June 11, 2015

Corruption is endemic in soccer-mad Argentina - just like it is in FIFA

Posted in Irish Independent · 67 comments ·
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In Argentina, football is a religion. If the derby between Boca and River Plate is Easter Sunday Mass, then the Bombonera Stadium, Boca’s home, is a Holy Trinity of the Vatican, Lourdes and Fatima – a sacred theatre of dreams, miracles and, depending on the score, extravagant benedictions.

A couple of weeks ago, I made my own personal Camino to this place of worship. A procession of the faithful moved slowly through the back streets towards the tabernacle, repeating incantations, bonded together by the low murmur of repetitive chanting. In the same way as medieval monastic orders, from Franciscans to Jesuits, distinguished themselves with different coloured habits – the outward signs of inner differences – Boca’s devotees are a sea of yellow and blue.

Like all religions, this congregation is bonded together by their own sacred scriptures, myths and mysteries, passed down from father to son.

They have their Boca creed which they profess openly, each fan trying to out-do the next in the intensity of their devotion. Tears are not uncommon.

Nothing prepares you for the Buenos Aires derby, the noise, the colour and outlandish drama that this most dramatic of races brings to even the most innocuous challenges on the pitch.

We can only speculate as to the extent to which the collective hysteria of the derby contributes to making Buenos Aires the world capital of psychology; it has more shrinks per head than New York. Is it any wonder they are highly strung?

After all, the canon of Argentinian football deity is impressive.

Think about all the players who have worn the blue and white: Maradona, Messi, Batistuta, Caniggia, Passarella, Zanetti, Mascherano and Di Maria – this is a roll call of world talent.

These are all mesmerising players, but apart from being Argentinian footballers, what else do they have in common?

Look again at the surnames. Notice that all these giants of the beautiful game, in this Spanish-speaking country, have Italian names.

Indeed, come to think of it, so too does the Argentine Pope, Cardinal Bergoglio and that most infamous of locals (for those who remember Las Malivinas/Falklands War at least), General Leopoldo Galtieri.

Argentina feels like Italy in the South Atlantic.

Millions of Italians, the grandfathers and great grandfathers of Maradona, Messi and the Pope, moved from Italy to Latin America in the later part of the 19th century and with them they brought Italian ways.

In fact, some of my non-Italian Argentinean friends claim that the Italians brought with them the three things from the Old Country – fashion, football and corruption.

This may be a bit harsh; but wherever it came from, corruption and bribe paying is certainly endemic in Argentina. It is part of everyday life. If you want something done, you pay for it and the State is the corrupter-in-chief.

A friend suggested to me after the game that democratic Argentina was perfect for corruption because once you start buying votes; you have to buy them all.

He indicated that once in the system, corruption is amplified by democracy because the ballot boxes aren’t rigged and every vote is equal, therefore, the corrupter has to set about corrupting everyone, not just the wealthy. This is how everyone becomes debased over time and how the whole system comes to tolerate being bribed.

I had never thought about it like this before. I preferred the old notion that in some way democracy was a bulwark against corruption.

However, the Argentines argued the opposite. Corruption, they argued, is like a weed in a garden. The garden can look green and verdant from afar, but up close it is choked. It is still alive and growing – but with weeds not flowers.

Argentina started being corrupt when it was already wealthy. This country was, in 1949, the fourth richest nation in the world in terms of GDP per head.

Argentina, he said, was therefore set up for corruption because it had the money. A bit like FIFA, he added.

As we chatted amongst football fans, the similarities between Argentina and FIFA became obvious.

There is a lot of money and resources in the country and loads of mouths to feed. If you can engineer the right outcome, you control a massive country. Therefore, there is a massive incentive at the top to pay everyone off and gain power.

This can be all orchestrated and made legitimate by a one-man-one vote, transparent ballot system that looks completely fair but can, in fact, be used as the perfect cover for corruption.

If you look at FIFA as a massive democracy where the one-man one vote system is sacrosanct, we can see the similarities.

Huge footballing countries like Argentina or Germany have the same votes as tiny countries where the game is hardly played. Therefore to get something through, the votes of tiny and, in many cases, poor countries are equal to powerhouses.

Obviously it is easier to slip a bung to a small guy or treat their delegates very well on junkets to influence the vote.

But what about the money – where does it come from?

FIFA gets its bread from the World Cup. This is a licence to print money.

We all know this and the TV companies, backed by massive advertisers and sponsors drive up the purse for each event. FIFA owns this franchise, meaning it becomes as rich as Croesus.

What’s more, the man who runs it can identify the areas he wants to exploit and deploy capital at will, either to make things happen – or to make things go away.

Interestingly, the money is a massive subsidy from the footballing powerhouses to the little guys, through the grubby hands of the middle-man, FIFA.

