Mar 302010
 

This isn’t going to be a long post because I’ve said it all before.

The banks are going to get another22 thousand million euros of your money to bail them out of a fuck-up they created themselves through stupidity, greed and dishonesty.

The NAMA discount is going to be far deeper than Lenihan assured us and the Irish taxpayer will pick up the bill because, as any fool could see, the so-called assets are worthless.  It will end up costing us another 40 thousand million euros and NAMA still won’t start the banks lending again

Furthermore, these assets will not recover their projected long-term economic value, for one very simple reason.  They’re shit.

The purpose of all this gigantic theft of your mooney?

Simple.  International financiers invested in these banks hoping to get a very handsome return.  They took a risk, and the risk didn’t pay off.

But this government considers it more important to save these investors any pain they might feel as a result of their bad bet.

More important than you and more important than your children.  More important than public services.  More important than schools and health.

When people far better qualified than I am predicted all this a year ago, they were shouted down by the government and an assortment of ill-informed gobshites, yet now look where we are.  Exactly where we feared.

There was no reason to save Anglo, and there was no reason to save the bondholders, except that this government didn’t want to offend the money-men who own them.

Be angry.

________

More NAMA on Bock

  64 Responses to “Banks, Insurance Companies, NAMA and Bail-outs”

Comments (64)
  1.  

    The banks don’t even have confidence in this. Bank shares nose dived again this morning. Maybe I’m missing something here, but shouldn’t this be the other way around? Appeal to Obama to become the 53rd state of the USA, or is that the 54th, whatever.

  2.  

    Seconds out may not be so far of with the 53rd State comment.
    As for ‘be angry’ BOCK, I believe the Irish as a nation are more akin to a meandering herd of sheep than anything with the capability to bite back. Angry, I believe, will not happen.
    For me that’s reason enough to be angry but the focus is then misdirected; how fucked up is that?

  3.  

    Every one of the cunts named as a debtor who is having their debts put into NAMA should be burned out of Ireland.

    If the Law doesn’t give a fuck about daylight robbery of the entire state then its extremely unlikely to spend too long investigating who burned down some of the elite’s houses, no?

    Or does it not work like that? Anyway- not my problem. I don’t live in Ireland any more so don’t have to pay either to cover up Fianna Fail’s white collar crimes or fund the Catholic Church’s National Child-Rape Levy.

    Best of luck with that …

  4.  

    Not €22 billion, €27 billion at latest estimate.
    ‘F*cked’ doesn’t begin to cover it :(

  5.  

    Interesting to hear Sinn Fein going on about the property bubble falling down around our ears
    today. It wasn’t that long ago when the Shinners and their military wing, the IRA, were bringing property down around our ears also – while the people were still in the buildings. Meantime, we now own a completely useless bank, and Fingers, who ran it into the ground gambling, walks away with a multi million euro pension.

  6.  

    It was funny watching Brian Lenihan berating the bankers for their “reckless” behaviour. Bankers must be confused for wasn’t it the same shower who encouraged their “reckless” behaviour in the first place?

    The fundamentals are sound. If you can find them.

  7.  

    What’s the bottom line, the rich get richer and the poor get ___ ?
    “International financiers invested in these banks hoping to get a very handsome return. They took a risk, and the risk didn’t pay off.” Wouldn’t those financiers have already earned (well I wouldn’t call it earned, made?) a lot of money previous to the economic downturn? What would happen if the banks weren’t bailed out, can someone tell me?

  8.  

    be angry? why the fup are people not marching the streets… words fail me

  9.  

    Can be streets be marched? Why the fup? what the fup?

  10.  

    Well done to Brian Lenihan. What a hero.

  11.  

    This Government have chosen to give many, many more thousands of millions of euro to stupid, worthless, bankrupt Banks.
    Lenihan has chosen to pay the Banks instead of paying public servants.
    He thinks that public servants will smile sweetly and say baaaaa.
    They might, but this is far from over. The “deal” announced today regarding the public service workers is by no means “done”. Each and every union in the public service must ballot their members before this can be said to be “agreed”, and I’ll tell you one thing for nothing – that will not be easy.
    If you want to see angry Irish people, go and talk to the public servants who have been robbed by the Government many times during the last 18 months, and treated like lepers by the media.
    We’ll see, Brian, boy.

  12.  

    Bock, what makes it even worse about the govt putting bondholders before citizens is that many of these bondholders are insured against such an eventuality. To quote Moore McDowell on Newstalk this evening: “If I bought bonds and didn’t buy insurance, that should be my problem and not the country’s. Wouldn’t you agree?”

    Unstranger is right about the bunch of meandering sheep. More’s the pity.

  13.  

    You know what’s truly disturbing? I agree with a right-wing fucker like Moore McDowell.

  14.  

    FME If the banks weren’t bailed out by the government then the financial system in the country would collapse and the European Central Bank backed by the IMF would come in and take over the running of the Financial and economic dealings of the country.

  15.  

    That’s simply not correct.

    It’s the nonsense Eamon Ryan was propagating on radio in the lead-up to this farce.

    The fact is that the banks’ debts are not our debts and yet we are paying them.

  16.  

