Feb 272011
 

I’ve been out on an Atlantic rock for the last few days, Tedfestering, and comms have been a bit patchy at best, so I’m not entirely up to date on the final outcome of the general election.  From what I can gather, we’ve kicked out one party for pursuing policies we detest, and replaced them with another party that has exactly the same policies.  Would that be about right?

It would?

Right then.  I think I’ll just stay here on Craggy Island ,  living off shellfish and communion wafers.  It’s depressing.

Please tell me it isn’t true.  We kicked out a party of crooks who bankrupted the country and in their place we’ve installed a bunch who think they should do exactly the same thing.  Is that right?  Is that it?

So this is revolution, Irish style.  We hate your policies because they’re killing us, but we vote you into office anyway, and then we spend the next five years grumbling about you, but never to your face.

Wonderful.  What a tough, feisty, single-minded people we are.  No wonder we made such a huge success of independence, wouldn’t you say?

Of course there are some schadenfreude moments of satisfaction in the result, even if they’ll make not the slightest difference to our future.  Indulge me: I’m only human.  As Mrs Doyle might have said, revenge is a dish best served with a nice cup of tea.

And thus, I rejoice that the electorate has chosen to kick out useless, pompous windbags like Frank Fahey, Mary Hanafin, Mary Coughlan, Pat Carey, Seán Haughey, Máire Hoctor, John O Donoghue, Peter Power and Dick Roche.  All out on their arses.

Great.  And not only the FF gobshites, but every single one of the Greens who collaborated in Fianna Fáil’s treason against our country, all kicked out on their arses, including Éamon Green Broadband Bicycles Ryan.

Unfortunately, we have now replaced Fianna Fáil with Fianna Fake, and they will continue to steal your money so that no banker suffers as a consequence of his recklessness.  Fine Gael will work night and day to ensure that bondholders the world over can’t believe their luck.  And it’s all thanks to your generosity.

Aren’t you great?  Take a bow, why don’t you?  Go on go on go on!!

 

 

  137 Responses to “What Do You Call an Irish Revolution? More Of The Same.”

Comments (137)
  1.  

    Oh FFS sourpuss, brew a strong pot of tea and catch up with what’s been happening on the mainland. In the most unexpected corners of this mercurial island, people voted in ways they never have before. This is step one on the road to real change. FG, due to exceptional vote management, turned their 30something share of the vote into a disproportionately large number of seats, many of which will be exceedingly vulnerable in the next election. So to recap – one down, one to go.
    So, enjoy the sight of FF withering and dying on the opposition benches, squeezed between SF and the ULA. Watch in glee as FG take the first bitter sips from their poisoned chalice.
    And then roll up your sleeves and dig in for the real work.
    A lot done. Lots to do.

  2.  

    Yes it’s entirely just a rebranding process. We haven’t changed what is done, just the faces that do it.

  3.  

    Its the same old story over and over like fucking groundhog day.Replace one party with a history of failure with another party with a history of failure and then when they do what they do best (failure) replace them with the previous failures.What is the saying about doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get a different result ?.An Irish revolution perhaps!! haha …jesus I dont know whether to laugh or cry,all I do know is that Ireland soaks your life forces out of you and fills you with a sense of despair and hopelessness

  4.  

    The problem is the Irish electorate are right wing and therefore will elect right wing parties. It seems that the vast majority are also terminally compliant to the point of sacrificing their ( and our ) children to poverty or emigration for generations to come in order to pay loosing bets to speculators . I suppose there may be a vague possibility that after another four years or so of this shite they may cop themselves on, I will not hold my breath.

  5.  

    Perhaps you may suggest a viable alternative.

  6.  

    If comment No.5 is to me. Yes I could but the electorate have not suffered enough ,as yet, to choose my alternative.

  7.  

    If we as as a people have not suffered enough to warrent saving from your Prince on a White Horse then he is not a viable alternative at ths moment. By all means slag off the incoming FG/LAB government but like I asked, do suggest a viable alternative. There isn’t a left wing candidate in the country not is there room for one in a modern economy.

  8.  

    While i agree with your post Bock,not all of us voted this shower of fakers in.How anyone believed that a vote for FG was a vote for change is beyond me.Enda”s charm must have really worked a treat for all those fed up with the current system of political corruption.Lucinda Creighton won a seat and her views on equals rights are there for all to see.I may consider a revolt of leaving the country again.Is there any hope?

  9.  

    Again Joanne suggest a viable alternative.

  10.  

    Fair play to you Bock ye never lost it.
    The fine arts prejudgement and begrudgery live on.

  11.  

    There is’nt room for a left wing candidate in a “modern” economy. Its a monday I know, but this produced the biggest belly laugh I have had in a long time. A fucken modern economy, jesus thats just pure father ted. Well done number 8

  12.  

    No.8 February 28th, 2011 9:13 am, What is a modern economy? Do you mean the current in deep crisis US world economy, an economy without a shred of egalitarian philosophy, an unsustainable economy?

  13.  

    LJS perhaps you’ll educate me. I fine it hard to believe that the words “modern economy” resulted in a belly laugh, but I remain open minded, unlike many here. Unlike yourself, Joanne and Gary I obviously haven’t a clue about politics or the economy but as I say I remain open minded and willing to learn. I await your gems of knowledge.

  14.  

    Gearohid by a modern economy I mean one that is open and influenced by international markets. No one doubted this model when the Tiger was roaring. Ok maybe you and LJS and Joanne did but I ignored ye. As for egalitarian philosophy there is fuck all equal about the economy in Ireland. I’m self employed, that’s self employed not a business magnate. I pay my stamp but am not entitled to any welfare from the state in the event of redundancy. So the next time you and your mock lefty wing wankers have a philosophy discussion on the egalitarian aspects of the economy post vatican 2, drag your head out of you hole and think of the huge numbers of worker in this counttry would get fuck all for their tax contributions. But for me to continue paying my tax € I and many others need a functioning modern economy so that you can enjoy egalitarianism.

  15.  

    No.8 sarcasm requires a sharp wit. I am not sure where your opinion lies. Are you content with the idea of “We are where we are” or “We all partied” or despairing at the lack of wit of the Irish electorate? If you can see no alternative to the current situation there is no point in giving you my opinion. You appear to think all others on this site are out of step perhaps you should give this some thought.

  16.  

    Gary, I made no attempt to be sarcastic. I simply asked that those who despair a the incoming FG / LAB coalition to offer a viable alternative. You again assume your position on the pedastal and refuse to discuss your alternativce with those of us not intelligent to know what it is. Perhaps you should give this some thought.

  17.  

    No.8 perhaps you should lobby Fine Gael to change the law? Or even ask what the general view is about the unemployed, once self employed, being entitled to nothing?

  18.  

    Gary, you must be the most selfless person alive, all this free advice is surely a bounty. (This is me trying to be sarcastic). I don’t really have a problem with the lack of social welfare, it’s bullshit about egalitarianism that pisses me off, not do I expect FG to change the law. Would your alternative government over turn the status que?

  19.  

    No.8 our posts are crossing , leads to a bit of confusion. However in my opinion it would be in the best interests of the Labour Party to lead the opposition by doing so they would marginalize F.F. possibly to extinction. This would leave F.G. having to find a few right wing independents to support them. As the independents would require a very high price for their support ( as in Jackie Healy-rea) , this would be unstable and fall in a short time, as F.G. are going to be “business as usual” changing only the faces Labour might be returned as a single Party Government. As it is Labour seem to feel obliged to go into Government to soften the more extreme F.G. faction, as a result they will repeat history , sort out the mess with Taxes, cuts etc, and suffer the consequences at the next election, returning F.F. to power to rule in the interests of their friends at our expense for yet another generation . What goes around comes around!

  20.  

    No 8 It was the sentence in its entirety that made me laugh. “There isn’t room for a left wing candidate in a “modern” economy”
    I would have thought the word “failed” would be more appropriate then modern, when referring to our economy. Why did it fail? because it was unregulated and this allowed the greediest in our society to run amuck. Resulting in both you and I, our children, and our children’s children having to pay for the greed of a few. I do happen to think that now, more then ever ,there is a place for left wing thinking in a modern/failed economy.

  21.  

    Ellen Dillion, such optimism deserves notice, i concur with all your remarks. Wonderful insight. We now need Fienna Fake and the Labour right to fuck it up some more. By the next election more wonderful changes ahead.

    No8, I was self employed for a long time and can see where you are coming from. I learned the hard way that being self employed made me a buffer, not all self employed people are in a real business. They are encouraged by the governments of the day to set up, thereby removing a sizable number of people from the live register, never to be allowed to return to it if they can help it.

    Setting up in business means that you want control, power, money and to make a living too. If you falter or indeed fail, like wille and ff, everyone is to blame except you. Do you think that the loony lefty`s had any part in this stupid greed of less regulations less control of the elite to ensure they profited while the employed and yes the self employed suffered.

