Prepare for Hard Brexit

 

The content of the UK’s White Paper on Brexit is somewhat irrelevant. It follows on from theUK’s statement of intent in its twelve principles outlined last February here:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-38836906

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-united-kingdoms-exit-from-and-new-partnership-with-the-european-union-white-paper

The White Paper to the horror of Frankfurt and Brussels at last puts flesh and bones on the UK exit.

Subsequent amendments to the White Paper Teresa May under pressure from Tory Brexiteers has agreed to:

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/uk/mps-approve-amendments-to-customs-bill-insisted-on-by-hard-brexiteers-1.3567206

Debate is heating up and there may be further amendments perhaps developing into a Protocol that will be added to any further leave proposals.

“One of the amendments makes it unlawful for Northern Ireland to form a separate customs territory to the rest of the UK. Treasury minister Mel Stride said the government accepted the amendment because it reflected its policy on the Border backstop and its interpretation of the joint report agreed with the EU last December.

The EU’s backstop proposal would treat Northern Ireland as part of the EU customs union, but Britain has proposed that any backstop should apply to the UK as a whole.

The bill will now move to the Lords, where it is likely to be amended further, before returning to the Commons. During that process some of the amendments approved by MPs on Monday could be reversed.”

What is clear is that the White Paper has focused on the precise terms of Brexit bringing more clarity to the issues involved. Such clarity has come at the expense of the Irish position on backstop that according to Leo Varadkar copper fastened agreement by the UK there would be no hard border between NI and southern Ireland.

Publication of the White Paper and controversy about its terms is largely moot. The EU will be against any terms in such a paper. It does not wish to see any template for withdrawal from any member state that can be agreed to. So while the White Paper brings clarity to the issues involved, the imminent prospect of a Hard Brexit is brought forward.

Instead of putting Ireland first as Michel Barniere has falsely claimed, instead Ireland has been used as a stalking horse against Brexit by the EU, with no financial or other support offered to Ireland. This is the similar pattern followed under our bailout when unconscionable terms were imposed only mitigated when similar terms had to be replicated for Ireland following insistence on better terms to Spain and Portugal successfully achieved by their negotiating teams.

As the UK gears up to spend its circa £8bn annually to the EU now targeted to improve the NHS Ireland’s odious expense of EU membership will increase: its agri sector suffering exchange rate and border control problems with its largest trader coupled with declines in CAP from the EU.

Figure on larger waiting lists, portacabin schools if at all sanctioned, to replace leaking infrastructure. More austerity imposed from the EU and locally with even greater dides between rich and poor on this isalnd.

Meanwhile with plans for a European army https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/06/europe-forges-ahead-with-plans-for-eu-army/ at an advanced stage supported in the main by German, French and Italian ministers eg proposals to make equipping vat free the EU is well on its way to becoming a modern-day Orwellian reincarnation of the previous Soviet USSR its intent to police itself in place of NATO.

We are clearly on the brink of becoming a vassal state of the EU with diminished sovereignty cocooned in self constructed bondage to a EU financially and economically at war with the UK.

This is to the detriment of our sovereign status achieved in 1916 and subsequently at great cost to the state. Now squandered in a misguided love affair with an EU whose project is at best in decline.

We would clearly be better off negotiating a deal with the UK uniting north and south of this island in return for Commonwealth status or better.

Culturally, socially and economically and linguistically we turn to the UK and west to the USA but we are determined to pursue a crippling and twisted alliance with the EU that has already decimated us with bailout, led to a declining health and education service. Our future should be global instead of being burned at the stake by membership of the EU.

With Brexit and the curious similarities between the debate over backstop and Cyprian difficulties over de jure control over the northern part of Cyprus, Ireland is well on its way to duplicating and reenacting the problems in recent history of Cyprus:

“The Republic of Cyprus has de jure sovereignty over the entire island, including its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone, with the exception of the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia which remain under British control according to the London-Zürich Agreements. However, the Republic of Cyprus is de facto partitioned into two main parts: the area under the effective control of the Republic in the south and west and comprising about 59-percent of the island’s area; and the north,[26] administered by the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and covering about 36-percent of the island’s area. Another four percent of the island’s area is covered by the UN buffer zone. Other nations consider the northern part of the island as territory of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces.[27][28][29][30][31] 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.[32]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus

Ireland’s economy is already in a fragile state and we are clearly with Brexit in danger of further risk replicating the problems of Cyprus in 2013

