Abandon Ship!

September 17, 2017

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

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

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

Consider the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Juncker’s vision for Europe contains some disturbing contradictions.

One is reminded of some quotes from George Orwell:

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

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

Juncker writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You need a new vision for that.

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

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

 

…till again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consider the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Till again

 

End

Varadkar’s Vassals

June 28, 2017

WE NEED TO LEAVE THE EU

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EU  has drifted far from its original aspirations.

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

Can things get worse? Sure they can:

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

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

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

ECB is moving financial clearing houses from London to Paris.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See this def:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

till again

 

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

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

Part 1

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

What do these terms mean?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Want more fantasy?

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

More?

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

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

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

More?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part 111

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

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

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

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

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

Part IV

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

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

Brexit hasn’t happened yet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part V

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Say NO to corrupt fantasy.

 

 

Till again….

 

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

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

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

 

The Hidden Hand

April 28, 2017

Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Part 11

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Part 111

 

Americans for Financial Reform have just issued the following:

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

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

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

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

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

Where will funding come from this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

till again

 

http://www.usgovernmentdebt.us/us_deficit

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

Nepotism

April 6, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We were asked to take one for the team.

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

Part11

An Garda Siochana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

till again……

 

 

Ireland’s Dead Parrot!

February 27, 2017

Previously Ireland took one for the team in Ireland’s bailout the extortionate nature of which almost made the IMF pull out of the deal. We shouldered 40% of the exposure losses of European banks in Germany and France. Perhaps the IMF couldn’t believe we would go along with the deal but if we were dumb enough to ask for it, why should they object? Ireland’s leaders parroted the role set out for them by Jean-Claude Trichet and the ECB.

Spain and Portugal and later Greece forced a renegotiation of their bailouts and in spite of our lack of negotiating power, we had to be given a similar deal.

The Irish promissory notes  over €30bn our so-called government could have legally mounted a court challenge against refusing the payment of this gift to the ECB, instead the money was laundered into legally binding terms set in international law against a minor backdrop of shallow concessions government here touted as success.

Government once again parroted the role set out for it by the ECB and  European Commission.

Support for the financial sector in Ireland includes support for vulture funds looting our property sector with Minister Noonan’s approval in spite of a pathetic and failed attempt to close loop holes. http://www.thejournal.ie/vulture-funds-loophole-3009381-Oct2016/

Are you beginning to get the picture of gross incompetence?

How about Ireland suing the EU for its ruling that Apple owes Ireland €13bn?

Do you want white elephants?

Currently the HSE supported by government plans building the most expensive hospital ever built in the world costing in excess of €1bn.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/oireachtas/t%C3%A1naiste-defends-spiralling-cost-of-new-children-s-hospital-1.2986631

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald “Ms Fitzgerald emphasised the trebling of construction inflation from 3 per cent to 9 per cent as a main factor in the rise and said a new education research centre was being developed and the provision of IT for the hospital had to be taken into account.”

Wow, provision of IT not taken into account in the original estimate?

Location of the hospital is stuffed into a high density traffic area hazardous in regard to spiralling building costs. It includes the demolition of buildings still in use.

Another cheaper alternative exists cost €600ml.

http://thenewchildrenshospital.ie/

ESTIMATE OF COST (2016) of the NPH if built at Connolly

Construction cost = €400M

Hospital 118,000 metres square @ €3000 per metre = €354M

Family accommodation 4,000 metres square @ €2,000 per metre = €8M

Research Department 3,000 metres @ €2,500 per metre= €7.5M

Two satellite units – 10,000 square metres @ €3,000 per metre = €30M

ADD Vat, Fees, fit-out and equipment @ app. 50% of construction Cost = €200M

TOTAL  =  €600 M”

Whether in housing, health education or elsewhere such as infrastructure for Irish Water, Ministers busy themselves in peripatetic visitations around various interest groups across the country promising the views of lobbyists are being urgently taken into consideration.

Like a random bureaucrat picking up the phone and answering yes to every question in Franz Kafka’s “The Castle” meeting journalists becomes an opportunity to list your schedule. It’s a busy much ado about nothing that hides the bigger picture burying one’s head in the sand.

Nothing gets done, no hospitals are built to relieve the trolley A&E crisis or long waiting lists that extend into years.

No local authority housing estates are built because of vague public private partnership incentive schemes that become a patchwork of nonsensical bureaucratic folly.

Larger issues controlling the bigger picture are at work undermining the work of ministers who are no more than trolls for the banks and the financial sector undermining democracy even more.

