Irexit  under Brexit?

“Imagine that the UK and EU form a free trade area, but that the UK sets a 20% tariff on Japanese cars, while the EU sets a 10% tariff. Without border controls between the UK and EU, everyone would import Japanese cars into the UK via the EU — which would undermine the UK’s trade policy. Similarly, imagine that the UK does a trade deal with the US, and agrees to admit American beef duty-free, while the EU retains a 15% tariff. Again, absent border controls between the UK and EU, everyone would import US beef into the EU via the UK, thus undermining EU trade policy.”( Kevin O Rourke )

http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2017/02/16/brexit-customs-unions-and-borders/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-northern-ireland-border-guy-verhofstadt-single-market-customs-union-european-parliament-a7972596.html

“The resolution rubbishes Britain’s proposals for an infrastructureless NI border based on spot checks and says that the UK plan for a lack of physical infrastructure “presumes that the United Kingdom stays in the internal market and customs union or that Northern Ireland stays in some form in the internal market and customs union”. The PM has ruled out keeping the UK as a whole in the customs union or single market.”

It is now the case  negotiations over Brexit are focusing on 2 key areas 1. the Financial and 2. the Irish Border.

To understand the latter consider the impact on Spain of Catalonia leaving Spain purely from a trade perspective; or California leaving the US; or Kerry leaving the Republic.

By way of further clarification could I take issue with the use of the term Sovereign Republic of Ireland in Brexit negotiations : “Sovereignty is the full right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies. In political theory, sovereignty is a substantive term designating supreme authority over some polity.[1] It is a basic principle underlying the dominant Westphalian model of state foundation. ” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereignty

Ireland has given up large chunks of its sovereignty to the EU many EU treaties ago and can no longer consider itself a sovereign republic.

Back to the point:

O Rourke quotes: “The Union shall comprise a customs union which shall cover all trade in goods and which shall involve the prohibition between Member States of customs duties on imports and exports and of all charges having equivalent effect, and the adoption of a common customs tariff in their relations with third countries.”

Clearly we deduce Ireland if it remains in the EU cannot negotiate a FTA (Free Trade Area) for itself to set tariffs on imports. If it did so, it would have to pay for and accommodate an expensive border. Ireland must abide within European rules.

So we are left with the remaining option to consider, NI remains within the customs union.

Leaving aside objections by the DUP let’s go back to the sovereignty definition above. The British people have voted as a democratic people for Brexit. This means at the very least leaving the customs union with a new sovereign UK setting its own custom duties on imports and exports and rejection of a common customs tariff set by the EU.

But Kevin O Rourke in this paper offers many compelling reasons for Ireland to remain in the EU largely attributing Ireland’s prosperity to its membership of the EU. Unfortunately his arguments view membership of the EU through rose-tinted glasses.

For example he ignores the fact that FDI investment in Ireland through the 90’s to this day largely exports to the rest of the world and not the EU.

Our membership of the EU is a card largely overplayed to explain the attractiveness for Ireland for FDI. Ireland has many other attractions for FDI other than membership of the EU. Ironically many of Ireland’s tax policies are considered by the EU as anti-competitive and unfair and are targets for revision.

O Rourke ignores the hosing of free money into Ireland through its membership of the EU area and the lack of financial controls that led to investment of large parts of this money into an unproductive housing and property market, with growth impelled through construction of ghost housing, land lordism, commercial property markets that were stoked in rush to profit margins by Irish banking under a Central Bank largely government free of ECB European regulation.

Ireland’s financial collapse circa 2010 was made in the promise of membership of the EU providing financial stability of our economy freed of exchange rate controls and uncertainties due to our national currency.

We would be free of such unforeseen consequences as financial collapse? In that regard membership of the EU has been a dismal failure whether through Irish or European bad governance.

We currently have a debt to GDP ratio of 75% https://tradingeconomics.com/ireland/government-debt-to-gdp

Since the Paradise papers and before the above 75% is unreliable as its made up of figures from our multi nationals that through means such as the famous Double Irish involve offshore sales, trick accounting methods dubious to say the least.

Here is Ireland’s €200bn+ debt clock and the figure rises by the second. It rises by over €300 per second. Our financial affairs and our banks are still in a perilous state.

https://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/debtclock/ireland

Our banks are vulnerable to external shocks such as Brexit. UK is a major market that will instantly make our agri exports uncompetitive and through  inward flow of cheaper goods could severely damage our retail industry as well as our agri industry.

We havn’t done as well out of our membership of the EU as europhiles like O Rourke would have you believe. We gave away our fishing industry, compare ours to that of Norway, ” With a coastline of more than 83 000 km, including fjords and islands, Norway is one of the world’s leading nations regarding the production from marine fisheries and aquaculture. The fisheries sector has always played a key social and economic role, nationally and regionally, and has been the basis for settlement and employment along the entire Norwegian coast. The vast marine areas under Norwegian jurisdiction are among the most productive in the world and provide ideal conditions for aquaculture production. Fishing and fish farming represent 0.7 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010, with 12 900 full-time equivalents employed in the sector. In 2009, Norway ranked 11th in global capture fisheries production and the 7th in aquaculture production. It produced 3.5 million tonnes of seafood, about 25 percent coming from the aquaculture industry. ” http://www.fao.org/fishery/facp/NOR/en

We have legacy issues stemming from financial collapse not the least of which is our homelessness, property crisis and trolley bed “8101 patients on trolleys in September 2017 awaiting admission for in-patient treatment. This represents a 7% increase when compared to September 2016.” https://www.inmo.ie/Trolley_Ward_Watch

Society in Ireland is more unfair and fractured the gulf between rich and poor widening rather than decreasing.

Membership of the EU involving tax harmonisation, defence, and EU trade policies changing with UK under Brexit make a compelling reason for Ireland to review its membership of the EU.

It seems to me we have 3 choices.

  1. Remain in the EU and take what comes. This would be economically, politically and socially a disaster for Ireland. O Rourke states “Those who want Ireland to leave the EU know that they are in a small minority, and many will not come out and argue for their position particularly strongly, for fear of being laughed out of court. The evidence that our prosperity is based on EU membership is overwhelming. ” O Rourke’s remain case is underwhelming to say the least as he cites the success of Finland in 1991 required to face up to consequences of break up of Soviet Union and Denmark in 19th century to withstand tariff changes. The problem here is we live in a new era of a global economy and switching from beef to dairy will not help us. We do not have a manufacturing base to rely on. Our property market is as dysfunctional as it was before the crash of 2010. Ironically, if our property market had been more successfully cauterised than it has been with bailout and with NAMA, we would be in a better place to deal with Brexit. As it is our economy is extremely fragile.
  2. We could follow Switzerland and leave the EU https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland–European_Union_relations  This would mean “The relations between Switzerland and the European Union (EU) are framed by a series of bilateral treaties whereby the Swiss Confederation has adopted various provisions of European Union law in order to participate in the Union’s single market. All but one (the microstate Liechtenstein) of Switzerland’s neighbouring countries are EU member states.”
  3. We could leave the EU and negotiate a Commonwealth FTA agreement with the UK that would include a 32 county dimension. This would invlove a political solution involving the island of Ireland and a new parliamentary democracy with Dail Eireann replacing Stormont. Legacy historical issues involving relationships between communities in a new Commonwealth of nations, Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland with greater freedoms in each jurisdiction would be a bold enterprise that could strengthen the island of Ireland and provide it with a dynamic future unfettered from the past that has cost Ireland dear.

O Rourke states: “Those who want Ireland to leave the EU know that they are in a small minority, and many will not come out and argue for their position particularly strongly, for fear of being laughed out of court. The evidence that our prosperity is based on EU membership is overwhelming. ”

O Rourke makes many fine points but overall i find his arguments for staying in the EU underwhelming. The EU is heading for greater centralisation and more exclusion of the periphery that will be to our cost. It has already been to our cost in its refusal to burn bondholders and saddle us with the cost of bailout to the dismay of the IMF.

I respect his opinions but take issue with his poorly chosen remarks above. There is a far greater number of Irish people critical of our membership of the EU as evidenced in our previous votes on Treaty matters, than he would lead us to believe.

Critics of our membership of the EU grow by the day. It would be much more helpful for informed debate if views on both sides were respected and derisory tones were left aside to allow evidence to speak for itself.

Evidence mounts by the second we should elevate the position of Irexit to give it the intellectual respect it requires by both our politicians and academia in Ireland. Its largely not debated whatsoever in RTE.

One political canard in this debate that informs debate at the moment is the unstated possibility that NI would leave the UK and join Ireland in a sovereign, united Republic and remain a member of the EU.

Firstly, we are no longer a sovereign nation. Secondly, while the Irish government may not respect the votes of the Irish people on European Treaties, Brexit will happen. NI as part of the UK with the DUP support of Brexit and the present government of the UK; to consider the possibility of NI leaving the UK under Brexit is ludicrous.

But if the proposal gains traction these facts will become immediately apparent.

New European Army !

Swamped by negative feedback from the citizens of Europe back in the ’50s the proposals to build a new pan European army with a new defence pact are back on the table: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/877711/Brexit-news-Nigel-Farage-European-Union-Jean-Claude-Juncker-Nick-Clegg-EU-army-video

“At least 20 EU members are expected to sign a new military collaboration pact – known as the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) – as early as next week.”

In a previous blog I’ve noted ”

Jean Claude Juncker has also suggested that EU member countries should give up their right to veto new tax laws.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/01/jean-claude-juncker-blocked-eu-curbs-on-tax-avoidance-cables-show

With  UK Brexit Ireland will have no friend in the EU to protect its interests as it becomes cocooned under German and French control as a new buffer state between the EU and UK.

The European spider as it has done under bailout will suck this country dry.

Already this country is a pawn in the negotiations exploited by the EU to damage Brexit and the UK.

Our bid to host the 20123 Rugby World Cup was a fail beaten by South Africa of all places https://www.rte.ie/sport/rugby/2017/0925/907332-irelands-rugby-world-cup-2023-bid/

But it is nothing to the failure of this government to chart us through Brexit waters which becomes more apparent by the day.

In general the bill for the mess has been put on the shoulders of taxpayers with the rich able to avoid those taxes and the bill is going to mount considerably.

Legacy issues hold us back:

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/trolley-crisis-more-than-80000-patients-left-on-trolleys-already-this-year-36304516.html

https://plus.google.com/share?url=https://www.rte.ie/radio1/marian-finucane/programmes/2017/1014/912337-marian-finucane-saturday-14-october-2017/?clipid=102630215%23102630215

Problems such as our homelessness and property crisis have been solved before when we were outside the EU. Fiscal rules within the EU prevent us investing in the infrastructure to solve the housing crisis so we increasingly see matters getting worse due to band aid efforts to protect the rich including our own banks.

Professor Drudy has solutions that are withheld from the public and he gets little publicity. But solutions such as his require us to reexamine our relationship with membership of the EU. We urgently need to recognise our need to join Brexit with Irexit to prevent lasting damage to the people of this island north and south.

Professor Drudy Committee on Housing and Homelessness

 

 

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland%E2%80%93European_Union_relationshttps://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/2828/150-final.pdfhttps://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/taskforce-article-50-negotiations-united-kingdom_enhttps://ec.europa.eu/commission/brexit-negotiations_en#latest

 

till again….

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The Chocolate Eclair Budget

October 12, 2017

  1. The Backbone

Rising inflation and rising public utility charges will instantly erode any gains made by anyone in the budget. But most people when the rises of €3 –  €5 come in April 2018 should be able to afford a box of chocolate eclairs from their local supermarket.

But TD’s will gain approx €70 increase their rises come in Jan 2018.

The budget has no more backbone than a chocolate eclair.(1)

“Then-Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt got creative when he likened President William McKinley’s scruples (or the lack thereof) to a pastry: “He [McKinley] has no more backbone than a chocolate éclair.”

Here in Ireland we are in the midst of McKinley type politics with governing parties signed up to do nothing at most or as little as possible to resolve the deepening crisis in our health and property crisis.

