June 25, 2015

The beatings will continue until morale improves

Posted in Irish Independent · 100 comments ·

Did you know that on the same day that Greece – home of the first openly gay city, Sparta – was forced to humiliate itself again at the feet of the EU’s creditor nations, the isolated island of Pitcairn became the smallest nation to legalise same-sex marriage, despite having only 48 inhabitants and no gay couples?

While reading about Pitcairn, the expression attributed to Captain Bligh of the stricken HMS Bounty, against whom the mutineers revolted, came to mind.

While flogging sailors for small misdemeanours, he is said to have declared: “The beatings will continue until morale improves.”

When we see the torture of Greece by its creditors, I see that the EU has taken the same approach with one of its own family. The economic beatings of Greece will continue until its political morale improves. Have you ever seen anything so stupid?

The Greek crisis has gone on for the past five or six years now. It is a brilliant example of Einstein’s observation that the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Yesterday, Greece promised to raise a fresh €8bn in taxes from the rich in order to satisfy the EU creditors. The cycle has been more or less the same, year in year out. Every year, the Greek government cuts spending and raises taxes. This is followed by the economy collapsing, and so tax revenues fall and this means more austerity is demanded – and the process is repeated.

All the while, the economy shrinks. It is 25pc smaller than it was in 2009 and wages are down by 35pc. As activity and wages fall, so too does demand.

The EU response is to repeat the beatings.

Every time, the EU imposes a creditors’ levy in the form of higher taxes. The people of Greece, knowing that the taxes won’t go to paying for Greek education or health but will line the pockets of rich creditors, try to find ways to avoid paying the creditors’ levy.

So what does the EU do? It imposes more taxes on a problem that was in part due to the inability of the government to raise taxes on the rich in the first place. What do you think will happen now? Do you think the Greeks will give in, and say ‘take our money’? Of course they won’t. The rule of the world is the higher the personal tax, the higher the tax evasion. Did we not learn that in our tax amnesties of the 1980s and 1990s?

The Greeks will just find different ways of getting their money out of the country because they know that the money isn’t being raised for Greece, but for Germany. What would you do if you had the ability?

So this latest EU solution will fail spectacularly and we will be back at square one. What then? Repeat the beatings until Greek morale improves?

Not only does the EU creditors’ approach show no grasp of economics or human nature, but in the past few months we have seen ridiculous double standards from Germany, the main driver of this nonsense.

Germany is falling over itself to usher in debt forgiveness and a debt amnesty for Ukraine – an illegitimate government, which is the product of an illegal, EU-financed coup d’état. Why is this? Why is the left-wing Greek government a pariah and a quasi-nationalist Kiev administration a darling?

It is because it is in the national interest of Germany, Poland and the other former communist states to keep Russia isolated. Is it in our interest? I don’t think so.

Yet we are the main cheerleaders for Germany’s hardline in Greece and double standards in Ukraine; why is this?

Do we not know our history? As the only neutral country in the Eurozone, should we not be reminding everyone of Europe’s economic history? After all, what does neutrality mean if not an ability to think for yourself?

Greece needs debt forgiveness as much as Ukraine. Should we not remind Germany that after its troops murdered millions of Europeans, Germany was the greatest European beneficiary of debt forgiveness?

Should we not point out that at the 1953 London Debt Agreement, half of Germany’s external debts, including their interest payments, were wiped out at the behest of a practically bankrupt Britain – which paid all its debts to the Americans – debts Britain incurred to help America defeat Nazi Germany?

Have the Germans forgotten that America insisted Germany’s remaining debt payments could be spread out over a term of three decades or that, as a result, in the 1950s Germany’s debts were 20pc of GDP when many of the countries it occupied struggled with debts of about 200pc of GDP?

Can’t someone understand that the Greeks are only asking for fair treatment? Why can’t it get the same terms as West Germany, whose debt repayments were limited in any one year to 3pc of West Germany’s export revenues?

The double standard, both in terms of Germany’s treatment of Ukrainian debts and in terms of its own history, is shocking.

The reason Ukraine gets favourable treatment is that gas and oil which fuel Germany’s factories flow through Ukraine. It’s that simple.

But in order to dress up its own selfish interests as policy, Germany needs some eejit to do its bidding.

And guess who that is? Guess who the chief baiter of the Greeks is? Yes, you guessed, Ireland!

So Michael Noonan, according to the reports, has led the charge against Greece in the past 48 hours.

He’s the one gleefully counting the lashes as Europe adopts the Captain Bligh dictum to Greece, insisting that the “beatings will stop when morale improves”.

What do you think happened next?

Yes, you got it; the mutiny on the Bounty.

  1. Great article – love the ingenious analogy. The Pitcairn Islands always fascinated me – read loads of books about them although not always pleasant (sexual abuse scandals). Nevertheless I plan to visit there one day.

    • Re: Greece – they need to tell the other negotiating entities to shove it.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      You seem to travel a lot, Adam – the moon was pretty much the only place you haven’t posted comments from ;-)
      Maybe when you have time you could write something, even if it was going to be 5 sentences, about what you see in those places in economic terms?
      I know from my own experience that sometimes small observations (in Joycean style) can convey details we could not otherwise know of (for example for most Polish people in Poland when they compare economies of Poland and Ireland they are not aware of the childcare and public transport cost in Ireland (or even price of food), as well as time spent in traffic jams – particularly with the local custom of blocking the middle lane on motorways).

      Coupled with the lack of knowledge of the common Eastern Europeans (albeit this is changing), let alone people in Africa, that western societies are based on debt and not savings, they have sometimes distorted ideas about wealth in countries like Ireland or the UK.

      For example you say you red a lot of the Pitcairn Islands. I have to admit with shame I have never heard of them. What’s the main source of income there, do people build their houses there or buy them ready-made and on credit?

      I know that there are days one cannot find a gap at work or at lunch to comment, but it would still be great if you could drop even one observation – after your time-honoured “subscribed” ;-)

      Looking forward to your observations (from Greece maybe?)

      And of course, all these statistics are available, but you have to know what and why you are looking for something before you start.

      • I was in Antigua last week Grzegorz so I’ll try to write a few words about it later, time permitting. Statistics are not particulary interesting to me, beyond a general understanding.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          It was partly what I meant. Sometimes statistics do not include hundreds of minute yet important details and they are easy to be manipulated (for example products in price baskets after countries joining the euro currency).

          There are some statistics which are a very useful tool but they are rarely published. For example those showing Germans as the fourth lowers contributors to the EU per capita considering their income (and countries like Estonia and Latvia among the highest) – these were very hard to find for me.

          A propos traveling, the art of travel books has ended with the advent of the internet – all great travel literature I red is older than 30 years. People think they can now find all that info online but that naive believe only shows what they lost.

          • Yes fair enough Grzegorz.

            What can I say? – I lived in Antigua from 2004 – 2009 – the economy was much better – even after the Global Financial Crash, they hung on longer than the likes of Ireland because a lot of hotel rooms are booked a year in advance etc.

            So they were good until about 2010. Then the shit hit the fan – a lot of hotel and infrastructural projects were left half completed, loads of jobs were lost and the corrupt Labour Party got kicked out of power after about 30 years continuous rule because they no longer had enough brown envelopes to grease enough palms. The UPP party got in instead for 4 (or 8? can’t remember) years but they had no experience of ruling and didn’t have the contacts so they made a mess of it. I’m talking way more about politics here than I’m actually interested in it. Labour are back in now, greasing palms again and money is starting to flow once more, with more tourists arriving and the half-done projects getting back up and running – but how long will it last given the overall global situation?

            I’m moving back down in August though, the quality of life is good if you can generate an income either in the country (very difficult but not impossible) or have something going on the outside that can pay your bills. I’m working on both.

            Hope this helps Grzegorz – keep posting man. I checked out a few of your facts and I’m afraid they were off the mark but I’m hoping most of them are accurate. Your post on Bitcoin was about the most ill-informed I have read in years so I smelled a rat. Also the connections you make between individuals’ personal motivations and intentions – and the subsequent macro-economic and geo-political developments are way too specious, tenuous and assumptive. You’d have to be a mind reader and have a crytal ball to validate some of the statements you make – but hey it’s all entertainment. You seem like a good bloke, you should come to our next meet up in Dublin. I call you the Hari Seldon of the blog.



  2. Lius


    But if Germany/EU is keeping Russia isolated which must hurt them, why doesn’t Russia retaliate by backing Greece financially thus aiding Greece’s exit and kicking-off a break-up of the Euro which would really souring the Krauts?

  3. Deco

    Excellent article. David hits the nail on the head. Another economist that I hold in high regard, Aussie Steve Keen also has very prescient ideas in respect of Greece.

    It is no longer about economics. It is about power, and wealth now. And the Greeks don’t have wealth, therefore they are no entitled to any power. Which explains why for the Greeks it was logical to move hard left. The Ukraine moved hard right, and they get favourable treatment. Call it the Aliende-Pin0chet spectrum of political interventionism. Aliende gets no support. Pinochet gets full support. Well, we are seeing the same thing presently.

    Syriza is getting squeezed in a vice grip because they are a bad example to Spain (Podemos) and Italy (5Star Movement). The current government in Athens is the least corrupt regime in Greece for a long time. The previous corrupt regimes always got assisted by Brussels. Corrupt political outfits in Spain, Italy and Portugal are in panic mode. They do not want the books to be opened to the public. They do not want the public to find out what the gangsters were doing with public finances in recent decades.

