April 25, 2011

We’re being played for fools

Posted in Banks · 111 comments ·

Where do you think the financial markets assess Irish risk? What countries are we compared against? Surely we are still regarded as a European developed nation when it comes to risk?

Think again. After – or more likely because of – our recapitalisations and bailouts, the world regards us as a bigger default risk than Uruguay, Peru, Columbia, Tunisia, Kazakhstan or Guatemala.

Just look at the graph here to see the company we keep. It shows what is called the interest rate ‘spread’.

This is the difference between what either Germany or the US pay to borrow money compared to what other countries have to pay to borrow money.

All the eurozone countries are benchmarked against Germany. The others are benchmarked against the US.

It is comparing like with like, because most of the world benchmarks itself against US Treasuries, except those of us in the eurozone.

The chart reveals perceptions of default risk. The higher the borrowing cost, the higher the risk is that we will default. It tells us how much the people who might lend to us are demanding as compensation for the risk that we will default.

It also reveals that euro countries such as Ireland,

Greece and Portugal are not being downgraded enough by the ratings agencies. This is possibly because we are in the euro, when it is the straightjacket of the euro that is causing the risk to rise in the first place.

If you look at the thick line in the chart it reveals that there is a relationship between the market interest rate and a country’s credit rating.

The higher the interest rate, the lower the credit rating should be.

The markets now think that Ireland is much riskier than Jamaica, Belize or Senegal, yet the credit rating agencies can’t bring themselves to reflect this in their ratings.

This is because they believe that ultimately the Germans will pay the bill, or because they believe that the euro will blow apart and the ability of the likes of Ireland to pay future debt will improve after a default and devaluation.

Therefore, the markets are now mispriced.

Whatever the rating agencies’ reasons, the chart is extraordinary and it impales on the altar of reality the Irish establishment or consensus view that ‘we are doing the right thing’.

Not only are we not doing the right thing, but we could hardly be doing the more wrong thing (if that makes grammatical sense).

There was a lot of talk about the ‘group think’ of the boom last week.

Well let’s consider the same ‘group think’ in the bust. The same lads who told you there would be a soft landing are now telling you we must pay all the banks’ debts.

As a result, these stalwarts of the discredited Irish establishment insist that everything we are doing now will diminish the risk of default. Unfortunately, no one in the real world – outside the Irish insiders’ peculiar bubble – believes these so-called ‘serious people’.

With the publication of the latest McCarthy report, our self-delusion has become more pronounced.

When you stand back and look at the big picture, the idea of selling state assets now while at the same time buying all the banks’ toxic debt amounts to financial suicide.

We are buying toxic bank loans – which are worthless – at a premium, while we are going to sell state assets – which are worth something – at a discount.

How insane is that?

We are not making our balance sheet better; we are making it worse. Any fool can see that if you overpay for something that has no value and you cheaply sell something that has value, you are destroying your balance sheet.

Yet it seems that Irish economic consensus – the ‘soft landing’ group – is suggesting that unless we pay everything, including the bank debt, we will be seen as a risky place to do business.

In fact the evidence from the markets tells us that the opposite is the case. Examine what the figures in the chart are saying about the impeccable logic of reneging on bank debt, which isn’t ours anyway, drawing a line in the sand and moving on.

Today, because we are entertaining selling good assets cheaply and buying bad liabilities expensively, the market regards Ireland as a considerably bigger risk than Uruguay, a country that defaulted on its sovereign debt in 2002.

We are regarded as a bigger risk than Kazakhstan, a country which ‘burnt the bondholders’ in 2009.We are seen as a bigger risk than Tunisia, which has just had a revolution, and a bigger risk than Peru, which is about to elect a populist politician as president.

We are worse than the narco-trafficking centre of the world, Colombia, and worse than Guatemala, a country where 67 per cent of the population are under the poverty line.

How much more evidence do we need? We need to change tack immediately and see that this IMF/EU deal is destroying the country – and by destroying the country, it has the potential to destroy the euro.

Maybe we should be thinking of another way, which might get us out of this mess. Obviously, the IMF has traditionally insisted on privatisations as away to fiscal probity. Let’s for a moment accept this hypothesis (although it is full of holes).

Why not say to the IMF that privatisation is conditional on revisiting the bank debt issue?

This week, our banks were downgraded to junk.

Well, junk never pays its debts, which is why it’s junk. So let’s make a deal with the IMF/EU, which is that we will privatise only if we restructure the banks’ debts along the lines outlined in the table above. According to the Financial Regulator, there are €63.38 billion of bank bonds out there.

Why don’t we apply an escalating ‘haircut’ to all bank bonds, with the biggest haircut to the riskiest bonds – the subordinated bonds – and move up from there.

According to the table, we could save €30 billion this way, making the €5 billion we raise through privatisation meaningful. We could make our balance sheet better by making the privatisation ‘conditional’ on imposing on the lenders to the Irish banks the reality of their own stupidity.

This would make Ireland less risky and, by doing this, it will make the euro less risky. This is still our trump card. If we and the other countries in trouble, Greece and Portugal, together hinted that maybe we’d have to leave the currency, the Germans and French would panic and come to the table with a better deal.

We know this, they know this and the rest of the world knows this, so why not hint at it? They will claim we have no alternative, but clearly the chart above shows that we have. In fact, not only do we have an alternative but being in the euro is actually increasing our risk premium, not decreasing it.

In a game of poker, you have two minutes to figure out who the fool is. If you haven’t figured out who the fool is after two minutes, the fool is you.

As our American cousins might say: ‘‘Go figure.”

  1. adamabyss


  2. Genghis Khan

    I have tried to ‘Group Think ‘ in Senegal a few years ago with displaced people who are leaderless , have no rights , in poverty , hungry, no hope , no future,no voice ,suffering diseases , and I can go on .

    The Irish cannot group think because for the same reasons .

    Since the EU decides everything and the confidence to be able to make a change from the grassroot seems more distance than had it not been that case.There is no leal mechanism to liberate ourselves again and our children will leave.

    Logic in Finance and Politics, without a just law written in Stone , is Dead.

    If you are wise move on to new pastures because yours will soon be over – run by new blood.

  3. wills

    I jave it on good accord that Germany is string a few trillion marks in Frankfurt as a contingency to the euro paper fiat money fraud exploding.

    • uchrisn

      Whats to stop other europeans from going to Germany and exchanging their euros for Marks. It would not be easy for Germany to do that. I would be funny if all of Ireland exchanged their Euros for Marks too and started using the Mark
      On the other hand we can’t pratically be stopped from using the Euro either.
      Ecuador uses the US Dollar, has defaulted on bonds and has expelled nvolved in a dispute with the US goverment.
      There’s no easy way out for Germany.

