Favourites Society

Aosdána — Time To End The Farce

Aosdána is tainted and should be abolished.  We can’t afford it, and the people who benefit from membership don’t deserve it.  Aosdána is a private club, an association for a set of cronies who like to call each other Artists.  It was set up by a dishonest snob at a time when the country was broke, and some of its members continue to receive a stipend from the State at a time when the country is again bankrupt.

The whole thing is straight out of a bad fantasy novel, with ludicrous archaic  titles for its members.  Here, for example is their procedure for electing a Saoi (Wise One):

Members of Aosdána may receive the honour of Saoi. This is for singular and sustained distinction in the arts. The members of Aosdána elect a Saoi. The President of Ireland confers the symbol of the office of Saoi, the gold Torc. Not more than seven members of Aosdána may hold this honour at any one time.

I saw a ceremony like that in Star Trek once, but what would you expect from something set up by a ridiculous little snob like Charlie Haughey, who called his own yacht Celtic Mist?  An appropriate name, I always thought, from a man obsessed with keeping the country in a fog of confusion while he robbed it blind.

Haughey set up Aosdána in 1981 for two reasons.

The first was to create a monument to his own enormous vanity. A deeply insecure cultural fraud, Haughey liked to be seen as a patron of the Arts (with a capital A).  In reality, he was a vulgar bully without principle or scruple.  A thief and a cynic, Haughey routinely looted the national coffers to bestow largesse on what he considered appropriate causes.

Thus, he provided Dingle with a marina, supported by taxpayers’ money at a time when the country was in a desperate fiscal state.  As a result, Haughey was regarded as a benefactor in that town, and every year travelled there to fire the starting gun at their regatta.  It mattered nothing that the money Haughey diverted to help Dingle was taken away from some other deserving community.  Haughey’s image as the local squire was secure, and paid for by the rest of us.

Likewise, Aosdána provided him with a gloss of enlightened patronage and allowed him to rub shoulders with the sort of self-regarding loveys he secretly admired.  Of course, as time has gone on, Aosdána has become a smug, self-congratulatory clique.  A hymn to banality.  A mob to howl down anyone daring to criticise its members.  Most recently, Aosdána disgraced itself by closing ranks against anyone who questioned Cathal Ó Searcaigh’s adventures with very poor boys in Nepal, and continues to deny that any wrongdoing whatever took place.  Indeed, one of Ó Searcaigh’s fellow Aosdána members, Paddy Bushe, recently made a film attempting to refute the facts reported in Fairytale of Kathmandu, the original documentary exposing Ó Searcaigh’s antics in the Himalayas.

The other reason Haughey set up Aosdána was to provide a smokescreen — a Celtic mist, if you like — distracting attention from his cynical manipulation of State funds for his own benefit, and his wholesale acceptance of bribes from every quarter of Irish business, which he rewarded with lucrative State contracts at your expense and mine.

You’ll notice that Haughey never bothered setting up a community of scientists who might perhaps have contributed to our country’s prosperity.  Why?  Because nobody would have congratulated him for it, and because scientists are not the sort of people who hold wine and cheese receptions where a man like Haughey can swagger and preen.  He’d be among people intellectually superior to him, and he wouldn’t have liked that, the ridiculous old snob.

Aosdána was a creature born out of an unholy union between Haughey’s vanity and the hubris of a self-defined Irish artistic community.  It does nothing for the arts, except to benefit a small number of individuals who are for the most part financially independent, and in some cases, very well off indeed.  Many outstanding artists have refused to have anything to do with it, fearful no doubt for their own reputations.  Brendan Kennelly would have nothing to do with it and neither would Eavan Boland.  Hugh Leonard refused outright to join, but I’m disappointed to see that Séamus Heaney accepted the position of Wise One.  Thomas Kinsella didn’t think Aosdána was any good artistically.

Aosdána is a genetic test-tube experiment: a spawn of greed and conceit, created in a  soup of corruption  and it needs to be put down.

I’m afraid it has a flawed pedigree.




Previously on Bock:  Haughey

Banking Crime Economy Favourites

Irish Bank Guarantees

Correct me if you think I’m wrong, but I believe that an agreement depends on both parties meeting their obligations.

Otherwise, it isn’t an agreement.

It now seems that the Irish government guaranteed a mind-boggling amount of money, €450 billion, on the basis of lies.  Anglo-Irish Bank falsified its accounts, and now it seems Bank of Ireland and AIB may turn out to have significantly more bad debts than was disclosed on the night of the guarantee.  Irish Nationwide, of course, is a joke bank, as I’ve been saying here for quite a while.