“The 2012–2013 Cypriot financial crisis was an economic crisis in the Republic of Cyprus that involved the exposure of Cypriot banks to overleveraged local property companies, the Greek government-debt crisis, the downgrading of the Cypriot government’s bond credit rating to junk status by international credit rating agencies, the consequential inability to refund its state expenses from the international markets[1][2] and the reluctance of the government to restructure the troubled Cypriot financial sector.[3]

On 25 March 2013, a €10 billion international bailout by the Eurogroup, European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) was announced, in return for Cyprus agreeing to close the country’s second-largest bank, the Cyprus Popular Bank (also known as Laiki Bank), imposing a one-time bank deposit levy on all uninsured deposits there, and possibly around 48% of uninsured deposits in the Bank of Cyprus (the island’s largest commercial bank). A minority proportion of it held by citizens of other countries (many of whom from Russia), who preferred Cypriot banks because of their higher interest on bank account deposits, relatively low corporate tax, and easier access to the rest of the European banking sector. This resulted in numerous insinuations by US and European media, which presented Cyprus as a ‘tax haven’ and suggested that the prospective bailout loans were meant for saving the accounts of Russian depositors.[4][5] No insured deposit of €100,000 or less would be affected.[6][7]

Nearly one-third of Rossiya Bank‘s cash ($1 billion) was frozen in Cypriot accounts during this crisis.[8]

Compared to the number of cranes on London’s and Edinburgh’s skyline, there are none in Dublin. Armegeddon plans for the UK following Brexit are proving less credible than similar dangers for the EU especially considered in relation to ongoing and present concerns over Italian banks and concerns over the refugee crisis.

In housing Eoin Murphy is adept at fooling inept interviewers by picking little irrelevant balls out of his arsenal of minor and mostly failing projects spinning the subject line away from the lack of cranes over large-scale housing projects in cities around our country. Propaganda that flies in the face of facts is the currency of the moment.

Difficulties in our health and education sectors and homelessness fly in the face of arguments that our economy is thriving. At best we are struggling.

Meanwhile the Irish government has signaled the addition of between 1000-2000 extra custom officers to be deployed in Irish ports. This will inevitably delay transit times for Irish goods travelling to and from the UK involving extensive paperwork prior to travelling to help with preclearance plus the processing of such documents.

The cost will be borne by Irish taxpayers clearly Varadkar has not even raised the question of financial support for Ireland given Ireland will be expected to be a Frontline buffer state for the EU guarding the borders of the EU as a free service on behalf of other members of the EU. This wasteful expense conceivably will mean a lower budget available for our hospitals, universities and schools.

Its disastrous impact may not be gauged until this foolish plan is put in place. Clearly we are on the road to economic perdition and partition. The folly of unquestioning obedience to Frankfurt and Brussels led to our bailout is clearly following a similar path to financial collapse with our housing bubble and now Hard Brexit with the EU washing its hands of our problems.

Brexit….White Paper is subject to ongoing debate:

“It would end vast annual contributions to the EU budget, releasing funds for domestic
priorities – in particular our long-term plan for the NHS.
It would take us out of the Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy,
ensuring we can better meet the needs of farming and fishing communities.”

“For democracy, leaving the EU’s institutions and reclaiming the UK’s sovereignty,
ensuring the laws people live by are passed by those they elect and enforced by UK
courts, with clear accountability to the people of the UK.”

In a foreword, Teresa May comments: “It would preserve the UK’s and the EU’s frictionless access to each other’s markets for goods, protecting jobs and livelihoods on both sides, and propose new arrangements for services.”

“Where the
UK had made a commitment to the EU, including in those areas where the Government is
proposing the UK would remain party to a common rulebook, there would be a clear
process for updating the relevant rules, which respected the UK’s sovereignty and
provided for Parliamentary scrutiny.”

One is prompted to ask if this could be a blueprint for other countries to use to leave the EU, the customs union and the single market.

