The Local and European election results are completed and The Labour Party was hammered. The amnesiacs of Ireland have once again made Fianna Fáil the largest party at local level, a stepping stone for councilors to work their way up to national political representation. Also, county councils are responsible for town planning and building matters, an area of no little interest to Fianna Fail and its builder/developer cronies. The Labour party is finished unless they do something dramatic, like withdrawing from the coalition with Fine Gael. It is their only option now because it will have a few impacts. Firstly, it should bring about the demise of the current government, which, despite its pre-election promises, has continued to implement the austerity policies of the previous Fianna Fáil government. Labour has lost its way in relation to its traditional agenda and the medical card debacle was the last straw. Incidentally, like it or not, Alex White, who is a contender for the Party leadership was fully involved in this mess. Between Property Tax, Water Charges and the Pension Levy, to name some of the major ‘hits’, ordinary people are totally disillusioned with politics and politicians, especially the politicians in the main political parties. Labour can put a stop to Noonan, Hogan and Kenny by pulling the plug and use this action as a platform for the resulting general election. Each party would then have to produce a pre-election manifesto of their policies and people could make a decision who to vote for based on the credibility of each party’s manifesto. This would also ‘smoke out’ any party or section of a party (Fianna Fáil?) who would be prepared to enter a coalition with Sinn Féin. The other alternative would be a coalition of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, two sides of the same coin politically, which would finally put ‘civil war politics’ to bed and lead to a reorientation of the Irish political landscape into a left / right spectrum (a long sought-after goal of The Labour Party). In the meantime, the nature of politicians is to hang in there like spudhouse rats*, hoping things will improve dramatically before the government has to call a general election. The probability is that the Labour Party will conform with nature and continue to support the shambles of a government that currently exists.
It’s St. Patrick’s Day but whatever semblance of sovereignty Ireland might have thought it had has been brutally exposed. The Eurozone crisis has been media-managed since the Greek bailout terms have been adjudged to be ‘back on track’. The EU is muddling through the crisis and solving nothing. Ireland is being thrown crumbs from our EU masters in return for our 40% of GDP contribution to re-capitalising Eurozone banks. However, the Cyprus bailout (bail-in of bank depositors) shows that politicians are powerless in the face of bankers, who are now running the show. When I read that the German Parliament won’t accept this or that measure, I read the Bundesbank, which controls the ECB. Ordinary people are being pushed to the limits and the whole edifice is in danger of collapsing in on itself. Have the powers-that-be asked themselves what good this will do?
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In an earlier post on May 7th I wrote the following: “I read in today’s Irish Independent that Eamonn Gilmore thinks Hollande will be re-negotiating the Fiscal Compact and I commented that the financial markets would soon bring him to heel.” Well, France has just lost its triple A (AAA) rating, having been downgraded by Moodys. Hollande also said at the time he would re-negotiate the Fiscal Compact, but of course that didn’t happen either. I think it will take a concerted effort by all the members of the Eurozone to solve the economic crisis. Piecemeal action by individual countries won’t work and until the situation becomes inimical to Germany’s interests, there will be no progress.
In today’s Sunday Independent, John Bruton has warned Irish people against ‘scapegoating individuals’ in the fallout from the economic crisis. I wrote the following comment “I’m sick of reading that ‘we’ were all inexperienced in relation to borrowing money from banks. I didn’t borrow anything and I believe the majority of Irish people did likewise, apart from anyone who bought a house during the period. Buying a house in most cases is a necessity and many people who bought at the grossly, artificially inflated prices are now in financial difficulties. As I see it, John Bruton is cleverly using the collective ‘everyone’ was inexperienced’ to support his argument not to scapegoat individuals. The bottom line is that taxpayers, like me, are paying for bust banks. It sticks in my craw to see the people who led to me being forced to pay more taxes, not to mention the government’s raiding of private pension funds, receive huge pensions from my taxes and pension fund. It will be a cold day in hell the day any of these cosseted bankers and politicians allow their standard of living to fall, the way it has for the rest of us.
Link to article:
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The Irish Government’s policy is to use exports to overcome the financial crisis and unemployment. Long-term youth unemployment is a very serious problem in many countries throughout Europe. Fear not!! Happy Gilmore has just signed an agreement which will help our exports – people that is. Comforting to know our government is making unemployment a priority by enabling our young people to get jobs abroad.
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Apart from the compliant mainstream media reporting of the crisis in Ireland, nothing of note seems to have happened over the Summer. However, It seems strange that Enda Kenny is supporting James Reilly’s mishandling of the proposed health cuts and he is continuing to support ‘cute oul’ Phil Hogan, who messed up the household tax. Combined with his apparent support for Michael Lowry and the fact that he (Enda) had no problem sharing a platform with Denis O’Brien, (who has dubious links with Lowry) this all leads me to believe they ‘have something’ on Enda. Will these ministers survive when Enda does his scorecard on their performances at the end of the year? You can bet they will – party politics before the needs of the Country every time !!!!
There seems to be euphoria in the mainstream media that a deal has been done at yesterday’s European summit in relation to bank debt which will benefit Ireland. The markets have ‘surged’ following this development but there is nothing concrete decided as regards Ireland’s bank debt. It remains to be seen how the markets react on Monday when the implications of what has been agreed are analysed. My guess is that, like on every other occasion after a ‘crucial’ summit, the markets will trend downward on fears about the sustainability of periphery countries’ debt and worries about growth. Groundhog Day !!
Following the outcome of the referendum on the Fiscal Compact, which took place on May 31st, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he expected a deal on Irish bank debt. This man is naive in the extreme when it comes to negotiating or else his advisors are stupid.