    As Bock has said we have replaced one set of gobshites with another, their collective past records are what shows them for what they are. While the people have spoken, the underlying message is simple. Here is your chance, fuck it up and we will make you pay next time. Fianna Fake and the right wing of the Labour party take note!

  22.  

    The reality is FF not FG got us in this pile of dog poo. For me FG have to create at least 300,000 + jobs if they don’t do that in their time allotted they have failed. What baffles me more is FF still got something like 18-20% of the vote, are these fcuking people mad.

  23.  

    No.8 change our current system when it is working so well for the speculators? The Gods forbid! I am retired myself having received a huge golden handshake and pension. As you are self employed are you not costing yourself money faffing about on here?

  24.  

    Gary why don’t you just answer the questions put to you. If the electorate of Ieland vote FF back into power after a one term gap then they fully deserve every piece of crap that FF will reign upon them.

    LJS the economony was unregulated because FF and their lackies appointed as regulators deserted their posts, ditto the boys on Wall St. and Lehman Bros. Blair saw the light and changed Labour into a cente right party after failed attempts by Kinnock and co. to get a left wing party elected to run a modern economy. I lived in London during this period and the money that left the British economy before elections and returned after a Tory win was frightening, I alo voted Labour. The Irish Labour party wouldn’t know the left wing from Ghengis Khan, there is no left in Ireland, never was a left in Ireland, never will be a left in Ireland.

  25.  

    Sorry No 8 you are not correct when you say there was never a left in Irish politics.The labour party founded by James Connolly in 1912 was the main opposition party in the Dail up until 1927. In this most recent election, the centre-left Labour Party has now become the second biggest party in the Dail. The other left wing parties such as Sinn Fein, the socialist party,and the left alliance have all made gains in this election. So I don’t know where you get the impression that there is no left in Ireland.
    You are right though in the sense that a party inclined to the left has never been in a position real of power where they could effect real change when in Government.

  26.  

    “The Irish Labour party wouldn’t know the left wing from Ghengis Khan, there is no left in Ireland, never was a left in Ireland, never will be a left in Ireland.” No. 8 asserts.

    I have to disagree with this generalisation. I have always voted for a leftwing candidate in my constiuency wherever that was at various times. Most of them have been elected. I have had the pleasure of voting for Noel Browne, Tony Gregory, Jim Kemmy and others over the years. Now I’m told by N0 8 that they didn’t actually exist.

  27.  

    No8, are you willie?

  28.  

    Rankoutsider No.22 I have just been reminded of a couple of interviews I heard recently. One with a man when asked who he would vote for stated “ I have always voted Fianna Fáil so I will vote Fianna Fáil but I hope Fine Gael get in as a single Party Government” another with a lady who said “ We need a change I will vote Fianna Fáil” It seems some gobshites are factory wired to be thick!

  29.  

    Serious question here. Who are the left in Irish politics?
    Labour are at best are centre left ( same as St Bertie the socialist)
    Sinn Fein the latter day reborn fascists can hardly claim left wing credentials.
    So by my reckoning there are only about ten left wingers in the Dail.

  30.  

    @ Mel Drew, Yes that would be your reckoning, based on, from what I can see, a couple of sweeping general statements/tabloid headlines. Not necessarily mine or a lot of others peoples views, who went out to vote for left wing candidates last Friday.

  31.  

    The labour party founded 1n Thurles in 1912 was formed to protect workers rights at a time of chaqnge and revolution in Europe. There are and have been individuals of a left point of view in Ireland but never a genuine left wing political party. If you can consider Dick Spring, Michael D Higgins, Michael O’Leary to be left wing what would you make of Lenin? As for Tony Browne he belonged to Mé Féin, he also held the country and Haughey to randsom for IR£20m but that was ok because he was deeemed of the people of inner city Dublin whereas Healy Rea is a cute Kerry hoor. Does anyone here really consider Jack O’Connor and his 6 figure salary to be left wing. WTF have Larkin and O’Connor got in common? This is the first day of change in Ireland and the begrudgers are wringing their hands. WTF do ye want, abracababra our debts wiped out, kazam kazoom double digit growth. If anyone seriously thinks that we would be better off under a left wing government then you need to seriously either remove your head from your hole or emigrate. Actually can anyone show me a leftwing government country in the first world? Remember the further left you go the more right you become, just ask the Russians.

  32.  

    Really the time has come to redefine Left / Right , As many sweeping generalisations dont provide the meaning of same that represents where we are to-day, And that is how I am interpreting the points made by No 8.

    Islandbank. ” Setting up a business means you want control, power, money and to make a living too ” As a previous self employed person that may have been your experience, It is not however the experience of many who take that step with the sense of self empowerment and vision to create something that others can benefit from and that eventually the business owner hopes he/she too can benefit from, There might be many who share your experience but in my own experience, I have been self employed all my life, The shackles placed upon the independent business owner as opposed to the other type you referred to are onerous and try as you will those shackles get tighter and more restraining given the previous Governments view that the self employed were merely fodder for political wastage.

    William. I can well relate to your sense of ” Despair and Hopelessness ”

    Poll Dorcha @ 26 The people you mentioned Noel Browne, Tony Gregory and Jim Kemmy were exceptional and unique individuals and would have been so regardless of Politics, To define their views as leftist does not do them justice, What that particular trio had in common, Apart from their integrity was their unquenchable thirst for knowledge and their adherance to challenging the very attitudes and mindsets which keep Irelands society entrenched in the short view and the small mind.
    Is that a leftist agenda ? I think not, It is an agenda of personal responsibility and adherance to values.

    LJS @ 25 James Connolly in 1912 was the voice of a suppressed worker, The man or woman who wanted equality and freedom and a decent life, That voice has to be translated in 2011 into addressing what is relevant now, That may have been viewed in 1912 as Leftist now that is a basic human right and no longer a left wing view.

    The people have spoken, The Irish version of Democracy has prevailed and what we need these democratically elected politicians to do now is to challenge the pitiful state their predesessors have plunged us into, The road is rocky and it will be a long and difficult process, The candidates stood, The people voted, The decimation of FF/Greens is a representation of change, It may be very subtle but its undeniable, No 8 asked the ultimate question ” Where was a viable alternative ? ” Nobody answered him , So why not quit the whinging and watch carefully, The power still remains with the people, We can be more vigilant and take the personal responsibility to take them to task as our future has been very generously placed in their hands.

  33.  

    LJS, I don`t read tabloids, in fact I try not to read any papers.
    Where are the Jim Kemmys of todays Labour Party?
    .For the record I have no problem with the Gilmore, Rabbitte et al. Ruari Quinn is probably the best Finance Minister the state has had.
    But the question remains in terms of ideologies, who are the left in Irish politics?

  34.  

    Definitely not willie No8, are you the bull by anychance?

  35.  

    Islandbank, are you in denial?

  36.  

    Ah, No 8, got your attention at last.

    Analyise all you want, throw any hissyfit you need, rant even! Don`t forget that there are other opinions too. All excerised at the ballot box the other day. It is reasonable to give vent to the frustration of not having your own way, just don`t go blaming the left or rather what there is of the left for the right`s ineptitude. In saying that we now have to wait and see if what has come to pass is going to be as bad as we all fear, or worse.

    We could be all wrong, maybe inda is the answer! For good or bad the people have spoken, like never before. I see that as a good thing. Not the result i wanted but nevertheless the decimation of ff is a step in the right direction. There is more to come, the variety of people that have been elected this time around are looking for change ( and i don`t mean fine fake ), they are more questioning more demanding and yes they profess to be of the left ( well some of them do any way ). they will in their own way show up the hypocrits and gombeens like never before. You on the other had sound like a disgruntled ff`r. You are repeating all the old mantras, attacking in a failed direction, as Norma says in her post @ 32 your sweeping generalisations achieve nothing, get over yourself.

    Bob Dylan sang, Oh The Times they Are A Changing.

    Well Norma, a wonderful response from you. I would ask that you keep in mind that not all self emlpoyed are philantrophists. In fact the majority are indeed fodder to be used and abused at the whim of the elite in business as well as politics to be discarded when of no further use. Is it any wonder that the self employed are angry at this time, they have discovered the meaning of Macjobs!

  37.  

    Islandbank. Just to clarify, I wasn’t directing the sweeping generalisations at no 8, He has made some very valid points and nobody specifically addressed his question.
    I am of the belief that it is not just elected representatives who need to redefine and defragment our thought process and how we advance now in the area of challenge, As has been demonstrated in these days of living history across Nth Africa and the Middle East, There is an incredible evolving real and valid means of communication via blogs and other means of social networking and the listening quality in response to these means will require an updating of our listening skills.
    With the developing and evolving means of this site and others the scene is set for ultra monitoring of our future in a way that is new, exciting and relevant.
    We have turned a corner and now it’s about an entirely different challenge and we need to update our definition of left/right and centre as we go.

  38.  

    I stand corrected Norma. Sorry No 8.

    Of course i do agree totally with your last paragraph.

    Thank you.

  39.  