Brian Lenihan offered this guarantee without knowing how exposed the banks were to bad debt.  In other words, he wrote a blank cheque, using the sovereign resources of this country, paid for by you and by me.  He offered your wages and mine to the crooks who head our banking system without imposing a single condition on them.

Now, this bank guarantee threatens to drag this entire country into oblivion if it turns out that the banks have more bad debts than we thought, because the government will have to cover those losses.

What does this mean?

It means wholesale job losses, evictions, poverty and hardship.  That’s what it means, because bastards like Seán Fitzpatrick and Fingers Fingleton have been playing the odds in the financial bookie-shop for years, and because they and Fianna Fáil are so closely bound together that the government can’t afford to let them fall in case they start talking.

It means that the fault for this disaster lies with the banks, the finance minister, the Taoiseach and the deeply-ingrained corruption at the heart of Fianna Fáil.

It isn’t about people maxing their credit cards, or taking out big mortgages.  Those people will eventually pay off their debts after a strong dose of reality hits them.

It isn’t about nurses, teachers and firemen being paid too much.

It’s about the banks lending ridiculous amounts of money to speculators, who were in bed with the ruling party in this country, without any regard to the possibility that those speculators might not pay them back.  It’s about the Irish government, led by a corrupt party with a vested interest, protecting the people who have traditionally supplied the bribes that keep them in comfort.

It’s about the chairman of the most crooked bank, Anglo-Irish, being a close buddy of our former prime minister, Bertie Ahern, who jumped ship with impeccable timing, just before the whole mess exploded.

It’s about Anglo-Irish bank fraudulently lending €300 million to 10 members of the golden circle that surrounds Fianna Fáil, to buy its own shares.  It’s about the fact that those loans were 75% secured against shares which are now worthless.  It’s about the fact that this money is lost to the State which now owns Anglo-Irish Bank.  It’s about the convenient legal flaw in the loan agreements relieving the 10 crooks of responsibility for giving back the remaining €75 million they were lent.

Did you ever borrow money from a bank?  Did you ever get to keep the money because the bank made a mistake in the paperwork?  No.  Me neither.

It’s about Fianna Fáil guaranteeing Anglo-Irish Bank instead of letting it collapse as it deserved to.

It’s about our incompetent finance minister pumping €7 billion into Bank of Ireland and AIB, even though any intelligent observer could see it wouldn’t be enough.

It’s about the fact that he did this without knowing how bad the situation in those banks was, and he still doesn’t know.

I’ll say this again.

Anglo and Irish Nationwide were joke banks and should never have been propped up.  They were not part of the legitimate economy and would have crashed without too much damage to the country.

There’s more to this bail-out than meets the eye.  Any rational government would have conducted due diligence procedures before offering any guarantees to the remaining banks, but this government didn’t.


Because they’re afraid of their lives that if any of these crooks end up in the dock in front of a judge, they’ll start singing, and they won’t stop singing until they’ve named every last politician who was on their payroll, and every last dirty deal facilitated by the ruling party in return for that largesse.

Consequently, they jeopardised the futures of every person on this island, and those not yet conceived.

It was treason.

Go and dig into this, and you’ll see where the cancer started and how it spread.

You want directions?

Ok.  Start with Haughey and follow your nose, if you can stand the smell.


Also on Bock:



Irish Times: Bank guarantee likely to deal a crippling blow to the economy

Problems in real economy dwarf those of bank sector

Politics Scandal

Fifty Reasons To Believe Fianna Fail Are A Bunch Of Fucking Crooks

Read them here: That’s Ireland.

And while you’re at it, read about National Digout Day here. It’s the 7th December, two days after our crooked government go back on their word and fail to give you the tax breaks they promised you. (That’s right, the same crooks who recently awarded themselves gigantic pay rises).

Shit, while you’re in the mood, look at this old post: Haughey


Dead Accountants’ Society

Did you know that the late Kim Il Sung is still President of North Korea? Isn’t that great?

I told Gonad the Ballbearian about this last week, and he jumped up like he’d been farted at by a Donegal detective. I’ll be back to you he said, and he was as good as his word. He called today with details of a terrific new tax-avoidance plan. He’s going to open an accountancy company and all its partners will be dead crooked accountants. Russell Murphy and Des Traynor will be the managing partners.

This is great. I’m going to take all the bribes I got from Shell Oil for introducing them to a crooked Minister for Energy, and I’m going to invest it in Gonad’s scheme. Every penny of it. You see, Gonad has had a stroke of genius here. This won’t be the Cayman Islands, or the Isle of Man or any of that shit. No. Gonad’s partners are going to keep your money in the Afterlife. The ultimate offshore account.