October 12, 2011

Troika's dirty little secret is they've failed utterly

Posted in Irish Independent · 321 comments ·
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Have you ever heard the expression a “Potemkin Village”? It is a Russian expression and derives from a large and extremely successful scam played by Marshall Potemkin — one of Catherine the Great’s many lovers.

In the late 18th century, the Russian elite was keen to pretend to the world that it was more powerful and more muscular than it actually was. As result, the court in St Petersburg decided to take foreign dignitaries and ambassadors down the River Dnieper to witness just how thankful the peasants of the newly occupied Ukraine were to their new, benign Russian overlords.

Knowing that the Westerners — the dignitaries were British, French and Prussian — wouldn’t expect a hoax, Potemkin constructed mobile villages, which he assembled at the turns of the river just before the royal barges carrying the foreigners came into view. What the foreigners would see on the riverbanks were excited, grateful peasants cheering on the royal Russian barges and showering Catherine the Great with compliments. When the barge went out of view, Potemkin would uproot the “village” and transport it, by night, further down the river to assemble it again ahead of the same royal barges when the barges continued down the river having docked overnight.

The foreigners went home marvelling at the strength and wisdom of the Russians, evidenced by the fact that even those whom the Russians conquered were fawning in their praise of their new masters such was the decency of the Russian occupation.

But the key to understanding the gullibility and the success of the Potemkin villages is that the foreigners wanted to believe, because they needed a success in Russia. It was 1787 after all. Monarchist America had become a republic and imperial France was teetering. Old certainties were crumbling for the old order. There was a feeling that a powerful monarchist Russia was needed in order to stop the “domino effect” of the Enlightenment, American Republicanism and war in Europe. In the event, George Washington and Maxim Robespierre put paid to their false hopes — the dominoes did topple.

Given the fear of revolutionary contagion, it’s easy to see why the dignitaries were predisposed to gullibility — because they didn’t want to face up to the consequences of what was actually happening on the ground. They wanted to see the world as they wanted it to be, not as it actually was. And if that meant believing in mobile villages, then so be it!

Now, fast-forward to Merrion Street today. The so-called Troika — complete with its peculiarly Russian-sounding name — is in town. And it will leave saying everything is hunky dory. We show it export figures and GDP figures — today’s Potemkin Villages — and it will go away happy, having taken into consideration nothing of the unemployment, emigration, negative equity or the fact that retail spending has collapsed. It will see what it wants to see.

The Troika doesn’t look at the real, nasty things because it, like the historic dignitaries in Russia, doesn’t want to. It wants to believe its own propaganda because it can’t face the prospect of failure. Remember, for the Troika, Ireland’s austerity programme must prevail because the prospect of the domino effect is too horrible for it to contemplate.

But the game is up. Let me tell you a dirty little secret: the Troika is redundant. Yes, redundant. The Irish IMF/EU deal is history. No matter what we do, events are overtaking us. The IMF/EU deal for Ireland will be torn up in the next three weeks and replaced with something quite, quite different.

The Troika has failed because the main aim of the Troika was not to fix Ireland but to ring-fence Ireland. We were/are a pawn in a much bigger game and that game is saving the euro. To save the euro, the Troika had to do two things. The first was to indicate that Ireland (and Greece and Portugal) was uniquely delinquent and could therefore be treated in isolation. However, this isolationist policy is designed as a type of financial quarantine to prevent contagion. If the Troika’s mission was to work, its putting Ireland into quarantine would have to strengthen the defences of European banks because, after all, we are being lent money to pay our creditors in order to ensure that the banks that are exposed to Ireland and Ireland’s banks don’t lose on their investments. So the aim of the EU/IMF was not to save Ireland but to make sure no one asked too many questions about what was lying deep inside the balance sheets of Europe’s banks.

But it hasn’t worked.

People are asking questions and they don’t like what they are hearing. The balance sheets of Europe’s banks are full of bad investments. This is making everyone scared. So banks have stopped lending to other banks because they don’t trust each other. After all, when everyone has been lying, I suppose that’s not too surprising. This is called a liquidity crunch. But the other problem is that when there is no liquidity and no one is prepared to lend, it poses huge problems for governments like Spain and Italy because they have to roll over enormous quantities of their national debt, retiring old stuff and replacing it with new stuff.

This is no problem when everyone is willing to lend to you — you just replace the maturity of the debt and reissue it. But when investors want cash and not promises, the game changes.

This sovereign debt crisis reinforces the sense of panic and it means that the only buyer of sovereign debt will be the European Central Bank. But this contravenes the ECB’s own rules and makes the Germans jittery because the Germans worry that their central bank will become a financial skip for Europe’s financial waste.

This is what contagion looks like. This is exactly what the Troika in Ireland was supposed to prevent and this is why the Troika has failed.

The “country quarantine” approach has failed. Contagion now abounds and infection is rampant. Any future bailout of the whole financial system could involve trillions of euro. This will not come without the political price of accelerated political integration. But now the irresistible force of increased political integration smashes into the immovable object of the citizens of Europe who do not want federalism. Expect referenda and then real fireworks will start.

Remember what happened to the country that constructed the Potemkin Villages? It was invaded by post-revolutionary, Napoleonic France which was precisely the type of political Armageddon that the little lie of the ‘villages’ was designed to prevent.


  1. Dorothy Jones

    Respect David……

    ……..In an effort to read today’s Independent article while on the hoof; a ‘Potemkin’ search yielded the article of 23 July 2000. Extracts include:

    ‘With inflation at over 5 per cent and deposit interest rates well below 3 per cent there is no incentive to save. We are now being penalised for saving, so is it any surprise that the savings ratio is falling?
    And the banks are lending the cash. Well, of course, they are, because their share prices are flagging and without high volume growth, profits will fall, increasing the chances either of management being sacked by shareholders or predators buying the entire bank at the present low share price.
    But where is all this cash coming from? How come the banks have so much money to lend to the rest of us? The banks are borrowing huge amounts every day from the Central Bank, which is obliged to give them the cash. Or else they will borrow the money in France, Germany or anywhere else in the eurozone. EMU has made all this possible.
    So we are borrowing money which was saved by Germans over years and years, to spend on pints. This is why publicans can raise prices. They are not the culprits any more than the VHI, accountants, solicitors, surgeons or bricklayers are.
    The culprit is the huge wave of credit washing down over the economy. This is causing excess cash to seep into every pore of economic activity, pushing up prices and wages. The so-called free market government with its price-fixing nonsense is taking a leaf out of the Leonid Breshnev economic manifesto. Meanwhile the rounding up of spurious suspects, like Potemkin villages, serves to mask the Government’s weakness, rather than exemplify its strengths.’

    • Julia

      Well done for finding that article Dorothy. I remember it well. I knew David had written about Potemkin villages before, but wow, 11 years ago! And still so up to date.
      David, again I applaud you. However I still think that the only people listening are the Plain People of Ireland and it seems our opinion isn’t worth much.

      Ok, do you like this? – I’m off the bier, said the corpse when a drunken motorist drove into the funeral.
      (Myles na gCopaleen).

    • imithe

      Excellent.

      The question is, if the predators were after banks with low share prices, what are they after today?

  2. Daithi Lacha

    David, I remember during Lisbon you said it didn’t matter either way what way the vote went. Would you still back that assertion now?

    • 33square

      “But now the irresistible force of increased political integration smashes into the immovable object of the citizens of Europe who do not want federalism. Expect referenda and then real fireworks will start”

      are the citizens of Europe as immovable as David has asserted? the irish certainly aren’t! give us a flashy ad campaign, guilt trip us (slightly) and we’ll flip flop on any decision you like within a few months, we promise! We start as I mean to continue, we do, not easily swayed us…

      Should be: “Now the irresistable force of increased political integration smashes through the pathetic, limp, apathetic european citizenry who care more for bread and circuses than about pulling their collective head out of their collective arsehole before said arsehole gets reamed”.

      I, for one, welcome our new EuroNazi overlords…

      referenda are easy: expect a damp squib. besides, i’m too busy with faceb(c?)oo(c?)k and xfactor to give a damn anyways… i mean, someone has commented on the picture of me having a laugh out on the piss the last night, it was unreal, you should’ve been there… so much different than any other night and so much better than everybody elses…

      In other news… Bertie Ahern (fox) doesnt have the common decency to commit suicide, despite recommending the move to others (http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/0704/economy.html). karmically though, harikiri’d probably be too good for a c#nt like that.

  3. ladygee2

    Yes, it looks as though we’re living in very interesting times.I’d nearly be safe in stating that the Irish people will tell the government to ‘Foxtrot Oscar’ in the referenda being held on the same day as the Presidential Election. The government needs to be given a really good ‘kick in the pants’ in order to get them to wake up to the fact that the Irish People have had enough!!! If there are to be further referenda in the near future in relation to changes being made to the Lisbon Treaty then they should also be told in no uncertain terms where to go as well!!!

    • Malcolm McClure

      ladygee2: You are not in the legal business by any chance, are you?

      • ladygee2

        @Malcolm McClure. No, Malcolm I’m not in the legal business or any other business for that matter. I’m just a retired chemical process operator who ‘got out’ at the right time. I paid off my mortgage with some of my redundancy package along with I also taking early retirement and I’m in the enviable position of owing nothing to nobody. I’m just your average ‘Joe Citizen’who just thinks that my country is being run into the ground by a bunch of incompetent morons who don’t seem to know their ‘arses from their elbows’!!

        • You sure know your compound mixes from your your chemical reactions and how to make a catalist turn into a $ a Buck or two.

          I salute you with my liebig condenser.

        • Julia

          Well done Ladygee. Totally agree.

        • Malcolm McClure

          ladygee2: I was misled by your comment deploring the referendums attached to the presidential election. These referendums (on whistleblowers, the Abbeylara judgment and on judicial pay) all seem to be strongly in the public interest and seem, on the face of it to deserve our support, not to become the pretext for a thoughtless ‘kick in the pants’? Our learned friends, of course, would support your proposal.

          • ladygee2

            @Malcolm McClure-Do you really think that the Oireachtas should get even more powers? Sorry, Malcolm, but I and more than likely a whole load of others would disagree. Look what happened with Lisbon? Those idiots Clowen, Kenny and Gilmore scared everyone shitless after the Treaty was voted down by the people the first time around. Then you had the like of that French idiot Sarkozy coming over here trying to tell us that the Lisbon Treaty was for our own good. Who gave him the right to come over here and interfere in our affairs!! He should have been told in no uncertain terms where to go, toute suite!! Where are the so called jobs that we were promised would arise out of us voting for the Lisbon Treaty then? Well??? Once bitten twice shy I say and so will a whole lot of others. My advice is that people should be very careful what they vote for in future.

          • Harper66

            @LadyGee2 I cant help but find your post disengenuous.I am always concerned when I see people cautioning change by evoking fear of the unknown.

            What we have at present is equally unpalatable. Rejecting these referenda will not teach this government a lesson what it will do is allow judges to continue to draw down obscene wages while the majority of people are being screwed to the wall, it will also allow tribunals to continue with their obscene wages bills. I would also remind you that in the recent years corrupt politicians who were diciplined by the oireachtas turned to judiciary to allow them to walk away scot-free and with damages!

            I agree with your thoughts on this and the past government they are shameful and incompetent- but if you wish to be rid of them vote them out dont prentend voting down these referenda will do that.

          • Malcolm McClure

            ladygee2: For me the early warning sign that the country was going to the dogs was in 2002 when the Mini-CTC tribuneral hauled a fine selection of Ireland’s greatest shysters in front of a parliamentary sub-committee that was televised live. That committee included Seán Doherty, Chairman, Pat Rabbitte, Austin Curry, Martin Brady, Jim Higgins and Noel O’Flynn, and they stood up well to the prevarications they were confronted with.

            Unfortunately the said shysters managed to get the sub-committee shut down as unconstitutional as soon as they began to threaten the freedom of action. One of the constitutional amendments in the referendum will restore the ability of parliamentary sub-committees to investigate thoroughly the mis-doings of vested interests, as was the case in Westminster, where Murdoch, Climate Change etc have been hauled over the coals by similar committees. If this means supporting a referendum giving more powers to the Oireachtas, then I say ‘more power to their elbow’.

            The other referendum would involve an amendment to Article 35.5 of the Constitution which currently specifies that “the remuneration of judges shall not be reduced during their continuance in office”.
            That clause would be amended to provide that where other public servants were subject to pay reductions those reductions may also be applied to judges.

            I cannot understand why you or a ‘whole lot of others’ would have any grounds for disagreement with this sensible change.

        • molly66

          At last you are so right we need to put an end to this government I would not let this shower tie my shoe laces ,it seams like there in a different world I would like to ram the budget up where the sun won’t shine.

        • dwalsh

          Well done and well said ladygee2

    • Deco

      Lucinda, the minister for what Dick Roche used to be responsible for, has said that it would be difficult to justify another referendum on the EU before the people at this time.

      Now, I believe Lucinda is a qualified barrister (? – correct me if this is incorrect).

      Are we back again to talking in riddles ?

      Is she saying that justification will be found ? that Sarko will find it. I reckon that Sarko, Barrosso, Van Rompuy, and chums will make sure that it never comes to that – the last thing they want is the people who are about to get suckered into paying for this mess, being asked for their consent.

      Of course, there is a slight bug in the background. The Constitutional Court of the Bundesrepublik in Karlsruhe, has already declared that there will be no new treaties with respect to infringements of sovereignty without the consent of the people.

      Kicking the can down the road, and finding out that the road has not much more to go…..

    • 33square

      To the theme of “Another Brick in the Wall”:

      they don’t need no referendum…

  4. paddyjones

    Troika or not we have a deficit of 18 billion, this must be brought down to 3% of GDP by 2015 if not sooner. The only way to get rid of the troika is to pay them back and thats not going to happen .
    In 2013 the bailout money will run out and we will have to apply for a second bailout .
    The troika will be running our country for the next 10 years , I am happy about that rather than have Kenny/Gilmore do it.
    The troika will be good for Ireland , they are the kind strangers that Morgan Kelly wrote about. The troika are not politicians they wont ruin our economy they will fix it and Kenny/Gilmore will use that as cover to adopt unpopular but necessary decisions.
    We must get our house in order , according to Gurdgiev we are the most indebted nation on earth.
    We must embrace austerity and support the troika who are only looking after our interests. Whats wrong with that??

    • Did you loose that little plastic box again?

      Remember, red for the evenings, blue for the morning.

    • We must embrace austerity and support the troika who are only looking after our interests.

      Seriously dude, you lost your marbles.

    • Should the Troika remain in Ireland for the next ten year we will become the Palestinians of Europe without a Nation and a Sovereignty .And Gay Byrne and Pat Kenny will not be there to listen to us moan either.

      • dwalsh

        Are they going to sell-off Gay and Pat along with our other national assets and treasures??

        Maybe the troika do have our best interests at heart.

    • Many aboard the Titanic refused to get into the lifeboats cause they believed the titanic couldn’t sink:-(

    • Dorothy Jones

      Moot point paddy…but….
      when Morgan Kelly wrote about Ireland having to rely on the ‘kindness of strangers’,a turn of phrase. I am not sure that he intended this to be understood that the Troika are ‘kind strangers’. That would be pretty out of character for MK….