  4. Salvage Saliviating Puppets :

    I somehow sense in this article the desperation to scrape the bottom of the barrell to take some crumbs from the stocks we have lost as though we are to see them through magnifying glasses to appear bigger than they are .

    Get Real .

  5. wills


    ‘We are buying toxic bank loans — which are worthless — at a premium, while we are going to sell state assets — which are worth something — at a discount.

    How insane is that?’


  6. wills


    Now one asks, the insiders are NOT insane.

    So, they know this.

    So, its engineered down the wire to the selling off of out natural resources is complete.

    • Look, David knows all this, we dont need an economist to do the sums, a child in first class could add that up.

      The guy has to write about something and it won’t be that his banker chums are doing a hoist assisted by the “insiders”.

      So like the rest in the main stream he will keep the story going while the hoist is being completed.

      Sure it came out in the irish times on sat. what any half wit knows. B Lini and Cowen hadn’t the BALLS to stand up for the people they were suppost to represent. A final act of TREASON was commited but I don’t see any pitchforks out.

      The avg. Paddy just want’s to be a moaning slave

  7. wills


    The banking crisis is NOT what it appears.

    It is well run exercise in manufacture of debt servitude to use to plunder real wealth.

    Real wealth like a country’s natural resources.

    The private banks are a front operation to plunder real wealth.

    • Swiss Roll

      All the Biggest and Real Private Banking that I am aware of is in Geneve and they are the EU Plunderers of Irish Wealth.

      • Julia

        It’s getting like mining for blood diamonds. Ok, I know that’s going a bit far, but there is a terrible immorality about the totally legal way we are losing everything. The laws are certainly written for the rich. We’ve had a change of government, but it doesn’t seem to have made any difference at all to the way we deal with the EU.

        Here’s a good story.

        Back in the early eighties, when most of you were toddlers, a couple of students in Trinity hit the brilliant idea of buying the trade names Shell, Esso, Texaco and other big company names, in order to sell them back to those companies at a profit. Believe it or not some of those companies weren’t in Ireland at the time. Very quickly, the govt. of the day got to hear what the boys were up to and within days put a stop to it with guickly drafted legislation, green paper, white paper, discussion, passed, rubberstamped, all in a matter of days.

        If they could do that then ( of course you could point out that they were in fact protecting more insiders) why not look after the citizens now?
        If the laws are wrong change them.

        We must stand up to the bullies. Our govrnment is I think suffering from Battered Govt. Syndrome. You know, they get battered, get treated in hospital, won’t admit what is happening and go back for more.

    • dwalsh

      well said wills

    • Deco


      You are correct.

      The bankers want to transfer dodgy debts off their balnace sheets, and real assets in their place.

      The have a very effective instrument for acheiving this. The EU.

      They will be looking for the ESB, Coillte, the ports. They will not come looking for FAS or RTE.

  8. wills


    The euro is a POnzi scam.

    The insider technocrats know the euro is a fiat toilet paper money Ponzi scam.

    They are milking and creaming the euro till it evaporates and will wheel out the next medium of exchange.

    Its all a game of empire.

    Fiat paper money is one of the greatest scams the insider empire elites invented.

    Its genius.

    They grow rich beyond their wildest wet dreams for sitting on their arses in luxury dreaming up ways to con the dumbed down masses.

  9. Good article again, thanks!

    Interesting, the topic of foolery was on my mind this Bank Holiday Monday afternoon, which took me to look at the foolery of our banking inquiries, and made me pen this:

    Irish Gibberish!


    “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool!…” As Sh wrote.

  10. Constantin Gurdgiev using the analogy on V Brown compared us to being the Titanic in the vertical position. Lifeboats gone ,capital gone nothing left but the fools. And still the majority protected in a fog of borrowed state subsidies cannot see we are the fools being played in an social financial experiment that is about to end in disaster.

  11. John Q. Public

    Makes sense, but unfortunately beyond the comprehension of those who should comprehend, our government. They are playing poker with their cards turned the wrong way around!

  12. Malcolm McClure

    Trust David to put his finger on the prime cause of our problems –Groupthink.

    Irving Janis devised eight symptoms indicative of groupthink (1977).

    Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking.
    (FF during boom)
    Rationalizing warnings that might challenge the group’s assumptions.
    (Green Jersey and Old Pal’s Act)
    Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions.
    (FF backed by majesty of the law and constitution)
    Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, biased, spiteful, impotent, or stupid.
    (Pity DMcW and several others)
    Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of “disloyalty”.
    (Cowen’s trump card)
    Self-censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus.
    (The Regulator told FF that everything was OK)
    Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement.
    (Greens might split)
    Mind guards – self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information.
    (Mary Coughlan, Micheål Martin and Patrick Neary)

    I expect others will have evidence to add to these proofs, but the blame game is getting a bit stale.

  13. Rather off topic but still related, anyone else news the virtual news black out on Japan:

    I was curious about the Fujushima and tsunami effect on the Japanese economy, production, and world trade, particularly export of electronic components.

    There were some coverage on automotive industry closure of manufacturing plants in the US and UK because of a lack of critical components, but can’t find any informed analysis of this topic anywhere?

    I know Libya has taken centre stage, but thousands have died in Japan and the above topics should be crucially of interest to all.

    • malone

      interesting point actually

      Is it a case that it is old news now and the media are no longer interested ?

      Or is it a case that they dont want the news about Japan which may cause hiccups in the fragile market
      to cause even further meltdown ?

      • @malone

        If the latter, which I’m wondering if its true, shows how much power those who pull the gear levers have ..we are not getting any market analysis, or what support is there for those effected plus lots of other topical recovery questions?

  14. Interesting Max echoing DmcW on the more bankers dug out, the bigger the fiscal risk, in this case for the US


  15. Praetorian

    There is a lot more to Guatemala than poverty and the drug trafficking label, it is a remarkable country with astonishing people who are working hard to build a better society against some serious odds.

    It is run by a tiny Western backed elite with European/Spanish origins, not too dissimilar to many central American countries. Guatemala’s democractically elected and progressive President, Jacobo Arbenz was overthrown by a CIA backed coup (along with assistance from Western Mulitnationals). A military dictatorship, again supported by the West, ran the country into the ground and killed about 200,000 people (mostly indigenous). Discrimination against the majority indigenous population continues. I visited the country twice and saw the struggles of the indigenous people, their courage and persistance was/is inspirational, and they could teach us a lot about living in harmony with the environment and solidarity among our neighbours, things we used to value and respect in Ireland.

    I have to point out the above because I feel so passionately and strongly for a stunningly beautiful, mystical and soulful country.

    The following documentary illustrates some of the above.

    Voice of a Mountain: Voice of a Mountain is a video documentary of the lives of rural Guatemalan coffee farmers. This documentary explores Guatemala’s dark history. Ex-combatants talk about the bleak reality of the country that led to their involvement in the war there and the response of genocide from the Guatemalan government against its people. The documentary gives insight into their motives, interviews reveal personal accounts of struggle, hope, tragedy, and the fruits of resistance.