In response to rules in 2012 brought in by Joan Burton  recovering at present from her failed efforts to imprison water charge protesters, charges thrown out by the courts, Finance Minister Pascal O Donoghue has stated such rules were bonkers eg discriminating against women who took time off to care for the elderly, in so doing the state a great service:

“”The advice I have available to me is that if we were to look to try to rectify this issue in one move in a single Budget, it would cost hundreds of millions of euro for me to do,” he added.”

Vacillation and kicking the can into the future.

In his budget speech O Donoghue in his introduction made a reference to the word ‘Compact’. Most people would miss the reference (2): This a nod to our European budget masters. They make sure we are not investing away ‘unnecessarily’ our Pension funds or worse issuing bonds to finance any large-scale procurement programmes to build housing and hospitals.

Fiscal compact defines the parameters of our budget.

Coming in as number 3 in our budgets largest spend is the amount set aside to feed our insatiable debt of circa €200bn mostly gifted to us in bailout during a time when there were no cheerleaders visiting Ireland to tell us how Europe would come to our rescue and share our burden. Now we have frequent visitors from the EU commission and European parliament to express solidarity with us!

Keeping budget deficits under control by failing to tax the rich and corporate Ireland in a time of national emergency and a housing crisis is our obeisant poodle politics at its most compliant  and obsequiously  subservient to our European controllers.

Our colonial past combined with a culture of authoritarianism within the Catholic Church has made it difficult for us to think independently as a nation in spite of rebellious artists and writers.

But we live in a time of massive genuflection to those who control our economy from Brussels.

Irexit is simple off the table as a political discourse and topic of debate especially on state subvented RTE….Getting back to our subject:

By way of comparison President  Herbert Clark Hoover (August 10, 1874 – October 20, 1964) was an American engineer, businessman, and politician who served as the 31st President of the United States from 1929 to 1933 during the Great Depression. made many mistakes in reacting to the Great Depression eg

“The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, for instance, which Hoover signed reluctantly, raised tariffs on thousands of imported goods and initiated a trade war between the United States and Europe, thereby exacerbating the global economic downturn.” but he did achieve the following:

“The Federal Home Loan Bank Act attempted to provide incentives for new home construction and addressed the struggling housing sector. The Revenue Act of 1932 increased corporate and personal income taxes to unprecedented levels to fight the depression.

…Hoover launched a massive public works program, part of which included funding for construction of the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. His administration implemented stronger protections for labor and substantially increased federal subsidies for agriculture. Hoover also played a key role in passing the Glass-Steagall Act of 1932, which limited the activities of commercial banks in an attempt to stabilize the banking sector.”

The Hoover administration’s final attempt to stymie the Great Depression was the Emergency Relief and Construction Act, also signed in 1932. The Act provided government-backed loans to banks and created public works projects in the interest of increasing employment. This blueprint was greatly expanded by Hoover’s successor, Franklin Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s New Deal, along with the economically stimulating onset of World War II, would effectively end the Great Depression.

In contrast Roosevelt was president from 1933 to 1945, longer than anyone else
in American history; he was elected four times. He took office at one of the worst points in   the Great Depression but told the American public, “ The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The early part of his presidency is remembered for the New Deala group of government programs designed to reverse the devastating effects of the   Depression.

“There are two ways of viewing the Government’s duty in matters affecting economic and social life. The first sees to it that a favored few are helped and hopes that some of their prosperity will leak through, sift through, to labor, to the farmer, to the small business man. That theory belongs to the party of Toryism, and I had hoped that most of the Tories left this country in 1776.”(3)

“My program, of which I can only touch on these points, is based upon this simple moral principle: the welfare and the soundness of a Nation depend first upon what the great mass of the people wish and need; and second, whether or not they are getting it.”

“Yes, when–not if–when we get the chance, the Federal Government will assume bold leadership in distress relief. For years Washington has alternated between putting its head in the sand and saying there is no large number of destitute people in our midst who need food and clothing, and then saying the States should take care of them, if there are. Instead of planning two and a half years ago to do what they are now trying to do, they kept putting it off from day-to-day, week to week, and month to month, until the conscience of America demanded action.

I say that while primary responsibility for relief rests with localities now, as ever, yet the Federal Government has always had and still has a continuing responsibility for the broader public welfare. It will soon fulfill that responsibility.”

Compare the above call to action to the vacillating long-fingered and painful dilly dallying approach of the present government’s pie in the sky incentivisation of private developers with lending and tax relief incentives to build unaffordable housing for young families!

This approach has already failed and is now compounded with a complete absence of large-scale public procurement programmes to build social housing to end the scandal of homelessness…….

Roosevelt’s New Deal speech spoke of “Blame ourselves in equal share. Let us be frank in acknowledgment of the truth that many amongst us have made obeisance to Mammon, that the profits of speculation, the easy road without toil, have lured us from the old barricades. To return to higher standards we must abandon the false prophets and seek new leaders of our own choosing.”

Lets not delude ourselves many in our society are living off the pigs back as well paid TD’s or public servants members of the elite managerial class rewarded handsomely for their lack of effort and ability.

“Never before in modern history have the essential differences between the two major American parties stood out in such striking contrast as they do today. Republican leaders not only have failed in material things, they have failed in national vision, because in disaster they have held out no hope, they have pointed out no path for the people below to climb back to places of security and of safety in our American life.

Throughout the Nation, men and women, forgotten in the political philosophy of the Government of the last years look to us here for guidance and for more equitable opportunity to share in the distribution of national wealth.”

Unfortunately, here in Ireland we have no Roosevelt, our national parties of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have become inextinguishable and unified as one.

Divisions between rich and poor have been compounded in recent years. We are heading for a south american style gulf between rich and poor energised by increasingly dictatorial Brussels as its member parliaments drift radically to the right eg Viktor Orbán in Hungary. Many see the drift to the right as similar to the drift that took place in Germany prior to the rise of naziism in the 30’s.

People do not get a fair deal in Ireland.

2 Shoe Boxes

Since the global financial crisis trillions have been poured into banks and financial institutions by the FED to reignite a broken financial system and get the economy going again.

Failure to legislate to control housing and property prices has led to this market being turned into casino investment subject to predatory exploitation and speculation by developer landlords many of whom are TD’s, rich speculators and vulture funds.

Government has done nothing to reign in this exploitation of Irish people especially the young attempting to gain a foothold for their families in the property market.

Vast amounts of financial resources in the form of vulture funds compete against private individuals to move them out of the property market providing rich financial pickings. Controlling rental markets that can extort any rent speculators wish to use extract profit.

People deserve to be defended by government and not be exploited by government.

What used to be homes has now been turned into property casino chips that prey upon victims destroying community and making decent family life unaffordable.

This is not just happening in Ireland. It has already happened elsewhere as in the USA.

https://www.citylab.com/equity/2015/10/new-york-city-apartments-are-getting-even-more-crowded/409150/

“But it’s not just a low-income problem

You’d think that only low-income families would be stuffed like sardines in New York’s claustrophobic apartments, but that’s changing. While around 24 percent of crowded households self-identified in the bottom 25 percentile of income, 19 percent were in the top 25th percentile.

The average household income for people living in these crowded households increased by 2.7 percent between 2005 and 2013; the median rent, meanwhile, increased 12.8 percent. In other words, the rise in rents far outpaced the rise in income among people who live in crowded conditions. Here’s how the report puts it:

This suggests that the affordability of the City’s rental housing stock may have played a role in boosting crowding.”

You would think that part of the solution of Ireland’s homeless and property crisis would involve looking abroad for solutions we could implement here.

You wouldn’t expect the present government to import disastrous solutions to our housing problems that involve stuffing tenants like sardines into apartment blocks. But that is exactly what is proposed. 

Fine Gael/ Fianna Fail plan to execute previous failed plans to stimulate private developers to address the housing crisis caused by lack of affordability and supply. The previous economic model that existed prior to our descent into the EU would have allowed government to raise loans on the open bond market, use Pension funds. However, our membership of bailout EU means our Fiscal Space (disposable income available for investment in our budget) is severely curtailed.

Our budget is largely out of our control as it is set out for us by the European Central Bank and its Fiscal Compact even though we go through mock-heroic rituals in the Dáil to pretend otherwise.

Some believe the only powers remaining in the Dáil is the power to preserve Dáil salaries.

So where is Ireland’s property market and homelessness crisis going under the present government?

The last few weeks provided a number of clues.

Reported in http://www.thejournal.ie/oaktree-new-housebuilder-ireland-3-3577078-Sep2017/ Glenveagh backed by Oaktree a vulture fund will probably target apartment building where apartments will be rented not sold to tenants.

Apartment sizes will likely be smaller: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/new-apartment-guidelines-not-a-lowering-of-standards-kelly-1.2474849

“new orders will allow developers to have up to 50 per cent studios in a development as long as it contains 50 apartments and is “within walking distance of centres of employment or on or immediately adjoining major employment sites”.

“Earlier this year, Dublin City Council was excoriated for proposing studio apartments of 45sq m in just over 7 per cent of new apartment blocks, as long as they were in rental complexes of more than 100 units, with extra communal services.”

I’m not sure how communal living will be served by renters in shoe boxes living like sardines in a tin alongside young families in apartments too small for their needs. But the proposal is developer friendly addressing the conundrum of affordability vs profitability. Profitability will not be compromised by making these shoe boxes ‘affordable’. The formula is to sell 2 for the price of 1 maximizing profitability while reducing the quality of living standards.

Affordable is a curious term with many meanings. The real meaning becoming more evident by the day is that ownership will become less possible as an option. Instead vulture funds with access to vast funds will buy up all property both commercial and private. With the market cornered and contained they will be in a position to extract as much profit from letters and renters as they can get.

So-called democracy and capitalism in the west under the increasing financialisation of the global economy is fast disappearing. Private ownership of property is increasingly the preserve of state like conglomerates comparable to the communist USSR of old. Inevitably, the percentage of salaries required to finance extortionate property renting/let costs has significant impact on the real economy, the real economy suffering because capital is being hoovered out of the real economy to fund the profits of the growing minority who are the 1% benefitting.

affordability does not mean reducing the profits of vulture funds and private developers. It certainly does not mean reducing house prices to make the cost of property reduce thereby dropping people with large mortgages into negative equity perhaps leading to a property sell off and negative equity that might endanger the banks.

Commercial and private property has been switched into casino chips played as a high stakes game by the rich. That part about ‘for the people, by the people, of the people’ has been transposed by financialisation into  ‘for the rich, by the rich, of the rich’. The EU has become the servant of this new ethos with its vast bureaucracy.

We need Irexit to support Brexit but under unspoken censorship laws the subject is off the table.

    3 Brexit Talks Collapse

Talks on Brexit on brink of collapse, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/the-ball-s-in-your-court-may-tells-eu-leaders-dz5kbtwms

It’s hard to see any agreement whatsoever pre Brexit between the EU commission, the EU parliament and the UK. A hard Brexit is almost inevitable.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/oireachtas/taoiseach-denies-suppressing-brexit-report-in-heated-dáil-exchange-1.3252219

“Rounding on Mr Martin, the Taoiseach said: “Is Fianna Fáil, the republican party, arguing now we should start training up Border guards, getting dogs ready, checking out sights for Border posts and truck stops ?’’

There has been a Leaked revenue report detailing the horror consequences of Brexit for Irish business. This has been witheld from public release. Part of the budget was announcement of unnecessary expenditure of €5ml on a communications(propaganda) office for government.

Yes, he should be scoping out Border sites and training border guards to prepare for the likelihood of a hard border. Varadkar in not preparing for such likelihood exposes himself as a head in the sand political stooge of Europe.

He should expect a phone call from his European masters telling him the date Ireland has to prepare for to make preparations for its hard border with the UK.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/brexit-revenue-report-warns-frictionless-border-is-impossible-1.3248846

All the more reason for Irexit from Europe.

End

till again…..