    • molly66

      I read all this wisdom each week and I really feel nobody has the hearing aids on this country is banjaxed.theres a lot more going out than we take in even fair city shows some of the cast on the bread line in the soap ,we need to (get our house in order) Gilmore /kenny are running us future down a cul de sack.we live in quando red tape Ireland.crime is out of control ,I heard a story about a couple going of on holidays and while away thieves lows of the low ,went in stole the heating oil,and rang the oil company and pretended to be the owners and ordered two more fills of oil from 2different oil supply companies while the people where on Hols and made of with 3 lots of oil.I live in the country and now feel I need a firearm to protect my family

      • Lyndon Jones

        The troika are not our enemies they gave us a hand when no one else would, without them we would have to balance our budget immediately, thats 18 billion of cuts.
        All our debts , corporate , personal and sovereign are as much as 600 billion for a coutry of 4 million people.
        There has bben great kindness shown to us and we should be grateful not spiteful like DMcW.
        Umemployment will stagnate for years, property prices wont recover until post 2020, growth will be low and austerity will get us to a balanced budget by about 2016.
        Thats the future

        • Pedro Nunez

          And there’s moving statues in Ballinspittle Lyndon,k and ain’t you de proverbial ‘dogs bollox’!

        • Harper66

          We would not have had to take troika money if the country had not been bankrupted by the state taking on private banking debt.

          The troika did not “give us a hand” they faciltated the recapitalisation of European banks by giving the Irish government money who in turn poured this money through the Irish banks back in to European ones.

    • Julia

      Embrace austerity? My arms are already wrapped around it. My unemployed neighbours with kids are being embraced in turn by austerity. For them the embrace is choking. And it’s going to get worse. I don’t know what to think when I see this kind of blind faith.

      • molly66

        Hi there do you think we can take much more,3years ago I employed 5people and I now work if I am lucky 2days a week ,I can’t wait till the budget comes out in dec because I hope it’s a wake up call for us Joe soaps to stand up against this government ,they are devoid from us and are as bad as the last shower that destroyed this country.

      • dwalsh

        Clearly the winds of austerity dont blow in paddy’s home.

  5. CitizenWhy

    Will the Troika be visiting Occupy Dame Street for a spot of tea?

  6. Once DmcW reaches for his Potemkin metaphor, its time for us to put on our life jackets:

    http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2010/07/22/ireland-is-staring-down-the-barrel-of-bankruptcy/comment-page-2

    Great article. The coverup hasn’t worked. Our stooges don’t represent the Irish people, they represent the betrayal of banks and the EMU of Irish people.

    We are in the disgraceful position of full export orders, booming agri sector, and growth at 0% because of the massive deflation caused by our banking guarantees and support of Trichet’s final solution bailout, full payback of bondholders.

    As Morgan Kelly has pointed out, we had a chance we’re it not for the banks.

    The Troika have conned us up to the eyeballs: Government peddling rubbish we are returning to growth and policies being followed are correct and successful!

    The truth is our economy is on a train to Dachau or somewhere worse.

    The real index of a healthy economy is how many are emigrating and how many are working; not how much is being ported through bank terminals or being produced by a tiny number creating high value products from a low employment footprint, our banana republic economy of the moment.

    The contagion is metastasising as we speak and spreading like a cancer.

    Get the printing presses ready:

    • Lets hope what will come out of this is a modified version of the EU that will retain the best of it while dumping the nastier aspects of the EMU euro project run by the banking faction.

  7. piombo

    Complimenti David,
    A very insightful analogy and right on the money especially from my perch here in Italy. Although I don’t have the detail, I believe that the real elephant in the room is not only a relatively small amount of “sovereign” clearly lost, but in reality, the counter party CDS’s totally hundreds of billions perhaps even more that mostly US finance houses are on the hook for should defaults commence to crystallise. Why else should there be such a violent reaction to Slovakia’s refusal to underwrite the EFSF?
    Perhaps some more informed contributors to this blog would like to enlighten us on this suspicion of mine.
    By the way, Italy is on the eve of a collapse of the Government which should materialise on Friday. The €54 billion package voted in August cannot get through the attutative stage in parliament.

    • It is about a quadrillion in notional value, but the real figure is unknown.

      …Correction, is known to Banksters only.

      • Actually the real figure is known, but you’d need to be a professional to read it:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credit_default_swap

        Since 2008 there has been increasing pressure to release this information and register it on public databases or clearing houses.

        The data is available and free to download from link 62 at above site.

        • Also http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/12/citigroup-jpmorgan-are-at-risk-euro-debt-crisis_n_958127.html

          “”Assuming some relatively worse case developments, it appears that Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase are at risk to the developments in Europe. No other American institution is,” Bove wrote in a note.

          Citing the filings from the International Financial Statistics Yearbook, released by the International Monetary Fund for the year 2010, Bove said Citigroup is at biggest risk with exposure of $12.3 billion in Italy and $10.8 billion in Spain.

          JP Morgan Chase risks write downs on the $18.8 billion it loaned to Ireland, $12.2 billion to Italy and $12 billion to Spain, according to the filings.”

          If you believe the above, there is no exposure to Greece.

          So that leaves European banks carrying the can.

          Add onto it the can they are carrying for exposure to US subprime which hasn’t been written down???

          That’s a tall order for EFSF or anything else to cover!

          ECB is looking like a beached whale!

  8. Adam Byrne

    subscribe.

  9. Wooden Legs

    The Potemkin Village reminded me of Wall Street in New York and the city of Stockholm .

    The Potemkin Villages were made of wood that was easy to uplift and re-install elsewhere .

    Wall Street was a demarcation line for protection by the Dutch to protect themselves from the English and the other natives in USA and this is where the Stock Exchange is .

    Stockholm means an island of wood where the capital of Sweden was built .

    I am tempted to recall many stories by Dickens :

    http://dickens.ucsc.edu/OMF/gavin.html

    http://wordsworthsharing.com/index_files/dickenslegs.htm

    Wooden legs are worn by people who have lost their own natural ones .When they are worn people still can still feel the nerve of their toes when they already have been amputated .Its a mindset that is telling lies to the mind .Today we have a mindset that the Troika can spin to any tune and we continue to believe it as a Nation .We are anaesthesised by the Troika into self believing unimaginative immaginatives.We are walking on Stilts believing we are high above the clouds .

    When are we going to be pinched and by whom and what will happen then?.What Pain will we feel ?

    • Gege Le Beau

      You left out one critical historical fact with regard to Wall Street. Wall Street was originally a stockade to protect the Dutch settlers from Indians and also to keep their slaves from running away. The English took over the settlement as we know and the stockade became a tougher defence, eventually a wall, hence the name Wall Street, which today runs along the line of the old wall.

      Interestingly, an article I recently came across said that the bones of 20,000 – 30,000 slaves are located in lower Manhattan, in the financial district, something of an irony given the enormous sums merchants and bankers made from the most despicable trade in human history.

      Believe this comes from that same article:

      “Manhattan Island had a population of enslaved Africans almost from the very beginning of settlement in 1624. The findings of scientists examining the graves show that enslaved Africans lived agonizing lives. They were overworked and underfed. Many died young. The average life expectancy of Africans of that era was 37 years.The first slaves arrived in what was then known as New Amsterdam around 1627. These enslaved Africans worked for the Dutch West India Company rather than for individuals. In addition to building the wall that gives Wall Street its name – a wall of timber and earthwork along the northern boundary of New Amsterdam – slaves cleared Manhattan’s forests, turned up the soil for farming, built roads and constructed buildings. Without slave labor New Amsterdam might not have survived.”

      The parallel with today, is that the Irish, no historical stranger to slavery and suffering, one need only think of the forced transportation of tens of thousands of Irish to the West Indies and Australia, are debt slaves to a financial system that exploited the actual slave system all those centuries ago.

    • Julia

      I wonder are the Potempkin villages patented? I might go into business building a few and sell them to individuals, companies or govts around the world. Can I go on Dragon’s Den with this?

  10. Johno

    But the game is up. Let me tell you a dirty little secret: the Troika is redundant. Yes, redundant. The Irish IMF/EU deal is history. No matter what we do, events are overtaking us. The IMF/EU deal for Ireland will be torn up in the next three weeks and replaced with something quite, quite different.

    Would love to know what this something diffenent is going to be. Any chance of expanding on it?

  11. Gege Le Beau

    In 1380, at the battle of Kulikovo Polye, 60,000 Russians slashed and hacked at a force of 100,000 Mongols, defeating them and beginining the process of Russian statehood.

    In 1612, the Russians defeated a superior Polish force which had occupied the Kremlin (Russian for ‘citadel’ or ‘fortress’). In 1812, they absorbed another invasion (the largest the world had ever seen at that point) with Napoleons force eventually forced to make their humilitating retreat from a burnt out Moscow. In 1919, they fought off a Western military intervention which sought to stamp out Lenin and possibly see a return of the monarchy. Between 1941 and 1945, the Russian/Soviets destroyed four fifths of Hitler’s forces in the ‘Great Patriotic War’ and for the rest of the 20th century were dragged by their country’s tyrannical leadership into the Cold War which eventually saw the country brought to its knees once again.

    They rebuilt their shattered land over and over, and while they were ruled by tyrants and despots for most of their history, the resilience, perseverance and dedication of the average Russia is hard to match especially given the levels of destruction and loss of life they experienced, one need only think of decimation of Stalingrad for instance which before Hitler’s troops arrived had a bustling industrial population of 500,000, but by the time the battle had ended only 5000 civilians were left in the city.

    And in the midst of all that they produced some dam good writers, composers, scientists and chess players! A fascinating country, potemkin villages or no potemkin villages.

    • Colin

      Whenever things get me down, I just thank God that I wasn’t born Russian in any era. Thankful that I wasn’t a WW1 or WW2 Infantry soldier ordered over the trenches into a hail of German bullets, treated like cannon fodder. Thankful in my neighbourhood the government didn’t build faulty and dreadfully poorly managed nuclear plants near me, which exploded due to human error. Thankful that I didn’t grow up in a country where you do not have to queue for bread. Thankful that I didn’t grow up in a country where the young girls are sent away to work in Dubai/Marbella/Monaco as prostitutes. Thankful that I didn’t grow up in a country where alcoholism is rampant. Thankful that I didn’t grow up in a country where heroin is rampant. Thankful that I didn’t grow up in a country where the President serves two term, then serves as Prime Minister, then states he wants to serve as President again.

      Gege, you say you lived in New York before, the capital of world communism, so can you now tell us what life is really like in Russia as you seem to be full of admiration for all things Russian/Soviet/Communist?

      • Colin

        Correction * world capitalism

        • Gege Le Beau

          @colin, you still can’t get over the old foolishness of conflating the tyranny of the Soviet elite and the forbearance of the Russian people, bit like the corruption of the Irish elite and the effort and struggle of the Irish people. Very different entities. New York like Berlin and Athens has a vibrant left wing, the world thankfully is far from black and white, you just need to liberate yourself from dogma.

          • Colin

            Gege,

            Thanks for your comment.

            I’m well aware that New York has plenty of citizens belonging to the chattering classes.

            I’ve tried to ‘understand’ lefty liberal agenda. I recently bought and read a book recommended by a poster here about 6 weeks ago called “Free to be Human” by David Edwards, a leading Chomsky admirer. I read it with an open mind. Now, the book does make some valid points in regards to consumerism which I agree 100%. But I do not agree with the central thrust of the book, that we are denied our freedom by our governments in the West.

      • Adam Byrne

        Alcoholism is rampant in Ireland Colin; it’s ruined this country.

        • Deco

          +1. Well said. Correct.

          The Drinks Cabinet. They ruined the country at a macro-level.

          At a micro level it ruined hundreds of thousands of lives, and is responsible for perpetual underperformance, waste, and social problems.

          • Lord Jimbo

            Always thought Ireland a next to impossible place if an alcoholic, so much available, so central to the culture, saturation coverage especially in sport.

          • Colin

            You can choose to be as drunk as a Lord, or you can walk away from the bottle. If you were immature enough in the first place to become dependent on alcohol, then you need to wake up, smell the coffee and grow up.

          • Lord Jimbo

            @ Colin addictions are not a reflection of immaturity, they are just that addictions and they impact people from all walks of life, you should round off your hard edges, makes for a somewhat easier life, for you and those you come into contact with.

          • Colin

            You are misinformed again Lord. Don’t tell me what to write and what not to write! You are not a censor and I will continue to post unhindered by your attempts to pressure me into silence. This is a warning to you!

        • Colin,

          suggest a career move. Go ahead and start the Irish version of the Tea Party, you will find plenty of followers.

          • Colin

            The liberal lefty politically correct dominant Irish media would destroy any semblance of a tea party. Plus, I’d be concerned ex FF and ex PD types would infiltrate it. So, thanks, but no thanks, I’ll stick at what I’m doing, putting the truth out there.

      • Colin

        Alcoholism is a huge problem here, yes, its obvious and I’m on the record here for recognising this, I posted last week about how RTE should produce docs about it affecting everyday lives… I just thought people would remember that…. but anyway, Russia is even worse than Ireland when it comes to alcoholism, with beer being severely restricted, leaving only hard liquor like vodka available there, and that is far more dangerous. Same with heroin, its a problem here, but far far worse in Russia.

        I know Ireland is not perfect, far from it, but I do count my blessings we have a so many things that the Russian people never had. And then you have the horrific Russian climate, too hot in Summer, way too cold in winter.

        Just trying to put things in perspective.

        • Lets not paint a rather poor picture of the Russian people. They are not all alcoholics. I recall being in one of the USSR satellites a year or 2 ago, city of Lviv, beautiful city. I frequently used their tramway system. The trams were usually full. People paid their fare by passing fare from the back of the carriage to the front, it would be handed on from person to person and the ticket would be issued at the front of the carriage similarly passed back person to person to you. I tested this by sending a note requiring change and the note was passed on. To my surprise a minute or 2 later here comes my ticket with full change!! Try that one in Dublin. I’ve heard it on good report the Russian people are the friendliest people who would go out of their way to help anyone. Russian people have a deep cultural heritage similar to our own and have had their travails. But they should not be confused with the false stereotype image you depict. The Russian landscape and architecture as all of Eastern Europe can be quite beautiful and their climate is often more enjoyable than ours. Their literary tradition is very similar to ours. I would prefer the US only because I can speak the language and share the culture more and admire the US people. Generally, you will find that people across the world are the same, both good and bad; whatever country you travel to.

          Denigration of other people on the basis of false stereotype such as yours is foolish especially when we Irish have so much catchup to do to create a fair and just society for our people.

          And yes I do believe justice and fairness has fallen in Ireland to a level approaching lack of same in present day Russia.

          • Colin

            I didn’t say they are all alcoholics! You’re twisting my words. I said its a bigger problem there than it is here.

            Now, Lviv, was never Russian. Its in the Ukraine, occupied before by Russian dominated USSR. Lviv is in far western Ukraine, where the people are far from Russian. They are not Orthodox, they are Western Christian. The lie on the western side of the great faultline spliting Europe between East and West. Lviv owes its beauty to Austrian Hungarian Empire, and enjoyed good times in this empire. That’s why the trams there are so nice, they make you feel you are in Prague or Vienna, not Moscow nor Volgograd.

          • Adam Byrne

            “Generally, you will find that people across the world are the same, both good and bad; whatever country you travel to.”

            Great line Colm and bang on the money. Having lived in 8 countries in my life, I completely agree with you here. People are very similar everywhere.

          • No, I can’t return to Tipperary, or anywhere else for that matter and build the home of my dreams. Go check the Planning regulations! You are not addressing my argument. Your 1300 years ago is a bigot’s argument, it has no substance whatsoever, is only pure unadulterated prejudice.

