May 17, 2012

Premature Vote

Posted in Irish Independent · 222 comments ·

What we are seeing now is the breakdown of conventional wisdom in Europe. With respect to the Euro, conventional wisdom is a strange and stubborn commodity. Normally it is technocrats who are at the vanguard of conventional wisdom. Theses technocrats don’t have to work in the public service. They can hide in dynamic companies for a while. But what bonds them together is a technocratic fear of change.

Fear of change is the handmaiden of fear of failure. Many so-called “serious” people believed the conventional wisdom that the Euro could not break up and they don’t want to look very silly when it does. They are driven by this fear of failure. If something, which they have staked so much of their reputation on, changes or succumbs to the redoubtable gravity of economic logic, they will fail. The worst thing that can happen to people who take themselves very seriously is being wrong.

Most of us get things wrong a lot of the time; we make mistakes and hopefully learn from these mistakes, but “serious people” – the purveyors of conventional wisdom -can’t bring themselves to admit this. Over the next few months we will see the kitchen sink thrown at people who have concluded that on the balance of evidence the Euro will break up.

In Ireland, to suggest that something which serious people have staked their reputation on is actually false will lead you on a journey of three phases. This journey was experienced by those who were skeptical about the housing market and the soft-landing. The same process is repeating itself with the breakup of the euro.

The first phase, when you query conventional wisdom is ridicule. The second phase, when your ideas are gaining traction, is the violent opposition phase. This can take many forms. Then the third phase, when the march of events overwhelms the conventional wisdom, is the “everyone- pretends-they-were-on-your-side-all-the-time” phase. I suspect that we will get to that third phase on the euro quicker than anyone expects right now.

The problem for the Euro is that it probably should never have happened. It can’t survive unless Germany is prepared to infuse money to the periphery for the foreseeable future, as it was prepared to do in East Germany or as the north of Italy is prepared to do with the south of Italy.

Germany will think long and hard about its next moves because it likes the Euro to an extent. The Euro gives it exchange rate stability in its biggest trading market, the Eurozone. And because it is much weaker than new Deutsche Mark would be, it gives Germany a huge exporting subsidy vis-a- vis America and China. Further, because terrified capital is flooding out of the periphery to Germany, the German economy gets investment funds much cheaper than it has done for years.

However, in order to keep industrial Germany happy, the punters need to continue bailing out the likes of Greece, Spain, Ireland and Portugal. And, if Italy goes, they will have to dig deep.
The average German doesn’t want this. In fact, Angela Merkel got the lowest vote ever for the CDU in Rhineland Pflatz last weekend: evidence, if needed, that Gunter isn’t happy – despite the lowest level of unemployment in a generation.

Equally, the average German realizes that to keep the Euro together, he will have to tolerate higher inflation in Germany. Only through the re-flation of the (already booming) German economy can there be any hope of solving massive current account imbalances — which more than anything is responsible for the Eurozone’s plight. These are big jumps for the German establishment and the German people.

While they contemplate the future at leisure, the rest of the Eurozone is panicking. There are 25 million people on the dole in Europe, 18 million of these in the Eurozone. Unemployment is rocketing in the periphery and youth unemployment is about 30% in Ireland, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy. This can’t go on. Every indicator of activity in Italy and Spain is now plummeting – from new car sales to retail spending.

Outside Germany, Europe is suffering from a “liquidity trap”, whereby the people have so much debt they don’t want to borrow and the banks are so fragile they don’t want to lend. This means that the deleveraging we are experiencing is driving prices downward and this is making people believe that the bargain is not today but will come tomorrow. So they don’t spend even when prices are falling.
The policy response to this has been fiscal contraction at a time of a liquidity trap. Hoping this will work and turn the economies to growth is like putting an anorexic on a diet and expecting her to put on weight.

The economies of the periphery will get weaker and weaker and Germany will get stronger and stronger. At a certain stage, the Germans and other northerners will get sick of bailouts at the same time as the southerners and ourselves get sick of austerity.
We are already seeing that process play out in Greece. But Greece is only the forerunner of what will happen in Spain and by extension Italy too.

This will force the Germans back to the poker table as they try to minimize the cost to them of carrying the periphery and the periphery will try to maximize the subsidy they get from the Germans. Who blinks first?

All the while, the logic of the monetary union, which was to create the same interest rates and financial conditions all across the union, where an Irish bond was valued the same risk as a German bond, goes up the swanny.

The Germans in the weekend election have said they are not happy, the Greeks likewise. The Spanish banks are bust and the French have just kicked out the architect of the present diet for anorexics policy, Sarkozy.

With such uncertainty and the likelihood of more bailouts and negotiations ahead, would it be that smart to show our hand right now, particularly as conventional wisdom is about to shift?

  1. NeilW

    It’s the same issue with London and the South East of England – which subsidises the rest of the UK.

    They complain like mad about the subsidy, but completely ignore the flip side which is that they have a captive market more than happy to take their output.

    The Germans need to realise that it is not their mighty productivity that gives them jobs. It is people with the right sort of money to buy their products – and they can’t do that if its all locked up in savings stored in the vaults of the ECB.

    • mcsean2163

      You must be joking!

      So by your logic, people should work hard and then give away their goods to those that don’t work?

      Germany is a successful economy. Spain is not.

      So rather than Spain rectifying their crap economy with hard work, Spain should get their goods for free from Germany?

      I disagree with your logic.

      I think the slackers are to blame and not the swots, to use a DMcW analogy.

      • Lord Jimbo

        Greece will not exit the euro, a political solution will be found which will lead to an economic/fiscal programme which may give the Greek people some badly needed breathing space. This may well be a precursor to some broader EU package to finally nip the crisis in the bud.

        • Agreed. ‘The Greeks Cooked the Books’ is a popular sentiment in Ireland. Of course an Irish person would never in a thousand years of Sunday’s ever stoop to such levels of moral hazard and depravity

          We are pure. Besides Dev would never allow it and his boys would be out on the streets every morning making sure the people were keeping the faith and remaining morally uptight and against ‘foreign games’. For the record I reckon Dev was clearly insane

          A political solution will be found and it will be egg on the faces of the ‘Pornographers of doom’ … a wonderful expression that conjures up visions of Woody Allen style wimps getting off on super 8 movies of the torture chambers in Chile and Argentina. Apparently Maggie loves watching these Super 8 movies that remind her of her close friend and partner in insanity. The insane old bat is still beloved apparently and proves that there is hope for even the Birtie fella and the FF fuck up merchants who are too brazen to disappear and live with their pathetic shame. Ah sure they are a’right and ‘did the state some service’

          All that stuff is great for selling words to the highest bidder who needs quality content urgently and on time but who is too bastarding lazy to think never mind take time and effort to write it themselves. The best writers come from from the bog land and the glens and not from the land inside the pale. Dubs are full of shit and pain in the arse