 

  1. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/bianna-golodryga/no-more-backbone-than-a-c_b_12774594.html
  2. Fiscal Compact  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Fiscal_Compact
  3. http://www.danaroc.com/guests_fdr_021609.html

Abandon Ship!

September 17, 2017

The only hot air in Project EU at the moment providing wind in its sails is the ludicrous notion that the inner core of EU member states should gang together to disenfranchise the PIGS to protect the banks of inner core member states such as those of France and Germany.

They are worried that in the event of a future calamity they may not be able to bully peripheral members of a PIGS alliance into submission as happened in the case of Ireland and Greece.

It’s a Goldman Sachs bankers view of the EU not one based on democracy or the democratic entitlements of the people of the EU. A way to sell the idea is to garnish it up under the camouflage of strengthening European democracy however contradictory this notion is.

Consider the following:

https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0914/904789-irish-meps-influence/

Irish MEP’s are among the least influential of MEP’s in the European parliament mainly because of the number of left-wing and independents in the Irish contingent.

“The annual survey shows that in a scale of one to five, Irish MEPs are in the second least influential cluster of national delegations in the European Parliament.”

Consider also Jean Claude Juncker’s (President of the European Commission), State of the Union  a  wake up call to those who support Ireland remaining in the EU.

Perhaps this will waken up some blindfolded Irish europhiles. But I doubt it as they are too well taken care of financially and otherwise on their junket trips to the halls of Val Halla in Brussels. Supporters of IRexit take note.

Consider http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-17-3165_en.htm

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/white-paper-future-europe-reflections-and-scenarios-eu27_en

Also:

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/white_paper_on_the_future_of_europe_en.pdf

“And we can take credit for having brought public deficits down from 6.6% to 1.6%. This is thanks to an intelligent application of the Stability and Growth Pact. We ask for fiscal discipline but are careful not to kill growth. This is in fact working very well across the Union – despite the criticism.”

With zero interest rates growth has been dismal the only difference being tools to generate growth are disappearing fast while a landslide collapse of stock markets fueled by the drying up of Quantitative Easing yield a future of a European deflationary spiral rather than growth.

But even this growth is illusory a good example being that of Ireland where inflated property properties help the financial sector to pretend the real economy is growing rather than the true picture of paper driven financialisation driving the economy down.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/26/japans-deflationary-spiral-worsens-as-abenomics-falters

Working well? According to Juncker this the Financial and Growth Pact lock on our fiscal space means we cannot tackle our housing crisis by investing the billions it requires to build homes to end homelessness and end the racketeering speculation that is driving the middle class out of property ownership into the hand of rental speculators.

Juncker’s vision for Europe contains some disturbing contradictions.

One is reminded of some quotes from George Orwell:

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
― George OrwellAnimal Farm

“No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?”
― George OrwellAnimal Farm

Juncker writes:

“…..Now is the time to build a more united, stronger and more democratic Europe for 2025.

“We are now protecting Europe’s external borders more effectively. Over 1,700 officers from the new European Border and Coast Guard are now helping Member States’ 100,000 national border guards patrol in places like Greece, Italy, Bulgaria and Spain. We have common borders but Member States that by geography are the first in line cannot be left alone to protect them. Common borders and common protection must go hand in hand.”

In regard to Brexit the border between NI and the south would appear to be ripe for the injection of a large number of officers from the new European Border and Coast Guard.

Perhaps under pressure from the expense of this undertaking Juncker during Brexit negotiations is hoping the Irish contingent to approach him to fund and supply this border police force.

Such an eventuality of course contradicts the illusory “more democratic Europe for 2025”

I can’t find any proposals for more democracy if you take away the call for more debate on these matters. Its talk without action.

“The future of Europe cannot be decided by decree. It has to be the result of democratic debate and, ultimately, broad consensus.”

Consider the following on the proposed operation and expansion of the European Border and Coast Guard.

Perhaps our depleting security presence of An Garda and defence forces should take note as apparently help is on hand with the imminent arrival European Border and Coast Guard. We will have no need of a state militia to build up our border patrols under Brexit.

“…for the first time since walls
were torn down a generation ago, the recent crises
have led to temporary controls being reintroduced
at certain borders within Europe.

…….Management of
external borders is the primary responsibility of
individual countries, but cooperation is reinforced
thanks to the operational support of the European
Border and Coast Guard. Continuous improvement
to border management is needed to keep up with new
challenges. If this is not done, some countries may
wish to maintain targeted internal controls…”

Clearly Juncker is advocating a stronger and less democratic system of policing and border control one that will replace “targeted internal controls”.

Critics of the EU have long pointed at the insider/outsider distinction between those on the periphery and those countries wielding the most power. Summed up in the PIGS acronym referring to the economies of the Southern European countries of Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain and Ireland.

Juncker proposes to solidify this by removing veto rights from periphery members with:

“A group of Member States decides to cooperate much
closer on defence matters, making use of the existing
legal possibilities. This includes a strong common
research and industrial base, joint procurement, more
integrated capabilities and enhanced military readiness
for joint missions abroad.”

Conversely those hoping for a more democratic Europe with greater financial involvement in solutions to national health and housing crises perhaps having an equivalent to CAP(Common Agricultural Policy) with a CHP(Common Health Policy) will be disappointed.

“……..Conversely, the EU27 stops acting or does less in
domains where it is perceived as having more limited
added value, or as being unable to deliver on promises.
This includes areas such as regional development,
public health, or parts of employment and social
policy not directly related to the functioning of the
single market.”

This document was written by bankers for bankers perhaps by Goldman Sachs. Its main interest is security to defend its own interests.

It wants the EU to starve public finances under the ruse of a so-called Fiscal and Growth pact to take power away from democratically elected politicians, remove their powers to control national finances and their obligation to respond to the needs of people for health, education and roofs over their heads. This is written for bankers by bankers.

Its not of the people, for the people, by the people. Think of a small eurogroup in the EU commission handing down what its been told to do by bankers led by Mario Draghi, the ECB and Goldmann Sachs. Think of Mario Barroso former EU commissioner with his contacts taking up the mobile phone on behalf of Goldmann and calling up Juncker!

Reading this document the most Ireland is going to get out of the EU to solve its housing and A&E crisis is the use of the EU’s bathroom here, by way of comic relief:

Jean Claude Juncker has also suggested that EU member countries should give up their right to veto new tax laws.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/01/jean-claude-juncker-blocked-eu-curbs-on-tax-avoidance-cables-show

“The president of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, spent years in his previous role as Luxembourg’s prime minister secretly blocking EU efforts to tackle tax avoidance by multinational corporations, leaked documents reveal.”

Juncker is behind EU proposals for CCCTB Common Consolidated Corporation Tax Base that will involve a large loss in revenue to the government. There is a proposal to tax technology companies and support for a Euro Finance Minister note below (won’t be funding a Common European Health Policy building a health infrastructure for member states).

It’s interesting that Europe’s share of global GDP is in sharp decline. Note EU27 includes UK 4% below so instead of 22% EU26 following Brexit will drop to 18%.

Brexit will provide opportunity for the UK to compete against the EU26 for a bigger global share of trade with the remaining 72% of global GDP.

Its trade will continue with the EU with the EU exposed more to the loss of a surplus trade balance with UK. To explore some of the full facts around this issue see here:

https://fullfact.org/europe/uk-eu-trade/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is talk of a group of countries working together and agree on a common “Business Law Code” unifying corporate, commercial and related domains of law, helping businesses of all sizes to easily operate across borders. Think of them and us and a lurch to the centre.

There is nothing good in any of this for peripheral countries. Everywhere you look the veto and democratic involvement of peripheral countries is being under current proposals curtailed and reduced. This represents continuing erosion of democracy in Europe.

Embarrassed by growing centralisation with its drift towards totalitarian domination of the periphery europhiles are on the ropes defending the EU with ‘this will not get support’. Yet these proposals are in black and white given as where the EU is aiming to get to.

Banking union is not where EU missiles are aimed. This would put the inner core responsible for bills worked up by the ‘profligate’ periphery. Thinking banking union is on the cards for the EU is simply pie in the sky and nowhere is this mentioned in Juncker’s state of the union speech.

A eurowide insurance system to pay out when economic disaster befalls a member state is far from what inner core members of the EU want. There will not be a FED to bail out the EU’s Nevada.

In the following clip Jean Claude Juncker speaking of the EU, the future, peace. The irony is the flawed design of the euro is contrary to economic growth and political stability.

Note the answer to the question re Barroso and Goldman Sachs asked by the second young interviewer here (following 2016 State of Union speech). There is a need for a 10yr moratorium on members of parliament working for the banking industry.

Perhaps a banking union with transparency and accountability templates can be presented to the EU parliament at some point for discussion, but under present leadership dominated by France and Germany, this is unlikely.

More likely is the spider analogy with the periphery cocooned and prepared by the inner core ready for future consumption.

https://www.ft.com/content/9ca163e3-512f-37e7-866d-9e0774dd

Ireland’s future lies outside the model for EU conceived by Juncker. On Defence, on CCCTB, on diminishing democracy, due to proposals to prevent veto especially on tax matters. On centralisation drift vis a vis European Finance minister there is likely to be more consolidation into authoritarian and cohesive centralisation.

Consider Ireland’s danger to its sovereignty and diminishing status as a sovereign republic. The notion of 32 county unified republic in this EU is an affront to the principles of democracy.

Consider the disastrous trade loss by Ireland’s agri industry on top of the lack of competitiveness for Ireland’s exporters due to a lower sterling.

Our relationship with EU becomes increasingly similar to the relationship between a bank and a property owner with an overhanging default risk.

They want  the money and no way will they allow us any role in running the bank.

Our future lies outside the EU in a new relationship with NI and the UK hopefully with a 32 county NI and republic of Ireland that will future proof economic and social progress not harm progress already made in NI and Southern Ireland.

You need a new vision for that.

Politically on bailout our relationship with EU has been one of hapless indifference and incompetence as we wallow and swallow euro dreams that have long since turned sour.

Time to find a way out before things become a lot worse….but perhaps things have to get a lot worse before this message gets across.

 

…till again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Head in Sand

August 28, 2017

Hitherto the Irish position on Brexit has been to ridicule the British negotiations post Brexit and hope Brexit will go away.

The EU have provided no plans on what they demand our border with NI should be. They demand these plans from British negotiators

We need to cost the border  with the European Commission, we need to examine what type of border will be put  in place.

We will be required to service and pay for its cost. Think of paying for a leg amputation for yourself to help you win a marathon you are competing in.

Putting the head in the sand and demanding the UK alone find solutions is reckless and irresponsible.

We are after all minions of the EU and we deserve to know what plans the EU post Brexit have in store for us.

The ludicrous demand the European Court of Justice will have jurisdiction in UK post Brexit has been shelved.

Germany’s proposition of a joint UK-EU panel as ultimate judge has now to be examined by each of the 27 member states before joint response.

Germany dictates the course of these negotiations.

You can see wheels will turn slowly if at all. Copy that methodology to every issue to be evaluated by each of the 27 member states and wonder will any Brexit deal pass muster with the EU.

Every dot will require an agreement from each of those member states.

A clean break without agreement would appear to be on the cards.

Pressure is mounting on Ireland to take a more active role in negotiations.We should encourage a more bilateral role for Ireland in these negotiations.

Instead in obedient compliance our head in the sand attitude has dispatched us to bottom of the class relegated to begging those issues effecting Ireland get highlighted.

Dubious and often unreliable and false figures of leprechaun economics frequently emanating as propaganda  from our Central Statistics Office ( CSO ) tell us our economy will boom over the  coming years.

This is challenged by the pain felt by our exporters into the UK market. Pain is being felt right now as sterling reaches an all time low against the euro.

Meanwhile sterling gets a boost for its exports while it’s imports drop. Many British holiday makers choose to stay at home rather than go to the EU including Ireland.

Lower exchange rate is already helping the British economy.

Sterling’s slump will cause many of our exporters to go out of business sooner rather than later.

Our  banks still teeter on the brink. Permanent TSB has over 20% of its lending in crisis. Expect large-scale repossessions.