Why is it a subsidy?

Well, because we all watch the World Cup to see Messi, Aguero, Neymar and the great European players.

We want to see the best players, playing for the best countries in the best competition in the world. This is the main event and FIFA is the promoter, financier and bagman all rolled into one.

So like once-rich Argentina, there’s a lump of money and lots of poor countries that can be bought off very easily.

There is also a massive incentive for the guys at the top to stay in power.

When you stand back at look at it, if you wanted to create a corrupt system, you couldn’t have gone about it better than the system FIFA and Sepp Blatter created.

As I walked back through the streets of La Boca and looked around at all the fans, our kit, our time, our money – one word comes to mind: suckers.

David Mc Williams hosts the Dalkey Book Festival this weekend www.dalkeybookfestival.org


  1. Subscribe – not your finest hour David but I know you have been busy this week.

  2. michaelcoughlan

    “As I walked back through the streets of La Boca and looked around at all the fans, our kit, our time, our money – one word comes to mind: suckers”

    I couldn’t agree with you more. In the lebanon the christians and muslims would be mowing each other down in gun battles and then would have a cease fire to watch a soccer match.

    Once over it was back to mowing each other down. Madder than a bonbon I’d say. As for the south Americans no chance to allow thugs and scum bags get the kudos for allowing soccer to dictate military action;

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

    The war was fought in 1969 between honduras and el salvador when one side or the other wouldn’t allow people to cross the border to go to the match.

    The conflict is still live 40 years later! Although the only shooting now is at the goals.

    Weird world we live in.

    • It’s just primitive, tribal nonsense Michael, It can rear its ugly head in any activity that involves more than two people. I like watching football (and used to enjoy playing it) but that’s just because it’s an exciting and interesting tactical puzzle – prefer to watch it on my own and stay away from all the shirt-wearing and flag-waving idiocy.

  3. michaelcoughlan

    “He indicated that once in the system, corruption is amplified by democracy because the ballot boxes aren’t rigged and every vote is equal, therefore, the corrupter has to set about corrupting everyone, not just the wealthy. This is how everyone becomes debased over time and how the whole system comes to tolerate being bribed.

    I had never thought about it like this before. I preferred the old notion that in some way democracy was a bulwark against corruption”

    Thats odd.Do you not live in Europe? For example; Remember Hitler? He bribed the whole population with jobs reducing the unemployment rate from the millions in 1933 to a minuate in 1939 paid for with money confiscated from the jews, homosexuals, inteligentsia etc. You need a constitution to stop this effect form happening and of course Hitler didn’t give a fiddlers for the constitution.

    Jay Leno said recently that the >US was giving theirs away free since no one in Government uses theirs either any more. Its called fascism/corprotocracy Dathi.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcPx9KqCVWQ

    • On a similar note, if you think Sepp Blatter is bad, just wait and see what happens if someone of the ilk of Richard Scudamore (chief executive of the Premier League in England) gets a hold of FIFA.

      Instead of outright bribes being given to smaller member nations, Scudamore (or someone similar) and his pals will simply change the rules so that all the money in world football will accumulate at the top.

      Once they change the rules, they will not actually be indulging in illegal corruption – but in reality and in moral terms, their intentions and actions will be far worse than anything seen with Blatter.

      This is what currently happens with the English football pyramid that barely spends any money on coaching for young players – instead all the money goes to inflated players’ wages – hence the England team can never compete with the likes of Spain and Germany who have far better coaching at a youth level – and yet somehow they still think that they’re going to win the World Cup every time and “football is coming home” – this part is all fueled deliberately by the media of course – to hoover up more of the suckers cash from selling papers, merchandise (St. George flags and replica kits), beer, TV – subscriptions and plane tickets etc.

      It’s a big scam. I wouldn’t pay a penny to see a football match. Notwithstanding the fact that I want to see Lionel Messi play in the flesh once at Barcelona. I followed Trinidad around the World Cup 2006 in Germany by selling 100 tickets which we procured from the Trinidanian and Dominican FAs – hey, if you can’t beat them, join them.

      I only have one daughter, no plans to have a son – despite that fact that I was a very good footballer. I frequently thank my lucky stars that I don’t have to go through all that kit-buying and supporting nonsense that I see other fathers having to do with their sons. I already did it myself, couldn’t face it again. Give me My Little Pony any day of the week.

      • So what they need in FIFA is someone in the middle, someone who will respect both the smaller and bigger nations. It’s a big ask.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          Sep Blatter is the only person I can think of west the Bug river who is more corrupt than the current Polish government.