“Economic partnership In designing the new trading relationship, the UK and the EU should therefore focus on ensuring continued frictionless access at the border to each other’s markets for goods. To deliver this goal, the Government is proposing the establishment of a free trade area for goods. This free trade area would protect the uniquely integrated supply chains and
‘just-in-time’ processes that have developed across the UK and the EU over the last 40
years, and the jobs and livelihoods dependent on them, ensuring businesses on both sides
can continue operating through their current value and supply chains. It would avoid the
need for customs and regulatory checks at the border, and mean that businesses would
not need to complete costly customs declarations. And it would enable products to only
undergo one set of approvals and authorisations in either market, before being sold in
both.
As a result, the free trade area for goods would see the UK and the EU meet their shared
commitments to Northern Ireland and Ireland through the overall future relationship. “(p11)

“fishing, putting in place new arrangements for annual negotiations on access to waters
and the sharing of fishing opportunities based on fairer and more scientific methods –
with the UK an independent coastal state.”

https://www.ft.com/content/dffd77ec-867f-11e8-96dd-fa565ec55929The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union

This paper provides a cohesive position that can be used to benchmark progress and secure terms agreeable to both the UK and the EU. It should hold no fears for Brexiteers that the Brexit project will be compromised as its highly likely none of its aspirations will be agreed to at EU level. Its likely the long signalled hard Brexit on this blog, will go ahead. Much to the chagrin of europhiles and EU negotiators.

‘Europe still thriving despite air of uncertainty’ is the title of Dan O Brien’s article in Sunday Independent Business P4 8 July. He has a very questionable definition of the word ‘thriving’.

He fails to mention the effects of Brexit on the makeup of the future of the EU and its financial cost. He declines to mention the falling value of the euro against the dollar. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/17/forex-dollar-sets-4-month-high-vs-yen-buoyed-by-rising-us-yields.html

Concerns over Brexit, Italy are of no concern to Dan. German exports up 10% while most of its neighbours experience stagnation even in a period of low to negative interest rates show the EU is less than uneven in economic performance most of the periphery still struggling.

Dan relies on EU-wide jobless figures ‘few months away from recording its lowest unemployment rate this century’. In an age of manipulation and falsification of data based on moving goal posts such as zero hour contracts.

https://sites.psu.edu/gershcivicissue/2017/03/15/unemployment-and-how-to-manipulate-with-statistics/

In the US Trump has suggested instead of the official unemployment rate 4.7% the real rate is closer to 42%. ”

” if you tack on all of those who are working part-time because they cannot find full-time positions, the rate jumps up to 9.2%.

While working part-time can fall under the umbrella of underemployment, there are other factors like a mismatch of human capital to a job (i.e: A PhD at McDonalds). It measures what percentage of people in the labor force are not being used to their most efficient/maximum capabilities. These types of underemployment are important too because they can show how well the labor market is performing in highly skilled and specialized industries. The current estimated underemployment rate is 13.7%.”

In Ireland young accountants married to professionals or those with Phd’s cannot afford homes.

Rather than a power house of growth the EU has serious economic and geopolitical problems that keep it barely above water. Its ECB is embarked on a bond buying programme targetting rich corporations rather than Main Street. Its euro is in decline against the dollar. It has no plans other than the setting up of a pan european army to make things better.

We should seriously consider leaving with our closest neighbour before the EU once again makes us walk the plank.

We should prepare for another visit from the Troika.

 

 

till again…………

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Housing Crisis Worsens

June 22, 2018

This blog called for the resignation of Housing Eoghan Murphy, TD Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government, Dublin Bay South

But he’s still there full of nonsense in the face of evidence his policies have never worked but are crumbling everywhere.

The housing crisis continues to deteriorate and its worse than stagnation. Nothing is being built of note, such as the following in Copenhagen, Denmark, “The 8 House is a new innovative building in Copenhagen that offers 62,000 square meters for residential, commercial, and communal use. Designed as a mixed-use residential development, the 8 House provides more than 540 units of housing, catering to occupants ranging from singles to growing families, the young and the elderly. Each unit of the building will come with a small space as a vegetable garden. ” https://urbanlifecopenhagen.weebly.com/housing.html

Sadly, lack of leadership, enterprise and innovation and independence is the hallmark of subservience and obedience to the authoritarian rule of distant bureaucrats in Frankfurt’s ECB HQ washing their hands pretending the fault is ours.

Pretend ‘subsidiarity’ is the elixir of choice to manage our Fiscal Space; it pretends Irish politicians have both the political will and freedom to end homelessness and our property crisis.

Behind the scenes their hands are tied by Europe.

The fact a no confidence motion has not removed Eoghan Murphy him from his position is evidence other government parties cannot or would not change his policies. Hypocrisy is rife.

Vulture funds have been a distorting feature of the market place for quite some time. But news is large multinational corporations from at home and abroad are hoovering up the market before the plans are dry.