Previous declaration on this blog on the need for Ireland to set up its own public Bank to provide low-cost building finance received a new twist this weekend.

I have outlined many times how resistant government is to resolving the housing crisis.

If construction and greater numbers of units coming to market brings down the cost of property this could damage vulture fund investments in Ireland, outstanding loans in our fragile banking system could go to negative equity setting off another sell off and another banking crisis.

But we live in an era of casino banking and homes are no longer homes but investments to gamble. There is clear evidence to show the middle class can no longer afford homes.

Supporting banks now translates to screwing the homeless and newer generations seeking a home.

Government has chosen a course to deny the needs of its people and capitulate to every demand from its corrupt financial sector.

Illustrating this fact this weekend was the reported case of Public Savings Bank Sparkasse which writes 50% of all German mortgages.

The bank operates similar to a credit union system not as transparent or public led as Public banks such as Bank of North Dakota advocated as part of a solution to our property crisis here….but ticks lots of the boxes required for a public bank.

It could make large savings for people applying for mortgages offering a lower by far interest rate on mortgages.

Sunday Indo reported 27th August “Sparkasse’s project manager in Ireland:

” I hear that politicians may be discussing in the background that the Sparkasse model may be threatening for the privatisation of AIB or BOI.”

Alas there is no real plan to tackle housing. Coming up with a plan to tackle housing might even threaten the banks in spite of how ludicrous this sounds

A properly funded Housing Agency coordinating policy, funding and provision of public housing is deeply and urgently required.

It needs Plan A to tackle the housing sector in Ireland. There is no sign of it coming soon. Plenty of little trees but no forest.

Dublin city council has a plan to fast track provision of 8000 housing units west of Adamstown but this may turn out to be pie in the sky.

By itself it doesn’t come close to address the number of units required annually over coming years to address the shortfall.

Likewise NAMA published a paper in 2015 on its plans but many plans have been shelved and NAMA is not held to account.

The Public Accounts committee should have NAMA and bankers in on a weekly basis to defend their activities in the property sector.  NAMA benefits vulture funds more than the Irish people while it’s activities are put beyond accountability and investigation.

Our Freedom of Information Act requires serious alterations to remove the Chinese Walls cloaks of secrecy protecting indefensible shortcomings and failures in NAMA.

The question why vulture funds instead of native developers and government as brokers using our pension fund have not acquired property suitable for relieving our housing crisis from NAMA is evidence of large failure by government.

There is no evidence to show government ever considered competing against vulture funds for NAMA property.

Countrywide councils are not funded to provide housing. This is the ideological fallout of a government right-wing party that has produced no position papers that address the crisis apart from 29 published housing initiatives that have all failed.

The reason for failure is FG and FF both are controlled by their banking financial sector and by large numbers of TDs in excess of 35% benefitting as landlords from increased rental prices.

They do not see it as the job of government to provide public housing.

Most of those failed plans try to incentives the private sector to build and construct residential property. But our developer and construction sector is broken.

The large players, Irish developers fallen victim of our property crash have been broken by NAMA.

NAMA has serious questions to answer on how it has broken the native capacity of developers in the Construction Federation of Ireland to grow our construction sector.

Government should serve the people. It is not fulfilling its mandate.

Many believe it can no longer respond to the needs of the people.

It’s not fulfilling its mandate constructed as it is by the banking sector complicated by incompetent compliance and useless obedience to the EU.

Till again…

Listening to the Paul Murphy and Jobstown media coverage I anticipated the media would investigate the claims made for an independent investigation into policing. Those acquitted would no doubt have serious issues with having been dragged through a lengthy trial following dawn raids on foot of evidence Judge and jury found seriously wanting.

Problems with policing could lead to allegations of political policing and descent into what in other jurisdictions with less a tradition of democracy would consider extreme fascism with lack of respect for democratic rights?

Something of the kind that is happening in Poland at the moment?

Instead I read an article penned by Philip Ryan that ignored the acquittal and the serious issues it raises and instead mounted a personal soapbox attack on Paul Murphy alleging harassment of “two defenceless women”. Video evidence I saw showed instead Gardai up to three deep protecting icons of our state well used to protest and political debate. They were safe and more Garda could have been called in if required.

Such investigative journalism using newsprint as a polemic for prejudice is not what intelligent investigative reporting is about. Polemical propaganda so vitriolic against Paul Murphy brought journalism down to the level of nasty state propaganda.

Turning the pages of the Sunday Independent 16 July I came upon p28. “Acolytes of Jobstown cult doth protest too much…” an article by Eilis O Hanlon. It’s a sad article that descends into sad and verbose if not bitter invective against Paul Murphy. It’s also sad in that you would expect better from a published novelist. Perhaps she has allowed imagination to win out over journalistic fact gathering and factual truth.

“He even used Dáil privilege to state that “numerous Gardai lied under oath” and had an “agreement to commit perjury”.

The trouble with this quote from O Hanlon is that her article is not investigating the evidence of whether this is true or not, it’s a part of the record of the court; but rather she ignores the implications of this for democracy itself and scorns the claims about which there is at least prima facie evidence worthy of investigation.

Its more evidence of her emotion overcoming reason when she expands her attack on Paul Murphy to attack the Left in denigrated fashion equating so-called leftist reasoning as silly with the implication her grasp of issues is nuanced and informed. Nothing could be further from the truth.

She quotes the Taoiseach “You had a fair trial and you were acquitted, but that doesn’t mean your behaviour was right.” She doesn’t go on to say what an Taoiseach also said, ““And it may well be the case that you weren’t engaged in kidnapping but it was thuggery and your behaviour was wrong. The protest was ugly. It was violent. It was nasty.”

Such nasty innuendo was not worthy of a Taoiseach of Ireland let alone a fair minded leader in any other state.

In using the word thuggery Varadkar was suggesting Murphy himself was engaged in thuggery something which he has never been accused of. This was a disgraceful assault on a member of the Dáil and an assault on his integrity and his right to good name and reputation.

These charges should never have been brought against the Jobstown 6.

Varadkar’s comments give evidence to the view that political policing happens in Ireland with the DPP it would appear friendly to the views of FG/LB.

There is clear evidence in the media of a right-wing extremely biased propaganda that knows no bounds when it comes to twisting the truth or in its efforts to bury the truth when it makes a fragile effort to emerge into the light of day.

For them the Benjamin Franklin quote to which democracy including this blog owes its roots “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid” can be tweaked at this point to “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to keep everyone stupid”.

And boy is the anti left propaganda flowing hard at the moment. On radio allegations flow, “but the left won’t say where the money is to come from to pay for Irish water”. Lie. The left have clearly stated the rich need to pay their fair share.

What irks is the condescending tone suggesting the left have simplistically got everything wrong, that the world can be reduced to a soundbite. This is an intellectual conceit often appearing in shallow invective against any critique of the EU.

It doesn’t matter that Ireland was torpedoed by the ECB and the IMF and the issue of sharing Ireland’s bailout on member states was ridiculed and we were cast overboard.

This is not the kind of democracy the EU is made up of. The EU to a large extent engages in a form of pretend democracy.

Consider the following:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trialogue

“A trialogue or formal trialogue meeting is a type of meeting used in the European Union (EU) legislative process. Trialogue negotiations are provided for in EU treaties. They are used if the Council of the European Union does not agree to the amendments proposed by the European Parliament at the second reading. In this case, formal trialogue negotiations are carried out within the framework of a conciliation committee. A trialogue is understood as an equally composite tripartite meeting between those involved in the legislative process of the EU institutions. These bodies are the European Commission (EC), the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. The European Commission takes on the mediating function.

Critics argue that the use of trialogues is detrimental to transparency in the legislative process. They believe the EC uses this process to bypass public transparency and the supposed opposition the proposed legislation would cause.[1]”

Now I’m not here going to disect the minutiae of how legislation is prepared and how the EU is governed in a pyramid fashion. At the end of the day democracy in the EU is as much as a scam as Bernie Madoff who was indited on 11 charges in March 2009 for operating the largest private Ponzi scheme in history. Bernie’s company won huge, prestigious awards for his business.

He employed the best mathematical brains in the country but the simple Ponzi scam behind his business was hidden from you.

At the EU level we have similar intellectual conceits that assure the suspension of disbelief minority who require answers that indeed there is democracy at EU level. Somehow, somewhere, hidden in the EU committee system, we are assured, democracy is at work. It’s just that our MEP’s don’t fully understand themselves how the Kafkaesque EU works and because of its complex and hidden committee system and its lack of transparency, it cannot be explained.

Be assured the EU in the development of complex legislation has many trap doors to trap the unwary.

https://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21602200-european-elections-will-neither-lend-new-credibility-european-parliament-nor-give

” The German government has usually been an eager supporter (of the European Parliament), not least because Germany has the most MEPs and they generally run the place. Yet even in Berlin the parliament is now widely derided. This habit has grown as Germany’s power in the EU has increased. The German Bundestag has made clear that it sees itself as a more legitimate body than the Strasbourg parliament. And the German constitutional court has ruled that it does not consider the European Parliament to be a credible source of democratic legitimacy for the EU, or even a proper parliament at all.

…….The provisions of the “economic semester”, an attempt to strengthen and co-ordinate economic policy at the EU level, as well as the fiscal compact and their associated regulations have also given Brussels a more intrusive role. National governments can now be censured and fined by the commission for missing fiscal targets; they have to submit draft budgets to Brussels even before laying them before their own legislatures. There is also talk in Berlin and Brussels of binding contracts forcing governments to make reforms at home.

…The experience of the euro crisis has thrown fresh light on one root cause of the European project’s democratic failings: that it gives too small a role to national parliaments, still the bedrock of Europe’s democracy. Parliaments exert influence through the Council of Ministers, because they determine the make-up of national governments. They also scrutinise how ministers in those governments vote in Brussels, a thing that some parliaments do more effectively than others. Many parliaments could learn from Denmark’s Folketing and other Scandinavians how best to examine EU legislation.

..Before 1979 national parliaments also had direct involvement through the nomination of MPs to serve in the parliamentary assembly in Strasbourg. But they lost this with direct elections. It was only in the Lisbon treaty that national parliaments were again given a specific role. A co-ordinating body of European scrutiny committees called COSAC was recognised and given an office in Brussels. The treaty also introduced a system of yellow and orange cards, under which national parliaments can object to EU legislative proposals on the ground that they infringe the principle of “subsidiarity”, which holds that action should be taken at European level only if it cannot be better done at national level.”

The trouble with the EU is that few know how it works, that it is not democratically accountable, that national parliaments have little say in its operation. But I’m only scratching the surface here.

The trouble with the EU is that it is dangerously out of control and that most member states have little realisation or knowledge of its direction.

Increasing numbers ponder upon its democratic deficits. We see in Ireland’s failure to succeed in the EU leading to Ireland’s economic collapse in 2010-12, failure of the EU to provide security against such catastrophic failure. This was our reason for joining so such an economic collapse could not happen safeguarded by the EU! We were wrong.

We have no democratic input into objecting to austerity measures leading to homelessness and hospital waiting lists; our politicians so stripped of power by our membership of the EU that they cannot respond to such crises in any meaningful way.

The EU no longer works as a democratic institution, instead it operates much like a globalized Berni Madoff hedge fund. Lots continue to make money and careers and a future out of something seen by the general public as remote, hostile, indifferent, unaccountable, undemocratic and well past its sell-by date.

On the surface there is collegiality and confraternity in semi transparent committees but each has a back door which allows secrecy and confidentiality where power is imposed by unseen and shadowy forces who operate the levers of power. They cannot be made accountable and we cannot rid ourselves of a growing Orwellian intrusion into our lives that makes a mockery of the Irish parliament.

On the one hand we have debate on homelessness and hospital waiting lists in Dáil Éireann; on the other hand, we have the secretive Economic Management Committee forwarding our budget proposals for scrutiny to shadows in Europe whose sole concern is that German and French Banks get back their bailout with interest!

http://www.ihca.ie/news/hospital_waiting_lists_are_out_of_control_according_to_the_ihca.446.2209.html

Yes it is a growing concern the Jobstown incident has been used by Gardai and the leader of the Irish State to mount what appears to be a fascist and extreme right wing abuse of power used against those wishing to make a democratic stand against shadowy powers in Europe forcing privatisation of Irish water.

