Categories
Corruption Politics

County councillors expose absence of civic solidarity

Go on. Admit it. You thought county councillors couldn’t be bigger gobshites, didn’t you? Of course you did. With all the tribunals and all the inquiries, did you really think we were finally cleaning up our act? Did you think we finally had civic solidarity? Fool. I don’t know who’s the bigger gobshite, you or those councillors with their noses so deep in the trough they didn’t even notice there was a financial crisis in the country.

civic solidarity monaghan councillor Hugh McElvaney

And yet, it should come as no surprise that gobshite councillors exist like the ones recorded in the RTE Investigates programme. Isn’t it part of what we are? Aren’t we the great ones for the nod and the wink? Don’t we just love the stroke, the fast one, the clever little deal?

Doesn’t it run right through our society from fixing a drink-driving summons to selling out a gas field for a suitcase of cash? Didn’t we have Haughey? Didn’t we have a finance minister with no bank account? Didn’t we have Saint Dev, who conned his loyal supporters in the States and ending up owning a newspaper, leaving the investors with worthless shares? Didn’t we have one of the biggest crooks in history, Joe McGrath, with his Sweepstakes fraud?

The fact is, we don’t mean what we say. We’re very quick to make the grand statement and usually the bluster works, but that’s all it is: bluster. We are nation of bullshitters.

Our inner gobshite is strong.

Perhaps the most monumental example of bullshit in recent times was Brian Lenihan’s absurd pledge to back all Irish banks to the tune of four hundred billion euros, a claim that was instantly dismissed as nonsense by the hard-nosed market traders. But this sort of bluster isn’t a million miles removed from the huff and puff of gobshite Monaghan Fine Gael councillor Hughie McElvaney who claimed he was luring RTE into his trap by demanding bribes. And what is the point in common? Simple: they think people are fools. Never underestimate the arrogance of the mediocre man and never forget that we elect these clowns.

We get what we deserve and it seems the Irish don’t want incorruptible politicians. What we want is public representatives who will be incorruptible until we need them to bend the rules at the expense of our fellow citizens. It might have become a truism that all politics is local, but in Ireland the truism finds its finest incarnation. Despite all our nationalist rhetoric, we’re not even a collection of cantons but a loose accretion of parishes masquerading as a modern democratic state. Civic solidarity? Bah!

We used to congratulate ourselves on punching above our weight, when in fact all we ever did was talk more nonsense than the next guy, and eventually that rebounded as we drained down our reserves of credibility in Europe and further afield. They never met bullshitters like us before, but eventually they saw through us and next time around, credibility will be hard-won.

If you want to know the reality of Ireland, here it is. We’re very happy to pass laws. Passing laws is cheap. If you paid us enough we’d pass new laws of physics. What we don’t do is enforce them, because when it all comes down to dust, we don’t want to.

That would cost money.

Better to just maintain the illusion of honesty and hope for the best.

 

 

Categories
Corruption Politics

Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw. Lessons For Irish Politicans

I always liked the name Jack Straw.  It’s a pirate’s name.

Aaarrrr, Cap’n Jack Straw be the man wot decoides these things.

A proper pirate name, Jack Straw, and a proper gunslinger name too.

Rodrigues felt the salty sweat run into his eye as the noonday sun beat down on Tombstone. His eyes were squinty and his fingers twitched, but he knew he couldn’t blink as he faced the meanest hombre this side of the Pecos.  Faster than snakes or the blink of an eye, Deadshot Jack Straw fixed him with a basilisk gaze and a crooked sneer cut an ugly gash across his stubbled face.  It was time for all good men to die.

What a great name, Jack Straw, the all-purpose villain moniker.

Not such a great handle, Malcolm Rifkind.  It’s the name a Victorian novelist would give to the undersized, non-sporting boy who always got buggered in public school by some swaggering bully who went on to become a Brigadier General in the Boer War and gain a knighthood for extreme brutality against the natives.

However, be all that as it may, the Brits have once again given us Paddies a lesson in how inferior we are compared to them.

Here are two former Foreign Secretaries whose greed had them panting like starving dogs at the suggestion that an unnamed Chinese company might pay them large amounts of money for unspecified services.  Cap’n Jack claimed he had EU rules changed for a company that paid him £60,000 a year, and that he charges £5,000 a pop for a speech in parliament.  (A role for which he’s already handsomely paid by the taxpayer).   Apparently, Cap’n Jack’s principles are for sale to the highest bidder.