    • coldblow

      Here’s a post of mine from some time ago about the US and Guatemala:

      November 13, 2009 at 2:58 pm
      Gore Vidal was in Guatemala in 1946 (‘Dreaming War’) and was astonished when told that the US would overthrow the Govt to protect the interests of the United Fruit Co.
      “…”Why, one of your big senators is on the board of ‘el pulpo’ (UFC)”.
      “I knew somehting about senators. Which one? Mario was vague. ‘He has three names. He’s form Boston I think…’
      “‘Henry Cabot Lodge? I don’t believe it. Lodge was a family friend -as a boy I had discussed poetry witih him…’
      “…But in those days I was not aware to what extent big business controlled the government of our own rapidly expiring Republic. Now, of course, everone knows to what extent our subsequent empire, with its militarized economy, controls business. The end result is much the same for the rest of the world.”
      I didn’t used to believe this kind of thing either. Seems it’s still going on.
      GV makes great play about the 1% who control America. The percentage sounds about right.

  16. doflynn

    Beginning to despair of people ever copping on to what’s being done to us by the ECB, in collaboration with our own government.

  17. michaelcoughlan


    Wasn’t it very revealing when the former Minister for finance went on radio and said he was betrayed by the ECB/IMF. Betrayed? I don’t think so Brian. They have remained true to their objective to f*ck us for the sake of the Euro. As for you, you were, as McWilliams says PLAYED FOR A FOOL.

    As for the 3 million settlement for the guy in AIB who retired recently well we know he had an iron cast contract but let’s ask him to explain why he feels he is morally entitled to the money and when he laughs at us as he undoubtedly will let the citizenry know the enemy it is they are dealing with for as Tzun Su says in the art of War “if you know yourself and you know your enemy your victory is not in doubt”.

    Finally as many of you will know from reading my posts that I wax lyrical about sociopaths being in charge of banking institutions can any of you say otherwise that it could be argued that the behaviour of this guy in taking the 3m from such a totally and utterly f*ckd banking institution as AIB not fall into this category?

  18. show me the money

    Before the crisis, our average debt per person was in the region of 10-13,000 euro per person. Similarly, Greece and Portugal had low levels of debt when the UK and Germany had higher debt per capita (approx 25,000 per person). We were deliberately put into debt by the ECB as we were getting away from their grasp. The only problem is they went too far!! Now the problem is the continued availability of fiat money. Consider this – it takes 6 pounds of pure silver to pay the monthly wages for a nurse or teacher. Imagine the government driving around the country handing out bags of silver and now consider this. The paper we are using is becoming worthless!!

  19. On Guatemala, very interesting and chilling piece in the Economist this week on the rise of the narco-oligarchs using the country as a launch pad to the USA. This accords with chats I had with local people when I went to Copan on the Honduras/Guatemala border to film Addicted to Money two years ago.

    Best David

    • Deco

      What exactly is happening in Mexico ?

      Same thing. And there are Colombian drug barons using isolated air fields in West Africa as staging posts to send Cocaine to Western Europe.

      There is also a rumour that drugs money is so large in the financial system that it can effectively keep the system liquid, without knowing it. But that is all money that is taken away from working people, and more importantly, from their families.

  20. [...] emailed  link this afternoon to David McWilliams in his ‘Sunday Business Post’ column only confirmed the figures from the NTMA on Thursday and the FT on Saturday.  ’We’re [...]

  21. juliehogan

    It’s all very well at this stage rehashing the same line that we re on the road to doom and disaster. We all voted in february, we picked the mob that were supppsedly heading to Europe with a ‘mandate from the Irish people’. We re still in this unbelievable situation two months on and not one of us have the power to change any of it no matter how much intelligent debate is bandied about amongst us. Ruari Quinn gave into the same message of doom as the last lot were giving, practically word for word.. Joan Burton wants to continue the whine: ‘we didn’t create it we inherited it’ just to cover the governments back and have a bloody referendum about it instead of having any guts to actually tackle the people that are at the root of this mess and saying NO to Europe. Enda himself seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth!..I turned to my partner this evening and said ‘let’s emigrate’. He answered: ‘lead the way’..

  22. doflynn

    Intelligent debate is wasted if it’s pointless, so where is everyone going with all this? I agree with Julie, not one of us has the power to change any of it, but all of us have. A group of us in Ballyhea have been marching now for eight weeks, our ninth march coming up this Sunday morning, 10.30am. Our numbers have increased to a steady 70 or so – not huge, but significant in such a small parish; others have also now started marching, in Fermoy, Cork, Ennis, Cahir, Galway. Not rocking the world yet, but we’re acting, and will continue to do so. We also have an online petition going, http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?isntbb11 – again, perhaps won’t rock the world, but again, doing something.
    Some talk, some walk – takes all kinds.

    • juliehogan

      fair play to you and all the groups involved for making your presence and feelings felt, and to get the ball rolling in making these people realise enough is enough shame we don’t see people like yourselves getting proper publicity! consider me signed up.

  23. pacoh

    William, two points (I am an economic refugee living in Asia, so apologies if I am not as well-informed as I should be). 1. There is a lot of talk in Ireland about “toxic debts” and this applies to the mortgage or lending accounts when dealing with “corporate” borrowings and various ridiculous government policies (such as NTMA or more accurately, NAMA) are methods for “rehabilitating” these debts so that actual resources in Ireland can be normalised and “real” capital values can be applied to these resources (usually property; little industrial base in Ireland but we appear to be experts in creating new financial products!); BUT little or no effort seems to be expended in “normalising” the non-corporate toxic debts, namely, how are the couples and individuals who (remarkably stupidly in MY opinion, in face of all the independent opinions at the time) purchase homes/property, are repaying loans on the initial loan and capital amounts, but on property with real value up to half the purchase value.
    2. In a previous life, I was employed as a financial regulator of insurance companies with the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment, and I was subsequently temporarily seconded to the new Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority. Managers and staff from my former section brought with them, I would estimate, approximately 100 years of experience (and caution!) when it came to regulating insurance companies. However, when it came to manning the new IFRA, a very unusual thing happened! None of the senior managers and policy-advisors from the government department made it to their positions in the new body, but were instead supplanted by Central Bank “lifers” who had NO KNOWLEDGE WHATSOEVER of insurance regulation. While these shuffles and re-shuffles were happening, tired old functionaries like Mr Neary were asked to remain on (“past their primes”) to give the impression of continuity. And here’s the crux: the new generations of financial regulators seemed more interested in opening “new avenues of dialogue” (especially with the companies they would soon leave IFSRA for and go and work with (on big multiples of their original salaries)).Therefore, we got the regulation, oversight and warnings we deserved, and we have reaped the wind accordingly.