          Time has shown that newspapers are Out Of Time (The Rolling Stones, 1966) and have been playing the fiddle since they were invented. Why anyone references their articles is a good question. The answer is that they are ‘brands’ who have made too good a job at getting inside people’s heads. Newspapers are the ultimate example of successful mass marketing, brainwashing and propaganda. George Orwell knew this 80 years ago and Dickens knew it in the 1870s

          It was in the Indo. It was in the Times. Must be true

          The view from the hill in these high tech days has never looked so clear and fine. And the colours they are fine fine fine, but that is just incidental and the paranoid imaginings of a catholic dreading the marching season. Then again that will be noted by some as a sign of one with a self hating character fault. Only one problem, this isn’t true. I have no capacity for self loathing. Sure the dragons would not approve

          The Euro project will survive in one way or another because as you say the alternative is politically unacceptable. All the people in the Euro countries want to fix this thing and avoid disintegration. We are being asked to vote on something no-one can explain and in that sense the vote is a lottery. Go with your instincts and be done with it. It’s a free country right?

          Intellectual prostitution is big business and always has been. If you are good with words you are made in life because you have the power to appeal to people’s dreams for the best future possible. Worth it’s weigh in gold so it is and all you need is a brain and a keyboard

          This is why people take time to chat on blogs like we do here. It’s like CB radio and it excites us that someone out there may actually be listening. It is better than CB however because it keeps a record of conversations. You don’t know how lucky you are to have such technology. You don’t use to any effect and don’t have the imagination to unleash it’s true potential and reap the rewards waiting

          A 180 degree turn and a new perspective can work wonders but most people have learned nowt. Value is a scarce commodity and disappearing fast

          The German Numbers Woman. Tuning into radio stations beyond the Iron Curtain when British teams were playing in places that were shut off from the outside world. Like Chinese surfers today who just want to hear a western voice speaking to them about democracy and anything else they want to talk about. Times have not changed one little bit despite the illusions we have about freedom and we are kidding ourselves

          If words is your forte then the world is your oyster. Making money can be as simple as bending down and picking it up off the gold paved streets. The old loves are the best and writing to friends and adversaries is a sure way to keep the mind sharp and ensure that your brain is working

          A head full of capital and a cheap computer and you are good to go. All this technology and no-one knows how to use it intelligently. 95 percent of people are unaware of the potential of technology because 95 percent of the teachers are already way behind the curve and trading on knowledge that is worthless

          Oooh I passed my ECDL!. Gosh congratulations!. I am so pleased you have your European Computer Driving License sir. If you can’t see the absurdity in this silly FAS scam then you are asleep. Jobs for the boys and private training companies who don’t even bother checking the spelling on their correspondence. They are idiots but if you are on the dole and want yo keep your benefits you resorts to keeping your mouth shut and watching as some FAS cohort is coining it in very nicely thank you

          Greece should be kept within the fold and most Greeks want to stay within the Euro. The Greeks, like the Ukrainians and others need to realise that it takes more that a bovver boy in a suit to impress the rest of Europe then again we ought to keep the likes of our own beloved Phil Hogan chained up in the cooler for as long as Enda has sufficient legal authorisation to prevent him terrorising the vulnerable members of society

          After the vote he will be let loose to kick our arses and terrify the wits out of old people and those who are powerless to take him on and kick him in the nuts. Maybe a better solution is to immortalise him in cartoons. Of but sure there are people in this island who want to make that kind of thing illegal. Jees those pictures of Brian Cowen were more powerful than we gave them credit for. You can’t unsee or unhear something that shocks you

          This is shock and awe. The Irish have being undergoing shock and awe experiments for the last decade and a half

          Still Dave will keep you right. Just ask Dave

    • The rest of the UK subsidies the South East

  2. Russian Roulette comes to mind .

  3. gizzy

    Good article. It does come down to fear of change and to those in power being the cpmpletely wrong profile to lead change.

    Onanother note did anyone ever look as self content as Michael Noonan afer his feta cheese joke on Bloomberg. Sickening.

    • FSinnott

      Crass ignorance and a total failure to see the prospect of contagion throughout the EZ

    • Grey Fox

      Noonan just gives the Germans more reason to believe that they have the Irish by the short and curly’s, if the Finance Minister acts like this, they will think, what must the gombeens who voted him in be like!!!

    • DDempsey

      I saw it too and thought Michael Noonan was a disgrace. His smug smirking was totally inappropriate and his words insulting to Greece. Hard to believe in his position – and in Ireland’s position. How would we like any other country’s Finance Minister writing us off as just good for “butter”? He should leave that sort of thing to professional comedians. He wassn’t funny, he wasn’t clever and he certainly wasn’t professional.

  4. bonbon

    The very fact that DMcW mentions “phases”, shows that in human affairs the future determines current strategy, exactly the opposite of either “evolutionary” changes, or monetarist “sensibility”.

    Considering this, what is “timing”? How could a clear NO vote be premature? In fact it will change the the belief of the “sensible” ones they have time to play poker with millions of people.

    Put the rush on those poker-faced liars now!

    And the time for Glass-Steagall is NOW, not at some time comfortable for the likes of JPMorgan-Chase.

  5. Peter Schum

    Couldn’t agree more David that the timing for this vote is wrong. But given that the referendum date is not going to change, are we better off to vote Yes and maintain the status quo until the house of cards finally collapses in the Eurozone?

    • Grey Fox

      Vote NO, there is no point putting off the inevitable, the car carsh is already unavoidable, it’s just happening in slow motion!

      • rebean

        I hear that interest rates are on the way up again. What idiot thought that we were ever going back to the bondmarkets ever? Ireland is on a life support support from europe and thats before the car crash. It doesnt look good for the apres car crash. I dont know whether to emigrate now and try and get established or wait for the car crash and drag myself abroad then.

  6. A clear and concise summary, David. The European Union’s structural flaw always was, whereas a country will generally subsidise its geographically weaker locations, the Euro is unable to make this adjustment between nations.

    But I’m expecting a more prolongued period of social
    grief than you seem to be, David, before the technocrats start saying they were on our side all along. They’ll hold out for a good while yet. All unnecessary, of course.

    • Tull McAdoo

      Bit like us poor bastards digging holes in the ground over here in WA, while you guys live the life over there in Melbourne. Ha Ha.

      You could at least let us win the footie on a regular basis to keep the spirits up……..

  7. hibernian56

    Muinteoir Noon has a revolting arrogance about him. Most likely a hang over from his background as a school teacher. He ain’t no Economist, just like he was no health minister either. Simply put, he’s an over indulged bluffer. (And overfed by the looks of it)

    Remember his handling of the Hepatitis C victims? This man would stop at nothing to get his way.