Malcolm, meanwhile, is offering access to every British ambassador in the world, for a healthy recompense, justifying his actions by saying that he’s self-employed and that nobody pays him a salary, conveniently overlooking the enormous salary he gets — I almost said “earns” — from the exchequer.

Now, you might be wondering why I write about the indiscretions of British parliamentarians, and the answer is simple.  They show up what a narrow, unambitious type of loser we elect to government.

It’s true that the occasional crook will sell off our natural resources for a well-stuffed pillow-case of hard cash, but for the most part, our crooks are of the petty variety rather than the grand larceny type.

We need a broader vision.   We need more men of Jack Straw’s stature.

In short, we need more Haugheys.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Corruption Politics

Ivor Callely Pleads Guilty to Fraud

What about Ivor Callely?

Remember him?  The small but perfectly-formed perma-tanned politician who has weathered more storms than the Irish Rover, the  schooner Hesperus and the good ship Venus.

Now, before we go any further, let’s get one detail out of the way.  Ivor Callely is not a public representative.  After the electorate ejected him from office in 2007, Bertie Ahern gave him a seat in the Senate, representing nobody except himself, and what energy he put into that work.  Hurt beyond words by the rejection of the Dublin voters, he moved his home to West Cork which, of course meant that he had to drive thousands of miles to attend the Senate, and of course, with the thousands of miles driving comes thousands-of-miles-worth of travelling expenses.

Clearly in denial, Ivor continued to have a constituency office in Dublin, even though he had no constituency, since he was just a Fianna Fáil senator, but here’s the really interesting bit.  When the Oireachtas tried to take back his €80,000 in travelling expenses, on the fairly understandable basis that he lives in Clontarf, he took them on and he won in the courts.

Ivor, it seems, is entitled to maintain his principal residence at Kilcrohane, so that he can be closer to his yacht.

Ivor’s next brush with the law hasn’t worked out so well for him, though.

Cast your mind back to 2010, when it first emerged that Ivor had bought (apparently) four mobile phones at the rate of one a year, and all at public expense.  This happened between 2002 and 2005 when Ivor was a detested mini-minister.  The phones cost about €450 each, and on top of that he paid €250 insurance, or so he claimed.  Not only four phones, but four new car-kits as well.  A new one every year!

This is a story with a supernatural twist, because, you see, the company that provided the invoices for the four phones had gone out of business in 1994, long before Ivor allegedly bought the first one.

Not only that, but it turned out that the department in which he was a mini-minister had paid, on top of the phones he claimed for, €1,000 for another phone and €900 for yet another.  €1,000 for a phone in 2002.  Think about that.

On top of that, Ivor’s department paid €33,000 in phone bills which were unconnected with his mini-ministerial duties.

Guess what?

Ivor has confessed to fraud in the courts.  He’s caught.  He’s a crook and he’ll be sentenced soon.  Ivor Callely is a fraud, and all the bluster amounted to nothing at all.

Amazing.  What was all that about staying silent?    What was all that about the media not reporting what a crook Ivor Callely is?

But at the same time, fair play to Bertie for looking after him.  Right?

___________

Previously on BTR

Ivor Callely Buys Phones from the Next World

Senator Ivor Callely and his Expenses.

Ivor  Callely and the Phantom Receipts

Ivor Callely – A Special Kind of Idiot

Ivor Callely Arrested Twice

 

 

Categories
Corruption

Councillors Acquitted of Bribery Did Receive Corrupt Payments, Says Tribunal

Last week, bribery charges against a developer and Dublin councillors were dropped because the main witness was unable to give evidence.

When I wrote about it at the time, I said that all the accused  are entitled to go forward with no blemish attached to their names.

Oops!

That’s not what the planning tribunal thinks, I’m afraid.  No , indeed.  It seems that there’s a blemish attached to the names of the accused, even if there’s no criminal conviction.

According to the Tribunal, former councillors Don Lydon, Liam Cosgrave and Colm Mc Grath and current councillor Tony Fox all took bribes from Frank Dunlop, acting on behalf of another accused, Jim Kennedy.

planning tribunal

Now, you might ask how I can accuse Don Lydon, Liam Cosgrave and Colm Mc Grath, Tony Fox and Jim Kennedy of taking bribes without fear of defamation actions?

Simple.  The Planning Tribunal has said so, and I’m entitled to rely on its findings, just as the newspapers are and all the broadcast media.

These people corrupted and subverted the planning process in our country and yet, thanks to a technicality in the criminal law, they are now free from any threat of imprisonment or any other criminal sanction.