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This is the result
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The article below gives an accurate description of politicians today, both Irish and European. One of the worst characteristics of human behaviour is lack of moral fibre and In Ireland our politicians have this in abundance. It is morally wrong to force people to pay debts they did not incur and our politicians know this but they haven’t got the moral courage to do the right thing and refuse to pay these debts. Euripides, a famous playwright in ancient Greece said “cowards are nothing everywhere” and our politicians are just that – cowards. Cowardice in this instance is ‘moral cowardice’ and in my opinion is reprehensible. If you haven’t got any convictions, how can you have the courage of your convictions or the courage to do what’s right? The sooner people realise this, in Ireland and throughout Europe, the better and we can create a proper social democratic society. This was the vision for Europe of Delors, Kohl and Mitterand. Now, the neo-liberal hawks have the politicians in their pockets and ordinary people where they want them. I hope SYRIZA get a majority in the Greek election because the establishment are running scared. It’s time to fight back against the de-construction of social Europe and the ballot box is the best way.
There we have it. Merkel said no to Eurobonds but hasn’t vetoed them. Eurobonds will have to be considered in the context of “deeper fiscal union”. Fiscal policy is the taxation and expenditure policies for a country’s economy or in this case the EU. (RTE News)
Enda Kenny, the Irish prime minister, wants Eurobonds. Does this man realise that for this to happen tax harmonisation across the Eurozone will be a requirement. Corporation tax at 12.5% and Eurobonds = mutually exclusive. On top of that he’s against a financial transaction tax – a tax on the banks, who are responsible for our current predicament. Obviously cosying up to Cameron. Fine Gael always did bow the knee to the Brits.
Michael Noonan, Ireland’s finance minister, made some disparaging remarks about feta being the only thing connecting Ireland with Greece. Rather than bring personality into it and criticise the person, it’s better to concentrate on what he said. In my opinion feta is not the only connection we have with Greece. Ireland, like Greece, is part of an EU/IMF bailout programme. Both countries have high unemployment and both are in recession. Whether Michael Noonan wants to admit Ireland is in recession is another issue. The real connection we have with Greece is both countries have been led, and are currently being led, by the most incompetent politicians seen in either country for the past 20 years. There is a difference – Greeks try to stand up to the bully-boys of Europe. Our incompetents think they’ll get something by being good Europeans and of course Irish people follow along like sheep. Moreover, people will vote yes for the Fiscal Compact on the advice of these politicians. By the way, Lidl often have ‘Greek week’ in their stores and you can buy olive oil, olives, feta, fruit and other Greek products. How ironic – a German supermarket chain selling Greek products in Ireland. Says it all about the EU really!!
I notice that there is no bad news or negative comments about the Irish economy in the mainstream media. This is because the government wants a ‘yes’ vote in the Fiscal treaty referendum. Phil Hogan is remarkably silent on the property tax debacle and the proposal for water charges. As usual, the mainstream media are obliging by writing nothing except anodyne stuff. Katie Taylor becoming world boxing champion is headline news, even though this is her fourth title. Leinster in the Heiniken Cup – another earth-shattering event! New job announcements are announced daily but job losses are in a small paragraph, well hidden from the headlines. A Yoplait factory in Inch Co. Wexford is closing after 40 years with the loss of 50 jobs and is mentioned in passing. This is Ireland in 2012 and people are just taking it all like sheep.
Comment section Sunday Independent online 20/05/2012
Alexis Dormandy: Why Facebook is a pioneer in the word-of-mouth revolution that will change all our lives
FIFTEEN years ago, a book was published called The Truth Machine. It suggests a world in which everyone wears an infallible lie detector, and describes the effect this has on everything thing from crime to job interviews to the inability to tell white lies. Some of these changes are obvious, many of the knock-on effects much less so.
- James Dempsey: The full-frontal dictator who gives us a laugh … and more than an eyeful
- Aisling O’Connor: With McCartney, Moss and Middleton in its kit bag, can London Olympics hold a torch to Beijing?
- Helern Moorhouse: No need to keep up with the Jones’s anymore … the recession has screwed them as well
- Kate Rowan: Forget ‘D4tress’, Leinster belongs to us all now … and what a weekend to feel that sense of belonging
- Amanda Craig: The golden rules of running a book club? Well, don’t choose Middlemarch for starters
Like I said, not much happening here!!
I’ve been saying that in Ireland and Greece politicians say what people want to hear in order get elected and be re-elected. The Labour party in Ireland is now paying the price for selling out and their popularity in today’s poll has dropped by 7%. You tell people one thing to get elected and then do the opposite. Michael Noonan of Fine Gael, the Irish Minister for Finance is now spinning the facts about the Irish economy – obviously in the lead up to the referendum on the Fiscal Compact. How long are people going to be led up the garden path by these gobaloons ???
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I read in today’s Irish Independent that Eamonn Gilmore thinks Hollande will be re-negotiating the Fiscal Compact and I commented that the financial markets would soon bring him to heel. Well the ECB (read Bundesbank) may get there first. Hollande to challenge Merkel perhaps, but to win – no way!!! Check the point by Matt Yglesias the link below.
I find it hard to believe our political leaders are so naive.
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Appropriately, on May Day, I decided to begin this blog when Michael Noonan announced a budget with tax increases if there is a ‘no’ vote result on the Fiscal Compact. This is total blackmail and has nothing to do with the pros and cons of the agreement. This is adding a dimension to the debate on the merits or otherwise of this proposal, which has nothing to do with it and is a mere distraction – noise as it’s called in the vernacular. Noonan’s bluff should be called because, when the back-benchers in his party get on his case (after all they only want to be re-elected) he’ll buckle. Don’t allow this stupid threat to influence your decision. Noonan and Phil Hogan are like spoiled kids throwing their toys out of the pram because they don’t get their way.