          When the current Polish government wanted to do away with the corruption in Polish football – which is so endemic that it was an object of comedies in Poland – Mr. Blatter asked the Polish government at some Bilderberg meeting to leave Michal (Michal Listkiewicz, the capo di tutti capi in Polish football) alone. This was done at a licentious party at the balcony and you have to picture it like Manny asking someone in a hushed voice to leave Ray Luka alone.

          And this goal became a legend in Poland – a goalkeeper of Ruch Chorzow desperately trying to earn the money he took as a bribe in the late 80s. I always look at it when I am sad for it makes me laugh

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubuytNCrp0E

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubuytNCrp0E

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “For example; Remember Hitler? He bribed the whole population with jobs reducing the unemployment rate from the millions in 1933 to a minuate in 1939 paid for with money confiscated from the jews, homosexuals, inteligentsia etc. You need a constitution to stop this effect form happening and of course Hitler didn’t give a fiddlers for the constitution.”

      Furthermore, Hitler’s dictatorial changes in 1933 were completely constitutional and a year later he had a referendum in which he had asked people of Germany whether they approve of his regime and if they approve of enlarging his powers. Hitler is not the only example where democracy brought about its own decline.
      The two assumptions of democracy are that voters always vote in their own interest and that they are well informed. The problem is that virtually in every system only a small minority is well informed because only a small minority is willing to dig deep.

      In most cases people just believe in what has been funneled onto them from above, in Western Europe even more than in Eastern Europe (as the example of swine flu vaccine shows – I just could not believe the level of conformism and lack of critical thinking – you did not need to wait for WHO investigation to be suspicious of it, you just had to look at deaths of from swine flu as opposed to deaths from normal flu and use a bit of brain).
      Pure democracies are usually very prone to mood swings orchestrated by demagogues.

      The key question is whether we accept democracy because democracy fulfills the baseline criteria for the good political system or we accept it because it is the best possible political system (most voters are not able to comprehend the distinction).

      If we take the the first approach, we would be able to rectify inadequacies of democracy resorting to the idea of what the good government should be. If we take the second approach, then we end up either like the Americans who implement democracy in every country and then they are surprised that it sometimes results in a more corrupt or tyrannical system then before or like quixotic narcissists such as Martin Schulz, who waffle about more democracy being needed whereby what is really needed is not more democracy, but a better government and system reforms.

      Therefore in my, and not only mine opinion a better form of government than a democracy is a republic (as thought by the Roman and the Founding Fathers of the US) which is not as susceptible to fall a victim to demagogues.

      Democracy was also one of the reasons of the fall of the first Polish Republic in 18th century where absolute monarchies of Russia and Prussia found it very easy to manipulate public opinion through the system of bribes and threats.

  4. contact23

    and in these parts we have huge numbers queing to throw money on the shirt of the chosen , hence becoming a walking billboard for the biggest and most corrupt corporations on the planet, sheep protecting wolves?

  5. “When you stand back at look at it, if you wanted to create a corrupt system, you couldn’t have gone about it better than the system FIFA and Sepp Blatter created.”

    That is NOT correct at all David.

    Someone like Richard Scudamore, if he or she gets control of FIFA, will create a ‘legal’ apparatus that will never actually expose them to any kind of investigation or prosecution, but in moral terms it will be far more corrupt than anything Blatter could dream up.

  6. douglaskastle

    Bread & circuses

  7. Corruption is endemic

    Nice headline. I could have written that myself. Wait , I think I already did.
    but it is not restricted to soccer. It is a fact of life in every sphere.

    Follow the money is the cry. But we do not go back far enough as we are distracted by mini events, like a world cup soccer contest.

    If the money system itself were not corrupt then there would be little of it available for the soccer mafia or the government mafia.

  8. Mike Lucey

    ‘Soccer is a gentleman’s game played by hooligans. On the other hand, rugby is a hooligans game played by gentlemen’ http://imgur.com/gallery/egIQS

    I wonder does the same apply to the management of both sports? I think it might well!

  9. Adelaide

    Argentina: If you want to be utterly depressed and equally shocked by the depraved corruption of the human spirit then feel free to read
    “Stunted Lives, Stagnant Economies: Poverty, Disease & Underdevelopment” by Eileen Stillwaggon (1998) detailing the 20th century decline of Argentina from a First World to a Third World country, it is genuinely shocking in its gruesome chronological catalogue of how the once-heralded Argentinian State degrades into a murderous impoverished failed state. It demonstrates linearly how corruption begets corruption till finally corruption itself becomes official state policy, which ultimately manifests itself as official State policy of ‘disregard for human life’, which logically ends with the State sanctioned murder of its own citizens for profit (bodily organs). The ‘stunted lives’ in the title refers to the decreasing height of Argentinian children due to malnutrition caused by the deliberate economic policies of the last quarter century.