But that doesn’t change the fact that they acted corruptly.  All of them.

Who’s laughing, apart from them?

Are you?

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Download (PDF, 4.07MB)

 

 

Categories
Corruption government Politics

Mahon Tribunal Report

The Mahon Tribunal report is due out shortly, so this is going to be a dynamically changing post as information emerges.

This is the day we find out what Mahon thinks of da Bert, the illiterate fool who steered our country onto a rock while continuing to believe that he was an international statesman.

Gobshite.

I don’t know what the tribunal will say about him, but I know what I think.  In my opinion, he presided over the most debased, corrupt, incompetent, self-serving government this country has ever seen.  I think his cunning and his hubris, combined with his personal uneducated ignorance, formed a toxic mixture that poisoned the whole country.

Time will tell. I can’t yet say what the report will contain  but you can be sure I’ll put it up here as soon as it comes to hand.

________________

UPDATE

The Mahon tribunal has said that it can’t decide if payments to Bertie Ahern were corrupt.

Why?  Because not a word of his evidence was truthful.  To put it another way, Ahern has succeeded in frustrating the inquiry by lying about every single thing he was asked.   Ahern did not give the tribunal a truthful explanation for the money lodged to his account at various times, in various currencies, in the early 90s, and for this reason, the tribunal has been unable to establish where it came from.

The Tribunal is blunt in its findings of fact.  There were no dig-outs. There was no spontaneous whip-round at a dinner in England.  He didn’t win money on the horses as he claimed.  The evidence given by Des Richardson and others supporting Ahern’s dig-out fairytale was untrue.  Half a dozen people each gave the tribunal false information in support of Ahern.  Furthermore, the tribunal says that he did not save £54,000 in cash at a time when he had no bank account.  He lied about this.

Michael Wall did not own the house in Drumcondra — it was Ahern’s at all times, despite what he told the Tribunal, the Dáil and the press.  Wall did not buy the house and later sell it to Ahern, contrary to the evidence given by both men.

The evidence given by Ahern, Joe Burke and Tim Collins about the notorious B/T account is rejected as lies.  The money was not lodged for maintenance of the Fianna Fáil office at Drumcondra.  According to the tribunal, this account was actually for the personal use of Ahern and Collins, a finding unlikely to surprise many people these days.    I had my own views on this account which you can read here if you like.   Collins in his evidence invited the tribunal to swallow the nonsense that B/T stood for Building/Trust, not Bertie/Tim, even though Collins had another account with Des Richardson called D/T.

It was from the B/T account that Bertie provided a huge loan to Celia Larkin which remained unpaid for 15 years until the tribunal started asking about it.  Where did the money come from?  Collins was in no doubt.  It came from golf classics and he stuck to the story until someone pointed out that no golf classics were run until five years after the money was lodged.  By the way, let’s not forget the involvement of Fingers Fingleton in all these shenanigans.  It was Fingers who provided the money for Celia to pay back the FF loan after the tribunal started asking awkward questions.  He had Bertie in his pocket.

These guys loved their codenames.  Let’s not forget the CODR account, whhich they claimed stood for Cumann O Donovan Rossa, and  which definitely didn’t stand for C/O Des Richardson, right?

Right.

What a remarkable coincidence that so many people swore false evidence to the tribunal and at the same time, all the lies somehow told the same story.

Perhaps one of the most worrying statements by the tribunal concerns political interference.

[The tribunal] came under sustained and virulent attack from a number of senior government ministers who questioned, inter alia, the legality of its inquiries as well as the integrity of its members

 

A legally-constituted tribunal of inquiry came under attack from senior government ministers for inquiring into corruption.    It tells us all we need to know about Fianna Fáil’s attitude to democracy and makes their current crocodile tears all the more laughable. Micheál Martin was education minister from 1997 to 2,000 under Bertie Ahern.  He was health minister for the next four years, also under Ahern.   At no time did he raise questions about the arrant nonsense his leader was telling a sworn tribunal of inquiry.

Here’s the choice for Martin and the senior FF members.

1.  They knew what Ahern was up to and either participated or assented to it.  That makes them unfit for public office by virtue of the fact that they have no ethics.

or

2.  The listened to Ahern’s ludicrous explanations of where he got his money and believed him.  That makes them unfit for public office by virtue of the fact that they have no brains.