    Today, I am angry, today, what I have long suspected has been confirmed, today my children’s and my grand children’s future has been put in hock for the indeterminate future, we are collectively screwed, the citizen has been abandoned by the State.
    Today the State bailed out the financial institutions.
    Today the State capitulated to the Public Service Unions
    Mairead, you say “Lenihan has chosen to pay the Banks instead of paying public servants.” , what a self centred comment, you are a teacher, you are overpaid and under worked, what makes you think you are worth the money you are paid?, what metrics, other than “I am a teacher therefore I am worth every penny” are in place to ascertain the true value and quality of a teacher? how many hours do you work a week? 30?, are you on holiday at the moment, or are you working? will you be working next week, or will you be on holiday? how many weeks has it been since the mid term break? Christmas holidays, were 12 weeks ago, yup, I can feel the pressure from here, you inhabit a delusional world far removed from the reality of non public service daily life, we are borrowing €400 million per week to make sure you get a pay cheque, we simply cannot sustain this level of borrowing.
    Mairead you have taken a cut of what? 10%? 15%? , today I met a young couple with 3 children, he had his own business, she a stay at home mother, who have taken a cut of 100%, yes Mairead 100%, they are destitute, his business collapsed, even though he paid his taxes, as he was self employed they have no entitlement to Social Welfare, he can’t get any work, the St. Vincent de Paul had to pay their ESB bill, their families are helping them with groceries etc., their savings are gone, their VHI is gone, their pension is gone, the Sheriff has been to the door on a number of occasions, fortunately the phone has been cut off, so the banks can’t haunt them at all hours of the day and night, and, to cap it all, some fucking idiot of a T.V. licence inspector called to the door threatening a heavy fine and possible imprisonment for failing to pay Joe Duffy’s wages, and that is only the half of it, he or she would gladly do your job at the moment, for half of what you are paid and gladly take that pressure over their current pressure
    In these challenging times, public servants, would really want to realise, with their guaranteed pay cheque and pension, that there is little fear of their collective arse.

  17.  

    jbkennn — I’m angry too, as you’ll know from the last two years of posts, but your anger would be better directed at Seanie Fitzpatrick, Fingers Fingleton and Bertie Ahern, the people who destroyed our economy. Teachers are just teaching.

  18.  

    Bock what do you think would have happened if the banks were not bailed out ? which is the question that FME @7 asked.

  19.  

    If Anglo was not bailed out? Nothing at all would have happened, apart from the fact that immensely rich gamblers would have taken a hit.

    There has been a concerted effort to persuade us otherwise, and it’s a lie.

  20.  

    jbkenn. Attacking Mairead who has been a very devoted and insightful contributer here is just lashing out at the closest target and incredibly non productive.
    There are many frontline Public Service workers, incl many Teachers who are really feeling the strain, from pay cuts to people like Mairead who it seem’s to me anyway is really trying to make a difference.
    Target the Union Leaders, The Quangos, The Health Service Execs, Target the people not doing their job.
    I’m not coming from any comfortable perspective, There is little difference between me and the couple you refer to, Except that I’m not going to feel beaten, no way, I’m going to be happy every day for what i have and find a way to beat this shit raining down.
    None of us are “One trick ponies ” We can all find a way forward, help each other find direction and share ideas, It won’t be found by creating a bigger divide between Public and Private sectors, In reality it’s just bitching about one having less leaks in the boat than the other, Lets pull together and stem all the leaks.

  21.  

    How about targetting the people who actually caused the disaster? Or is that too radical?

  22.  

    I personally believe that Anglo should not have been bailed out as it is a black hole we are just pouring money down(money that we have not got), but if it was left go to the wall then it would have started a domino effect on other banks. I would love to see the immensely rich gamblers take a hit.

  23.  

    Nothing is too radical now, But how ?
    The people holding the mantle of responsibility are finding protection behind that self same mantle.
    For every person exposed to the Banks there should be a thousand more with a unified voice, weaving their own mantle.
    There is always a way.

  24.  

    Snapper — I’m afraid I can’t agree with you. People have said that it would have caused a domino effect but nobody has explained the mechanism. Therefore, I must conclude that it was simply a means of frightening us so that we would agree to the payout.

    If somebody can explain clearly the sequence of events that would lead to the domino effect of collapsing banks, I’ll look at it, but it will have to be logical, and not just a sweeping statement.

    How precisely will it happen? What will lead to what? Each step will have to be scrutinised.

  25.  

    I am no expert in banking but from what I have been told if anglo were not bailed out by the government they would have become insolvent , they could not trade as a bank and would be wiped off the stock exchange, the govt would then have responsibility for the debts due to the bank guarantee scheme. due to shared loans between the banks this would in turn have affected AIB & BOI etc , and if they were not recapitalized they also would become insolvent and wiped off the stock exchange also, thus leavding to the financial ruin of the country.

  26.  

    And where does the armed forces stand in all of this? Surely there is a young general/idealist out there who knows the direction to the Dail, to reclaim this battered Republic of ours, from, not bankers, but gamblers and their apologists.An occupying power would not treat Ireland with such contempt.

  27.  

    The secret there is the bank guarantee scheme. This was not obligatory on the State, and could have been withdrawn from Anglo once it was exposed as a criminal conspiracy. There is no obligation on any country to protect a criminal conspiracy. The bank could still have been wound down in an orderly mannner without looking after the bondholders, and ironically this is what will probably happen in the end, but the entire purpose of nationalisation and NAMA is to protect these investors.

  28.  

    Seconds out Willie O dea was the commandering chief of the Army and we all know what happened to him!!! We now have Tony Killeen a Clare man (noting wrong with Clare men BTW) with that responsibility. Read this evening that the Irish troops are being withdrawn from chad maybe to protect the country against a young general/idealist that you mention.

  29.  

    I gather that Killeen in his first five days saw more of the Defence department than Willie did in his first five years.

    Snapper — The Commander in Chief of the army is the president. Willie was just the minister for defence.

  30.  

    The whole country even the dogs on the street know that Anglo is rotten to the core but unfortunately we have to wait for the Gardai and the fraud squad to prove that there was fraudalent activity in the bank at the highest level. I look foward in hope to these people been prosecuted for their criminal activities.

  31.  

    I know that (really) I was hopping a ball for seconds out to take up!!! nite nite

  32.  