    • michaelcoughlan

      “it is genuinely shocking in its gruesome chronological catalogue of how the once-heralded Argentinian State degrades into a murderous impoverished failed state”

      Sounds like the USA.

      “corruption itself becomes official state policy, which ultimately manifests itself as official State policy of ‘disregard for human life’, which logically ends with the State sanctioned murder of its own citizens”

      Definitely like the USA.

      Your post was shocking enough for me.

      Excellent as usual.

      Michael.

  10. ” This is how everyone becomes debased over time and how the whole system comes to tolerate being bribed.”

    another way of saying “we all get the government we deserve.” It is what we collectively allow to happen. It is what we tolerate.

    That is why we have a banking system based on debt. nobody can be assed to look at it and do something. What you might ask? How about educating yourself about it. Seeing the relevence to your daily life and the lives of others.
    Then educating your freiends and family. Getting a consciousness in the public domaim.

    Its not happening, even on this reletively well educated forum. So here we are lead around the world by our fearless leader talking about, as already expressed, Bread and Circuses.

    “As I walked back through the streets of La Boca and looked around at all the fans, our kit, our time, our money – one word comes to mind: suckers.”

    I think that final word applies to us all. Suckers. Such distain for the mass of humanity. But that is exactly what the bankster elites think. We, that is you , are the biggest sucker of all time. Maybe even it is specifically, subliminally thought that most of the posters on this site are just that, Suckers!

    There is still no discussion on the one topic that allows the corruption of society, all societies, from beginning to end. The debt based money system. That alone expands the money supply to allow the spending habits of all the fans and advertisers that fill the coffers of FIFA. Not to mention the Quadrillions in derivitives that are about to collapse as noted above in

    http://www.jsmineset.com/2015/06/08/the-biggest-black-swan-of-them-all-false-beliefs/

    as the copybook maker calls in all the IOU’s as described by Kipling.

    The Gods of the Copybook Headings

    AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,

    I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.

    Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,

    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

    We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn

    That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:

    But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,

    So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

    We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,

    Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,

    But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come

    That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

    With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,

    They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;

    They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;

    So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

    When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.

    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.

    But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,

    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

    On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life

    (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)

    Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,

    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

    In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,

    By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;

    But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,

    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

    Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew

    And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true

    That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four

    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

    As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man

    There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.

    That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,

    And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

    And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins

    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,

    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,

    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

  11. http://www.gata.org/node/15446

    Sorry Adam, here we go again. I can’t bring my self to talk about two bit coin but rather about bit gold or as in this case how Zimbabwe could have monetised the gold in the ground and placed a proper money system rather than the policies of hyper inflation of thousands percent per annum that occurred.

    At the time a lot of people panned gold from streams to get the money to buy food. No other money was accepted.

  12. As James Turk points out:

    Eventually people are going to understand that all of this fiat currency that is backed by nothing but IOUs is only as good as the IOUs are good. And in the current environment, the IOUs are so big, a lot of promises are going to be broken.

    http://www.gold-eagle.com/article/breaking-gold-standard-had-disastrous-consequences?utm_source=Gold+Eagle+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=74107454eb-RSS_THU&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_654d25a6f9-74107454eb-116260009

    • I agree with you there Tony but the gold standard ain’t coming back either no matter how much you wish upon it.

      As David would quote from The Wire:

      “you want it to be one way – but it’s another way”.

      • or “the other way” rather…

        • michaelcoughlan

          Hi Lads,

          I have come to the conclusion about gold that it can be summarised as follows;

          Its like being on a deserted island with a gold plated plough. The metal is fuck all use unless I can plough.

          Michael.

          • Totally bizarre scenario.
            A deserted island has nothing but natural resources. probably coconuts. You could use them for currency if another boat happens by and pay for your passage out. Of course in that case a gold plated plough may be more acceptable to be used as the payment.
            Somebody’s mind has been shipwrecked.

          • dwalsh

            Sounds more like somebody’s mind is obsessed. You have a bad case of midasitis there Tony.

          • Not at all my good dwalsh.

            I just observe how most of the world is acting and report what I read. There are a lot more rivers in the world than de nile.

            Most of the world is accumulating and now belately western central banks are scrambling to retain the only asset they have to balance the books against all the debt they have issued.

          • Mike Lucey

            If I found myself in that situation I would melt the gold off the plough and get ploughing to feed myself.

            As for the lump of gold I would have, well I’d bury that and use it to bater with any folks that happen to sail by and I’m fairly

          • Mike Lucey

            If I found myself in that situation I would melt the gold off the plough and get ploughing to feed myself.

            As for the lumps of gold I would have. Well I’d bury them in different places and use some of it to barter with any folks that may happen to sail by and I’m fairly sure it would buy me a passage home.