    Brussels is also worried. There is a lot of corruption in the EU. It is completely under-reported in the media.

    The primary objective of EU is not remedying the crisis that Greek society is enduring. The primary objective is ensuring obedience.

    And why is this ? Because the EU is now on the road to morphing into an imperial racket. It has already passed the Rubicon – when it decided to become a policy monopoly. Never mind that those policies are inherently hypocritical (observe Germany’s treatment as the first country to break the rules 10 years ago).

    The EU is already a policy monolopy. And that policy monopoly is siding with the super rich repeatedly, with small sops being thrown at the poor, in a highly public (but ultimately cheap manner). The term “TINA – There Is No Alternative” is being applied by means of a policy making monopoly in Europe.

    All the institutional states in the EU are fully bought up, because they each have a love of authority, and membership of this power monopoly which they see as financially empowering and gratifying. And that is what holds it all in place.

    It is all about power. And whenever you have centralization of power, power gets taken away from those outside the power centre. The lobbyists in Brussels and Frankfurt (where they were able to achieve the ECB having a policy of ‘no banker left behind’) have more power. The Greek hospital patients have less.

    The super-rich are further empowered. The working people are disempowered.

    Folks either you analyse what is going on in this EU empire racket, and discuss this with those whom you know or else you will find yourself in a society that has become an absolute hellhole where the Suds type characters get their cronies onto the EU policy monopoly and no amount of voting makes any difference.

    • DJR

      Very good analysis Deco, and since we voted in the Nice & Lisbon treaties we are practically powerless to stop what’s happening (especially with the political leadership we have).

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      I do not agree with everything that Keeno proposes, but when he is in top form he is deadly.


    • juniorjb

      It’s not entirely a matter of power shifting to Brussels – national governments in the EU use the apparatus of European laws and agreements to circumvent democratic resistance to unpopular policies. The script is familiar – privatise the postal service? Not popular? Well, take the long road, support and promote European policies that effectively legislate against government investment in services and before you know it you can return to your electorate and explain to them that, your hands are tied by the same policies, privatisation is the only viable option left. Job done and not anywhere near as much political fallout for you.

  4. Pat Flannery

    David, you say “Britain paid all its debts to the Americans – debts Britain incurred to help America defeat Nazi Germany”. Not true.

    Britain incurred no debts to America during the War. It received everything free of charge through a US “Lend-Lease” law signed by FDR on 11 March 1941 to “sell, transfer title to, exchange, lease, lend, or otherwise dispose of, to any such government [whose defense the President deems vital to the defense of the United States] any defense article.” Britain was charged for nothing it received during the War.

    The debts you refer to were the result of a loan made by the US to Britain in 1945, AFTER the War. It was equivalent to $57 billion in 2015 dollars. It’s purpose was to fund the Labour government’s welfare and nationalization program.

    The interest was only 2%. Britain famously made a profit on the loan during its term by lending against it at much higher rates and kept it in existence as long as possible, as any wise home owner would do with an advantageous low interest loan.

    Far from being the victim of American greed, as some Brits now claim, in addition to feeding and giving the Brits everything they needed during the War, the US actually funded the setting up of Britain’s welfare state after the War.

    German bashing is one thing but rewriting history is another.

    • Pat Flannery

      While I’m at it I should point out that the “half of Germany’s external debt wiped out at the 1953 London Debt Agreement … at the behest of a practically bankrupt Britain” David refers to is the so-called “debt” created by the infamous War Guilt clause in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles whereby Germany was saddled with responsibility for causing all the loss and damage during WWI. It is generally accepted by historians that it was that infamous clause that caused WWII.

      David has a very selective view of economic history which does not contribute to building a peaceful Europe. Now is not the time for hyperbole from economists.

    • StephenKenny

      Isn’t it extraordinary how politics is taking over everywhere we look now. Certainly, the UK borrowed considerably from the US after the end of Lend-Lease, but complaining about it is breathtaking.
      Lend Lease saved the UK from defeat and collapse – there is simply no question about that. It was an act that enabled the US president to ‘lend’ war related material (to UK, USSR, and anyone else) with a vague requirement of being paid back ‘in kind’, at some point in the future.
      The UK population would have starved, and the UK military would have ground to a halt, with it.

      • Pat Flannery

        Thank you Stephen. In fact the British were shocked when the Americans discontinued Lend-Lease after the war. They had become dependent on massive American aid. They felt entitled to it. After all weren’t they America’s superiors?

        They were shocked to discover that the Americans were obliged by American law to “lend” rather than “give” when the President’s war powers expired at the end of hostilities. Did American’s actually have laws?

        My view is that Britain’s economic difficulties arose from its forlorn belief that it still had an Empire and that America should still defer to it. Germany had no such illusions and prospered as a result.

        Britain still thinks it is special. It is at it again, demanding special treatment in the EU. It’s insufferable arrogance will earn it the same derision in the EU that provides endless material for stand-up comedians in the US.

        • coldblow


          I doubt they were shocked to learn that the US lends rather than gives. After all, the US had broken precedent by demanding repayment of all of its pre 1917 aid to its allies in WW1 on full commercial terms. Thus France, for example, had to pay back everything in full although apparently they had written off their own loans to the Americans after the American War of Independence.

          Why are you pro-EU? Whatever US stand up comedians think about it is neither here nor there.

          By the way I couldn’t open your Quora link above. What did Tempest say?

          • Pat Flannery

            coldblow: sorry for the delay, there is life outside DMcW’s blog.

            Why am I pro-EU? Because I am an internationalist who believes that we need to leave behind narrow national interests just as we left behind narrow tribal interests on our way to national unifications e.g. the unification of Italy under Garibaldi and the unification of Germany under Bismarck.

            1848 was a transitional year in Europe. I think we are entering a similar period in this century. 1848 was when the old empires started to collapse and the modern European nations started to emerge.

            I think it is now time to move on to the next stage, European integration. Only this time as a well-run democracy not as the old pre-1848 monarchies.

            The Middle East is a basket case because it has failed to coalesce after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. ISIS is currently trying to do what Lawrence of Arabia failed to do.

            I believe the next 100 years will see the world coalescing into perhaps 5 or 6 large groupings. Those regions that fail to do so will fall behind and get exploited by the large groups, as the US is able to do right now.

            And don’t worry about a one-world government, that is the same scare mongering that was used at the tribal-to-nation stage. That’s why I think Britain will recognize the inevitable and stay with the EU. There is no future outside the tent anymore.

      • Pat Flannery


        Read a comment by Stephen Tempest on quora.com below:


        It supports the widely-held belief that the reason the Americans resorted to Lend-Lease was because Britain was broke. It had exhausted all its reserves, gold or otherwise and must either stop fighting and make a deal with Hitler or get American no-strings-attached aid.

        Its relevance here is that McWilliams is egregiously wrong in writing:

        “Should we not point out that at the 1953 London Debt Agreement, half of Germany’s external debts, including their interest payments, were wiped out at the behest of a practically bankrupt Britain – which paid all its debts to the Americans – debts Britain incurred to help America defeat Nazi Germany?”

        Sometimes David gets carried away in his eagerness to praise the Brits and damn the Germans.

    • Lend-lease, what Churchill had called “the most unsordid act,” was an immensely successful wartime aid program, one that set the stage for the U.S. foreign aid programs that followed. Lend-lease was designed to help win the war without leaving behind a residue of war debts and recriminations, and it did just that.


      Lend-lease was not a one way street. i remember reading that 50 destroyers leased to Britain were in fact rust buckets and only 3 ever put to sea.
      Britain was forced to open the empire (such as remained) to free trade for the US and the US gained bases in the Labrador and the Caribbean.
      UK technology developed by the UK was gifted to the US, such as Radar.

      Britain was cut off after the war as it was seen a an economic competitor to the US

      Churchill it is suggested by some was a soft touch for the US as his mother was US born and part Cherokee. He looked on the US as being more benign and friendly than was actually the case.

      In 1940 Ambassador Kennedy had told the US government that Britain would last a few weeks more against Germany. Total underestimate of resourcefulness.

      There are those who think that the US entered the war on the side of the eventual winner as by the time of US direct involvement the war was won. It was a matter of time. Long and drawn out maybe but the Battle of Britain was won and North Africa being reclaimed.

      Depends on who writes the history book as to the tale told.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        By the way, I do not know if you know that when Churchill asked one of his experts about what Poles are like, before he met with Prime Minister Mikolajczyk, he was told “They are like the Irish, but more” ;-)

  5. Original-Ed


    Ukraine is a highly sought after partner for Europe because of its technology – Greece has little to offer other than a holiday destination.
    Ukraine is home to the Antonov Aircraft Manufacturer – http://www.antonov.com/- and it’s also a major arms exporter. It is home to Chernobyl, so it’s not a just some backwater state with a gas pipe running through it – there’s lots of potential there for Europe.

    • Deco

      Well, there is also the matter of Joe Biden’s son having a directorship in a hydrocarbon explorer, that has the “rights” to any resources that is under the dissenting regions in the Ukraine.

      The fact that very few “serious” Western media entities will cover this subject, even though Youngster Biden is listed as a director, gives us an insight into the motives of the media.

      The fact that other directors include an oligarch with his own private army (consisting of many Fascist leaning thugs) that fires on civilians is also indicative.

      Now, if somebody in Dick Cheney’s family was involved there would be consternation in Europe. But when it is a Biden, the media seems to give it a free pass.

