Ireland is suffering badly from a braindead ideological belief in markets and in membership of the EU. There is no, I repeat No discussion, on the possibility of Ireland leaving the EU and joining the UK in Brexit.

Propaganda against Brexit has reached pantomine proportions. Each time Teresa May makes a public statement that Britain is leaving the common market, there is a deluge of commentators attempting to rise opposition to the statement until the statement is repeated again: Oh yes we are, oh no we’re not. Remainers hose the media with anti Brexit propaganda on a daily basis.

Dan O Brien by all accounts can be considered a Remainer. Dan writes a column for the Sunday Independent. On 6 May he examines the idea of a new unified state for Ireland. To understand his article one has to understand that Remainers as a solution to the difficulties posed by NI leaving the common market, have proposed that NI would stay in the common market. They are in effect proposing a United Ireland solution notwithstanding its vehement rejection as a proposition by both unionists in NI and Teresa May speaking on behalf of the government of the UK.

The curious irony in Dan’s article is that he never mentions Brexit once in the whole article. Brexit will put up borders in Ireland and divide this nation further apart perhaps moreso than it ever has been in the past, the proposition that both southern Ireland and NI both leave the EU and join Brexit under some new commonwealth or other constitutional arrangement, is not worth consideration or mention.

Lets look at some more remainer propaganda from our right wing press. On 29th April writing in his column in the Sunday Independent, Colm McCarthy launched an attack on Jacob Rees-Mogg a possible successor to Teresa May who said “If Britain trades on WTO terms, we could potentially slap tariffs of up to 70% on Irish beef. That could bankrupt Ireland, who export £800 of beef to us every year”. He kindly threw in the observation that Britain’s withdrawal would ‘bankrupt the EU’, so important is the UK’s financial support….His alarming estimate of its economic importance is utterly deluded…As to the UK’s (discounter financial contribution to the EU budget , it has recently been running around £9bn /yr. For the EU-27 population of 450 million this works out at £20 per head per year.”

Its alarming Colm McCarthy is ignoring the effects of currency exchange differences between the EU and the UK already hitting Irish exports hard. Its even more alarming considering the impact on agri exports on the real economy in Ireland. Perhaps McCarthy cannot see the wood for the trees. UK has been the EU’s second largest net contributor contributing over £250bn since it joined in 1973.

Our GDP is falsely skewed controlled by Fiscal space imposed on us by the ECB in Frankfurt to prevent us investing in housing infrastructure either inside or outside the M50. Construction on foot of a national emergency has ground to a halt. Multinational activity in Ireland last year boosted growth to 7.8%. But looking into this figure further:

The IMF, in an assessment of Apple’s operations, estimated in a recent report  that the iPhone was effectively responsible for one quarter of measured Irish economic growth of 7.8 per cent last year.

The EU has its eye on taking away from Ireland the pillaged multinational taxes that should be shared among other members of the EU. Is this the glowing successful economy that can be indifferent to Brexit whose impact if e are to believe McCarthy will be indifferent if not felt at all by the EU.

Its likely Brexit will lead to further harmonisation including political harmonisation among states remaining in the EU.

Both in terms of currency, political and economic harmonisation there are interesting parallels between the efforts of Stalin who faced similar challenges and those efforts in the EU to bring about closer harmonisation albeit at the expense of democracy.

Comecon  here describes Stalin’s efforts to set up closer harmonisation and economic ties between satellite states of the old USSR and Russia.

Since the financial collapse of 2010 and subsequent bailouts there have been moves through a policy of austerity and closer regulatory supervision to reduce the likelihood of reenactment and fallout of future economic collapse across the states of the EU.

Bailout and supervision including the fiscal arrangements supervising our economy from the ECB to our Central Bank obedient execution of these policies have had radical impact on our economy.

This impact is little understood and has little media grasp in terms of public debate and has gone unnoticed in public life.

In many ways the harmonisation under public policy across member states through austerity has seen member states of the EU grow more and more dependent on policy set out from the ECB to what are perceived to have been reckless and profligate member states.

The growing influence of the ECB in economic matters has seen the economies of member states grow similar in comparison to the limited freedom of USSR satellite states under Comecon with increased discipline and austerity demanded of bailout states.

In Ireland this has meant the shutting off through stopcock lending policies of development of Ireland’s infrastructure especially in the area of property development.

Ireland’s political class can no longer go on global markets to issue bonds to provide the capital required for large-scale infra structural development. ECB has had its fingers burned before and is using its power and might to exercise frugality and reduce its exposure to future lending default.

Foundation[edit]

The Comecon was founded in 1949 by the Soviet UnionBulgariaCzechoslovakiaHungaryPoland, and Romania.

The primary factors in Comecon’s formation appear to have been Joseph Stalin‘s desire to cooperate and strengthen the international socialist relationship at an economic level with the lesser states of Central Europe,[3] and which were now, increasingly, cut off from their traditional markets and suppliers in the rest of Europe.[4] Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland had remained interested in Marshall aid despite the requirements for a convertible currency and market economies.

These requirements, which would inevitably have resulted in stronger economic ties to free European markets than to the Soviet Union, were absolutely unacceptable to Stalin, who in July 1947, ordered these communist-dominated governments to pull out of the Paris Conference on the European Recovery Programme.

This has been described as “the moment of truth” in the post-World War II division of Europe.[5] According to the Soviet view the “Anglo-American bloc” and “American monopolists … whose interests had nothing in common with those of the European people” had spurned East-West collaboration within the framework agreed within the United Nations, that is, through the Economic Commission for Europe.[6]

Lets look at the tightening noose of the EU on the Irish economy:

Lead article Sunday Times, August 22, ECB rules out respite for PTSB split mortgages. article by Niall Brady, “European banking regulators are set to dash the hopes of 4,300 Permanent TSB customers by ruling that their split mortgages are non-performing, despite being successfully restructured by the bank. this removes any hopes of the loans being removed from a €3.7bn portfolio that Permanent TSB is preparing to sell in order to comply with regulators’ demands that it reduce its high levels of non-performing debt.”

Currently with upwards of 26% of its loan portfolio under water and 14000 of its mortgages up for sale to vulture funds, it appears regulators from the ECB are in full swing to sell Irish customers to the highest bidder, then sell off PTSB itself to the highest bidder. Vulture fund money is preferable to writing off lending to Irish customers as vulture funds will inject money from world markets into the bank thus reducing the bank’s liability to local funds in the event of a future crash.

Is there not something strange in the above? When is the last time you heard the term ‘regulators’ when it comes to the Irish banks? We certainly could have done with some of these regulators in the previous bubble that led to our financial crash and subsequent bailout?

It’s a curiosity for this writer to read Irish economy commentators using statistical analysis from the Irish CSO weirdly combined with classical economic theory based on analysis of this often dubious output making projections on Ireland’s economic outlook.

It’s often allied with heightened frenzy in the media if, for example, a 1% or 2% improvement in wages is noted. Its promoted by the right-wing press as evidence of a booming economic outlook. Its blinded by ignorance of the global shadow economy its vulture funds plundering the Irish housing market so Irish buyers cannot compete.

It’s an Irish economy that no longer serves its people but rather serves the needs of the financial services industry in whose employment are the so-called economists of right-wing liberal agenda wishing this party to continue.

Economists looking at the housing situation wonder why land in Dublin inside the M50 that cannot be rezoned with services and a large building program, sorely needed to relieve shortages and cauterise the bubble that has rents and property costing more in Dublin than the same in Paris or Berlin, are not being built?

The ECB Fiscal space agenda has taken power away from Irish politicians and turned them into puppets whose role is to build confidence as Rome crumbles in the Health Service or the property market. http://www.thejournal.ie/what-is-the-fiscal-space-2577710-Feb2016/

Meanwhile 3/4 of our graduates intend to flee this right-wing ideological nirvana whose propaganda from the remainers continues to fill the airwaves.

We need to hear more about IRexit as the EU drifts to its new version of totalitarian and anti democratic Comecon.

 

till again…..

 

https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/other/eb201702_focus06.en.pdf?655e7ae85d60c877c4fc7296e1f49147

 

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Letter to Donald Tusk

April 13, 2018

https://www.centralbank.ie/publication/quarterly-bulletins/quarterly-bulletin-2-2018

In its quarterly bulletin for April 2018 the Central Bank states p8 “The Central Bank is forecasting upward revisions for growth in 2018 and 2019, reflecting strong domestic momentum and the improved overall outlook for trading partner countries” the bulletin contains no deep dive into the impact of Brexit on various sectors of the Irish economy.

It’s not sure “given the complex, multi dimensional nature” of new US tax laws what the impact of these will be for Ireland…..

Turning to Brexit, any increase in trade frictions between the UK and EU 27 will generate a reduction in long-term living standards, compared to the counterfactual of maintaining the status quo…Potential risks include a disruptive UK exit from the European Union next year, an increase in protectionist trade policies, changes to international tax regimes that can have an impact on FDI decisions by multinational firms and disruptive movements in bilateral exchange rates…

The bulletin contains no deep dive into the actual reduction in living standards due to perhaps an increased overall cost of the European project on member states due to loss of contributions from the UK.

It appears to this writer the overall impact of Brexit for the UK contrary to the propaganda of the Central Bank will be positive due to lowering of its exchange rate its exports will be on the increase, tariffs between the UK and the EU will benefit the UK more than the EU.

The bulletin has little probity of the nature of lending in Ireland into the construction sector and the scandal of lack of provision of housing for both the homeless, the young people who wish to start homes, and those families in need of social housing.

It does appear that the ECB has turned off the stopcock flow of lending into the Irish economy with no developers, no large construction projects, allowed. Austerity rules!

Both the Central Bank and NAMA policy decisions need close investigation to uncover their responsibility for the bank heist that has had the profound effect of capturing politicians responsibly tasked with serving the needs of Irish people: politicians abrogating their responsibilities in favour of subservience to policies suffocating development of the Irish construction industry.