    “Norma says” The people you mentioned Noel Browne, Tony Gregory and Jim Kemmy were exceptional and unique individuals and would have been so regardless of Politics, To define their views as leftist does not do them justice, What that particular trio had in common, Apart from their integrity was their unquenchable thirst for knowledge and their adherance to challenging the very attitudes and mindsets which keep Irelands society entrenched in the short view and the small mind.”

    Norma rather sweepingly wants to strip away Brown, Gregory and Kemmy of their genuine left wing orientations, indeed core sense of political identity, and sanitise them to her political perspective, I think. When they each stood for election they always very clearly defined themselves as left wingers, though Brown joined FF for a brief period.

  40.  

    In my opinion Noel Browne and the others mentioned were left wing however they realised that they lived in a gombeen state run by F.F. and Holy Mother Church , the only way to make any progress was to Fein compliance while paddling away like hell beneath the water. Sound familiar folks?

  41.  

    I’m amazed. This was a post about the fact that Fine Gael will pursue the same policies as Fianna Fáil which in my opinion are failed policies.

    People are accusing me of begrudgery, Others are locked in an argument about Left and Right.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but are Fine Gael not in agreement with Fianna Fáil that we Irish must borrow countless billions to pay the gambling debts of international financiers who fully expected to lose their shirts until Brian Lenihan decided to mortgage Ireland instead?

    Don’t tell me about Left and Right. Don’t give me cheap bullshit about begrudgery. Give me no lectures.

    Just tell me this: will the Fine Gael government borrow endless billions to bail out gamblers or will it not?

  42.  

    Bock I have written this before there is no difference between F.F. and F.G. of course F.G. will put us into penury to pay lost bets of their friends. F.F. have promised support!

  43.  

    Bock. You asked the question, from my perspective, they will negotiate a few percent and yes the bailout will roll on, whether or not we default, I don’t know.
    Had it been up to the last Government and their cohorts NTMA who attempted to get the bailout from Ghadaffis international fund , Hard as might be to believe we could actually be in a worse place only that the GIF thought it to be too small a loan.
    FF demonstrated a modern day Icartic scenario, Its now about the pieces being picked up and who can carry them, A one dimensional argument won’t win the battle or the war.

  44.  

    Norma — Whatever about arguments, I find that questions are most incisive when they’re kept one-dimensional.

  45.  

    @Bock – there are are three instances of the word ‘begrudgery’ in this thread. Two are in your own post.

    If the central issue at question is that “This was a post about the fact that Fine Gael will pursue the same policies as Fianna Fáil which in my opinion are failed policies”, maybe it was a mistake to burden it with the title ‘What do you call an Irish Revolution’?

    I, for one, would call it the long-term outcome of a process begun, however tentatively, with Friday’s election…

  46.  

    Ellen — Did you see me accusing anyone of begrudgery in this post?

  47.  

    Bock – no, you suggest that ‘People are accusing me of begrudgery’. I was implying that this may not, in fact, have been the case, given that the word in question was only used once outside of your own post

  48.  

    Bock, RE: “Just tell me this: will the Fine Gael government borrow endless billions to bail out gamblers or will it not?” Yep, they will continue to do the same. I’m not sure people are aware of this.

    I posted the below link on the ‘eve of the general election’ thread.

    Noonan clearly stated FG’s policy on the banking bailout recently on Prime Time. It’s sentimental embellishment and wishful thinking in my view, if people think FG’s policies are going to be any different than FF in terms of their handling of the banking crisis. All other policies are just academic (a term David McWilliams uses in the video below) in my view if billions are going to continue being pumped into the banks. Renegotiating interest rates are academic if we can’t afford the principal amounts.
    McWilliams states we’re going to default.. is anyone listening I wonder? Miriam doesn’t seem to want to give him too much time to air his points.

    http://www.rte.ie/player/#v=1092031
    The three potential finance minitures.. Lenihan, Brutal and Noonan.

    At minute 14 you have Noonan stating his opinion on the IMF “Bailout” and how he’s going to negotiate with the IMF.

    Minute 17:20 Quote from Noonan,
    ” Well you see, I don’t think it can be done on the basis of waiving sticks or talkin about burnin bondholders. I think ya have to negotiate and it can only be done if the colleagues in Europe will agree… we’re in the Eurozone, we’re all part of the same group so I think what they may offer is a different mechanism to the same alternative”

    We’re fucked. More of the same. I’m all for being positive, but not at the expense of not looking at reality.

    I would urge people to listen to McWilliams @ 33:15 (you can skip to it)
    I just wish Miriam would shut the hell up and let him talk.

  49.  

    The question may be one dimensional it is though part of a much broader picture which is not.

    Poll dorcha. It was not my intention to sanitise the policies or the politics of the trio mentioned even though I agree with No 8 regarding Tony Gregory who unashamedly showed little concern for a Country outside his own individual pale, It doesn’t take from the mans integrity in adhering to his transparent agenda and he was no apologist for it.
    What was defined as Left wing policies in the ’70’s and ’80’s cannot be sanitised by me or anyone but it does need to be updated, modernised and put forward in context to our requirements for the future.

  50.  

    RME I can’t check out the link right now but I will, Its no foregone conclusion that Ml Noonan will get finance, The name being bandied for the job is Pat Rabbitt, Noonan is correct though, we are part of the Eurozone and insolvency will be on the menu for all.
    There was no viable group who would have attained a majority and then signed up McWilliams, Gurdiev , Kelly, Lucey or Sommerville to Wade in negotiate and sort to the best of their expert ability, We have what we have now and the beginning of the process might contain accountability, transparency and reality and that I think is the best we can hope for at this stage.
    Nobody offered themselves at the alter of default, Fintan O’Toole et al defended their position to stay on the fence, We are where we are and spiderwebbing a process in it’s infancy will only stall whatever progress can be made.

  51.  

    what about the FFs who lost their seats. the pay off they are receiving is frightening. 1/4 of a million lump sum and pensions of over €100,000 a year in some cases. all from our pockets. even out of office they are still costing us.
    switching fianna fail for fine gael, is like a guy who stops drinking guinness and starts drinking murphys. the next morning, he’ll still be out of pocket, with a head ache and his shite will still be black.

  52.  

    Norma, “What was defined as Left wing policies in the ’70?s and ’80?s cannot be sanitised by me or anyone but it does need to be updated, modernised and put forward in context to our requirements for the future.” Would this be an advocacy of Blairite New Labourism? I certainly hope and think not. The Left in the Republic has often been fractured and split, sometimes due to the North (Partition and splits in ICTU, difficulties on the national question e.g.IRSP), sometime because of unwise coalitions with FG and FF, for a long time under suspicion from RC Church throughout many years of the Free State, often craven in its attitude, (Labour under Norton and its education policy which was submitted to McQuaid for approval), and then the long lived agricultural predominance of this society which didn’t help the growth of the Left. The Labour Party itself threw out its own radical left wing at times or at other times fought viciously against them in elections, witness Kemmy’s battles with Prendergast in the early 1980s. The LP suffered from a fear of losing its meagre standing within the status quo. It is time for change but Norma, and I suspect you may agree, not to the kind of careerist cabal run by Blair and company but to a genuine centre left party.

  53.  

    Norma, what do you mean by spiderwebbing a process in it’s infancy?
    Yeah, we are where we are – screwed. Negotiating interest rate percentages will not get us out of the mess we’re in. In the video, McWilliams states Irish banks issued 18 Billion in bonds by in the last 3 weeks. 18 Billion, Jesus Christ. The tax take for the *Year* being 14 billion. That’s reality.

    Yeah, we’re part of the Eurozone.. I don’t believe insolvency is on the cards for all. That’s just scaremongering and towing the line in my view. What’s on the cards in reality, is the German and French banks taking responsibility and taking a hit on the money they lent to Irish banks.

    Lenihan says it all at 20:46.. “but for example a Eurobond. Just to take that example, means that Germany gives up her very favourable interest rates by diluting them with unfavourable interest rates in other member states… So please don’t underestimate the burden of persuasion here.”

    Two things there. If we’re part of the Eurozone, then the interest rate should be based on all member states’ economies in my opinion. Burden of persuasion? It certainly shouldn’t be on us.

  54.  

    Poll Dorcha. I dont wish to get into a long diatribe regarding personal politics and views, I thank you for being gracious and affording me such, I will say though that i am the opposite of an advocate for anything ” Blairite ” I always believed he was very adept at feeling out his audience, Whether that was a skill he developed or pure spin i’m not sure but for me Blair was anethema to all that Labour represented.
    I do believe however that Labour in Ireland fell time and time again on their own sword in the vain belief that any pathway to power would prove fruitful for their integral agenda, This proved to dilute the integrity of their agenda, Maybe this will feel the winds of Global change now.