    Bock, Norma, my anger was not at Mairead personally, but at her comment “Lenihan has chosen to pay the Banks instead of paying public servants.” in my comment I was demonstrating that the public service continue to be quids in, there is fear of their collective arse’s… end off.
    Seanie, Fingers and Bertie, I am in favour of the Chinese solution.
    Chinese solution…..?
    9.00am public trial
    9.05am unanimous guilty verdict
    9.10am execution, only debate to be, whether we shoot them in the head or heart depending on which organs we want to harvest, at least that way the might be of some future use to humanity, never going to happen, constitutional ban on death penalty, they will walk away untouched, just like Haughey
    Banks…, fuck em, 22 years ago I got called into Bank of Ireland, had a 15,000 overdraft secured by 15,000 deposit account, deposit account called in, overdraft cleared, fucked, could not pay wages, business gone.
    Defence Forces, public servants first, military second, swear oath of allegiance to State, did ye know we pay over €1 million a year in pensions to 8 Lt Generals, soon to be 9 when Dermot Early heads off to become Manager of some County football team, Commander in Chief El Presidente Mary McAleese, she of the “Your Country, Your Call” bullshit, will retire like former El Presidente “Mna na hEireann” Mary Robinson, she of the €167,000 pension, hell… we will even get to pay for their State funerals.
    Norma, I will never let the bastards grind me down and will continue to do everything in my power to encourage, support, and enable my fellow citizens to achieve their best for themselves and their families.

  33.  

    “Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish”

    Franklin D Roosevelt’s inaugural speech, 1933.

    How apt for our times. Will we perish? It’s the increasing likelihood that we might worries me.

  34.  

    Yobbah – you reckon Roosevelts comments apply equally to most of us as individuals – self seeking and without vision? Think you are probably right – we’re fucked unless we find an alternative to life in pursuit of big house, nice car, holiday home, foreign holidays………………………..
    Maybe the bankers politicians developers etc just supply what we demand – if we want to change supply first we need to change demand? Cant see any politician / churchman etc doing that – have to do it for ourselves. Thats when it gets difficult – much easier just to go with the flow…………………………..

  35.  

    jbkenn, you most certainly did attack and insult me personally. You were also wrong about me, my comment, my life and what I am angry about –
    “Today the State capitulated to the Public Service Unions”.
    Wrong. The State gave nothing, except they said that they won’t cut our pay again for four years, unless they have to, due to their financial incompetence again.

    “Mairead, you say “Lenihan has chosen to pay the Banks instead of paying public servants.” , what a self centred comment”
    Wrong. My comment was to highlight the choice made today (now yesterday) by this Govt. You are very stupid indeed if you think that this decision only has an impact on me. It will have serious effects on every man, woman and child in this country. Do you realise that 2,000 nurses have already been cut? Maternity leaves etc… are not being replaced. People who retire are not being replaced. At least 1,000 teachers have already been cut. The Govt will not allow recruitment. How do you think that will pan out? My comment was to say that this Govt has chosen to give billions to Banks who lived the high life and to screw every man, woman and child in this land by destroying our public services.You have been duped into rage at me instead of raging at this Govt and their cronies. I did not cause this. I am not a self-centred person either, thank you.

    “you are a teacher, you are overpaid and under worked…….. ascertain the true value and quality of a teacher? how many hours do you work a week? 30?, are you on holiday at the moment, or are you working? ……………I can feel the pressure from here”
    You don’t know me. Anyone who does know me would laugh out loud at what you have said there. I work for many hours after the children go home, during weekends and holidays. My last day off was 1/5/2000, not that I have to explain myself to you, because you are obviously talking through your hat rather than from any true knowledge about my job. It is a pressurised job, but you don’t want to hear that. I think I detect teacher envy. I will say what I say to everyone I encounter with this problem – go to College, become a teacher if it’s so easy.

    “you inhabit a delusional world far removed from the reality of non public service daily life”
    Wrong. I don’t live in a vacuum. I don’t live on my own. We have felt the pain in our house from all angles. Don’t presume to judge me or my life.

    “we are borrowing €400 million per week to make sure you get a pay cheque”
    Wrong. We are borrowing to bail out the gamblers. You have fallen for the spin again.
    Public servants pay taxes that go towards running the country. They also pay pensions and pension levies now too that go towards running the country. We are not leeches, as you suggest. We contribute hugely to this country.

    “Mairead you have taken a cut of what? 10%? 15%?”
    What have you taken in a cut? If it’s less than public servants, is that fair? If you think it is fair, tell me how?

    My heart goes out to the young couple you described. You presume though that I was never in dire straits financially, that I was never on the dole? Why do you presume that, because I am a teacher? Again you are wrong. Do you know that there are over 1,000 unemployed teachers in Ireland today and that figure is set to rise and rise – do you know that? No, you prefer to fall for the media and the Govt spin that public servants are a drain on the tax payer and must be taught a lesson. You fell for it. Public servants are only ordinary people, trying to do their jobs. Yes, we have a level of security in our employment, but we don’t have total security, many, many public servants have temporary contracts. If you read the draft proposals agreed yesterday you would see that far from giving in, this Govt is proposing vast changes to our contracts. Who will you hate then if we have no permanent jobs in Ireland? Perhaps you will look to the real villians in this piece?

    ” he or she would gladly do your job at the moment, for half of what you are paid and gladly take that pressure over their current pressure”
    Are you saying that anyone at all could do my job? Are you saying that teachers do not need the 490-500 CAO points necessary to gain entry to Colleges of Ed, do not need to undergo 3 years undergraduate study, a further year of practical study, and as many years as they like in professional development, upskilling and postgraduate study? Are you actually saying that to me? If you are, then well done you are in the same league as Mary Coughlan, the present Minister of Ed; who claimed that parents could come in to cover for sick teachers.

    “In these challenging times, public servants, would really want to realise, with their guaranteed pay cheque and pension, that there is little fear of their collective arse”.
    We realise that we are lucky to have a job. However, you surely are not saying that a person should take any kind of abuse so long as they have a job? Especially when this Govt has decided to pay off Bankers and gamblers instead of looking after the services that look after us all. You obviously don’t know that our schools are already at creaking point.