The Central Bank is keenly aware of the exposure of Ireland’s open economy to the volatility of changing international taxation and trading conditions. 14000 in arrears at IPBS only allowed debt renegotiation to the present market value bubble valuations on offer, the Central Bank has no solution for other than the ECB urge to sell these mortgages to vulture funds.

The Irish economy is largely fed by the presence of a small number of MNC’s using financial loopholes and tools that avoid taxes from goods they sell overseas channeling them into inflated Irish GDP figures and tax revenue. These loopholes are about to close under pressure from both the US and the EU.

The probability of a hard border with Brexit and its consequent impacts on trade could see Ireland with its own barbed wire fence similar to Poland’s intention for its borders.

Meanwhile to steady Irish nerves in a show of pat on the back, flattery, pumping up, acclaim, solidarity, Donald Tusk came to Dublin last week.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/eu-chief-donald-tusk-says-brexit-makes-him-furious-and-reveals-hes-a-conor-mcgregor-fan-36794933.html

Donald Tusk is leader of the European Council since 2014 and previously was pm of Poland for 7 years and as we prepare for Brexit we see him quite frequently in Ireland. We had few visitors from Europe during the financial crisis of 2010/11 and subsequent bailout. As Enda Kenny sought support in Europe for Ireland’s position, he was met with a rather embarrassing silence.

We were bullied and harried by Jean-Claude Trichet head of the ECB for daring to question the odious terms of our bailout.

When inspectors arrived here demanding reforms in the banks they also were concerned about costs in our legal profession and they demanded reforms there as well. So it was rather ironic to see Donald Tusk  receive an honorary life membership to UCD’s Law Society. Perhaps this is insurance to woo support from Mr Tusk against further opprobrium of the Irish Legal profession from the EU.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/troika-wants-swift-action-on-banks-and-legal-profession-1.1577339

https://villagemagazine.ie/index.php/2018/01/dail-and-its-legal-reform-is-pro-lawyer/

Proposed reforms of the legal profession have been lying on a shelf for the past decade:

“The Bill mandates that legal-cost determinations are to be ‘published’ by archiving them locally in each county registrar’s office. This obscure arrangement powerfully inhibits legal-costs research and therefore public awareness of legal costs.”

Transparency demands that they be published and searchable on the central court website. This would also be cheaper.

Also, the recently introduced practice of allowing journalists into family law cases needs to be extended to legal costs adjudications relating to family law cases.”

Anti competitive practices abound with only a solicitor allowed to shop around for a barrister encouraged by greater fees offered by the most expensive barrister. Fees are shared between barrister and solicitor. There are cumbersome obstacles to investigating fairness and we have the highest legal fees in Europe.

This endangers democracy with legal fees obstructing litigation on matters that the public require protection.

Instead of focusing on these matters Tusk attacked Brexit stating he was furious about it.

When it becomes the will of the people against the will of the EU and the will of the democratic wishes of the people becomes a cause of fury for the EU, we should all be concerned. Don’t expect respect for the will of the people from Mr Tusk.

Rather than selling the benefits of the EU to the Irish people he chose to heap praise and compliments on Irish culture. disingenuous flattery of the highest calibre.

I would like to take issue with “I don’t like Brexit. Actually, that’s an understatement: I believe Brexit is one of the saddest moments in twenty first-century European history.”

On the contrary Brexit to be one of the greatest democratic moments in twenty first-century European history.

If Brexit fails, democracy in Europe may become a distant memory.

http://www.theweek.co.uk/87057/is-poland-drifting-towards-totalitarianism

In Mr Tusk’s home country:

“The European Union is considering unprecedented disciplinary measures against Poland over its judicial reforms – specifically, the adoption of 13 new laws that allow the Polish government to meddle in legal matters and threaten the independence of the judiciary.”

I suppose given the above state of the legal profession in his native country it may have felt embarrassing for him to lecture the Irish legal profession on its lack of reform.

The problem for Tusk is that the EU is in a mess. Dancing on ice it cannot respond to the next financial collapse very likely precipitated by Brexit that unlike the Federal Reserve the ECB has no tools to deal with.

Crisis countries with high debt to GDP ratios including Ireland notwithstanding its inflated GDP courtesy of leprechaun economics through the central “statistics” office are fragile, volatile and extremely vulnerable to downturn.

The EU for the next crisis has no means to bail out Ireland and fellow EU members such as Italy. Greece has been a disaster and continues to be so.

Irerland’s mortgage arears crisis has not been dealt with, there are 14000 of these in IPBS up to 26% of its loan book. Instead of best deal for its customers IPBS is in process of selling these bundled loans to vulture companies.

Its spokespeople encourage such underwater loans to engage with the banks. The only write down they are willing to discuss is write down to present market value of these properties, market value inflated by shortages and inflated, market value bubble.

Instead of serving customers they would rather fleece them to vulture funds.

The Irish economy exposed to rampant excess in stamp duty fed off its previous property bubble is now experiencing an equally damaging contraction due to the economic effects of laisser faire landlord rent extraction.

Money is fueled out of the economy into a property and rental bubble instead of having capital bringing life into the economy flowing into new enterprise and new business. We are the victims of financialisation funneling capital into the hands of the few and away from economic and market investment development of our capital infrastructure that is the sign of a healthy economy working for its people.

Ireland is more and more developing like a dead cat bounce with growing infrastructural problems in the health system, in education: but most of all in growing inequality driving young teachers, nurses, doctors to flee Ireland to seek a more rewarding life elsewhere. Its preparation for the devastating effects of Brexit on this economy virtually nil.

Ireland is now reliant on a handful of MNC’s providing Corporation Tax and its tax system is weak and in need of reform.

Is there a better way?

https://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2012/aug/21/iceland-debt-relief-lessons-eurozone

“After much heated debate,  the government, the financial sector, and the federation of businesses agreed on a comprehensive debt-relief programme.

The main components were as follows:

For the household sector, debt in excess of 110% of the fair value of each property was written off.  Specific relief measures (administrated by a bank or a new debtors ombudsman) applied for those that could not service a reduced loan.

Low-income, asset-poor  households with high-interest mortgage payment got a temporary subsidy from the government.

Small to medium-sized firms could apply for debt relief if they could credibly document positive cash flow from future activities.

The firm had to be willing to re-engineer its operation so as to make best use of its assets. Given those conditions, the firm could expect its debt to be written down to equal the discounted value of future earnings; or alternatively, written down to the amount that the bank or other financial firm could expect, in the best of circumstances, to gain from taking the assets over and realizing their monetary value. Hence the debt relief programmes did not create new equity on the balance sheets of firms or households.

The process provoked plenty of conflicts. For example, the supreme court ruled some forms of loans in foreign currencies illegal.  The government intervened to extend the ruling to all foreign exchange loans granted to households.  These legal challenges have not yet been brought to an end, but so far 12% of the household sector pre-2008 debt has been written off.

The bottom line is that the government, the financial sector and the business sector collectively created a situation that leaves the financial sector with as good a result in terms of total debt collection as possible without the pain of sending most of the firms and many families into bankruptcy, unemployment and dispossession.

Thanks in good part to this tempered approach to debt write-down Iceland’s economy is now growing faster than most countries in Europe, and unemployment is less than 5% (having hit 9.3% in early 2010).

Of course, many Icelanders are still angry at the government and the banks, like their southern European counterparts. But at least they have a job, they pay property and income taxes, they service their reduced debt, and they can make plans for a vacation or a new car in two years’ time.

Thorolfur Matthiasson is professor of economics at the University of Iceland and member of a parliament-appointed committee overseeing equality of treatment in debt writedowns by the Icelandic financial sector.

Irish banks state they will not write off debt, but they lie, selling discounted lending to vulture funds is debt write-down for vulture funds.

Irish banks will not write off debt to its household lenders. They are caught between a rock and a hard place with many vultures circling. The high cost of evictions legal and otherwise will leave families needing accommodation and housing.

Thank you, Mr Tusk, for this mess foisted on our economy by the ECB.

Its bailouts of Greece, Ireland, Spain have been band aids facilitating only a dead cat bounce return to growth for the main financial players in the periphery countries, not for the population at large condemned to deteriorating public sector services and low growth.

The EU with its ill designed and diseased euro is being left behind globally in a large financial mess that has not served its peripheral members well.

Yes, Europe has seen the outbreak of peace and stability but undermining this peace and stability has been the unstable and deeply flawed, built-to-fail design of the euro currency system whose faults and failures left it gravely exposed during the recent financial crisis.

Its inability to handle successfully this crisis has brought a legacy of intractable and insoluble problems for the euro showing more and more evidence of future disintegration the more time goes by.

Mr Tusk, turning a blind eye to such matters may be easy for the smug, self-serving and obedient financially well off who wish the party to continue, but from the head of the European Council, its disappointing not to hear of reform both here and in Europe to end a Europe that has failed to live up to its ideals of democracy and equality.

Instead we get a Pavlovian I’m your buddy sentimental and complacent demagoguery with Donald Tusk is more Irish than the Irish themselves. He’s your pal. But only as long as you pay up your odious bailout costs to his real pal, Michel Barniere, head of the ECB.

A demagogue is a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.

But hey, lets not spoil the party, I’m off to dream of leaving the EU, reuniting Ireland and joining the UK in its democratic resistance to this growing Orwellian authoritarianism and control that has become the new EU that is growing more grotesque and absurd by the day.

Regards,

Colm Brazel

 

 

till again…

 

Plan C Irexit

March 25, 2018

Preferred option B for this blog is Irexit with Ireland joining UK Brexit leaving the EU. Unification of the island of Ireland to follow with Ireland achieving a new status similar to the status of Scotland or Wales. All parties to negotiate agreement on new constitutional relationships that would cement economic and social ties seeing to undo the damage done by our divided island that otherwise post Brexit could easily see this island go the way of Cyprus partitioned with its borders and economic collapse with bail in of its citizens in spite of safeguards promising otherwise.

Another option A is the ludicrous suggestion by Fianna Fail of a backstop legally binding that would prevent a hard border in Ireland but would put a border for the 32 counties in the Irish sea. This has been attacked and vilified by unionists and Teresa May as a violation of the constitution of the UK and NI effectively an attempt to grab NI from its constitional place in the UK. Even more ludicrous would be the requirement as part of the deal for unionists to put up a border in the Irish sea preventing them trading freely with their largest trading partner the UK.