    FME. ” Spiderwebbing ” is just a term referring to the weaving and circumnavigating of more fundamental issues.
    Whereas there is a certain amount of ” Scaremongering ” being perpetrated but there are real and scary issues at play, I have always had the tendency to look at Ireland in relation to the rest of the world and that is now more crucial than ever before.
    If we become mired now in bondholders/ interest rates/currencies and the general messages of persuasion to sell ourselves down the swanee without taking into account once and for all the more fundamental issues at stake here, We need to redefine our view, The stick we will be beaten with is our low Corporation Tax, That will emerge as a bargaining chip per reduction of interest rates which will never be equal but as you say it should be.
    Ireland in the coming year will experience further fallout from the massive surge in oil prices, That alone will close more Businness, Fine Gaels job projections will not be achievable, The poison chalice will be hoisted time and time again, The need to redifine our outlook and address the fundamentals of our Society will become more and more crucial as the prevailing winds of global change will become an even greater concern than our insolvency, What we believe we can achieve and what we will have to contend with will become the real issues.

  55.  

    I detect a lot of despair in some of the comments and I am at a loss to know why. Ask yourselves what did you expect from this election and what did you get. It is fair to say that we all hoped that FF would get a roasting and that is what they got. Historically speaking Ireland is travelling on a very fast train of change. Consider what has happened in just a few years, the PD party was wiped out , the Green party has been wiped out, and FF was nearly wiped out, we should be cheering. What is the matter with you all, the Irish people are doing great. They are moving at breakneck speed. Let us now select the next target and move on.

  56.  

    I think we’ve already sold ourselves down the swanee Norma.. that’s my point and negotiating how slow you want to drown is fruitless in my opinion… and that’s how I see negotiating interest rates.
    I’m all for fundamental societal change.. as long as everyone else is signed up for it also . i.e. – the fucking bankers and speculators. Not the regular Joe Soap trying to make ends meet. Why should we have to sell our country’s assets, suffer social deprivation, endure mass unemployment, mass emigration, high taxes/stealth taxes.. rates for this, that and the other – water, property tax.. and so on, so the people at the top of the ponzi scheme don’t suffer.
    It’s the same old adage as usual, the rich get richer and the poor get shagged, while the thieves tell us we’ve been living beyond our means.

  57.  

    In answer to Bock’s original question, sounds to me like FG will basically do the same as FF. But you people can still encourage them to do something else. Perhaps someone can answer #8’s post #5 and suggest a something else. In the meantime, like Jack just said, a lot of change has been happening, so remain hopeful. Just hope that you survive FG until the next change – or maybe they will change while on guard.

    William #3: Here’s the quote, variously attributed to A. Einstein, B. Franklin, Rita Mae Brown, and Narcotics Anonymous:

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Bock: what are communion wafers doing on Craggy Island?

  58.  

    In posts #5 and #9 I asked the bemoaners to suggest a viable alternative to the incoming Government. part from Garys convoluted joourney to nowhere, I’m still waiting!

  59.  

    Poll Dorcha. This morning Mick Wallace calls on Labour not to enter coalition with FG, What are the chances that Labour will resist being seduced and enter talks with Independents, I would like to see more flesh on the bones of MW proposal but at least he is displaying some Left credentials.

  60.  

    Norma, Mick Wallace is a property developer, How left do you really think he is?

    Properety developers are among the most despised groups in Ireland in the last few years, few others made such a direct contribution to our present state, yet here is one being hailed as some kind of messiah. WTF?

  61.  

    No 8. I think im realistic enough not to believe any degree of messianic nonsense, However i’m also realistic enough not to lump people into catogorys just because a majority of others belonging to that catogory displayed greedy and dispicable traits.
    Mick Wallace , while being a property developer was in no way your run of the mill PD, He retained his principles and displayed them much to the chagrin of FF who found him to be totally resistant to their cronyism, He is very involved and supportive of his local community and always was, The respect in his constituency was shown via a massive vote, There is nobody out there on a white charger but MW will speak out and display his integrity, little doubt about that., However if he is declared bankrupt he will lose his seat.

    Surely the point is less about property developers and more about people who developed property and perpetrated fraudulent and criminal acts ?

  62.  

    No. 8 you’re the only one sounding like a bemoaner. Why don’t you suggest “a viable alternative to the incoming government” and stop asking the question of people who are pointing out the reality of the continuation of failed policies. “A viable alternative to the incoming government”.. Can you even define that I wonder?

    I would imagine William knew the answer to that one, Someone.

  63.  

    No 8. I sincerly tried to answer your question, The electorate have spoken, Now its down to the elected candidates to navigate their way around a coalition.
    Maybe the problem with the question was the word ” Viable ” As we all try now in our own way to find a way forward we cannot be sure just what is ” viable ” given the hurricane like global changes.

    For example re viability, A group of women in Clare put themselves forward for election, It seemed as though this was based on their interpretation of a lack of women candidates, I would never vote for someone based on gender however they exercised their right to stand, Not even 1 of those women recieved over 500 votes and an all male elected candidate prevailed, The very interpretation of ” viable ” is open to very broad interpretation as our society becomes more fragmented into groups to which they relate based on personal criteria.
    We are undoubtedly still very attatched to ” The divil you know ” type of assessment and that obviously still has a way to go.

  64.  

    Norma, RE: ” I would never vote for someone based on gender” I thought I’d be the same too, until I was deciding between Jan and Joe for my numbero uno .. and I thought fuck it, all things being fairly equal we’ll go with Jan! :)

  65.  

    FME. No assumptions ! I bet if you dig deep you will see it was mostly based on Jan, her record and her integrity, Sorry dont know who ” Joe ” is ?

  66.  

    “Just tell me this: will the Fine Gael government borrow endless billions to bail out gamblers or will it not?”

    Yes, now can we move to the next step of the analysis? Can answers be as biting if they are one dimensional – what happens if endless billions are not borrowed?

  67.  

    The Labour Party is now about to throw away the glorious opportunity of bringing about the left right divide this country so badly needs, it is the ultimate betrayal by this bunch of careerists. The excuse is that we need stable government, what a load of claptrap. What would actually happen is that it would force FF into the arms of FG as this would be the only viable right wing alternative. We will have to move away from the notion that Labour is a leftwing party and see the situation as it actually is. There must now be a loud outcry against this and force Labour to state where it stands, left or right. If they move right then they must be abandoned as a left party.For fuck sake would you all stop navel gazing and get on with the job of work on hand.

  68.  

    I should have mentioned, just in case you have any doubts about FF and FG joining forces, the new leader of FF the Blessed Martin De Porridge has said as much. De Porridge said that he would support the new government if they continued on the same course, which of course they will.

  69.  

    Jack perhaps you should take the trouble to read the thread before slagging us? You are restating the obvious. See # 19 & 42

  70.  

    Joe Leddin, Norma.
    No, no assumptions.
    I voted for Jan.

  71.  

    Bit of a trolly comment.. but just wanted to say yous all put years on me sometimes.. have a bootiful day.

  72.  

    FME, I’m happy to giv ethe incoming government a chance to put this country right. Others including you seem not to be so patient. Prior to th election you were espousing the delights of Sinn Féin and how attractive they were to you. http://www.sinnfein.ie/economy, here is SF take on the economy, the party that you see as a viable government member.

    “There is a way forward.
    We can build a country and an economy that creates wealth and shares wealth, that is based on enterprising excellence and social solidarity. A country defined by Irish values of decency, fair play and celebration of achievement.
    We can do this because that is who we are. That is what we are about, that is what our economy must be about. We need a plan to achieve this. We need leadership and Sinn Féin can offer it.
    The government cannot simply tax or cut its way out of this crisis.”

    “We can do this because that is who we are” what kind of shite is this, not one example of how anthing will be paid for. A 48% tax rate for earnings over €100kx is the only figure mentioned. Oh and we should develop the NI economy while we’re at it because we can’t afford the border. No mention of how we finance the recovery of the republic and the takeover of NI. Perhaps FME will tell us.

    Meanwhile labour agree with FG that the EMU/IMF deal must be renogociated. SF are obvious chancers in economics and Lab agree with FG and FF, is there a hidden political movement with all the answers lurking in the dark?

  73.  

    Gary I did not mean to offend you in any way, I was simply trying to get all the Bockers to focus on the important issue of left right divide. I have spent my whole life stretching right back to the days when I was a member of the Progressive Democrats to arrive at a day when it was at last possible but the Labour Party are about to squander it. What a betrayal. Am I right in thinking we are at one on this.

  74.  