            I can’t help myself from calling a spade, a spade. In Ireland if you call a spade a spade you are in danger of being labelled aggressive, lol.

            Let’s do a test. Has Colin visited or lived in Russia, Israel, Gaza, anywhere in the Middle East, or North Africa, say Turkey and lived under Islam for a while?

            I’d bet not. The arguments you put there remind me of racist arguments put out by regimes such as The Nazi regime. They are designed to inflame public opinion against vulnerable people. I’m sure they are also unchristian.

            Re “Now, Lviv, was never Russian. Its in the Ukraine, occupied before by Russian dominated USSR. Lviv is in far western Ukraine, where the people are far from Russian. They are not Orthodox, they are Western Christian.”

            I’d suggest before putting forward attacks against Islam, Russia, you firstly inform yourself with a bit of eye opening travel. I firstly tell you I’ve been there, and you lecture me on where it is? I had the good fortune to spend approx 2 weeks there having travelled there from Krakow in Poland. In its time its been conquered by many empires, German, Russian, etc.

            So, I ask the simple question, have you lived under Islam and travelled to any of these places or just got your info from some geography book?

            If you have, there’s no point in me continuing this argument, I’ll not change your point of view. If you havn’t, I suggest, you need to do some travel that will open your eyes a bit.

            Best thing you could do is immediately go buy a ticket to Ireland’s match against Estonia. Enough of the anti Islam rubbish, there’s plenty good in Islam, as there is in christianity, even though the Irish version of christianity practiced fervently here since 1916, has thrown up plenty of throw ups!

            Come on, instead of fomenting racist, sectarian intolerance and dissent, answer the question above:)

          • Colin, I should say I largely agree with your anti alcohol polemic, it has and continues to wreak havoc right across the world especially Ireland and Russia, usually alcoholism is mostly expressed in societies where there is lack of education, opportunity eg among the aborigines in Australia, the Innuit in Alaska or other colonial or post colonial cultures eg the Irish. Another reason from a health point of view we should invest in good education.

          • Colin

            Colm,

            Right, one by one, I’m gonna deal with your points.

            You CAN certainly buy an existing property anywhere in Tipperary, and move in. So, you can relocate there in a heartbeat if you wish to, no estate agent is gonna demand an explanation for your intentions of living in Tipperary. A new build requires planning permission, you may not get it on the Rock of Cashel, but you may get it in a area zoned for development, so don’t tell me you cannot relocate there.

            You call me a racist. You’re a disgrace! I’ve never utterred a racist word here. I’ve had non-white girlfriends in the past, so fcuk you Colm!

            I’ve never lived in an Islamic country, and I’ve no intention to ever do so. That’s no reason not to form an opinion on their soceity. I’m sure you have an opinion on prostitution or heroin, but I’m not gonna presume you ever hired a prostitute or injected heroin into your arm.

            I’m free to shed light on Islamo-Fascism, something our western media prefer to bury their heads in the sand about rather than deal with it. There are plenty of white muslims, so you can’t call me racist for doing that.

            I have travelled a lot, especially around Central Europe, and I have spoken to locals in Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria all countries fully or partly under Islamic rule in the past, and everyone to a man had nothing good to say about Islam. You point out how bad the USA operates. They never did what the Turks did in the Balkans, take ten year old Christian boys in raids, bring them back to Constantinople, train them as Janisaries, and send them back 10 years later all brainwashed and islamised to murder their own original communities.

            My point about Lviv is that it owes more to the Austro-Hungarian Empire for its streets, buildings and trams and so on, much much more than it owes the Russians.

            I have sympathy for ordinary Russian people, generation after generation being continually failed by its leaders and rulers. Life has never been easy there, so I’m lucky I’m born Irish in that regard. That was my point.

          • Colin, my racist allegation extends to the inclusion of non white muslims under the Muslim brand, so I assume your views re muslims extend to the beautifully coloured as well. Now, prejudice and racism and sectarianism to me represent a closed mindset. If you have that mindset, its easy enough to pick mud and fling it where you hope it’ll stick. If you are a Jihadist anti US monster, you’ll find cause with bad examples of where the US brought shame on itself in Iraq or elsewhere; likewise, if you hate the Irish, you’ll be interested in false stereo types you’ll look to re their drinking habits etc. My point is we should be very careful with the broad stereo type brush. Basically, beneath the cultural differences, people in the world share more in common than in difference. The mud often attached to them should much better be attached to their bad leaders who often exploit their own people most of all. We should all be careful to distinguish between people and the way they are often misgoverned and exploited. Good to hear anyhow you’ve done a fair bit of travel:)

            You might be interested in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Theroux father of Louis Theroux, his book Ghost Train to the Eastern Star was a revisit of a better book The Great Railway Bazaar of his youth, visiting this time countries in Eastern Europe and the middle east. He wasn’t too happy with what he saw. I’ll leave the last word on this thread to you.

          • Colin

            Colm, you need help. A white cannot hold racist views against another white.

          • Harper66

            @ Colin

            Untermensch (German for under man, sub-man, sub-human; plural: Untermenschen) is a term that became infamous when the Nazi racial ideology used it to describe “inferior people”, especially “the masses from the East,” that is Jews, Gypsies, Poles along with other Slavic people like the Russians, Serbs, Belarussians and Ukrainians[1][2]

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Untermensch

          • Colin

            Harper, the Nazis broke every single one of the 10 Commandments. I keep them all!

          • Harper66

            @ Colin

            Your either very young or very naive.
            The link to the Nazis was to show you there are countless examples of people of the same colour of skin beinig rascist towards each other.

          • Colin

            Well Harper, I can assure you that I’m old enough to vote and wise enough to the world.

            When the Nazi murdered the Jew, they both belonged to the white race. If the Jews had converted en mass to Christianity 1000 years ago, they would not have been persecuted by the Nazis. The Nazis despised the Jews for their religion and customs and ten commandments, not for their dna. Hitler thought that both Christianity and Judaism had a “weak” God (that’s a loving merciful God in case you need to know). Hitler had a much bigger regard for the “strong” muslim Allah, and even more a regard for the ancient pagan Gods of the Vikings.

      • dwalsh

        @ Colin

        Здравствуйте!

        Perhaps you were Russian in your last life??

        That might explain your irrational loathing of everything Russian.

        Just a thought :)

        • Colin

          Read my posts again dwalsh. I never said I loathe everything Russian. I even said I had huge sympathy for ordinary Russian misgoverned for so many centuries. But you don’t read my posts do you dwalsh? You just slur me!

          • dwalsh

            I was just teasing Colin. I do actually read some of your posts. I dont agree with a lot of what you say though. I suspect the reverse applies too?

          • Colin

            Oh, teasing me eh? Silly me, now why didn’t I know that. Ah that’s ok then, lets play a game then, write what you want about me, and I’ll try and figure out if you are being serious or only joking.

            I’m not surprised you disagree with a lot of what I say. And yes, its clear I disagree with a lot of what you say. The difference is I don’t slur you. Also, I never hide behind the “I was only messing with you” argument.

        • Juanjo R

          +1

          dwalsh has appointed himself, unelected, as spokesman on behalf of what he percieves to be group-think and universal niceness here.

          He often uses we when he means his solely opinion. He is quite insulting himself in the way in enforcing his intolerant banal ideas on conformity to stunt debate. When this hypocrisy arises goes into a shouting down / bullying mode along the lines of aka father Ted “why can’t we just all get along”.
          He is incapabe of debate.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hello Gege,

      This is an excellent post.

      There is so much more that could be added such as the unimaginable suffering of the population of Leningrad during the siege of WW2 when graves up to one year old were dug up so the corpses could be eaten, the mathematic used by the US to produce radar invisible aircraft were invented by a Russian scientist, the fact that they put the first satellite in space and subsequently the first man, the fact that they were only just piped by the German scientists working for the US in putting a man on the moon, the fact the propulsion systems used on modern rockets is Russian technology from the 70’s and still is far superior to anything produced in the West (It IS rocket science you know), their magnificent culture and architecture, their magnificent landscape, the fact that they have their own language and Alphabet unlike the US, etc. etc. etc.

  12. Peter Atkinson

    Anybody bother to listen to the comical solution to the mortgage crisis.Talk about muppets and balls.The muppets have the balls to suggest another 100 strong quango be set up to sort out the mess with about 100 different mortgages proposals and not one of them having any substance to solving anybody’s problem.Folks, the way the guys are seeing it is you made the mess and you pay for it.

    I thought the 50/50 ownership on a social housing basis sounded laughable.Would this option be open to the gobshite who paid €5 million for his pile in Killiney in 2007 only to find that his dog-grooming empire had gone to the dogs.He has now gone into partnership with the social housing scheme and lo and behold Vico Road has become just another social housing area.Laugh you may,but the way things are progressing with the latest raft of solutions anything is possible.

    Just think on.The President is head of the defence forces.If ever there was an opportunity for Sinn Fein to seize power in the South surely this would be the most opportune and legal way of doing it.I mean,the rest of the field are hardly worthy of leading us over a cliff. On the other hand instead of the Spring uprising we could have a Pink Autumn uprising and beat them all to death with a bunch of flowers.I forgot sure we have the biggest bunch of Tulips in the history of the state and we still have no answers.

    A Troika as all you illuminaries know, is a Russian three horse carriage.I only wish it would rush up to Dail Eireann and run amok right through the main chamber but sure we know it would barely get rid of a fraction of the clowns in charge as we witness on Dail Reports how empty it is and the few that are there are comatosed and unlike ourselves would feel no pain.

  13. Peter Atkinson

    Further to my earlier comments I believe they will be distributing newly designed Trocaire boxes around the schools this Easter.They had them printed in China this year owing to the demise of our printing industry.They were being proof-read and no its not a mistake.The box now reads “Troika” and will be delivered to every household in the country.They are to be retained for ten years and the minimum yearly donation by every member of the household will be €10k.Is this possible.You better believe it is.

  14. goonermayo

    “There has bben great kindness shown to us and we should be grateful not spiteful like DMcW.”

    I’m hoping this comment is said tongue in cheek! The troika has not bailed us out. The troika gave us a loan because money markets knew what we were all denying, Ireland is bankrupt and cannot repay the debts of private institutions that it took on under threat from the ECB. When the troika leaves Ireland we will still owe the same amount of money as when they arrived but ireland will be poorer because of the savage austerity that has been inflicted on us.

  15. wills

    David,

    Another cracking article.

    I agree on all of it.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi Wills,

      See my post below. Most normal people like us see failure. The handful of people in charge sees success. As we all know David, the ECB is bankrupt that is why they are getting the money from the FED to bail us all out. So David, if even a non economist like me can see that why do you think the people in the FED think it is prudent to lend to the ECB? See the answer in my post below.

  16. Malcolm McClure

    Weird tonight on Newsnight how people can talk calmly about conjuring up €3 Trillion to support EFSF without ever mentioning inflation?
    I think we need to accept that inflation is a fact of life that people have had to live with since money was invented.
    200 years ago one pound was enough to support a family for a week. After WW2 a message boy earned 30 shillings (€1.70) a week. in the ’60s a family man earning £1000 a year was comfortably off. Now the median family income is €30,000 so inflation has gone up by a factor of 25 in 50 years.
    My guess is that the Euro (if it still exists) will sink in value by a factor of ten in the next ten years, whether they call it stagflation or something else.
    Far better to call the whole EC thing off for ten years and try to rebuild it again when the situation is stabilized in the component countries.

  17. Deco

    I am reminded of the old Soviet era joke, that explained how bureaucracy and nonsense was killing the Soviet economy…..

    “We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us”.

    Well, in modern, shiny, sophisticated Ireland….

    “We pretend to fix the economy, and they pretend that it is working”.

    “Our politicians pretend to know what they are doing, and we pretend that we are believing them”.

    “Our banks pretend to lend, and we pretend that we can trust them with our deposits.”

    The whole post-ponzi scheme system, is in shock, and we pretend that we can continue as normal.

    We pretend that we can still afford certain unsustainable aspects to the Irish lifestyle (like 1000 km roundtrip pissups in Barcelona) and the Troika pretends that we have stopped unsustainable aspects to our consumption).

    Fact is that, we cannot run this economy without a simultaneous tax hike (which will kill retailing completely – all those student and unmarried mother part-time jobs finished), and a massive cut back in public pay.

    Contrary to the title of a well known author, I reckon that “the worst is yet to come”.

    The borrowing of 20 Billion Euro per annum is cushioning Ireland from real austerity.

    And bear in mind that the approach to dealing with the problem that has been pursued so far, is making the economy less efficient.

    In fact, it seems to have been state policy for at least fifteen years to make the economy less efficient, and drive up the cost of living on everybody.

    • Gege Le Beau

      ++1

      Really enjoyed your comment, so double plus, nail and head come to mind.

      Denial is playing a role, but also obfuscation, and the illusion of returning to glory days. Myth making around exports for instance when you have a crippled economy, falling consumption, rising unemployment, high levels of indebtedness and no solutions from government apart from giving money to banks with no strings attached. Privatisation the neoliberalism way in the supposed interests of competitiveness. Where did I leave my diaspora t-shirt, must get a few more printed for the gathering.

    • ++1

      Actually I was watching the Presidental programme last night on TV .My take on it is they are all pretending too . However there is only one real politician of substance who has taken more than his fair share of suffering in the past and who is well able to show us our redemption and salvation and that only has to be : Martin Mc Guinness .

      He is unshakeable and amazing in his personal and political achievements and knows the whole Island of Ireland .No one else has that unbeatable persona
      in these adversorial and austerity times we now live in.He is a True Leader in a modern day Ireland .

      I prefer to look forward and pick what I believe is a winner in his game and not to linger to some soft patch on someone elses shortcomings .

      We have plenty of enimies outside of the island and we must all hold tight to win in our new struggle to extricate ourselves from the shackles from the past that the previous governments and oppositions failed to deliver and were contributories in the first place .

      I am voting for a Real Person who has it To Win.

      • He is the tallest too and hovers above the rest .

      • Colin

        McGuinness is spinning lies and deceit in every direction. But I’m not surprised stargazers like you have been taken in by it. His narrative of history is manufactured. The IRA had the opportunity to end violence in 1974, when everything was on the table and peace as we know it now was up for negotiation through shared devolved assembly. But NO! Martin rejected that in 1974 in favour of murdering more people. It took 20 more years of dreadful violence for the IRA TO GET THE MESSAGE INTO THEIR THICK CORRUPTED MURDERING HEADS THAT THEY COULDN’T WIN, and take the road offered to them in 1974.

        Dana is from Derry too, she didn’t join the IRA. Why not? If we believe Martin’s propaganda, Catholics were all 2nd and even 3rd class citizens, so why didn’t Dana join? Why didn’t John Hume join the IRA? Why didn’t the far far majority of people in Derry join the IRA? The answer is that most Catholics did not feel like 2nd class citizens. That’s the truth Martin likes to suppress. I don’t want a President who suppresses truth. Give me Norris anyday before that murdering psycho.

        • @Colin

          You should be looking forward .Hackers are employed by the biggest software companies in the world because they are the best to be found .Martin Mc Guinness has turned to peaceful means so lets judge him on that and the Peace Process in Ireland .None of the other candidates have that record and his experience is invaluable .

          • Colin

            So how is it then that Eoghan Harris received a death threat for speaking out against McGuinness?