There is perhaps a simpler and more logical way forward if Occam’s razor like analysis is applied to the false dilemma and Gordian knot involved in trying to solve with Option A and B above.

NI will join Brexit, the Republic of Ireland will remain in the EU. There will be no hard border between NI and ROI. Instead of the border being in the Irish sea, the border is placed in ports that access EU countries from ROI. Quite apart from Schengen there is precedence for this with countries in the eurozone setting up borders to police immigration in violation of Schengen. However this border would concentrate primarily on trade issues.

Yes this would require a special status for ROI within the EU and would be in breach of Schengen and the free movement of goods and people within the EU but as a buffer state ROI would require exceptional measures with a new custom agreement between partners in shared negotiations between the UK, EU and ROI.

ROI would retain the euro as its currency and generally things would move along the same as they do now, but for the presence of a new border.

This border would be far simpler to police than a border between NI and ROI. Much work would need to be done to accelerate the movement of goods and people through that border. Negotiations could center on making the border as tariff free and as close to free trade as possible.

See earlier blogs on work that has been achieved in Hong Kong border with China. Paperwork and digital pre clearance for agricultural goods and goods from verifiable and known sources trading on a regular basis.

And what of counter arguments that would horrify us with the prospect of Brazilian beef undercutting our own beef prices or goods such as Mercedes cars on sale in UK with an extra tariff and the prospect of those cars imported through ROI into NI and flooding their market undermining their motor sales at the same time?

Yes, there are difficulties. But these difficulties are not insurmountable and our Dept of Finance can solve these on a case by case basis.

Such difficulties pale into insignificance compared to the imposition of a border between ROI and NI with a hard Brexit. Its time Irish negotiations over Brexit became a lot smarter than the ludicrousness of Option A. I note erstwhile Independent Stephen Donnelly trading up to Fianna Fail spokesperson on Brexit is trumpeting the phony solution of insisting on legal backstop for Option A above.

This is as phony a solution as the 8th Amendment support of his leader Michael Martin to abortion based on a woman’s right to choose out to 12 weeks to solve the rare occasions when primary care needs to e given to safeguard the life of a mother. But let’s not digress.

Let’s get back to the lives of citizens threatened with the imposition of a hard border and greater divisions than have ever been on this island between north and south. We should not have to pay through the nose for ludicrous politicians touting phony solutions hell-bent on making a bad situation worse.

Both Simon Harris Minister for Health and Michael Martin FF Leader of the opposition have gone very quiet on their support for the government’s position on the 8th Amendment following the strong showing of opposition to it last weekend.

Interestingly An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has made a huge about turn on his policy re Brexit. Much criticised in this blog for his decision not to negotiate bilaterally with the UK, I picked up during this week that he met with Prime Minister Teresa May in bilateral discussions following his meetings with Trump and Merkel.

This u turn went unnoticed in the media but it went further than that. The UK were not vetoed by us preventing them get on to Stage 2 Brexit negotiations; in other words, the Stephen Donnelly approach was ignored and abandoned. I welcome that uturn.

Option C requires substantial work but it is doable providing there is good will toward this island from the UK and EU.

Preferred solution is our departure from the EU with Brexit followed by Irexit with further arguments in favour of this option to follow in part 2 of this blog for next time…

We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hardbecause that goal …

Unfortunately we are beleagured by politicians who’ve failed the challenges of homelessness, trolloy crisis, unaffordable housing for young people, Irish water, debt renegotiation: we’ve no reason to think they should not also make a mess of negotiations on Brexit.

As for leaving it to politicians who according to Brendan Howlin TD leader of the Labour Party can be relied on to reflect the will of the people, what a fallacious view of politics? Ask the people are they satisfied with Irish Water, the trolley crisis, housing and homelessness policies delivered by politicians over the past number of years? Or do they consider politicians reflect the view of minorities such as the ECB in Frankfurt, the wealthy financial sector in Ireland, the bankers?

Meanwhile in an attempt to burn its bridges the Central Bank is considering a move to close its printing works removing our ability to print our own currency in the future and in the process lose a national asset:

http://www.thejournal.ie/currency-printing-ireland-3925140-Mar2018/?utm_source=shortlink

 

till again…

 

We Will Comply!

March 3, 2018

Much like the cowardly earthers in an episode of Star Trek confronted by the Klingons and asked to comply, Irish negotiators over Brexit have already complied and been assimilated by the dominion.

In a craven act of compliance ex taoiseach Enda Kenny set out the groundwork for a deal on Brexit by rejecting the possibility of a bilateral deal with the UK. He devolved Ireland’s negotiations into obedient and subserviant alliance with distant EU negotiators who would negotiate on Ireland’s behalf. (1)

Now Simon Coveney has rejected the possibility of bilateral negotiations with UK

(2)

By Elaine Loughlin and Daniel McConnell

Tánaiste Simon Coveney has ruled out any Brexit side-talks after British prime minister Theresa May suggested direct negotiations between Ireland, the UK, and the EU.”

We gave away our fisheries. We chose compliance and obedience in bowing down to the tough terms offered by Jean-Claude Trichet forcing our bailout saving senior bondholders of French and German banks at our expense.

Now when Ireland’s economic interests are at stake, we defer representation to Michel Barnier whose only method of negotiation is to pour scorn on the UK and Brexit.

“We are endlessly told by Brussels, and by sneering Remainers, that our Government’s positions are impossible. But Barnier’s are far more unworkable.

Theresa May cannot possibly let Northern Ireland stay in the customs union and be split from the UK. And not just because the DUP wouldn’t stand for it. Why did Barnier try it on?

Brexit means leaving the single market, customs union and ECJ jurisdiction.

It means honouring the referendum, not holding a replay. Get used to it. It’s just Brexit. It’s not hard.”

Its plain ludicrous to suggest NI should stay in the customs union with a border in the Irish sea. No, its worse than ludicrous, it smacks of gross incompetence that is inflamatory and unworkable. This position dramatically highlights the weak position of both European and Irish negotiators the only outcome of which is to infuriate Brexiteers and the vast majority of the people of the UK and NI.

This also underestimates the power of UK negotiators with a tradition of negotiation going back to Hong Kong, Good Friday Agreement, even India or indeed the Falklands. One may differ on outcomes, but the experience is there.

Whether the EU can collectively agree anything among the 27 that is not forcibly imposed on all through its secretive and lobbyist led committee system, is another story.

There is more of a democratic tradition in the UK where politicians seek to serve the governed rather than the governors compared to Ireland and EU where politicians serve the governors be they banks or cartels involving inner core lobbyists such as Germany and France or multi nationals.

Irish politicians are currently actively lobbying to return €13bn to Apple!

The problem with the EU (6) is that Europe is being crucified on the Cross of the Euro. The euro has failed the periphery and its future at best is stagnation and further austerity. The euro has failed Europe and threatens to turn Europe into a totalitarian version of the former USSR.

It appears Ireland now supports the creation of a European mega-army now that its main opponent, the UK is about to leave. this does not augur good for democracy in Europe or elsewhere.(3)

 

Driven by the failing euro politics in Europe is lurching dangerously to the right.(4)

 

“The populist, anti-European Union Five Star Movement (M5S) is likely to emerge as the single largest party, according to recent polls, but a coalition of center-right parties cobbled together by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi could emerge with more seats in parliament.

Further complicating things, around 40% of voters remain undecided. No party or alliance is expected by analysts to earn an outright majority, meaning Italy could be plunged into months of further political deadlock at a time of financial uncertainty for the country.”

(5)

If Italy leaves the euro, the euro is finished. Many agree the euro is proving a divisive game changer for Europe that Europe could well do without.

March 4, 2018 in Italy should provide interesting complications for the future of Europe.

Meanwhile Ireland is facing a drop in its farm payments CAP budget due to withdrawal of UK and finance will have to come from elsewhere. Before the ink was dry on his effort to grab territory in NI for the EU, Barnier was signalling that there would be a hard border required in Ireland. Most likely given the impossibility to negotiate terms with all the difficulty involved there will be a hard Brexit followed by a Canadian style border in NI.

Ireland has closer links to the UK than it has to Europe in spite of what Irish europhiles would have you believe. We need to be at the negotiating table and not sell ourselves short.

The problem is in Irish politics we have mutton pretending to be lamb.Irish Water, Voting Machines, Homelessness…these guys are adapt at bad governance even before bankers put them into their pockets.

Varadkar and Coveney allied with europhiles such as Sinn Fein seeking a pretend united Ireland nothing but a vassal state of the EU with its failing euro, its drift to the right and now its mission to arm itself notwithstanding memories of 1940-45. We should heed the warnings of George Orwell in Animal Farm and 1984

Its up there in terms of incompetence our loss of Irish fisheries, the odious deal imposed on us via Bailout that surprised even the IMF, imminent common harmonisation of tax policies that will raid our Corporation Tax, the cost of physical infrastructure and manpower to police our border, border tariffs that could crucify our agricultural industry, losses due to currency exchange rates with Ireland crucified on the euro peg, as sterling devalues…plus the loss of growing friendship and a greater divide than ever before on this island.

Surely we should not capitulate to the demands of Coveney and Varadkar and Sinn Fein to suspend our disbelief and refuse a place at the table that will negotiate our interests……..handing over our future to those who’ve screwed our interests in bailout negotiations in the past. Massive propaganda from state media says we should.

Or perhaps we need a visit from Jean-Claude Trichet to excoriate Irish journalists questioning him on the risks of burning bondholders in German and French banks when we took one for the team:-)

(a)https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/banking-inquiry/former-ecb-boss-jean-claude-trichet-rejects-claims-ireland-was-blackmailed-ireland-into-troika-bailout-31185320.html

(b)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAf7J4a_T1g

Of course tremendous pressure was put on certain politicians whose obedience and compliance was utilised to sooth the nerves and the purses of European banks exposed to our losses.