Consider this, property has become too expensive to build and has gone beyond the reach of even the middle class.

But property prices maintained at high levels ensure the banks their previous lending into the sector will find a return for property developers who otherwise may lead the banks to go bust.

The irony is that providing development funding for large schemes of affordable housing could lead to falling prices in the property sector threatening  developers and mortgage holders and banks already in the market.

They are threatened with non return of their loans if property prices fall.

Unfortunately, journalism in Ireland is often a parrot for the status quo and those in power. Cheer leading absurd nonsense and ridiculing intelligent questioning is often crowned by arrogance and hubris that beggars belief. More examples here:

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/enda-kenny-calls-for-brexit-deal-to-include-united-ireland-provision-1.2986650

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/brexit-theresa-may-responds-to-letter-from-arlene-foster-and-martin-mcguinness-35139845.html

Enda Kenny has always been a cheer leader  for remaining in the EU and has been exploited  effectively  from the European perspective facilitating the ECB demand that Ireland take one for the team.

But his position now can be likened to the man sold the dead parrot in Monty Python. Some might consider him to be the dead parrot of Irish politics with the saga of his leaving the leadership of Fine Gael an unending distraction to real politics.

Some real issues loom.  Brexit will have profoundly negative impact for Ireland in terms of its trade with the UK ( see earlier blogs ). Ireland’s banks are still at risk exposed to large bad loan losses:

http://www.irishtimes.com/business/financial-services/bank-of-ireland-dividend-in-doubt-as-risk-profile-is-revised-1.2916390

Corporation Tax windfalls in the financial sector will not last forever as UK and US and EU restructure their own financial sectors to compete against Ireland.

We are in the middle of a housing crisis and an A&E and health crisis. Education is under funded and the target of further austerity cuts. These will be severely impacted in a negative way by Brexit.

Kenny’s response to the crisis is to propose an All Ireland provision in Brexit negotiations to facilitate Northern Ireland to rejoin the EU in some future All Ireland context if Northern Ireland wishes to rejoin the EU.

The hubris and arrogance of the notion beggars belief against the context of The Democratic Unionist Party being in favour of Brexit.

Why would the DUP wish to give away whatever sovereignty it already has to an Irish government-run by the EU whose own sovereignty is questionable?

They do not want our homeless, our hospital waiting lists, the destruction of trade between UK and Ireland and our falling standards in education.

An All Ireland Brexit with a new economic union between Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales outside the EU is a more balanced solution to Ireland’s problems. But our media ignore the issues involved in Brexit preferring the distraction of when is he going to leave?

We should be talking about a new trade agreement with the UK!

http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ceta/

CETA is a new trade agreement between the EU and Canada.

It’ll make it easier to export goods and services, benefiting people and businesses in both the EU and Canada.

The European Parliament voted in favour of CETA on 15 February 2017.

The EU national parliaments must approve CETA before it can take full effect.”

CETA has been touted as a possible template for a new trade agreement between The UK and the EU.

Kenny should instead leave the building of Ireland’s future to those who can deliver  a future for Ireland outside the EU. Don Quixote tilting at windmills is not enough with foolish United Ireland part of the EU nonsense.

Ireland needs a future not embedded in the debt shackles and austerity driven quagmire of the EU that is ruining Ireland for future generations.

Vote for IRexit and a United Ireland outside the EU negotiated under a new CETA type agreement that will consolidate Ireland’s relationships with its closest neighbours, not break them.

 

Postscript

The Irish Water controversy rumbles on. 90% of water leakage is not the responsibility of consumers but rather leaks under the watch of local authorities piped into districts along large mains. Propaganda from Fine Gael would like to blame consumers for this and have them foot the bill.

The bill for improving our water infrastructure should come out of general taxation. Large savings tackling loss of water would come through improving infrastructure lessening the overall expense of improvements. 

Technology exists without water metering each house to locate and identify large leaks by simply metering large areas and making mathematically based statistical deductions that would give accurate probability measures  whether extensive, unexplained consumption and leakage exists.

It should be easy to identify suspect areas and replace infrastructure that is beyond its sell by date. It should be possible with a small number of meters to install these in high suspect areas to get detailed profiles right down to single houses. They can be taken away and reused elsewhere when necessary.

Armed with this information it should be possible to fix such leaks primed with incentive grants to householders  unwitting victims of leaks on their premises. 

We’ll leave aside the possibility of European subsidisation of any schemes enabling the above.