    I am especially insulted at your suggestion that I am self-serving and only moaning because I want more of the cake. Again, you are wrong. I work far more hours than I am paid for, I buy resources out of my own pocket e.g. art materials, daily needs such as pencils, crayons, copies, books and even lunches for children who have not been given one by their parents. The INTO “motto” is “INTO – Teachers serving Education”, not teachers serving teachers! I give a tremendous amount of my free time and of myself, but listen, enough is enough! I have had enough of this Govt. and its attempts to destroy education.

    Instead of picking on the easy target (me), try giving out about what happened yesterday.
    This Govt and their cronies have wrecked Ireland and all Irish people, whether public or private sector.
    Cop on, and don’t fall for the hype and the considered attempts to set worker against worker.
    We are all in this together, whether you realise it or not.

  36.  

    heard on Joe Duffy today that Seanie Fitz flew to Malaga yesterday on an Aer lingus flight(so reported by an aer lingus employee), he did not have to pay for this flight as the Govt appointed him a few years ago to the Board of Aer lingus thus he receives free flights for life, it is disgraceful that he has left the country on the day that we were left to hear that us the citizens of this country, our children and grandchildren will have to pay the price for his criminal activity. I would have thought that the fact he is under investigation by the Fraud squad that they would have taken his passport from him but then again he still has not been charged with any offence!!!!!
    It makes me feel sick that he can swan off and enjoy his Easter break with all his other corrupt cronies in Marbella or Puerto Banus. The announcement was made today that Anglo have reported a 12.5 billion loss in their annual accounts,this only suggests one thing and that is that the bank is in free fall, no wonder Seanie has fled the country.

  37.  

    What about Ger Colleran’s headline today – is this what we have become?

  38.  

    Dn’t forget, Colleran is the man who thinks he has the right to hound witnesses.

    However, in this case I have a certain sympathy with his point of view.

  39.  

    @ Paul “you reckon Roosevelts comments apply equally to most of us as individuals – self seeking and without vision? Think you are probably right – we’re fucked unless we find an alternative to life in pursuit of big house, nice car, holiday home, foreign holidays………………………..”

    Yes and no. Roosevelt was referring to the bankers and speculators whose only solution was bailouts, tax reliefs for the rich etc during the Hoover era of the Great Depression. That was their only offering, only solution. How similar it is today where have to cut services, cut welfare, cut jobs to appease the “markets”. What vision do they have?

    “More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return.”

    All they have suggested is cuts, cuts and more cuts until our pips squeak. Cut Social Welfare, cut wages (minimum, private, public), so that that the holy spirit of “competitiveness” may look upon us so we may enter our temporal reward. But like Ireland not so long ago, except the Church had a monopoly on that mantra. (If you rephrased it a bit).

    “Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.”

    Unfortunately, they have not quite abdicated yet. And public opinion is still divided. We are all encouraged to consider own position, what we did during the boom. Particularly our sinful actions. We all decided to have this property boom according to Cowen. This is a deliberate ploy on the part of the Serious People to transfer the responsibility for the crisis on to us gullible fools. And a lot of people have bought it. “We’re all responsible” we hear people cry in an orgy of self flagellation. The Serious People are content and happy with this so they can help each other out at our expense.

    The Serious People have offered us no other option (hence TINA) other than that of serving themselves and the country’s “reputation”. They have no vision. They have no sense of the past. They have not even bothered to pick up a history book to see how other countries climbed out of recessions. And we’re doing it all wrong.

    Frankly, it’s pathetic. The media has no vision. The media think Brian Lenihan has a vision but he doesn’t. As David McWilliams points out, the same people who led us into this mess are still there with nothing to offer. It’s time they were cleared out. And replace them with people who can offer hope.

    @ Mairead “Mary Coughlan, the present Minister of Ed; who claimed that parents could come in to cover for sick teachers.” She did not!!??? Did she??

    To anyone who has any doubts, the B.Ed course is very tough and intensive and the amount of materials and photocopying you need to buy makes it very expensive too. And there’s no guarantee of a job afterwards to pay those debts off. I’ve met many trained teachers working in shops and pubs before they reach the lofty heights of a part time temporary teaching job. Some actually stay on in the private sector and become managers, or set up national fast food chains.

    I’m not a teacher by the way.

    My hands are cold.

  40.  

    She did.
    Plenty of people think that anybody can teach. They cannot.
    As well as teaching practice being very expensive, when you eventually do get a job you’re still using your own money to do your job. Imagine this –
    Bank clerk finishing some work at home, because there’s only one PC at work and it’s ancient and the broadband is rubbish and the printer doesn’t work.
    Secretary buying a laminator and creating notices etc.. at home.
    Office worker bringing in a ream of copier paper from home.
    Mechanic taking home machines and fixing them.
    Receptionist making phone calls from her / his home phone.
    Accountant taking home 35 files and working on them at home every evening.
    Factory worker bringing in their own machine and tools.
    Teachers do all of these things.
    This Govt. thinks we need to give more, so they gave billions to the Banks yesterday.

  41.  

    “Are you saying that teachers do not need the 490-500 CAO points necessary to gain entry to Colleges of Ed, do not need to undergo 3 years undergraduate study, a further year of practical study, and as many years as they like in professional development, upskilling and postgraduate study?”

    With the greatest of respect Mairead,If the carry on of a fairly significant number of those attending a major North Dublin College of Ed is anything to go by they will support Sean Quinn to the bitter end…..preferably beginning undergraduate studies in The Cat & Cage,thence to Quinns Drumcondra for Practical Study before topping it off with some postgraduate studies in Professional Development…..where else but in…The Q Bar.. !

    I would suggest the CAO needs to raise it`s game by a few hundred points at least !!

  42.  

    Does anyone know of *ANY* third level course where students don’t have a few pints when they can afford it?

