Invisible Debt Elephant escapes from Dail Circus Promaganda..

January 7, 2013

Promaganda is a neologism meaning propaganda re Ireland’s promissory notes repayments. Feel free to use it.

News at one, Saturday, 1-2pm, Jan 5,  insouciant unconcern about our calamitous debt profile provided us with a gem of a piece, a priceless  example of how RTE mounts a burial party when it comes to investigating and researching issues regarding the state of our banks, our debt profile, the promissory notes.

This time they buried an item on the promissory notes underneath nearly twenty minutes of tedious waffle regarding the imminent abortion legislation. Mind you, I’m as concerned as the next person: the rights of women need protection. But we elected politicians to do this in a professional manner.

It should be easy enough but opportunity to make a mess cannot be ignored. So while the vast electorate have moved on unriven by vast and lengthy debate with a do just it attitude, politicians dither and now have elevated the matter of the abortion issue to give it a lengthy 20 minutes of airtime while once again our debt issues get relegated and hidden away buried once again by nonsensical incompetence.

You may spare yourself by adjusting the player forward to about 20mins in:!rii=9%3A20134708%3A11988%3A05%2D01%2D2013%3A

So here we had Saturday with Claire Byrne Jan 5 2013 Claire is joined by Darragh Calleary TD Fianna Fail, Pascal Donoghue Fine Gael, Prof Gary Murphy DCU and Harry Magee political correspondent Irish Times

Bill on abortion drafting contentious issue starts the programme and 18 and a half minutes go by before the promissory notes item.

Pascal Donoghue FG awed us with the incomparable interest fed to him in correspondence and contact not since another matter regarding animal rights had there been such heightened emotional outporings re the abortion issue in Ireland.

No panorama no investigation under the cover probes into NAMA, the banks, how well our politicians are doing in negotiations, nothing said. We may as well have been waiting for Godot.To be fair, Prof Gary Murphy DCU drew comparison to possible calamitous electoral disaster the government will face if there is no movement on the issue of relief from our ‘bailout’, in particular the promissory notes and our need to return to markets and get rid of the troika.

Since August 2011 with Trichet and continuing to today little has been achieved for our forbearance under austerity. The Irish government is not being proactive enough.

The blithe propaganda was trundled out that we were 85% through the austerity programme..

But then Pascal Donoghue let his guard down and made the statement that last years prom note was not paid out of general gov revenue. Defiantly he stated that the general government deficit was down by 10 bn euro. 

Unfortunately no one on the panel or Claire Byrne asked the simple question, was it paid? How was it paid?

The audience apart from yours truly and the few who know these things were left with the distinct impression that we had been let off last year and the money was not paid.

This was astonishing!

Suddenly a debt elephant had become invisible. Pascal seemed uncomfortable with this drama that the government might have to deal with the promissory note issue. After all, it was invisible to him.

Let me uncloak the invisible elephant  for Pascal. The elephant does exist and last year €3.1 bn was paid through a circuitous route involving the bank of Ireland, a bond and NAMA. NAMA paid the bill and your children will payup for NAMA’s bills.

Because the debt issue had become invisible, it was difficult to talk intelligently about the matter. For example, where are we in the negotiations? Are we going to pay the next installment,€3.1 bn. Will NAMA be raided for the money again? Will Ireland obtain debt relief from the ESM, a 100yr bond. Do Finance ministers favour this?

Nope, nothing of these matters. FG/FF and LB helped by RTE have succeeded in burying these matters under deflected debate on the abortion referendum, general innuendo and obfuscation and sheer avoidance.

Even without a prom note we would still need to do austerity. But Pascal believes a deal will be done.

Readers of this blog know we have no panorama investigations into our pillar banks, no grubbing around the corridors of the ECB and the troika looking for whistle blowers to tell us exactly what negotiations are taking place, have taken place, progress if any. Instead its veritable silence filled with innuendo

Enda Kenny is likened to’s_Ball  has been dancing for the troika and Angela Merkel in mercurial and ingratiating obedience since at least last June. Every time Kenny signals a new breakthrough re Ireland’s debt for June, October, January etc, Angela Merkel and latterly Finance ministers of Finland, Germany, Holland and France rule out easing bailout terms for Ireland

It would appear Irish negotiators talk incessantly to the ECB who weary of them, relent and offer false hope to them. This becomes public and the real power brokers in the EMU, the Finance ministers of Germany and France, step in to curb the ardour of the ECB and the Irish. then the whole periodic motion cycle begins again not helped by the lack of competence of the Irish to break out of a damaging and ruinous cycle of disaster for Ireland within the EMU.

While the UK considers a referendum on simply leaving Europe behind, the Irish refuse to consider such a move for Ireland. Such a unilateral move on the UK’s part would spell more disaster for Ireland as it labours under unconscionable debt.

“She stepped out and I stepped in again,I stepped out and she stepped in again, She stepped out and I stepped in again, Learning new steps for Hanigan’s Ball.”

Meanwhile an invisible elephant has escaped from the Dail. Little is known as to its whereabouts and even less data is known on this elephant named ‘Debt’ in spite of the fact the public in Ireland have been fed a diet of propaganda for the past 2 years that intensive negotiations on Debt have been taking place with the troika regarding debt that seemingly go on forever but of which no records exist or are publicly accessible? Europe becomes more likened to Russia before the 1998 collapse of the ruble!

It’s so confidential and highly classified and has verged on breakthrough so many time much like Hanigans Ball. As ministers from Labour and Fine Gael congratulate themselves on Ireland’s latest austerity budget you would believe good times are back and we are on the cusp of a new Celtic Tiger. Sadly, its all much ado about nothing. Ministers Noonan, Gilmore and Kenny, an Taoiseach have achieved less than nothing, zero on their management of Ireland’s debt scenario.

There is a difference between writing down Ireland’s debt and hiding it in another bailout or in smoke and mirror organisations such as NAMA.

Meanwhile another court case quite different in substance to the Quinn case highlighted in last blog is currently emerging. A case around  the promissory notes will claim they are unlawful. It is being taken on Jan 22 in the High Court by the New Beginnings advocate David Hall, he will be represented by the former Labour Attorney General, John Rogers.

According to p7, Sunday Independent, 06/0113, “Irish people were not consulted and their representatives bypassed”, “In a flagrant breach of the constitution, with no democratic legitimacy”. ..”the legislation may be in breach of Article 15.2 of the constitution, which says, “no other legislative authority” such as the ECB “has powers to make laws for the state”.

Readers will know we have been down that road before with challenges to the ESM referendum, but the arguments in the case should make for compelling reading.

Looking forward to seeing what our courts make of all this. Though the courts will not hold politicians accountable for the one in 10 mortgages in arrears, the collapse of the GNP local economy and the fact that so much of FDI exports is also invisible alongside the flood of immigrants and ‘this is no country for young people’.

Of course this is all double dutch to the comforting jollity of Pascal Donoghue and his invisible €3.1 of taxpayers money.

A must read, Simon Johnson, former Chief Economist of the IMF:

“Squeezing the oligarchs, though, is seldom the strategy of choice among emerging-market governments. Quite the contrary: at the outset of the crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government, such as preferential access to foreign currency, or maybe a nice tax break, or—here’s a classic Kremlin bailout technique—the assumption of private debt obligations by the government. Under duress, generosity toward old friends takes many innovative forms. Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most emerging-market governments look first to ordinary working folk—at least until the riots grow too large.”



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