Suffice it to say parroting the Attorney Generals advice based on his interpretation of dictats from the European Commission with Orwellian Big Brother, anti democratic demands, is a political failure mirroring Simon Coveney’s failure to deal with our homeless and housing crisis…..

The Fine Gael demonisation in this debate of the word ‘populism’ to denigrate the democratic will of Irish people is one that takes us closer to fascism where the will of the Irish people is set aside in favour of those who govern from the shadows.

For them democracy is the enemy. Unless we want more of the same we should seriously consider IRexit as an alternative to mindless, blind obedience fed by absurd notions such as the quango of Irish Water.

Irish Water saga is led by politicians for whom the above political failures have sadly become a way of life. 

 

 

till again…

 

 

Ireland’s Berlin Wall

February 12, 2017

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny has met with Polish Prime Minister, Beata Szydlo. He got no support from Beata Szydlo in his quest for Ireland to be given special status in coming Brexit negotiations.

In his belief that Ireland must be imaginative re its response to Brexit, it might have been useful to visit Poland’s border with the Ukraine. Delays of up to 4 hours for border control for those travelling by train between both countries.

Depending on the purpose of visit,  the vehicle you are travelling in,  papers carried, security checks, crossing the border might take an hour or so; or you might need to join the lengthy kilometers long grid lock of vehicles that appears not to move at all and is worse than Calais.

Construction and manning of these border control check points perhaps Kenny might have an imaginative word …”former head of the European Commission’s customs procedures has told MPs. Michael Lux told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee that customs controls on the Border will be unavoidable if the United Kingdom leaves the EU customs union after Brexit”(1)

Crossing the Polish border into Ukraine you have to pass through the Polish border then the Ukraine border. Smuggling of goods particularly cigarettes are big issues. Perhaps Poland’s refusal to accept refugees is also an issue.

If Kenny is soft on the border between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland could Ireland become a mecca for refugees fleeing Calais. Border patrols on our coastline would have to be stepped up to combat people smuggling and a growing refugee crisis in Southern Ireland may require special European funding arrangements.

People smugglers may resort to parachuting in their delivery of human cargo by night.

By day boats ill-suited to Mediterranean waters may navigate dangerous waters hoping to reach Southern Ireland before crossing over to Northern Ireland.

It would appear inevitable that a wall will need to be built.border-fence-cartoon

The cost of this wall could be astronomical. Much resentment would be felt by many pointing to our…. housing and homelessness crisis.

Walls have a habit of keeping people in as well as keeping people out. At current rates and if further devaluations occur brought about to make the UK economy even more competitive, the thousands travelling north on an hourly basis to stock up on lower price goods, could be delayed at the border, then further delayed on way back to process import duties and other checks….

2. Currently about one out of every 4 litres of milk consumed in the south comes from Northern Ireland amounting to over 600 million litres per year.

That’s a lot of trucks requiring paperwork sensitive to any delay or waiting game.

“IFA chief economist Rowena Dwyer broke down Ireland’s relationship with the UK in numbers at the IFA’s briefing on Brexit recently. 50% of Ireland’s total beef exports goes to the UK, followed by one-third of our total dairy exports. With the UK leaving the EU, a drop in Irish exports of between €150m to €800m can be expected.”(3)

With the collateral damage of border controls I believe the figures above are vastly understated. But it’s not only border controls at Norther Ireland its border controls at points of embarkation/demarcation between Ireland and the UK in general border crossing points both at land and sea.

Currently within the Irish media or at a political level in spite of the abjuration of Enda Kenny there is no imaginative or otherwise setting down of the precise implications of Brexit. A small group led by Kenny himself is handling Brexit.

We’ve had a cabinet setting up of an all-Ireland dialogue on Brexit but nothing concrete has emerged. Its imagined that Kenny is visiting fellow EU leaders to drum up support for Ireland’s special position in regard to Brexit.

But perhaps no one apart from Kenny knows what Ireland’s special position on Brexit amounts to? Is Kenny asking that a standing army of customs officials, construction companies, be provided by the EMU to police Ireland’s new borders with the UK, for free?

 

On the face of there are no plans other than to bury the head in the sand and hope for the best. Kenny is about to bow out of politics so the fall out wont effect him much, but it will affect the rest of us.

So let’s answer Kenny’s call for us to be imaginative. Let’s demand answers that put down on the table what exactly will happen with Brexit and what the fallout will be for each Mary and Joe citizen living on this island.