    • michaelcoughlan


      Brought into protect the corruption which destroys everything. McWilliams had an article in the paper a few weeks back when he reminded us that the senior civil servants advising bertie and crew back in the early nineties supported policy decisions they knew were wrong and all were PROMOTED as a result. Brought in to protect the corruption which destroys everything. Same old same old.

  24. pacoh

    apologies, I meant to open with “Mr McWIlliams”.

  25. uchrisn

    One of the reasons contributing to Irelands debt being so expensive is ‘shorting’. For example People take out a loan of Irish bonds at full price and sell them immediatly. Later when the price has gone down they buy them back, and give the bonds back to the lender. They made a profit of the change in price. More info here

    It is often a strtegy of hedge funds to limit their risk by for example buying up risky bonds in a company and then shorting their shares. If the company goes bankrupt they lose the bonds and premiums but gain on the ‘shorted’ shares.

    Perhaps Ireland can limit its risk by shorting our own bank bonds. That way if/when the banks default we could win bank money and not lose as much. Currently I cannot see how the Irish people are limiting their exposure to the banks and troubled asseets in any way.

    The same theory could be applied to our government debt.

    So people could actually use their savings to short the banks debt and the givernments debt. The government goes bankrupt – we lose but we win.

    • uchrisn

      Actually one of Trichets reasons for not allowing any haircuts is that he doesn’t want to let the ‘shorters’ win their bet.

      • michaelcoughlan

        you cant beat the market. The reason the values are dropping is because they are in fact worthless. NOBODY will stop the market.

        • uchrisn

          Unfortunatly most leading economists believe that markets are not efficient. For example thats why we have bubbles. There was also a reason shorting was banned for a while in 2008. It can be a contirbutor to dropping values,

  26. uchrisn

    Actually its my opinion that shorting goverment debt should be illeagal, however its obvious that the G20 or the worlds governments cannot get their acts together to rein in the multinationals in general and the large Financial multinationals in particular.
    We have banks like Goldman Sachs who are almost bigger than the U.S. economy just going around the world doing what they like with noone holding them accountable. An ex Goldman Sachs man Draghi is about to be next president of the ECB. Can Ireland really tell Goldman Sachs that its going to have to pay out on the credit default swaps it issued to senior bondholders of Banking and soverign debt?
    I imagine people here are against the idea of ‘world government’ however we are currently living in ‘Multinational World’.

  27. uchrisn

    It is clear that Ireland should pull out of the Euro currency. We can say we are protesting against the behaviour and make up of the ECB as it in no ways represents the people of Europe.
    It represents the interests of the Financial Industry in the 4 largest countries Germany, Italy, France and Spain.
    There are no representitives of workers sitting on the board of governers. Just un-elected ex finance industry old men.
    Especially Irish workers interests are not represented at all there.
    Simply put they raise interest rates when we want them lower and lower interest rates when we want them higher. Our governemnt thus has limited control of our economy.
    So lets make a currency pegged to a basker of USD dollars, Sterling and Euro our 3 main tading partners, perhaps at percentages of how much trade we do with each one. Like Hong Kong we can keep reserves of those currenices (HK only USD) in our central bank (like gold in the gold standard). Then our currency can be exchange for any of these over the counter at a bank at a basically fixed exchange rate, see Hong kong. So it would be stable and people would trust it like in Hong Kong.
    Our interest rate would be calculated on variuos factors but woul combine the US, British and Euro
    ones. E.G. currently the US and Britan are not raing rates so our interest rates would not go up as much as EU.

    • uchrisn

      It should say our currency can be exchanged for a set basket of USD/EURO/GBP over the counter at a basically fixed exchange rate.

    • Deco

      We can say we are protesting against the behaviour and make up of the ECB as it in no ways represents the people of Europe.
      It represents the interests of the Financial Industry in the 4 largest countries Germany, Italy, France and Spain.

      Uchrisn – the evidence of what we have seen in the last three years provides compelling justification for your point about the ECB’s interests. In fact I was supsicious of this when interest rates were very low, a few years back, as German industry tooled up and got read for globalization and a big export surge.

      Our leadership spent this same time period devising spending programs to buy votes, getting drunk on every possible occasion, and lambasting anybody who told the truth (David McW, Eddie Hobbs, and Shane Ross being the three who were lambasted most frequently by the ISEQ listed companies).

  28. michaelcoughlan


    Gold over 1500 us an oz and rising. For those citzens who have read and acted on my pronouncements regarding gold good luck to you. The ONLY way we are going to save ourselves is one citzen helping another.



  29. The same lads who told you there would be a soft landing are now telling you we must pay all the banks’ debts.

    I think this sentence should be nailed onto the Nations virtual forehead.

    Brian Lucey stated on VB to Max Keiser….’Yes, Max, but we are a deeply conservative country…’

    This has got to be the understatement of the year, Ireland reactionary to it’s core! However, this is not about THE Irish, rather THE INSIDERS who rule this country, still rule it Folks.

    Every months Bondholders are paid back, services cut, more austerity implemented, prices hike, jobs lost and so on….

    Sadly, your contributions David have turned into an academic only exercise, there is no way that ‘the same lads’, will suddenly change and do what is right to do, and I do not think that we should negotiate any further with the IMF/EU Mafia, but… THROW THEM OUT!


    • Deco

      For a deeply conservative country we engaged in some seriouly lopsided liberal financing practices.

      It was a case of anything goes.

  30. paddythepig

    State assets. What are they? The word ‘asset’ implies that a citizen’s so-called part-ownership of an airport, or a state forest, has some kind of benefit to that citizen.

    So let’s see. Does a guy from Coillte arrive at my door with a lorry load of free wood for the fire every winter? No. If I book a flight, do I get a discount on airport charges because I am Irish, and supposedly a stakeholder in this airport? No.

    What I get instead is an exorbitant airport charge to pay our over-paid, over-indebted, obese airport authorities, that have choked inward influx of people to Ireland with their stupid, vain projects. I get a chairman of Coillte on a salary of over 300 grand.

    These are state liabilities, not state assets.

    The Government should retain ownership of the land, but offload the provisioning of state services to the private sector on a lease basis, with punitive personal repercussion for any debt gouging of the service, as happened in Eircom.

    The only reason land ownership might be retained is that presumably, in a doomsday scenario, a government would allow us leave the island if we needed to. If this assumption was to be false, then offload the land too.

    • There is actually the germ of a good idea here.

      Though Paddy ignores the point state assets should not be sold for a song in a debt sale, the idea that the provisioning of state services should be offloaded to the private sector on a lease basis, does carry merit.

      But it has inherent difficulties that need to be addressed.

      Lease implies you don’t have ownership rights required to sell off unprofitable parts of the business and there would be other ownership vs lease rights difficulties.