Luckily our court system resisted such efforts to bring false charges against the accused who were acquitted. As in Poland the lesson is we should be vigilant against further efforts to politicise the appointment of judges and legal profession using the court system to punish an increasingly fragile democratic movement in our state.

 

 

 

Till again

 

End

Varadkar’s Vassals

June 28, 2017

WE NEED TO LEAVE THE EU

In his book, p97  “And The Weak Suffer What They Must” Yanis Varoufakis gives praise to the following rather prescient observation of Margaret Thatcher, a politician he has next to nothing in common with:

“But if I were (playfully considering the notion if she were governor of the European Central Bank), there would be no European Central Bank accountable to no one, least of all to national parliament’s. Because under that central bank there will be no democracy, (and the central bank will be) taking powers from every single parliament and be able to have a single currency and a monetary policy and an interest rate policy that takes away from us all political powers.

Those words have borne true for politicians in Ireland and across Europe. Consider that new phrase ‘Fiscal Space’ that arrived on our shores only a few years ago following a visit from the troika. This means Europe dictates budgetary limits it has set for us, our politicians cannot borrow on behalf of the state to invest in the public housing infrastructure the state requires to combat homelessness.

With Ireland €200 bn in debt, political roles reduced to being the obedient and compliant messengers of European dictats  Ireland’s politicians have struggled to pretend otherwise. They pretend to have the power to end our housing crisis, to build our hospitals to build the infrastructure a growing population requires.

Instead of large-scale municipal housing projects, hapless “Help to Buy Schemes” for first time buyers has had the opposite effect of increasing prices for first time buyers.

Government  encouragement of the private sector to take the lead in increasing public housing stock on the scale required to end homelessness and extortionate rent, has failed. But politicians wishing to pretend they have the power still pretend they can respond to the mandate of the electorate that gave them their vote.

Instead Ireland is run managed by our banks and anonymous unelected officials from the European Central Bank and the European Commission more secretively by Ireland’s Economic Management Committee. Not even the European parliament as a toothless legislator can change that.

Investment in capital infrastructure in education, research and in health is bottoming out to make further burdening of the electorate of the present and the future, look dismal in the extreme.

In such a situation you would imagine that debate on whether it is wise that we should remain in the EU or exit alongside the UK would be worthwhile. but you would be wrong if you did.

We appear to have a severe case of Stockholm syndrome ..” is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as  survival strategy during captivity”. However this analogy is not completely fair as both our European captors and our politicians appeal to our sense of well-being promising a return to the good days prior to what Lisa Hand described as:

It was like a physical punch in the gut. Outside on Merrion Square, frozen snow glittered on the streets. But it was nothing compared to the icy chill which hung in the air of the press centre in Government Buildings on the desolate night of Sunday, November 28, 2010, as the packed room watched a group of strangers from the IMF, EU and ECB settle into seats just vacated by the Taoiseach and two cabinet ministers.

This Troika was our new government now – unelected, unwanted and absolutely indispensable. Three Kings bearing a bitter gift of €85bn for a broken nation teetering on the edge of the precipice. Thirty pieces of silver in exchange for our hard-won, precious sovereignty.”

http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/the-week-ireland-gave-up-its-sovereignty-29796376.html

On many levels we inherit an erstwhile disastrous  membership of the EU: political disempowerment above coupled with an unelected an unaccountable European Commission, unconscionable bailout that burdened Ireland with losses that should have been shared by European banks, billions that have been lost through our loss of fishing grounds, the prospect of Brexit causing losses of €5bn annually of agri business and further massive losses as yet unquantified, disastrous and deteriorating public services that presently buckle on the point of serious short fall.

The real problem with the euro is that it doesn’t have a system of circulating surpluses and deficits among member states as exists in the US under the FED. Instead the broken economies or Europe are meant to recover through a system of bailout and austerity in which every penny lost has to be returned from borrower to lender. This puts severe stress on already broken economies such as Greece.

Devaluation for member states as a system of self-regulation is not possible so states already burdened by bailouts are further burdened by austerity.

This is a loop that cannot be broken except by the breakup of the euro. Perhaps this fact alone is at the heart of Brexit many politicians in the UK perhaps having foreknowledge of the imminent breakup of the euro itself.

Negotiations over Brexit not only flag the exit of the UK from the single market the euro represents, but also flag the very survival of a euro severely challenged as it will be by Brexit.

Notwithstanding a budget deficit that is currently under control though weighed down by over €200bn of public and private debt, a serious housing crisis disastrously managed by NAMA (who’ve alarmingly sold off housing stock to the lowest bidder rather than contributing to the supply of housing in a broken residential housing market); Ireland INC finds itself inflated by rising housing prices;  a return to a bubble economy supported by fragile banks facing what could be a greater threat to its economy than the meltdown of 2010, Brexit.

In place of flooding propaganda from both media and political sources denouncing Brexit with an arrogance that grows by the day, there should be an informed debate on whether we too should exit the EU.

The EU does not work anymore. Its unelected and unaccountable  bureaucracy has forced member governments into submission to a euro system that is proving disastrous for member countries leading them down to a path to ruin.

Without economic shock absorbers see below it has failed to deal with the financial losses of meltdown inherited through the 2008 Wall St crash and has sought to recover by a system of bailouts kicking the can into the future rather than healing the wounds that brought periphery nations such as Ireland into economic collapse.

Following 2008 Nevada in the USA went into financial collapse. Though a system of deficits and surpluses administered by the FED surpluses of states were channeled to this deficit state along with measures to rein in its banks and put the state back on sure-footing.

No such system exists in the EU. Instead vast losses were piled on the shoulders of deficit states and their taxpayers burdened with these losses through bailouts growing the gulf between rich surplus nations and deficit nations.

The policy of returning member states to economic growth has failed in Europe. Further centralisation of Europe can only mean less democracy for member states and increasing authoritarianism for member states.

EU  has drifted far from its original aspirations.

As political accountability has lessened the gulf has grown between the disenfranchised poor, the people, and their politically disempowered representatives.

Can things get worse? Sure they can:

https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/markets-by-sector/foreign-exchange/euro/european-commission/

“Once Draghi stops buying government debt, we may see a meltdown in the euro altogether.

The ECB wrote: “It is to be expected that significant developments on both the global and the European level will increase the risks posed by clearing systems.”

ECB is moving financial clearing houses from London to Paris.

Into this vacuum has stepped the far right introducing the nightmare scenario of the rise of extremism growing by the day awakening memories of Germany in the twenties and the consequences of this for democracy. This is engendered by a Europe run by a faceless bureaucracy, a European Commission that is held unaccountable to political movement by the people, a toothless European parliament that cannot legislate for the people.

Meanwhile 2 more banks in Italy have failed “Two more Italian banks failed over the weekend– Banco Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca.Banks in Italy”. It will take €17bn of taxpayers money to bail them out.

This will come close to emptying the pockets of taxpayers but the story only begins here and offside hidden in the wings are a vast number of other banks in Italy struggling under the financial losses hidden away since the 2008 financial collapse tsunami that swept across Europe in 2010 until now.

Next move will be to raid depositors money with bail in as happened in Cyprus.

Varadkar’s  statement that his door is always open to the UK to talk not of Ireland also exiting with Brexit but of UK remaining in the EU shows a  contempt for the will of the British electorate who’ve voted Brexit.

Ireland does not think twice of holding referendum after referendum until the people are lied to enough to ensure their compliance with the will of compliant and obedient politicians.

I’m sure his door is always open is persuaded by his failure to attract any interest from NI politicians in Irish government calls for a United Ireland while remaining in Europe. Surely one of Fine Gael’s greatest political conceits.

Arlene Foster has just done a billion sterling deal with the Tories in the UK in return for minority support of Tory government. Her DUP party campaigned in favour of Brexit.

It will be interesting to see how much of this money will go towards the provisioning of border controls between NI and southern Ireland when Brexit comes about. For sure this money is meant to cushion and shock absorb NI from the effects of Brexit especially in its relationship to Southern Ireland.

Interestingly no similar commitment has been forthcoming from the European Commission as a buffer support of southern Ireland. Nor have Irish politicians been engaged in any public lobbying of the European Commission other than the acknowledgement of the empty acknowledgement Ireland is a special case!

In regard to the provision of housing, health and education we have to question whether democracy in Ireland exists anymore.

See this def:

” :  government by the people; especially :  rule of the majority 

:  a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections

Varadkar’s government’s failure to make good their promise to build social housing only 10% of which were built last year from a ridiculously low base shows political impotence.

Varadkar is wedded to further erosion of democracy and would not think twice of re-running any Irish referendum if it didn’t suit his preferred outcome. This is implied in his door open statement.

Varadkar’s future for Ireland is a Vassal Irish state with powerless politicians paid exorbitantly to groom Irish voters to accept all medicine from Europe as it plunges Ireland into deepening austerity.

The future of such politicians comes with the tantalising opportunity to progress to political positions in any number of the vast network of Brussels based European institutions who run our lives without accountability or democratic input.

The forces ranged against rational debate of an Ireland IExit proposition in support of Brexit are extensive and wide-ranging. Interest groups against Brexit range from politicians to public servants, to farmers, to the financial sector, all of whom are beneficiaries of the current status quo inside the EU.

Government budgetary considerations trundle along on receipts from a ruinous property sector, Corporation tax receipts that can collapse at a moments  notice under adverse pressures from Donald Trump to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.

Not leaving out the security costs of a hard Brexit border and the extra tariffs charged against our exports to the UK under Brexit. Perhaps large-scale emigration endured over previous years will return to take pressure off our public services.

We should be talking to the European Commission on the question of monetary flows from the European Central Bank into Ireland from surplus EU members to help us shock absorb Brexit. We’re not.

The fact that instead the European Commission, as it did for our bailout forced us to take it on the chin for Europe without its support on burden sharing, will leave this country to fend for itself under Brexit, should be sufficient reason for our politicians to want out of the EU.

We do indeed exist in a financial bubble many on this island benefit from. Many wish this party to continue. Storm clouds are gathering however and all bubbles are easily burst. Looks like Ireland could be one of those bubbles that Brexit bursts first.

This will happen in spite of Varadkar’s vassals putting their heads in the sand and hoping for a good outcome for Ireland under Brexit.

This will happen in spite of efforts by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB or Donald Tusk President of the European Council cementing the relationship of the European Commission and Ireland by perhaps making Enda Kenny our ex Taoiseach Tusk’s successor while embarrassingly our state crumbles under the effects of Brexit.

On such an imaginative digression, I thank you for reading the above.

 

till again

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/26/arlene-foster-meet-theresa-may-finalise-dup-deal-prop-tory-minority/

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/democracy

The Centre Cannot Hold

June 12, 2017

https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2017/0519/876459-govt-criticised-over-aib-share-sale/

The shock of British Conservative losses clearly shows the distrust of the electorate in regard to dictum that politicians are there to serve the needs of the people not the banks.

People are revolting against those political parties and politicians in league with the banks and financial services industry who loot people through austerity and no taxes for the rich.

People want ownership of their democracy back from politicians who troll for the rich while public services are looted through austerity. The middle class disappears leaving an increasing banana republic divide between rich and poor.

Following bailout money was printed out of nothing given to the banks and financial institutions as a reward for driving financial collapse!

The rich feasted on a frenzy of investment into stocks and shares and bonds it was hoped would also stoke economic activity. This has created the irony that since 2010 the books of many large corporations show slowing economic activity while their stock prices through artificial printing of money have since gone through the roof!

A corollary of this was austerity which sought to make the poor pay for losses stoked up by the rich.

With austerity and asset support of the rich in every feasible way possible through globalisation, the increasing power of the financial sector sought new speculative interests to assert its growing power.