The only way to effectively do this is to call a referendum on IRexit to give each citizen in the Republic a vote on whether to stay in the EU or leave. There are profound implications which should force the facts to the surface and allow each citizen to make their choice.

One imaginative solution if Irexit was chosen would be to consider the Cyrpus situation. Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus has been an issue since 1974. In recent years the following proposed solution is emerging:

“The UN plan for settlement (Annan Plan)

'Sorry! I've changed my mind.'

‘Sorry! I’ve changed my mind.’

Under the final proposals, the Republic of Cyprus would become the United Cyprus Republic. It would be a loose federation composed of two component states. The northern Turkish Cypriot constituent state would encompass about 28.5% of the island, the southern Greek Cypriot constituent state would be made up of the remaining 71.5%. Each part would have had its own parliament. There would also be a bicameral parliament on the federal level. In the Chamber of Deputies, the Turkish Cypriots would have 25% of the seats. (While no accurate figures are currently available, the split between the two communities at independence in 1960 was approximately 80:20 in favour of the Greek Cypriots.) The Senate would consist of equal parts of members of each ethnic group. Executive power would be vested in a presidential council. The chairmanship of this council would rotate between the communities. Each community would also have the right to veto all legislation”

The US, the UN, UK and IR have all had deep involvement in finding solution for the conflict in Northern Ireland.

One solution would be for this island instead of building walls to adopt a solution along similar lines to the Annan Plan above. Ireland would form itself into a loose confederacy of states with Scotland, Wales and England operating under a similar umbrella of trade, legal, constitutional and social. Instead of this island being the Irish Republic, it would change to The United Ireland Republic.

Surely the above road is better than a road that promises imminent collapse of our banks, destruction of our social services, ruination of our agri industry, all to make this a smugglers paradise or Pirate Island for foolish politicians…..

Postscript

There needs to be a criminal investigation led by an external police authority outside this country to pursue those who engineered and executed the dirty tricks campaign mounted against whistle blowers including Garda McCable that has lasted for many years corrosively in An Garda Siochana covered up with inaction from the Department of Justice and now spread to other state organisations.

The handling of the above by this Fine Gael led governent rivals the incoherent way it has approached and currently prepares for Brexit. There is no reason to assume the incoherent opposition led by FF will in any way improve on matters.

 

Till again…………….

 

  1.  http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/may-s-border-promises-are-nice-words-says-ex-eu-customs-head-1.2959694
  2. http://www.agriland.ie/farming-news/ireland-set-to-import-record-levels-of-milk-in-2015/
  3. http://www.farmersjournal.ie/implications-for-irish-agriculture-if-british-cast-a-brexit-ballot-212787
  4. http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/cabinet-sets-up-all-ireland-group-to-prepare-for-brexit-1.2816034

IRexit

January 23, 2017

Listening to Ireland’s pitch for financial services located in London to locate in Dublin following Brexit  must be like listening to the German government during World War 1 or WW11 pitching to non participants in the conflict to set up embassies  located somewhere near the Maginot or Siegfried lines of national defence just as the shells begin to fall. (1)

Eoghan Murphy minister for state (for Brexit) asked on Morning Ireland 23.01.17 if he was asked during his pitches  at various forums around the world trips at taxpayers expense if property prices in Ireland would pose a problem, stated that the subject was not raised once. I humbly suggest the reason for this was that no one in their right mind was contemplating relocating to Dublin.(1a)

Falling land prices make the price of an average dwelling in the Dublin suburb is similar to the price of a 50 acre farm outside Dublin.

This is before Brexit will wipe out 50% of exports to UK of agri-production with UK opportunities to outsource their requirements at lower prices perhaps in new trade deals with Brazil/New Zealand et al.

With English the universal language of commerce, science and financial services the value of Ireland being English-speaking is moot.

(2) “Frankfurt

On mainland Europe, Germany’s financial district would be an obvious choice to replace London – and has the added global reach that Dublin lacks, UBS said.

Already home to the European Central Bank, the Bundesbank and several global financial services firms such as Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, the EU’s biggest economy is well primed to pick up where London might leave off, despite having stricter labour laws than the UK.

The city is already preparing for an influx of 10,000 or so bankers over the next five years – and those from London can look forward to cheaper living costs and shorter commutes.

Frankfurt also boasts the third-largest airport in the EU, with excellent transport connections across the world, and has an office vacancy rate twice that of Dublin at around 12pc, with half a million square metres of work space available in the city centre. ”

Both Amsterdam and Paris are contenders having short hops to London and Frankfurt and good infrastructure.