          • @Colin

            ~I have no idea colin why don’t you ask him if that is important to you.And if he knows why did he not tell his readers? Are you sure you are not fabricating your evidence on line?
            Why is the Mc Guinness vote causing you a panic .Is it because you know he will win and your favourite will not ?
            If you are right why is Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson very happy to have him on their NI cabinet ?They dont believe your fabrications either .When shove comes to push they want a good leader on their cabinet team and Mc Guinness is their favourite man.

            If you have anything further to say be substantive in your argument .

          • Colin

            So I have to substantiate my argument now? Coming from the man who predicts moon wobbles every month which never come to pass, I find that a bit hard to take.

            You can look up the independent website, the story broke on Sunday 9th of October.
            http://www.independent.ie/national-news/death-threat-is-made-against-eoghan-harris-2900612.html

            I don’t know Eoghan Harris, never met him, disagree with him on many issues, primarily his support of FF and continued defence of Bertie, and to a lesser extent Cowen.

            Paisley and Robinson are/were never happy with having to work with him. I believe they despise him, and they have every right too since Martin and his buddies murdered many of their friends, so why don’t you substantiate your claim that they are best of friends and adore each other?

            I know I can’t change the voting habits of people who have a regard for Sinn Fein / IRA, but I just want the truth to be put out there.

          • @Colin

            To be honest you are talking from both sides of your mouth .Tonight the Full Moon has you sucked.

            Try again.I am not convinced by what you say.

          • Colin

            John,

            You talk from both ends of your torso, I’ll show you there is nothing to be feared from the moon and its perceived wobbles only seen by the stargazing community.

          • @colin

            When you hear the names of the week in gaelic /atlantis again remember each day is a name for each of the seven planets in our solar system.Are you not amazed?

          • Colin

            John,

            I’m more amazed that many Irish people have decided to vote for a lying murdering thieving violent thug.

            Why don’t you ask Nessan Quinlivan, the IRA rep for Limerick, who has a business premises down the road from you – where men pay visits at an hourly rate for the company of women working there – if he needs his books looked at and sure maybe you could reduce his tax bill?

        • Lord Jimbo

          What was this ‘everything on the table’ in 1974 Colin?

          Was it the Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC) strike by chance? Just putting the truth out there.

          “The Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC) strike was a general strike that took place in Northern Ireland between 15 May and 28 May 1974, during “The Troubles”. The strike was called by loyalists and unionists who were against the Sunningdale Agreement, which had been signed in December 1973. Specifically, the strikers opposed the sharing of political power with nationalists, and the proposed role for the Republic of Ireland’s government in running Northern Ireland

          The strike was organised and overseen by the Ulster Workers’ Council and Ulster Army Council, which were formed shortly after the Agreement’s signing. Both of these groups included loyalist paramilitaries such as the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).These groups helped to enforce the strike by blocking roads and intimidating workers. During the two-week strike, loyalist paramilitaries killed 39 civilians, of which 33 died in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

          The strike succeeded in bringing down the power-sharing Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive. Responsibility for the government of Northern Ireland then reverted to the Parliament of the United Kingdom at Westminster under the arrangements for ‘Direct Rule’.”
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Workers'_Council_strike

          • Colin

            What did the IRA achieve from 20 years of violence from 1974 – 1994? Everything was on the table in 1974, and was re-produced in the Good Friday Agreement, which Sinn Fein/IRA signed up to. The IRA did not enter talks in 1990s in a stronger position after 20 more years of violence, so my question is, what was the point of 20 years extra violence when they signed up for a very similar agreement which was offered to them 20 years ago?

            Are you telling me the IRA justifiably kept murdering and bombing for 20 years because there was a successful 2 week strike from the Ulster Worker’s Council together with the murder of 39 civilians at the hands of Loyalist butchers? All the IRA had to do was sit on their hands, watch the British government get tougher and tougher with anti-Sunningdale Unionists, making the IRA look like the angels, the good guys more and more in the world’s eyes.

        • Harper66

          I dont wish to defend anyone or anything but the truth….

          “The answer is that most Catholics did not feel like 2nd class citizens.That’s the truth Martin likes to suppress.” Incorrect and shamefully revisionist.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Ireland_Civil_Rights_Association

          • Colin

            I’m talking about 1974 here.

            “The United Kingdom suspended the Parliament of Northern Ireland and its government in 1972. It restored the single transferable vote (STV) for elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly in the following year, using the same definitions of constituencies as for the Westminster Parliament. Currently in Northern Ireland, all elections use the STV except those for positions in the Westminster Parliament, which follow the pattern in the rest of the United Kingdom by using “first past the post.”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerrymandering#Northern_Ireland

            So, gerrymandering had ended before 1974. John Hume’s peaceful civil rights movement had succeeded in its single most principle aim.

            So, Catholics were no longer 2nd class citizens in 1973, yet Martin McGuinness was still active in the Provisional IRA. Ask yourself why? Why was he still intent on murdering and bombing after Catholics in Northern Ireland were no longer 2nd class citizens?

          • Harper66

            @ Colin
            Continued gross over simplification on your behalf. For example internment continued on beyond ’74 as did the results of the apartheid mistreatment of one section of Northern Irish Society on another.

            I make this point not to engage with you in any way but to clarify for anyone reading this thread that may not be familiar with the finer details of this issue and may unwittingly believe your inaccuracies.

            Historians generally view that period of internment as inflaming sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland, while failing in its aim of arresting members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army. Many of the nationalists arrested were completely unconnected with the organisation, but had had their names appear on the list of those to be interned through bungling and incompetence and over 100 IRA men escaped arrest.[citation needed] The lack of reliability of the lists and the consequent arrests, complemented by reports of brutality from Long Kesh internment camp led to more people identifying with the IRA in the nationalist community and losing hope in other methods. Following internment, a serving officer of the British Royal Marines declared:

            It (internment) has, in fact, increased terrorist activity, perhaps boosted IRA recruitment, polarised further the Catholic and Protestant communities and reduced the ranks of the much needed Catholic moderates.[6]

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Demetrius

          • Colin

            Harper, my final engagement on this issue with you, its brief. Wikipedia entries on the troubles are not neutral, and there has been well documented cases of editing by IRA sympathisers. Don’t read them as gospel.

          • Harper66

            @ Colin

            and yet you reference wikipedia in a post me?

            The points you made re: Northern Ireland were incorrect so you now your are being selective with the truth in order to try and back them up.

            Regardless of wikipedia the points I made were valid hence you could not rebut them.

            The truth is Colin, for those of us old enough to remember, that that period was horrific. Peace and those that work towards peace, should be embraced.

            I am full of admiration for the people of Northern Ireland on both sides who have chosen peace and despite their differences work side that side.

            That is courageous.

            Slinging muck and twisting the truth anonymously on a website is not.

          • Colin

            Harper, my points are valid.

            Answer my question, “So, Catholics were no longer 2nd class citizens in 1973, yet Martin McGuinness was still active in the Provisional IRA. Ask yourself why? Why was he still intent on murdering and bombing after Catholics in Northern Ireland were no longer 2nd class citizens?”

            Eamonn McCann didn’t join the IRA. Fr Daly didn’t join the IRA. My 4 uncles living in Derry didn’t join the IRA. 98% of Derry Catholics didn’t join the IRA. The 2% who did were murdering psychos, who jumped onto a cause to justify their crimes which included robbing, racketeering, kangaroo courts, kidnapping, extortion, intimidation, knee-capping, maiming and murdering, drug dealing, diesel and petrol laundering and a lot lot more.

            Wikipedia is dodgy at the best of times. I won’t use them to back up my posts in future, but in my earlier instance, they did get it right regarding the ending of gerrymandering.

          • Adam Byrne

            Of course they were still second class citizens back in 1974. I was only born in 1972 and I clearly remember the discrimination growing up. You don’t get rid of discrimination that easily especially when money and survival is at stake. Just look at the hatred directed towards African taxi drivers – Dublin, Republic of Ireland, 2011.

          • Colin

            Thought you grew up in Lucan Adam? What was 2nd class about your upbringing?

            Civil Rights demanded One Man One Vote. They achieved that long before Martin says he left the IRA. Northern Ireland was a cold house for some Catholics. Please define what a second class citizen is, and we can then chew the fat over it.

          • Adam Byrne

            Yep, Lucan Colin. Not interested in votes though. Only voted once myself and that was just to satisfy my curiosity. As far as I’m concerned, voting is a charade – we are presented with a list of charlatans who lie their way into office then break every promise as soon as they get their hands on the first inflated pay cheque.

            The only effective way to do something, is to do it yourself therefore I have not ruled out running for office myself in the future, but not right now, too busy studying.

            Anyway, it was jobs I am referring to Colin, not votes. The Catholics were clearly discriminated with regards to employment. Any man will give up his vote if he can put food on his table for his wife and kids. I’ll leave it to you to find the evidence (or lack thereof) of the nature of the discrimination in the North in the past with regard to employment etc. but it’s been well documented over many years.

            As for me, I’ve submitted four long assignments this week so I’m off for a well earned Friday afternoon snooze. Back in the day when I used to drink, I would have called it a ‘disco kip’. All the best.

          • Colin

            Adam,

            Enjoy the weekend. I’ll look into it when I have time, I’m fighting fire on several fronts here, and I have plenty of things to do offline too.

            Hope you’re doing well in College too.

          • Harper66

            @ Colin.

            your points are not still not valid. They are still inaccurate. Your are merely repeating yourself.

            Perhaps your labouring under the impression that if you say it enough times and it will be true?

          • Harper66

            post should read –

            @ Colin.

            your points are not valid. They are inaccurate. Your are merely repeating yourself.

            Perhaps you are labouring under the impression that if you say it enough times it will be true?

          • Colin

            Wrong Harper. Read my post again and tell me exactly what is invalid about what I said.

        • Ignoramus Luna non haud excusat

      • Johno

        I can’t believe someone can honestly consider a person who has taken part in genocide as a Presidential candidate.
        I would put money that in a few years books will be written details the torture that went on up the North and I think a lot of people supporting McGuiness are going to be embarrassed by the revelations that will come out.

        • Lord Jimbo

          He and others found himself caught up in a brutal situation,a truly horrible conflict with atrocities committed on all sides. But let us not forget the work they have been involved in building the peace process in the 1980s, turning many within the Republican movement onto the path of peace, and then the range of agreements signed with the British in the 1990s. Today an imperfect peace exists, but a generation are growing up in a different environment. McGuinness has had to put up with some shameful carry on from the media in the Republic, who have provided no context to the Troubles or the personal risks he and others took for peace. I and many others I have spoken to have felt utterly ashamed at the way he has been treated. The power elite in the Republic run a serious risk of doing terrible damage to relations with the North. McGuinness is after all an elected representative, a deputy first minister, a person US Presidents and British Prime Ministers have met and done deals with. If they can turn the page of history and move on for the good of all the people of Ireland, what in the hell are we talking about in the Republic. Is it any reason why we couldn’t solve the Northern conflict without the intervention of the Americans, look at what is going on, it is as if the last 20-30 years didn’t even happen.

          Politicians and the media in the 26 counties lectured unionists and loyalists on the need for some sort of political agreement with Republicans, and here we have some clowns undoing the bridge building work over decades, highly paid people who have taken no risks for peace or anything else.

          I personally have had a sense of deep shame at the way things have gone on in the Republic, the presidential debate in particular has been dragged into the mire at a time when the vast majority need hope and people who are prepared to fight tooth and nail for their rights. Instead with have a political elite who have sold out and have offered the people nothing progessive economically or socially, that is the real issue in 2011. So some are trying to stop Sinn Fein from progressing in the south, party political interests rule, self-interest rules and some decided to throw the kitchen sink at him, well, they are wasting their time, because just like ideas, you can’t stop change eternally. I hope RTE-Pravda is their second stop after the Dail in terms of reform.

          • Harper66

            The power elite in the Republic run a serious risk of doing terrible damage to relations with the North.

            +1

          • Johno

            McGuinness has had to put up with some shameful carry on from the media in the Republic

            As the victims of his crimes have to put up with the shameful act of him not having the balls to come out with the truth and apolpiges for his direct role in the genocide he was a part of.

            McGuninnes and Adams are a disgrace. People wanted peace for a long time before these two cowboys jumped on the bandwagon and have cut people like Hume out of the picture. Notice it is not Gerry and Martin who got the nobel peace prize. Peace process would of been secured with or without them eventually.

          • Lord Jimbo

            @Johno, I do not seek to defend the terrible acts that were carried out by all sides (which has never been mentioned, all the focus has been on one group which is patently absurd and shocking in terms of revisionism, bias and lack of professional integrity). McGuinness has said he favours a Peace and Reconciliation style process to try to assist those families who lost loved ones in appalling circumstances (may they all rest in peace). If anything, the manner in which those poor people have been used as a political stick is even more shameful. From my reading of the situation, Hume and many others including women’s organisations, NGOs and other unsung heroes all played a huge role in the peace process, but without McGuinness and Adams I doubt the effort could have progressed very far, it may rate in time as one of the greatest achievements in the modern political era especially when you consider what had gone before. But yes, the pain of those years can still be felt for those who lived through them. Sympathies first and foremost go to all the victims.

          • Colin

            “He and others found himself caught up in a brutal situation,a truly horrible conflict with atrocities committed on all sides.”

            What, he was orbiting Earth, then landed in Northern Ireland as a Catholic in Derry, already signed up as an IRA volunteer? Was it a bit like that guy in the TV series “Quantum Leap”?

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjK9GJMBpt0

    • ++1

      We’ve debt fed deflation fed by EUSSR policies that hide inflation behind massive emigration, unemployment that will only increase under QE EFSF or future ESM proposals to feed the monster more.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ejjie26Xjs8

      Also we have the new jargon of pretendSpeak. Enda met Barroso and stated his dislike of any proposals involving PSI.

      Public Sector Involvement = Private Sector Involvement = PSI

      Our courtly popinjay Enda apparently said to Barroso:

      “Confidence is returning because our government is working with the people”

      There’s another mixed metaphor, double entendre, our popinjay is beginning to use: The People = The Insiders = The Bankers…depends who you are talking to.

      We need a new lexicon for these twisted meanings based on pretence, smoke and mirrors!

  18. Rory

    There will be no referenda. None needed, lisbon is a self amending treaty. A simple majority is all that’s needed, see article 48. So, they can bypass all the countries that need referenda. Hence enda kenny’s asinine comment that he will not allow any amendment that requires a referendum here.

    • The point is they ‘re working on changes that will require more than a few amendments.

      Enda doesn’t want the people to have a say.

      His blueshirt bancocracy agenda will deny the opportunity of Irish people to have a say in any such referenda!

  19. wills

    Gege,

    Interesting comment above on Wall St built on a burial site.

    Reminds me of the *Overlook hotel* built on an old Indian burial site in Kubrick’s movie *The Shining*.

    Symbolic.

    The monopoly capitalist system runs on the blood of economic exploitation.

    Unfortunately though the form of the post modern exploitation its black magic is less visible to the viewer as it once was back in the day.

  20. dwalsh

    I want to dedicate this contribution to redriversix who has often written about what I have to say here.

    Looking beyond our emerald shores for a minute or two and considering the global situation in a general sense.

    I think we are at war. I think the economic crisis is World War 3. What is happening is not accidental or natural. The elites are waging war on humanity and civilisation. Their specific target at this time is the sovereignty of the Western nations. They are using the financial markets to bankrupt the nations as a prelude to introducing fundamental changes in global financial governance. Political governance will follow.