Under the flag of austerity the financial sector has brought pressure to bear on politicians under its control and spell to privatise public services everywhere from healthcare to education to water supply hoping such utilities could be laundered into privatised assets to benefit the share speculators in large financial institutions.

Austerity made asset stripping of public services and asset stripping of public ownership of residential housing, health care and education the norm. Lack of public housing programmes allowed speculators to drive up property prices to unconscionable levels.

Further erosion of the middle class is evidenced in the lack of affordable public housing with the control of residential property passing into the hands of rich property speculators and vulture funds to further enslave the young whose ability and right to hold private property is under challenge.

An alliance between right-wing government parties, the banks and financial institutions and rich property speculators and developers drove property prices to the bubble levels they are today.

The crash of 2008 being just a minor blip on such policies that continue to this day with homelessness and hospital trolleys the new norm while the economy becomes laundered into that which has more in common with a banana republic than a modern democracy.

Clearly young people are voting against centre right parties whose collusion with the financial centre has brought about fewer full-time jobs, zero hour contracts, unaffordable and zero opportunity to purchase property to start a family home, lack of decent health care and a collapsing and unaffordable health system.

The current leader of the Fianna Fail opposition, on the election of Taoiseach in waiting, Leo Varadkar,  stated Fine Gael needs to do more on housing and homelessness and health, while his confidence and supply agreement and support of Fine Gael joins him at the hip with Fine Gael against a public programme of public housing.

Collectively they are yoked together by the yoke of Fiscal space an imperative imposed on them by Europe. Arguably in effect these politicians are powerless pretenders offering us policies that claim far more than they can deliver.

According to Philip Ryan Sun Independent, 11 June, p5 ” TD’s came under fire from the public after the last budget when their pay was to increase by €2,700 in April. Now they will get an approx €5000 on top of this which would restore 98pc of the salary cuts they received throughout the recession”

Such political hypocrisy has become the new norm. Further examples of political hypocrisy are evidenced in the collective failures of Simon Harris, Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar to offer mere band-aid policies to end our housing and health crisis. Many members of such right-wing parties have vested interest in buy to let properties and own a portfolio of residential housing stock. They have no interest in bursting the housing bubble or ending homelessness.

While it would be easy to declare the need for TD’s as unnecessary and obsolete in particular ministries for Health, Homelessness and Education, as they have no power to bring about policies people require, as ‘Fiscal Space’ governed by Europe and Ireland’s banks, we must retain the hope that some politicians will emerge from young voters with enough intelligence, determination and ability to prevent Ireland’s slide into Banana Republic mode.

Both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are signed up to the odious control of our fiscal sector by Europe, both are signed up to the austerity mantra of reducing our public sector including reduced pay for new entrants. Both are signed up to reduced taxes on the wealthiest including on those working in the financial sector.

Woven into the spider’s web are bailouts of the financial sector shouldered by weak politicians lacking in public spirit and enthralled by the financial sector.

Failures in the euro zone have shown how influenced the euro zone is by its crippled dependency on the banking sector. Most of the banking sector in Italy is insolvent. Spain has just seen Santander absorb Banco Popular previously one of Spain’s largest banks.

Spain’s Banco Popular got taken over by Santander for the sum of one euro. It had approx 37 bn in toxic loans on its books.

Some shareholders will get hit but the bulk of its toxic loans will remain toxic but Santander will attempt to hide them.

Popular had its share price nose dive recently on foot of bad lending practices and losses last year of 3bn euro.

Italy is filled with banks on the verge of collapse without a Santander to bail them out.

Part 11

In our banking sector we face the imminent sale of a 25% of AIB.

In Budget 2014 Noonan changed the law to prevent insolvent institutions setting 50% of their previous losses as DTA or deferred tax asset against future tax charges, to 100%.

This could mean AIB will not be required to pay a penny tax out as far as 2050.

In a sound bite heralding the sale Noonan praised the offloading to the private sector of the bank compared to its retention as a public Bank that could be subject to political interference.

Leaving aside the raft of political appointments to the banks such as Dick Spring or Alan Dukes or the lack of regulatory laws in Ireland or the lack of any supervision whatsoever.

Consider the political boosting of property bubbles that led to collapse.

Consider the range of bubble inducing legislation over the recent while including first time buyer grants that have helped inflate a toxic bubble in our property market once again.

With such evidence we need not worry that retaining AIB as an Irish Public Bank could damage Irish taxpayers.

The evidence is clear there is far more likely risk of toxic involvement of the state in the private banking system than there ever could be in a public bank.

So what would a public Bank be like? Consider the operation of the Bank of North Dakota.

http://bankingoncolorado.org/what-are-public-banks-and-how-do-they-benefit-us/

The many benefits of this bank are that profits are returned to the state. It can support a municipal and public housing programme. It’s mandate is to support communities rather than the black hole of shareholders out for their own profit.

It can be regulated and controlled in a manner that existed prior to 1994 where deregulation of the banking sector began in earnest.

What is Noonan doing instead?

http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/business/not-acceptable-for-bailed-out-aib-to-avoid-paying-corporation-tax-for-30-years-says-burton-792435.html

The bank will pay No corporation tax for 30 years. We have a housing emergency in Ireland where 3bn from the sale of AIB needs to be invested in an urgent municipal housing programme to end the growing scandal of homelessness and patients on trolleys in hospital wards.

The sale will cost taxpayers millions in lost revenues as the bank returns to profit. It has recently provided dividends for the state a large proportion of which will be lost on the sale.

Another reason not to sell is Brexit which will put severe stress on our economy.

We could do with a bank that might be a solution to help our economy rather than exacerbate a broken economy.

It makes no sense to pay down 3bn against our overall debt levels of which this is a drop in the ocean.

It is ludicrous that 3bn if this is raised is sent into a black hole that makes no difference except an Exchequer loss that is sent into the black hole of Europe’s financial sector evidenced in the Santander Spanish and Italian debacle that could be better spent on emergency capital projects that are much-needed. Nor have I mentioned Greece.

A public bank will give us greater leverage in negotiations over Brexit. Noonan disgracefully got us a poor deal (no deal) on renegotiating our bailout debt. He defended bondholders against the public interest. He welcomed in vulture funds to Ireland and rolled out the carpet of tax-free perks for speculative interests. Tax payers and the rights of the people of Ireland were jettisoned through incompetent handling of our financial crisis. It looks like Brexit will turn out an even bigger mess.

We need to jettison Europe and negotiate our own Iexit from Europe. We should be looking to negotiate a new united Ireland with our friends in NI with the view to becoming an all Ireland commonwealth partner with the UK, Scotland and Wales.

Protecting social services, health and education should inform our negotiations with the EU and UK as we move away from the EU which has dismally failed to live up to its expectations, but instead has become a toxic and Orwellian Black Hole dooming this island to homelessness, falling standards in social services, education and health care, such standards are about to get a lot worse.

There will be no bailouts of the public sector similar to the bailouts it provided our financial sector to allow it to give perks such as the recent €5000 our TD’s awarded to themselves to keep themselves sweet.

On the one hand Irish taxpayers get to raise €3bn for our bailout lenders, on the other Irish investors in such shares can get severely burned in a Brexit downturn.

There is of course the loss to Ireland’s taxpayers of a public bank that could be managed to support the needs of Irish taxpayers rather than the requirements of looting vulture funds and asset strippers or at best blind investors who are cogs in the machine that is taking us nowhere.

 

till again.

 

Part 1

In her speech in support of Leo Varadkar in the Fine Gael leadership contest Frances Fitzgerald attacked so-called Fantasists on the left  derogating and deriding them with the terms Populist and Leftist.

What do these terms mean?

If you visit Ireland’s border regions with NI you’ll see any attempt to return to border posts of yore will be rejected by locals and the public at large in both communities.

The border through tariffs and delays will cost billions in lost revenue while the cost of servicing it through customs personnel and infrastructure has not yet even been estimated. Much less is known if the EU will contribute to its financing?

Government proposes a United Ireland solution in the hope the EU negotiations over Brexit will persuade the people of NI to join the south and remain in the EU.

Ireland would shift its EU border to Irish ports and borders in the UK. Such arrogant hubris is a contender for the most daft of fantasies.

Yet Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein and Fine Gael support this absurd notion that is both self-defeating and self contradicting. Erosion of democracy in Ireland has been compounded by the decreasing autonomy for Ireland under the Treaty Lisbon. This is a fantasy to peddle the notion of a 32 county sovereign and independent Ireland in the EU.

Clearly Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have some way to go in persuading the people of NI that whatever sovereignty they have as members of the UK, they should give it all up in favour of adopting the Sheriffs of Brussels to be their political masters. People of NI would have more independence in a jail.

http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/what-are-the-legal-and-constitutional-implications-of-the-lisbon-treaty-1.737778

“.. After Lisbon our duties as citizens of the new Union would have prior claim over our duty of obedience and loyalty to the Irish Constitution and laws in any case of conflict between the two. This is because of the primacy of the constitution of the newly constituted EU over the Irish Constitution as laid down in the Amendment.

These are far from being minor “technical” changes.””

The very notion of a sovereign, ‘United Ireland’ under the flag of the EU is a contradiction.

Furthermore if Macron gets his way there will be federalism of the EU as it morphs into what Orwell foresaw as the coming dictatorship state amalgam of Franz Kafka’s ‘The Castle’ and the politburo bureaucracy of the USSR of recent renown.

Independence envisaged by United Ireland will be treated as bad, further absorption into the EU with its failed euro system, considered good.

If we are sincere about a United Ireland let’s lobby the UK and EU to help us bring it about the best United Ireland we can have.

This will mean UK and EU supporting a sovereign United Ireland OUTSIDE the EU.

In considering this argument perhaps the EU should remember the judgment of Solomon:

“”Give the baby to her, just don’t kill him!” The king declared the second woman the true mother, as a mother would even give up her baby if that was necessary to save its life.”

Giving up EU claim on Ireland in the wisdom of the disastrous impact of Brexit on these shores, supporting a new United Ireland outside the UK and EU, or amalgamated into the UK with greater powers of autonomy and self-government, would solve a great problem for people living together on these islands.

The Fantasy of United Ireland in the EU is demonstrated and perpetuated and propaganda built around it with no wish to hold a border poll to elicit support for this.

Perhaps remembering rejection by so many of Lisbon and Nice Treaties there is more appetite to be wary of democracy in favour of disenfranchising voters. This is evidence of further erosion of democracy in the EU.

Likewise there is not one word breathed regarding putting before the people a vote for Ireland to leave the EU and in a negotiated new Ireland join the UK in a new commonwealth arrangement mentioned above. This subject is considered taboo if it has been even thought about by political leadership.

Part 11

Regarding referenda to engage the people in choices about what could be a millstone around everyone’s neck, we were promised ‘New Politics’ based on consensus building following the last election.

However this has led to almost no work being carried out by the Dail in its last session.

Large decisions are sent into committees composed of members from different ideological and party affiliation where consensus doesn’t occur.

The Dail has become dysfunctional as a result with little or no legislation being brought forward. New Politics has become another fantasy with calls if this is the New Politics, please bring back the old politics.

We have instead a form of political theatre promising everything and achieving nothing.

In the background are the shades of the banking and financial industry calling the shots through its political mouthpiece held in tight rein by Ireland’s Economic Management Committee.

In the fifties in Ireland under an economically impoverished and challenged government vast housing estates were built around Ireland’s major cities to house a large movement​ of people from rural areas to cities.

Even the unemployed beginning new families were housed some in large corporation housing estates a form of social housing popular at the time.

Today if you propose public investment in similar residential housing structure  you will be labelled a Leftist and a Fantasist.

Want more fantasy?

An expensive recruitment campaign seeking to attract doctors, nurses and other health personnel back to work in the Irish health service has been a massive failure with only a handful responding over the past 2 years.

More?

Tens of thousands of jobs in the construction sector are planned over the coming years but the construction work force has been victim to collapse leading to emigration and now we have massive skills shortages.