Coveney and Varadkar with limited foresight and imagination and skill set ask for other options from the UK to prevent a hard border.

How about ROI Republic of Ireland joining the UK with Irexit. Should this option not be explored. Why is there total silence from the media in Ireland on this option, let’s call it optionA?

How about another option lets say Option B? How about ROI leaving the European Union customs union?

There are too many suckling politicians and other financial beneficiaries of the status quo in Ireland to want any change to the status quo  making the rich richer and the poor poorer.

Meanwhile Ireland drifts towards a proto Latin American banana republic fed by propaganda burying intellectual probity with pretend politicians mouthing puppet  nonsense such as we’ve heard over the past week from Barnier and Co.

These politicians led us into financial collapse before and it looks like they’re intent on losing it again.

till again………. 

 1. https://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/taoiseach-rules-out-bilateral-brexit-deal-435678.html
2. https://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/simon-coveney-rules-out-any-brexit-side-talks-with-britain-467818.html
3. http://uk.businessinsider.com/eu-countries-agree-mega-army-2017-11?r=US&IR=T
4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_general_election,_2018
5. https://edition.cnn.com/2018/02/28/europe/italian-election-2018-explainer-intl/index.html
6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_of_Gold_speech

 

Brexit should mean Irexit

February 20, 2018

Another reason to leave the EU is the deluge of propaganda typical in the following poll

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/fine-gael-support-surges-on-back-of-brexit-row-1.3318116

This gives Fine Gael at 36% up 5%. This is the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll!!

I don’t know how these polls are conducted but I believe they need to be investigated rigorously to probe impartiality!

The hospital trolley crisis continues unabated with hospitals at dangerous crisis point throughout the country. Homelessness continues to be on the increase.

“PTSB, still 75pc owned by taxpayers, shocked the market this week when it emerged efforts to mop up its balance sheet were far more drastic than anticipated.

It involves the disposal of some 20,000 impaired residential mortgages.” This would mean a huge rise in homelessness. I’m guessing none of the above were polled by Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll.

There was a suggestion that the following offer to landlords could be extended to homeowners in arrears, however it appears Fine Gael and the banks perhaps influenced by the large number of td’s who are landlords, will get a more favorable deal than if they were thrown to the wolves in the vulture funds.

There is also evidence to suggest Frankfurt is putting pressure on Irish banks to sell to vulture funds. This writer has frequently pointed out the policy on homelessness is dictated from The ECB in Frankfurt contrary to what the government and the Irish banks would have you believe.

The ECB through the imposition of fiscal limits the so-called fiscal space determining our budget prevents the investment in our housing infrastructure required to solve our homelessness crisis.

Such large-scale investment would make housing affordable but reducing the cost of housing would risk current borrowers falling into negative equity leading to investment flowing out of casino housing and property the implications of which would collapse the banks.

https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/property-mortgages/bank-to-write-off-debts-of-more-than-1000-landlords-under-deal-36597051.html

Meanwhile local developers will not invest in large-scale construction because of the excessive building costs and that affordability issue making the selling on of such property as unviable.

Fine Gael enjoy the surging support mentioned above on foot of not reducing the cost of land through restructuring of our planning laws and reducing the huge tax it takes on construction such as the large vat rate that does not exist across the water in the UK.

Authors of the debacle of Irish water, the sell off to the vulture funds, the failure to negotiate a fair bailout, are now authors of 10 Priorities of the National Planning Framework, Project Ireland 2040, on foot of a lack of satisfactory progress to deal with the issues of the day as eg above, bring us their dreams of the future.

Of course this is misdirection to take attention away from the clear and present danger of crises that do not reflect well on governance in Ireland 2018. Its a ploy tried by many failed African and South American and East European formerly USSR states who promise nirvana and deliver its opposite.

Fine Gael are busy with their latest project managing Brexit. They will gladly sacrifice Irish farming to build and pay for the new border with its huge cost dictated to us by the Michel Barnier French politician leading EU negotiations on Brexit.

He will ensure costs against France and Germany are not exposed to possible losses by Ireland: in the Financial collapse where 40% of losses of the total EU losses were shafted onto Irish shoulders, he’s busy sending signals to us that there will be a hard border.

Varadkar and Coveney unable to defend their own people mistaking their interests for the interests of Irish banks and vulture funds are preparing to sacrifice rural Ireland, just as they have sacrificed tens of thousands of homeowners to the banks.

Meanwhile propaganda and misdirection continues, whether it is the 8th Amendment  debate that censors discussion on the provision and cost of hospital services and the cost to the Irish taxpayer, or the abandonment of those in mortgage arrears, or the lack of real debate and preparation for Brexit.

There is some debate but it’s largely nonsensical such as the effort of Fine Gael suggestion last November that the only way to avoid a hard border in Ireland was, essentially, for Northern Ireland to remain inside, or as close as possible to, the customs union and single market. The Irish border would move off the island into the Irish Sea.

Since then Coveney and Varadkar have made fools of themselves over devolved government in the North to the point of visiting NI anticipating this announcement.

The term dim-witted comes to mind. Often this term has been leveled at Brexiteers as anti Brexit propaganda:

The Sunday Times:

“Those who voted ‘leave’ are often dismissed as dim or racist. But now some of Britain’s top academics and thinkers — from the left and right — have banded together to put the positive political and economic case for independence

Brexit supporters are overeducated toffs who dream of ruling the waves and biffing Johnny Foreigner. Or they are racist proles too dim to see through the lies of the Brexit campaign. Either way, they have one thing in common — they are all, every one of them, as thick as the slowest-witted plant in your garden.

That link between low IQ and a Brexit vote is now an entrenched ideology among many, if not most, remainers. You hear it at dinner parties, you see it on television, you read it in frothing newspaper columns and you can detect it in the fear of professional or private exposure among many “leave” voters.

But, from today, Brexiteers can come out of the closet and hold their heads high. They will know that they have the support of Nigel Biggar, professor of theology at Oxford; Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6; David Abulafia, professor of history at Cambridge; and Sir Noel Malcolm of All Souls, Oxford. In fact, they will have the support of 37 of the brightest people — both from the left and the right — in the land. And soon there will be many more of them.

The list is due to appear because a pair of Cambridge academics, one leftish, one rightish, were sick of the vilification of Brexiteers, the distortions of the remainers and of being “deluged with one-sided propaganda”. In a calm, professional egghead sort of way, they’re mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it any more. “I thought of it during one of those terribly pessimistic weeks,” says the economist Graham Gudgin, of the Judge Business School at Cambridge, “when Theresa May wasn’t going to last until teatime and there was definitely going to be a second referendum. Together we thought, ‘Gosh, we ought to be better organised than at the last referendum.’”

“It was,” says Robert Tombs, emeritus professor of French history at Cambridge, “the whole tide of propaganda about how awful everything was, how awful everything was going to be, and we didn’t believe this. We realised quite a lot of other people didn’t believe it either.”

They are dismayed by the contempt for Brexiteers shown by remainers. “Graham and I have working-class or lower middle-class backgrounds,” says Tombs. “I do feel you just can’t write off a large part of the population as being unworthy of consideration.”

Together they have designed a website — briefingsforbrexit.com — that will go live in the next few days. The mission statement makes it clear this is an assault on the too-thick-to-vote theory of Brexit. By word of mouth the news got out and, without a word of publicity, they suddenly found they had a pantheon of super-smart supporters. “I’ve been surprised by how many people found out about it and came on board quickly,” says Gudgin. “We would not have known about them unless we set this up.”

They are fully independent: the website is the only cost, and Gudgin paid for that. The anti-Brexit campaign is not independent; it has just received £400,000 from the financier George Soros. “[His] support for the pro-remain campaign shows there is a lot of big money behind hardline remainers, whose interests have little to do with the interests of the country as a whole,” says Tombs. “It shows that independent, self-funded initiatives like ours are all the more important. The other important news is the selective leaking of unsourced statistics; this shows again how much expert scrutiny is needed.”

Sadly, some Brexiteer academics were afraid to join Briefings for Brexit. “They said, ‘I’d love to be part of your group but I haven’t got a proper job yet and I probably won’t if I’m identified.’”

“One of our contributors said he was told by a younger pro-Brexit colleague that his professor had told him that people who voted Brexit were the sort of people who sent his relatives to concentration camps,” says Gudgin.

For the same reason, some of the authors of essays on the site will be anonymous. Tombs says he had one pro-Brexit student who did not dare to say anything to her supervisor because he claimed all Brexiteers were racists. “I thought one thing we academics were paid to do was help explain things to people, but universities have become so simple-minded about this.”

Also self-interested. Tombs points out that universities get a lot of money from the EU, adding: “So many of our colleagues had wrongly taken a corporatist, selfish and narrow view.”

Gudgin and Tombs are an odd couple. Gudgin has the air of a former fast bowler, tall and lanky with a loose suit and tie; Tombs looks like an opening batsman, more buttoned-up, a continental intellectual. Gudgin votes Labour and has some time for Jeremy Corbyn; Tombs voted Liberal Democrat last time around and Tory before that. Gudgin is the economic technician, Tombs the big-picture historical analyst. Both are old enough to have voted remain in the 1975 referendum. Both did so on the basis they were voting for a free trade area. What they got was a nascent superstate hell-bent on absorbing all power into its own bureaucracy.

“To every crisis that comes along, the answer is always more centralisation, never less,” says Tombs.

Gudgin’s anger was driven primarily by economic distortions. At the time of the referendum there were two Treasury reports. The first was short term. It forecast that a vote for Brexit would produce an instant recession; in fact, the only thing that was instant was the refutation of the thesis by reality; we continued to have comfortable growth. The glaring flaw in the short-term report was a figure plucked out of the air. The Treasury wonks simply assumed the loss of business confidence would be 50% of the loss of confidence during the banking crisis. This was ridiculously high.

“It looks like most of the errors in the short-term report have been repeated in last week’s report from Dexeu [Department for Exiting the European Union],” says Gudgin. This was a leaked paper from the Brexit secretary David Davis’s Dexeu showing massive falls in growth in most regions of the UK. It did not show who had done the work or how it was done; it is uncheckable and, therefore, irrelevant in academic terms. In any case, Gudgin says, the figures are ludicrous.