      Distinction would have to be made between loss making and profit making services included in the notion the state should not be merely driven for profit in provisioning of services, that some essential services will inevitably be loss making viewed in a monetary way.

      Otherwise, for example, many bus services would be withdrawn tomorrow, services to the public would quickly deteriorate. Many school bus routes would close.

      The question is, how attractive would these leases be to the private sector in such a scenario?

      In regard to Coillte, citizens of Ireland are free to walk on lands owned by Coillte.

      But the idea that the DAA be disbanded and the rights transferred to Ryanair subject to contractual clauses that would be beneficial to Ryanair or some other airline, is worth thinking about and might save us all from being trampled to debt by white elephants running amok all over the land as happens at present:)

  31. Deco

    David – the “groupthink” is relevant to the estaablishment, and also to the herds of lemmings who followed the instructions they we given by Pravda-RTE and the Irish Independent.

    To those of us, who have learnt that scepticism is the most important defense against being used by the establishment, we are free to opt out of the group think.

    • We don’t have to think at all anymore, The ECB/IMF have taken over “groupthink”, easy enough if you are working in Department of Finance, or a member of government in Ireland, next time you have a thought, just ring up the ECB/IMF Ajai Chopra “groupthink”. Some say its run from the ECB. Td’s only have to sit in the Dáil, if they have a thought, ….:)

  32. manofiona

    While everyone here is working themselves into a fine lather and threatening all sorts of things to the IMF/EU/ECB, please note that as a matter of law Ireland can only leave the Euro if it leaves the EU. The treaty of Lisbon introduced a procedure for leaving the EU: there is absolutely no procedure for leaving the Euro while remaining a member of the EU and any attempt by Ireland to do so would be a clear breach of its obligations under the EU treaties.

    Ireland is in no position to threaten anyone with anything and no individual member state of the Eurozone should be in a position to threaten the others with actions which could destabilise the common currency.

    As for poor Brian Lenihan being bullied by the ECB, the pity is that Ireland’s wayward, irresponsible and incompetent government had not been so bullied around 2002.

    The present debt crisis of the peripherals is a costly lesson for the Eurozone as a whole – and not just for the peripherals, but if it is well learnt the ability of member states to go on monetary frolics of their own will be permanently curtailed.

    • I’m a great supporter of membership of the EU but a critic of our disastrous membership of the euro. The euro is doing the EU no favours as the so-called AAA EMU countries including Germany are finding out, its playing havoc with the politics of the union.

      If we had to temporarily leave the EU, so be it; but I’d hope for a negotiated withdrawal.

      The following expresses similar views:


      But its obvious our blood sucking, zombie, political and financial class, recuperating on our banking meltdown, fed by NAMA, bonuses and the taxes of the citizens of Ireland, are not up for it.

    • uchrisn

      If Ireland leaves the Eurozone it could still be part of the single market, like the UK. There may no procedure written in the Lisbon treaty, perhaps its in the masstricht which started the idea of the Eurozone. I’m pretty sure leaving the Eurozone could be done without having to leave the single market.
      In the unlikely case that we did have to leave the single market we could just make special agreements on trade etc alla Norway and Switzerland, leaving us able to pick and choose.
      However I agree that there is currently a large number of people in Ireland who are dependent on government money and in turn loans from other EU countires. This may become more of an issue in a couple of years when they find their payments further squeezed.

      • manofiona

        At the time of Maastricht, the UK and Denmark negotiated a deal under which membership of the Euro would be optional for them. For everyone else, membership was obligatory, once they met the criteria, and once in there was no way out. That is the legal position.

        (Denmark’s government wants to join the Euro but public opinion is against it. However, Denmark is effectively part of the Eurozone (as it was previously part of the D-mark zone). Simply, it has no official say in matters affecting the Euro.)

        So Ireland can only drop the Euro if it leaves the EU.

        If Ireland leaves the EU, or even announces any intention to do so, the US multinationals would have deserted the Emerald Isle long before any agreement could be negotiated with the remaining 26 EU members. In any such negotiations, Ireland’s corporation tax would be a priority item for both France and Germany.

        • uchrisn

          There may be nothing in the treaty outlining leaving the Euro. There is also nothing in the treaty outlining having a yearly fiscal deficit of 32.5% as Ireland did last year. Countries are supposed to stay within the 3% and 60% bands on fical deficit and government debt to GDP. Even Germany don’t respect that.
          The issue in the Eurozone/EU is that there is no punishment for rougue states.
          Forcing a country out of the single market as a punishment for leaving the Euro would not be practical. I would be interested to hear how exactly that would happen.
          Ireland has already been threatened with the worst practical thing that the EU can actually do. That the ECB would not send any more Euros our way. The next step would be to come over and collect all our Euros physically. This shows the desperation.

          • uchrisn

            So call their bluff, ok lads dont send us any more euros we’re making our own currency. We have good reasons backed up by leading world economists. The mains ones-
            1. The ECB is not representive of European people, rather of the financial industry in the 4 largest countries. As such it is mainly concerned with keeping down inflation in those countries rather than employment everywhere.
            2. The ECB was to partly to blame for overheating our economy.
            3. Europe is not an ‘Optimal currency area’ due to lack of fiscal transfers in times of difficulty (Ireland was over reliant on finance and construction and needs free help because of shocks in those areas), increasing nationalism and clearly different views.

          • manofiona

            Many of the criticisms levelled against the Euro as it is currently organised are valid. If the Euro does not break under the strains which assail it now and in the future, it will be a platform on which not only a transfer and fiscal union will be built but also, in time, the full political (and democratic) union of Europe.

            However, along the way there will be a lot of turbulence and few, if any, freebies for the dissolute peripherals.

            And all the member states of the Zone are legally obliged to stay for the entire ride. To repeat: a country cannot leave the Euro without also leaving the EU – no, ifs, buts or maybes.

          • uchrisn

            I suppose we’ll have to agree to diagree on the point of leaving the Euro and also having to leave the EU single market. The EU went from a free trade agreement to customs union to single market to currency union (with exceptions like the UK). It would be taking one step back to the single market by pulling out of the Eurozone.
            Apart from that it is my opinion that practically we would not be ejected from the single market as a punishment if we went ahead and did that.
            The single market is free movement of Labour, Capital and services.These markets are well integrated already. For example the Italians still want to be able to come and work in Google. European companies have already made large investments in Ireland.

  33. Deco

    Actually, I am think everybody in Europe is being played for fools. This has been the case since the European movement crossed the Rubicon towards greater centralization. In other words, since things went imperial.


    Sarkozy wants a “safe pair of hands” to run the ECB.

    Sarkozy has got everything he wants from the ECB, including the ECB bullying us into providing socialism for his the Paris Bancassurers who dabbled in bonds in Anglo, Nepoto, and AIB. And this is what happens when these meglamaniacs get their way, they want more.