    • StephenKenny

      Ukraine GDP is $177bn, with a population of about 45 million. So the GDP per capita is almost $4,000 (per year). Even when adjusted for purchasing power, Ukraine is on a par with Jamaica.

      It’s popularity with the EU seems to be since the NATO coup d’etat, and as part of NATO’s on-going attack on Russia.

  6. Deco

    Ukraine has moved to the right. It is run for the benefit for corrupt oligarchs.

    The real problem here is that the population of the Western world cannot be given any insights into to toxicity of the current regime in Kiev. Because if that happened, then people would hold serious reservations about those in power in Brussels and Washington.

    We are in the era of the richest 0.1% holding enormous power over the public discourse.

    This is a logical progression of where Western society has been going for decades. The rich fund supportive political opinion formers. Ideology does not matter, policy does. In fact ideology is just a lick of paint – about half a millimetre think and a mile wide. But it means little. We see this with FF/FG/GP/LP. The differences are superficial.

    We have reached the point that we cannot trust the political mainstream – because they have been re-engineered by the wealthy to make them sell us out. If they are not prepared to sell out on the people, then the rich will not find them reliable.

    The worst example of this is Noonan jumping to stick the knife in the Greeks. He would do the same on Irish people. He already has tried it before on the victims of the Hepatitis Blood Transfusion scandal.

    Noonan is doing FG policy. FG policy is to serve the super-rich. We even seen that in the SiteServ Scandal.

    Don’t get angry. Get organized. Encourage as much dissent as possible from the official narrative. Encourage discussion. Switch off the electronic bull5h1tt provider. The more people that know what is going on, the better. The EU is now a racket for taking and distributing wealth, in an economic system that is increasingly looking like a Ponzi-scheme.

    The Irish economy in 2007 was a massive Ponzi-scheme. State policy has amounted to restarting it as a Ponzi-scheme. In fact under the dictat of “save your banks” – restarting the Ponzi-scheme became an imperative.

    Orwell stated “in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”. Well, that is where we are at, currently.

  7. Anyone who thinks the Americans were being generous and kind-hearted in bailing both the Germans and British out after the Second World War is being incredibly naive. The Americans don’t do anything unless it’s in their own interest (nor does any other nation).

    This was all part of their long-term strategy to install the dollar as the world’s reserve currency and has been well documented in excellent books by the topical Yanis Varoufakis (The Global Minotaur) and Michael Hudson (Super Imperialism), among many others.

    Also, a minor point David – I would suggest that you perceive Ireland and Michael Noonan as the biggest supporting cheerleaders for continued oppression of Greece because you are based in Ireland – were you in Slovakia or Finland or elsewhere then you might perceive the same from there.

  8. Deco

    David is right – Noonan is the eejet that Schauble needs to admonish the Greeks for have the balls to state the obvious.

    Maybe the Greeks might go searching for Noonan’s electoral promises in that famous 2002 “Dutch Auction” General election, where Noonan establishes his credentials as an eejet ?

    It would be just punishment for his embarrassing, cringeworthy behaviour in recent days. And the Irish would laugh – though presumably the government would go completely “ape”.

    Next up – The Economist Magazine will have Noonan on the front cover as some sort of genius, (as a reward for his eagerness to serve the interests of the very richest, and his obedience to a policy making monopoly that produces policies that favour the 1% richest).

    • Deco

      Message to the Greeks – please run a documentary on the career of Michael Noonan.

      At this point in time, Noonan has reached the point of failing in every position of responsibility ever held by Noonan.

      Were it not for an unprecedented level Quantative Easing programs (in other words massive “money printing”) that point would already have been reached in Noonan’s term as MoF.

      If the Nasdaq (absurdly overvalued) starts to decline, you will see this happen again.

      Those two “pillar banks” that RTE News (Pravda) talk about could get into very serious trouble.

      The institutional state is completely out of shape, and has been overextended by the need to provide for every scenario with at least one state quango.

      The entire system in this country is actually far more fragile that anybody will publicly admit. And the small amount of money that does get earned ends up servicing absurd private sector debts, and a completely dysfunctional state system that has nothing to do with welfare state anymore, and everything to do with control of the populace and territory for the benefit of the 0.1% richest in other countries.

      Yep, the Greeks could serve revenge on Noonan, simply by doing a cut and paste of various episodes on Noonan’s career.

      Maybe like Prionsias de Rossa, at the time of the Kevin Cardiff appointment, he has reached the point where he sees retirement around the corner, and has one last opportunity to serve the imperial power centre and shaft good sense.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        “Message to the Greeks – please run a documentary on the career of Michael Noonan.”


        :-) :-) :-) !!!!!!!!

        that was gas, Deco

  9. BrianC

    It is physically sickening to witness the disgusting behaviour of Noonan and Kenny in the matter of Greece. The problem with Ireland is that it is a spineless economy run by spineless people for a spineless civil service full to the brim with eejits in positions beyond their competence. I wish someone would do us a favour and muzzle the two spineless feckless idiots Kenny and Noonan and God forgive me for saying this ‘if they cannot be shut up then someone ought to put a bullet in their heads and save all from having to listen to their nonsense. Kenny and Noonan are a pathetic disgrace and a total insult to the Irish people. There are no words in any language to describe how morosely stupid they are. Why on earth they cannot shut the fuck up and say nothing and let the Greeks negotiate their legitimate concerns and positions with the EU without the Irish putting their head above the parapet is beyond anyone of a tenth of a grain of intelligence. The Irish Government and especially the Irish Civil Service in particular the Irish Department of Finance failed in their duty to the Irish people because when they needed to stand up to the EU they were spineless and only interested in one thing their pay cheque. As for the Greeks they should pull the plug and exit Europe it will be hard for them but the minute they pull the Euro as a currency will be deeply compromised and others may wake up and see that the EC Euro project is not really a socio-economic political project it is in truth a conduit means of funnelling wealth back into those who control the Euro that is those who own the banks in Europe where the EU technocrats are merely puppets and when that happens you can kiss goodbye to the EU it will break up and rightly so for anyone who believes as David put it that morale can be improved by continuous beatings is asinine to the nth degree.

    David I am sorry but the facts are and always have been that those who run governments do not and never have understood economics but what they do understand is that their ultimate masters are those who control the banks.

    • Deco

      Greece should pull out of the EU. It is a straightjacket restricting Athens from looking after the concerns of Greek society.

      The entire model of governance of the EU has been proven to be corrupt, compromised and clueless. With every crisis the idiots that created the mess, demand more centralization and more authority for the lugs that created the mess.

      The idea that this can continue with consequences is nonsense. In five years time it will be Finland or Sweden that will be bankrupt (just look at the housing bubbles there). Italy and Spain will not be fixed.

      The problem IS the EU.

      Now, let’s have a big massive war with the Russians so that we can say that the problem is the Russians, and shift blame away from the idiots in charge. It is an essential part of European history. And it preserves authority.

      If anything has become apparent from the mishandling of the Greek mess, it is that preserving authority has become the foremost goal of policy makers in Brussels and Frankfurt.

      Vote Yes to more war. Let’s put Ireland at the heart of Europe’s wars. Vote Yes to stimulus packages that tackle unemployment by eliminating people.

      The alternative is a frank open discussion about the failure of the EU. And that is simply not going to happen. The hubris is too great for that.

    • I agree 100% with your post BrianC.

  10. survivalist

    No doubt there’s some sound law why this isn’t possible… but…I had the idea that if Greece were to put a 1 or 2 or even 5% tax on a variety of financial transactions, bond sales and purchases etc. and also a tax on movement of capital into and out of its institutions, could it raise lots of revenue from the financial transactions?

    Could it put a tax on the Troika’s loan to itself and get them to pay that tax assuming the Troika will be pumping capital into its Banks shortly perhaps? Well maybe that already happens?

    Is that an option…I’ve never studied economics so I was just wondering if that’s possible in this or any scenario? What is a capital control, an anachronism of some class?

  11. ross81

    Great article, especially the point about helping the Russophobic neo-fascist freaks into power in Kiev. Nearly all the blame for the upheaval in Ukraine goes to the US/EU and their proxies. I mean can you imagine how the Yanks would react if Putin financed the overthrow of the Mexican govt and put a puppet regime in place that made bellicose statements against Washington?

  12. CorkPlasticPaddy

    I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it the EU is a busted flush and it has been since it’s instigation. Everything was fine when the EU was the EEC. Since the changes that were made at the behest of those clowns in Brussels that changed the EEC to the EU we’ve had nothing but trouble. Am I right or am I right? Barrosso, Von Rumpoy and all the rest of the clowns have made a complete and utter ‘pigs mickey’ of things. As for our own two clowns Kenny and Noonan what more could you expect of them? If the people of Ireland keep on voting for them and the rest of their ilk than you’ll just keep on getting more of the same. It’ll be interesting to see who’ll be Taoiseach at the 1916 commemorations next year??

    • Mike Lucey


      “It’ll be interesting to see who’ll be Taoiseach at the 1916 commemorations next year??”

      According to Paddy Power,

      Enda Kenny 4/11
      Michael Martin 9/2
      Gerry Adams 9/1
      Leo Varadkar 12/1
      Mary Lou McDonald 14/1
      Simon Coveney 14/1

      it looks like he is not totally writing off Gerry Adams!

  13. michaelcoughlan

    Hi all,

    Just an observation. The discourse in the responses including the article uses misnomers such as Germany, Greece, Ireland. This is incorrect.

    It should be using the following;

    Bankers, politicians, taxpayers, the population etc.