    I have been thinking about a caption for the No Vote, what about;

    Liar (with a picture of Gilmore)
    Loser (with a picture of Muinteoir Martin)
    Looney (with a picture of Noonan)

    Now, if only I had some money to get the T-shirts printed!!

  8. positron

    While I agree with David in general, isn’t there a fundamental flaw that is being overlooked?

    If Germany want to keep a strong euro going for the benefit of their own export segment, what good is it when the target market deals in euro, but can’t actually afford to buy anything from Germany, simply because they have no euros to spend? Surely Germans knows this much?

    • Hi Positron

      I agree with you. Its the paradox of thrift as Keynes said. If there is no spending there is no income.

      This is the nub of the issue for Germany.



    • bonbon

      German industrial workers know more – to appear “competitive” they have had their jobs pushed into precariousness using the logic of the liberal and Austrian school loudly promoted here.

      German bankers on the other hand have a different dilemma, best seen by listening to Stark or Weidman.

      Monetarists (including Hayek and Keynes) by their very flawed thinking always drive the economy to this catastrophic false paradox and would much prefer to discuss that symptom, rather than the hold sheer magic has on their minds.

      • Deco

        Hayek was not a monetarist.

        Neither was Keynes, except in the sense of manipulation of the fiscal stimulus program.

        The problem with Western Europe, is that there has been too much fiscal and monetarist stimulus since the mid 1980s. The debts are enormous. Pain/austerity etc is unavoidable. The modern socialist loved fiscal stimulus far more than Keynes could ever have envisaged.

        And disaster is the precise logical outcome of such fiscal mismanagement and monetarist nonsense.

    • Since 2005, German exports to China rose from about 3% to something close to 12% of total exports. I believe this makes China its largest export partner. The bulk of their economic growth in this time frame has been as a result of trade with non-Eurozone members. The target market, as you put it, isn’t the Eurozone at all, and they consequentially have no interest in having a strong Euro. But they also don’t want to inflate away their citizens pensions and savings. As a powerful economy trading in a weak currency, the Germans get to have their cake and eat it.

  9. bonbon

    France showed its hand, NRW also sent a clear message. Greece is sending a very loud message.

    Does DMcW imply Eire should not?

    The only reason the current Dublin administration even allowed a vote was President Higgin’s preemption at the London School of Economics earlier.

    Maybe Michael D. really upset things for monetarists?

    This is not poker, nor snooker.

  10. piombo

    Great article. Agree completely that a deferral of the referundum is obvious to all.
    I have never understood why the current government has never created a consultation group of economists such as you, Morgan Kelly and a few others to at least offer a plan B which could at the very least be juxtaposed with the “official” orthodoxy thus delivering the message to the ECB et al that Ireland is keeping it’s powder dry.

    On the demise of the Euro, my bet is that Italy will fall much faster that anyone believes. Moodys have downgraded 26 Italian banks due largely to their State debt holdings and the 10 year BTp is near 6%.
    The Italian state is not funded beyond July 2012 and we will be in the August holiday period when things will get really messy. Being the practical people they are, the Italians are already putting away what they can and as a result the already high tax evasion is stepping up a notch. Restaurants now offer a 20% discount for paying in cash….
    Draghi will have to unleash another LTRO just before his summer holidays to steady the ship otherwise it is welcome back Lira, I missed you!

    • bonbon

      Interesting, the fear of change.

      DMcW refers to technocratic reluctance for change, and yet I see now unexpected voices calling for deferral.


    • bonbon

      Italy: Debate on Glass-Steagall and Italexit

      May 16, 2012 (EIRNS)–Though timidly, a debate in Italy has broken out on leaving the euro and on separating banks.

      1. {Corriere della Sera} today has a prominent interview with a well-known financier, Jody Vender (venture capital), who says: “The repeal of the Glass Steagall Act has been a disaster. It should have been strengthened, not repealed.” Vender, who has been a teacher at the Bocconi University in Milan, says,

      “Once at Bocconi, they taught economy of credit institutions. This is what they must do. Banks must become again credit institutions.

      “The problem is to force banks back to issue credit, and not play on financial supermarkets. This must be clear: with savings deposits only credit for business is allowed. If we do not go in this direction, there will be [sic] very serious problems.”

      2. A resolution on credit introduced by LaRouche friend Nicola Oliva has been voted up unanimously by the city council of Prato. The resolution includes a call for Glass-Steagall and a ban on derivatives. Although the entire council (all parties) endorsed the resolution, the news was boycotted by the local press, both the local page of {Corriere della Sera} and the local daily {Il Tirreno}. The former had promised coverage, but then the journalist became incommunicado. The latter had written an article, but the journalist himself was shocked today at seeing that his article had not been published.

      3. An article on “Plan B” (let us call it Italexit) by Paolo Savona, yesterday published by the daily {Libero}, has had much more resonance than in the past, when Savona had written similar things. Quoted on many talk shows, it forced Democratic Party leader Bersani to agree to discuss the issue in a television debate yesterday. Bersani, whose party is the main supporter of the Monti government, said that Italy needs “neither a Plan B, C, or D,” but a “step forward” towards a real European government with more surrender of sovereignty.

      Bersani, however, was confronted by {Libero} editor Maurizio Belpietro, who challenged him to explain whether he wanted more of the same medicine that “Europe” has given to Greece and Italy?

      {Libero} is leading an anti-Euro campaign. Today it published an article by a philosophy professor, Paolo Becchi, at Genoa University entitled “To Be A Sovereign State Again, We Must Leave the Euro.” Becchi writes that the revival of terrorism could be aimed at strengthening Monti, and the new Flagellants party “is not against, but at the service of the power” of the government. Italy must leave the euro, Becchi writes, “without negotiation with the bankers in Brussels.” The Lisbon Treaty prescribes a complicated procedure to “withdraw from the Union,” but “the renunciation of a treaty is not negotiated, it is a decision by a sovereign people, of which, once taken, the other parties are merely notified. We need neither revisions nor agreements to withdraw from treaties, but only their removal. It is difficult to see a new political order at European level, but Europe of the Bankers is dying, and we must have the courage of giving it the {coup de grace}.”

    • hibernian56

      Welcome back Lira indeed, I still have a couple of hundred thousand Lira notes somewhere.

      It’s a pity it was about 2500 to the pound at the time!!!

  11. rebean

    It cannot go on they say , yet it seems to go on. We are all borrowing more and more. I betcha those boys in Govt have a good few bob saved and I bet its not in Euro. I can see all the top Govt lads heading to Mexico or New Zealand for a long stint with their pockets full of British pounds when the s**t hits the fan. The poor people who have no savings and no money for the travel fares will have to stay at home and grow potatoes. Maybe the Germans will get some perspective on reality and try and print some money or try and sit down and solve the bloody crisis for once and for all. I think I will do that TEFL course after all.