    We in Ireland have already begun to be stripped of our sovereignty; and we will also be asset stripped of our national resources. We will end-up as tenants of trans-national corporations in our own country. The age of the nation state is passing and a new world order will soon emerge. If we allow it.

    They are also dismantling consumer capitalism.

    This latter development I approve — but not the way they are doing it. Their intention is naturally to preserve and transfer their hegemony in the current system into the new system. Their new world order will be grim. It will be like ancient Egypt, but at a global level. A militarily locked-down planetary slave camp. Human beings to them are commodities; units of production and consumption; expendables. Entries in a ledger.

    There are many ways to oppose this. The action on Wall Street and spreading across America is one way; an excellent way; especially if it can retain its peaceful nature. No doubt the elites are expecting resistance and are prepared for violence (FEMA camps; militarisation of police forces etc). Peace will be more of a challenge for them. Let us hope this is the beginning of an awakening which they have not factored into their plans.

    Awakening is the key to this enormous challenge that is facing our species. To overcome the perils of biospheric catastrophe and elite hegemony and enslavement, humanity must change its mind and its heart. This means there must be a significant upward shift in the median level of human consciousness; otherwise the elites will win the day and lock-down the planet; probably radically reducing the population as well.

    We must hope that the level of consciousness I refer to is already present on the planet in a latent state ready to be activated. That at some point in all this madness sufficient numbers of people of good heart and good will around the world will say…ENOUGH!

    The consciousness of the human world as an aggregate is the sum of each of our individual consciousnesses. We know we affect each other by how we function as conscious beings. Our personal moods and attitudes directly affect the people we live with and interact with. One of the most powerful ways we can individually oppose their war on humanity and civilisation is by a conscious discipline of kindness and goodwill and love (if we can manage it) towards everyone we meet; at all times. Each one who does this will minutely raise the general level of planetary consciousness; as well as significantly raising the level of wellbeing in their own immediate surroundings. If enough people do it the effect would be significant; it might help turn the tables on the elite. It would certainly do no harm; and the bonds of goodwill it would foster would help to sustain communities through the difficult times ahead. This discipline of kindness and goodwill should be combined with whatever practical actions one personally feels called to take; hopefully peaceful.

    Because of the nature of this war — which is fundamentally a war in human consciousness; the noosphere — it cannot be won by violence or hatred or aggression. The real crisis IS a crisis of violence and hatred and aggression manifested in the sociopathic greed and psychopathic warmongering of the elites and their minions. It is precisely that destructive aspect of global human consciousness that must be overcome; and overcome by kindness and goodwill. It is imperative for humanity and human civilisation that the meek should inherit the Earth. The time of rule by the sociopaths and psychopaths must come to a peaceful end. They no longer have an evolutionary advantage; on the contrary, they are now a liability to the survival of humanity and the future development of human civilisation.

    • paddythepig

      A load of do-gooder bollocks.

      • Emperorsgotnoclothes

        @Paddy
        You do yourself an injustice I’m sure with your risible and tawdry response to a very fine comment by Dwalsh. He, in my view, correctly identifies one of the core problems which have contributed to our current crisis. Ultimately, if we truly want to effect real change, then our response must be compassionate and non-violent. Consider Dwalsh’s views and, if you’re going to dismiss them, do so point by point, with a well considered argument.

      • ++1

        Well done, agree with you there, Paddy. its full of neoliberal ‘up in the clouds’ nonsense.

        Re “which is fundamentally a war in human consciousness”

        The analogy to war is overdrawn. I’m reminded of a speech by John Hume against the IRA when he said dead people cannot rise from their graves. Lets hope we don’t have war as a result of global meltdown.

        The US attitude to Iran is concerning, the hypocrisy of US statements re Arab Spring and their treatment of Wall St protesters against the US bancocracy. A distraction abroad could be the solution to take focus away from Wall St efforts to take over Main St.

        This is not WW3, if it was, you would know it. Biosphere is able to take care of itself with a little help from us, so pick up your litter.

        Scare mongering nonsense. The financial patient needs radical surgery but the patients life can be saved and the patient’s life can be improved.

        But if there’s a vote for bishop, dwalsh gets my vote:) Holy shit, the Austrian School and Amish Tea Party will be sending a posse after me:)

        • Colin

          I would say statements from Iran threatening to wipe Israel off the map should be worthy of more concern. Also, concern for Christian minorities who live in Egypt and Syria in particular should be prominent. Christian Copts are the natives in Egypt, the Muslim Arabs invaded and since occupied. Similar in Syria, Christians are the natives, Muslim Arabs invaded and have occupied since.

          And finally, whenever I hear people demanding the rights of Palestinian to return to inside Israel’s boundaries, I simply ask the question, when will the Jews be allowed back into Medina (2nd holiest city in Islam) from where they were evicted over 1300 years ago. Where is their right to return?

          • Lord Jimbo

            A line in a speech by a discredited president who was more like Colin. No need to inflame or poorly characterise the ridiculous as some form of official policy. And Iran isn’t the one holding nuclear weapons but instead is a country which has been threatened with bombing quite frequently over the last 10 years.

            As for the Middle East generally, divisions have been stirred up deliberately, it is possible for all groups to live side by side and in peace but too much money is being made from conflict as well you know. Let us hear no more of who should be going where, we need modern day solutions to modern day problems, beginning with a two state solution in Israel-Palestine. The West has a lot to answer for, carved the region up after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, creating ‘false states’.

            Rory Stewart does a very nice analysis of this and lessons to be drawn from Lawrence ‘of Arabia’. someone who fought very hard for Arabs to have their own lands. Well worth a watch.

            The Legacy of Lawrence of Arabia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-8ZGYUdnT4

          • Colin

            Sorry Lord, if you are suggesting that the Muslims will allow the Jews to return to Medina, then you are deeply misinformed or as drunk as a Lord. And who is the Iranian discredited by exactly, he got a standing ovation at the UN recently by all the muslim countries representatives, so they clearly support his endeavours. Maybe he is discredited in Lord Jimbo’s eyes, but the Iranian President is gonna say, “who is this Lord Jimbo discrediting me?”

          • Lord Jimbo

            Colin, get it in perspective, Israel has the most powerful armed forces in the region, fully backed by the US and apparently has nuclear weapons, you think Iran is going to try something?

            Hmmmmmmm
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQt5WPQTwN0

            As for Jews moving here, Muslims going there, as I said, modern solutions can be found to man made issues, conflicts can be resolved, just requires compromise and cool heads.

          • The crusader argument you put there is bigoted in the extreme if you justify the injustice meted out to Palestinians with the right you claim for:

            “Jews be allowed back into Medina (2nd holiest city in Islam) from where they were evicted over 1300 years ago. Where is their right to return?”

            1300 years ago. Now where exactly were we 1300 years ago.

            I must look up the ancestral tree to discover if any of my ancestors were evicted from Co Tipperary or Kerry 1300 years ago.

            In fact, lets all do this and return to our ancestral homes. Foolish and bigoted lad?Lol

          • Colin

            You’ll find you are free to return to Tipperary anytime you want and buy a piece of land and build the home of your dreams. That’s the difference my friend! And less of your slurs please, I’m not a bigot, but you couldn’t help yourself now Colm could you?

        • redriversix

          Evening Colm & paddythepig

          May I respectfully request that you both read what dwalsh wrote again.

          “let’s hope we don’t have a War as a result of this Global meltdown”

          May I point out that their are four War’s on already,Iraq , Afghanistan and Libya plus the Financial War being fought every day with us……..

          as the collateral damage.

          It’s the Big War that’s coming that you have to be ready for.

          And the “scaremongering” you refer to is not scaremongering when it is true.

          Check out your history books.

          I will gladly take as many “neoliberals”
          in to my house as I can than have one Neocon locked in the shed.

          Can we knock off the slanging matches and insulting comments to each other as we might need each other some day soon.

          Pissing contests are for schoolboys and insecure Men…!!

          Families first.

          Practice humility,compassion and understanding on a daily basis.

          Knowing you can stand up for yourself means ” not having to prove it everyday”

          Excellent article Dwalsh , Keep it up.

          talk later

          • dwalsh

            Thanks fot that redriversix.

            I endorse your contributions too. The human tragedy and hope in all this can get lost in the coldly intellectual views of some. Humanism and planetary stewadrship are seen as weakness and wimpish by those who believe in the fundamental creed of modern neoliberal economics. This creed in my view is a barbarism; ruthless Darwinian survival of the fittest. A profoundly regressive dogma that underlies and enables the war on humanity and civilisation.

      • dwalsh

        @ paddythepig.

        I accept your comment gratefully as a sign that I must be getting something right.

        Thank you :)

    • Emperorsgotnoclothes

      ++1
      Excellent posting Dwalsh. The suggestions you put forth are very difficult to argue you with as far as I’m concerned. For your interest you might check out a book called “The Compassionate Revolution” by David Edwards. His views strongly resonate with the points you have outlined in your comments above.

      • dwalsh

        Thanks Emperorsgotnoclothes; and for the recommendation. I will check that out. Perhaps the peaceful Global Occupy movement is the beginnings of a sea-change.

    • transitionman

      On the button D Walsh. Frustration that the lies and deception are so sophisticated. Its sad to see intelligent people unable to comprehend what is right in front of them. I had a conversation yesterday about the future of euro but apathy and analysis paralysis has set in. I find it bizarre to then read this article and all the responses this morning. Our host has gone on record with as close to D Walshs point above
      “This will not come without the political price of accelerated political integration. But now the irresistible force of increased political integration smashes into the immovable object of the citizens of Europe who do not want federalism. Expect referenda and then real fireworks will start.”
      Read TAE take on the euro http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2011/10/october-12-2011-end-of-eurozone.html
      The common theme Decos prediction that “the worst is yet to come”.
      Aside from a the distraction of a presidential contest where the main party FG is on backlash from the electorate how do we prepare?
      There in no chance of consensus as to what is going to happen in the next few months. Redriversix has the right attitude “Take care of your family and those close to you”
      If I was on the side of the elite and had carried out a programme of “Shock Doctrine” to create a “state of fear” to subdue citizens to take loss of sovereignty and draconian austerity I would follow up with a big bang shock so I could appear with the solution that the dazed would accept. The trigger of financial meltdown and its immediate chaotic consequences in money, food and fuel supply in winter to an unprepared urban population is in my opinion a serious risk. Far more so than the probability and mechanics of passing a referendum to ultimately save Germany and France for another while.
      A plan of action even if it has no chance of implementation in the event of a shock to the country is an essential exercise. We have a huge price for our 11th hour plan in relation to the Banks.
      I would propose that a risk analysis under a realistic economist like Constantin Gurdgiev could extrapolate the required emergency provisions to be stocked by existing providers. The amount of cash alternative money to be printed to allow the state to function. Funding for this basic emergency would be covered by withholding todays 70 million to bondholders. We are indeed in strange times.

      • dwalsh

        @ transitionman

        Thank you. I think the ‘create a problem and supply the solution’ modus operandi is being used to bring about big changes. And I think it could get as bad as you suggest – before it gets better.

    • dwalsh,

      The aggression towards your post are stereotype of the true war we are facing in the near future. Politically speaking, dormant racism and culturally ingrained ultra right wing views are the true, the inner enemy of the people that we have to face at some stage, and as if this alone would not be enough, it is not all.

      The biggest challenge is a massive paradigm shift which is required to be able to achieve a new consent, this is accompanied with the fear of the unknown.

      From a martial arts perspective, I understand a lot of your statements, but would add that ‘white doves’ alone will not suffice at all.

      You can not stand still when violent force is directed towards you, if you stand still, you will loose balance and fall, or worse.

      To unbalance the attacking force and change it’s direction is the more sophisticated answer to the problem. That requires a few things, and here you are 100% correct, the non violent approach is possible, however, again, it does not mean to stand still when a psychopath directs violent force against you.

      I would agree that we are witnessing a crucial phase of social engineering at work here.

      Last year in one of my longer post here I warned of the Iran scenario unfolding within 12 month in my view. I hate to be right here, but it is evident what is happening now. The 75 billion US weapons deal with the house of Saud, the Libya theater, Iran is the consequent next step.

      Ackermann just dished out at incompetent politicos, warning that the 9% tier 1 requirement would be paid by the taxpayer. The arrogance of power is their achilles heel. Hopefully, people in germany will wake up as well and start occupying Deutsche Bank headquarters.

      Yes, the 1% are a liability to humanity, on many levels.

      • marooned

        DWalsh

        A very good explanation to the critical responses to your comment can be found this week on the “The Archdruid Report” by John Michael Greer. He is one of the most articulate and informed commentators around and his book “The Wealth of Nature” will one day be seen as being as important as Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations”.

      • Adam Byrne

        I can’t see the US attacking Iran, I think it would be absolutely suicidal on their part.

        • It is the last piece in the puzzle Adam.

        • redriversix

          Hi Adam

          Yes , I believe your right, it would be suicidal. but America does not look on such adventures like you and many of us do.

          America currently has “boots on the ground” in Pakistan and Libya.

          They are Special forces, locating,
          confirming and painting targets, were necessary, and confirming ” kills” on the ground for the unmanned drones controlled from Florida.

          They may or may not wear insignia on their uniforms in case of capture.

          This method was used to fight in Laos during the Vietnam War.

          Since the end of the “Cold war” and the collapse of the Soviet union,the U.S has had free reign over how it operates on a world wide basis.The constant threat of “mutually assured destruction” [MAD]between America and the USSR kept both sides ” in check ” within reason.

          China has been slowly building itself up to superpower and supereconomy status over the last 40 years and has slowly placed itself as one of the main lenders of Money and one of the top buyers of U.S bonds,debt and tea-bills to the U.S.

          So Finance can be used as a weapon of War.President Reagan bankrupted the U.S.S.R in the eighties with an arms race and the rumours of a Star Wars type weapon,s system.Which Russia believed,and spent wildly to be stronger than America.

          So to recap,the U.S is currently fighting in Iraq , Afghanistan ,Libya , Pakistan and also selective targeting in Yemen with cruise missiles.

          Iran would not be outside the parameters
          of their current operations.

          The plan would be to gain as much ground as possible within Iran before Russia and China use their powers on the permanent Security Council to get U.S Forces to “withdraw or hold” on or to an agreed demarcation line like North/South Korea were peace talks could begin.

          That,I believe would be fine with the U.S as by that stage they would have control of the Natural resources in Libya,Iraq and Afghanistan to use as bargaining tools.

          That,s all for now,Hope to hell I am wrong…….

          • Adam Byrne

            Still can’t see it. If they think they are in stuck in a quagmire in Afghanistan and Iraq, just imagine what would happen in Iran. Tens of thousands of American soldiers would die for a start not to mention all the other violence Iran would initiate in every corner of the world.

          • Lord Jimbo

            Think a land invasion definitely out, but targeted strikes a growing possibility. Iran is a more serious power than Iraq or Afghanistan were when they were invaded, they have military hardwear, large population, capable of cutting oil production, connections with Russia and China, but some kind of showdown could be in the ‘pipeline’ as Iran is emerging as a serious player in the region, thanks in part to the destabilising impact of so called Western intervention or invasion to you and I.

      • dwalsh

        Yes I agree with you; in part the enemy is ‘within’ in the form of deeply ingrained anti-human beliefs of all sorts. Racists distortions promoted as scientific truths; economic ruthlessness applauded as liberty; social indifference held up as freedom. The sorry tale of a degenerating civilisation.