            Gold is still good peace-of-mind insurance and well proven as stable foundation on which to build an honest and transparent financial system.

  13. This is why extreme monetary inflation is always accompanied by economic collapse.

    https://www.goldmoney.com/research/analysis/the-fallacies-of-gdp?gmrefcode=gata

    • DB4545

      We don’t have to look to Argentina or FIFA to see corruption.Look at the Celtic/Rangers franchise. They can’t function without each other. And they can’t function without an ill educated customer base. It’s estimated to generate £400 million for the Scottish economy. It’s a ruthless wealth extraction machine that sucks money from the poorest and most ignorant Catholic and Protestants on these Islands.

      The same applies to anyone supporting the major clubs in Europe and worldwide.It costs £4 sterling to manufacture a soccer shirt in Indonesia. These shirts retail in the £50-£90 sterling range. That is a nice little earner in anyone’s language. When you see a shirt on a kid it’s a straight transfer of wealth to the scumbags who run FIFA and UEFA. That’s without factoring in TV rights, sponsorship and every other nice little earner.

      The FIFA scandal isn’t about the named suspects. It’s about who gets to gain control of the franchise in the future in order to continue extracting that wealth. Stop buying the f**king shirts and supporting the scumbags and sponsors and the problem will end.

      DB

      • Mike Lucey

        DB4545, there looks to be a strong need in many people to be part of the tribal system even if it entails being screwed by the tribal chiefs.

        Maybe a way to get around this might be to introduce ‘Critical Thinking’ as a subject from primary school to 3rd level and beyond to continuing education. The only sector of education that would have no need fo it would be kindergarden as ‘Non Critical Thinking’ is a subject there!

        Yeah, stop buying the rip off price shirts and merchandise. Supporters should print ‘I’m a Celtic supporter and Critical Thinker’ on bog standard shirts from Pennys.

        • DB4545

          Mike Lucey

          I think we all buy into brands in some way Mike. But dollar for dollar the cynical ruthless extraction of wealth from the poorest is at its purest in soccer. As Adam said it’s a pyramid which gives little back to its key consumer. The hidden persuasion process at work selling to males(what better way is there of getting into a man’s head through the emotional engagement of sport) is an article in itself.

          DB

  14. survivalist

    One of the reasons, I suspect, why you had ’never thought about it that way before’ and likely still don’t, is that you have the capacity for rational and logical thought and moral reasoning, as least I would guess as much.

    Suggesting that there is equivalence between democracy and corruption is a claim that requires a large amount of proof and, at least in this article, has not been forthcoming.

    The implication that democracy is the process of voting is a very narrow definition or understanding of democracy.

    Citing a corrupt institution, and it’s corrupt processes which also uses a voting system and then holding the voting method and practices of that corrupt organization as representative of or equivalent to ‘democracy’ is, I think an example of a ‘strawman’ argument.

    While that is not so terrible, as we are all guilty of this error on occasion, what is really terrible is that it actually sounds like you are looking for an argument against democracy?!? Or have I grossly mis-understood one of the central points in this article?

    Democracy is a value in itself and needs no justification. In this way it is similar to freedom, justice and so on.

    The idea that was held by the author prior to this trip to Argentina that ‘in some way democracy was a bulwark against corruption’, seems again a misrepresentation of ‘democracy’ and what it is and what it offers us.

    Perhaps an analogy might serve to highlight the radical position that seems to be advocated in this article.

    We accept that people can at times behave in a corrupt manner. OK. From that does it follow that democracy must be ‘contained’? Should we likewise think less of the value in applying medical practice if we find unhealthy doctors and nurses?

    On the idea that ‘once in the system, corruption is amplified by democracy’, I wonder what system was it that previously supported corruption that then on the introduction of democracy (read voting) amplified the corruption?

    Presumably the idea is that democracy, being inclusive, ensures as a matter of fact that everyone ‘receives’ an equal degree of corruption. But oddly not income, based on the evidence to date.

    Or that democracy distributes corruption equally and preventing democracy therefore will contain corruption? In this way we can limit it to a small group of chosen specialists who will suffer on our behalf their corruption in a concentrates manner? Like an Oligarchy of concentrated corruption we will be freed of the burden of being involved.

    Or that democracy by its essence offers the equal opportunity that all might be corrupt. But not the opportunity to afford private health insurance, or decide legislation, or be involved in policy making etc..

    Or maybe that as each person will produce corruption equally. And the less people involved in making decisions on the running of anything, the better it will be. Less people; less corruption.

    That assumes of course that people are essentially or by nature, ‘bad’. Well, all people except the chosen few that is, those pure and worthy few who will decide what happens. Naturally they are better, a divine right to rule maybe?