    • martino

      Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing over the last few days. This place is going down,and it’s not going to be pretty. Jesus, it was ugly enough when there was money around, imagine what it’ll be like when the dole is a bag of spuds.

  12. FitzPat

    Its not just the Eurocrisis our so called experts get wrong in fact the eurocrisis is just the result of ignoring simple human ageing and sheep mentality.

    Eric Hoffer best said it.

    In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

    Thisis daily life for decades and continues during this “crisis” (what crisis for many with safe bailout protected jobs so whats the pressure to innovate?) Smaller businesses get this kind of policy lag and old thinking thrown at us all the time by poeople who are earning vasts amounts more than the profits of many small businesses.

    Now the average person has been taught again, dont trust pillars of any institution! Will it ever be different?


  13. CitizenWhy

    That old saying, it’s not true until it’s officially denied.

  14. goldbug










  15. ross81

    couldnt give a stuff anymore about what the Germans think or want. The ‘bailout’ money to Greece and elsewhere goes straight back to Franco-German banks whilst neolib puppet regimes bleed their respective economies dry just to pay back the interest. I’m surprised Fritz Bloggs apparently doesn’t support these ‘bailouts’.

  16. CitizenWhy

    Te old rule was to take your losses early. The EZ has chosen to take its losses late, too late.

    Where you have one part of a country subsidize another part you have a common government, a common law, a common revenue system, and a democratic oversight of the process. If you want a common currency that’s what you need.

  17. rebean

    You are correct. We will bail you out so you can pay us back with interest. I dont think the Germans have realised that not many countries will be paying them back. Its Europes big secret. Its the elephant in the room, the emperors new clothes, call it what you like. I honestly think its like telling your kids there aint no Santa when they are twelve. God love them they say Dad is it true ? Is there really no Santa? You reassure them and they recover. However I cant imagine how Germany are going to react when the rest of Europe tells them that they wont be gettin their cash back.What would you like for christmas Angela? About 2 trillion euro so I can keep this failed entity floating for another God forsaken year.

  18. molly

    The car crash is unfolding all over Europe the question I have is this current government must see the car crash the same as the rest of us ,so why do they want to continue on the same path question whats in it for them.
    Question what if they are totally wrong.
    Question are we beening made vote on something that’s going to be useless when the tornado hits the big players and there will just simply not be enough money to go round.
    Question where will we be than.

    • rebean

      Whats in it for them. Well I reckon if the car crashes then they dont get paid. Nobody is gettin paid. They can of course make up the shortfall in their wages by taxing the private sector but you are on the verge of troubled times at that stage. The HSE and civil service need to borrow 16 billion a year every year to pay themselves. The private sector pays for itself and then some. We need the cash from Europe to make up the shortfall. Change is really painful for all concerned. Its inevitable. It just depends how long those in the driving seat can avoid the pile up.

  19. breltub

    I propose we really solve this problem once and for all. The problem is politicians and their general inability.
    I propose a referendum which will make is mandatory for anyone at any point in their lives who hints that they would like to be a politician be banned immediately from being allowed to do so.

    The question on the ballot paper should be along the lines of:

    If at any point someone somewhere believes they should have the power to force their opinion on others in the belief that their opinion is better for the other persons life than their own, should this person be banned from politics. Yes/No

    simple application of the dunning-kruger affect!
    Get those with an illusory superiority out of decision making processes!

    I have enough on my plate with my own mistakes besides bailing out those and their cronies!

  20. Adelaide

    “What we are seeing now is the breakdown of conventional wisdom”

    On a hopeful note, the crumbling status of politics, church, banking etc will hopefully empower people on the simple observation that they could do no worse than that ‘lot’ which they previously behaved in deference to. Hopefully people’s attitudes will evolve into a progressive participation in establishing a fairer society that breaks from the past.

    Hopefully. Otherwise we are heading into a brutal Hobbesian ugly State Of Nature nightmare. My heart says the former but my head says the latter, deep down I sense we Irish will turn in on ourselves as I feel we have a very weak civic fabric of values and standards. I do not subscribe to ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’ but it seems we Irish desperately need to be inspired at this moment in history.

    The history books will tell.

  21. CorkPlasticPaddy

    Couldn’t agree more with what you said, Breltub!!!
    We’ve got a complete and utter bunch idiots who are supposed to be running this country. If I had anything to do with it I wouldn’t put them in charge of a public convenience!!! The same with the crowd of idiots in Brussels. Nigel Farage’s outbursts in the European Parliament regarding von Rumpoy and all of the others isn’t very far from the truth!!! The ECB isn’t being allowed to do the job it was set up to do and it’s those very same people who made up the rules on how the ECB should work who are not allowing the ECB to work. What a complete and utter shower of tossers!!! Vote NO and tell those idiots where to go would be the best thing that could happen for the European project!!!

    • molly

      Nigel farage in my eyes is a saint he is a thorn in the side of the greedy ,the corrupt ,the insane in short what we have for a government.
      Declan ganley is another man who has some good points And I don’t agree with a lot of what he says, he can put certain people in there places when needed.
      If we win the no vote I think this government need to go to the scrap heap.
      This government has a tough skin and nothing seems to change there minds ,it’s like one flew over the cuckoo s nest.
      Maybe shock treatment comes to mind or stun gun.

  22. piombo

    Hi Bonbon,
    Stopped reading Italian newspapers except for Il Sole 24 Ore, so I am not as informed as you. My wife and I watch the pols and journos on the various talk shows some evenings and it just copperfastens the average Italian saying “Ognuno per sè e Dio per tutti”/Everyone for themselves and God for all.
    The catalyst for an Italian exit from the Euro will not emanate from the political or journalistic quarters as both are financially dependent on the State. Rather, the catalyst percolate upwards as the average italian stops purchasing Italian Bonds as their savings investing instead, in German bunds or simply stashing the cash.
    Differently from the Irish or other northern Europeans, northern Italians don’t trust the State and resent the transfers to Rome and the Mezzogiorno as David alludes to in his article.
    This is the one of the main reasons for such chronic tax evasion here.
    Northern Italians try to get on with their lives IGNORING the State as much as possible relying solely on themselves. Therefore, the lessons we Irish can take from the northern Italians would seem to be:
    1) Self reliance and ignore all you cannot directly control;
    2) Look after your business and family before the State;
    3) Ignore all politicians and any journalist, professor, expert who rely on the State even in part for their living;
    4) Work harder (at least 50 hours a week);
    5) Drink less;
    6) Be honest with yourself and all those around you.

    • Deco


      Your advice is extremely relevant to Irish people, and those who wish to avoid being abused and deceived by the gombeen establishment in this country.

      Thank you. You words are a present to all of us.