    Norma says,” Poll Dorcha. This morning Mick Wallace calls on Labour not to enter coalition with FG, What are the chances that Labour will resist being seduced and enter talks with Independents, I would like to see more flesh on the bones of MW proposal but at least he is displaying some Left credentials” I would agree that it must be considered. There are ample “patriots” there who will prop up FG and use the language of patriotism and the country’s hour of need when it is an invidious money markets structure that is actually being propped up. Many memebers left the LP after it joined with FF in the early 1990s. But it easy to talk of building an allinace of the Left but doing it is another matter. SF are wonderful at calling for it. I have never considered them a left wing party, more of an ultra nationalist party populist grouping who are determined to remain out of government in the RoI, and so build a populist base. They would like Labour in government in order to have a legitimate target and help define their bogus Left wing identity further. Staying out would actually confound them and expose the fraility of the rhetoric, because I can’t see them welcoming a joint Left opposition. Many of the other deputies are in the Militant Tendency tradition of Joe Higgins, for whom I have a lot of respect. However, there are almost unbridgeable chasms between certain forms of Marxism and the centre left position of Labour which accepts a moderated market and certainly not anything like a whooly nationalised economy. Much as there are divisions on the Right, there are clear divisons on the Left. These divisions on the Left are to be found in France, Germany , Spain etc. (Izquierda Unida, Parti Socialista, etc). Now that Labour have considered it for a minute or two, they will definitely go in. The utopianism of the far Left will keep them in a position of glorious opposition for the forseeable future, I think. Fair play!

  75.  

    No. 8 I have a very long memory.. and in no way did I “espouse the delights of Sinn Féin and how attractive they were” I simply asked the question and this is pretty much it word for word: “Can anyone tell me why I shouldn’t vote Sinn Fein” That was it, nothing more. And I believe your reply comment to that was deleted as the thread was about positive suggestions, ironically enough.

    “perhaps FME will tell us” Bite me No 8. I already gave me views on renegotiating interest rates above.

  76.  

    Jack Progressive Democrats????? I am supposed to agree with you? I did get a laugh.

  77.  

    @ No 8. You keep requesting alternatives, and every time someone gives you one, you rubbish it.
    As you are at it, you can rubbish mine now as well.
    Labour should not go into government with Fine Gael. Fine Gael with not go into government with Flanna fail. They may decide to go it alone with some of the independents. (this would be perceived as a very weak government and probably would not last the pace because of the severe austerity package that will be pursued by Fine Gael. If you look at the centre left and left parties and independents, they are presently not a million miles away from a majority. I include Sinn Fein in this scenario.. In fact I agree with FME’s pre election views on the Shinners, along with ,dare I say,some of Irelands better thought of economists.
    Anyway…..away you go!

  78.  

    FME – I recommend checking with me before assuming comments have been deleted. No comments have been deleted on this thread, but, as previously explained, for technical reasons some comments are delayed by the anti-spam system. This is no reflection on the commenter.

  79.  

    I said on a thread you put up on positve suggestions Bock. Another thread.
    I saw No.8’s comment on that thread, then you told him you were deleting it. I only asked a simple question on that thread and he jumped to very unfounded conclusions as you can see above – in terms of me “espousing the delights of Sinn Féin”.

  80.  

    LJS, I have asked for viable alternatives. Not one has been given. As for Lab not getting into bed with FG, you seem to live in some idealistic utopia. This country needs repairing, I don’t give a fuck who repairs it as long as it is done and done asap. FG and Lab owe it to this country and it’s people to form a strong experienced government to put this country right. At this countrys hour of need what is the point in having Pat Rabbitte, Ruairai Quin, Eamonn Gilmore and co scoring ethical points on the opposition benches by martyring themselves because of ideology. You’d rather FG formed a weak coalition with the independents, give millions to some jumped up prick from Ballygobackwards for his vote and then collapse so that the country can pay for another general election and the whole shit pile collapse again only for Labour to emerge victorious a la Stalingrad. And all this while the world looks on scratches it head and refuses to buy Irish bonds, and you laugh at my notion of a modern economy. What kind of fucked up thinking goes on in your head?

  81.  

    FME, I would search that very long memory for accuracy. I have never had a reply to another poster deleted. I and others had posts deleted because they were deemed to off topic. None of them were a reply to you or to anyone else. Stilllike the Shinners, why worry about the facts.

    PS,LJS, which of Irelands better thought of economists trumpeted SF economic manifesto?

  82.  

    You’re wrong No. 8. Here you go. http://bocktherobber.com/2010/11/reinventing-ireland
    Now you are nit picking as to what your deleted comment said. It mentioned Sinn Fein and my question. My memory hasn’t let me down yet. Thank you. Are you forgetting what you said too?

    Why worry about facts indeed.. Go take a look and tell me where I espoused the delights of Sinn Fein and how attractive they were to me. Rubbish.

  83.  

    Take a chill pill No. 8. If a viable alternative exists that suits you, then lets have it? If it doesn’t exist in your head, and your happy with a labour/Fine Gael coalition then so be it.
    And my head is perfectly fine, thank you for asking.

  84.  

    I replied to No.8 with the link of the thread I supposedly espoused the delights of Sinn Fein on.. but tis vanished.. haha
    Anyways it was the ‘Reinventing Ireland – time to grow up’ thread from November. I don’t need to check my memory for accuracy No.8.. and you obviously can’t remember what you said because you did reply to what I asked and it was deleted.

    Facts Indeed. I never espoused the delights of Sinn Féin and how attractive they were to me. You’ve jumped to massive conclusions because of a question I asked. Facts.. ha.

  85.  

    Constantin T. Gurdgiev said that Sinn Fein’s approach to the banking bail out/crisis was based on the reality of the current situation we are in. He has stated that “We will default” its only a matter of time. We should advise the E.C.B. and I.M.F that the debt must be shared across the E.U. and that Ireland should not and cannot carry the burden of debt on its own. Burning the bondholders? Its too late for us to do that now, as we have already paid off most of them. But the E.C.B. and I.M.F. could take still this approach and by doing so decrease significantly the monies owed by the Irish nation.

  86.  

    LJS do you read any of the posts here. People including you bemoaned the FG / LAB coalition. I asked them to suggest a viable aternative. You then state that I shoot down any alternative suggested then you ask what is my viable alternative. WTF? If you’re going to debate some thing at least wake up.

  87.  

    Oh blow it out your ass! No. 8. You didn’t write this thread, its not about a viable alternative to FIG/Labour. You are only a commentator. I tried to answer your ranting with a civilized response, the response may not be to your liking, but I have never tried to personalise my responses. Someone put the rattle back in this mans pram for gods sake!

  88.  

    Gary Gary the Progressive Democrats was the party of Noel Browne who was a friend of mine back all those years ago. The Pee Dee fuckers came along and stole our name, check it out. Back in those days it was dangerous to be a left winger, the stories Browne told me would make your hair stand on end. I enjoyed the encounter he had with John Charles, it really was something.

  89.  

    Civilised response???? Your first response was to tell me that you had the best belly laugh in ages at my mention of a modern economy. Your idea of cilvilised? Then you accuse me of dismissing other peoples suggestions when all the time you seem to be pretending to know what’s going on judging by your wandering logic. Now you tell me I’m ranting, throwing the rattle from my pram and to blow it out my ass. A structured, measured argument if I ever saw one.

  90.  

    Jack my sincerest apologies I am afraid the only Progressive Democrats I had heard of were the Fascist end of F.F.I shall check my history for Noel’s. I do agree we need a Left and I suppose this would spawn a Right.

  91.  

    Let me see if I have got this right?
    The jist of the thread is as follows

    “Unfortunately, we have now replaced Fianna Fáil with Fianna Fake, and they will continue to steal your money so that no banker suffers as a consequence of his recklessness. Fine Gael will work night and day to ensure that bondholders the world over can’t believe their luck. And it’s all thanks to your generosity”

    I agree with the above sentiment.
    I don’t see anywhere is this thread a request for an Alternative to a Fine Gael/Labour Government. In fact the thread appears to be spelling out the fact that there is no difference between FF policies and Fine Gael policies
    Just checking………..Yeah I’m definitely awake!

  92.  

    Wakey wakey LJS. Try reading posts 2-4. In post 5 I, not anyone else, asked for the posters to suggest a viable alternative to the fakers as they were referred to. In post #7 I made my now hilarious reference to a modern economy. In post #8 Joanne continue with the doom and gloom, in post #9 I again ask for a viable alternative. In post #11 you begin your civilised response to me. You may be concious, but awake, only when it suits.

  93.  

    No 8 “There isn’t a left wing candidate in the country not is there room for one in a modern economy”

    The above is the complete sentence that made me laugh. Why? because we are (and I assume you are) talking about the Irish economy, a failed economy, run into the ground by corrupt business men and politicians. I just fount it funny to hear the word “modern” used to describe the aforementioned. Most people use words like “modern” “up to date” these kinds of phrases to describe something positive, dynamic, even. Just found it funny that’s all.

    Just some samples of your comments to me and other contributors on this thread

    “I await your gems of knowledge”

    So the next time you and your mock lefty wing wankers have a philosophy discussion on the egalitarian aspects of the economy post vatican 2, drag your head out of you hole and think of the huge numbers of worker in this counttry would get fuck all for their tax contributions @ Gearoid

    If anyone seriously thinks that we would be better off under a left wing government then you need to seriously either remove your head from your hole or emigrate.

    What kind of fucked up thinking goes on in your head? @L.J.S.

    Fair auld debator yourself No. 8, eh?

  94.  