Dublin in the austerity grip of disappearing public services, greater political upheaval potential as the divide between rich and poor increases, looming turmoil especially in the agriculture sector due to repossessions as yields fall because of Brexit, is not an attractive venue following the triggering of Brexit under article 50.

(2) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/news/which-cities-could-replace-london-as-europes-financial-centre–a/

Preparations for Brexit are personalised in Ireland around the dictated orders of the european_dis_integration__alexander_dubovskyDepartment of An Taoiseach:

“Yet the taoiseach and his secretary general Martin Fraser have kept firm control of Brexit policy, and appointed John Callinan, another civil servant with Brussels experience, as second secretary in Government Buildings. They set up a Brexit cabinet subcommittee under the chairmanship of Kenny and including several senior ministers. A Brexit working group is chaired by Fraser and includes top officials from the departments of foreign affairs, finance and public expenditure, as well as the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, the attorney general’s office and other agencies” (Sunday Times, 22.01.17 P8)

In one way it makes sense to have the Taoiseach lead negotiations over Brexit as when the Irish economy begins to splutter and shut down and the smugglers’ Black economy between north and south grows, held together by the illicit sale of smuggled cigarettes and cheap agricultural produce defying new border controls, Kenny can be slipped into retirement.

But it looks like the above group is a waste of time, effort and money. Better use could be made of the group sourcing new markets for Irish exports, negotiating directly with a committee from the UK parliament on common needs.

In the wake of the financial collapse of the economic project of the EU that has led to Brexit, the collapse of peripheral economies across Europe, banking collapse dangers in Italy, a collapse that will be further consolidated by emigration policies and further austerity with imminent closure of Irish corporation tax loopholes, we should ignore An Taoiseach’s efforts over Brexit tilting at windmills as apparently he is also ignored across Europe.

If unfortunately we choose to stay as appears to be the case perhaps the above group can produce a report of the effects of Brexit for Ireland, how Europe will compensate Ireland for such losses. Such pertinent questions will not be mooted by Ireland’s swans as they swim in the vast and resplendent halls of Val Halla,  in Brussels…at taxpayers expense.

If we had even the semblence of a true democracy in Ireland given the implications of Brexit for Ireland, results should be put before the people in a referendum for Irexit.

Europe has failed having fallen victim to the abuse of global financial services that may lead to global collapse of the financial services industry…but that is a topic for another day.

Visiting London not so long ago, I was surprised by the vast number of cranes across the centre of London, the vast numbers of tourists, the UK economy filled with positive energy was far from collapse.

(1) http://general-history.com/the-siegfried-and-maginot-lines-similarities-and-differences/

(1a) http://www.irishtimes.com/business/financial-services/minister-urges-assertiveness-to-attract-post-brexit-business-1.2946870

The Rental Strategy Circus

December 15, 2016

three-little-pigs6http://www.thejournal.ie/talks-breakdown-rents-3140799-Dec2016/

“…These were the proposed 4% yearly cap yearly rental raises, more tax incentives to be introduced for landlords, and designating more areas as ’rent pressure zones’ where the caps will apply.

I realise, dear reader, the above may seem absurd in the following context:

There has been a massive rise in rental costs of accommodation leading to the current housing crisis including homelessness. In addition to the massive costs of house prices, young people wishing to start a family in recent years have been burdened with excessive rental accommodation costs further eroding their ability to save for a mortgage.

Flying in the face of arguments from government favouring an approach to incentivising a massive nationwide building programme from the private sector led by developers and private investors the above measures appear feeble in the extreme. The only argument between FF and FG would appear to rest on the question of extending these feeble measure further across the country.

Few will be able to afford the absurd purchase costs of new builds without the cost of new builds dramatically coming down.

The above measures ironically amount to protecting the interests of landlords at the expense of tenants.

Measures such as passing legislation even interim 5yr emergency legislation requiring owners of all vacant houses to offer their properties for rent with government incentives to do this,  NOT on the table.

Large scale emergency apartment builds on government land in urban areas, NOT on the table.

Scaled taxation weighted against area based rental cost calculating excessive loading by landlords exploiting tenants, NOT on the table.

A European system eg Germany with local property development committees determining and fixing the cost of building, the quality of building, the cost of leasing and renting, NOT on the table.

In the past few years since 2014 profits for the private rental sector have risen to between 2 and 3 billion euros per annum.

Profits have mostly been pocketed by the banks.