        I dont see peace and goodwill as just standing still. I see it as an immensely fluid possibility with many more possible responses to challenges that the hard-wired agression of the reptilian psychopath.

    • coldblow

      There’s some way to go in raising consciousness here when you remember the recent states of heightened exaltation over mere objects of brick and mortar.

      We could all do with a bit. Makes me think of when I met my uncle Paddy (RIP) in Lourdes (I wasn’t expecting to see him there). I had joined him that day in the big square in the shrine where his group from Elphin were waiting under a blinding hot sun for the service to begin. There was some deep shade off to the side but the officious steward had turfed them out of it and pushed them back out into middle again. He was amused and said they still had a bit more work to do as he’d just heard a fellow pilgrim saying that he’d put an axe through his f*****g head. A metaphor for Ireland’s present treatment at the hands of Europe when you think about it. Standing to attention in the hot sun. Bridge Over the River Kwai…

      Talking of which, did anyone hear Michael D’s reply last night when he was asked whether he believed in God: Well… I’m spiritual. That one always makes me laugh.

      Psychopaths – there was a good edition of Horizon about that recently. It turned out that the scientist who had done breakthrough research into the condition was one himself (genetically). He had a cousin who was a murderer. He admitted that he’d skip his mother’s funeral if he heard about a party and it wouldn’t bother him for a second. It turns out that there is a high proportion of psychopaths in big business. But we all knew that anyway.

      It’s not the consciousness that worries me so much as the unconscious. That’s a bullock that could jump in any direction. Look what the Germans once did. I’m hoping the Irish are mad enough already that there’s no room left for serious insanity.

      • dwalsh

        hey coldblow

        I spent lots of time working in Lourdes years ago. I know exactly what you’re relating.

        Yes what I call non-consciousness is the deepest threat; the sheeple effect. Humans on autopilot can be shepherded into all kinds of mischief.

    • Deco

      DWalsh – a lot in there.

      I reckon you are correct. Basically the ambitions of those who never of enough, is always to keep having more.

      There will be inflation. It is inescapable.

      There will be a fascistic emergence in the policies of the West – “for your own good”. And you will know it, on the basis of the level of control of your lives. And on the expectation that you will serve authority, and serve your masters – “for your own good, for everybody’s good, and to prevent systemic failure”.

      Nothing wrong with systemic failure. It happened in Asia in 1998. Some highly leverage idiots got badly damaged. There was a series of regulations to deal with corruption. And there were were personnel changes in the political system.

      And then life moved on. Fear of the crowd getting angry, actually led to improvements. In the West, there is no need to fear the crowd – just give them enough bread and circuses. Enough saturation level Infotainment, and they will be mesmerized. Let them be dumbed down.

      There will be a war – because it is always presented as the only way to reinforce authority.

      • dwalsh

        Hey Deco

        We are at a crossroads alright; and one of the possible roads leads to hell on earth. Global fascism, war and all the evils you list. My hope is that as the pressure ramps-up humanity will wake-up and choose a better road. Still will be difficult; but there is hope, I believe, that the worst can be avoided.

    • An excellent contribution. Makes a difference from the usual juvenile pissing contests!

  21. Stock Exchange

    Its original meaning was : a place that was a timber market .

    My questions is : did the beavers reincarnate into ‘traders ‘ ?

  22. Tax Returns 2011

    I am in practice since 1977 as an accountant and this year many sole trader clients cannot afford to pay to get their personal tax returns completed .Many are choosing not to do them for that reason .

    I am attempting to accommodate their personal circumstances to achieve their obligations to Revenue .The level of despair about them is frightening and the hopelessness of their direction in life is deafening .

    Its a defining moment in Time that has never happened before.

    • rebean

      Yes John I hear you and I can see you are at the coal face. It is a pity that those people in govt cannot see the wood from the trees. As far as I can see if you are not in the civil service you are in trouble.Tell those sole traders to post losses from now on. They shouldnt pay any more taxes. Most of it is wasted anyway.

      • marooned

        In practice as an accountant on my own since 1984. Completely agree with you John. There is nothing but despair out there. The Government, Higher Civil Servants and Higher Grade bankers have no idea of the hardships that ordinary people are suffering. Also living in a farming area that whilst income in some areas (dairy) has gone up so have input costs mainly dependent on oil viz. diesel, plastics and herbicides. I also despair when I see the fees that legal and accountancy firms charge in the Dublin area especially those who deal with Government agencies. Nobody is worth €500+ and hour. The economic situation is very serious for many people, perhaps we should all join those at the Central Bank!!!

    • Colin

      Let me help you with this one John. You don’t ask for money from those who haven’t got the ability to pay you, but have paid you handsome fees for more than 10 years. For those with you between 5 and 10 years, you discount your price by 50%. For those with you less than 5 years, a lower discount of between 10% and 30% should be applied to your fees. Simples!

  23. Morning,

    I accept I am fond of the Potemkin Village image, but its still a good one:)

    Best,
    David

    • Deco

      I am begining to thing that Terminal 2 in Dublin Airport is just one large (mightily expensive) Potemkin Structure, to serve for the entire country….

      • Deco

        We also have two large stadia four miles apart from one another, and there is an aspect of Potemkin to them also.

        Maybe the Drumcondra Ditherer was Ireland’s answer to Potemkin…

        • Gege Le Beau

          There was also the battleship Potemkin, which was made famous by the ‘Battleship Potemkin uprising’, a rebellion of the crew against their oppressive officers in June 1905 (during the Russian Revolution of 1905). It later came to be viewed as an initial step towards the Russian Revolution of 1917, and was the basis of Sergei Eisenstein’s silent film The Battleship Potemkin (1925).
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPJ3n4g7DKk&feature=related

          • Deco

            The irony could not be greater.

            A war in which the Tsar decided to show the nascent Japan who was boss, and which flopped as a result of bad planning, and have aristocrats in charge.

            And then the proles rebelled, when they realised that they were not led by the smartest spanners in the box. And the facade started to crack….

        • dwalsh

          Brilliant Deco LOL

      • Dorothy Jones

        Brilliant – agree!

  24. rebean

    Its austerity all the way for the people of Ireland. The yes men of Fine Gael and labour have bottled it with the the EU masters. The good little taxpayers will do the govt bidding and be good little Europeans. The Greeks dont give a hoot as long as they are bailed out. We shouldnt be trying to cut any more out of the economy. I would cut out the waste and there is plenty of that in Ireland.We are governed by gobshites here and we have no political party that represents change real change and the guts to give Europe the two fingers and get a load of cash at the same time.

  25. rebean

    I hink we might be better off with a new world order than the govts we have had in Ireland for the last 100 years

    • 33square

      we might, if the fattys didnt outnumber the hungry (http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0922/worldfood.html).

    • 33square

      cull the herd! useless eaters!

    • 33square

      honestly though, i can see your point of view. it is possible that the world order nua will be a magical place with flowery meadows and rainbow skies, and rivers made of chocolate, where the children dance and laugh and play with gumdrop smiles.

      likewise, said nwo may be a nightmarish hellhole governed by EUgenically minded scum, who would poison the populace if it allowed them to continue polluting the planet just a while longer, all under the guise of slowing down global warming.

      note that of late we have, little by little, been giving up our freedoms in return for our “security”. we have been building the means to perfectly and minutely control a populace, even if that was not originally the intended purpose of such creations.

      we will reap what we sow. unfortunately, it looks to me that these seeds are tainted. must go to the holy man (monsanto) and buy some more terminators.

      not to worry though. if we built it, we can break it. hmmm… is that always true? can we for example, unspill milk?

  26. Lord Jimbo

    Just on that Global Forum thingy.

    Interesting that half the participants took the Department of Foreign affairs offer of 3 nights accommodation.

    Irish Times report:

    “The Department of Foreign Affairs said participants took care of their own travel arrangements but were offered free hotel accommodation for three nights. About half took up the offer of accommodation in the D4 Hotel owned by developer Sean Dunne or the Burlington, while the rest paid for their own arrangements.”
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2011/1013/1224305707910.html?via=mr

    • Deco

      Of course if the Dunner is like the rest of the developer sector, and risking a move to NAMA – then effectively that is the taxpayer providing accomodation – at two levels of expense….

      Austerity – I don’t think so….

      • Lord Jimbo

        Well if they aren’t prepared to take the cost of accommodation onboard, can’t see them taking too many risks for others.

  27. “Contagion now abounds and infection is rampant. Any future bailout of the whole financial system could involve trillions of euro. This will not come without the political price of accelerated political integration. But now the irresistible force of increased political integration smashes into the immovable object of the citizens of Europe who do not want federalism”

    Anyone living in misgoverned PIIGS countries should grasp federalism like a drowning man grasps a lifebuoy!

  28. Lord Jimbo

    Just to come back to how ‘great’ the UK is, got to look beyond…..

    “David Cameron has previously insisted that the government’s austerity programme will not result “in any increase in child poverty”. But today’s IFS report suggests that entirely the reverse is true: the coalition’s policies will lead to a dramatic rise in absolute poverty and relative poverty.

    The number of children in absolute poverty in 2015 is forecast to rise by 500,000 to 3 million, while the number in relative poverty (defined as households with less than 60 per cent of the median income) is estimated to rise by 400,000.”
    http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/10/child-poverty-cameron-ifs

  29. marooned

    Kilkenomics 2011

    Any views on the subjects and contributors anyone??

  30. ladygee2

    Many thanks for your replies. There seems to be some people out there keeping an eye on what’s going on, but on having said that there are more than their fair share of detractors as well.
    Lucinda is a barrister.I personally can’t stand her. I consider her to be a smug bitch who thinks she knows everything and from my point of view she’s the the type of person you have to be wary of.If she says that something’s right it would be best to go away and check it out for yourselves. She’s one of the people I wouldn’t trust as far as I’d throw them.

    • Gege Le Beau

      My impression of the few times I have seen her speak is of someone very light on detail, lacking depth of knowledge. Doesn’t inspire. Think the major parties as they currently stand will be surpassed by Sinn Fein, especially Labour who offer next to nothing.

  31. http://www.actionaid.org.uk/doc_lib/addicted_to_tax_havens.pdf

    As suspected, Ireland is number 3 tax haven in the world. Basically companies across the world in order to skip tax, set up a mailbox company in Dublin, and pipe their profits through the mailbox to avail of our low jealously guarded CT rate.

    Another dirty little secret has been revealed by Action Aid:

    After Delaware(USA) and the Netherlands we are No3 tax haven in the world, well ahead of the Cayman Islands.


    Ending tax haven secrecy:
    With financial turmoil continuing to stalk the global economy, the G20 summit in France this year must take the opportunity to finish the job it started in 2009. It should bring an end to tax haven secrecy by:
    _ Ensuring that all tax havens are forced to share information with tax authorities, not only in rich countries, but also in developing countries that want to receive it, by supporting multilateral tax information exchange initiatives.

    Ordinary people and small and medium-sized businesses in both developing and developed countries lose out when companies use tax havens to avoid their taxes. Given the ongoing economic crisis, government action is urgently needed to wean companies off their addiction to tax havens.

    Now, more than ever, business as usual is a false economy.”

    Secrecy/confidentiality laws need to be changed to force simple disclosure of tax payments by foreign companies inside any given jurisdiction!

    • I wonder what % of our GDP is accounted for by that scam; or if this accounts for our growth within the Troika/IMF?

    • Realist

      Colm,
      Thanks for the nice article.
      I agree that companies are making things worse for certain countries, but might not be without reasons as everybody wants to protect profits.

      If companies are attracted to Ireland due to the low CT that is very understandable and probably very good for Ireland.

      The problem might be just focusing on corporate tax alone.
      For example this money is still in companies possesion and needs to be done something with.
      For example if company makes the profit and pays 12.5% in Ireland it will have more profit left.
      Now that profit needs to sooner or later be either:
      1. reinvested
      2. distributed to shareholders

      In first case if reinvested to new businesses this will benefit the world as more jobs will be created.
      Of course governments are aware they will collect income taxes, sales taxes (backward imputed income taxes), ….
      So, not that bad for the world as probably more jobs can be created with more money.
      Bad for governments as those jobs are not public but rather private due to less taxes collected, but for people in general can be better off.

      In the second case profit will be double taxed as for distribution you need to pay capital gain tax (CGT).
      In essence if you are shareholder you will get your payment after both corporate tax and cgt applied to it.
      Unsure why governments never complained abotu double taxation :)

      The other problem with Ireland for job creations is that other taxes and characteristics are not favorable.

      But still it looks Ireland is on very good 26 place by this economic freedom index.
      Not that I believe in it really, but maybe not that wrong.
      Has some interesting statistics.
      http://www.cato.org/pubs/efw/efw2011/EFW-2011-chapter2.pdf

      Unsure will European big leaders succeed in making all European countries having the same tax and other laws, making countries like Germany favoured due to them already living under such laws.

  32. The VOICE

    David Graeber said :

    “We are watching the beginnings of the defiant self-assertion of a new generation of Americans, a generation who are looking forward to finishing their education with no jobs, no future, but still saddled with enormous and unforgivable debt… Just as in Europe, we are seeing the results of colossal social failure. The occupiers are the very sort of people, brimming with ideas, whose energies a healthy society would be marshaling to improve life for everyone. Instead, they are using it to envision ways to bring the whole system down.

    Actually, Graeber is understating the case, in at least two ways. First, the lies have been with us far longer than just a single decade. They go back at least 30 years, to the elections of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, the later of whom became known as “Tina” for her favorite catch-phrase attack on the imagination: “There Is No Alternative”. Second, it was not just a failure of nerve, and a failure of imagination. It was a failure of reason and of democracy as well. It was, in a sense, an inevitable failure, since those three decades have seen us create enormous deficits of reason, imagination and democracy which made it impossible for us to mobilise the necessary resources at the moment they were needed most.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA2k79EGHbc&ob=av2e

  33. gizzy

    Self employed got a paye prsi demand for August Oct 4, got a letter threatening me with the sherriff etc Oct 11 ( who says our public service are not efficient). Paid the bill Oct 12th.

    Put up two small signs outside my premises on light posts fined 150 euros again threatened with legal action.

    Got demand for water rates 1250 euros had receipts for 950 money was not applied to my account, no apology, just demmand for the balance.

    Vat is now due. (shit )Business down 30% since last year.
    Employ eight people full time.

    Worked twenty days in a row took home 800 euros. Would walk away if I could, mind you would not get social welfare despite being paye for twenty five years and paying employers prsi for four.Because being self employed in this country is viewed by public servants as a crime and sure weren’t all the self employed coining it through the good times. Bollocks. Never can understand that some people think you can have employees without employers.

    Great to read a lot of the theory.(not sarcastic do enjoy the debate.) Not much fun in practice.

    Yes I feel very grateful to the troika

  34. Lord Jimbo

    Nearly 3000 people have had their electricity or gas cut off in August last, highest on record. So much for change.

  35. redriversix

    @LordJimbo & Adamb

    Thank you for your response re “Iran V U.S.
    I agree with you and as I said I hope I am wrong.
    “scared myself when I read it back”!!!!!

    But lets suppose for a minute…that the U.S annonces at a press conference that they have foiled a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to America on U.S soil by Iran and that Iran was paying a Mexican drug cartel to carry this out.