    For example;

    The greek population is been bled dry at the behest of european bankers using european politicians as stooges.

    Remember patriotism is the last bastion of a scumbag. The people who call the shots DON’T CARE about populations or Countries.


  14. DaveG

    Noonan doesn’t want the Greeks to get debt forgiveness because it shows the Irish Government’s decision to pay every creditor as flawed. That’s what Ireland should have obtained.

    Ireland hasn’t balanced its books. It is still borrowing money to pay it’s bills. Will Greece support Ireland when our turn comes to need debt forgiveness?

    It’s all about looking good and staying in power for Noonan, Merkel, and the rest of the political elite.

  15. Emma Grace

    Excellent article, David! I have to say I did actually laugh out loud when I read this:
    “After all, what does neutrality mean if not an ability to think for yourself?”
    Ireland? Think for itself? HA! The Irish powers that be (what are left of them) are so busy being good little Europeans and impressing the Germans et al. they have lost what little integrity they ever had. As for Ireland being neutral – another joke!

    So now we have the Germans wielding the power and the Irish (to my great shame) cheering them on. Not much of a community spirit to my mind. And I have a dreadful sense of history repeating……

    • Ailish Connelly

      I agree Emma, am so ashamed of our craven finmin. How very short the memory is of our ritual humiliation to the gods of finance. and how dare he, an elected Minister act like this to another country’s government representatives. Berlin would crap all over him and us in an instant if we didn’t do exactly as we were told, the same way as the Troika are crapping all over the democratic wishes of the Greek electorate. A nation is more than an economy and what is the point of any economy or industry or indeed currency if its not to serve the interests of the public. The EU should be ashamed at the way they are treating the GReeks. do they wish to stave them into submission? and if they do starve them, what then? Collect exactly what in repayment. As David always states, debts that cannot be paid, will not be paid, unless one is in Ireland where Bankers have midnight meetings with ministers and waltz into government buildings with wish lists of guarantees.
      I am going to Corfu tomorrow and my Greek friends have told me to take cash, just in case. Prices haven’t come down, the cops will come into restaurants and count heads but I will still get a receipt for one drink, even if I have fed and watered my whole family.
      Tax evasion is endemic in Greece, end of. they look after their own, their family and don’t trust the ruling power. Because for so long those in power were utterly corrupt. The Greeks themselves reckon it will take at least one generation to sort out this terrible mess. But they are a wonderful people, they would give you the shirt off their backs if you were stuck, they are kind, would fight with their nails, adore kids and are never going to morph into Northern Europeans, no matter how much pressure Merkel and friends exerts on their society. I wish them success in their endeavours to sort out their problems. Remember they are human, flesh and blood like us. They just want to make their way in the world and bring up their families. Their elite have betrayed them as surely as ours betrayed us. They have been thrown to the wolves of finance and for our finmin to have any hand act or part in this disgusting travesty makes me very ashamed. Keep shouting David from the rooftops, at least the Greeks have some balls and are standing up for themselves and their future. The EU are making a huge mistake in their savage lack of solidarity.

      • Very well put Ailish, safe travels. Be interesting to hear what you have to say upon your return from Greece, or indeed while you are over there – if you can drag yourself off the beach.

  16. Adelaide

    I take it that Greece has defaulted on the IMF end-of-June deadline.

    The time now is Fri 16.20 and the finance ministers are still in ‘critical talks’, even if they pull a deal out of their magic hat it still has to be ratified by the Greek Parliament and the other EU parliaments by close of Tuesday.

  17. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    “Against the background of great politics we play the role of German Shepherds”

    From “The Unbearable Absurdity of Reconciliation” by Rafal Ziemkiewicz

    David McWilliams writes that Germany, Poland and other ex-communist try to isolate Russia because it is in their interest and that this is not in Ireland’s national interest.

    Secondly, he claims that most oil and gas flow to Germany through Ukraine and this is the real reason for Germany’s support of Ukraine. Thirdly, he claims that the current Ukrainian government is illegitimate.

    It is hard to claim that corrupted Polish government created by former Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who as a minister in early 90s government of Jan Krzysztof Bielecki went to play the charity government v journalists soccer match advertising on his T-shirt German steel company acts in Polish interest. But the question of what is in Irish national interest deserves my answer nonetheless.

    Starting with Poland’s interest first, it is in Poland’s interest to diversify energy supply routes in Europe and bring more competition to European energy markets while it is in Russia’s interest to monopolise energy supply routes in Europe and eliminate all competition. Until recently Germany was colluding with Russia, for example by building the Nord Stream pipeline which not only bypassed Poland and Ukraine without consulting them – hence David is wrong when he says that German energy flows via Ukraine – but had the pipeline laid down at 17.5 metres so that the biggest ships would not be able to unload in Polish docks which therefore would not be able to compete with German port towns. It was therefore in Poland’s interest to stop this German-Russian alliance. Was it in Ireland’s interest?

    Ireland is the third most energy imports dependent country in Europe. Is it in Ireland’s interest to have Russian monopoly on gas and oil in Europe? For Russian oil production to be profitable the oil prices would have to be twice as high and Ireland is already paying the third highest electricity bills in Europe (which might be the highest if taxes and levies in the average household electricity price were not 18pc as opposed to 57pc in Germany) and one of the highest natural gas prices in Europe.

    In order not to isolate Russia Irish taxpayers, blessed with Scandinavian levels of taxation (with tax progression sharper than in Sweden) and a third world country public transport (Dublin is the only large European capital with no metro system totally dependent on erratic timetables of its overpaid bus drivers) would have to pay twice as much for heating their homes. If there is one thing which would facilitate the pernicious rise of the radical left in Ireland, that’s it. I do not see a place for political commentators as well-red and reasonable as David McWilliams in the narrative informed by megaphone economics of the Sinn Féin-People Before Profit-The Socialist Party-Labour coalition that potential hike in energy prices might bring about, all represented by people whose economic education ends on how Trotsky commented 100 year ago on Marx’s data regarding diminishing profits in capitalism using statistics which Marx had faked in first place.

    On 29 October 2010 Poland had written off Gazprom’s debt worth 300 million euro. I cannot comprehend how this can be interpreted as Poland trying to isolate Russia, as opposed to Russia isolating Poland by building a pipeline bypassing Poland and forcing Poland to pay the highest natural gas prices in Europe. You cannot say that on the one hand it is not fair that Irish taxpayers were forced to pay debts of foreign banks but Gazprom forcing Polish taxpayers to pay President Putin’s debts is fair.

    If he thinks that Gazprom would never do such thing to Russia, then he probably did not hear of Russian military warships disrupting construction of an undersea power cable to Sweden earlier this year by illegally ordering the Swedish vessel to change course. Again, he probably thinks that German-Russian alliance would not do this to Irish fishermen. He might be in for a disappointment.

    So according to David, it is not in Irish interest to diversify and liberalise Europe’s energy market because this may isolate Russia. If David is serious about fighting sanctions against Russia, he should start buying Polish apples as Poland, not Russia, is the country most affected by sanctions – if there is one thing that Russia is affected by it is the Saudi Arabian increased oil supply (there are even voices to be heard from Russia that sanctions are good for Russia because they help Russia to diversify their economy and re-orient it towards Asia).

    As to question of the Ukrainian government, of course it is illegal as it originated from coup d’état financed partly by Germany, partly by financial speculators like George Soros and partly by the US in order to – as Greek-born Victoria Nuland (who politically and family-wise hails from Trotskyites) said – f…k the EU.

    This Ukrainian government was and is supported by the current German government which neither acts in Polish interest nor represents the majority of public opinion in Poland, as the last presidential election showed. Furthermore, it does even represent the opinion of the Polish army. One of its most influential figures, General Waldemar Skrzypczak, who advocated supplying heavy weapons to Kiev, withdrew all words of support for Ukraine due to Ukrainian parliament passing a law which gave benefits to the those Ukrainians who collaborated with Nazi Germans and were responsible for mass killings of Polish citizens.

    Gen. Skrzypek – and his views are to a certain extent shared by the new Polish President Andrzej Duda – said that “Ukraine has no concern for Polish people. I am talking about what happened in Volhynia, the slaughter of 100,000 Poles by the UPA. The UPA murdered my uncle. They nailed him with forks to a barn door. For what I know, he was dying maybe for three days. Their savagery was beyond imagination. And Nazi Germany didn’t invent the things the Ukrainians did to us. They hacked people with axes. I wonder on what foundation is Ukrainian President Poroshenko building the future of Ukraine. Bloodthirsty nationalism? It’s frightening”.

    However, with President President Putin (and David) rightly accusing the Ukrainian puppet government of being illegitimate it is a classic case of kettle calling the pan black. President Putin’s government originated from swindling the swindler Soros, who pumped 100bn dollars out of Poland and then he pumped 500bn dollars out of Russia. President Putin was driven to power by oligarchs Boris Abramovitch Berezovsky and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who acted on behalf of Soros’s Foundation. Mr. Berezovsky was earning 30 dollars a month as a lecturer in Soviet Union.
    Suddenly Berezovsky bought oil fields for millions of dollars he received from Soros. President Putin sent his agents to Soros’s Foundation who had stolen Soros’s hard disks containing sensitive data. Then President Putin put his rival Khodorkovsky in jail while Berezovsky escaped to England and was threatened with arrest by British Minister Jack Straw should he not keep schtum. While I admire President Putin for being capable of outfoxing Soros, I do not think we should be obliged to break a lance for the legitimacy of his government.

