We Made A Mistake!

June 16, 2013

English: An Taoiseach Enda Kenny

English: An Taoiseach Enda Kenny (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enda Kenny must rank as one of the state’s greatest liabilities in getting Ireland back on its feet. He’s charming, persuasive, a good communicator but unfortunately he’s a Prince George compared to the Black Adders and Baldricks who run the banks and the Department of Finance.

Unprecedented attacks on PAC chairman http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/pac-chief-his-wife-and-the-22000-trip-funded-by-taxpayer-29334508.html expose Kenny to the charge of political interference to the point of conspiring to topple a banking inquiry with teeth.

However, something unusual happened at the PAC meeting as reported by Shane Ross Sunday Independent, Business p10, instead of a mauling by Fine Gael, Mr McGuinness, criticised by Enda Kenny from faraway Rome in an unprecedented attack, “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion”, was  instead praised by a Fine Gael dissident, John Deasy, for his “combative style”.

Clearly Kenny’s troops are becoming unsettled by Kenny’s style of anti reformist leadership.

John McGuinness has clearly shown intelligence and zeal and enthusiasm to undertake the long-awaited banking inquiry. He’s clearly of feet of clay but free of any semblance of corruption to the level he must investigate. Kenny, on the other hand, may have a lot to hide. Tainted recently by his refusal to pursue serious new allegations against Micheal Lowry, who in 1993 became Chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party.

Allegations against Mr McGuinness taking his wife on government trips bear no resemblance to the property shenanigans of Mr Lowry. One wonders what other high level figures in the political, public service and banking world, Mr Kenny seeks to give succour to.

All is not going well with Mr Kenny. His Minister for Finance using the royal ‘We’ has announced ‘We’ made a mistake not to burn senior bondholders. It was all ‘new’ to them.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2013/0612/456279-finance-min-admits-mistakes-made-with-troika/

MAny did not make that mistake, but have campaigned along with many others for debt sharing to include senior bondholders to avoid the bankruptcy of Ireland and its looting by the international financial sector under its dreadnought troika. But Kenny and Noonan and the Irish Dept of Finance and Honahan’s Central bank and regulatory arm, made the same mistake.

Many in Fine Gael and Labour are becoming distinctly uncomfortable at the management of our finances by the gang of four Kenny, Noonan, Gilmore and Howlin.

Ah well, maybe they got it right with NAMA:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Asset_Management_Agency

“The original book value of these loans was €77 billion (comprising €68bn for the original loans and €9bn rolled up interest) and the original asset values to which the loans related was €88bn  there being an average Loan To Value of 77% and the current market value is estimated at €47 billion.[1][2] NAMA is controversial, with politicians (who were in opposition at the time of its formation)[3] and some economists criticising the approach,[4] including Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz who has said that the Irish government is “squandering” public money with its plan to bail out the banks.[5][6]

One of the principle arguments put forward was that 3% growth rates in the Irish economy in the medium term/10yrs would lead to NAMA making a profit. A chorus of critics including yours truly said a world recession was imminent instead. Oh no, Kenny wrong again.

A career rubber stamping excess in FF, bereft of creative ideas to replace the failed policies of FF, Kenny has excelled in rubber stamping the policies the public voted against in the last election. The public are not too happy with such antics. Kenny faced with an open goal on election has succeeded in scoring only own goals so far.

His efforts at reform have failed. In education reforms in Math threaten to dumb down the syllabus. He’s planning to abolish the Junior Cert. Pretty soon the standards that compelled teachers and students to achieve minimum grades in reading/writing and arithmetic will be gone.  A new privatised education system will only be affordable by the rich who will have to go privately to get the extra required by their offspring to get into university. Universities will have  to provide new entrance courses to upskill those without their required minimum standards.

To crown it all teachers will be asked to devise their own exams and correct them with schools disappearing into a new world of have and haveNots with new certificates to rubberstamp the name of the private school on new qualifications.

All this under the flag of reform and modernisation!

Kenny has lost the debate on Corporation tax with his ambassadors trying to dampen and refute the transparent arguments as to Ireland’s status as a tax haven with less than opaque arguments the US should look to tightening its own tax laws.

According to Nick Webb, Sunday Independent, Business, p1:

“Last Friday, OECD Director for Tax Policy & Administration Pascal Saint-Amans told RTE that Ireland can’t offer a competitive system “plus participate in all the tricks or facilitate the use of all the tricks by companies, making sure they pay no tax instead of 12.5%”

Same report, “Between 2007 and the end of 2011, Deripaska’s Irish company made pre-tax profits of €20.25m, from revenues of €191m. Filings show that Aughinish Alumina Ltd paid no Irish Corporation Tax in 2007, 2008, 2009, or 2011. In 2010 it paid €1,952 in Corporation Tax.”

Tilting at windmills while blind to the glaring nature of matters such as these is the hallmark of a regime that will get it’s just rewards from voters at the earliest opportunity. Meanwhile mess pools.

Slipping like sand through his fingers is the Irish Haddington Road pay deal with growing numbers of Irish workers rejecting changes to Croke Park 11:

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/unite-union-rejects-revised-pay-deal-1.1428747

Kenny has not delivered the goods on a new banking deal for Ireland instead in Prince George fashion his arguments for a deal under ESM are dampened and sequestered into a side show on agreement on a banking supervisor. It’s a long way to Michael Lowry’s Tipperary and a banking union, see last blog.

http://businessetc.thejournal.ie/deal-european-parliament-bank-supervisor-837338-Mar2013/

Another Kenny own goal is reform of the Oireachtas.

Well, substitute that for axing of the Seanad. Reform is expensive and adds democracy. Axing the Seanad diminishes democracy and saves money. However. in this regard, at least it’s becoming clearer that the Ceaucescuan, go on, go on, style of Kenny is revealing itself as more and more autocratic.

It’s not an uncommon after effect of austerity among European proponents of the austerity ideology to see  a drift to the right.

Meanwhile pressure on the banks to realise their losses is mounting. Denial helps them persuade themselves  €16 billion in outstanding mortgage arrears, unconscionable levels of private debt, is a path that leads to growth, not to disaster of Titanic proportions.

Kenny’s compliance rubber stamps instructions given to him by those who brought this country to ruin in the political, banking and financial sector.

Good luck to Prince George and look out for Black Adders and Black Swans. Perhaps one days those who make mistakes will be accountable for them. Political foppery will be no more while Ireland drifts leaderless and rudderless awaiting external recovery to lift sunken boats as PIGS fly.

We are as much in the dark as ever as to the identities of the who, the why and the how of the shadowy ‘we’  who made ‘ our ‘ mistakes. They were not you or I.

They need to be held to account.

For the answers to these questions we need a banking  inquiry more urgently than ever before.

We would also like to know the who and why all those shadows in the banking sector who’ve made the mistakes claiming they acted on our behalf!

To cap it all there is growing realisation  biggest mistake has been made  by those who gave their vote to Fine Gael and Labour in the last election, in the failed belief they would clean up the mess, instead they made it worse!

Kenny has done nothing to help those in mortgage arrears and negative equity, done less to stem the tide of emigration and unemployment.

Disbelief, incomprehension  mount  as  reform of that which got us into the mess, is turned into less and less under our very eyes, no matter how exasperating or audacious the ‘we made a mistake’ facts are.

End

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