    Now,we know that this claim is absolutely absurd.But it stokes anti-American sentiment in Iran and possible may release more funding from congress to expand their War on Terror.A drone attack on Iran would minimize U.S casualties but would increase the chances of Iranian sponsored terrorist attacks on Western/U.S Land or assets.Leading to an Air or land assault
    on Iran.
    The “quagmire”which Adam refers to in Afghanistan and Iraq will not happen as they will not fight a long protracted War like Vietnam.They will [and are} build[ing] “mega-bases”for their military and Airforce covering up to one thousand acres,from these they can launch attacks at will.2011 has seen the highest civilian and military casualties since Invasion commenced in Oct 2001.So they are not concerned about the general population or what becomes of them.They will control Afghanistan,s natural resources and use the Country as an F.O.B [forward operating base].

    Same for Iraq
    ditto Libya

    We know that the threat of terrorism suits America and its Allies to control its population through fear and propaganda.It allows the further removal/reduction of civil rights and the uncapped spending on “Security”.

    The military/industrial complex grows under these conditions and controls the people.

    America has finally thrown off the shackles of Vietnam so military/civilian casualties do not really bother the powers that be anymore.

    The People

    Slavery has been reintroduced in the last 25 years in the form of “easy credit”and the dumbing down of the population.The rise of consumerism and apathy across the world has removed our basic humanity so all we care about is ourselves.Making credit a democratic right by the banks,to the people enslaved a generation in to so much debt that they cannot pay-off.So the NWO thought that nobody would give a shit anymore….until occupywallstreet came along which does not fit in to their plans,so they have to move to plan b which brings me back to the press conference at the top.

    The War on Terror is a wonderful invention in sofar that it never ends….and no proof is required,National Security.

    Like I said earlier, I hope I am wrong but as we have seen over the last 10 years,this Guys will consider anything if it helps achieve their Goal….

    Take care & Goodnight

  36. Iran Theater

    I realize this platform is no place for geo strategic discussions, however, just briefly, I would remind to Diego Garcia.

    http://www.antiwar.com/orig/pilger.php?articleid=3702

    Like Bahrain to a lesse degree it is one of the most important tactical assets for possible US aggression.

    In 2010 Chomsky wrote:

    According to a US Navy cargo manifest obtained by the Sunday Herald (Glasgow), the substantial military equipment Obama has dispatched includes 387 “bunker busters” used for blasting hardened underground structures. Planning for these “massive ordnance penetrators,” the most powerful bombs in the arsenal short of nuclear weapons, was initiated in the Bush administration, but languished. On taking office, Obama immediately accelerated the plans, and they are to be deployed several years ahead of schedule, aiming specifically at Iran.

    The firepower that is pointed at Iran quadrupled since 2003, now you add to that the arming of Saudi Forces with $ 75 billion worth of advanced military weapon systems under Obama and it increased even more.

    If you do a more in depth analysis of the events that unfolded in the past few months in Egypt, Tunesia, Syria and Libya, it becomes pretty obvious what the options are.

    This is about total dominance in Middle East, and it is known that those who dominate Middle East rule the ROW. USA has no other choice, either it confronts Iran, or they can forget about Middle East dominance, and this they won’t.

    The way of confrontation has many possible colors, however, beyond doubts, it is the next and the last part of the puzzle on the agenda for continued Middle East dominance.

    • According to a US Navy cargo manifest obtained by the Sunday Herald (Glasgow), the substantial military equipment Obama has dispatched includes 387 “bunker busters” used for blasting hardened underground structures. Planning for these “massive ordnance penetrators,” the most powerful bombs in the arsenal short of nuclear weapons, was initiated in the Bush administration, but languished. On taking office, Obama immediately accelerated the plans, and they are to be deployed several years ahead of schedule, aiming specifically at Iran.

      • Lord Jimbo

        Think this page is an appropriate forum to discuss geo-strategic issues, Ireland is very much part of the globalised economy, we look to US presidents, companies and business model to save us from ourselves, so US actions in particular have an impact on Ireland and the global economy. Trade, oil, commodity prices, food security and all the other issues are interrelated.

        Naturally an attack on Iran would have both regional and global implications of enormous proportions, your point on the US ‘bursting the Iranian balloon’ is a very important factor especially with an increasingly isolated Israel. The US has learned some lessons from the failure of Iraq and will avoid boots on the ground. Obama may not go for an invasion 12 months from an election but instead opt at the one end for some form of limited military action or at the other expel Iranian diplomats, increase targeted sanctions, isolate the Iranian regime, freeze assets etc

        China and Russia have already shown their unwillingness to condemn events in Syria, they seem to be attempting to draw a line in the sand on Western intervention which the US may also seek to challenge. The US is positioned to strike as you point out, but whether it can or will, well, time will tell.

        • In addition, their despicable position to the Palestine question is part of that strategy, and I really wonder about the recent change of Top Aljazeera management, it would appear as if US interests finally succeeded to convince the Sheik with many faces in Bahrain. It is one of the most important changes in a decade, and we have to wait and see how the reporting changes, that it will change is for certain! Wadah Khanfar’s decision to leave is very strange in deed.

          http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/10/05DOHA1765.html#par1

          Yes, stage one of strike preparations is finished now. The attempts to line up another coalition of the willing is already in full swing. I do think it is unrealistic to assume they would not want boots on the ground in a strike scenario. They press for regime change now, and time is of the essence.

          • P.S. Aljazeera’s new Boss is is Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al-Thani, not a journalist by trade, but member of the Emir’s ruling family in Qatar.

            Ah well, I shall leave it at that, this is really not the place here. LOL

        • Lord Jimbo

          Think your Al Jazeera point is very important and very perceptive, a station which recently penetrated the US market. A close watcher will already notice the odd change.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4S3pBzaK4d4

      • redriversix

        Thanks for your reply Georg R.Baumann.

        This platform may soon have more Geo-strategic discussions as we are realizing that more and more of these “actions”undertaken by our/their Governments are undertaken with financial power in mind.

        Which trickles down to us,the people.

        Think I vaguely remember something in History about “Diego Garcia”peoples being forcibly removed from the Island when the U.S took it over.

        Maybe it was Guam or Wake Island ?

        Although the evidence is overwhelming,I sure hope America is NOT this stupid…

        Regards
        RR6

    • dwalsh

      @ Georg

      I agree with Lord Jimbo; this is exactly the right place to discuss geo strategy – in fact that is intentionally what I am endeavouring to do.

      We need to get out of our parochial narrowness and realise we are part of a global proceess that we cannot hide from. One of my criticisms of much of the Irish debate is a myopia that reduces all issues to the common denominator of the parish pump.

      I for one welcome and encourage your wider perspective.

  37. @Realist, have to point you to the arguments against the CT tax haven scam on actionaid.org as they are too detailed to go into here.

    Re “For example if company makes the profit and pays 12.5% in Ireland it will have more profit left.”

    Totally disagree with thrust of your argument there. In my world it is precisely your argument there that has led to the bifurcation in US of 1%rich/99% disappeAring middle class. Why should the rich get away with paying so little tax?

    Re “Unsure will European big leaders succeed in making all European countries having the same tax and other laws, making countries like Germany favoured due to them already living under such laws.”

    Doubt if the EUSSR will come to pass though many have foretold it will.

    • tks for cato link. However, I dont really feel able to evaluate the indices it uses due to time constraints, ignorance etc, others here may be interested though. I wonder at “But still it looks Ireland is on very good 26 place by this economic freedom index.” if we had no taxes and unlimited free labour, would it put us on top of the list? To put finer point on it, is there an inverse relationship between economic freedom and democratic freedom, the more economic freedom, the less democratic freedom? Spencer in the 19th century had some strange economic views around that fulcrom, his theory of non interference http://www.victorianweb.org/philosophy/spencer/spencer.html I’m sure would find support among economic freedom demands, but its a flawed argument.

      • Bottomline

        Take away the IFSC mailbox contribution to GDP, hugely at risk because of global growth downturn, our debt to GDP ratio, is far worse than we are being led to believe, held together as it is by funny money from phantom overseas mailbox companies, contributing nothing by way of employment or product added value/further tax to the country.

        • Realist

          Do you know the names of these phantom companies in Ireland and how much they contribute ?

          Corporation tax is around 3,775 millions in 2010 and expected to be around 4,020 from the official statistics.
          But I am not sure hwo much of that is due to companies just seeking lower CT country and how much is due to proper businesses. Who can know that ?
          Is it not companies decision to have businesses in any country they wish. Should we stop International companies coming to Ireland as we are a tax haven ?
          I worked for some big companies from US in here but they had 100′s of people employed, and I believe they picked Ireland due to the good quality labour. not sure how much CT played in it, but I remember we could not open offices in Romania and some other countries due to the lack of quality labour.

          • re “who can know that” That’s the whole point, we don’t know. Action Aid simply ask that the identities/amounts paid be required to be published. This particular phantom scam needs to be laid bare and rinsed out by the G20 or Basil 111 in a reform of the banking FIRE industry.

            Re “Who is more efficient to deal with our money, governments or efficient private sector ?”

            I’m a supporter of government, for the people, by the people, of the people. Unfortunately, the financial world especially through the FIRE economy since 1971 onward, has broken free of the restraints the people abide by and has conjured up a lawless mess fed by greed, falsehood, ponzi economics.

            We now the the result of so-called ‘economic freedom’ built on deregulation. It’s tyranny hiding under a false banner of economic freedom.

            Time the world’s governments/g20 got its act together before democracy is destroyed, economic tyranny turns into military tyranny and freedom becomes a memory.

            George Orwell saw the coming of the Troika and wrote about it better than I can.

            Unfortunately, I believe you’ve been brainwashed with the lie that so-called ‘economic freedom’ is fair and just. I cant make you see through this delusion, you’ll have to do that yourself.

            Anyways, the evidence of the wreckage of ‘economic freedom’ as practiced over the past 40yrs is now about us, its not hard to deduce its been a failure, a house of cards, based not on freedom, but exploitation of democratic freedom.

          • Realist

            You know nothing about economic freedom.
            You must be crazy telling us that the same governments that made the mess of everything will save us now ??????
            By printing more money ??????
            You are really brainwashed Colm.
            I am stopping any discussion with you on this basis.

            If it is hard to see what happened here and that governments are in trillions of debt, you can talk about democracy.
            Democracy to bail out all these politicians and bangsters.

            Are you talking that sound money is crazy and your government fiat money is great.
            Who is going to pay out for all these politicans, what they spend over decades ???

            But you can easily be brainwashed if working in central bank or being politician who is going to impose new taxes upon us.

          • Realist,

            If you read my posts you would know I make a strong distinction between politicians who uphold the democratic aspirations of the people and politicians who instead deny democracy and enforce bankocracy on the unwilling majority.

            For example, I admire Olaffur Grimsson of Iceland, or Bo Lundgren, minister for fiscal and financial affairs during the 1992 crisis.

            RE “your government fiat money is great.’ I’m a critic of fiat money and have stated reforms required to return to sound money. Unfamiliar with any of my ideas, and painting me as holding views I don’t, its of no purpose to either of us to continue this thread.

            From your post I reckon I ain’t who you think I am, but feel free to believe what you will:)

      • Realist

        > if we had no taxes and unlimited free labour, would it
        > put us on top of the list?

        Not sure what unlimited free labour mean, but I assume it does not mean people working for nothing as that is not possible in the free market as laisure is most likely more valued then :)
        But if Ireland does not have taxes and everything is private I am sure this will be the first place all companies will look to open offices. Just look Hong Kong and why it is first on the list and what is going on in there economically.

    • Realist

      > Totally disagree with thrust of your argument there. In
      > my world it is precisely your argument there that has
      > led to the bifurcation in US of 1%rich/99% disappeAring
      > middle class. Why should the rich get away with paying
      > so little tax?

      I am not saying these are not valid arguments, but why would 12.5% tax be bad and 50% good corporate tax. Why countries have different tax systems. Why would they go all around the world to open offices (e.g. there are 200-300 banks registered with central banks if I am not wrong in Ireland).

      Each company wants to have the highest profit. This is why companies are established, and money and resources invested in it. This is why they go to China, or anywhere else, where they will do work more efficiently, or to say for less money, so benefiting conosumers too.

      So, what percentage of rich should it be ?
      Are rich getting money from salaries only or it is more from dividends and rise in shares ? (it is the second).

      I do not like rich people (e.g. bankers) who became reach by having government privileges, like being bailed out, or being able to print money from thin air, or using patent and IP laws to have a huge profits (e.g. Microsoft, ..)
      Should we all have the same salary ? Probably not.
      This is why we are figting our way up for our children so they can go even further. The other way is to confiscate from wealthy and spread to poor, like happened in my country after the second world war where weatlhy were killed and their properties spread around communists (my grandfather died this way).

      Are you saying that rich needs to pay 1M euro per year for social welfare and education, and poor just e3000 ?
      Is that just ?

      Wealthy and rich are investing money further anc creating jobs. Jobs are created from investments. If no investments, e.g. if you give to the government more, it will be no efficient jobs created.

      Would you leave more money to Apple’s of this world or to government and government backed businesses (aka big banks, military, …) ?
      What is better for the mankind ?
      Who is more efficient to deal with our money, governments or efficient private sector ?

      > Doubt if the EUSSR will come to pass though many have
      > foretold it will.

      I hope with you this never happens too :)
      It will be really bad

      Always nice to discuss with you.

  38. Tull McAdoo

    For Ireland to have a future it must have growth and with that in mind let me tell you this ,that there is NO credible economic theory that supports the measures being pursued in Ireland at present.

    In the absence of any proposals that will generate growth, it leaves people, as I with nothing to invest in .I have no wish to plough money into some sort of European Bank bailout fund. I have no wish to be part of any scheme that will turn Ireland into a debt servicing hollowed out non-entity.

    So for know I will sit on my hands and wait……..

  39. Slavery in 21st Century Docu

    http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/slaverya21stcenturyevil/2011/10/201110108583163675.html

    That CEO chap at 25 minutes in the film, ‘Motty’, reminds me of the other slave masters, Bankers, the very same sleazy eloquence and arrogance.

    People like him do not even deserve a bullet, that would be way too quick and easy.

  40. michaelcoughlan

    Hello Suds,

    http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/sec_accuses_goldman_sachs_of_selling_mortgage_investment_designed_to_fail/

    A massive bonus comiong your way no doubt.

    Hello David,

    The reason no one in the financial establishment takes you serious is because you were born with a conscience and clearly likes to do business properly. Can I respectfully suggest that you attempt to take a different interpretation of the word success and ONLY THEN apply your capacity for analysis to the following:

    We (all of us) look at the world’s financial system and see failure but the people who operate it see success because the more they fuck it up the more money they accumulate. It’s in this context that I would like you to interpret the word success. The Fed in the US a (a privately owned bank) is bailing out the ECB. The private bankers who own the FED KNOW that the ECB is bankrupt and they will make money supplying the capital in the first half of the transaction which is bailing out the ECB until the tax revenues used to repay the loans are used up. They will subsequently gain all the assets of Europe on the backend of the transaction when nation states have to transfer those assets on the loans they are now taking on which will never be repaid to pay for the fact that those same nation states will ultimately default on those loans.

    I really feel like Morpheus from the movie Matrix at this stage. By the way the word fireworks may be very prescient as one of you previous articles mentioned that the Spanish Government had the engage in war after war to balance its books several centuries ago. For those of you stupid enough to have voted for Lisbon we are legally bound to beef up our military and help other member states in the event of War on any member state. AND GUESS WHERE YOUR TEENAGE SONS WILL BE SENT WHEN THE FIRE WORKS START? THE HOTTEST PART OF THE FRONT.