Which is it?  Either way, all their talk of expelling Ahern from their party is just so much bluster, because it doesn’t matter.  Fianna Fáil no longer matter.  What they did has destroyed communites all over Ireland and has inflicted poverty on a large portion of the Irish people, though not on the likes of Ahern or Flynn, who continue to draw three or four large pensions each.

I’m starting to feel nauseated by all this, so the best thing is probably to provide a list of previous posts here, which were written as the tribunal heard all the ludicrous evidence.

________________
Bertie Ahern and the Mahon Tribunal. He Hasn’t Gone Away, you Know.
Bertie Ahern’s English Money
Bertie and Tim’s B/T Account. Do They Think We’re Complete idiots?
The Kindest, Most trusting and Most Innocent Of Them All
Bertie Ahern, Celia Larkin and the Loan
Celia, Bertie and Fingers. The Plot Thickens
Bertie Ahern — A Man Without Honour
The Friends of Bertie Ahern
Bertie Ahern. Busted!!
Bertenstein

Categories
Corruption Favourites

Joe McGrath and the Irish Hospitals Sweepstakes Fraud

Over the past year or so, I’ve been questioning the motivations of those who claimed to fight for “Irish freedom” a century ago.  It seems to me that we have made a complete hash of independence, and it also seems to me that the two parties who slugged it out in the civil war cared little for the ordinary citizen, but were more concerned with personal gain of power and money.

There were many crooks, many cynics, many con-artists, many opportunists, but if anyone exceeded the example of Joe McGrath, I have yet to hear of it.

There was no more spectacular instance of cynicism, dishonesty and avarice than this crook, a former torturer and strike-breaker, who used the war of independence as a springboard to defraud thousands of people around the world, and to drag the good name of Ireland through the mud.  After the civil war, McGrath’s Irish Hospital Sweeps became a vehicle for enriching him, his family and his cronies, to the extent that some of his fellow  Old IRA men in Ireland, Britain and the USA became obscenely rich.  McGrath himself acquired unimaginable wealth, and became one of the most powerful men in Ireland, capable of intimidating government ministers, including the famously irascible Des O Malley.

Showing an early propensity for dishonesty, McGrath orchestrated many bank robberies on behalf of the IRA during the war of independence, keeping a slice of the proceeds for himself.  During the civil war, he headed the CID, an intelligence unit responsible for torturing and assassinating political opponents.  Later, he was the principal adviser to Siemens-Schuckert, the company which constructed the Ardnacrusha hydro-electric scheme, and which was subsequently defaulted on by the Irish government. McGrath, as adviser, provided the gang of thugs who kept the workers docile as the project proceeded.

The Sweep, as it was popularly known, was a lottery, based on the winning horses in a selection of races.  All of my parents’ generation were fixated on the notion of winning the Sweep, a magic solution to all their problems.

The lottery was ostensibly set up to raise funds for Irish hospitals, but was in fact a private company designed to make Joe McGrath and his two bookie accomplices, Richard Duggan and Spencer Freeman,  very rich men indeed.

In their first lottery, the three crooks pocketed £46,000 — the equivalent of about €500,000 today, though these things are hard to measure.

Directors of the Sweepstakes were directors of many other Irish companies besides, and the dirty money went on to fund other sizeable Irish operations, including Waterford Crystal and the Glass Bottle Company, which was recently the subject of further controversy.  There seems to be no end to the tangle of questionable Irish business interests.

The underlying legislation permitting it was deliberately so full of holes that McGrath and his two cronies paid no tax on their earnings.  Furthermore, only about 10% of the money raised ever went to the hospitals, with the rest flowing into the pockets of the former freedom fighters in Ireland and across the world who operated the scam.  Despite this, McGrath somehow contrived to have nurses and Gardai drawing winning tickets from the drums, lending a spurious credibility to his fraud.

The motivating factor for those who bought tickets was the staggering size of the prizes, but even that was an illusion.  McGrath and his criminal associates set up a system to approach people who had bought potentially winning tickets, in order to buy them back at a fraction of the price.  In other words, they offered poor people cash in return for relinquishing their chance to win a fortune. The ticket was never cancelled, of course, and the McGrath operation duly collected the winnings when the horse romped home.

Freeman’s brother, Sidney, was in charge of a parallel operation to scam the system.   Based in his office in the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Freeman received details of the horses drawn in Dublin, sent to him by coded telegram.   Using this information, he contacted American winners and offered to buy a share in their tickets for a substantial amount.   In 1936, Sidney Freeman managed to acquire a half share in eight winning tickets, the profits of which were shared with the directors of the Sweeps.