Unable to provide affordable housing for People living here we are being fed the fairy tale construction workers enjoying better benefits abroad including housing will return to fall victim to our housing mess.

Today there are reports of whole families sleeping rough in public parks legislation to protect families from homeless favours single people while their plight is ignored.

More?

How about Ireland’s CSO(Central Statistics Office) calling a 25% approx increase in our budgetary surplus this referred to as cowboy economics from abroad.

Corporate tax receipts under pressure from the EU include the fantasy of Ireland’s governing party mounting a challenge in the European Court against Apple owing Ireland €13 bn…beggars belief.

The powers that be enjoy the belief they can make any of their fantastic fantasies reality.

With the aid of an obedient and compliant media with the discernment of  living  bacteria yet to be discovered on Mars, they make even common sense an object of Populist derision.

A highly secretive group such as Ireland’s economic management committee composed of a small number of representatives of the ruling party’s leadership ruled by the Troika and the European Commission have already scuppered investment in Ireland’s infrastructure including and especially that of social and residential housing.

Noonan refuses to stand up to the EU’s imposed rules on Fiscal Space!

Not much objective reasoning is given to examine or explain this in the media.

But you are a fantasist if you think present day government will build the property infrastructure required by the people.

Fiscal space as determined by the above entities is there to suffocate and tether Ireland’s ability as a sovereign nation to determine its own fate.

But it also maintains the status quo, its wastefulness, lack of investment and prudent management of the economy and current inequalities in our society between rich and poor.

It maintains the legions of bureaucrats and ineffectual politicians in the salary and comfort zone they have come to enjoy. There’s also the promise on retirement of further posts in Europe without possibility of the embarrassment of electoral failure.

Politicians have become mere choirboys of the EU pampered by high paying jobs​ with powers stolen from them by the EU.

We are instead governed by EU officials posing as politicians part of a pan European elite bureaucracy that serves the demands of the rich and seeks to extract as much austerity as possible upon the poor.

In simple terms this means the European Union and its Central Bank and European officials who authorise our national budget refuse permission for us to invest our pension funds, our NTMA borrowings, our proceeds from the sale of portion of AIB into construction projects similar to the above.

They’d rather we invest in reducing the debt burden inflicted on us to pay off debt ‘we owe’ to them for saving the bondholder banks of France and Germany! This debt was passed onto our shoulders by incompetent politicians with its chorus led by the EU.

Part 111

Let’s consider the word Populism. This term is especially corrosive in the way it undermines democracy itself and the will of the people.

It takes its meaning from the notion that there are underlying complexities and realities ordinary people are not capable of grasping. Instead Legions of committees at Commission level will determine for example what privately run Water Company we require to tax our water so government taxes won’t have to pay for it.

In the wings are legions of investors pressuring the EU to privatise public utilities to allow them invest their ill-gotten gains much of it money printed out of thin air and handed to them on a plate.

The casino of the financial paper private sector cannot wait for governments to divest their infrastructure to them to exact rich penalties on those who fall into the trap.

At the very highest level in the EU austerity driven policies prevent investment in transport, health and education and social services. Bailouts finance the funneling upward of rent and investment returns tax-free to the rich.

Part IV

Since 2008 investment returns on bonds, stocks and shares and property have quadrupled on foot of money printed out of thin air subsequently invested in financial paper and property by vulture funds and banks.

Today the value of stocks and shares is twice that of 2008 though economic activity fuelled by austerity and financial collapse is halved globally and heading downward.

Brexit hasn’t happened yet.

This is a paper driven financial dream fantasy fuelled by bespoke politicians charged with perpetuating this fantasy.

In order to perpetuate this fantasy pick pocketing the people and rewarding the unregulated rich growing wealthier by the day, political influence is essential

Regulating Fiscal Space and disempowering politicians is the business of the EU. Much as the Soviet USSR was governed and controlled by blindly devoted politicians Lucinda Creighton style politicians in love with the euro are used by Brussels to fan the flames of opposition to critical analysis.

The role of such politicians is to defend this financial elite within the EU, build confidence in its continuation and perpetuation and attack those who show up it’s absurd nature.

Unlike the declaration of independence of the united states and the Irish constitution all men are not created equal. Rather we are persuaded to believe there is a superior group of people who know better much as King Hammurabi described in his 1776 BC Code of Hammurabi ruling the Babylonian Empire.

These are the unelected officials of the vast EU bureaucracy that include political minions such as Frances Fitzgerald, Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney.

We must assume given the disgraceful collapse of the case against Sean Fitzpatrick who led Anglo Irish Bank that the ODCE department of corporate enforcement, the Gardai and DPP that this SUPERIOR group of people is above the law protected at highest levels from regulation or legal control.

In housing, health and justice the reforms required to bring about a change in the political landscape might detune compliance and obedience to the status quo and the powers that be.

They might bring about political change and might even threaten Fiscal Space.

So nothing is done except the ludicrous and nefarious. Government tries to mirror the vast committee system of the EU.

Ludicrous policies built on fantasy of Public Private Partnerships are proposed in the construction of housing and residential property.

This is against the scenario that private developers know that most people cannot afford the absurd level of rent and property cost currently bubbling.

Part V

Little if any reform is possible. In our Justice Department, Frances Fitzgerald against the backdrop of political corruption meaning every position from inspector upwards is a political appointees; possibly criminal fraud in Templemore accountancy and fiscal rules; oppression and victimisation of whistleblowers; reports left gathering dust for over 2 years kicked into further inaction as they are laundered into further reports sent another 2 years into the future; no naming and shaming, no prosecutions for incompetence and worse,  cleaning up the police force of An Garda is the demand of populism?

The Troika, a tripartite committee formed by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (EC, ECB and IMF) still control Ireland’s finances for which spending approval is regularly sought.

In a recent poll, https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2017/0521/876875-poll-brexit-europe/, 82% of Irish repondents felt Irish politicians need to be tougher in their stance on Brexit.

One would be forgiven to mistake Michel Barnier visiting Ireland, invited to address Dail Eireann, an unelected politician, Europe’s lead negotiator on Brexit, to mistake him for a visiting head of state.

But this unelected politician has far more power than your average unelected head of state.

Likewise observing the current leadership race between Varadkar and Coveney evidenced in their abysmal failures in Health and Housing to solve the current crises in both, we can be comforted that the role of Irish Head of State in the EU could be carried out by any primary school schoolboy who knows how to do what he is told. Or can we?

Triumph was expressed in political circles persuading the EU that interests of Ireland would be attended to in the articles setting about the negotiation of the EU position on Brexit.

The European Peoples Party http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/fine-gael-fidesz-2204730-Jul2015/ make dubious bedfellows for Fine Gael.

Was it not a coincidence that a meeting of anti Brexiteers was held in Wicklow this May 17 http://www.seankelly.eu/news-and-events/496-kelly-hosts-epp-brexit-meeting-in-wicklow-

Strangely we had no visitors when we attempted to get support to burn bondholders.

Say NO to corrupt fantasy.

 

 

Till again….

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_of_Hammurabi

https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0511/874203-brexit/

http://www.thejournal.ie/shadow-banking-ireland-3-3375469-May2017/?utm_source=shortlink

 

The Hidden Hand

April 28, 2017

Part 1

Rarely does the hidden hand governing Irish politics and Irish Health and Education reveal itself in such a public way.

Courtesy of Dr Boylan’s intervention in the maternity hospital controversy ““It’s been said that the nuns are not going to run the hospital – that’s absolutely correct. I’ve never suggested that they would run the hospital, but they own the hospital, they own the company that runs it and they have undue representation on the board.”

They sent him a text asking him to resign from the Board culmination of his decades long service to the Board of the hospital. He has since resigned in protest accompanied by his fellow supporter Dr Fitzpatrick who shares his views.

To have such an influential control of the Board of the new hospital with powers to appoint a block of 4 people to the board puts to bed any argument the sisters will have no say in the running of the hospital. To believe otherwise is to be delusional.

We are asked to believe agreements reached on such appointments have no operational input into the operational running of the hospital. Neither has the ownership issue any bearing on the operational running of the hospital. This is ludicrous, false, delusional and a confidence trick. Why do the sisters wish to own the hospital in the first place?

This maternity hospital should be a publicly owned hospital  owned solely by the citizens of this state. The Sisters of Charity building on the success of St Vincent’s Hospital could extend that hospital to include maternity services and from the wealth that could be privately raised from both within and outside their own resources, fund the building of their own private facility.

Instead, our state is gifting €350ml of taxpayers money to fund a private facility.

But truth is not owned by the sisters nor can it ever be.

Whistleblowers like Dr Boylan and Dr Fitzpatrick pay the price of blurry lines between lies and disingenuous falsehood, they are sure needed here to tell us all, the proposed hospital at St Vincent’s, has no clothes on.

The Hidden Hand that governs political life in Ireland has moved against doctors Boylan and Fitzpatrick in a manner in keeping with the way it has acted against whistleblowers in An Garda Siochana.

 

Part 11

 

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/european-council/president/news/20170321-april-brexit-euco/

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny has succeeded in putting into the minutes of the summit meeting for Brexit to be held this weekend, a provision that recognises the Good Friday Agreement assertion, that in the event of a majority call for United Ireland in any referendum to take place in NI following Brexit, that a United Ireland will become part of the EU.

Notice the phrase ‘referendum to take place in NI’. It appears an Taoiseach does not intend consulting the citizens of ROI on whether they want a United Ireland under the above terms?

It’s delusional to think citizens of NI under any terms would want a United Ireland. Polls consistently show a majority of catholics wish to remain in UK. But let’s be realistic and try to imagine a change to come about where such a referendum may become realistic.

It would require support from citizens from ROI in a referendum to choose on what basis NI would join the south in a United Ireland.

In order to be truly democratic such a referendum would have to include the option for a United Ireland to become part of the UK.

Persuaded if they come to pass by the awful effects of Brexit economically and socially,  our nearest  neighbour with whom we have most in common and most to gain with in trading, Irish citizens may very well be persuaded, as Nigel Farage has claimed, that membership of the EU, is not in the interest of the citizens of Ireland.

With our Economic Management Committee’s new terms in Corporation Tax dictated to us by Europe, unable to invest in public infrastructure such as housing, requiring new hospitals, standards in Education falling, unable to house young families who frankly cannot afford outrageous house prices; doctors, nurses, teachers emigrating in droves; €5bn in agri exports to UK under threat, border controls (who pays for the new border police/infrastructure) with Ireland already reeling from austerity?….

We need a referendum when the above facts are realised and felt by Irish citizens, on  Unified Ireland leaving the EU or Unified Ireland staying within the EU. Conceiving of the ROI coping with the negative effects of Brexit on the 26 counties while remaining in the EU, is plainly delusional.

The longer Taoiseach Enda Kenny stays, the weaker his erstwhile candidates to replace him as Taoiseach become; the weaker our negotiation competence, so severely lacking in negotiations over bailout, becomes.

 

Part 111

 

Americans for Financial Reform have just issued the following:

“Last year, House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX5) introduced a terrible bill that takes all the worst ideas concocted by Wall Street and predatory lenders, and combines them into one toxic package. That bill, the Financial CHOICE Act, will be discussed in a House Financial Services Committee hearing this week.

This radical bill eliminates numerous elements of the Dodd-Frank protections passed in the wake of the financial crisis. It practically eliminates the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to act forcefully against unfair or abusive practices in consumer lending markets. It even weakens regulatory powers that long pre-date Dodd-Frank. If this bill passed, it would make financial regulation weaker than it was even in the years leading up to the 2008 crisis.

Tell Congress: We expect you to protect consumers and the economy, not gut the rules that make our economy safer. We need you to oppose the Financial CHOICE Act and any other assaults on Dodd-Frank and the CFPB.

This legislation is crammed with deregulatory gifts to every kind of financial institution, including giant mega-banks who want to return to the excessive borrowing and risky practices that led to the financial crisis. It also provides “gimmies” to private equity funds who want to manipulate the financial system and exploit investors, mortgage lenders selling predatory subprime mortgages, and storefront payday lenders pushing products that trap consumers in a cycle of ever-increasing interest payments. This bill is an astonishingly terrible idea – and we need you to urge your Representative to oppose it.”