    • bonbon

      The state of things will not go away. Campaign for Glass-Steagall and Italexit. Movisol is doing all the work in Italy.

      Remember Verdi, he lost everything and everyone, and organized Italy to become a sovereign nation with Nabucco :

      Va, pensiero, sull’ali dorate;
      va, ti posa sui clivi, sui colli,
      ove olezzano tepide e molli
      l’aure dolci del suolo natal!

  23. Adam Byrne


  24. FitzPat

    Great advice Piombo, I recall reading some comment in one of Charles Handys books about the Italian small business economy as being one of the sfaest models in the world. They ignore the state as much as possible and survive themselves. Some of his logic might be worht looking at after these past years.

  25. Vote No if you want to take a dignified stand against the unjust imposition of billions of private speculative bank debt, the absence of which would probably still have Ireland in a position to access financial markets. A yes Vote is a permanent democratic acceptance of this privately assumed debt. No attempt to “renegotiate” with EU powers would succeed when the people already ratified it as legitimate. However with a NO vote there is a far higher probability of more rapid and acute austerity and certainly a less favourable environment for international investment. Like a fundamentally unsustainable affliction you either try and deal with it up fornt and experience all the turmoil that goes with that or you let it take its effect in a more gradual and sustained manner. The fact is though that Ireland is no more a dinghy in this storm and regardless of what decisions we make, may well be dealt with by greater forces.

  26. DDempsey

    I simply believe a “Yes” vote says we are nervous enough to clutch at any straw and will therefore fall for any promise of security, however false, which will make us even more vulnerable. While a “No” vote shows we have yet to be convinced that what we are being told is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and then we have to like the truth, and till we get all that there is no chance of a “done deal”.

  27. molly

    Remember what FG and LAB where saying before the over powered FF and once in power it was a different story .
    They lied then and they lie now it’s as plain as the nose on your face.

  28. Alf

    I think it is crazy that we are being asked to vote to limit the future deficit of the state to 0.5% of GDP. When we add in the increasing debt servicing for bank bailouts, this target will only be met with huge cuts and massive tax hikes to make up the shortfall. Naturally, the weakest will take the greater share of the pain. The ‘plan’ seems to be that a permanent reduction in government spending will somehow generate more growth, growth needed to pay off the debt of the banks and NAMA. If this ‘stimulus plan’ does not work, the GDP will shrink and the 0.5% figure will become an even smaller (more difficult) target to hit. If targets are not met this will lead to automatic ‘trigger’ cuts and/or increasing fines from the EU. However, in this deflating (penalised) economy it will be increaslingly more difficult to meet interest payments and pay down national debt. The government tells us that we should not worry, that we have the ESM (which will get 11 billion from Ireland) and that we need to pass this treaty so we can borrow from it. Does anyone else see a problem with this logic?

    • molly

      Push people to far and the government will feel there wrath ,I don’t think thers much more this government can do in terms of cuts that they will get away with,without big trouble ahead so I hope we have a no vote its the cop on this shower need to wake them up .

      • rebean

        I wish I had joined the foreign Legion when I Was younger. I feel I will have to be a tough bas**rd to survive.God only knows what will happen in the next 5 years. Its amazing that there seems to be no joined up thinking anywhere right now

  29. DDempsey


    A question I ponder on often and wonder if you can answer is:

    Where has all the money gone?

    Is it being stashed somewhere or has it left the country?

    Seems to me that we are in a circulation crisis. We all only ever get to hold our money for a short time before we spend it, ours today and someone else’s tomorrow, like pass-the-parcel. Bosses have to generate in the first place all of the gross profit including income passed to employees. Then employees in turn only hold for a moment the tax they pay in paye (like when my mother gave me tuppence to put in the plate) and every time that money changes hands the state then takes a large cut in vat etc. So how much of what bosses/entrepreneurs etc generate does actually finish up as real profit/income to the man in the street ie. doesn’t finish up in the state coffers and thence in fancy salaries for state operatives? Wherever the profit/income comes from does it not just inevitably finish up as a small residue after the state has taken all its cuts? And if the state is short of a bob or two, isn’t that then just a matter of how quickly each unit of currency circulates so that the state can take its full number of cuts without delay? So what has the state done with all the money it has accumulated above all those small residues? Why is the state not just more honest, grab its 95% or whatever at source, and let bosses and employees handle the real amount left over? Wouldn’t that save a lot of work and expenditure on public servants who are effectively just running the same sum with another little bit of vat added each time? How many slices can a unit of currency be split into so that so many people can have a job measuring, handling and piling up all those little snippets of tax? Talk about unproductive work…..!!!!!

    • The money went in artificially high returns and incomes enjoyed in Ireland.The credit stopped the economy shrank many people have emigrated, the debt remains. Some shrewd investors held on to their high returns but not many. Many of Ireland’s elite continue to derive their income from an unsustainable source, before it was an artificially inflated economy now it is an economy on a cheap loan.

  30. Philip

    What is stopping Germany from taking rental control of all Greek public assets in exchange for debt wipeout. Germany minds its market and takes an active role in making Greece work well. German Banks become the new banks there and that is that. Ditto for Ireland and so on. Let’s cut the nonsense and just Speachen deutsche.

    But no…they are taking a rather dumb approach of insisting on austerity. It all sounds and feels very stupid.

    • molly

      Deutschland hat zu viel Geld aus und lieh seine Esel ist aus dem Fenster.

    • martino

      I suppose it’s the war legacy that’s stopping them. Like a reader above I think the Germans are being naive if they think they’ll get all their money back.

  31. sean ban

    Will we be singing again that old chestnut,if we untangle from Germany.
    “And Ireland long a Province be
    A Nation once again”

  32. wills

    The Euro is a spectacular success.

    A gigantic surplus of wealth has come about due to the incredible success of how
    of among other things how effective the Euro has been.

    The Euro works and is under attack.

    There are criminal syndicates operating waging war on the Euro failing.

    Greece authorities fraudulently cooked their books aided and abetted by a criminal banking syndicate called Goldman Sachs.

    Private banking crony networks creamed the euro into private property bubbles with the intention of leaving the tab to the old the sick the blind the weak the vulnerable.

    The Euro has been exploited and pillage and plundered and abused and creamed and filched and purloined and trashed and milked and it still stands as a world currency despite the assault it has received.

    Long live the Euro.

    • bonbon

      People are under attack. Snap out of it. Hypnotized by monetary tokens.

      And one deadly weapon is the Euro.

      The other is Greenie proclamations from the WWF and the Royal Society this month to reduce the human population to 1 billion.

      And you thing we care about the Euro?

  33. Deco

    Will the market crash. I reckon it will, and it is unavoidable. It will crash until the ECB/Fed starts to print money, like the trees need to be all cut down.