The real genius lay in realising how desperate the Irish state was for money, much like today.  Even though only 10% of the profits went to hospitals, it was still more than the government could afford.  Therefore, any minister questioning the scam was vulnerable to pressure, as Des O Malley found out.  Whatever his failings, O Malley’s honesty has never been in question.  He was a fervent opponent of the Haughey tendency in Fianna Fáil, and in the Seventies, as Minister for Justice, asked for information about the funding of the Sweeps.  As Minister, he was responsible for signing an order approving every draw, and he wanted to know more about the money before he signed the next one.  The response was immediate pressure on government from members of the McGrath family.  Jobs would be lost in the Sweepstakes, O Malley was threatened.  Thousands of jobs.  Even if O Malley could contemplate it, his cabinet colleagues would not.

It was blackmail of an Irish government minister by a relative of a criminal.

Little did O Malley realise what was happening the thousands of Sweeps tickets.  Little did the  American authorities realise how they were helping the fraud by impounding ticket stubs as associates of McGrath attempted to smuggle them back to Ireland, or not, as the case may be.  Lotteries were illegal in the States, and therefore the US Customs had the authority to seize the Sweepstakes tickets bound for Ireland.   This they did, in their thousands, but of course, the money had already been collected in an operation run by fellow patriots, and was on its way back to McGrath, less the substantial slice due to the Stateside contacts — Joseph McGarrity, a former member of the IRB, and Connie Neenan, his fellow-IRA member.  Those in the know spoke of one plane so overloaded with sacks of money, it barely managed to take off from JFK

And the people who had paid for the tickets?  Simple.  The Feds took ’em.  Sorry.

Therefore, it made great sense to tip off the authorities about ticket stubs, which McGarrity duly did.  Every dollar ticket caught by the US authorities was a dollar in his pocket.

If you ever saw The Sting, you understand the scam.

A great Irish journalist, Joe MacAnthony (grandson of Francesco Marcantonio from Belfast), wrote an article in the Irish Independent, exposing the corruption at the heart of the Hospitals Sweepstakes.  As a result, all advertising on the paper was withdrawn for two months.  Some time after that, a planned RTÉ programme researched by Charlie Bird was scrapped after pressure was applied to the authority.

They haven’t gone way, you know.   You think Fianna Fáil held the power in this country?  Think again.

For his trouble, MacAnthony was frozen out of his job, first in the Independent and subsequently in RTÉ.    He moved to Canada, reared a family and continues to write stuff annoying the status quo.  Three years after arriving there, he wrote an exposé of the Canadian security service.  The difference between Ireland and Canada immediately became obvious, with the Canadian authorities launching an investigation, while the Sweeps continued to defraud credulous people all over the world, without interference from the Irish government.

A man with an irrepressible sense of fun, MacAnthony got his own back on the small-minded Sir Tony O Reilly and on McGrath by returning from a gambling trip to Atlantic City with a suitcase full of dollars and instructing his children to roll in the money, which they gleefully did.

McGrath, in the style of all Mob bosses, went on to become a leading racehorse owner, and left a vast fortune to his heirs.

A vast stolen fortune.

______________-

 

Following in Joe’s footsteps, Damian Corless has published a book called The Greatest Bleeding Heart Racket in the World.

Buy it and read it.

 

UPDATE: Where did the Sweeps Millions Go?

Categories
Corruption Favourites

Haughey Family To Donate Yacht, Celtic Mist

The Haughey family have decided to donate the yacht Celtic Mist to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.

Well done, the Haughey family.  It’s a start.

Now, maybe they’d consider giving back all the money that Charlie Haughey stole over the years.

Perhaps they’d consider donating the family home, a house whose value Haughey corruptly inflated by intimidating Dublin Corporation until it ran a sewer pipe through his lands.  Perhaps they’d consider handing back all the money in bribes Haughey took over the years, donations which ensured that his children had a privileged upbringing, even though they knew nothing about their father’s dishonesty.  Perhaps they’d consider apologising to those who went without when Haughey decided to divert funds to Dingle marina so that he could behave like the ridiculous little Half-Sir he was.  Maybe they’d refund the ESB for the wind-powered generation plant they installed on Haughey’s island as an experiment.

Maybe the Haughey family would consider refunding some of the €11.6 million stolen from the taxpayer by Charlie, according to the Moriarty Tribunal.

They might not be aware of his crookery, but they sure as hell benefited from the proceeds of his crimes.