    What Germany has done is swapping their alliance with Russia for their alliance with Ukraine, which they hope they will be able to exploit using European taxpayers to finance Ukrainian debts. This is not in Poland’s interest really as Poland’s role in that scenario would be to remain the importer of German and French products bought in German and French supermarkets which have been enjoying tax privileges in Poland for over 20 years (such exemption from paying income tax for 10 years granted to them by ex-minister, now the EU Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski).

    The first sign of breakdown of the German – Russian alliance was visible in Romania where in 2012 the US tried to restore the coalition government of liberals and ex-communists (capitalising on the fact that Romania is the only post-communist country where secret services were not trained by KGB), but this attempt was blocked by Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, whose efforts were supported by Russia. Germany used this opportunity to install the ethnic German President Iohannis in Romania, with an ethnic German in charge of Romanian secret services, thus outfoxing both Russia and the US.

    I agree that Germany does not seem to look so favourably at the Greek debt as it looks at the Ukrainian debt (this may change should Russia make a serious move in Greece) and I had written in my extensive analysis of the 1953 London Debt Agreement that Germany is not in a moral position to do so as they were allowed to pay their debt only from the 3pc trade exports surplus and the question of German war reparation to countries other than Israel was deferred to their re-unification whereupon Germany showed a middle finger to paying war reparations to countries like Poland or Greece, but the Ukrainian debt mentioned by David is not more Ukrainian than Irish banks debt was Ireland’s debt and the IMF has signaled that private debt open to haircuts does not include debt owed to Russia anyway. This debt is structured as a Eurobond and it is registered in Ireland (according to Bloomberg) and Russia has re-declared it as official debt. If Russia was so generous towards Ukraine as Poland was towards Gazprom’s debt, they would write down the Ukrainian debt (and Ukraine is not more hostile to Ukraine than Russia is to Poland – Russia still refuses to return the wreck of the Presidential plane which crashed in Smolensk which resulted in death of the Polish President along deaths of top Polish officers trained in West Point Academy and politicians who tried to block Gazprom’s isolation of Poland).

    So what is in Irish national interest? In my and David’s opinion it is to side with the UK. I had written a long time ago that German economy is far less important to Ireland than the UK’s economy (let alone US or China’s) – even smaller Belgium imports more Irish products than Germany. If David thinks that siding with the UK (inside or outside the EU) is in Irish national interest, he is rather inconsistent in his views because there is no other big country in the UE whose interest is so different from the Russian interest than the UK.

    In the world where Siemens has admitted paying 1.3 billion euro in tips to government officials to secure construction contracts for the Olympic, thus damaging the Greek construction company OTE and where “liberal” Polish Finance Minister Leszek Balcerowicz, in order to eliminate the competition for the German industry from cheaper Polish SME’s, suddenly raised the interest rates (from 8pc to 40pc – along with draconian taxes hardly a preferential treatment for making business in Poland, unlike what badly informed Danielle Ryan told you Dave about comparing the treatment of Poland v Russia in 1991…) on money which had been borrowed by small Polish entrepreneurs thus arbitrary changing terms and condition of those loans, which resulted in early 1990s Poland having the highest suicides rate in Europe (18 a day); in such world where – as opposed to pure “Darwinian” capitalism – profits from semi-state banks are privatised and losses are socialised, in such world the question of countries national interests comes to the fore.

    Once again the Polish columnist Rafal Ziemkiewicz:

    “For communists nationality did not count. They did not have any nationality themselves. And they were murdering themselves as if being alive was going to go out of fashion. Thus the essence of progressivism found its final form, as predicted by our genius 19th writer Aleksander Fredro:

    Socialism will bring sorrow to everyone and everyone it will slay. The rich today, the poor tomorrow”

    • Deco

      Thank you Greg. You are an original thinker, and a very well read man.

      It is a gift to the rest of us, to have you on this site.

    • Wills

      …and your point is what exactly?

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        And now for the kiddies: my points are all the points that David made in this and previous article regarding London Debt Agreement, which articles repeat the broad outlines of one on my previous comments (and some details too, including copy and paste technique – Dave, you should have asked me whether you can use my comment as a basis for your article in Sunday Business Post, I would have said yes!), plus evidence that is Russia trying to isolate Poland rather than the other way round (as if Poland was a player in that game, which is another point), plus knocking the bottom out of David’s argument that most gas and oil flows to Germany via Ukraine, plus reminding David that he himself claims Ireland should side with the UK and the US and against German-Russian alliance (now swapped for the German-Ukrainian alliance) and making him aware that this would require considering their interest which is in some aspects opposite to Russia’s interest and finishing on conclusion that monopolizing Europe’s energy supplies by Russia is against Ireland’s national interest.

        And what is your point in asking me what point is except for showing you did not dig my comment? :-)

        • BrianC


          On a personal note I have met quite a few Polish at trade exhibitions and truthfully you would be embarrassed at your level of qualifications to theirs. From my discussions with those that I met availability of capital to SME was definitely a huge inertia to driving their ability to deliver their innovative entrepeneurs. The Polish language is mind blowingly difficult so I would never have any hope of communicating. It is a pity we do not have a greater insight into the Polish economy – well that is really something that I can say about myself.

          So Grzegorz keep on trucking the road is long.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Sadly I have to fully agree with your assessment of Polish trade exhibitions stands.
            I think part of the problem is that most bigger Polish firms harks back to communist secret services which were allowed to make dodgy deals in the West in the 80s. Out of 10 richest Poles only one did not start his career being a police informer. Jan Kulczyk’s father (Kulczyk is the richest person in Poland) was a communist secret service agent in Vienna and almost like in American myth, he gave his son million dollars to start his first business. Now bear in mind that you were earning 20 dollars a month in the 80s just to give you an idea what a million dollars was then.
            The Prime Minister of the government closely related to people from the current Polish government publicly said that “the first million should be stolen”. They were stealing their first millions from Polish taxpayers of course, based on the numbers of concessions and licences which increased from a few to well over 200 within a few years of IMF and German financial capital entering Polish markets.
            I even proposed in the 90s that the words of the Prime Minister Bielecki (Donald Tusk is from the same crowd should be translated into Latin and carved in granite on the walls of the corrupted Polish Parliament as a motto of the Third Polish Republic:
            “Primum deciem centenum milium clepere necesse est”.
            As to SME’s, they are being constantly f…d over by the government. In Poland there are no binding interpretations of tax offices, hence often you see SME’s operating in one town and registered 600km farther for tax reasons. The Finance Minister can also exempt anyone from paying income tax and he does not have to publish a list of who had he exempted. Tax office is an oppressive force which chases you. Big western companies thrive in this corrupted environment.
            As to Polish language, it’s mainly declinations and konjugations which are the problem. It’s a bit unfair for English speakers everyone who learned Latin would have little problem with Polish declinations as a lot of words and grammar came to Polish through Latin after Poland choosing a Latin alphabet.
            But Polish phonetics are very simple.
            Sz is pronounced sh, rz is j like in French or g in English genre, cz is tsch and dz is more tricky.
            Actually watching this one minute video covers all of that:
            One of my former girlfriends who was German learned Polish fluently. Also, my English friends with whom we researched materials for a Conservative English MEP and who was then responsible for presentation in the media of the Conservative Shadow Cabinet also learned Polish fluently.
            This is a time for me to crack a few jokes about Poles:


          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            And more jokes:



            English actresses do not do Polish accents very well

          • coldblow


            Harry Enfield’s sketch here is funny:


            Their Polish doesn’t sound very convincing: dozo capaccino.

        • Wills

          …despite the minor insult the following I will post for your interest or not for!

          David can defend himself I am certain; the points though alluded to on his views about UK and gas and oil flows are mis-contextualized in your comment.

          For example, D’s approach to the UK in respect to articles and themes within is always form the point of view of econ data not withstanding his own personal viewpoints. I think it is important to bear that in mind. And you can apply this to quips about his other points too you mis-conceptualize, in good faith I am sure though.

          • Home Counties Girl

            @ Wills,

            I agree with you to a degree. I always measure David’s articles and comments posted on here against Albert Einstein’s quote;

            ‘If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough’.

            I’m not an Economist, but the fact that I can comprehend his writing regardless of the source of the story is testament to his ability to connect with his audience. You may fancy reading the article below.


            Best wishes

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “…despite the minor insult the following I will post for your interest or not for!”


            I am more than a bit chagrined on going through your comment.

            Do I detect irony in your slightly emotional remark?

            I am always interested in constructive criticism.
            However – and pray, do not take it as an insult again, rather as a sobering remark – when you ask me what my point is without further ado, I think that you disrespect my work I put in my research, to an extent at least.
            I showed you my respect by actually reiterating my points in a more accessible language, and unlike your rather desperate remarks about

            “quips about his other points too you mis-conceptualize”,

            my “kiddies” remark was avuncular rather than insulting.

            Sadly same cannot be said about your opinions.

            “D’s approach to the UK in respect to articles and themes within is always form the point of view of econ data not withstanding his own personal viewpoints.”

            My error laid bare, your simple rectification should follow. In other words, it is not sufficient in serious writing to share your opinion on David approaching UK’s issues always from a point of view of economic data (by the way, I think you are underestimating David as his approach is much wider than that if you red any of his books), this has to be followed by some specific examples as well as attempts to show where I failed in my efforts.

            “the points though alluded to on his views about UK and gas and oil flows are mis-contextualized in your comment.”