    Well said Long John… I also agree with Bock’s sentiment, but shur you’re just a bemoaner according to No.8 — for stating facts.
    You know they next crowd will meet with the IMF/EU, come away with a percent or two less on the interest rate and we’re all supposed to sing hallelujah, and think aren’t they just fantastic. Until it all goes belly up. 1% on the amount is 450 million per year ffs.. and that’s just interest. on 1%. Per year. On interest payments.
    I’m a very positive person on occasion but being sentimental about being positive here is deluded. Wake up indeed.

  95.  

    LJS and FME, ok I am wrong. This Gov will be a sham and we’ll all be bankrupt in a matter of months. What do ye suggest should happen? Considering that accoring to LJS we do not have a modern economy to work with. How do ye suggest that Ireland pays off its debts and remain afloat at the same time. For the record I do not agree with the bank debt being lumped in with our sovereign debt. If we default how do we raise cash to run the country not to mind capital expansion? The floor is yours.

  96.  

    Labour should go into principled opposition argument? It seems apparent to me, but I could be very wide of the mark, that thousands of public servants deserted FF this time round and voted for the LP. At least that is what I am told by several public servants. If so, I doubt if that sizeable portion of the Labour vote want them to sit on the opposition benches and try to build alliances with 1) Sinn Fein’s, “wrap the green flag around me boys” or 2) the ULA, (personally, I have great respect for this grouping). However, I suspect that a more pragmatic approach is desired by this constituency in the face of further assaults on salaries and services from FG.

  97.  

    No 8, Have a look at my post 84. Do you think that this should be the approach that any incoming government should take when in negotiations with the E.U./IMF? If we are to believe the soundings coming from the Fine Gael spin doctors, they would be quite happy to come home with a cut of a few percent in the interest rate. This will not be enough. We will default, and its exactly this type of approach to negotiations that will finally hammer the last nail in the coffin of our so called sovereign economy

  98.  

    If I pointed out that a mugger was robbing us at gunpoint in the middle of the street, I don’t think anyone would be asking me to come up with a viable alternative.

  99.  

    haha. Not only that Bock, but they wouldn’t call you a bemoaner or begrudger either.

  100.  

    Your situation over there, as bad as it is, is not exactly as bad as a mugging, where there’s no time to think of a viable alternative, but needs a split second decision. And sometimes, it may even be possible to talk to the mugger until another alternative comes along. But I understand your exaggerated (gun)point.

    Re “begrudgery” (41-47): you don’t need to use the actual word to describe begrudging that’s going on, if in fact that is what Bock was doing (which I’m not going to go back and check on).

  101.  

    Sometimes people reach for the first accusation they can think of. I didn’t begrudge anyone anything. I simply asked a legitimate question.

    People don’t like legitimate questions. They prefer you to say things they can disagree with.

  102.  

    You’re right. It’s ten times worse than a mugging.

  103.  

    I was thinking more of a mugging where there is also an imminent threat of harm or even death, which is what I would think that many mugging victims assume. In that case, mugging is worse, at least for the wellbeing of the muggee. Of course, what you’re talking about is the bankrupting and enslavement of a whole nation, which is much greater in total damage than one individual mugging.

    But maybe I’m getting too carried away with this. I think that this happened before – you made an exaggerated analogy that I overly criticized. Oh well…

    BTW,

    People don’t like legitimate questions. They prefer you to say things they can disagree with”

    is also an extreme generalization, that should be prefaced with “some”, “many” or even “most”. And I don’t think that it applies to most people here in this forum anyway.

  104.  

    So now the incoming government are mugging us, despite over 10 years of FF/PD/Green corruption the people voted in by a majority last Friday are the real culprits. http://www.independent.ie/national-news/how-ahern-ignored-key-warnings-on-economy-2561798.html

    The gist of this thread is that FG will not change tact on the countrys debt and continue a la FF. I say give them a chance. I also asked a legitimate question, suggest a viable alternataive. None was given. We had the usual attempts to avoid the question. Focusing on words like bemoaner, begrudery, mugging. Anything but answer a legitimate question. But as you say Bock, “People don’t like legitimate questions”

    I don’t think that FG/LAB will have much room for manuvering on the dept, but then I don’t think any gov would have. Others disagree, but no-one has put forward a viable strategy, no-one has convinced me otherwise. So I’m asking a legitimate question. What do you suggest that the incoming government, of any hue, should do re the debt situation? How will it be financed and how will Ireland grow while financing its debt?

  105.  

    Yes. They are mugging us, just as the last crowd did.

    You keep asking me for a viable alternative. I could be flippant and refer you to the hundreds of posts on the subject over the last few years, but I won’t.

    I have said countless times that I don’t consider the banking losses to be legitimate sovereign debt, and neither do sources far more qualified than I am. The Financial Times doesn’t think so. Neither do a wide range of Irish economists. Not even George Soros thinks we should be paying this bill which we did not run up.

    Some of what I said is here

    Last week, the Danish government said no to bailing out a failed bank and let it collapse, hurting its bondholders in the process, but we have to remember, Denmark is a grown-up country with grown-up politicians.

    One alternative that has not been discussed is an enforced debt-for-equity swap, which I wrote about here.

  106.  

    I don’t keep asking you, I asked the posters to this thread who disagree with me. There has not been a viable alternative to the looming coalition proposed. If you read my post at #95 you will see that I agree with you on the debt situation. George Soros’s history on economic speculation hardly legitimises a concurrig view point. I am open to persuasion and debate about the methods of servicing our national crisis. In my opinion collapsing legitimate governmants or refusing to govern on ideoogical grounds is not a legitimate argument given the nation condition.

  107.  

    Fair enough. However, the post was about the policies to be adopted by the incoming government, not its composition.

  108.  

    No 8, Please bare in mind that a Government has not been formed yet. It will most likely be, as you say, a combination of FG/Labour. I requested if you could look at post 84, should have been 85, to see whether you thought this would be a sensible strategy for any incoming government to undertake when re-negotiating our sovereign debt.
    As you know the bond holders have all (with the exception of a few) been paid off by the FF/Green coalition.
    I am not going to attempt to offer an alternative government again, because even the mention of a left wing led government sends you into a tizzy, and we don’t want that. Aside from all that though, what strategy do you think any incoming government should take regarding the countries sovereign debt

  109.  

    Bock the policies persued by tany government are directly linked to its composition.

    LJS, I think that no matter what government we end up with the path of renegotiation should be persued for a s long as possible. In my opinion if we de fault we will pariahs in the EU and we cannot afford that. We need to pump money (from where?) in to indigenous manufacturing so that in some distant day we won’t need the Dells of this world. Until then we have a rather weak hand and need to play good poker. I would gladly burn the remaining bondholders as I would have done to the originals. I hope I’m around for the 30 year papers, maybe then some truth my emerge.

    I am open to a new government, I just don’t believe that there is a viable left alternative in Ireland, Labour are not left, nor do I believe that a left wing government has anything to contribute to a capatalist market. Like it or lump it capatalism for all its faults is the proven method of wealth creation, its distribution is another matter. Labour have a huge contribution to make to the governing of this country. They will bring some serious skill and experience to th etabloe with Quinn possibly the best Finance Minister thsi country has ever seen. Both FG and LAB had a some what conservative approach to the national debt in their manifestos, its a bit rich to throw a tantrum and accuse them of mugging us when their intentions were so well heralded. As I said else where now is the time for a strong stable government. FG and Lab are the 2 dominant parties, it is not the time for dealbrokering with independents, surely we have learnt our lesson on that front. The forthcoming coalition may not be perfect but is the best we have under our system, I would advocate biting our lips in favour of a strong recovery. If you disagree with the F/Lab coalition who / what do you propose to lead us out of the desert?

    In fact read this http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0302/1224291140972.html

  110.  

    I don’t agree with you. The government’s policies and composition are two different things. I don’t think either Labour or FG are rabid slaves to ideology and I hope they might yet be persuaded to alter course.

  111.  

    “In my opinion if we default we will pariahs in the EU” Listening and reading some experts analysis, there is no doubt we will default given the figures.. Pariahs it is then.
    Jesus who gives a fuck about about that. If your family are starving you don’t care about reputation and you do what’s necessary.
    The banks are the pariahs in my opinion. Parasites might be more appropriate.
    You know you’d be sick of listening to bullshit.. In that Prime Time link I gave above Lenihan is bullshitting that half of the bonds in Irish banks are held by Irish residents – Irish Credit Unions and Irish Pension funds. He’s saying people will lose half their savings in Credit Unions if you apply any haircuts to the bondholders.. did you ever hear such bullshit in your life. Here – Minute 22 http://www.rte.ie/player/#v=1092031

    We’ve all seen information on who the bondholders are .. and they’re not Irish. He says they’d lose their savings – a bond is not a fucking savings account. Besides you’re covered up to 100,000 on savings in this country.

  112.  

    The current UK coalition is a mixture of Tory and Lib Dem as are thieir policies, depending on horse trading and compromise. Single party governments are free to persue their own ideologies, colaitions have to compromise. Thus the policies and the composition of any government are intertwined.

  113.  