  15. Mike Lucey

    Talking about democracy. I mentioned an AVAAZ petition, ‘Allow Irish Citizens To Call For Referendums In Ireland’ located here, https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Irish_Citizens_Initiative_for_Democracy_and_Collaborative_Governance/?sTkNlcb
    about 4 days ago. I signed the petition at the time and see only two further signatures to date.

    I also mentioned the petition on Facebook to my daughters living outside of Ireland but so far they have only ‘liked’ the petition.

    It looks to me that one has to hound folks into seeking a fair and honest system be it the political, financial or any system if it comes to it.

    Henry Ford said, ‘It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning’.

    For some time I agreed with his statement but these day I don’t. It will only happen when the excrement hits the revolving oscillator.

  16. Mike Lucey

    A bit off topic but non the less. I just read the following,

    ‘On a related note, isn’t it interesting that companies outlive humans? A corporation is a legal living entity-incorporated means made into a body basically- yet they have resources a human could never have, can outlive us by centuries sometimes, and also are totally unaccountable to their actions. You cannot put a corporation in jail, or execute them, for example.
     
    Russell Brand picks up on this idea, which has been around a long time, in his book Revolution. We should be able to totally hold corporations accountable to their actions, and kill them if necessary. Many of them are responsible for crimes against humanity. Corporations originally existed only to fulfil a specific task, such as build a road. Then they dissolved. Now their stated aim is to exist forever, make as much money as possible, and nothing else matters.
     
    Should we allow them to exist in this way? Why? Do they serve life? Worth thinking about.’

    Of course the writer or even Russell Brand could form their own companies if they so wished and I imagine Russell has a few under his belt. However does the protection a limited liability company offer its directors / operators result in misdeeds that if undertaken by a sole trader could / would resulted in jail time which they would have to serve whereas the Ltd. doesn’t or can’t be made to do so.

    Is there a case to go back to what I understand Ltds where originally created for, the general good of the public and not the good of particular individuals. After all it the ‘public’ that allows the setting up of Ltds.

    When sole traders / (unlimited) companies are fully liable for their business actions there is a strong tendency to be above board in business transactions or at the very least not put oneself into a situation that could result in jail time.

    I’d like to hear DMcW’s view on this subject at some time.

    • survivalist

      Hi Mike,

      I signed your(?) petition. You are preaching to the converted as regards the necessity to (RE)introduce to Irelands constitution the ‘referendum and the initiative’ and additionally the recall option. Are you involved in or aware of any organisation working towards this goal?

      I have read Darrell Figgis’ short work “The Irish Constitution Explained” and was inspired at the vision he presented as regards the governance of Ireland.

      I also support the description of the Senate as was originally intended in his 1922 publication, and rather than abolish the Senate, I believe reforming it in the manner that he described would be a huge boost to our democratic functioning.

      To my way of thinking this re-establishing the sovereign rule of the people is the single most fundamentally essential condition which needs to be met for Ireland and her people.

      Whatever description you prefer to give to it –direct or participatory democracy etc. the old idea expounded in Lincoln in his Gettysburg address remains true and unfulfilled.

      Of the people. For the people. By the people. It is odd that this idea sounds like a radical extremist point of view to so many these days.

      I may repeat this message in a later article comment section.

      • Mike Lucey

        @survivalist

        Its not my petition. I just happened on it when searching around the Net for any initiatives being taken in the area.

        The guy that put up the petition is Paul Clarke http://paulclarke.ie/ What surprises me is that in the 2011 general election Paul got around 833 first pref votes which brought him to round two where he dropped out with a total of1278 votes.

        He put up the petition after the election back in 2012 and it has been dead in the water until the last few days where it has come back to life possibly because of my mention of it here.

        It will be interesting to see if the mention of the petition here and via this group’s connections can bring the number up to something credible. I would imagine with a well known name (hint hint DMcW) behind such a petition the backers would rise substantially. I don’t think anyone would have any business heading over to Michael D with a petition of this nature unless there were at least Irish 50,000+ backers here and abroad.

        The Net is a powerful force if it can be utilised well and more importantly it currently cannot, in my opinion, be controlled by the likes of a certain non resident ‘Irish’ billionaire which controls a large sector of Irish media and possibly a number of elected politicians.

        • Mike Lucey

          @survivalist

          I didn’t answer your question, “Are you involved in or aware of any organisation working towards this goal?”

          No, I’m not involved with any group advocating this revision to the Constitution or should I say reversion as it might be a far more accurate description of what is being sought.

          I think there are a number of groups with this aim, one that comes to mind is Direct Democracy Ireland
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_Democracy_Ireland and I understand that Paul Clarke had a site called RealRepublic.ie which sought the same aim.

          I must read Darrell Figgis’ short work “The Irish Constitution Explained”.