            Again, I am struck by a profound sense of despair in your remarks about my mis-contextualization. This might be interesting for the readers of this blog had you furnished them with some examples, otherwise you are just impotently placing yourself away from the main action on this blog.

            “I think it is important to bear that in mind.”

            That’s patronizing. I wonder what in your mind that would justifies that kind of tone from someone who can only come up with one question which he thinks kicks the bottom out of all my arguments.

            “David can defend himself I am certain”

            There is nothing for David to defend because I am not accusing him. Don’t be silly that if my intention was to accuse him I would be doing this on his blog and not in the court of law (where you can rest assured that the outcome would be far from certain according to what my solicitor thinks).

            Rather, I was a bit amused when I saw his article in the “Sunday Business Post” and people like Eddie Hobbs congratulating him for an excellent article.

            First of all, I am not a particularly litigious person (so far I have only sued one landlord in my life), secondly and more importantly, in my understanding the purpose of this blog is to share information and last but not least this blog gathers people who more or less like David as a person and a political figure in Ireland (judging from hitherto posted comments).

            Anyway, pray, tell me, what is the difference:

            My comment from June 18, 2015 at 5:59 pm:

            “German memory is very selective – there is no mention of the London Debt Agreement in their debates on Greece. I am not surprised, because to remind them that the introduction of the Deutsche Mark in 1948 wiped out most of Germany’s domestic debt while their external debts, including their interested payments, had been reduced by 50pc and the rest was spread out by three decades would counter their false narrative of virtuous Germans and feckless Greeks, Irish, Poles and pretty much everyone else with a possible exception of Austria, Holland and Scandinavia. Yes, Germans were very good at saving money partly because, well, they are Germans, but partly thanks to restructuring of their debt their debt was less than 20pc of their GDP while the rest of Western Europe in the 1950s struggled with debts of about 200pc of GDP (a curious fact: the German Bundestag initially rejected the London Agreement because they thought this would legitimize what they considered to be the French occupation of German territory). Albrecht Ritschl, an economic historian at the London School of Economics, estimated that the total debt forgiveness West Germany received from 1947 to 1953 was more than 280pc of Germany’s 1950 GDP, compared to 200pc of GDP Greece has been pledged in aid since 2010.
            However, even that is not the biggest difference between debt forgiveness for Germany and rescue plans for Greece or debt forgiveness for Poland in 1991.
            The biggest difference between German debt forgiveness and Polish debt forgiveness was the clause in the London Agreement that said West Germany should only pay for the debts out of its trade surplus (which is exactly what Syriza wants), and any repayments were limited to 3pc of export earnings every year (which is even more than Greece wants). This meant that German creditors had to buy West German exports in order to be paid and Germany did not have to recourse to new loans.”

            And now David’s article from 22 June (I believe he rewriting my comment in a hurry got the 100pc figure wrong for Greece – in my text it was 200pc for Greece):

            “German memory – and that of its Irish supplicants – is very selective. There is no mention of the 1953 London Debt Agreement in their debates on Greece.

            Why doesn’t someone remind Germany that in 1948 the introduction of the Deutsche Mark (backstopped by American capital) wiped out most of Germany’s domestic debt?

            Or what about the fact that in 1953 half of Germany’s external debts, including their interest payments, were wiped out at the behest of a bankrupt Britain?

            And furthermore, are we not aware that the Americans insisted the remaining debt payments could be spread out over a term of three decades?

            Why doesn’t someone remind the Germans – and those in Ireland who want to be the best boys in the Teutonic class – that in the 1950s Germany’s debt was less than 20 per cent of their GDP, while much of the rest of western Europe in the 1950s struggled with debts of about 200 per cent of GDP?

            How else do you think Germany could have rebuilt itself?

            Albrecht Ritschl, an economic historian at the London School of Economics, estimated that the total debt forgiveness West Germany received from 1947 to 1953 was more than 280 per cent of Germany’s 1950 GDP.

            This compares to 100 per cent of GDP that Greece has been pledged in aid since 2010. So the frugal Germans – who destroyed Europe, in case you had forgotten – got almost three times more debt forgiveness than the Greeks, who didn’t kill anyone!

            Why doesn’t someone also point out that a clause in the London Agreement of 1953, which wiped out half of Germany’s debts determined that West Germany should only pay for the debts out of its trade surplus? This is exactly what the Greeks have put on the table, but they are rebuked by the likes of Christine Lagarde for not being credible.

            Do our Department of Finance legates (who are playing a sleeveen role in this shameful piece of political theatre) not know that Germany’s debt repayment was limited in any one year to 3 per cent of West Germany’s export revenues?”

            Personally I was deeply shocked and I angered when I heard Mr. Bertie Ahern referring to suicide when addressing David and I deeply regret that Mr. Ahern cannot be challenged to a duel. David is a commentator which should be supported. I think he is a great asset for Ireland and an antidote for sleveens

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Home Counties Girl

            “the fact that I can comprehend his writing regardless of the source of the story is testament to his ability to connect with his audience.”

            I fully agree. He is great at that, the best in Ireland – much better than Vincent Browne
            That’s why he will be a future political leader if wants to and the role of people like me is to provide him with weapons

  18. Mike Marketing

    An excellent article David and illuminating for those perhaps, not in the know.

    As a WW2 baby Mr. Noonan should re-examine his European history.

    The illegal invasion of Poland by Germany on September 1st, 1939 lead to the death of 60 –>65 million people and many multiples of that injured.

    What damages cost do you put on that one Michael?

    Greece is coming very close to a GO –> NO GO decision. If the terms offered are fair and just, they may stay in.

    However, they may exit for the simple reason that they have been treated in an unfair way.

    If they go they may be doing themselves and us a big favour.

    In the backwash of such a radical decision many European people will want real answers.

    * Where is the EU going?
    * What radical reforms must be implemented ASAP to make sense of the monster that has been created – a self serving bureaucracy?
    * What do ordinary EU citizens feel about their future and for that of their children and grandchildren?

    Recent excellent reader contributions spring from finding a workable/acceptable solution for the Greek nation in dealing with their indebtedness. Some believe it should be creative.

    Ironically post World War2 Germany had to settle up with Europe for the devastation that Hitler & his Nazi mates caused.

    These reparations were very flexible so as not to extirpate the citizens in the post war losing side country.

    One clever idea was to insist that the Allied Powers purchased the maximum amount of goods and services in the period 1945 – 1955 from Germany in lieu of cash, which they didn’t have.

    This was the salvation of Germany’s economy and has obviously helped them to where they are today.

    A similar solution (Greek holidays (+tourism products), film making. olives, olive oil, wine, honey, alcohol (Ouzo), beer, cheese, fish, vinegar, herbs, spices, rice, nuts, confectionery, cotton, carpets,
    rugs, leather goods, jewelry, marble, cement, solar products etc) could work here and the increased production to meet the incremental orders would reduce their 26%(49% for youth) unemployment figure. That would make it a win – win situation for all.

    This to be done hand in glove with the vitally necessary Greek reform programme.

    It could preserve Greeks dignity and allow continued membership of the EU and Euro.

    What price unity and cohesion compared to a quarrelsome, pugnacious, strife torn continent?

    Time for Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and France to speak up and Mickey from Limerick to shut up.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej


      “What damages cost do you put on that one Michael?”

      There are actually some calculations made on that. The thing is that Germany was forgiven war reparations in 1953 (they signed a separate agreement with Israel, but that was it); strictly speaking, they weren’t forgiven, but it’s payment had been postponed to after re-unification, which they then thought was never-never.

      After the reunification they dropped the issue. The figure for Poland you are talking about is 845bn dollars. Add other countries to that and it turns out Germany got richer by well over trillion today’s dollars.
      They started paying some individual compensations, but these were peanuts. Funny thing is that you had actually much better chance to get a pension from Germany if you were in Wehrmacht than if all your property was destroyed and all family killed.

      As I have written before, Poland was also one of the countries which granted Germany a waiver in 1953 with the exception of individuals claims. This waiver now turns to be illegal and Poland would have legal grounds to redress (for example because the waiver was granted by the Polish vice-minister during his speech in UNESCO on 23 September 1953 and the only people who could legally grant it were Polish president, prime minister or foreign minister and because he did it orally – there are no documents).

      If the US ever gets seriously pissed off with Germany and Poland reminds them of the nearly trillion dollars they still owe, Germany will be fucked. That’s why they try to shake off their historical blame by changing narration from German concentration camps to Nazi concentration camps (Germans are obsessed in correcting me on that) to Polish concentration camps, as I occasionally read in their press.


      CNBC got the date of London Debt Agreement wrong – it was 1953, not 1952, but other than that it is pretty accurate


  19. In as much as banks have become “to big to fail” and been bailed out by taxpayers no overwhelmed with unpayable national debts, governments and their countries are also to big to fail and so must be supported at all costs. By whom one may ask? The same taxpayer of course.

    Countries borrow and bail out banks until the national debt is overwhelming the economies. Now the counties themselves may be said to be too big to fail. Debt is not so simple as all countries are owed by all other countries and the failure of one to pay will cause the failure of another in domino fashion.

    So all countries must be supported. By whom you might ask. By various central bankers who are busily engaged in producing more and more money to lend to various national entities. But of course all countries are now so indebted that they can no longer pay for current debts and must get new loans in order to pay the old ones. This is a Ponzi scheme of finance that will eventually collapse of its own weight of debt.

    Greece, small as it is as an economy compared to the world, is liable to be the snowflake that starts the avalanche of the collapse of the nations economies. The start of the greatest depression.