    Feck’s sake. Teacher-bashing. You might as well go kick an old homeless man in retribution for nama, for all the accuracy you’d be displaying.

  43.  

    Alec — You could say that about a lot of third-level students.

    By the way, did you know that there are three grades of insult?

    With respect — you idiot.
    With great respect — you utter idiot
    With the greatest respect — you babbling fool

  44.  

    I don’t know anything about that, only that traditionally men went to that College.
    There are calls to let lads in with less points due to the feminisation of the teaching profession? (That’s been happening since the start of the nineteenth century though, so why now?)
    600 is the maximum, so your wish can’t come true.
    Obviously not all teachers are as dedicated as others – just like any other job. I was outlining a general point.
    Back to the main point – are people happy with the Government’s choice of how to spend our money?

  45.  

    Mairead, wow, I really got under your skin, sorry, you just don’t get it, leave aside the banking fiasco, we need 54 Billion to run the country, most of which is the public sector pay bill, fact, we will take in 32 Billion is revenue receipts, simple sum, we have to borrow 22 Billion to make up the shortfall, this is simply unsustainable,
    “Cop on, and don’t fall for the hype and the considered attempts to set worker against worker.
    We are all in this together, whether you realise it or not.”
    No Mairead, you cop on, and stop believing public sector union bullshit, this is not about worker against worker, this is about facing up to, and accepting the reality of our current situation, the productive sector is on it’s knees, and can no longer afford to carry the public sector on it’s broken back.

  46.  

    So the productive sector is on its knees, we’re desperately short of money and spending like a sailor in a whorehouse on his first night of shore leave, but now’s the best time to take on the largest debts in our nation’s history, debts so large that every worker will have to find €4500 _per annum_ just to pay the interest on the loans, and all to pay off losses incurred *by private companies we neither own nor get a share of profit from*?!?!?!

    And your response to that is to blame the people at the bottom rung of the civil services? The ones actually doing any of the damn work?

    Feck’s sake man. Stop yelling at the guy in the hole with the shovel and start yelling at the six lads standing around watching him work!

  47.  

    “Feck’s sake man. Stop yelling at the guy in the hole with the shovel and start yelling at the six lads standing around watching him work!”…., you just described the public sector, the guy in the hole?, he is the private sector contractor, brought in when a bit of real work needs to be done.

  48.  

    Sorry to butt in, but I think myself teachers are under paid if anything. It’s there’s not enough money to cover the necessary fundamentals such as education in a developed society and it’s importance is not realized for it’s future, then come up with some ideas to generate investment/encourage entrepreneurship to bring in the bucks and prioritise the services that are essential to any civilized country.
    The “productive” section is not on its knees because of the likes of teachers and nurses!

  49.  

    Private sector contractors like PriceWaterhouseCoopers you mean? Brought in to produce worthless reports for enormous sums? Or like the barristers in the tribunals, earning obscene sums for public work?

    We’re talking here about the people who teach your kids despite the best efforts of the Department of Education; who try to care for your loved ones when they’re ill despite the policies of the HSE; the ones you call when your house is on fire or when you’ve been robbed. They’re the ones you’re yelling at; but the ones causing the problems are the ones three rungs higher in the civil service, shuffling paper all day long.

  50.  

    The productive sector concept is a fallacy.

    In addition to wealth-creators, the private sector also includes travel agents, insurance salesmen, bankers, estate agents, hairdressers, pole dancers, hypnotherapists, homeopathic healers, comedians, advertising executives, PR agents, political lobbyists, business consultants, media advisors, stockbrokers, mortgage brokers, bookies and accountants. The productive ones?

    Meanwhile, in addition to the administrative drones, the public sector includes people who plan and build the roads, the water supplies, the sewerage, who operate the landill sites, who go out at night and cut people from wrecked vehicles, who staff the maternity hospital wards, who educate our children and us all the way to our PhD if we can make it, the agricultural advisers, anti-pollution officers, the people who run the national parks and the wildlife service. The non-productive ones?

  51.  

    This is off topic, I am not attacking teachers, per se, I was commenting on the public service mindset, the victim mentality of public service unions, we cannot afford to pay them without massive borrowing.
    FME, what do you think a teacher is paid, €35k, €45k, €55k, €65k, what do you think a teacher should be paid.
    Mark, we have the highest paid Police Force in Europe, fact.
    Dublin, Cork and Limerick have full time Fire Services, the rest are retained Part time, a situation, I, as a qualified Firefighter do not agree with, we should have a National Fire Service, by the way, the last figures I have for running Limerick City Fire Service is €5.5 million
    Nurses, same as teachers, the only one of my unemployed daughters friends from college, with a full time job, is the girl who graduated as a Nurse

  52.  

    You’re right. It is off-topic, but I’m prepared to issue a special dispensation since it’s important. We might have a post about it in a day or two.

    I agree that there are productive and non-productive sectors, but I don’t think they break down along public – private lines.They don’t even follow professional – administrative lines. After all, nobody is going to say that the administrators in, for example, Intel, are non-productive. If Hewlett-Packard had a training unit, which it may well do, nobody would accuse those teachers of being overpaid or unproductive. Nobody would say that the nurses in their sick-bays are spongers.

    The fact is we need a public service, and we need to pay for it. To do that we need to have qualified people on the books, and qualified people are not cheap. We need a regulatory function in all sorts of areas — as we have learned to our cost from the banking debacle — and such functions require doctors, vets, architects, engineers, scientists, and God help us, accountants. This is part of the reason the public service average pay is higher. There’s a greater concentration of professionaly qualified people compared to the private sector, and that costs money.

    What we do not need is over-administration, which is what we have. Our red tape is appalling, and we’re buried under a mountain of mini-managers, promoted out of their previous administrative obscurity to newly-created, and unnecessary positions which they are ill-equipped to fill.