    And the best news of all…..this new proponent to run the Euro….comes from G-Sucks. Suds must be feeling warm at the prospect of it all.

    Jens Peter Bonde had it all sussed years ago. But RTE did not want you to hear.

    • Deco – I agree RTE is a debased channel with some of their expensive docked long necks now testing the bbc to hang out their linen and joining the blood of rebels and blueshirts to see if they can coin in and discipate their previous lives to a new life on the dales.Well blimey watch them slip and scurrying home again.

  34. Save the People

    I have said it before and I will say it again. We must renounce the ECB / IMF loan. We have been targetted with a view to crippling our economy in order to make us totally dependent upon finance from the ECB / IMF and therefore totally subservient to them. Already all of our economic and fiscal decisions must be agreed by the ECB / IMF.

    Our government is also continuing to facilitate the theft of our vast oil and gas resources. Just two week ago Pat Rabbitte stated that our vast oil and gas resources are nothing more than a “myth”. It now transpires that a government study has found two major oil fields off our coast. Pat Rabbitte should be forced to resign for blatantly misleading the people of Ireland.

    Coillte is among the profitable State owned companies which the government is weaseling their way into selling without the consent of the people. It is not simply the trees that are being sold. The public have not been made aware that our forests are an extremely valuable commodity on the European Emmissions Trading Scheme, (EUETS). The International Forestry Fund chaired by Bertie Ahern are being lined up as the purchasers. Rumour also has it that in an unprecedented move the government will sell not just the forests but also the rights to everything under them. This begs the questions, have the government conducted mining surveys?, and are we looking at yet another scam for the cronies?

    Our only hope is to seek finance from China, who provide loans to countries around the world including the U.S, Russia, Angola, Nigeria, Argentina, Bolivia etc. They have a proven record of non interference in the sovereignty of the nations they have loaned money to. We should only repay the sovereign debt. Any non sovereign debt already repaid to the bond holders due to coersion by the ECB should be deducted from our repayments.David has touched upon the possibility of finance from China in the past. It is the correct course of action.

    We should also immediately nationalise our oil and gas fields and seek assistance from China in drilling our oil and gas resources. This will provide us with the revenue to repay our sovereign debt and maintain our services.

  35. zohan

    We don’t need more airy fairy crap.Keep the chinese away , they don’t like paying tax just ask yourself when did i get a receipt for my takeaway curry ?
    The biggest problem we have is GREED. The government failed to regulate it and the monster it created is the civil service and semi-state .Every last employee should be made redundant on a Friday and re hired on Monday at a 50% LOWER SALARY .If they dont’t like this employ new staff to fill the gaps.We may have a little discomfort for a while but otherwise we continue with the I’m alright brigade.These are the people who bought 2 , 3 and 10 houses to rent out to government agencies and created the misery for first time buyers.DO IT NOW …………who has the balls to stop the rot,rising taxes ,levys and stealth taxes won’t help the ordinary citizen We need change.

  36. Group Think

    Do we know what group we are anymore? Have we diluted our blood , our technical allegiances and our mindsets? Who are we now?

    A group is a memory stick and a click .

    We are anything but a group .

    If anything we are fodder to markets and political spin.

  37. Fintins definition of Group in todays Indo :

    ‘I now realise that our ruling class has a brilliance that borders on genius. The only problem is that all of its ingenuity has gone, not into creating a decent and sustainable society, but into self-preservation’.

    • Are we fighting for plain ingenuity for the austerity taxes we pay ?

    • Either that or there are too many low quality hack journalists and economists unable to see through the simplest of plain vanilla scams, the cover for which would be lifted by the media in any other society but our own….?

      But Shane Ross isn’t fooled:


      “The key to the contents of the Nyberg report lies not with Nyberg, but with his choice of 14 people as co-investigators.

      Peter’s first choice of the people to investigate Ireland’s banks was an army of Irish ex-bankers. They were joined by a couple of civil servants, plucked straight out of the other target of public scepticism — the Department of Finance.

      The composition of the Nyberg team explains the soft language and lack of bite in the great man’s report. It pulls its punches. It spreads the blame. It refuses to name names. It reads like a mandarin’s masterpiece.

      Of the 14 members of the team, the background of two remains a well-kept secret. Last week the Department of Finance was unable to tell me anything at all about Mary Lawlor or Denis O’Reilly — two of the investigators who were paid out of the public purse for their labours.

      Of the remaining 12, there was a solicitor, a former IMF director, two officials from (guess where?) the Department of Finance and eight ex-bankers or people with banking experience. The entire administrative back- up team of five was drawn from Department of Finance staff.

      Peter was surrounded by mandarins and bankers.

      I repeat call for a proper CAB led report


      • Deco

        Once again Shane Ross has shown us real insight into what is rally going on in official Ireland, and it’s institutional quagmire.

        +1. We need a proper report.

        Look, at this stage the rumours that I am hearing are more useful than the official story. In fact this has been the case for years.

        In particular, we need the truth concerning Anglo and Nepoto (INBS). We also need to know what is going non in the BankCentre in D4. Because that could cost us more than Anglo + Nepoto + Quinn + EBS, eventually. The media, especially RTE and the Irish Times is being very quiet concerning AIB.

  38. Tim

    Folks, Thanks to Noonan, Irish taxpayer cd be exposed to lawsuits after putting own AIB shares ahead of bonds:

    http://bit.ly/hCjPqS HT

  39. doflynn

    David McWilliams is probably the best-known and most widely respected voices in the country, in matters economic, yet what impact is he having on government policy, how much heed do they pay to what David has to say? So what impact do ye think all our comments here will have? DO something, dammit, DO something! We’ve started our online petition to go with our regular Sunday march (it’s at http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?isntbb11), but even if you think that’s all nonsense, going to get nowhere, start something yourself. But act; all these comments, pertinent and perceptive as they are, we may as well all be chattering magpies.

  40. Fellow Posters,

    You, probably same as me, enjoy the opinions and various interactions on this site.
    At times I even thought we could positively affect things? We had the suggestion for a new party to compete in upcoming elections? But alas even that proved to be bluster.

    But we cannot change things at all? It’s futile to even think so. Why? Because nobody plays by the rules!
    In fact there are no rules! No fairness nor decency nor honesty!
    And what’s most dangerous about all that is there are no limits to which the establishment will go to preserve itself!

    Nyberg – A blatant dilution of responsibility. A cover up which cynically spreads the blame across society.

    Lenihan – A most dishonest Man! He is either lying to us now or lied to us then – Take your pick! However he knows, like they all know, that there are no consequences in Irish political establishment for telling lies. (Think Lowry?)

    Noonan – Breaking fundamental rules of seniority – Bravado or Incompetence? And i don’t think it’s bravado!