    • The private debt was unsustainable and it was transferred to the sovereign it is unsustainable for most sovereigns. Collectively it could be sustainable for the EMU but politically that is not easy. What happens next anyone’s guess. Game theory
      Does Ireland regain its independence by cutting hard and fast and being able to pay its expenses with its income then free of immediate dependency on bailouts negotiate the assumed private debt or not and continue as is?
      Does Germany fore go the significant currency advantage the Euro has delivered to avoid the permanent imposition of debt to fix the Euro or does it write a very significant check?

  34. Deco

    What we are seeing now is the breakdown of conventional wisdom in Europe.

    The sceptic in me thinks that the word “wisdom” is an act of kindness, considering the level of stupidity that is rampant in Brussels.

  35. Anyone have an opinion on cutting the deficit in 1 year, reducing costs and driving effeciency in the public service out of the necessity imposed by arithmetic but simultaneously investing the amount cut in labour intensive capital investment and keep investing each year on a scale of what would have been borrowed had the current account deficit not being removed? I fully accept this proposal presumes a political vacuum but in terms of economics?

    • StephenKenny

      I’m sorry. I don’t understand what that first sentence means.

      • It’s not very concise. An opinion on the suggestion that you cut the deficit balance the budget now and then instead of borrowing what you would have to pay the excess, invest that amount in labour intensive capital investment, continue to do invest what would have been spent for each year until the current projection of balance.

  36. wills


    By my reckoning you are incorrect to say it is stupidity driving the crisis.

    It is NOT so.

    It is private interests pulling levers kerchinging the real economy.

    Lets not be taking in by their bull crap that they are all in a befuddle crap.

    • bonbon

      “They” do not have the slightest clue what to do. Neither do the politicians. Face it – those taking care of you are totally lost.

      This is the first ever breakdown of a globalized empire, no recipe exists. That’s what we must deal with.

  37. wills

    Mainstream media reports the crisis according to the narrative the editorial rooms decrees from un-high!

    The Public are not being told the full story.

    The mainstream news media has failed and is working to deceive the public.

    Blood is on their hands, the mainstream media’s hands.

  38. hibernian56

    Ok, So a few hours messing around.. Here’s my poster…


    Gilmore the Liar, Martin the Loser, and last but not least… Noonan the Looney.

  39. molly

    How fortunate for leaders that men do not think hitler

  40. molly

    Hitler died wealthy.

    According to a new German television documentary, Hitler liked money, both for the luxuries it bought him and the loyalties it ensured, and he amassed a lot of it.

    In all the continuing fascination with Hitler since his suicide on April 30, 1945, in his Berlin bunker as the Soviet Army closed in, little attention has been paid, until now, to his personal finances.

    Abstemious in his public image, Hitler liked to live grandly. He paid much attention to his income from his own writing and from the copyright fees for his photographs, said Ingo Helm, a 47-year-old freelance journalist and filmmaker, who spent over a year making ”Hitler’s Money,” which will be shown later this month on a state-owned station, ARD.

    ”Hitler saw himself as an unrecognized genius, and in order to change this situation he was very interested in power, money and social advancement,” Mr. Helm said in an interview today, after word of his film was made public in German media. ”All this was balsam for the tortured soul of the unrecognized genius.”

    • hibernian56

      Perhaps this is a psychology shared by Muinteoir Martin?

      He’s an unrecognised genius in his own mind.

  41. David,

    The referendum is a piece of theater, nothing more. The result will have no bearing on whether the Fiscal Treaty gets implemented or not. Berlin knows it, so does Dublin. Bruton nearly dropped a bollock on the radio the other day with talk of a second referendum but has been quick to correct the record. He knows the score as well. Germany and France get to maintain the status quo, and the Irish Greeks and the rest will play along, and the interests of their citizens be damned.

    If things get a bit out of hand on the streets, the Krauts have the solution for that too (worked great at the May 1st demos in Kreuzberg):

    So, no problem then.

    • bonbon

      The so-called treaty is a death warrant. Implementation is suicide. Does anyone believe it is anything else.

  42. dwalsh

    It is unfortunate that David and many others — short-sightedly in my view — do not seem to understand what is happening globally; and what is at stake for humanity and civilisation if Europe fails.

    If Europe begins to unravel by rejecting the democratic will of the Greek people and ejecting Greece from the Euro, the global financial oligarchs will have won a major strategic victory over the free peoples of the world; and the dark night of neo-feudal global fascism will draw closer. If Europe fails it will be almost inevitable.

    Everyone seems to imagine all that is at stake is awkward government budgets and temporarily inconvenient debts. That if we go it alone we can quickly clear the books and return to the so-called free-market.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. What is at stake is our democracy, flawed and partial though it may be; and our social freedoms, hard-won by the generational struggles of our ancestors.

    As a nominally independent nation with a national currency we would be easy prey to the wolf packs of global financial capital. We would have no sovereignty at all. Zip! We can already see this reality clearly in the form of the IMF conditionalities for loans which can never be repaid; and are never meant to be repaid!

    Those loans are shackles of servitude to global private capital – in perpetuity.

    The fiscal treaty likewise is primarily designed to radically reduce European fiscal democracy – not to increase stability; and clearly signals the shape of things to come; and the intentions of the financial oligarchs controlling the ECB and the financial markets.

    If Europe fails to reassert reason and humane social justice through democracy, the future of our global civilisation will be in grave peril. The world needs a strong, unified and democratic European voice in these crucial years of global challenge and transformation.

    The popular revolution beginning in Greece is an opportunity for us all to begin to reassert the core values of reason and humanity which lie at the heart of European civilisation.

    • gizzy

      I agree the world needs a Europe built on the principles you outlined. It would be a powerful player in counteracting the Wall Street World.

    • coldblow

      Hi dwalsh.

      Core values of reason and humanity (your final sentence). I think we are probably pretty much agreed on what humanity is, it’s the reason thing that’s the problem.

      Desmond Fennell has a lot to say about this.

    • bonbon

      Europe invented, discovered national sovereignty after the Treaty of Westphalia- The good of the other is first priority. This came from De Cusa’s Concordantia Catholica. And only realized with Lincoln’s USA, that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

      Europe has had terrible conflict from European reactionary feudal currents trying to roll back history to before 1783 as Hitler himself said he would.

      Russia has clearly and unmistakenly warned Obama that breaching sovereignty will lead to nuclear war. The world today is based on this European principle, and Europe is again trying to go feudal (Obama even more so).

      Europe and the Euro is breaching sovereignty, the treaty is the death warrant for everything since 1648. Russia well knows it is target number 1 and will resist, armed if necessary.