    At the same time, our private sector is hardly a model of efficiency or customer service, and is also beset with incompetent administrative types. Furthermore, all you have to do is order a coffee to see how greedy businesses are, and in that I don’t necessarily blame the café, but all the other attendant businesses they have to deal with, and the landlords.

    My local pub, which pays no rent, is one of the most expensive in town. They have consistently pushed up their prices at every pretext, including the Euro change-over, and while you may say that’s simply testing what the market will bear, I’d call it greed and disrespect for customers.

    Greed is endemic throughout Irish society and there’s no advantage to be gained in blaming the public sector for it. Though the public sector does contain some greedy people, it also has many dedicated professionals.

    If you really want to see greed and irresponsibility, look to the banks, the private sector property developers and assorted fleas on their back, like estate agents. Look to IBEC, which sees the crisis as an opportunity to force down wages while keeping prices high.

  53.  

    @Mairead

    (note: as I refer to “you” in the following I’m adressing Public sector workers in general except in a couple of cases)
    I’m sure you work very hard Maired, as do most of the teachers in our system, but I can understand where JBKenn is coming from. I certainly don’t blame the public sector for the entire problem, but I do believe that Public Sector unions must take responsibility for some of it.

    Can I just ask:
    -Why is it that every time PS Unions strike, the central issue is about your pay?
    -Why are you not on strike to protest at the closing of special needs schools, or overcrowded classroms?
    -Why are you not striking to force the government to release the educational system from the iron grip of the Roman catholic Church?
    -Why are you not striking against the dumbed-down curriculum you are being forced to teach in schools, which as we now see is starting to lead to a nosedive in junior and leaving cert results?
    -Why are you not striking against the school book scam that forces parents to shell out for new books every couple of years, whose content is virtually identical to that of their predeccesors?

    Now, you might think those are asshole questions, and that none of the above issues are “allowable” as grounds fro striking…but do you know, when Larkin started fighting for worker’s rights, many of the things they did weren’t allowable either – but they did them anyway, and forced the System to recognise them as rights.

    I would love an answer to them that can shut me up. Maybe I am wrong, and INTO has been striking on all of these issues. Am I wrong? Restore my faith in Teachers!

    Every time I see or hear about a PS Union on strike, it’s about money, money money. And that’s where I think JbKenn and many others have an issue with the Unions.
    Surely a golden opportunity to unite the country’s workforce behind the notion that, no matter how we were led into this awful fuckup, we must work together to get out of it?
    Maybe we should stop the boat sinking first , and court-martial the captain after we’re safely back on dry land…and to that end I say that the Unions have a responsibilty to this country and its people to step up to the plate and start representing everyone, and not just their members.
    To say that no matter what, they will be champions for change. That they’ll fight to reform the system from within. I don’t hear them saying that. Maybe it’s the media silencing them, or maybe it’s just because they are not doing it.

    We can say “don’t blame the people at the bottom rung” but yet, when your Union goes on strike, you will march with them and lend weight to their protest, will you not? Why aren’t you fighting tooth and nail to reform the Educational system, the Health Service, the Gardai, or whatever, so that it runs the way it should, efficiently and cheaply? Then we’d never even need to have these arguments :)

    We know you work long hours, as do the gardai, firemen, emergency services, and so on.
    We know you as a teacher have to spend your free time doing work at home. But what did you expect? You’re an educator, you are supposed to be a bastion of rational thought, who puts the education of our nation’s children ahead of all other concerns. Sure, you have a right to get paid to do it, but aren’t there far more pressing problems to be dealt with than the reduction of your own personal wealth?

    Everyone is part of the problem, but not everyone want to admit it.

  54.  

    jbkenn,
    Yes, I generally get cross when someone attacks me. You are the one who just doesn’t get it. You are falling once again for the charvet shirts brigade. I can’t waste any more of my life trying to explain it to you here. Your comment about the nurse being the only one to get a job shows the truth of your stance – begrudgery and jealousy. What are you saying exactly? No-one in this country should have a job? No-one in this country should have a permanent job? The capitalists have done some job on this country, but you’re cheering them on at the cost of the workers? Do you think that we need our public services? We can’t have them for free. The reason I posted at all on this was to say that I do not agree with the Govt’s decision to put billions into failed, corrupt, laughing-at-us Banks instead of putting them into our public services. You obviously do not agree.

    Steve,
    Again, I would have to write for a year here to answer all of your questions. Let me try without going on for too long. I am a member of INTO, so I can only speak about that union.

    “-Why is it that every time PS Unions strike, the central issue is about your pay?”
    You couldn’t be more wrong there. INTO last went on strike about pay during the mid 1980s, before that it was 1946.

    “-Why are you not on strike to protest at the closing of special needs schools, or overcrowded classroms?”
    INTO had a nationwide campaign and threatened industrial action about class size last year and the year before. When this Govt. under Batt O’ Keeffe increased class size, we took to the streets again all over the country. Did you? INTO have also negotiated hard regarding special schools.
    By the way, Steve, just a word about special needs pupils. Do you know how that works in our primary schools? Does the Govt give each school an allocation of teachers and SNAs? No, I’m afraid. The teachers have to fight to get any help for these children, and fight every year to retain them. (I had a longer paragraph on this, but I think I’ll write a proper post on it in a day or so. It’s too important).

    “-Why are you not striking to force the government to release the educational system from the iron grip of the Roman catholic Church?”
    I would. You must understand though that we as teachers are in a very hard position here, because the Bishops are our legal employers. What are you doing about that, yourself?