Give it back, folks, and get used to living like the rest of us do : broke.

_______________

Previously : Haughey

Categories
Banking Corruption Favourites

Bank Stress Tests Are No Such Thing

What’s this about stress tests in the banks?

What stress tests?

Are they going to physically pick up a bank and shake it?  No, they’re not.

Are they going to set fire to it?  No.

Are they going to bash it with a big lump hammer?  They are not.

Will they pile big weights on top of it until it squashes?  Of course they won’t.

So what exactly do they mean by stress test?  Well, as I pointed out before, people in the banking world like to use terms from technology, engineering and science to lend a spurious credibility to what they do, and that’s what has happened with the term stress test.

In the real world, a stress test is something you might do to an aeroplane or a ship or a new engine design.  You run it to its limits to see how it behaves, what parts need to be strengthened and what works well, but before you do that, you run a simulation.  You set up a mathematical model, including as many parameters as you can manage, and you assess as best you can how it might behave before you send a test pilot up in it to risk his life.

That’s what they’re doing with the banks: a simulation.  Not a stress test.

Now, it seems to me that the most important thing they need to get from this process is the truth.  Finally, they need to get honest answers from the bankers instead of the lies they’ve been spinning for the last three years, and that’s where I think a real stress test might be useful.

Everything has its place in this world, including waterboarding.  I see no harm in rounding up the whole lot of them and subjecting them to a series of tortures until they spill the beans.  The Rack, the Iron Maiden, the Boot : all have a distinguished history, and it would be a shame, in my opinion, to let these traditions die out completely.  Bring back the Head Crusher, the Cat’s Paw, the Knee Splitter and of course, most appropriately, the Scavenger’s Daughter.

By Jesus, they won’t be long finding out the real facts about these banks once they start the real stress tests.

 

 

Categories
Corruption

Sarah Carey on Lying to the Moriarty Tribunal

Listen to Sarah Carey at 56 seconds in this clip from RTE’s Primetime:

I leaked some information about a donation Denis O Brien made to the Progressive Democrats and I denied that to the Tribunal.

Translated, this means I lied to the Tribunal.

She doesn’t seem to regard this as a serious matter.

Sarah is a journalist with the Irish Times.  A journalist who doesn’t seem too bothered about lying to a sworn tribunal.

Is that where we are now?  Journalists in our only paper of record who don’t think lying is such a big deal?

______________________

Update.

Sarah Carey resigned after a meeting with Geraldine Kennedy, editor of the Irish Times and issued a stsatement which included the following:

it was clear to me that I had no choice but to resign my position as columnist with The Irish Times.

Indeed.

As Geraldine Kennedy explained the position, in order to protect the reputation of The Irish Times, Sarah’s position as a columnist was untenable.

In an acid little missive to the paper, Michael McDowell corrected an assertion by Sarah Carey that he had written a letter thanking Denis O Brien for donating £15,000.  In fact the letter was thanking him for a few bottles of wine.

Ouch.

 

______________________

Update

Sarah Carey requested that certain comments be removed and this has been done

 

______________________

All posts on the Moriarty Tribunal

Categories
Corruption

Westlink Rip-Off

There’s a boodie on the radio talking about people who use this product.

Product?  What product?

The Westlink bridge, that’s what.  It’s not a toll.  It’s not a bridge.  It’s not highway robbery.

No.  Now it’s a fucking product.

Everything’s a product these days, isn’t it?  Even the thievery that allows a private company to charge you for crossing a bridge that the government should have built but didn’t.

And why didn’t the government build the bridge?  After all, they built the huge motorway that delivers all its victims to be mugged.  Indeed, they built a huge length of motorway – the M50 – at both sides of the Liffey and the only bit they didn’t build was the short stretch across the river.

Why?

Because that bit was intended to channel all the money into the pockets of CRH, or Roadstone as its better known: the company that lies at the heart of this country’s deep-rooted malaise.

It was Roadstone that operated the secret Ansbacher accounts from an illegal bank in their head office.  It was Roadstone that gained control of all the County Councils’ quarries and seized a monopoly on roadmaking materials in this country, selling our own stone back to us.  And it was to enrich Roadstone that Todd Andrews destroyed our rail network. It was Roadstone that bought an entire generation of politicians.

Roadstone own Fianna Fáil, and therefore it was no surprise that the taxpayer would fund the M50 construction but Roadstone would collect all the money.

Product?

Fucking crooks.

_________________

Previously on Bock:

And they call me a robber?