    • cooldude

      Hi DWalsh, As usual I agree with a lot of your comments. This is not just an Irish or a European problem this is a global problem. The first thing that needs to be understood is the heirarchy involved in what is a quite feudal system. On the top are the elite banking families, Rothschilds, Rockefellers etc. The creme de la creme. Beneath them is the global central banking network including our own one. These are all private institutions whose shareholders are never disclosed because they are all the same people. Running this big show is the Bank of International Settlements which is also a private institution with private shareholders most of whom are the elite bankong families and chosen buddies. Below them are the 147 global corporations who control oil, food, pharmaceuticals, mainstrem media etc and who have huge influence globally. On this same level come the IMF the World Bank and any organization with world or global in it’s name. All these organizations are given strict instructions on what to do. Below that come our grotty politicians including our own brand of spineless cretins. In fairness there are honorable exceptions to this including Declan Ganley, Ron Paul, Nigel Farage and a few others. In general the political class is chosen by the manipulators and a presence at bilderburg meetings goes down very well. By the way Hollande is a regular at these meetings. How this whole system is held together is through a complete control of the money supply. This is controlled by the exclusive use of unbacked paper money. This monetary system , due to it’s inherent elasticity, is bound to produce inflation and debasement of savings. This is all designed and is known as Keynesian economics. The basis of this theory is that savings should be discouraged by debasement of the currency thereby forcing citizens to engage in risky asset bubbles just like the one Ireland and Spain are going through. This is all part of a plan to rob people of their savings through debasement of currency, create asset bubbles which suck in innocent people into massive debt, and eventually force governments to bail out failed banks and move the unpayable debts to a sovereign level. Some people may think this is all a bit far fetched. Well answer me this. In 1913 when the Fed was created the price of gold was $20 and £5. The ratio was 1-5 and gold was the anchor. Now the price is roughly $1600 and £1000. The purchasing power of peoples wages has been destroyed by this insiduous inflation , which is a key ingredient of Keynesian economics, and peoples real incomes have dropped 60% in the last 99 years, And this is in a period of massive technological breakthroughs in most areas. Our modern currencies are not simply mediums of exchange they are mediums of control. The only central bank which was not in “private” hands and which wanted to introduce an honest system of payment, the gold dinar, was Libya and look what happened there. What is going on in Europe and in the world in general is all organized and is designed to create fear in ordinary people. Do your own research and don’t fall for all the bollocks.

      • bonbon

        Honorable exception indeed – Ron Paul (or even more inane Ganley). You are betraying your Austrian School monetarist mesmerizing!

        The last thing we need is again the Austrian School British Gold Standard monetarism, the other side of the global financial coin.

        Ron Paul indeed did not vote to repeal Glass-Steagall, but refuses to endorse the reinstatement now because of an incredible belief in spontaneous unknowable order appearing out of the mere possession of “sound monetary tokens”. Amazing how an otherwise very reasonable (dump the FED – yes), popular figure is rendered harmless.

        Glass-Steagall, a national political solution to an otherwise insolvable financial debacle, is directly counter to ths British liberal, deregulation, free-market London School of Economics “conventional wisdom” as DMcW puts it.

        • cooldude

          The reason Ron Paul supports the reintroduction of ” sound monetary tokens” is because he understands that sound money takes away power from the bankers and gives it to the people. By allowing sound money to circulate again side by side with the banker’s paper tokens people are given a choice of which medium of exchange they can hold their savings in. Do they use the banker’s paper which is constantly and systemically debased or use precious metals which have been a store of value for thousands of years. I presume you Bonbon would prefer to use the banker’s paper which is perfectly fine. Ron Paul’s proposal is about giving people choice in which type of money they would like to use. If you want to use money which is constantly debased that’s just fine but why not allow people like me and many others to hold our savings in sound money. His proposal is all about individual choice and taking away the ridiculous power the banker’s have over us through their exclusive franchise on the type of money we use. The bankers will fight this tooth and nail because they know people will start to shun their debased paper and use money which is a proper store of value.

          • bonbon

            Bankers are people too. And now they have the money, and with the help of the Austrian School they will get even more.

            Glass-Steagall takes the toys away, nothing else does.

            Support the various moves to get this pushed through before those bankers invite us to diner, as the main course!

      • dwalsh

        It should be clear from my comments that I “don’t fall for all the bollocks”.

    • Thats a bit harsh. The referendum may be a piece of theater, and it might be ignored, but I think the point of the article was that the result is significant giving the timing, for exactly the reasons you state. No?

  43. “Germany must be turned into a waste land” (The Morgenthau Diary)

    I don’t agree with the above quote, but it would appear that this is what is happening …

    The argument that the German DM will be too strong for German industrial exports will likely translate to an industrial wasteland for the unfortunate German people; and that folks is something that we should probably not look forward too.

  44. aaronk

    David, Schopenhauer was a pessimist but he still deserves to receive his credit for the stages of truth quotation.

    • Aaronk

      Was that his? Didn’t know, heard it years ago and it seemed good.


      • Adam Byrne

        Nice turn on Newsnight David.

          • David,
            I’m here and there and over and back filling the fridge.
            Is it possible to send some sort of text via the site or whatever to let us know when you are going live on radio or TV?
            This is entering the end game and after being there for a few years now, I don’t want to miss the final curtain.

          • Furrylugs

            The ante is increasing and the game is becoming theatrical so why now talk about the final curtain ? I am just beginning to enjoy the howls , squeals and laughter from the stage …..and I still have plenty of popcorn to see the replay.

          • coldblow

            I saw you too. I was just going to call it a day. I had the anorexic quote on my lips before you said it.

            You did very well and called it clearly (the others seemed to be thinking wishfully) but you looked tired – perhaps it was the lighting?

          • Coldblow

            I am tired, very tired.



          • Dorothy Jones

            I am knackered. Never thought would see the day that the energy levels and outlook would be so low. It’s not JUST age and it certaintly isn’t for lack of trying.

  45. DDempsey


    May 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    The money went in artificially high returns and incomes enjoyed in Ireland.The credit stopped the economy shrank many people have emigrated, the debt remains. Some shrewd investors held on to their high returns but not many. Many of Ireland’s elite continue to derive their income from an unsustainable source, before it was an artificially inflated economy now it is an economy on a cheap loan.

    ====Who or what is The above says what happened, but does not really answer my question above – where has all the money actually gone? Or, if you like, where did it come from? And then where did it go?

    Considering how many council houses, hospitals, etc were built in Ireland in the 1950s-1960s when we were even poorer than now, how come the government now seems to afford even less infrastructure than then? Did we borrow so much that the interest has left us visibly poorer (in infrastructure, health, etc) than if we had never borrowed in the first place?

    • StephenKenny

      It’s a very interesting question.
      My view on understanding a country’s economy is all about understanding change. Neither the amount of money in the economy, nor the level of debt, are really what’s important, it’s the rate of change that’s important. Academic economics is all graphs, with time along the x-axis.