The second report at the time of the referendum made long-term forecasts, and it has proved more enduring. It was very pessimistic. Gudgin says it is still the source of most remainer claims by television pundits and Europhile politicians. Tombs agrees: “The original paper has kind of coloured the whole debate.”

But Gudgin and a team of four economists — three of them remainers — proved its assumptions wrong back in 2016. They tried to organise a meeting but the Treasury “absolutely refused to meet”. They wrote letters to the Financial Times, but they were not published.

The errors were important but, perhaps, too technical to grasp. One showed the Treasury wonks had failed to take account of the fact that Britain is almost the only EU state that has more trade outside the EU than inside. This distorted downwards the forecast on trade. “They calculated the amount of extra exports to EU countries due to being an EU member, but took an average across all EU members rather than measuring the specific effect for the UK,” says Gudgin. “They then assumed all the gains would be lost on leaving and that no replacement exports would occur via new free-trade agreements. These are extreme assumptions and led the Treasury to an exaggerated estimate of the impact of Brexit.”

The other assumed a close correlation between growth and productivity, but the assumption was based on just two papers that found a link in emerging economies. There was no link in developed economies. Were these errors, I ask Gudgin, or deliberate massaging of the numbers? He says there are issues of civil service integrity and of scientific “sins”.

About the two reports at the time of the referendum, he says: “I was told not to be naive. The chancellor was George Osborne, and he was strongly anti-Brexit. The civil servants were asked to do a major report. What other conclusion could they come to?”

Gudgin, however, does not agree with the strong, ideological Brexiteers on the free-market right when they claim there will be an economic boom arising from our ability to trade freely without EU restrictions. By 2030, he predicts a Brexit fall in GDP growth of about a quarter of 1%, but no effect whatsoever on the much more important GDP per capita — the effect on us individually. But still the voices of Brexit disaster have the microphone. “Nobody who appears on the BBC and says ‘This is going to be a catastrophe’ is ever asked what their view is based on,” says Gudgin.

Tombs’s analysis is more political. A celebrated historian of France, in 2014 he published The English and Their History. It was, among many other things, a rejection of the postwar declinist narrative that has dominated the lives of three generations. “By the standards of humanity as a whole,” he wrote, “England over the centuries has been among the richest, safest and best-governed places on earth, as periodical influxes of people testify. Its living standards in the 14th century were higher than much of the world in the 20th. We who have lived in England since 1945 have been among the luckiest people in the existence of Homo sapiens: rich, peaceful and healthy.”

The postwar, post-imperial decline of Britain — one of the driving forces behind our decision to join the EU — is an illusion. Yet in the 1960s and 1970s it was treated as established fact. When we joined the EU (then the EEC) in 1973 it was in a state of panic. Britain, it was said, was the Titanic and Europe our lifeboat.

“I think, speaking as a historian and as a patriot, that we were taken into the EU on a misunderstanding of our situation,” says Tombs. “It would have been better in the 1960s and 1970s to continue to ask for a free trade agreement. I don’t think most people understood the full implications of what we were signing up to politically.”

Part of that illusion was economic, the belief that growth in the EEC was outstripping ours. In fact that growth rate ground to a halt soon after we joined because it was based on a quarter-century of recovery from the Second World War. We were actually doing rather better than Europe. “We looked at the record of growth in per capita GDP since 1952,” says Gudgin, “and growth was better before we joined the EU than after.”

Politically, Tombs now sees the EU as imperilled by its own mania for centralisation. He had hesitated to vote “leave” because he foresaw the chaos among politicians and the civil servants that would ensue. “But the reason I eventually voted to leave was because I think the EU is either going to break up, and break up very badly, or at least dissolve into a dysfunctional confederation of non-co-operative members, or it will become — and France’s President Emmanuel Macron has stated this very clearly, to his credit — much more centralised, and not through conventional politics. The European parliament is not the way in which it could work or, indeed, is being envisaged to work. It will become a much more bureaucratic system in which power is exercised through banks and government bureaucracies, not through a normal process of political discussion.

“We’ve seen how that works in Italy and Greece: a political choice is defeated by sheer weight of economic pressure — if you do this, your currency or economy will collapse. I don’t think that would last and I don’t see how it could have a good end. I don’t think we either want to be, or ought to be, a party to that.”

Gudgin adds — and the left should pay attention — that a fully united Europe would have a hopelessly poor social security system as the Germans and others would not be willing to support welfare for the Greeks and southern Italians.

Both despised the way each side conducted the referendum campaign and how lies and manipulation contributed to the current rancorous social and political divisions. The dishonesty left a persistent residue of anger and mutual contempt that poisons and obscures debate.

So there you have it. A Brexit vote is not a symptom of low IQ any more than it is of racism. Brexiteers should wave the list of names on briefingsforbrexit.com the next time remainers sneer at them.

On a personal note, I voted to remain, having been unsure to the last minute. I disbelieved the economic arguments; I thought them rigged. I just believed that, maybe, the EU could ensure peace in Europe for another generation. Briefings for Brexit has knocked that one down. Tombs points out that Nato and nuclear weapons have done more to keep the peace than the EU, and a paper on the site will show that the EU has stirred up more wars than it can ever have stopped.

“Instead of peaceful integration,” writes Philip Cunliffe, a senior lecturer in international conflict at Kent University, “the eastward expansion of the EU has disproved its claim to reunify the Continent and shattered its legitimacy as a peacemaker.”

In a new referendum I would vote “leave”. It’s the smart option.

It’s right to leave: the great minds thinking alike

ECONOMISTS
Dr Graham Gudgin
, Judge Business School, Cambridge
Paul Ormerod, visiting professor at University College London

PHILOSOPHERS/THEORISTS
Nigel Biggar
, regius professor of moral and pastoral theology, Oxford
Paul Elbourne, professor of the philosophy of language, Oxford
Dr Tom Simpson, associate professor of philosophy and public policy, Blavatnik school of government, Oxford

LAWYERS

Ruth Deech
Ruth DeechBEN GURR

Sir Richard Aikens, QC, former member of the Court
of Appeal
Baroness (Ruth) Deech, former chairwoman of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority
Dr Richard Ekins, associate professor in law, Oxford
Carol Harlow, QC, emeritus professor of law, London School of Economics (LSE)
John Tasioulas, professor of politics, philosophy and law at the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London
Guglielmo Verdirame, professor of international law, King’s College London

FOREIGN POLICY/DIPLOMACY/DEFENCE
Dr Philip Cunliffe
, senior lecturer in international conflict, University of Kent
Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6
John Forsyth, former member of the council of the Royal Institute for International Affairs
Dr Lee Jones, reader in international politics, Queen Mary University of London
Sir Peter Marshall, formerly deputy secretary-general of the Commonwealth
Gwythian Prins, emeritus research professor at the LSE
Dr Philip Towle, emeritus reader in international relations, Cambridge
Sir Andrew Wood, former ambassador to Russia and a fellow at Chatham House

SOCIAL POLICY
David Coleman
, emeritus professor of demography, Oxford
Jonathan Rutherford, emeritus professor of cultural studies, Middlesex University
Dr Joanna Williams, author/academic

PSYCHOLOGY
Dr Terri Apter
, former senior tutor, Newnham College, Cambridge
Robin Dunbar, emeritus professor of evolutionary psychology, Oxford

BUSINESS
Alexander Darwall
, Jupiter Asset Management
Sir Paul Marshall, chairman of ARK Schools
Rory Maw, Bursar of Magdalen College, Oxford
Dame Helena Morrissey, Legal & General Investment Management
Edmund Truell, chairman Disruptive Capital Finance
David Abulafia, professor of Mediterranean history, Cambridge
Sir Noel Malcolm, fellow of All Souls College, Oxford
Dr Daniel Robinson, fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford
Dr Peter Sarris, reader in late Roman, medieval and Byzantine studies, Cambridge
Robert Tombs, emeritus professor of French history, Cambridge

NATURAL SCIENCES
Dr Ian Winter
, senior lecturer in the department of physiology, development and neuroscience, Cambridge

POLITICAL SCIENCES AND GOVERNMENT
Lord (Maurice) Glasman
, Labour peer and director of the Common Good Foundation
Robert J Jackson, professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and emeritus professor at the University of Redlands, California
Richard Tuck, professor of government, Harvard University”

In Ireland:

Instead of homelessness, no affordable homes for young people, dismantling of the agri sector in Ireland, hospital trollies, the smarter option is to join with Britain in Brexit, look to unification of NI and Southern Ireland and work for a UK arrangement similar to NI, Wales, Scotland and England with a new Ireland joining the commonwealth. 

FDI here is global and FDI won’t leave because of Brexit alone again contrary to claims of the contrary.

We need Irexit.

The alternative is a vassal state enslaved by France and Germany who will ruthlesslessly
dismember and loot this country to save its own financial sector.

Financial collapse and its fallout since 2010 through austerity is only the precursor of a much larger loss to this country if Brexit brings a hard border with tariffs, falling value of sterling that will break exports.

Eventually leaving Ireland more divided  than it ever was before.

As a vassal state of the EU we will not even be able to comfort ourselves with false notions of our sovereign independence long since handed over to the troika and the ECB.

Our role in the governance of the EU through parliamentary MEP’s will be more of an empty vessel than it has been ever before.

Think of how Greece and Cyprus have moved in terms of their own sovereignty under the EU..

The loss of billions in revenue each year to Ireland….

https://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/unique-brexit-exposure-could-cost-ireland-billions-each-year-467105.html

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/documents/research/brexit-and-the-consequences-for-irish-customs.pdf

Instead of focusing on a Planning Framework up to 2040, perhaps more preparation for Brexit 2018/2019 is in order…

Instead of empty vessels making the most noise.

 

 

…..till again

Prepare for No Deal!