    • mediator

      Some good points, however David never addresses anything that relates to any of the many conspiracy theories which used to be scoffed at (and still are by many) despite being borne out by events. Methinks if he did he would be persona non grata at various economic fora such as Davos etc…

      Re Lisbon, when people are afraid they will so what they are told in the hopes that things will be okay, the kind of strength to withstand that only comes from being spiritually strong and thats another area thats been scoffed at…

      • Yes, and I expressed that before, in my opinion McW is an Insider himself, a pseudo rebel, a Keynesian stage clown, and willingly or not, I leave that up to your good judgement, he fulfills a specific role and function in the political theater that is Ireland, so in a sense he operates within the boundaries of a self inflicted gag order.

        You might have noticed that since the middle of september when Occupy Wall Street took of, a great many articles were published by him, not a single word he used to acknowledge this most important movement, no comment on it whatsoever, but a presentation of snake oil sales man John Mauldin was given extra space instead. A matter of priorities I guess.

        A populist is a populist, is a populist and the intellectual level presented at times is exactly that, populistic to the extreme and equally as sycophant as the politicians he criticizes when he uses his sport metaphors comparing the events to football games etc., or presenting historical context to add that flair of informed intellect.

        Again, having said that, we are guests on his blog and he does not censor critique on himself and has my respect for that!

        His public views, in my opinion, have to be understood in the context of a Keynesian capitalist.

        His popularity is much hated amongst competing economists who are trapped in the number of published papers game, they even wrote about it like the obscure Richard Toll. He carved a niche for himself in the public perception theater, and this role allows him a certain freedom of expression and action, it is a clownish character role in deed.

        You can not blame him for lack of creative potential however.

      • michaelcoughlan

        Hi,

        I don’t believe in or subscribe to conspiracy theories either. By the way if a theory is borne out by events it is an excellent insightful opinion once proven by those same events and clearly was never a conspiracy theory in the first place.

        It is interesting to note that you completely missed the point of the link in my above post. The people engaged in conspiracies are the sociopaths in G-Sucks as proven by the fact that the SEC seems to think that there is enough Prima Fascia evidence to charge G-Sucks for conspiring to sell products designed to fail and defraud their own customers.

        Regards,

        Michael.

        • marooned

          GRB,

          David protects his market niche like a lioness her cubs and will not get involved in debates with us mere mortals for fear of losing face. He is still a neo-classical economist at heart. I acknowledge he was the first economist to see the asset bubble in Ireland. However he totally refuses to acknowledge the energy and resource constraints which threaten any future growth and which puts the the current world financial system in extreme jeopardy with the resulting calamities that entails.

          Just last Monday the SEAI had three visiting economists give half hour lectures on World energy problems in the National Gallery. They are up on the SEAI website. The third lecture was given by Michael Kumhof of the IMF Research Dept. For the first time ever the IMF are acknowledging that energy constraints and prices will impact future World Economic growth. Their growth models now contain factors concerning energy which is a huge breakthrough for those of us who have long been preaching the central place cheap energy has had in economic growth.

          Its a huge pity that there were no mainstream press present and the only member of the Oireachtais that I recognized was Peter Matthews. It was much more relevant to have been in the National Gallery on Monday last than to have been swanning around Dublin Castle over the previous weekend.

          • Food security, the refugee crisis and the inevitable upcoming global energy crisis, if no major scientific break through is made before we are hit, are taboo subjects in the public discussion.

            If you look how politicos handled the relatively easy problem of rogue bankers and a run away globalized financial industry mafia, you know that they will have no preparations in store for these most real problems on the table, other than to protect themselves.

            There is no plan B.

        • redriversix

          Hi MichaelCoughlan

          Is not everything a “conspiracy theory” until proven otherwise ?

          • michaelcoughlan

            Good question redriversix. Not in my mind. I can only speak for myself.

            Thank you for your response.

  41. State of the Nation and Martin McGuiness

    Does it feel funny to write this being a german?

    No not really, the coincidence that led to my german passport could have started equally in Palestine, Russia, China, what have you not, it does not matter. What matters is that I live here a very long time and became very fond of the people and the country, the real Ireland as I like to call it, not the Ireland presented to the world.

    The real Ireland has nothing to do with the Ireland one can read about in the propaganda press and broadcasting outlets, the latter informed you yesterday that Enda Kenny is d’accord with Mr Barsosso on the question of bondholders, and Kenny emphasized again that he will not support any cuts to bondholders.

    This comes just at the right time, 2 weeks before the equivalent of nearly 1 billion USD will be paid out to Anglo Irish Bank gamblers.

    The representative of Banks, investors and gamblers, EU, ECB, and IMF poses as the leader of Ireland at the same time, it could not be more cynical.

    x x x x

    My election card arrived yesterday and after informing them three times during the past few years to correct my name which is spelled ridiculously wrong, they still spell it wrong.

    Not for that reason I shredded the card, but for the conviction that the questions presented in this mock up referendum do not matter at all. The disconnect from politicos to the people has increased substantially. This ridiculous arrangement of government in this country has had enough time to show it’s true face, there are no doubts left.

    The real referendum would have been the one on banking and bondholders, it was refused to the public on numerous occasions.

    The two presentations of presidential candidates I saw in parts on TV3 and RTE were remarkable, and a reflection of the real state of the nation. From risible to dangerously manipulative and stage managed, you take your pick, whether press or broadcast, it is a sad affair what the public is presented here.

    Now let me be clear, I am of the opinion that as an occupied country, the people should not vote a president, this is a mockery and political distraction maneuver, and the choices presented, and how they came there, well, this is a totally different issue. I will not give you my very personal thoughts on the performance and the quality of the candidates, but I can tell you that the spectrum goes from utterly risible to absolute disgust.

    What I will say however, that I fully agree to the statements and complaints made about the stage managed and targeted trial by television in both TV3 and RTE concerning Mr McGuiness. this was orchestrated behind the scenes and agreed upon.

    A very good example how manipulative and politically captured the media landscape in Ireland truly is.

    Whatever my private thoughts on Mr. McGuiness are, and I do have a lot of respect for him and equally a lot of question marks in deed, let me remind the reactionary front in Ireland that the ex Green Minister for foreign Affairs Joschka Fischer was a member of the left extremist and radical “Revolutionary Struggle”, a student of Marx, Mao and Hegel, and not only on the theoretical side of things, far from it, he was leader of a couple of violent street uprising and also was the leader of the “Proletarian Union for Terror and Destruction” movement.

    Many of you here will not know this background, but trust me, I am not kidding you, all these things are historical facts, some of which I remember as very ironical as well, such as the alleged event where Fischer was clubbing a police man in a riot in 1973.

    The beaten police man’s name was Rainer Marx.

    Fischer was a violent left wing extremist and became a very popular german foreign Minister.

    The trial by television should be a red flag to every thinking man and women in Ireland, it is a reflection of how deeply manipulative the media landscape in Ireland truly is, they are the mouthpiece of the true powers that steer ireland behind closed doors, and deserve the title Irish Pravda for a great number of reasons.

    x x x x

    If you want to know more about the state of this occupied Nation, occupied by unelected and unaccountable representatives of ECB, IMF and EU, and represented by the very people you voted for, then you need not to read or watch the daily propaganda storm that the public perception is formed with, but you need to look much closer to the real world.

    I have written about the following events here on this site before, more than a year ago. So without any further epical description i make it short.

    A homehelp gets a call from her boss, the district nurse, not to use as many incontinence pampers anymore for her clients, the reasons given were budgetary constraints.

    If it would not be so serious, it could be the material from a dark sarcastic slapstick, but it is not, this is the reality of the state of affairs in Ireland and just one of many examples, many more examples that are unspoken of for reasons of wrongly perceived shame.

    Perhaps you remember that the next time when you watch the syphocant grinning face of Minister Noonan, Enda Kenny…you take your pick….

    • Julia

      Georg, you can still vote if you bring your passport/driving licence with you. The Presidential election is not important. The question about judges pay – not vital. But – the question regarding Oireachtas enquiries is important and must be opposed at all costs. Think of Abbeylara, think further back to Joanne Hayes in the Kerry Babies investigation. We are in danger of giving future governments dangerous powers that we will live to regret.

      • Malcolm McClure

        Julia: I’d be interested to know why you think that the proposed parliamentary committees in the Dail would lack competence to conduct in-depth inquiries, such as those in Westminster that investigated phone-hacking by Murdoch and “Climate Change” at UEA with considerable vigour.

        • Julia

          Malcolm, lets do this on the next article. Scrolling down for five minutes every time – I can’t be bothered, it takes ages. See you anon.

      • ….giving future governments dangerous powers….

        There is a reason that the public is not informed, it was the same with Lisbon, but whatever the outcome, I consider it irrelevant.

        The real coup coup d’état is performed in Brussels, not in Dublin.

        I refuse to participate in elections that are performed with graphite pencils instead of document proof pens.

        • Julia

          Georg, it’s very sad if you don’t understand or like the celebration that is the voting process in Ireland. I love it, graphite pencil and all. I suspect it is why the participation rate is so high here. I’ve always loved the romance of the whole thing. Please don’t tell me to get with the times. Have’nt I learned how to use an iPod.

        • Malcolm McClure

          Georg: The whole presidential election process quickly descended from an exalted constitutional privilege and duty to an unseemly X-Factor style débacle that panders to the tabloid appetite of the wider electorate.

          Surely the graphite pencil is the proper input medium, preferred by the majority for similar mundane tasks such as shopping lists, lotto and spot the ball contests?

  42. sycophant that is … LOL ;-)

  43. goldbug

    ->GEORG

    HOW IS IT some ARE ATTACKED …

    AND SOME GET AWAY WITH NO DISCUSSION..?

    MORALS? HA. DONT BE FOOLED THEY LOVE NONE.

    IT IS NOT FOR RIGHT OR WRONG..PAST OR MONEY

    IT IS ABOUT CONTROL!

  44. wills

    Deco,

    Spot on on the Ponzi play pretend, wool over eyes-wolfman jack ploys and cons.

  45. redriversix

    The Global energy crisis will be solved when the Companies in charge of all worldwide resources come up with a plan that guarantee’s their place in the market.

    And not a minute beforehand.

    Nobody cares about refugees,they are just pawns to be used to frighten indigenous populations against immigration.

    Solve global energy crisis….?,could translate in to solving global warming and that will never happen because there is always fear around global warming and fear suits big government.

    • Look, Climate Change = Worst Scientific Scandal of our Generation:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/6679082/Climate-change-this-is-the-worst-scientific-scandal-of-our-generation.html

      Huge monies to be made from the ruse:(eg Al Gore)

      http://newsbusters.org/node/11149

      Fortunes have been made on top of the heist built of false data.

      • redriversix

        Colmbrazel.

        I agree.

      • marooned

        Colm

        Over 90% of scientists agree that our climate is changing much faster than normal. The Earth’s climate has always changed but on a human timescale at a very slow pace. The changes that have taken place worldwide in the last 50 years are outside the normal rate of change and scientists have given us a pretty good explanation for this. The influence of humans on this rate of change is irrefutable and no Telegraph article about leaked e-mails taken out of context will change this. For every one article or scientist backing your point of view ( and there are some, like those in the Vatican in Galileo’s time, who denied that the Sun was the centre of the Universe) there are hundreds who support the effects that humans are having on the planet.

        Redriversix

        I have no idea what your above reply is about. Your first and last paragraphs need further explanation. And please give evidence for your explanations from reliable or peer reviewed sources.

        • redriversix

          Hi Marooned

          The opinion i gave was in response to Georg R comments at 16.04.

          In relation to global warming its my opinion.It has nothing to do with “Booker” or anyone else…….

          Will provide additional homework on Monday…!!

          your willing student

          RR6

        • @marooned

          Re “here are hundreds who support the effects that humans are having on the planet.”

          Including me, we could do a lot better, but I’m not worried about the planet. Planet knows how to take care of itself. We’ve had many civilisations got wiped out in the past, even the Dinosaurs got wiped out, and they were BIG.

          Currently there’s a lot of pro climate change alarmist and fraudulent bad science about, so there’s that to be taken into account. Plus the recent ultraviolet radiation emission from the sun just discovered as cause of our bad Winters locally.

          I’m more concerned with what we can change for the better, not the climate change mirage.

          Back to fraudster ponsi banking or Pravda RTE media presidential showcasing farce
          or Aynsley pretend to rule the banks on behalf of the people laughter in the galleries for me:) Hopefully we’ll have more arctic ice soon, we sure had enough of it here last Winter in spite of global warming..That’s the last I’ve to say on it:(

  46. mediator

    I won’t be voting as I’m no longer registered, if I was I’d be temped by Messr Mc Guinness as the only option to give an up yours to the establishment as represented by Pravda/RTE

  47. No Mr. Aynsley, fuck you! It won’t cease to exist… ever!

    Mr Aynsley added: “The Anglo name will cease to exist from today and the recently merged institution of Anglo and INBS will be officially known by this new name.

    http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/toxic-anglo-gets-a-makeover-to-the-all-new-irish-bank-resolution-corporation-2906769.html

  48. No Mr. Aynsley, fuck you! It won’t cease to exist… ever!

    Mr Aynsley added: “The Anglo name will cease to exist from today and the recently merged institution of Anglo and INBS will be officially known by this new name.

    http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/toxic-anglo-gets-a-makeover-to-the-all-new-irish-bank-resolution-corporation-2906769.html

    • What a wanker!

      “I strongly believe that, in addition to meeting practical requirements for the merged organisation, this name change is of symbolic importance to all of us as we move on from the past.

  49. marooned

    RR6,

    thought since you have opinion formed that the homework would not be necessary and would be to hand.

    Its very hard to follow replies/discussions on this site, am I the only one who finds it difficult, getting old, thank God.

    I met two OAPs recently who were glad they were no longer young, a sad reflection on our current predicaments dont you think??

    • redriversix

      Evening Marooned,

      I too can find it difficult to follow replies/discussions on this site.Perhaps it is because of my ignorance/limited knowledge of certain subjects.

      In relation to the two OAPs you met and their suggestion that they were glad they were no longer young.

      It is a sad reflection on the predicament we are currently facing,I agree.
      Some say that “sarcasm is the lowest form of wit”which is what I was using in my response to you in relation to “homework”.

      You say you are “getting old thank God”

      Do you feel the same as the two OAPs you met ?

      Hopefully I will be lucky enough to experience “getting old”as I am 42 years old you may have to let me know when the term is relevant..!

      Some also say that “youth is wasted on the young”
      Perhaps your OAPs lived through the emergency or the recession that bedevilled Ireland for most of their lives and they rightfully assumed,considering the last 12 years, that the Autumn of their lives would be more enjoyable…

      Instead they have to read about poverty and suffering again as if they had not experienced enough.?

      In my short time on this Earth I have had the privilege of a Happy Marriage two terrific kids,working hard for financial security, only to lose all my monetary security and our home, to realize through this experience what is really important.

      My specialized subject is War, not very pleasant,but their you go.

      Fear and War manifest throughout society in many different guises.Although the basics are the same, the “Trenches” have changed.

      I do not believe in Global warming because I do not see the evidence for it.But that,s just me.I see it as a “convenient truth”…..and very good timing,,it didn’t really take off until the late eighties.

      Thank you for your time,Marooned and I wish you well.

      regards

      rr6

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