      Another key aspect of any country’s economy is that it isn’t closed, i.e. it trades with other countries.

      Bearing those two things in mind, it’s quite easy to see what happened: The rate of borrowing to buy new & redeveloped properties increased; this created a lot of jobs, which created a lot of retail demand; this created a lot of importing of goods and therefore exporting of money.

      The rate of borrowing fell, so the jobs disappeared, so retail demand fell, so imports fell. The money never came back.

      In terms of trade, we have the German cars and Italian kitchens, and they have the money we borrowed. We still owe the money to our banks.

      We borrowed money, and in short, it went abroad, leaving us with nothing but debts.

      The ‘why’ or ‘how did this happen’ are quite different questions, and tend to result in a lot of finger pointing. You can argue that we shouldn’t have been lent the money, you can argue that we shouldn’t have believed all the Celtic Tiger nonsense at the time, you can even argue that all our problems would go away if we all but loved each other.

      The bottom line is that we are left in a situation of having an economy that’s been restructured around these massive property and importing industries, with no means of paying for either.

      The current expert view is that all we need is to be lent a lot more money, until our industries ‘recover’, and we can return to buying those German cars and Italian kitchens. I’m looking forward to it, although, truth to tell, I’m not holding my breath.

    • bonbon

      Private banking entities borrowed, bet, and lost. And now treacherous politicians elected with the consent of the people bail out these with the very life blood of the people.

      Split off the deadly investment arms of these zombie banks, and let commercial banking serve national credit for huge long term necessary high tech projects.

      But first Glass-Steagall, a national political willful intervention into an otherwise insoluble monetarist paradox, exactly as FDR countered the drive for fascism in 1933.

  46. CorkPlasticPaddy

    Just after watching Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber, namely, Pascal Donohue from FG and that other idiot from Fianna Fail(ed) on Tonight with VB on TV3.What a complete and utter shower we had and have running the country!! Talk about being so utterly brain washed?? It’s no wonder this country is in the predicament it’s in when you had and have clowns like these people in government.If they’re the kind of people who are supposed to be campaigning for a Yes vote in the upcoming Referendum then you couldn’t have two more likely people to make the undecided voters in the opinion polls go away and vote No at the end of the month!!Two complete and utter wasters!!

    • molly

      This is what we voted for because we believed there lies ,and a lot of the gobshits in this country would vote for the same clowns in again .so the only thing I can come up with is for the Irish people to stop voting for these clowns is to make the Irish people to suffer more under these clowns,it seams to be the only way to make people want to get these fools out is to hurt the Irish people more in pay,taxs,health .
      You see the way we have gone down hill over the last couple of years,well for this government to toe the line with Europe they will have to inforce sorry try to inforce savage cuts and inflect savage pain on us but not them selves .remember the government and there cronies will not suffer they are experts at protecting there you think this government is going to impose hardship on them selves.

  47. Great stuff and on the money. The sound of the Zeitgeist. Your articles are getting better and better all the time to paraphrase Sgt Pepper or maybe I am approaching things from a fresh viewpoint but the blog is a good place to visit again

    The sting from some vicious tails has been neutralised and it seems people are bored with angry young men, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. Alan Sillitoe was writing about all that stuff 50 years ago and it’s all been seen and heard before. Where is Ireland’s pulse today and who is creating the art that will outlive the times. Phil Collins – Another Day In Paradise. Fleeting thoughts

    Hopefully the posters had something to do with it. It takes time and effort for people to build community and it is hard work keeping up with the debates. Long term visions last and twenty years from now people will still be treading these boards as I hope they do. We will all be dead by then and babies will be popping out the womb wired up to Yahoo and YouTube. Uncensored, old fashioned and on the edge. The way we were in the last days of free speech. Tales of life behind a pencil drawn Raymond Chandler cover and faded with the passing of time

    I just wanted to say something positive because despite the ‘Deadly Forces’ life goes on and when you think about it life isn’t so deadly at all. It’s fascinating and no one is going to starve in this country. We have a safety net which proves that we are still a civilised society. That is the difference and it’s not going to change. We have to fight till the death to keep that safety net in place. That should be the goal of any Irish person. Our conscience will not countenance the alternative because that is a line the Irish people will never cross imo

    I get the feeling that many of your readers have been getting a lot out out of the blog. There are subjects that crop up which are on the backs of people’s minds and which are not yet mainstream. Someone mentioned the Rothschilds the other day

    Woo thngs are looking up and I hope more people come on and let rip about what they really think. I want to stick my neck out and ask that Irish people give the likes of Jim Corr a break rather than be seduced by the riducule his name raised on a mainstream tv a few months ago. Keep an open mind and let people have their say. Live and let live

    Everyday brings new moves in the chess games being played between nations and the individual poker players staring across the table at guys and gals they are to trying to hustle. It’s all a game and the worlds of high finance and politics are like high class card games played out in secret backrooms that are hush hush and on the qt

    The feelings of power handed to individual egos is intoxicating in the extreme. Much better than high class booze, sex, brown envelopes or any drug

    Just ask DSK and Berlusconi. It’s a shady world where there is no black and no white and only infinite varieties of grays of all shades and hues

    You’d burst out laughing if you ended up at a dinner party and was introduced to someone who works in banking, politics or finance. I would. C’mere tell me why you are so smart … I feel that I am in the presence of God. I feel so, so, so honoured!

    Oh look!!! This one is intelligent and shows signs of having feelings and a heart. They look and function like you and me. I wonder what it would be like having access to a webcam hidden on Queen Lizzies private loo. Do you think she farts like normal people? Jesus I sometimes wonder about that. I wonder if Van Romguy farts. Does Berlusconi trim his nasal hairs while a rent boy is polishing his shoes? Maybe I need to get out and take more fresh air

    It’s all about bargaining power now and when you are running on empty the only thing left to do is bluff. That is what we have been reduced to. We are like Dean Martin singing ‘Houston’

    We should say no and let them sweat and if they want to see us then it’s going to cost them. We have leverage because of all the brownie points our yes men have accrued on the wall. Those good ole boys with Etonian backbone and moral fibre will see us through. Over and Over. It almost brings a tear to my eye when I think of the stiff upper lips of our fine comrades and the personal sacrifices they are making for the likes of you and I

    To play this move otherwise would only prove that someone needs to take a kipper and smack the Irish around the head until they get some cop on. Can anyone in Ireland say that they feel pround when listening to the national anthem? Fuck them I am off at first bell and leaving them to it. Assholes.

    Max Keiser has been asking for years what the hell is wrong with us. Everyone is waiting to see what we do. Our decision will delight some and drive others to despair but we can’t please them all but we have the chance to speak loud. Not every country holds referendums and you are lucky to have one

    Dean Martin – Houston – 1965

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