January 24, 2018

Taoiseach’s speech in Strasbourg: https://www.finegael.ie/speech-taoiseach-leo-varadkar-t-d-european-parliament-strasbourg/

–   An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD

Europe has been a great success.   And we owe its achievements – peace, individual rights, equality before the law, prosperity – to that political creativity and the friendship we have built together.”

Unfortunately for its citizens Europe has not been a success. The greatest ongoing threat to Europe is the euro whose design was ill-conceived.

I also support the Subsidiarity and Proportionality Taskforce.  It is interesting that, on many matters, US states and Canadian provinces, even counties and municipalities, have greater autonomy and greater variation among them than EU member states currently have.  Do we have the balance right?  And does everything have to be harmonised and standardised?

These are good questions posed by Leo Varadkar but coming from a leader of a vassal state not even at the negotiating table to decide its future in the EU, they lack meaningful substance and are carried away by the wind.

The trouble is the project euro of fixed exchange rates is threatening the prosperity, cohesiveness and the very future of Europe.

Locking into a fixed exchange rate such as the euro has not enabled subsidiarity
the principle that decisions should always be taken at the lowest possible level or
closest to where they will have their effect, for example in a local area rather than for a whole country.

This principle was blocked by Germany insisting that the EU was not a transfer union meaning that states would support each other in times of crisis. There was no banking union nor indeed were central banks across Europe regulated by common deposit insurance or euro bonds.

Sammy Wilson of the DUP has labelled Varadkar a ‘nutcase’ a signal of growing frustration among unionists of Varadkar’s increasing tendency to pro European eulogy rivaling speeches of Kim Jong-un in praise of north Korea.

http://www.thejournal.ie/sammy-wilson-varadkar-nutcase-3805479-Jan2018/

However, numbers are growing and Many argue the euro has become an economic failure bringing peripheral countries to their knees barely able to cling onto stability following bailouts while austerity continues to make things worse.

Instead the euro was designed to level the playing field. On the contrary it has looted the periphery and concentrated prosperity in Germany and the inner core.

Our greatest ally in Europe, the UK, is now leaving. Its likely this will further concentrate flow of capital and resources to Germany rather than the periphery. Already Frankfurt is poised to grab any low hanging fruit transfer of financial services to Europe. This is in spite of heavy propaganda to the contrary, that financial services will flock to Dublin.

Rather than touting membership of the euro and the financial success that brought financial collapse to Ireland making us one of the most heavily indebted countries in the world, we should recognise in Ireland’s case FDI from the USA has saved us from the worst effects of financial collapse.

However with coming Brexit the euro could leave us worse off than Greece. So perhaps An Taoiseach needs to wake up or take off those rose-tinted glasses. Could we at least get guarantees from negotiators that Irish farmers in the 2020 transition period will not suffer loss of CAP repayments as UK has promised its farmers.

Wake up should include recap of Jean Claude Trichet’s visit to Ireland to put down local efforts to achieve a fair deal for Ireland on bailout in 2010.

“Leo Varadkar’s approach may make him popular in Brussels but it will eventually destroy Ireland,” he(Sammy Wilson) said.

“Upon reflection, I should have said Leo Varadkar’s EU policies defy logic rather than the language I used.”

While RTE is mainly a pro EU europhile broadcasting station, one programme that recently came out of its stable was one fronted by broadcaster reporter George Lee titled Brexit Farming on the Edge.

It did a good job setting down some of the real issues over Brexit currently politically avoided by Fianna Fail and Fine Gael in head in the sand fashion.

Recall the only improvements we got on bailout interest repayments came subsequent to successful efforts by Greek and Portuguese governments to achieve relaxation on their own debt repayment interest rates.

Throwing ourselves at the mercy of Europe is foolishly Quixotic and it will bring chaos to Ireland as Sammy Wilson has highlighted. Next financial collapse of our banks and the pensions of government ministers will be effected.

 

Youtube: https://youtu.be/YpSYBMltA-c

 

One of the greatest problems posed by Brexit is the lack of transparency, the obscurity surrounding the basic issues for the EU and Ireland  involving negotiations over Brexit. There appears to be a hard line ignorance of what the real implications are for this country.

The real issues are hidden from view and clouded in meaningless language no one understands.

Stage 1 of negotiations set about agreeing titles of negotiation positions that would later be fleshed out in Stage 2. Stage 1 outcome for Ireland was a meaningless conundrum copper fastening the impossible whose interpretation was whatever you made of it.

According to decisions depending on your interpretation Negotiations in Stage 2 would avoid a hard border and seek alignment north and south and Ireland/UK/EU; the only way to achieve this of course is if Britain were to abandon Brexit!

It’s very possible if not likely that Ireland in Brexit negotiations will be seen by UK and EU as an expendable casualty.

The Rand corporation(link below) have calculated negative effect of Brexit on UK trade over 10yrs approx 5%.

On the other hand, Effect of agri trade with UK up to negative 2bn annually from Ireland could be disproportionately catastrophic.

Loss of farm repayments, tariffs, decline in the value of sterling, decline in tourism not to speak of the decline in the value of the euro following breakup, could bring instability undreamed of and pose the end of the road for Irish farmers.

We won’t think of the financial abyss posed by falling Irish banks and bursting of a property bubble.

Stephen Donnelly representing Fianna Fail in Sunday Independent, 21.01.18 p30, has a 5 point plan:

In summary,

The plan is to get a transition agreement, avoid north south border controls, protect free trade between Britain and Ireland, protect nationalist interests during phase 2 of Brexit talks.

Donnelly’s recipe for success is free from any alarming sense of the wolves at our door but comes across as rather smug and vague and alarmingly nonsensical.

https://www.thesun.ie/news/2048377/george-lees-farming-on-the-edge-documentary-reveals-brexit-has-already-hit-irish-farmers-and-there-could-be-worse-to-come/

He does mention recent changes in the US tax code that threaten our Corporation Tax and he mentions that this can shortly be accompanied by an EU attack on our corporate tax base. But no mention of need for a place at the table for bilateral talks with Britain demanded of eu ‘partners’.

On foot of threats to our corporation tax and possible tariffs on exports to our largest export partner crippling our agri industry the most, we get the sense of smugly fudging and muddling our way through. It’ll be grand. Donnelly’s account is free of accountancy detail such as an in-depth analysis of the effect of a fall in sterling on our exports. Currently no buyers are coming from the UK to Ireland to attend our marts.

The biggest danger to our exports is not tariffs but exchange rates about which Donnelly has nothing to say.

Donnelly’s antidote to Brexit is to encourage a new wave of economic investment and expansion, aimed at growing and internationalising Irish-owned companies.’ With this suggestion showing an astounding ignorance of basic economics and the effect of international exchange rates on competitiveness.

Donnelly shows how ill prepared Fianna Fail are for managing Brexit.

Neither is there any effort of persuasion made that, for example, Germany use some of its surpluses to make up for the loss of a major contributor to CAP such as UK.

The effects of a sudden fall in the value of sterling, the imposition of tariffs on goods leaving Ireland for Britain, a reduction in farm payments supporting the Agri sector, the loss of £8.1 bn from Britain to the EU budget will all get debated in Stage 2 negotiations between the UK and EU.

The effects of even some of these changes on Ireland will be catastrophic.

No sense there of an eu buffer zone transferring funds to Ireland to pay for its embarrassing new EU border crossing into NI or compensation for loss of agri exports or further reductions in farm payments.

No opportunity to revisit Ireland’s lending arrangements with the EU and our bailout. Nor indeed no effort made to do the figures on the 40% loss of funding to the EU that’ll severely impact the EU budget.

Let’s look at CAP

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2017/602007/IPOL_STU(2017)602007_EN.pdf

Statistics in Ireland are unreliable following on from our leprechaun economics episode of 25% increase in our GDP in 2015 derided as leprechaun economics. Likewise this year growth is due to a small number of multinationals moving assets into Ireland. This offsets spending on retail that has declined and the spend on new cars.

How reliable are exchange rates showing the EU jump from 1.08 to 1.22 dollar to euro in a couple of months in spite of Brexit!

https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/small-number-of-multinationals-fuel-06pc-irish-gdp-growth-in-q2-35049317.html

http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7886

“Accounting for these receipts results in the UK making an average net contribution of £7.1 billion between 2010 and 2014.”CBP-7602

In The Euro and its threat to the Future of Europe, 2017, Joseph Stiglitz writes(p23):

“Governments in the afflicted country do not want to tell their citizens that they have suffered in vain. Those in government at the time of a decision to leave the currency know there will be turmoil, and know that in the aftermath there is a large chance they will be thrown out of office. They know that regardless of who is actually to blame, they will carry the brunt of the criticism if things do not go well. Thus, all around, there are strong incentives not only to muddle through but also to claim victory based on the weakest of evidence; a slight decrease in unemployment, a slight increase in exports; any signs of life in the economy are now grounds for claiming that austerity programs are working.”

We are rained on by tiny improvements, a small reduction in the number of people homeless over December and Xmas, a few less on hospital trollies in A&E’s, some crumbs offered to first time buyers for exorbitant property that will collapse to negative equity on the first whiff of crisis.

We should be debating whether it is wise for us to leave the euro with the UK.

With Brexit remaining in the euro gets bleaker by the day. Given the shambles of negotiations in Stage 1, its hard to see any agreement on anything in Stage 2. Its clear the UK are already preparing for a hard Brexit, we should be too.

 

 

till again….

 

The Economics of Brexit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Auxkoo1n6tQ

long term implications of Brextit:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feugHdaC1b0

 

Not only is housing minister Eoghan Murphy not meeting targets to end homelessness but the targets he has to end homelessness are far below what is required to stop homelessness increasing.

“The minister also said that the Government cannot guarantee that there will be fewer homeless children next Christmas than there are this year.”

Does that not sound pretty pathetic to you as well?

To be fair a doubling of budget allocation has been earmarked for social housing but what is required is a radical overhaul of the minister’s housing policy to upscale it to 5 times the amount the minister intends to spend on it over the next 2 years.

