 7 bn gap in the tax take to expenditure. We have next to zero liquidity in the banks. What DMcW and many here are contemplating could create a full lights out scenario – I cannot see how you can engage restructuring without someone pulling the plug. By pulling the plug, I mean someone in the EU is looking at the prospect of being threatened with a panic leading to a full Spain/ italian shorting process. The problem with this game of poker is that the EU is not the opponent. We are dealing with a cave-in at a Euro level and maybe it is best that Ireland not be seen as part of it.

    Now, as far as gombeenism is concerned, people need to be reminded that this is not an Irish phenomenon. US Books like Rich Dad Poor Dad are classic guides on the topic. Good law and education is the only defense in the long term. Again, it is nice to see NAMA and the rest starting to get nervous as the upwardly revised rental legal arrangments are being challenged. Shatter is actually championing this. There has to be productive competition in the rental marketplace or you have no rental income. Rental is subject to the laws of supply and demand like anything else.

    Finally, we need to realise that EU as an institution is a bit of a shambles that never had need to review diligence on its fiducary affairs until recently. This is growing up time. When all the strutting and making shapes die down (as I believe it will when they start to realise the sea of doo doo they have to nnegotiate) from the various countries, I expect to see MEPs starting to work for their ill-deserved wages. Until then, let’s have a proper honest discussion of how we tackle the mess we are in – examinership with 100% EU involvement is not going to be entertained. I want to see how the next 6 months should be managed that shows some degree of uptick on that long forgotten word…confidence.

    • Philip

      Errata -examinership WITHOUT 100% EU involvement will not be entertained.

    • What a load of crap:

      “What DMcW and many here are contemplating could create a full lights out scenario”

      Nope, speaking for myself, what you are contemplating I’m predicting will create a full lights out scenario for the Irish economy.

      The EU/IMF have already closed down the Dáil (Debt Agency for Irish Lending)

      You refer to this yourself: “Errata -examinership WITHOUT 100% EU involvement will not be entertained.”

      So in situ, in the Irish Puppet Theatre of The Dail, ‘examinership’ is out for our puppet masters.

      Basically arguments such as yours have turned the whole country into a begging bowl, its not a free capitalist sovereign economy anymore. We may as well be living in some version of The Marx Brothers, Freedonia, Duck Soup.

      We’re now at the point where we envy Iceland’s 8% unemployment rates or Latvia’s improving economy as we hurtle towards default.

      ‘We’re heading over a cliff, that’ll teach them, they better come up with some better way to save us!’ How pathetic can you get!

      David’s title got it exactly right, ‘Save us from the gombeens’

      Appears to me everything you’ve written above is exactly the type of gombeenism that has this country on its knees.

      • RE “I want to see how the next 6 months should be managed that shows some degree of uptick on that long forgotten word…confidence.”

        Entertain us all with your ‘confidence’. Tell us all what we have to be confident about?

        Lol, we’ll have to assemble an errata list of those who don’t have your confidence.

        • Philip

          You believe that there is an alternative of substance. I do not. Yours is an article of faith. I am a doubter. To date, I have seen nothing which is doable or even proven to be doable in the context of DMcWs latest suggestions. We are in unknown territory.

          Ireland walked into begging bowl territory 3 years ago. We know it was earlier than than. Now we are here, the question is how you wiggle your way out when you have nothing to negotiate with other than the idle threat to bring the EU ediface down or else.

          Lights out: Are you really saying the ECB would never pull the plug? Maybe they will not have a choice. You are ascribing too much control and responsibility to these guys.

          Ireland needs a credible plan. I see nothing yet – certainly not in this blog. hence no confidence issue.

  33. coldblow

    The brother was above in the room every night last week studying young McWilliams’ book. Nobody in the digs could get a word out of him except he’d be muttering darkly under his breath, “This is serious” or “Something has to be done”. And he’d be eyeing the landlady in a strange kind of way. It was making everyone nervous, not least herself, and her drawing the pension as long as anyone can remember and no longer able for shocks. The brother has always expressed satisfaction with her cooking, at least up to now, him being quite particular in that department.

    But yesterday what did the brother do only stand up and block the way on her and her trying to get by him into the kitchen with the empty plate to bring in more toast. “Never mind the toast,” he said. I nearly choked on the tea and there wasn’t a sound in the room only the old clock (as old as herself)ticking away in the corner. “Never mind the toast”, he said, and she was looking at him as if he was a ghost and the plate nearly falling out of her hand with the fright. “Where do you stand in this Generation Game business?”

    Tull, the brother says he wants a word with you.

  34. Silicon Valley makes 'first' investment in Belfast startup…

    The Belfast Telegraph tells us about what is thought to be the first Silicon Valley investment for a Northern Ireland company. SiSaf, a Belfast biotech firm linked to the University of Ulster and also has U.S. headquarters at the Irish Innovation Cente…

  35. bara

    bara I want to congregate the people of Ballyhea and the people of Fermoy for talking with there feet, we are trying to start something here in Galway.It is our responsibity (that is the irish people)to take back controll of our country, we have to wake up and see that our democracy (that is government by the the people by the peoples elected representatives) is slowly been eroded by faceless and undemocraic people working in height places in europe and in there banks.These elite people are so strong that they can put such pressure on elected representatives of countries that they can force governments to bring in laws against its own people wishes.This is why the people will have to demand a Referendum on issues of such national interest, like Bailing out the banks and having a controlled default on the banks, and writing down Mortgage debt to the level of todays prices.Freeing the people from paying money into the banks black holes instead of into the economy where everyone would benefit.This is not against the people of europe this is for the democraic rights of all the people of europe.So i am asking our Government for my right and the rights of the people your pay masters to provide me with a VOTE on this matter which is so important and is above your authority to decide on.

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