          What caught my attention on Paul Clarke’s site was the following,

          “Conventional wisdom now holds that Article 47 is the only way to amend the Constitution. Article 47 is how the government amends the Constitution, not how the people do it. If the people had to use Article 47 to amend the Constitution they would need permission from two-thirds of Dáil Éireann. This would mean that the creator of our government, the people, would have to get permission from their elected representatives, the dictators of the people, to amend the Constitution. This logic is ludicrous. The constituent power of the people––the source of all political power––cannot be subject to the power of its creation. In 1922, Darrell Edmund Figgis had it right when he said that “the people are lawmakers…”

          I think the current government system arose simply because back in the day there was no way to organise a citizens’ vote on “What are we going to do next” so we elected people to do this for us and sent them off to the capital.

          Now that we have multiple means, our mobile phones for example, to have a monthly, weekly, daily or even hourly vote on “What are we going to do next” maybe we should be taking back control and trusting ‘Crowd Wisdom’ to come up with the correct solutions.

          Crowd Wisdom has an uncanny ability to get things right a lot of the time. I occasionally watch ‘Who Want To Be A Millionaire’ and I was amazed to learn that the ‘Ask The Audience’ option resulted in coming up with the correct answer 91% of the time whereas the ‘Phone A Friend’ rowed in at a 65% rate of correct answers.

          The audience are possibly ordinary folks with not a lot to do for an afternoon whereas the ‘friend’ is probably the smartest person the contestant knows.

          Some food for thought I feel?

          • DB4545

            Mike Lucey

            The most sensible statement I’ve heard about politics was from PJ O’Rourke today at the festival. PJ said the most important reason for voting is to vote the bastards out. It doesn’t matter who they are just vote them out. It’s not often that you get to see an Irish politician keep their mouth shut in public for any length of time and for that alone it was worth the 20 Euro entry fee. PJ’s public speaking skills are every bit as sharp as his writing skills. He wears his genius lightly and he does what all the great American writers do effortlessly,he informs,educates,entertains and respects his audience. Thanks again David for bringing the great man to these shores.

            DB

  17. Here is the ultimate corruption. Control of the money supply by manipulating the PM’s especially the silver market.

    http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/silver-manipulation-may-be-the-most-extreme-in-history/

    • http://www.equedia.com/why-oil-prices-are-rising/?utm_source=June+14%2C+2015&utm_campaign=June+14%2C+2015&utm_medium=email

      Equidia explains how the US dollar is manipulated up or down at will. One basic effect is to show that a strong dollar results in a lower oil price. And of course that a weaker or lower dollar value results in a higher oil price.

      Incidentally this is true for all currencies as oil is priced in US dollars world wide.

      Incidentally this shows that a weakened currency is inflationary. This is because the usual method of reducing the value of a currency is to produce more currency or inflate the currency. This demonstrates that printing or producing more currency is inflationary and raises the cost of living for the majority of people.

      All countries are rapidly expanding the money supply creating inflation and in a race to devalue the currency to gain a temporary competive advantage in trade over others.

      This is resulting in a race to the bottom of the pile and world wide inflation. It is the first time this is a world wide phenominem and will result in a world wide collapse of all economies.

      This is a corrupt monetary system and as David says is endemic. Dishonest dealings in an easily manipulated currency lead to total corruption of the currencies involved.

      No banker or politician will willingly give up these priviledges. Only the people can reclaim that process and set it to rights. Only an educated population knows what is actually the problem to be able to do something about it.

      That education is lacking and unless remided we are as The Mogambo Garu say “All freeking doomed”

      So we are all corrupted by the process. That is endemic corruption.

      ” one word comes to mind: suckers.”

      Individuals can protect themselves so it is up to you to do so. Get your “stuff” out of the banking system. You do not have to be corrupted.

  18. Mike Lucey

    @Adam Byrne

    Again I’m probably way off topic unless cryptocurrency could be looked on as a way of combating corruption and it looks that it could. So I will go on.

    Bitcoin looks to be the leader in the field of cryptocurrency by far. I’m beginning to understand the ins and outs of it but it looks to me that one cryptocurrency is as good as the next as they all seem to offer the user the same thing, from what I see the elimination of banks in a currency transactions.

    I started looking around at the various cryptocurrencies to see if there was any that appealed to me and I found CarbonCoin http://www.carboncointalk.org/index.php?action=refferals;refferedby=384

    CarbonCoin claims to be an eco friendly, green version of BitCoin that operates similarly as a virtual currency and you can buy and sell goods / services with with it. However CarbonCoin claims to have two main differences!

    Firstly, it claims to virtually eliminate mining for profit, seemingly the big environmental problem with BitCoin.

    Secondly, a small percentage of the wealth generated by CarbonCoin, 4% from what I read, goes towards planting trees worldwide, not a bad thing these days!