    This is why Greece must be supported at all costs. Of course this will encourage all other debtor nations to spend like no tomorrow as they too will see that they are ‘too big to fail’. Maybe they are in theory.

    In practical terms this can only go a little further, if at all as the mountain of new debt has reached an exponential scale of annual increases impossible to sustain.

    Was it Hemingway who opined that “you go broke slowly at first and then it is all of a sudden.” Whoever? Has a ring of truth to it though.

    Chances are Greece will get another loan package but then what.

    Ah yes, the beatings continue. One cannot get blood out of a stone, it is said.


  20. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/05/02/weekinreview/02marsh.html?_r=0

    Web of debt shows that France is Greece’s largest creditor by a margin.

    • Mike Lucey

      A picture is worth a thousand words! That graphic is frightening. When the ‘chips’ are cashing in it looks like there can only be one winner.

    • Wills

      …great link.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      It’s the French who dragged Greece to EC first (French President even put the first democratic Greek Prime Minister on his plane and created a puppet government in Greece) and they dragged Greece into euro.
      The shares of French banks went up by a whopping 24pc when the first bailout package for Greece was announced.

      But the Germans are the most vocal on the moral front – out of all nations. In fairness, in their debates they mention the fact that money for Greece came back to their banks. But mentioning London Debt Agreement and unpaid war reparations would probably ban you from German TV ;-)

      As to the Limerick Wizard of Oz, it might be that simple with his hoping for Greece cracking down:


      Greece leave euro (in fairness I think they should, but this is a different question from their debts), euro goes down, Noonans gold goes up. Simple.

  21. corkie

    Great article David. One point that has me a bit puzzled. What business is it of Europe if the Greeks decide to go down the socialist road and attempt to meet their financial committments by taxing their few remaining rich people. No no no the neoliberal way is the only way the creditors will be satisfied. Cuts to pensions, welfare and services are essential. Today I heard our own Enda Kenny poopooing the proposed Greek tax hikes. What a laugh. Mind your own business Enda. I guess the big clue is the notion that no matter what they do the Greeks will never repay these debts. It all seem a bit pointless to me.

    • Deco

      Kenny and Noonan seem to have an obsession with Greece.

      Unlike Greece, the Irish institutional state has achieved zero reforms since the Troika bailout. In fact the Irish institutional state has been propped up by a bailout from the US Fed which has caused the Nasdaq to go into another DotCom style bubble.

      My reading of the comments by Kenny and Noonan is that it is a Freudian indication that all is not what it seems here.

      It is the reverse of Cowen declaring that Ireland was committed to bailing out Greece, before Cowen was even asked. Because Cowen new that the principle needed to be established in time for Ireland running out of money.

      Well now we have the reverse psychology.

      And that difference in psychology is all that separates FF/GP and FG/LP. Because in terms of results there is very little difference between them. It is merely the way they feel about the same behaviour.

  22. Dorothy Jones

    Great Article! Noonan and Kenny are idiots…cringe….

    • DB4545

      Dorothy Jones

      The behaviour of FG Ministers in relation to Greece is absolutely disgusting. I thought one of our core values was fighting for the underdog not supporting jackboot bully boys. It just goes to show how the blueshirt fascist DNA is just below the surface and becomes visible from time to time. When the government jet ran in difficulty the other day I just thought where can you find a germanwings pilot when you really need one? If it crashed into the Atlantic it might save taxpayers a small fortune on ministerial pensions for these wasters and encourage future politicians to use commercial flights.


    • Bamboo

      Remember, there are a lot of lads looking for a top job in the EU.

  23. Home Counties Girl

    Fine article Dave. It’s a pity 5 years down the line we’re still reading the same headline – probably the most recycled journo headline in recent times.

  24. Wills

    Important also to keep in mind the rich the insider class in Greece are responsible for the crisis the Greek people now face and indeed now being used by those very same vested interests to bail out the German/French/British creditors responsible for providing the rich elites of Greece the funds in the first place now owed back. Once again the Euro project cover to pillage, plunder and loot the real wealth out of people’s pockets and drive a wedge between a ruling class and everyone else who are called upon to hold-up a system which is steampunked to function as a corporate killing machine of democracy and enterprise.

  25. Prisoner refuses to cooperate. Prisoner steadfast in face of heavy pressure. The beatings will continue until the prisoner acquiesces.


  26. 9 to 1 odds that there is no Grexit. This week at least!!

    Posted on Lemetropolecafe.com

    World economic news:
    06:33 Macro Summary: Eurozone


    Greek PM Tsipras’ meeting with institutions ends without agreement: MNI cited sources, who said that Greek Tsipras’ meeting with the EU, IMF and ECB ended without an agreement. The source confirmed that the main sticking point to reaching a deal was prior actions that the IMF wanted. The source pointed out that the reports of “a take it or leave it” offer were not true and it was possible that another Eurogroup meeting could take place on Saturday if no deal is reached today. Meanwhile, Austrian Finance Minister Schelling said if the creditors’ proposal is not agreed by Greece it will have to look for alternatives, but Sunday is the final deadline.
    Creditors to give Greece an ultimatum: The FT cited to two senior Eurozone officials who said if Greek PM Tsipras fails to reach an agreement today, the country’s creditors’ offer will be presented to Eurozone finance ministers for a “take it or leave it” choice by Athens. The article noted the ultimatum follows inconclusive talks overnight which led to no progress with one EU official saying “the Greeks didn’t move at all. The level of frustration is so high. I don’t see a deal. It’s looking pretty grim right now.” The article added that Eurozone finance ministers were united in their belief that Athens was to blame for the stand-off and were prepared to put intense pressure on the Greek government to accept the creditors’ offer.
    Overnight talks yield little progress ahead of EU summit: Ekathimerini reported that Greek PM Tsipras together with his delegation was locked in talks last night with heads of the EU, ECB and IMF as they demanded the Greek government adopt more spending cuts than it had proposed. This meeting was followed by a brief Eurogroup meeting, where finance ministers were not able to take any decisions as the previous talks had not arrived at a conclusion. Recall, yesterday Greek PM Tsipras said creditors had rejected Athens’ proposals and responded with counter proposals, which Greece shortly after rejected. The major differences appeared to be on pensions, VAT and corporate tax, all of which creditors have demand that Greece adjust.
    Greece’s Syriza dismisses creditors’ proposal; wants debt relief: Reuters reported that Greece’s ruling Syriza party dismissed reform demands from the country’s creditors as “blackmail.” The article cited Filis, the ruling Syriza party’s parliamentary spokesman who said creditors’ demand to bring annihilating measures back to the table “shows that the blackmail against Greece is reaching a climax.” Filis added that the Greek side was maintaining its insistence on debt relief as part of any accord, which echoed comments by Greek labor minister Skourletis who said “there cannot be a deal without a substantial reference and specific steps on the issue of debt.”
    Germany downplays chances of imminent Greek deal: Bloomberg cited German finance ministry spokesman Jaeger who said Berlin’s impression is that there’s still a long way to go to seal a deal with Greece. Jaeger added that creditor institutions have made “exceptionally generous” concessions to the Greek government and “it’s now up to the Greek side to show some movement.”
    ECB said to leave Greek bank ELA cap unchanged: In conflicting reports, Bloomberg said that ECB left Greek bank ELA ceiling unchanged today, cites sources. However, Reuters cited a banking source who said ECB approved the amount of ELA Athens requested for its banks, adding that the ECB will convene again in the next 24 hours to discuss the ELA. Recall that there were also conflicting reports on Wednesday over whether the ELA ceiling was raised.
    Bundesbank chief Weidmann expresses concern about ELA to Greek banks: Reuters cited a person familiar with discussions that ECB’s Weidmann who also heads the Bundesbank has expressed serious concern about providing continued emergency funding to Greek banks in talks with his peers this week. “He has made his concerns clear from the start,” said the person, adding that Weidmann had raised the issue this week in a telephone call among Eurozone central bank chiefs and the ECB’s executive. The article noted Weidmann’s stance marks a more concerted effort to curtail the funding to Greece.
    Greece’s fragile banks leave Tsipras with few options in talks: The WSJ cited Greek officials who said the country’s fragile banking system is limiting PM Tsipras’s room to bargain for better bailout terms and, more than anything, has shoved him toward compromise. The article notes that as depositors withdraw funds from lenders, the country’s banks are dependent on daily support by the ECB’s ELA measure, which if the central bank choses to end, will force Greece into imposing capital controls.
    Hedge funds unfazed as Greek drama rumbles on: CNBC notes of a handful of hedge funds are betting on a Greek recovery, hoping assets like Greek government bonds and bank stocks will rally on a political solution between Athens and its lenders. It cited Greylock Capital Management, Third Point, Alden Global Capital, Perry Capital and Knighthead Capital Management, all who have invested in Greek assets. The article cited Perry Capital who wrote in a 23-Apr letter to investors that while the situation in Greece will likely continue to deteriorate before it improves, “we maintain that the probability of Greece exiting the Eurozone is closer to 10% and therefore Greek assets are significantly mispriced at current levels,” adding that the market was pricing in a more than 60% chance of Grexit,

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “9 to 1 odds that there is no Grexit.”

      I placed my bet in 2010 that eurozone will break down before the end of 2015 at feeble 3:1.

      • Sooner that Greece exits the better for the EURO. The longer Greece stays the worse the overall situation will become and so an exit and default by Greece may tare the EURO apart.

