Brexit should mean Irexit

February 20, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Sunday Times:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LAWYERS

Ruth Deech
Ruth DeechBEN GURR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Ireland:

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

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

We need Irexit.

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

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

Eventually leaving Ireland more divided  than it ever was before.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instead of empty vessels making the most noise.

 

 

…..till again

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Prepare for No Deal!

January 24, 2018

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

–   An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Youtube: https://youtu.be/YpSYBMltA-c

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In summary,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s look at CAP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

till again….

 

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

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

 

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

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

Does that not sound pretty pathetic to you as well?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But lets not digress.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Irexit  under Brexit?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Certificates of Non manipulation

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

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

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

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

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

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

||Happy Christmas||

till again

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

Irexit

December 2, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

till again……………

Irexit  under Brexit?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to the point:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It seems to me we have 3 choices.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New European Army !

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

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

In a previous blog I’ve noted ”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Legacy issues hold us back:

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

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

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

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

Professor Drudy Committee on Housing and Homelessness

 

 

 

 

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

 

till again….

Abandon Ship!

September 17, 2017

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

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

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

Consider the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Juncker’s vision for Europe contains some disturbing contradictions.

One is reminded of some quotes from George Orwell:

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

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

Juncker writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You need a new vision for that.

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

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

 

…till again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Head in Sand

August 28, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Germany dictates the course of these negotiations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lower exchange rate is already helping the British economy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till again…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consider the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Till again

 

End

Varadkar’s Vassals

June 28, 2017

WE NEED TO LEAVE THE EU

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EU  has drifted far from its original aspirations.

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

Can things get worse? Sure they can:

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

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

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

ECB is moving financial clearing houses from London to Paris.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See this def:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

till again

 

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

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

The 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