    “-Why are you not striking against the dumbed-down curriculum you are being forced to teach in schools, which as we now see is starting to lead to a nosedive in junior and leaving cert results?”
    I do not agree that we have a dumbed-down curriculum in primary school. The difficulty with it is that we find it very difficult to implement this modern curriculum in 100 year old schools, with very poor IT infrastructure and truly awful broadband speeds. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with the recent Intel and Google pronouncements about our grades, afterall the US is the land of the inflated grade. Yes, we appear to have more As and more first class honours, but we also have many more fails. Thirty years ago, markers played it safe and gave few As and few fails. I would agree that our students have a poor ability to think critically, be creative etc… Our CAO system calls for rote learning, not creativity, but that is not the fault of the Primary School Curriculum, which actually encourages critical thinking skills and creativity. I think that we have a very fine Curriculum, and if implemented fully we will have very fine graduates. There we have the nub of the problem – implementation. We cannot implement this curriculum in classes of 30+, in ancient classrooms without the resources and space needed to teach it. Remember our large classes now also contain special needs pupils and pupils without English. Teachers have welcomed such children into our schools with an open heart, and rightly so, but the support from this Govt. in helping us to help these children is really a disgrace. Yes, I have spoken up and written about all of these things, and very loudly. INTO have constantly brought them up with the Department of Education and Science, and negotiated to improve them. Have you done anything yourself, Steve?

    -Why are you not striking against the school book scam that forces parents to shell out for new books every couple of years, whose content is virtually identical to that of their predeccesors?
    This is another one of my campaigns. Many schools have book rental schemes. Personally, I don’t like them because e.g. in my child’s secondary school the rental scheme costs the school €15,000 a year to administer, because the pupils wreck the books and the school keeps having to replace them! I think that is improper use of funding. I train teachers in how to teach without any books! I totally disagree with publishers dictating what will be taught in our classrooms. However, many, many parents want books and lots of them! What have you done about this?

    “I would love an answer to them that can shut me up. Maybe I am wrong, and INTO has been striking on all of these issues. Am I wrong? Restore my faith in Teachers!”
    Well? Tell me. Have I?
    I don’t think that we could strike on everything you suggest, we’d never be in school if we did. INTO most definitely have spoken up on all of your suggestions and have threatened strike for quite a few, as I have outlined. Strike for pay has happened three times ever since the establishment of the INTO in 1868. What do you say to that, now that you have the facts rather than speculation and presumption?

    “We know you work long hours, as do the gardai, firemen, emergency services, and so on.
    We know you as a teacher have to spend your free time doing work at home. But what did you expect?”
    I don’t have a problem with working long hours. I love my job. What I did not expect was to be attacked for doing it. What I did not expect was to endure many years of academic study in order for my pay to be slashed and slashed to pay for wealthy people’s cock-ups.

    “You’re an educator, you are supposed to be a bastion of rational thought, who puts the education of our nation’s children ahead of all other concerns. Sure, you have a right to get paid to do it, but aren’t there far more pressing problems to be dealt with than the reduction of your own personal wealth?”
    I put my pupils first. I am not wealthy. I have a right to be paid and a right to strike if my conditions of employment are attacked. Our pay was slashed several times last year, without warning. We all have bills to pay, and we budget our money in order to pay them. Suddenly, we didn’t have the money we thought we would have to pay our bills. I’m not looking to become rich out of teaching, I know that won’t happen. I am not in this job for the money, BUT I must be paid. I think that I would be doing my pupils a disservice if I gave in meekly to this bully Govt; and that is not the example I want to give them.

    I do not accept that we can’t afford our public service. I don’t believe this Govt. I do believe that we are in an awful state, and need some sideways thinking to get out of it. This Govt has made choices. They have chosen to bail out Banks and to let our public services rot. I do not agree with that decision.

    Do you?

  55.  

    Mairead, well said. Teachers are not paid enough in my opinion. You deserve the proper respect and pay for the job you do. I did not know Minister for ignorance Mary Coughlan, said that parents could come in to cover for sick teachers. Ridiculous.
    I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside.. who else is in a better position to do that besides teachers!

  56.  

    @FME
    Maybe their parents?You know, the people who brought them into this world?

    @Mairead,

    Fair play and full marks for taking the time to address my (admittedly rantish) questions. But just remember, I wasn’t having a go at you personally, and when I referred to PSU’s I was talking about all of them. but just again for the record. This is not an attack on you. It is an attack on what I see as the personification of the public sector, in this case teachers, and the attitudes that I perceive are standing in the way of solutions. In this post I am going to focus on teachers because, well, that’s the current context of the thread. If there are any gardai or civil servants out there, please join in. I’ll be happy to rail on you too ;)

    In the case of your own Union, INTO, I stand fully corrected, and I apologise for any unfounded allegations I may have leveled at you

    Also apologies to Bock and other readers as this is going to be a big one, very off-topic I know. But I don’t know where else to put it (pre-emptive snark defence: no, my ass is not big enough)

    I am glad to hear that you, at least, are trying to do something. As for what I have done? Well, I’m not part of a Public Sector Union so I can only go online and post long forum replies ;).

    All joking aside, I am trying to do my bit.
    Refusing to support the Church is one thing. Complaining to my son’s school when they fuck up is another.
    Making up for the shortfall in education that my son receives. Refusing to accept on blind faith what any institution, be it the Government, Educational system, Legal system, or private enterprise, tells me.

    Do you know, that in his school, the kids are not allowed to go to the bathroom more than twice a day? That when they have to take a shit, they have to ask the teacher for toilet paper in front of the whole class? Even after having been given a letter from a doctor that he suffered from a condition that required him to shit several times a day, the school refused to accomodate him?
    That we ended up having to send him to school with a roll of toilet paper in his bag, with strict instructions that he was to inform the teacher, not ask that he was leaving the classroom for a few minutes when he needed to go?
    And the school’s response to this? “Ah, well, you see, we have to make sure that kids aren’t playing hokey by pretending to go to the loo”.
    This same school flat out refused to do anything about a bully in my son’s class who over the course of 2 years reduced him to a practically nervous wreck (see condition above) Yet, the one time my kid stood up for himself to the bully, he was humiliated and threatened with suspension until I stepped in.