    Ok so we default. What then? How do finance the day to day running of the country?

  114.  

    There is no problem financing the day to day running of the country No.8. There never was.
    I’m not suggesting defaulting on everything.. not on our sovereign debt. We cannot afford the bank debt.
    The difference would be a structured default and letting the appropriate sections take the hit.. not the whole country.

  115.  

    FME, I agree with your overall argument. Unfortunately now there is no difference between sovereign & banking debt. I am open to correction here, but I believe that most of the money now spent, gone! to protect the bond holders, was in fact protecting the stake holders or bond holders, whatever you like to call them, mainly from within German and French banks. These banks/bondholders behaved just as recklessly as did our own Irish banks during the boom.

    With most of these bond holders already having been paid off,our sovereign debt and banking debt are now indistinguishable from each other. We should be looking for an immediate 40% reduction in our debt.
    We would then realistically to be in a position to repay the 60% outstanding, while also being in a position to finance the day to day running of the country.
    The E.U./E.C.B/I.M.F. have a whole range of ways available to them for dispersing the pain of this debt, which is not ours alone.
    But rather the blatant non regulation of European banks which existed during this period which allowed them to lend money recklessly in particular to the Irish Banks.

  116.  

    Why don’t you go after the bondholders even now after the fact? Are you just resigned to the fact that they took the money and ran? Look at the Madoff scandal. The prosecutors are now going back to people who profited from his pyramid scheme, even if they didn’t know about it at the time. Some say that they should have suspected that he was doing too good, so they are also responsible. And even if they didn’t, they have to give back what was unrightly even if ignorantly gained. All of those institutional bondholders probably knew a lot better than Madoff’s clients – so why should they get away with it?

    OK – bonds have one of the lowest interest rates in the investment market, so are supposed to be correspondingly safer. But there’s still a risk, and I assume that they were aware of the condition of your country and it’s leaders to know what that risk was. They shouldn’t get off scot free. It should be a partial refund from them, and a partial default. Maybe 1/3, 1/3, and Ireland taking the hit of the other 1/3 – for letting it happen to them. That’s a lot more fair than 0% bondholders, 40% default and 60% Ireland. But it’s probably dreaming – these bond guys are too powerful.

    Just a possible alternative, if not a very viable one.

  117.  

    Some1lovesU….Good stuff

  118.  

    Thanks. So maybe I should run for taoiseach next time around (or at least finance minister). Do I have to be native Irish, or can I convert? I suppose that I should at least learn how to pronounce the damn word:

    http://www.forvo.com/word/taoiseach/

    ; )

  119.  

    The term Taoiseach is a piece of pretentious bullshit inserted by deValera into the 1937 constitution as part of an attempt to invoke an ancient age of Irish mythology. It means Chieftain, and it has no place in a modern democracy, in my opinion. The other title provided for in the constitution is Prime Minister and you are quite free to use that title if you wish.

  120.  

    Some1lovesU the only problem with your idea is that this is Ireland not America. It seems whoever gets into office here is irrelevant they all sing from the same hymn sheet. By the way try Tea-shock.

  121.  

    Tea-Shock is a pronunciation used by people who can’t pronounce Irish vowels. It’s a very bad rendering of the original. I don’t recommend it.

  122.  

    I’ll stick with Prime Minister – that I know how to pronounce.

    Gary: some say that it doesn’t matter in America either. But maybe a popular uprising, Irish and not Arab style, could bypass the officers, or install good ones, if there are such creatures.

    Put that Ire back into Ireland!

  123.  

    FME. @114. Its looking increasingly like we cannot afford to run this Country, This is what Guru Gurdiev has to say.
    http://www.trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2011/03/03032011-exchequer-sums-gone-wrong-in.html

  124.  

    no 8. i wrote my opinion to a blog posted by bock.not you.you come across angry and with a lot of time on your hands.I will not be offering you an alternative as that’s not what my post was about.It was about me personally not voting for FG..That is all.

  125.  

    Joanne, I’m not angry just exasperasted at the collective negativity. I have more time on my hand than I wish for because of the actions of FF and the Greens. There was an election last Friday, as of yet we do not have a government and yet you describe them as a shower of fakers. You also said that you couldn’t understand why anyone would consider a vote for FG a vote for change, or words to that effect. You’re entitled to you opinion, I simply asked you to provide a viable alternative. You are being naive if you think that you reply to Bock only. This site has always encouraged debate / discussion and to think that your posts will be excluded from that process is rather mis-guided. I don’t agree with some view points on this topic, and I’m sure several others probably wish my demise, but I would defend their right to reply to the end, it’s called freedom of speech a welcome facet of our democratic society, whether governed by fakers or not.

  126.  

    It’s true. This site has always encouraged debate. The only time I ever interfere with people discussing things among themselves is if I think the conversation is drifting too far off track, or, as happened recently, people won’t respect the comments policy.

    If every comment had to go through me, I’d be worn out from it, so please keep debating

    Sometimes the discussions get a little heated but that’s no harm. Shouting beats shooting.

  127.  

    I agree with no 8 on some points; who else is going to run the country without running it into the ground? FF? SF? there is no-one else then FG and Labour….whilst on paper it sounds lovely to have burned the bondholders and kept the money it is simply not practical.

    (and by this I mean; there are some economists who have found a new “celebrity” status as a result of this crisis; some of them are linked to from the posts here…who have a vested interest in telling us that whatever is being done, the opposite shoud be…but they are theorists, and not practitioners and I really think anything they say needs to be taken with a grain of salt)

    I have said it before and am prepared to say it again; if we want to continue living in a capitalist system (and to be honest, it’s arguably no better or worse in the long run than any other system out there) then what is happening now on a macro level *needs to happen sooner or later*.

    You can’t shit where you eat and the reality of the situation is that the people who are being given their money back ARE the same people who will be giving it to us in the future. Burning them now will only destablise the euro even further (much to the delight of the dollar and the yen and anyone who has a vested interest in those currencies, I might add; why are we lapping up the advice given by people who would love to see the Euro fail is beyond me)..if Fianna FAIL had NOT introduced the guarantee back when the shit hit the fan things would be different, but they DID and so there is nothing to be done at this point other than continue on this course….but even so; there is no proof that if they hadn’t that we’d be any better off in the long run because who knows what interest rate we’d be paying on the open market for money now? (hint: Argentina/Uruguay, late 90’s early naughties).

    The Danish example is a much smaller scale and from a much more stable (and boringly predictable) economy so I’m not sure that the example applies in our case….

    We can consider this IMF deal in conunction with the EU as Ireland’s mark being called in; we long ago lost our “sovereign” economic status as members of the EU (remember, it used to be called the European Economic Community?)…we’ve been subsidised by that crowd for a long time and, Faustian bargain or not, they’re calling it in now.

    With that being said; I sincerely hope that the new government will actually put some people in jail for allowing this to happen; that they will make sure that the running costs of the country are made reasonably sustainable so that we can actually afford this payback; and that they renegotiate the deal to try to spread the pain out in a somewhat fairer manner.

  128.  

    No 8. I agreed with you on many points also but maybe i was’nt clear enough.
    As i said previously, I was self employed all my life, Two very different businness’s, I crashed about 18 mths ago, There were various factors but the primary one being the basic, The cost of running said businness outweighed turnover, I went through an extremly rocky patch for about 6/8 months trying to come to terms with a new process, I took very severe personal action and at least my brain has stopped melting, Mostly due to my adherance to walking at least 6kms per day ! When i started i thought i would have to walk to China to relax !
    I’m not being simplistic here, It probably does’nt work for everyone but the toughest job in this climate is that of the small businness owner because survival controls your every waking hour and your sleeping ones, To top that you just know there are so many biting at your heels.
    This Coalition, Whatever way the dice falls has to be made very aware that these are the people who will pay the bills, Who will fund the crisis and who have to be supported in every possible way to keep the life blood flowing, Small and medium businness owners need a stronger voice and you can be that voice, You know whats needed, You will do a good job.

  129.  

    Shouting beats shooting.

    That’s a good one, Bock!

    I would say it like this, though, also based on what Norma just said:

    Shouting beats shooting.

    But walking and talking beats them both!

  130.  

    http://www.trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2011/03/03032011-exchequer-sums-gone-wrong-in.html

    Thanks Norma. Good article. Have seen his blog before. I find the clever exaggeration of exchequer figures pointless and an avoidance of reality. I find this part interesting : The reclassification of health levy receipts, which heretofore had been collected as a Departmental receipt paid directly to the Department of Health & Children, to form part of the new Universal Social Charge, to be collected as part of income tax”..

    Speaking of alternatives, there’s a good article that Constantin (I won’t call him a Guru, Norma).. links to on his site:
    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/johnson12/English

    “The quid pro quo for this easy ECB money is that the Irish government must protect European creditors who would otherwise face large losses. The ensuing massive bank bailout, plus continued budget deficits and declining nominal GNP, means that Ireland’s debt is ballooning, while its capacity to pay has collapsed.
    …..”There is a better solution, pioneered after commercial banks in the United States loaned too much to Latin America in the 1970’s. Sovereign debt was eventually restructured through the creation of “Brady bonds.”