    Lads outside of “Arab Spring Action” I can see nothing but financial and intellectual subjugation
    for at least a generation.
    Our current political leaders have not the will or ability to lead us out of this!
    They can only insert the national tongue further up the Imperial Orifice!
    For in the end the only thing that they understand is self preservation. This is all about their family’s income! (Their pension) Never about ours!

    • doflynn

      Agree whole-heartedly with every word of the above. Have never taken the remotest interest in political activity, happy to do my day’s work, collect my few bob, relax into the bosom of friends and family, and let our leaders – elected (politics) and unelected (civil service, banking etc.) – get on with running the country. Worked out okay until ‘running’ became ‘ruining’; now I believe we can no longer sit back, I believe we have a duty to act. And we – as people – do have power, in fact we have the ultimate power, if we just choose to grasp it. Act, that’s all, act; every Sunday, more and more are marching – act, and get your family and friends to act with you. Let’s give Frankfurt a taste of REAL contagion, because Frankfurt has now got to become the target.

  41. Petepalmer

    Richard Portes of the CEPR has an excellent piece about the need for Ireland to default (sorry restructure, sorry reprofile) – see here http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/6380

    • doflynn

      Pete, I’ll bet there are another hundred and more equally logical articles out there by equally respected commentators saying exactly the same thing – we all know it now, we’re all saying it, but personally I’ve become tired of pissing into the wind, of simply getting my own back so to speak, those with the power to make that decision deaf to us all. Well, if they won’t listen to us one way, we’ll make them listen to us another way – act. There are thousands of these articles and tens of thousands of these comments in the ether, going round and round, crashing into each other at this stage, making not a whit of impression on another utterly inept government – act, that’s all, DO something.

      • Petepalmer

        Ive signed the petition — What next?

        • doflynn

          Next you share the link to the petition, as I’ve done, and you ask those who then sign it to share it also – sign and share. I’m setting the end of May as a the target closing date, that petition then to be forwarded to our man Enda. That’s one form of action.
          In the meantime our weekly march continues, and spreads, and every week we learn of a new community taking up the call – that’s another form of action.
          Eventually we combine the two, eventually the people become galvanised, eventually the elected have to listen, eventually the ECB must be made to see that we are not at all the easy patsies they took us for.
          That’s a lot of ‘eventual’, and I have no exact date for it. I do know that we won’t be giving up here until all hope is exhausted, I do know also that if we continue to waste our time and anger on this endless cycle of comment/complaint/calls to Joe, nothing will change, our path is laid out.
          Thanks for signing.

    • Petepalmer

      And a countervailing argument……

  42. @doflynn: Do what now?

    Let me start with saying that I deeply sympathize with the statements you made above, and the few words here are not to be understood as criticism on your activities, not at all! I hope you find the below somewhat useful.

    See, start of April 2010 I tried the very same and it failed to make any considerable impact whatsoever.


    Within a few weeks no more than 250 signatures came together, however, some interesting names contributed there, Deirdre de Burca and others signed it.

    Looking back now, I asked myself why it failed to produce something like 100k signatures in less than a month, and the answer is simple. – Marketing! -

    There was no support by any of the well known, how shall we call them, say anti establishment celebrities and.or their respective channels or peer-groups. It was not advertised in a ‘viral way’, so it did not spread and sub consequently dried up before it could develop any flowers.

    Then there is another dimension to such activities, and it should not be underestimated, the most important OK, I signed, NOW WHAT? question.

    We do not live in a direct democratic structure, we live in a representative democracy, and in such your input is castrated down to nothing from the very start, such is the nature of representative democracies unfortunately.

    I must remind in that context to the remarkable celebrity withdrawal from any prospective public function. THAT in deed spread like a viral in no time. Those who shouted the loudest in this country and that had the most publicity, be it in traditional form or in modern media, none of them stepped up to the plate to put their name down, not a single one!

    This alone should make one stop for a second in his tracks and take a deep breath!

    There were a handful very promising exceptions, and I shall name Paul Sommerville in that respect with gratitude, he did not hesitate to go the extra mile. So may be it is useful to remember those who did not remain as a shouter on a box, but willing to act, and join forces if possible.

    It would be wise to think again about the ‘We the people’ and who that really is in the year 2011. I say that because although we have advanced media at our disposal, it is a difficult challenge to address this, I shall call them ‘dormant crowd’ in a effective manner.

    Sadly, one needs to look at other social phenomenons to better understand how that works. What does wake up this dormant crowd? Well, the news from many places in the EU are full of examples.

    There is much more to all this, but I just wanted to share a handful of thoughts with you that you might find worth thinking about. Do not set up yourself for a disappointment!


    • doflynn

      Georg, you’re addressing a dog – not a rottweiler, more a terrier. I get my teeth in something, I don’t let go. I’ve had this campaign going for some months, in many ways a one-man campaign, apart from the weekly march, where there is now a very strong core. Being a permanent member of the cursed media, I was already aware of its limitations, of how difficult it is to get any cause across the editorial lines; I’m aware also of the self-serving nature of many of our so-called ‘community’ elected reps. I’ve tried to use my wide contacts list to forward this campaign, to little avail; politicians who respond with their stock mail, then blast you thereafter with their own self-serving ‘look what I’ve done lately’ literature; sports stars who totally ignore texts and mails (over 400 sent out last weekend, looking for a single comment, just eight replies, and all those from former players); fellow journos across a wide range of media who have been updated on a weekly basis, with accompanying plea for coverage, but all – likewise – ignored; the news department of my own newspaper, no interest. I’m aware of all that, disappointed by it, despair of it at times, but corny as this may sound, my faith is in the people. We will prevail.

  43. down with that sort of thing

    I am sure somebody has mentioned this before with regard to the presidential election but would David McWilliams agree to go forward as an Independent candidate?

    This is somebody who has spoken with a true voice untainted by Irish politics consistently since the crisis unfolded and has a public profile and more importantly could actually win. This is an election (but more than that an opportunity fortuitous by its timing) that transcends the parish pump and would allow the Irish electorate to speak for the common good.

    The next Irish presidential election is due to take place in October 2011, unless the incumbent President of Ireland, Mary McAleese vacates the office prematurely – very little possibility of that as the establishment will soon realise that this is a very serious challenge to their power. The election itself would be a clear referendum of on how Ireland goes forward and deals with the biggest emergency it has faced since the foundation of the state.

    The president’s powers as below could with the aid of like-minded people in the Dáil could allow the population a vote on the serious choices facing them whether to default, leave the euro and even the EU.

    ” If requested to do so by a petition signed by a majority of the membership of the Seanad, and one-third of the membership of the Dáil, the President may, after consultation with the Council of State, decline to sign into law a bill (other than a bill to amend the constitution) he/she considers to be of great “national importance” until it has been approved by either the people in an ordinary referendum or the Dáil reassembling after a general election, held within eight months. This power has never been used, and no such petition has been invoked. Of the 60 Senators, 11 are nominated by the Taoiseach, so there is rarely a majority opposed to a government bill.