They propose the sector continue to eat cake albeit with a little less jam confined to 4% increases way in excess of rises in the cost of living index. The profits include profit after maintenance and capital appreciation costs are taken into account.

http://www.thejournal.ie/houses-empty-around-the-country-2783895-May2016/

But is there any sense to the Coveney/Cowen Rental Strategy Circus?

Consider the following:

files.nesc.ie/nesc_reports/en/141_Irelands_Rental_Sector_Background.pdf

Mortgage Finance
For a new  investor who uses  a mortgage  to buy a rental property
the  larger share of rental income will be absorbed by debt repayments.
An  example  is  presented  in  Table  3  of  an  investor  in  North  Dublin  City  using  a  70 percent mortgage (the maximum permitted by the new Central Bank guidelines) to buy a two bed rental property; the mortgage term is 25 years. This yields a modest after tax profit before  capital repayments.  When capital repayments are included the annual cash flow is negative; i.e., the
initial rental income would not cover all of the  mortgage  repayments.    This  may  still  be  a  worthwhile  long term  investment since the  investor  is  accumulating  equity  over  time and  rental  income  can  be expected  to  increase.    The  larger  part  of  the  mortgage  repayments is
covered  by rental  income  while  there  is  also  the  prospect  of  some  capital  appreciation.   After 25 years, the mortgage would be repaid.  If asset prices were to rise by an average of  3  per  cent  annually,  at  that  stage  the  investor  would  have  an  asset  with  a nominal value of almost €450,000.
Interest  rates  have  a  significant  influence  on  the  returns  achieved  by  an  investor using a mortgage.  The average interest rate for first time buyers in Ireland is higher than  the  average  interest  rate  on  new  mortgages  in  the  euro  area.    If  BTL  interest rates  were  two  percentage  points  lower
,  then the  cash flow  on  new  investments would  be  positive.    On  the  other  hand, lower  interest  rates  would  also  increase house prices and thus reduce rental yields.”

The key point to grasp in the above, dear reader, is the cost of the mortgage and crucially the cost of property.

In a fragile recovery with our banks still teetering on the brink, many of its customers with huge loans invested in Buy To Let properties, getting  return on those investments is critical for banks to expect to have their loans repaid.

A dysfunctional property market occurs in a situation where banks themselves depend on a property price bubble to give then a return on their investment into lending into the property sector. Allowing the banks and private sector to set the agenda in this scenario is akin to placing the fox in charge of the chickens.

Instead of bursting the housing bubble it is in the short term interest of the banking sector to create this bubble.

Not only is our property market broken but our economy itself is being sucked dry of economic activity that would otherwise inject volatility into local business interests.

Not only is our economy  sucked dry of jobs in the construction sector but the distribution of wealth into the economy as a consequence is instead appropriated by landlords deep in debt to our banks.

Keeping that bubble going instead of taking some of the steps  outlined earlier appears to be the business of Messers Coveney and Cowen representatives of a dysfunctional politics with no longer the public good at its heart.

Instead they blindly oblige their so-called independent advisors controlled by banks and the profiteering private sector who lead them by the nose into an absurd Circus dealing with rental strategy nothing less than an embarrassment.

Cowen and Coveney in the present politically dysfunctional environment of New Politics would not even qualify in the middle of Winter to be put in charge of a vegetable shop situated in a field of turnips charged with the management of a shortage of turnips.

Nothing short of a public housing programme led by local authorities and capitalised by government is required.

But that might lower house prices and lower rental income and the banks might not get their money back!

In the face of a list of such growing absurdities a 32 county Ireland IRExit in an economic union with Scotland, Wales, UK and possibly Norway does appear to be more attractive.

But Mr Noonan wont even enter into bilateral talks with the UK over Brexit. He leaves this to his puppet masters in Brussels who will dictate the terms of Brexit, end Ireland’s corporation tax independence, impose inter trade tariffs and conditions between Ireland and its largest trading partner, restrict movement on Irish people travelling to the UK!

While Enda Kenny and his compliant and obedient sailors navigate Ireland’s economy over the waterfall.

Postscript:

Legislation to provide for 4% rental increase so poorly drafted members of the opposition pointed out it provided for 8% increase. Its being redacted and redrafted today 16.11.16.

Would it be possible to have an audit of all Dail deputies with a role in the above legislation to assess how much they may be compromised by the fact that they are landlords many holding substantial holdings of property in Ireland? I don’t think so.

They’ve just given themselves their Xmas bonus and are ready to head home on holidays again after making sure their cake has cream on it and at least 4% of jam.

 

 

 

till again