    I wouldn’t agree with Steve saying that some economists who were linked to on this thread, have found new celebrity status and they have a vested interest.. or they are theorists not practitioners. McWilliams in fact worked for the ICB and other banks previously, so he’s not just a theorist.

    Also I don’t believe the likes of Gurdgiev has any hidden agenda in showing the true exchequer figures. I believe he’s the one actually exposing hidden agendas.

  131.  

    @FME, fair enough, we can agree to disagree on the vested interest part; although with the exception of McWilliams, what practical credentials do the others have?I may be wrong, but most of them seem to be purely academic, and that sets off alarm bells in my head.
    Perhaps I was over cyncial in labeling them “celebrity” but my general thrust was that when this crisis appeared, these guys all suddenly came out of the woodwork to tell us we were doing it wrong;but all of the advice that they have put foward thus far is theoretical and unproven. I can’t help but think that if the crisis was over tomorrow, they’d still find something to disagree with.

    Brady Bonds…not an expert but I do believe that these only worked because they were backed by a government with huge reserves of money, namely the USA, who was willing and who had a vested interest in keeping the economies of Latin america viable (or to keep the conspiracy theorists happy, they did it because they knew it would sink some of them , dunDunDUN….)
    This allowed the principal amounts against which they were issued to be insured, so as to make them viable for creditors who were already being forced to accept some kind of haircut on what was essentially a swap out of their existing bonds to brady bonds.
    Who is going to back our own brady-bond style scenario? The EU? Not likely…And even if you DO manage somehow to finance them, you still have to pay up when the bonds mature. AND many Brady bonds were issues at par, not at a discount. So a net gain of nothing for the countries that issued them. All they did was hold the wolf off a bit longer.

    Even if the principal (i.e the original value of the bond) is insured, that’s a sting in the tail if you default on it; SOMEONE ends up paying and it sure isn’t the underwriter..in fact you can be sure that in this case the underwriters have ensured that any default gets paid for in the end by the defaulter.

    I would suggest that you this article from over 10 years ago when Ecuador ended up defaulting on its brady bonds:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/435667.stm
    and then go and read about Ecaudor’s current economy; 40% living in poverty….in fact look at the economies of pretty much every country that participated in this system initially, with the exception of Mexico/Poland and couple of small insignificant ones, I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes now.

    But then again, I could be totally wrong. I think that we will get a good sense of how effective the next government is going ot be if the first thing they do is tax the bankers who got those bonuses into oblivion as atheir very first act. If they do, maybe there is hope for a change. If they dither, or fail to act; then I will aquiesce and agree 100% with Bock.

  132.  

    Steve.. I don’t know what their hidden agenda or vested interest would be to be honest.
    I’m sorry but I just don’t see your logic in saying that the money will come back to us. It won’t.
    I just don’t get why the tax-payer should have to pay for other peoples’ investments. How is this just or fair? Why should we have to suffer severe austerity to paid for other peoples’ gambles.

    I feel a certain disgust at the whole notion that we need to pay up to the likes of Abramovich, so as he won’t suffer the pain of losing a few million out of his vast fortune. The gangster. This is what you’re justifying.

    The equivalent of the ‘Brady Bond’ seems to be the Euro Bond that’s been mentioned. But it would mean Germany losing the low interest rates they want to hold on to. I think Bock mentioned before the reasons for this going back to WW1. I would think the EU has a vested interest in keeping periphery countries viable also.. similar to your analogy with the US and South American countries – the EU has access to vast funds also, like the U.S. However they seem unwilling to share in the burden. Reading expert analysis Steve, it seems one way or another we will default and can’t afford to pay out on the guarantees that we foolishly made. The country is insolvent apparently. McWilliams was saying recently on Prime Time that Irish banks had issued 18 billion in 3 weeks.. it’s just unsustainable.

    I really just think we’re dealing with pressure from EU officials – theorists also BTW, who don’t want German and French banks sharing the burden of their bad lending. All the rest is justification and bull as to why we have to do what we’re told, like good compliant little Paddy should do. Noonan has the mentality down to the tee in the clip I linked to above.. ‘we can’t be waiving sticks.. we’re part of the Eurozone, we have to work with our partners in the EU, we can’t be burning bondholders’. In other words, we will do what we’re told. We foolishly listened to pressure to giving guarantees we couldn’t afford, so as the big boys would be happy and we will continue to do as we’re told.

    I don’t understand why they don’t surround themselves with experts.. maybe they do and we’re not privy to that information. But policitians – bloody ex school teachers the majority of them are out of their league.. they’re not even theorists for crying out loud.

  133.  

    FME,

    don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to justify it in fact it this situation is inherently unjust, and if I was granted one wish it would be that it never came to this.
    But it did…and now the only realistic way forward (there IS not way out!) is to try to make the running of the country as cost-efficient as possible.

    Like it or not, we are trapped in a capitalist economy; the Euro bonds will not work for us because the money in that case is all the same – in other words, we are saying “hey, we can’t pay you back, so we’re defaulting. Oh, before you go, can you lend us a few billion?”…since there is only a finite amount of money, and since the EU in part depends on this money being under the control of investors (i.e. the capitalists) then the only two scenarios are to print more currency (thus devaluing an already struggling euro) or to switch into capitalist mode and give the money back to the investors. who can then use it to give to us…

    I’m afraid that the notion of “unsecured investment” is all fine and dandy when it’s the little guy (you, me, etc). But twhen you reach a macro level where it’s actually affecting everyone else, then they are going to change the rules out of necessity.

    It sounds really stupid, doesn’t it, but that’s how it works and I don’t know a better way. It means that every country in the Eurozone owes money to everyone else, but that’s the cycle.

    That being said, It *is* unfair on you, me and everyone else but at this point I think the ship is already sinking so we have to either go down with it (default) or do our level best to bail it out, patch the holes and make the best of it….as I mentioned in previous posts, this need not be as bad as it’s being painted if we all pull together; this is not our parent’s recession and despite what the doom-sayers may think, there is still plenty of money in this country even with the massive outflow of funds; the problem now lies in making sure that it is fairly distributed and that no one section of society ends up more screwed than anyone else.

    If we can get people back to work (something; anything; just get them off the dole) then this will start off a real recovery because we’ll be saving admin costs as well as taking in more tax. I will be interested/horrified to see what the current bunch of unqualifeds can manage :)
    And here’s an idea; let’s make people in jail work for their living; we can export the spuds they grow, and they can pay income tax like everyone else. (sorry, off topic. just wishful thinking about the two little bastards that stole and trashed my car recently and whom the gardai actually managed to apprehend)

  134.  

    I don’t know where to begin Steve.. I’m not sure why you’re saying the Eurobond won’t work. I keep hearing rhetoric about us being all part of the Eurozone, we’re all in it together with our EU partners so why wouldn’t a Eurobond work. We’re all in it together after all!

    I agree with you in terms of running the country as cost-efficiently as possible… but in all reality that means the people at the bottom suffer. You just have to take into consideration the minimum wage cut to see that.
    I don’t see cuts for consultants on the table, doctors fees being looked at, HSE execs, ministerial pensions/salaries/company cars/expenses. How in the name of god is reducing a person’s salary from 8.65 an hour to 7.65 going to contribute to the exchequer. It doesn’t. It’s despicable in my opinion.
    It’s a vicious cycle with austerity measures being in place. There’s no money for investment and job creation with that environment.

    RE: “or to switch into capitalist mode and give the money back to the investors. who can then use it to give to us…” If you look at that logically then why, with all the billions we’ve paid out so far, aren’t we seeing money coming back into the country? It doesn’t make sense.

    Change the rules out of necessity? Rules don’t apply to certain people in this country. You have bankers arranging loans for their pals to prop up their balance sheet… and no arrests? This country is a fucking joke. Don’t talk to me about rules. There seems to be a limitless supply of money with the IMF ‘bailout’ we’ve gotten. None of it seems real to me anyways.. seems like a big ponzi scheme, with fractional reserve.. but there are real people suffering and it’s not investors and bankers, that’s for sure.

    To me it seems the money is created out of thin air. (with fractional reserve only one tenth of it being required).. nine/tenths just created. Giving billions out to a struggling Country such as ourselves… Charge huge interest on the loans with many stipulations. Can’t pay it back. What happens? Well the country starts selling its assets to try keep up paying to those people you are referring to Steve.. those capitalists. You’ve basically sold your country to the sharps on the cheap, to pay the sharks.

    Sorry about the car! I leave mine open, hoping someone might do me a favour and rob it.

  135.  

    Talking about cars Pat Rabbite had his car clamped outside Gov buildings and he was inside trying to hammer out a deal. Poor old bugs will wonders ever cease.

  136.  

    Must be a sign of hope for the future-so many people expressing ideas
    and if the so called leaders of this country took note they might manage
    to build on a fine foundation.

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