    This would be a popular movement using the internet and any tools available but could mobilise in a way that could end up frightening the elites (European, Irish or even financial) who appear to have their foot on the Irish collective throat.

    It would allow people to get off their knees, find some dignity and provide some hope for the future rather than the slow drawn-out decline that currently stretches out before them.

    What would people have to lose except their financial chains and the chance to get off their knees and save their families future rather than agreeing in the latest humiliation being proposed which is to sell-off the public owned assets in some kind of bonfire of the vanities demanded by our jailors which is the latest price that the countries politicians seem to have no problem agreeing to. They have a serious conflict of interest as they are funded by the EU/IMF in the same way as most of the public service are.

    The “ATM’s” won’t work, deposits will flee the country, the hospitals and schools will close – its all subjugation by fear, what has the Irish people to face, Gaddifi’s tanks and rockets, the Egyptian secret police, the Syrian army, the people of these countries are fighting for basic rights and they frightened their powerful elites with their will and courage.

  44. Adelaide

    Mr doflynn
    You have answered your own question regarding the inactivity of the Irish public’s protest.

    “Have never taken the remotest interest in political activity, happy to do my day’s work, collect my few bob, relax into the bosom of friends and family, and let our leaders — elected (politics) and unelected (civil service, banking etc.) — get on with running the country.”
    You have had your belated Road to Damascus epiphany. I suppose better later than never.

    The reality is that the ‘dormant crowd’ subscribe to your former-self description. Do yourself a favour and return to the crowd. “You won’t beat them so you might as well join them” THE IRISH SIMPLY DO NOT CARE WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM, THEIR QUIET TOLERANCE FOR SUFFERING IS WORTHY OF SAINTHOOD. Ireland is full of saints. Martyrs to their own Indifference… You can’t compete with a mass crucifuxion.

    • doflynn

      Eloquent words Adelaide, to finish off you’re contribution, but an incomplete quote from you to begin with, and on which you base your subsequent summation and advice; you omitted the follow-on sentence – “Worked out okay until ‘running’ became ‘ruining’; now I believe we can no longer sit back, I believe we have a duty to act.”
      You don’t have a dog and bark yourself, you know that one? I didn’t say I have no interest in politics – I do; my lack of interest was only in political ‘activity’ – I’ve never been an activist. This is a democracy, we elect people to govern; there’s enough going on in our own lives – most of us – to keep us well occupied, so as long as our politicians are not making a bags of it we let them at it, keeping an eye on things and passing judgement every five years or so.
      There was no ‘epiphany’, no sudden transformation; I don’t believe in being bullied, in being trampled, have fought all my days against the kind of violence being visited on us now by the ECB. I AM doing myself a favour, and I WILL rejoin the crowd, but by then they will be doing what I’m doing now – acting.

      • Adelaide

        ..but by then they will be doing..” When exactly will be “by then”? What do you consider to be the ‘tipping point’ for the Irish to act? Do the Irish have a ‘tipping point’? Surely after four years of indifference, this question is valid. And finally what is your basis for your faith in the people to act considering their record?

        I was enthusiastically active the last three years, but I ‘retired’ this Christmas in disgust at the Irish people’s malaise. I have come to the opposite opinion of when I first got involved in demonstrations. My sad conclusion is that the Irish people collectively deserve everything that befalls them. I now have no sympathy for them in regard to this unfolding mess. Yes, they did not cause it, but idly sitting by is no defence, and if you choose to be a pacifist as a bully punches you in the face then you can’t blame anyone but yourself for not stopping the bruises on your face.

        • doflynn

          From ‘enthusiastically active the last three years’ to ‘My sad conclusion is that the Irish people collectively deserve everything that befalls them. I now have no sympathy for them in regard to this unfolding mess.’ That’s some turnaround, and in so short a time-span. Quitting the fight is one thing, turning on those you were fighting for, quite another.
          I’m under no illusions about people anywhere, Irish or otherwise. I worked for years in the Middle East, wondered at how the Iranian and Libyan peoples could so allow themselves to be cowered into submission, terrified by their own armies and their own secret services, but there it was, there it still it is in many ways. There are people who fight, people who don’t, people who are constantly in the wars, people who take the path of least resistance right through their lives. That’s us, that’s people.
          This fight is for myself, first, for my family, for my friends, for my community, for all those who won’t fight for themselves.
          By the way, your pacifist CAN blame someone other than themselves, they can blame the bully. I’m not that pacifist.

        • …tipping point….

          I pondered a lot on that threshold, and I concluded that it has to do with a level of pain and suffering.

          This level, and I am talking about the level that already exists, to no surprise, is being kept away from the public eye by the media in Ireland. The latter speaks a certain language, unconditional conformism comes to mind, perhaps a but too strong, but essentially true.

          The long overdue ‘Iceland effect’ is not happening in Ireland because a higher level of ignorance and white wash in general. As long as the masses prefer to be blasted into intellectual nirvana by their regular morning dose of Hector, and evening spin doctors of RTE, and crucially, have their grub and their beer right beside them…. nothing will change.

          The handful of people here that firstly understand what the events since 2007 are about are not empowered to educate the public, the rare occasions of useful public discussions, say on RTE, are to be counted on one hand over 12 months.

          See, 500,000 without work, families broken apart by forceful emigration, and this in a country our size, by any standards would make you think that this should be a significant threshold, but it ain’t.

          What we on national level, and more so on a European, suffer from is a divide and conquer strategy that paralyses people into submission. Instead of joining forces with countries such as Iceland, Greece etc., each is cooking his own kettle, completely forgetting that there is strength in numbers.

          To oppose and bring down the UNELECTED and UNACCOUNTABLE FOR forces from EU and IMF should be the goal for all these countries, instead, so called elected representatives are preparing to sell the assets and fill the pockets of those who would not hesitate to impose martial law, if they could, on a country that refuses to maintain their status quo.


          • Deco

            You are saying a lot that people need to know. People are angry, but they do not know what is going on. People have not “joined the dots”. Or else enough people have not come around to deciding the apporpriate course of action.

          • doflynn

            God Georg, so accurate, so true, so depressing.

  45. VB 26th April, a Lady named Noonan:

    Just saw it, and I also saw this Lady Noonan appear again, what is that all about?

    Her undereducated conformist blows are an insult to intelligence, but it seems they are keen to keep a reactionary pet in store.

    …shrugs again….

  46. Deco

    In a game of poker, you have two minutes to figure out who the fool is. If you haven’t figured out who the fool is after two minutes, the fool is you.

    We had Brian Cowen playing poker for Ireland. Hence we are the fool.

You must log in to post a comment.
× Hide comments