    CarbonCoin would appear to be addressing not just the massive electricity burden of other cryptocurrencies it also works to solve the problem that previous emissions have caused.

    I’m sure that if Polar Bears where in the market for a cryptocurrency they would be looking at CarbonCoin with interest ;-)

    Mike

  19. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David.

    Off topic I know but I was just listening to a Jim Willie interview and he said that the Fed in the US is circumventing its nonsense of a taper by getting 5 countries including IRELAND, Switzerland, Cayman, Luxembourg, and Belgium to go long (already done) to the tune of 820bn US treasuries!

    Does anyone in fail eireann have a clue whats going on in your opinion? How will we save our kids when the bond bubble pops?

    Michael.

  20. ” If you can engineer the right outcome, you control a massive country. Therefore, there is a massive incentive at the top to pay everyone off and gain power.”

    Those who control the issuance of money, control all else. The central banking system control countries economic policies and politicians and through the IMF and BIS stretch their reach in an international umbrella. It casts a dark shadow over the world.

  21. Hu Bris

    Much as I admire Mr McW’s earlier work I have to say this column made me laugh, and not in a good way

    Going all the way to Argentina, via FIFA corruption, seems a little bit excessive, when all one has to do to see pure 100% corruption in action is merely take a gander at the recent shenanigans of one Mr Denis O’Brien and his oh-so-fortunate deal to by SiteServe at a bargain price. Throw in his not-allowed-to-be-reported cosy little backroom-boysclub deals with state-owned Anglo/IBRC and you have all the corruption any journalist worthy of the name could want.

    No need to go traipsing off to Gaucho-land, nor wading in the mire that is FIFA.

    There’s tonnes of it in the ould sod there, Davie boy, right in front of your eyes.

    If Mr O’Brien and the corrupt courts of Ireland will let you report any of it, that is ;-)

    • Mike Lucey

      Today it now looks like DOB is taking the State to Court in relation to Dail Privilege. All a bit rich from a tax exile that has made, still makes and intends to make further very substantial profits from this country. The old phrase, “Pride comes before a fall” comes to mind.

      I have a feeling this man could possibly bring down the Government as I doubt the current whitewash that would appear to be going on will cut it! Even the dogs on the street can smell a rat and would appear to have strong opinions on the matter these days.

      Some interesting pictures of EK and DOB at the YNSE and I presume the piss up afterwards. http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?11396-Irelandinc-com#.VYBWSxNViko

      • DB4545

        Mike Lucey,

        Nice picture Mike and this from the same EK who stated that he had “no dealings” with DOB. Reminds me of a comment that you couldn’t possibly hope to bribe or influence a British Minister but you might be surprised at what he might do for you without a bribe. The body language says best pals that would really like the photographer to f**k off. Even the fact that people (myself included) use initials demonstrates the chilling effect he has on public comment. I voted FG/Lab because I’m sick of stroke politics and thought I’d see change. I imagine FF got destroyed for that reason. FG/Lab obviously don’t or won’t take heed. I don’t want FF or this crowd back. The barefaced arrogance of the man attempting to silence a national parliament. This might just get interesting.

        DB

        • Mike Lucey

          @DB

          I know where you are coming from. Once we give them the keys for 5 years we are as good as totally shut out unless well connected with a big back pocket.

          Since I mentioned the ‘Allow Irish Citizens To Call For Referendums In Ireland’ petition on Avaaz, located here,
          https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Irish_Citizens_Initiative_for_Democracy_and_Collaborative_Governance/?sTkNlcb there has been about 15 new signatures. Roughly one a day!

          Do people not want this right returned? It was in the Free State Constitution and should have remained there.

          Spread the word please.

          Mike

          • DB4545

            Mike Lucey

            It’s an interesting idea and I will Mike. It’s not an accident that open and participatory democracies like Switzerland and Norway are also the wealthiest Countries on the planet. Maybe it’s time for US type first amendment rights and revocation of libel laws.

            DB

  22. Hu Bris

    Ps

    CarbonCoin?

    LOL

    Now there’s an obvious Ponzi Scheme we can all get behind, eh?

    Be part of a pyramid scheme and “Save the Planet(!!!!!)”, all at the same time!

    what’s not to like?

    • Mike Lucey

      @Hu Bris

      You could well be right. I am attracted to the proposition but there is also something of a niggle in there.

      I take it that you are questioning the way the CarbonCoins have been created? On first glance it looks like an ‘out of thin air job’ and we all know about this method of producing currency.

      What question(s) would you ask to get to the bottom of things relating to CarbonCoin?

      Mike

  23. Deco

    Observed on a toilet door recently.

    F A I = FANS ARE IDIOTS.

    That sums it all up for me.

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