The problem is the minister is seriously constrained in 2 ways. Firstly, his policy is based on local authorities taking up the call to engage local developers to build the numbers of houses required. Secondly with taxpayers money the minister is forced by the troika to act within its fiscal limits the fiscal space European bankers set for us, so no floating of Homelessness Bonds or on balance sheet large scale borrowings…we owe enough already and Europe will make us stew until it gets paid back!

The cost of building a house measured against the affordability of accommodation be it apartment or housing in a new estate has soared above what is affordable by the vast majority of those seeking accommodation. Developers know this and they are not keen to take the risk whereby their costs outstrip what expected returns can be made on their investment.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get worse news in this morning from Irish Council for Social Housing tasked with constructing up to 15000 social housing units over the next three years that their borrowings are to be reclassified as Government Debt by Eurostat. A similar move in the UK required legislation to overturn. This means their borrowings even more precarious and their promise to build the above equally so.

Special measures should long since be in place such as large-scale infrastructural development plotted by a single agency with a publicly accessible mapping to show the plans as they unfold, numbers, locations with further relevant data to show the emergency measures involved is required at once.

The problem with this approach is this contravenes the fiscal limits imposed on us by the troika whose shadow overhangs this country. Such large-scale investment will not be permitted.

Homelessness is a measure of how badly membership of the EU is effecting future development of this country. Political powers have been stripped away and governance handed over to the banking sector whose rule is controlled by the ECB and monitored by the troika who’ve supreme control over budgetary limits, see earlier blogs.

There is a solution to homelessness and resolution of our status in a new post Brexit Europe but it involves both NI and Republic of Ireland uniting and establishing new political and economic relationships with both the EU and the UK.

Let’s take a look at the current status of these relationships. But before we do let me call on Minister Murphy to resign. He is currently out of his depth and at risk of being totally swamped by matters under his charge getting totally out of control as homelessness worsens as it has done throughout his time in office.

To be fair let’s not have him shoulder all the blame. Probably far more worthy of a call to resign is Deputy Martin of FF whose party has held this ramshackle government in place for so long. FF and FG  policies are pretty much identical by now.

But lets not digress.

“Ms May’s official spokesman said that, although she wanted a standstill transition, it would be outside the European institutional framework.

“We are leaving the customs union and the single market in March 2019. The prime minister has also said that, during that implementation period, you can expect things to be broadly similar to how they are today. Precisely what that looks like is obviously a matter for negotiation. We are now moving towards the position where we will be having that negotiation,” he said.”

“The agreement between Britain and the European Commission says that in the absence of agreed solutions, the UK will maintain full alignment “with those rules of the internal market and the customs union which, now or in the future, support North-South co-operation, the all-island economy and the protection of the 1998 agreement”.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/uk-qualifies-implications-of-full-alignment-brexit-pledge-1.3320823

The problem is that full alignment can be taken to mean Britain does not leave the customs union. Equally it can mean its a fudge to mean whatever can be achieved to produce least damage to North South relations after Britain leaves. So far its an unachievable nebulous concept without content.

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
― George Orwell, 1984

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
― George Orwell1984

“Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”
― George Orwell1984

OK let’s set by acknowledging there is objective truth by which falsehood can be measured.

Otherwise no point reading beyond here, better  head off with whatever prejudice makes you most comfortable however delusional this is…

In the above spirit, Let’s examine the “bullet proof” Brexit fudge that allows UK to proceed to stage 2 trade negotiations for Brexit. Moving to stage 2 is a major diplomatic coup by Brexiteers only succeeding by forcing EU negotiators to stare into the abysss of a hard Brexit.

It’s not bullet proof. Ask Sammy Wilson or Arlene Foster who flag the changes in the text under the heading “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”. Their assent was bought with  guaranteed nod and wink that the constitutional and economic integrity of the UK will be protected in a final deal.

The so-called cast iron guarantee is subject to progress agreeable to UK and NI that will emerge in trade talks in stage 11. The following are some rather threadbare European documents on the detail of the Brexit  agreement.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/priorities/20160701TST34439/20160707STO36103/brexit-negotiations-deciding-new-eu-uk-relations

Note the terms used are in keeping with this writers favoured option of IRexit. What do I mean by that?

Well ‘Alignment’ between NI and Republic of Ireland can occur in a United Ireland for which a trade agreement between The EU and a new United Ireland;  the UK and a new United Ireland; can be agreed, while we head towards a new economic and political reality underscored by EU and UK support. This could mean Irexit meaning we leave the EU along with the UK. But a new political relationship between the south and northern parts of this island would be required. 

Lets not delude ourselves an opportunity to mend a broken Ireland if squandered can make the sundering of Northern and Southern Ireland worse.

Before examining the conundrum of customs union and alignment further, let’s have a comic interlude to smile at the interview of Simon Coveney when an incredulous interviewer asks him approx 7 minutes in if the agreement Coveney is preannouncing has been agreed with the DUP

Amazing news here broadcast by RTE announcing that we have the safeguards we need with no border, Coveney

http://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/radioplayer/rteradioweb.html#!rii=b9%5F10809020%5F135%5F04%2D12%2D2017%5F

Listen to Christopher Nevin on RTE news asking Simon Coveney if the DUP have been briefed and what is their reaction?

Surely the DUP have been briefed? Coveney says he is not going to get into that! What nonsense, what a mess!

So what’s the difference between membership of the customs union and regulatory alignment with the terms of the European Customs Union? None really perhaps political semantics. But using the term regulatory alignment allows the UK to enter into stage 2 of negotiations on a trade agreement between the UK and European Union. Job done.

In a previous blog https://colmbrazel.wordpress.com/2017/11/10/draining-the-swamp-with-irexit/

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.”

The conundrum is simple Brexit means UK leaving the customs union free to trade as it will with other nations and trade blocks. alignment means the UK is shackled to follow the dictates of a customs union not of its own making.

Its true that Northern Ireland and the southern republic could in theory create a soft border similar to the Scandinavian model or the US/Canada model or that of China/Hong Kong. After ratification by the 27 of course, but this is a long way off, if not impossible to deliver and achieve.

Perhaps a soft electronic border with a variant of  The Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA)between Hong Kong and China.

“The Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) agreement between Mainland China and Hong Kong on their Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) programs for road cargo took effect on May 18, 2014. The Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) and General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) signed the pact in October 2013.

Under the arrangement, local companies in Hong Kong accredited as AEOs by C&ED and enterprises in China certified by GAC as AA class will receive clearance benefits at the same level.

https://www.jiffa.or.jp/en/news/entry-2907.html

Certificates of Non manipulation

http://www.customs.gov.hk/pda/en/traders/trade_facilitation/fta/faq.html

However, its difficult to square circles and make the distinction between leaving the custom’s union and some form of alignment (another term for customs union).

One option that should be explored by all parties is Irexit with Ireland north and south joining together under Brexit and adopting a new political and economic relationship with both the UK and the EU.

The choice is freedom to build a new island of Ireland with greater cooperation between north and south vs the puppet politics of homelessness.

Spot Arlene Foster in the following video in aid of Aspire NI.

http://www.thejournal.ie/arlene-foster-3731312-Dec2017/

||Happy Christmas||

till again

http://www.eoghanmurphy.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Housing-Budget-2018.pdfhttps://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2017/1219/928354-33-increase-in-those-looking-for-help-from-simon/

Irexit

December 2, 2017

“He added: “As the British Government has ruled that option out it must offer credible, concrete and workable solutions that guarantee that there will be no hard border whatever the outcome of the negotiations.

“As we discussed today, the period between now and the European Council meeting in two weeks’ time will be crucial – indeed, the next couple of days. So we don’t have long, but I believe that with the right engagement and with the right political will we can reach an agreement on the way ahead.”

Mr Varadkar’s ‘agreement’ is likely to coincide with John Bruton’s view below that the UK should not leave the customs union! This is both naive and foolhardy as it ignores the certainty of Brexit for Ms May’s government who have repeatedly stated Brexit means Brexit means leaving the customs union.

But Mr Varadkar warned: “I am also prepared to stand firm if the offer falls short.” ”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-donald-tusk-ireland-uk-offer-eu-britain-leo-varadkar-a8087556.html

Shirking its responsibility to come up with a solution to Ireland’s border problem with Brexit Donald Tusk head of the European Council passes the buck to Ireland’s Trojan horse.

Tusk is President of the European Council since 2014 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Tusk .

Ireland does not have a seat at the negotiating table of the EU for talks with the UK.

It’s not in the interest of the EU to lay out a policy document and agreement with the UK over Brexit as this weakens EU and could be a template for other leave campaigns should they arise after the UK. There are compelling reasons for Italy, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus to leave.

In Ireland anti Brexit sentiment among political parties is at its highest.  For example http://johnbruton.com/category/brexit/  John Bruton describes how leaving the EU puts Brexit in conflict with the Interlaken principles of the EU. Of course it does. They are leaving not joining the EU.

Brutonbelieves a solution to the border problem is that the UK should not leave the customs union and it should agree to a 6 year interim Brexit period during which he hopes the UK can be persuaded to change its mind.

Bruton and the EU and Ireland are practiced in multiple referendums until the result they want is forcibly achieved. No longer espousing democratic principles the will of the people regarded as malleable or an indifferent inconvenience that is easily subverted.

The principle of democracy with Brexit demanding the UK leave the customs union is strongly defended by the UK.

Fudging of Brexit demands that the UK reconsider its position is weakening the possibility of an agreed solution that won’t impose a hard Brexit.

Let me put forward a solution that will maintain the Irish Republic in the EU. If the EU made an initial spend of 50bn euro to support Ireland during Brexit this would make the spend on our population of approx 5,000,000 at 10,000 euro per person.

Currently https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/northern-ireland-public-spending-highest-in-uk-14020-per-head-35747632.html , NI has the highest public spend in any region of the UK with approx 15000euro per person.

This would compensate us for loss of trade and provide for our border out of public funds.

MrTusk and fellow European politicians have not been talking of any financial support for Ireland. Perhaps negotiators can enlighten us on why this is so.

Following our financial collapse and bailout we did not even get a ghostly presence of European politicians but we did get threatened by the bailout team supported by EU politicians who demanded terms that horrified the IMF.