        However it may be too late already. That means the currency will lose value compared to real assets. The way to protect oneself is to own real assets now and wait. The Greeks have a not so quiet bank run going now at this very time. Billions extracted from Greek banks already.


  27. Original-Ed

    It’s interesting to see our government’s hard stance on Greece.
    I suspect that it’s gambling that Greece will get a write-down and not to be seen as cheerleaders will strengthen their hand when they look for a similar deal.
    The German and French Taxpayers are on the hook for 160 Billion – a reasonable write-down would be the best option as opposed to a wipe-out if Greece exits.
    It’s Theatre !

  28. [...] Inc.? (Bloomberg) • Europe: Writing Off Democracy As Merely Decorative (Habermas) • The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves (Irish Independent) • Bureaucrazies Versus Democracy (Steve Keen) • The Courage Of Achilles, The Cunning Of [...]

  29. https://www.goldmoney.com/research/analysis/managing-trade-deficits?utm_source=GoldMoney+E-News+Subscribers&utm_campaign=d98ed41569-GoldMoney_E_News_Sterling_buys6_26_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_31fa11b07e-d98ed41569-317875037

    Greece going to the Drachma will not save the sinking ship but it will allow Greece to recover her sovereignty. Then get the government must get out of the manipulation of currency and allow people to go to work and to make their own decisions.

      • Mike Lucey

        Yeah, I saw that yesterday Adam. I also noticed that BitGold have changed their plan to launch a Debit Card to now launch a ‘Prepaid’ Card. Maybe its just a rose by any other name.

        I know you are a BitCoin bug;-) Are you aware of this?,

        No more waiting for 6 confirmations when depositing on Vaultoro.com!

        For the last 6 years it has been a normal part of bitcoin to wait 6 confirmations (about one hour) before you could truly trust a transaction.

        This was always pointed at by naysayers as to why “bitcoin will never be taken seriously or used in mass if every time someone buys a coffee you have to wait an hour before you can drink it.”

        We at Vaultoro have been in the game for a long time and knew that technically it’s possible to feel confident about a transaction with 0 confirmations. If you could monitor relay nodes on the network and you could see that enough of the relay nodes have the transaction propagated, then the possibility is very low that this is a double-spend. Add that with a heap of other metrics like transaction fees and you have yourself a very high confidence level that a transaction will go through.

        If the transaction time can be brought to zero It definitely makes BitCoin more attractive and I imagine many businesses would start taking BitCoin.

        Interesting times ahead.

        • Hi Mike,

          Regarding your previous post under another article (about CarbonCoin), I wouldn’t be too interested in those other coins – Bitcoin’s first mover advantage is way too big – so they won’t usurp it – BUT those other coints (or the useful ones among them rather) probably have a future as ‘sidechains’ to Bitcoin’s blockchain – where they can be affixed to it in various ways to perform different business functions – e.g. for legal contracts, for propery deals, for asset registration and so on.

          Regarding Bitgold (and Vaultoro) and the removal of the 6-confirmations requirement – to me it’s a red herring in functional terms because the 6-confirmation requirement is a minor inconvenience of minimal to zero import – most people accept Bitcoin transactions as valid once they are performed – if you have to wait an hour in Bitgold until you can use your Bitcoin to buy gold (or a promise to have and hold gold – a fiat promise in other words Tony!), then what’s the difference? The only time it might make a difference is if the price of gold itself is wildly volatile and in that case why would you be taking your value out of Bitcoin to put into gold – unless you were a pure speculator!

          However, in psychological terms it’s no harm that they have removed it – they haven’t really ‘removed’ it – all they are saying is that they trust the blockchain so much that even though it’s still being confirmed 6 times in the background by the Bitcoin miners and added to the blockchain – they themselves (Bitgold and Vaultoro) are willing to TRUST their clients in real time that the Bitcoin transaction has been made and is valid.

          Don’t forget that credit card transactions can be charged back weeks or even months later whereas Bitcoin transactions cannot be reversed – caveat emptor – although in the real world, where most people are not trying to scam each other, you can always just ask for your money back and you’ll find that most vendors will oblige. But for extra peace of mind – some of the afore-mentioned side chains (whether or not they use other crytopcurrencies) might offer escrow of one type or another to protect both the seller and buyer.

          “bitcoin will never be taken seriously or used in mass if every time someone buys a coffee you have to wait an hour before you can drink it.” – this is an absolute joke and pure-scaremongering by ignorant people, for the reasons I explained above.

          Cryptocurrencies are the future, the Gold Standard ain’t ever coming back, no matter how much it’s wished upon – sorry Tones.

  30. Mike Marketing

    I fear that time is running out.

    Debtocracy in EU Peripheral States:

    For the first time in Greece a documentary produced by the audience. “Debtocracy” seeks the causes of the debt crisis and proposes
    solutions, hidden by the government and the dominant media.


    The result of EU neoliberal policies reduces citizens to be indentured slaves to the banking system
    and powerful companies agreed by the Political Party class.. The Greek slaves and their vassal state
    are in revolt – the ogre of a Frankenstein Spartacus has been created.
    We may appear free, but we and the peripheral EU states have been robbed of our sovereignty by bullies.

    Government have reneged on their citizens and are collaborating with their foreign lenders.
    Governments have turned against their people imposing harsh austerity measures.
    Reducing them to the status of a third world citizen who says “I can afford to buy food or medicine. but
    not both.”

    Democracy has been suspended and is now in frozen animation.

    A sign at a protest recently in Athens urges “Poor people …… don’t eat each other. Eat the rich they’re
    much fatter.”

    How do you deal with ‘odious debt’?
    You Isolate and identify it. i.e. set up a trusted Audit Committee and go to work.

    Your government receives a loan without the knowledge and approval of the people.
    The loan is spent on activities not beneficial to the people.
    The lender knows of this situation but says nothing.
    ‘Odious debt’ – very nasty, so we refuse to pay it. It is illegitimate and unconstitutional. Because they
    resulted from policies that were against the people’s interest.

    We may get round to looking at paying those, once our country has recovered. The lives of our people
    comes first, all else is second. A political will to fight the injustice is paramount. A policy of resigning
    office rather than submit the country to indignity.

    And let’s ask the zinger question .” Do the Greeks really owe what their creditors claim?”
    Lending them €billions but insisting that they buy warships, fighter planes and arms from Germany!

    Case studies: USA, Mexico, Ecuador (Rafael Correa), Argentina, prove what can be done.

    ‘Odious debt’ was a cancer that began in the Americas and has now

    spread across the Atlantic to Europe
    and beyond.
    Neoliberalism is a crime against humanity. It involved the corruption of many – financial markets, financial institutions, companies, governments; it is immoral to pay an immoral debt. The immorality is even greater when the government passes that debt onto the weak shoulders of the poorest of the poor.

    Their mantra is “A rolling loan gathers no loss.” In other words bankruptcy – Inability to pay.

    Ideal conditions for the powerful to set up a lucrative Ponzi Scheme.


    • Well done Mike. Keep up the good work.

      • The start is when the politicians rob the people of private money and implement the debt based ponzi money we currently use courtesy of the central banks and the commercial banking policy of fractional reserves. Both provide us with money generated as a debt at interest on which we are supposed to base our trade and business activity.

        It is past time to remove the fractional reserve system and the central banking notes.

        Without an honest money system, that is one not based on fraud and deceit, we have no long term cure for the ills of the economy and the societal imbalances that are becoming ever more evident

    • DB4545

      Mike Marketing

      To quote a German writer I think the government want to dissolve the people rather than people having the ability to dissolve a government. The Greeks elected their government but the EU doesn’t want to listen to the sovereign government that was elected. It’s talking to opposition groups in an attempt to undermine a democratically elected government of a Member State, People can talk about the EU project and the greater good and having an international outlook but this is just wrong. Remember their antics with us when we had the temerity to vote the “wrong” way with the Lisbon treaty.

      I mentioned in a earlier comment about the germanwings pilot and it was perhaps in poor taste. However the EU is behaving in the same way with it’s deluded and perverse sense of reality. It has locked itself into a cabin of neocon ideology, corruption and crony capitalism while the passengers who are the ordinary Citizens of the EU are screaming outside and these maniacs are determined to crash the plane in pursuit of this crazy ideology.

      We are not the USA and that’s not a criticism of the USA. Our history is different and as Nation States our demographics, culture, language and political systems are different. We are not a melting pot and language, religion and cultures have remain largely intact despite centuries of war. We need to dissolve and maybe remain as confederate States or a trading block but one size fits all is not working. Every attempt to align reality with ideology results in places like North Korea.


        • DB4545

          Tony Brogan

          Thanks Tony.PJ O’Rourke said it best when he said most people in the world just want to be left the f**k alone by any type of government. Europeans are no different than Americans, Canadians or even North Koreans I would imagine. The more I think of the Irish government the more I realise they are an absolute waste of space. I’ve come to the conclusion that if the entire Irish political class were to disappear in the morning nobody would notice. They’ve done nothing to progress the Country, they add no value and they’re just a burden on the taxpayer. They’ve no better at local or European level either. We need some way to pull the plug on these wasters before it all ends in tears.


  31. [...] growth in the economy to continue indefinitely, with all of the proceeds of growth then to be given away. This isn’t how Germany’s ‘Wirtschaftswunder’ in the 1950s was achieved. Germany was [...]

  32. mcsean2163

    Noonan disgusts me too. It’s like two messers at the back of the class and one turns on the other when the teacher catches them messing.

    Is there anyway to shut up Noonan?

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