Meanwhile President Trump intends to cut Corporation Tax and business tax to 15% and also cut taxes for the middle class.

Where will funding come from this?

In the USA last year the US deficit of $587bn was added to borrowings of $830bn making overall debt rise by spectacular  $1400bn +.

So where is President Trump going to fund the loss of Corporation Tax and the lowering of taxes for middle class America?

It may well mean Congress will block the above, but take note.

US TARP(Toxic Assets Relief Programme) bailed out Wall Street and the super rich banks. This money was used to boost the assets of the rich 1% setting off a stock/shares bull market that continues to today. With printed money banks bet in the stock market and watched as their assets rose in value. Little trickled down to Joe Soap on main street. “Main Street” represents the interests of everyday people and small business owners

Austerity was also imposed creating further banana republic pressures on public finances while the rich were once again insulated and protected from such measures of taxation.

Further reduction of taxes on Corporations and the rich 1% will lead to further austerity driven downsides to economic activity that will further threaten the viability of the global currency system upon which all economic activity is built.

 

till again

 

http://www.usgovernmentdebt.us/us_deficit

http://usgovernmentspending.blogspot.ie/2017/01/the-feds-borrow-more-than-deficit.html

Nepotism

April 6, 2017

Property prices in Ireland are rising substantially faster than wages and salaries. This is unsustainable. Prices today are beyond the reach of ordinary people.

The market today is sustained by shortages and vulture funds and wealthy relatives able to put up the €60000 their sons and daughters require to put up front to get onto the property ladder.

Compare to the 50’s in Ireland where housing estates around are major cities were built in poorer times. Those on an average industrial wage could afford a house.

Today the market is controlled by broken banks sabotaging the efforts of those trying to reduce prices through large building programmes.

If house prices come down, banks could crash as their unsustainable lending into the commercial, residential and buy to let market goes into negative equity.

Nevin Institute for Economic Research recently came to the sobering conclusion:

“Lack of access to affordable quality homes constitutes a significant crisis for workers, families and communities in the Republic of Ireland. Current Government plans appear to be insufficient to make a significant impact. Pressure and strain on individuals and families is a direct consequence of under-investment over many years as well as a failure on the part of a market-led and property developer-led model of housing to deliver enough houses to meet the demands of a growing population.  We propose a carefully planned programme to construct 70,000 new homes in addition to the existing stock of normally occupied housing in the Republic of Ireland. A key part of this plan is the putting in place of a European Cost Rental Model (ECRM) on lines already outlined by the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) and referred to in a recent report of the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness.   The optimum solution, we propose, is the establishment of The Housing Company of Ireland which will draw on long-term borrowing combined with an equity injection from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and undertake or commission, on a commercial basis, a programme of planning, building, acquiring and renting of new homes.  This investment will supplement and further strengthen that of the Local Authorities as well as the voluntary housing associations in the area of social housing. The figure, below, summarises some of the key features of the ECRM.”

Have you seen the cranes going up recently in Dublin and Cork to build residential housing estates/apartment blocks…neither have I. Government inaction hopes to persuade private developers to get involved in delivering thousands of homes. This won’t happen as the banks to protect themselves will not loan into this market for 2 reasons, a) already mentioned above it will undermine current valuations of its lending stock b) people can’t afford the pricing. No matter how much the European investment bank get involved promising billions to Irish developers,the above 2 facts will not change. Unfortunately this makes Simon Coveney’s plans a ball of smoking  nonsense.

But remember the housing estates built around Dublin in the ’50s…..

http://www.nerinstitute.net/research/irelands-housing-emergency-time-for-a-game-changer/

The Water Framework Directive from Europe appears could be the political undoing of FF/FG coalition. The 20-member Joint Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services met today and will meet again next week to agree its final recommendations for the future funding of domestic water services.

The Water Framework Directive from Europe is a thinly disguised frame-up of the Irish people. Reckoned in excess of €8bn the cost of upgrading the Irish water infrastructure Europe has reckoned cannot be born by excessive exchequer borrowing and spending.

Unable to tax and spend through devaluation of our currency we are reined in by constrictive European Central Bank policies causing homelessness and the various crises we put up with.

The Irish Water super quango semi-state body received a subvention of €439 million in 2014 and is expected to receive €399 million and €479 million in 2015 and 2016 respectively. it’s not under the watchdog remit of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee.

IW leaks money everywhere duplicating work that could easily have continued under the aegis of local County Councils coordinated under the work of a single national committee.

Propaganda is hosed on the Irish public brainwashed to believe water charges, water meters, will curb excessive use.

95% of the excessive use is poor infrastructure with public water mains leaking into the ground, nothing to do with consumers. Are the older generation some challenged with the need to use more than the average amount of water consumption, to be levied with huge bills? Is it not simpler to ban hoses in gardens for cars and pavement washing?

This is but another reason for us to Irexit out of Europe about which there is growing support in the media, academic life, and politically.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/eirexit-could-ireland-follow-britain-out-of-the-eu-1.2864539

However little consideration so far has been given to the notion of Irexit. But Brexit is forcing Irish politics to come to grips with the implications of this move for Ireland socially, politically and economically.

http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20authoring/debateswebpack.nsf/takes/dail2016102600024?opendocument

We don#t seem to realise Ireland is a parked car on a railway crossing with trains coming at us from both directions!

“Deputy Martin is quite right that while the challenges ahead are unknown, at least if we knew at this stage what Britain’s ask will be, we could focus on that. It seems as if the Prime Minister has made it clear that the UK does not seek any kind of Norwegian system or a Swiss system, but a bespoke British requirement. In the update she gave to the other leaders at the European Council meeting, she said she would like to see the exit process be professional and well-managed and said that would be of benefit to both Europe and to Britain. Obviously, there will be discussions and negotiation about that. I will arrange for a briefing for Deputies Martin and Adams and anybody else by the senior officials here, who will give the Deputies the details of what they have been discussing with permanent secretaries across the water. They cannot get into too much detail because the Government has not made its decision. As the weeks go on, arising from the civic dialogue and the North-South Ministerial Council, we will have a wealth of information on which we can begin to focus. However, really and truly, until the Prime Minister moves and triggers Article 50, we will not be in a position to say what the definitive position is of the British Government. President Juncker, President Tusk and everybody else have made it clear that there will not be any formal negotiation until that happens. Michel Barnier will be around to everybody in the meantime. The Minister of State, Deputy Dara Murphy, has been meeting all his counterparts. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Deputy Flanagan, has the same requirement as all Ministers at a European level to make direct contact so that people understand in the first instance from a European perspective the importance of the peace process, the connections between Ireland and Britain and so on. I will see that Deputies Martin and Adams are briefed at the..”

Its hoped that the gradual implications of Brexit for Ireland, the threat against the €5bn agri exports, the threats against SME’s in Ireland selling into the UK perhaps considering moving there permanently to escape tariffs, the threat posed by the hard border, will gradually focus Irish minds onto an opportunity for national unity.

If Ireland were to leave Europe a new deal could unify northern and southern Ireland outside the EU. Through partnership with the UK a new commonwealth of nations Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England could defend Ireland’s interests more effectively than Ireland’s membership of the EU can do for the southern republic.

But Today propaganda from Europe assures us that we are part of a team of 27 nations in the EU and we are assured that Ireland’s interests in negotiations will be supported. Who believes that nonsense?

Where was everyone on the team when Noonan went looking for support to carry the European banks’ potential losses of €40bn.

We were asked to take one for the team.

Our obedient, compliant and subservient negotiators will also be asked to take one for the team on UK’s Brexit. To test my proposition, ask Europe who will pay (money) for setting up the Irish border controls required to police the EU?

Part11

An Garda Siochana

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/senior-garda%C3%AD-welcome-inquiry-into-whistleblower-controversy-1.2987127

“Under the terms of reference,  which set out what the Commission can look into, Supreme Court Justice Peter Charleton will investigate two specific allegations, and exactly what former Commissioner Martin Callinan and Noirín O’Sullivan knew about them:

  • Firstly, the protected disclosure made by Superintendent David Taylor on 30 September 2016 in which he alleged he was instructed or directed by Callinan and/or Nóirín O’Sullivan (who was Deputy Commissioner at the time) to maliciously brief the media about Sergeant Maurice McCabe and encourage them to write negative stories about him
  • Secondly, Superintendent Taylor’s allegation that he was directed to draw journalists’ attention to an allegation of criminal misconduct made against McCabe.

The Commission will investigate any contact that took place between members of the gardaí and the media about these allegations.

The Commission will examine all mobile phone records from David Taylor, Martin Callinan and Noirín O’Sullivan between 1 July 2012 and 31 May 2014 to look for any records relating to the allegations. It will also examine all electronic and paper files relating to Maurice McCabe held by An Garda Síochána.

The inquiry will also examine whether Noirín O’Sullivan leaked a specific negative story about Maurice McCabe to RTE. The terms of reference state that the Commission will:

…investigate whether Commissioner O’Sullivan using briefing material prepared in Garda Headquarters, planned and orchestrated broadcasts on RTE on 9 May 2016, purporting to be a leaked account of the unpublished O’Higgins Commission Report, in which Sergeant McCabe was branded a liar and irresponsible.

Finally, the Commission will look at whether a meeting took place between Martin Callinan when he was Garda Commissioner and TD John Mc Guinness in the carpark of Bewley’s Hotel in Newlands Cross in Dublin on 24 January 2014, and if so why that meeting took place and what was discussed at it.

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said this afternoon that the government will move to implement O’Neill’s recommendations in full.”

I listened recently to some Garda speaking out on RTE on nepotism in the Gardai. Many of these excellent Garda spoke of political appointments and nepotism, the practice of giving jobs to relatives and friends, within the ranks. It’s not what you know but who you know. Experience, training, further qualifications at postgraduate level, expertise unrewarded because you knew the local political apparatchik does not favour you.

Often the corrupt will weed out excellence as its seen as challenging incompetence.

Noirín O’Sullivan, herself a political appointment has done little to compensate whistleblowers for their bad treatment by management, which continues to this day.

https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0214/852663-garda-whistleblower/

“In a statement earlier this evening, Garda Harrison, who is based in Donegal, said: “Having read the heartfelt statement of the McCabe family, we share their heartache.Keith Harrison, whistleblower “I was ambitious for my career as a member of An Garda Síochána but given what has happened to me these ambitions have long passed.
“I continue to have respect and admiration for so many of my colleagues, the rank and file members of An Garda Síochána who are some of the best people I have ever met and who work in extraordinarily difficult circumstances.  However, I have no confidence in senior management of An Garda Síochána because of their treatment of whistleblowers.
I am coming forward publicly in order to ensure that the age of a culture of management failure within An Garda Síochána with regards to their attitude to whistleblowers comes to an end.I did not become a whistleblower lightly, given the devastating effect it has had on our family. “Garda Harrison continues to be the victim of actions by senior management against him that continues to this day under the watch of O’Sullivan.”
“GARDA WHISTLEBLOWER Superintendent David Taylor was sent a letter this morning informing him an internal disciplinary investigation into his case is still underway… TheJournal.ie can reveal.”http://www.thejournal.ie/david-taylor-discipline-3282433-Mar2017/”
O Sullivan should step aside at least until she is cleared of any wrong doing in relation to whistleblowers. To date she has done little to support and reinstate their good name apart from a few self serving words to distance herself from any allegation of wrong doing.
The recommendations of the Patten Report should also be implemented in southern Ireland following an investigation in the light of recent revelations of serious performance shortcomings and potentially criminal alteration of statistical reporting along with other management issues within An Garda Siochana.This investigation should be independently conducted from outside An Garda Siochana preferably lead by an individual skilled in best standards in international policing.http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/police/patten/recommend.htm

I’m sure any external investigation into An Garda Siochana would recommend awarding each of the whistleblowers the Scott medal for bravery.

till again……