It would appear post Brexit Ireland would have to be raised to the status of a protectorate and thus financial support for our loss is required.

It’s a tragedy that the Irish border will reemerge as a reminder of this divided island and divided people.

Withour common heritage and vast diaspora in the UK we should be leaving the EU with Brexit invoking an Irexit that can unite north and south and the UK.

The south has been a huge loss to the north and visa versa. We need northern Ireland politicians and southern Ireland politicians to bring this island forward rather than backward into a broken past.

Irexit will not mean MNC’s leaving Ireland. MNC’s are global in their sales. Irish farmers would continue to sell into the UK and worldwide. A free trade agreement with the EU will need to be agreed. Irish educational institutions and universities and public services especially healthcare would require upgrade and harmonisation with our UK counterparts.

Alas the political will and talent for examining the benefits of Irexit as opposed to remaining in the EU under the likes of Irish Water’s Phil Hogan keep the media in myopic tunnel vision focused on remain with the topic of leaving kept out of public discourse.

A few years of the consequences of Brexit for this island may leave it too late to get a better deal for Ireland leaving the EU.

Meanwhile we lurch blindly towards the nightmare destiny of the island of Cyprus rescued by EU bailin of depositors money in its banks recently following financial collapse of Cyprus.

Post Brexit we can easily become “…the Republic of Cyprus is de facto partitioned into two main parts: the area under the effective control of the Republic, located in the south and west, and comprising about 59% of the island’s area; and the north,[24] administered by the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, covering about 36% of the island’s area. Another nearly 4% of the island’s area is covered by the UN buffer zone.

The international community considers the northern part of the island as territory of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces.[25][26][27][28][29] The occupation is viewed as illegal under international law, amounting to illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union.[30]” 

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

What a mess Irish politicians are making and they are making it bigger.

 

till again……………

Anti Brexit Poodles

November 21, 2017

Occasionally the mask slips to reveal what our future in Europe actually means.

Ineffective, inarticulate policies from Enda Kenny to Labour’s Alan Kelly to Simon Coveney to the present incumbent, ‘Housing Minister’ Eoghan Murphy are couched in vainglorious nonsense about percentile increases in the building of social housing exploiting the propaganda value of building 150 houses against 100 houses last year is a 50% increase.

So why are the 15000 not being built that are required?

Eoghan Murphy:  They are saying we need to forget about the Fiscal Compact for a few years. We have a national emergency?

Brussels: Nein, nein, nein. We have  no homelessness and refugee crisis. Forget zat. No more billions for ghost estates no nonsense.

Maybe when you pay back €30 bn to our banks we give you some more?

You tell them every country has homelessness.

According to Varadkar Ireland’s homelessness is low by international standards. Probably referencing an OECD Report that came out in 2015 which warned that statistics comparing countries were not like for like. Many countries include those living at home with parents who would like to own their own home but can’t afford one. Or women forced to live in a safe refuge. Neither numbers are included in Ireland’s statistics, if they were our statistics would more than double.

Varadkar could also be referencing the latest OECD Report: https://www.oecd.org/els/family/HC3-1-Homeless-population.pdf  see above.

You might be surprised Ireland has only percentile .08% compared to eg Sweden .25% or Austria .17% or Germany .42% or France .22%. But look at the data for the last column which references a Yes or No to whether the figures include more than persons 1) living rough 2) living in emergency accommodation 3) living in accommodation for the homeless. The answer is No for Ireland.

Plus in Ireland’s case its certain the figures are inaccurate and do not take into account the explosion in homelessness from 2015 to the present day.

According to the above figures Ireland has 3,625 homeless which is completely false.

A more reliable benchmark is provided by Focus Ireland

https://www.focusireland.ie/resource-hub/latest-figures-homelessness-ireland/

“The most recent figures show that 806 young people aged between 18 and 24 are homeless in Ireland. This is an increase of 14% from September 2016 to September 2017. These figures count young people who are accessing homeless accommodation funded by local authorities. Since this the department began recording these numbers in June 2014 youth homelessness has increased 93%” Figures do not include those forced to remain at home unable to leave home because of the affordability issue…..

The most recent figures show a record total of more than 8,374 people homeless in Ireland. Nationally there are now 5,250 adults and 3,124 children homeless meaning more than 1 in 3 people experiencing homelessness is a child. The total number of people homeless rose by 25% from September 2016 to September 2017. The number of children has risen by 28% in the same period from a total of 2,426 children in September 2016.

Children now account for 37% of those living in emergency accommodation.”

Minister Damien English doesn’t want these facts examined as it will frighten foreign investors. The government’s chief housing adviser Conor Skehan has said homelessness is a normal thing, it happens.

I presume Conor also believes the vast tracts of land owned by local authorities that government policy refuses to build social housing on, is normal as well!

http://www.thejournal.ie/homelessness-normal-conor-skehan-3693850-Nov2017/

In 2014 Professor Eoin O’Sullivan stated that we could end homelessness by 2016 by redirecting funding  “The target to end homelessness by 2016 can be achieved if funding is diverted from expensive emergency accommodation to long-term sustainable homes, an international expert on Irish social policy has claimed.” That’s a laugh.

It’s rather a simplistic and quaint idea that boggles the mind as to what is meant by not funding emergency accommodation. Perhaps he meant families can sleep rough for free in his back garden.

But the point is taken that resources have to be made available for local authorities to build on a large-scale on lands they already own. Why don’t they build. If they built and prices fell, current lending by the banks would fall into negative equity leading to vast numbers leaving the market at once and possibly another banking collapse?

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/end-to-homelessness-by-2016-achievable-if-funding-available-1.1844122

Speaking yesterday at a symposium on the Ethics of ‘Home’: Direct Provision, Homelessness and Ireland’s Housing Policies, Eoin O’Sullivan, professor of social work and social policy at Trinity College Dublin, said he was sceptical about claims that Ireland was facing a tsunami of homelessness.

Varadkar’s claim coordinated by his propaganda department of spin https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/taoiseach-s-department-of-spin-will-cost-5-million-in-2018-1.3251242 is an ominous sign of growing dictatorial totalitarianism at the heart of Europe and Ireland. The people are not listened to. Opposition to the status quo is smothered and quelled.

Such policies couple with our dysfunctional policing management, our dysfunctional waiting lists in our public health service  consultants paid in full on contracts that see them spend most of their time working in private health care, our declining universities and a growing gap between rich and poor worthy of banana republic status replete with the homeless forced into winter doorways or sleeping under bridges.

Profiteering banks want monies spent on social services to go into their pockets instead.

The democratic will of the people is being stamped out with a political agenda intolerant of dissent from its own people.

Politics itself has become dysfunctional with the Dail morphing into an estate agent. The leading opposition party under Fianna Fail in its confidence and supply agreement has underwritten the above policies of Fine Gael making any opposition or opposing policies from its side wholly hypocritical and inept.

So-called stable government this has helped brought about perpetuates the role of this state in Europe as an undemocratic protectorate of German and French banks and a failing EU. Sadly those on the take in Ireland have the upper hand.  Sheriff of Nottingham banks and political parties with the support of Europe are intent on transfusing as much blood from this country as possible.

This is done with policies to protect extortionate profit takers in the housing and property business, reducing the amount spent in public services such as health and education.

The future as set out by Brussels is more of the same and Irish poodle politicians lead the way in an anti democratic movement against its own people.

Being anti Brexit for people on the take in Ireland who wish the above party to continue is de rigueur even as the EU swings more and more to the right.

The only hope is that the UK will present an offer to southern Ireland attractive enough for it to consider joining the UK on Brexit. This would have an All Ireland unity component not as the mongrel foxes of Fine Gael would have it as an All Ireland outside the UK and remaining in EU with the 6 counties leaving the UK.

Ireland should leave the EU and join with NI in a united Ireland in a new commonwealth arrangement with Scotland, Wales and England. We do not have to be shackled by history in preparing for a common future that will benefit all.

A challenging and enterprising goal remains of a United Ireland joining a commonwealth of Scotland, Wales and England that would free us from the path to totalitarian domination by the right and restore social democracy in Ireland with a fair deal for all who live on this island.

We might have to wait a long time for this to occur.

http://www.aughty.org/pdf/estate_own_manage.pdf

For those politicians who laugh at this idea, consider this following extract from

Estate ownership and management in nineteenthand
early twentieth-century Ireland

“On absentee estates a great deal depended upon the efficiency of the estate agent. Ingeneral, the employment of agents (except in the case of smaller estates managed by their owners) was the most common form of estate management in nineteenth century-Ireland. Some ofthe greater estates employed a number of sub-agents supervised by the chief agent who, in turn, was accountable to the landlord himself. Agents were responsible for collecting rents (which were usually collected twice a year on appointed gale days in May and November and often in local hotels or estate offices in nearby towns) as well as eliminating arrears; keeping accounts; drawing up leases and ensuring that their covenants were adhered to by ten tenants; supervising estate expenditure; overseeing improvements; carrying out evictions; and valuing property. They often had to arrange their employer and seek abatements of interest on existing liaise between landlords and tenants, receiving petitions from tenants, receiving petitions from tenants particularly for reductions of rent [5]. Land agents were responsible for all aspects of estate administration and in the final analysis for managing expenditure on estates in their charge.[6]”

Our membership of the EU has brought us a puppet parliament unable to house, educate or give adequate primary health care to the people of Ireland forcing the emigration of the best and most talented.

Our property and housing crisis is completely dysfunctional and our health system is growing more so. Even young people with high academic qualifications in long term secure employment and high salaries are contemplating emigration because they cannot afford to purchase a place of their own.

Things don’t change that much. Nowadays Dail Eireann manages our estates and estate agents and absentee vulture fund landlords. It does little else.

Little change from the nineteenth century.

We have given up our sovereignty to Europe for this. We’ve heard it all before, Yeats September 1913:

Was it for this the wild geese spread 
The grey wing upon every tide; 
For this that all that blood was shed, 
For this Edward Fitzgerald died, 
And Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone, 
All that delirium of the brave? 
Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone, 
It’s with O’Leary in the grave. 

till again….

 

 

 

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….