The Kerry Group have been actively purchasing properties held for their employees in satellite towns around Dublin. They will use their own transport to take workers from these locations to HQ each day.

Similarly its reported large MNC’s are purchasing properties off the plans in Dublin for their workers. The consequence of this drain on property for the individual or couple wanting a home start will be devastating.

Expect bigger shortages and higher property prices only affordable by vulture funds or large MNC’s.

Meanwhile the ESRI is now expecting 14,100 fewer homes to be built in the next 2 years. It’s also emerged that Department of Housing figures on new homes have been vastly overstated.

As noted in this blog and now “Dr Conor O Toole, of the ESRI, said that while lending risk was being managed “much better” by the banks, this could “quickly unravel”. He said asking banks to hold more money in reserve “may be an approach that’s prudent” – but this could make it more difficult to secure a mortgage.” Independent, 19th June, Gavin McLoughlin and Cormac Quinn.

Critics of the above scenario talk or right-wing ideology informing the above policies, but such critiques ignore the elephant in the room, the European Central Bank and how the Irish economy is being managed from afar.

Fiscal Space is the room and we wear the EU  straight jacketed same as Greece. No chance the ECB in the face of a national emergency on housing will allow government here some fiscal space to build affordable housing for young people. Let’s face it, they got burnt before and German and French banks want their money back.

News at home is worse. Government is encouraging with open arms vulture funds from abroad to invest their money in Irish property.

We’re no Canada or Australia willing to impose a 20% investment tax on overseas Chinese money preventing locals from entering the property market. We give vulture funds charitable status no tax on profits. Our economy is built on paper funded members of government sitting on large property portfolios doing nothing but accumulate as much wealth for themselves and their friends in the financial sector as possible.

Its ironic Michel Barnier to visit Ireland and Northern Ireland  had so little to say about the issue of the Irish border other than to demand the UK to solve the problem. We’ve had no proposals put forward from Europe on the way forward other than the faint hope Brexit can be stopped.

The call to put Ireland first in negotiations over Europe rings hollow with the lack of support for Ireland from Europe following its financial collapse. Banks of France and Germany were protected and the bill for this was given to us. No burden sharing! We should not be fooled twice.

Michel Barnier presenting the draft Withdrawal Agreement

It’s just another brick on the road towards a Orwellian and dystopian relationship under  authoritarianism imposed on us by the declining EU.

Locals can’t compete against these speculative casino investments.

Meanwhile the Brexit Games continue. No agreement will be reached by the UK and EU simply because the EU cannot negotiate. The council of ministers in the European parliament are curtailed by lack of authority to negotiate trade matters.

Such matters are the prerogative of officials in the EU under the control of the ECB endlessly pouring over documents in committees set up to carry out European Treaties that slowly erode democracy.

Unelected and powerless the EU rejects proposals from the UK while the UK prepares for a hard Brexit.

At some point someone will mention to Leo Varadkar as a member of the EU he’s responsible for his own borders.

Who will pay for this and other losses down the line in a country hell-bent on lining the pockets of the rich with loot stolen from the present and future of its young people?

You should be interested in these matters of consequence.

 

Till again….

 

 

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/workingpapers/soci/w14/text1_en.htm

https://brianmlucey.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/danish_housing_dublin-1.pdf

Letter to Donald Tusk

April 13, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Mr Tusk’s home country:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is there a better way?

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

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

The main components were as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Regards,

Colm Brazel

 

 

till again…

 

We Will Comply!

March 3, 2018

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

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

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

(2)

By Elaine Loughlin and Daniel McConnell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

(5)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

till again………. 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consider the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Till again

 

End

Varadkar’s Vassals

June 28, 2017

WE NEED TO LEAVE THE EU

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EU  has drifted far from its original aspirations.

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

Can things get worse? Sure they can:

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

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

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

ECB is moving financial clearing houses from London to Paris.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See this def:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

till again

 

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

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

Part 1

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

What do these terms mean?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Want more fantasy?

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

More?

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

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

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

More?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part 111

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

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

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

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

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

Part IV

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

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

Brexit hasn’t happened yet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part V

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Say NO to corrupt fantasy.

 

 

Till again….

 

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

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

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

 

The Hidden Hand

April 28, 2017

Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Part 11

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Part 111

 

Americans for Financial Reform have just issued the following:

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

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

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

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

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

Where will funding come from this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

till again

 

http://www.usgovernmentdebt.us/us_deficit

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