    These people are your peers, Mairead. Do you think they are due much respect? Would you accept that this could happen anywhere let alone in a very well known, very big primary/secondary school right in the centre of Limerick?

    Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Ah Steve, you are so transparent. Cat’s out of the bag. You have a chip on your shoulder. Tsk, tsk. Write me a 1,000 word essay on why you should respect the institution”. Well, you know, maybe I do a little bit, but I will bet my house that my kid’s experience is mirrored by thousands of other kids around the country too, across hundreds of schools. As a teacher you expect respect. But respect must be earned, you cannot claim respect just because you spent years in college and chose a traditionally “respectable” job.

    Kids nowadays in most schools are not allowed to wear certain types of clothes or shoes. Or have in their posession certain types of food. Or have their ears pierced. Or have their hair below a certain length (unless they are girls) — or in the case of girls, wear the wrong colour tights. Call me crazy, but I challenge anybody to prove to me that these are nothing other than another facist mechanism designed to teach kids one thing and one thing only: Shut The Fuck Up, And Do What You Are Told. Do Not Rock the Boat. Do not Question My Authority. Pay Your Taxes Yes, sure they will give a whole list of reasons for the above, but really, they’re a smokescreen. All they are really teaching our kids is that It’s ok to be different, as long as you are the same, because they have been engineered to produce nice, quiet, domesticated work-horses.

    And don’t get me started on “encouraging creativity”. Can you believe that they are taught in maths class that it’s more important to try hard, than to get the right answer? What. The. Fuck?
    (and if you think this is a joke, I swear to God almight that this is what they told us at the PTMs, because, “oh, you know, not everyone is as smart as everyone else”. Right. That’s the spirit. Don’t bother teaching them to jump higher, just lower the bar.)
    Isn’t that the same bullshit that the government is trying to distract us with over the banks?”Oh but we’re trying, honest!”
    Isn’t that the retarded attitude that has led to a situation whereby it is virtually impossible to lose your job in this country by being incompetent, and in fact has led to utter gobshites running both our banks AND our government?

    I could go on, but I hope you see my point.
    I’m not being bitter here(honest!) but I suppose I am angry.
    Look beneath the situation, and examine the attitudes that lead to it. That is where the problem lies.

    And sorry Mairead, but our educational curriculum is dumbed down. Take any immigrant kid from europe (with the exception of the UK) , and ask them how hard is their class, and they will laugh at you. Our kids are two years behind the rest of Europe when it comes to maths and science, which are, like it or not, a fundamental underpinning of a large portion of our economy.

    The fact that you bemaon the lack of IT facilities to educate the children tells me a lot about the current curriculum.
    Since when did you need computers to educate people? In fact, it has been more or less proven already several years ago that Computers in the classroom = nosedive of academic grades. Yet the system, of which you are a part, is looking for more gadgets?
    (I know what I am talking about when it comes to IT)

    If someone organises a march on the Government to address the bloated public service, I’ll be there, guaranteed. (Personally I do think I have the wherewithal to arrange something like this). And Mairead, it IS bloated. It IS costing the country too much money. There is no way we can continue like this.

    But I stand over my problems with the rest of them.

    Look, we had a big herd of fat cows (except, many of them it turns out were really just balloons painted brown with cut-out cardboard spech bubbles that said “MOO”. But anyway)
    Some fucker came and stole most of them. But everyone is still screaming that they better get their roast beef, or there will be trouble!
    Something’s got to give. I am sure now that there is at least one dedicated teacher out there in your good self Mairead, please keep fighting to get your peers in line. In the meantime, I will keep fighting for everyone to pull in the one direction.

  57.  

    Steve — You’re a contributor in good standing. Write as much as you want.#

    Just one point: if the public sector is bloated, it’s not bloated with front-line people. We have a lower level of in-your-face service than anywhere in Europe. Our problem is with the quasi-managers who have infested the public service over the last decade.

  58.  

    Cool, thanks!

    I agree, and probably am coming across as a bit rabid in my posts regarding this because I haven’t specifically mentioned it.
    No doubt about it that the bloat is middle-management, a truly horrific invention if ever there was one.

    I just don’t get it why everyone seems to be doing their damndest to avoid having to say “Yes. I am part of the problem, albeit a small one. How do I fix this?”, and that’s across every sector, public, private, domestic

    We can’t force other people to change or by extension, groups of people. I DO respect the hard-working public servants and I don’t doubt that most of them are doing their honest best.

    During WWII (yes, I am going there) the British government called on every person in the country to donate as much aluminium as they could spare to go towards the war effort. They made mountains out of the stuff that people gave. Even those that had only a pot to piss in, gave that pot. They enlisted volunteers to guard the reserves, and made it clear that there was to be no loose talk of the collections, for fear of spying.

    They never used a single ounce of that aluminium, because of course it was useless. But the point is, everyone, I mean everyone, in that country did something to “help”. And not a scrap of it was ever stolen.(well, that’s perhaps apocryphal but the fellows who told me that story were adamant. After all, they were there).

    THAT is the type of social cohesion and unity that is required to get this country out of this mess.
    [Cue stirring background string section]
    I call on every single person in this country: “Ask not what can your Country can do for you, but what can you do for your Country?”

  59.  

    You misjudge me again, Steve. I am absolutely aghast and disgusted at what you have described. It is a disgrace and I would visit a solicitor immediately if I were you. Really, I would. There is no way that I would stand over that kind of bullying behaviour (from the teachers!). I am not an apologist for bad teachers. I see now where your rage is coming from, and I don’t blame you one bit. I am so sorry that your son has been the victim of disgraceful and unprofessional conduct.
    We’re not all like that though, Steve, I promise you that.

  60.  

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  61.  

    Today, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested
    to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
    My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is
    completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  62.  

    When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are
    added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I receive four
    emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you are able
    to remove me from that service? Thanks!

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