I am going to preface this article with a warning: It’s a long one, so go put the kettle on…
WHO IS REALLY IN CONTROL OF THE COUNTRY?
Not a day passes that we don’t read about how the state or the government costs us money. Perhaps we should start with the colossal national debt that successive governments have crucified the Irish people through intentional fiscal mismanagement and completely amateurish day to day mismanagement or bungling of the budget or dealing with the hangover from bailing out the banks. It has to be realised that this debt will last generations and that will ever be repaid back by the banks. Perhaps that was the intention from the outset. If we let it roll along for long enough the banks and government will gently erase it from our memories.
It’s coming near the end of the year and I am just summarizing some of the scandals (seen & unseen thus far) and who the culprits involved are. There are many other scandals awaiting the ink on paper and many others waiting to be exposed.
Time will tell but will anything change? Doubt it…
PRIVATE O’BRIEN & CHUMS – 1 – TAXPAYERS – 0
The National Broadband contract being awarded [under ever increasingly spurious circumstances that are incredibly similar circumstances to the awarding of the water meter contract to Dennis O’Brien] and a story that I as a journalist first made public six or so years ago. We can already guess that this will eventually result in another fiasco and money-making tribunal designed to make lawyers millionaires and where no one currently in power with responsibility will ever go to jail.
Once again thanks to Fine Gael, “Saving Private O’Brien” being the order of the day!
BUILDERS & EVERYONE ELSE INVOLVED IN THE NCH FIASCO -1 – TAXPAYER – 0
What about the financial shambles that the National Children’s Hospital was predicted to become and has in actual reality now become? We didn’t need a clairvoyant to predict the financial fiasco that was going to become.
MEDICAL SCANDALS -1 – TAXPAYERS – 0
What about the constant medical scandals [mainly affecting women I might add] that privatisation of the health system has led to, and where not one responsible individual has stood trial for criminal negligence or the deaths of innocent women through misread cervical tests? Ex-ministers get lucrative directorships while dead women clearly do not matter a damn, where cost are concerned!
CANNOT GET A GRIP ON THE HSE MINISTER – 1 – SICK, OLD AND FRAIL – 0
Hospital emergency departments bursting at the seams even though the winter season hasn’t really kicked in yet? No hospital bed for a very frail 90-year-old lady, who should be comforted by the surroundings of a warm bed in a ward, along with the privacy of a curtain to keep her dignity intact.
Meanwhile, we are stuck with an incumbent health minister who should really be making the tea for a real minister who has the balls to take on the health service and all that entails!
MINISTER FOR HOUSING -1 V – HOMELESS FAMILIES AND THE GREAT UNWASHED LOOKING FOR SOMEWHERE TO CALL HOME – 0
Need I say more about Eoghan Murphy’s performance as the minister in charge of housing?
SO WHO REALLY RUNS THE COUNTRY?
These are just some of the issues that have made the headlines, but we already know this government doesn’t really have control of the economy and thus the protection of the common good as a whole. Rather it is the drive to the privatisation of public resources and the continued protection of the banks, that is the key denominator in all of this. Waiting lists that just go on and on and on.
While it is recognised that some or none of the above will impact on you as an individual and maybe you just don’t care what happens outside your front door as we have witnessed in the recent bye-election, where voter apathy was never as apparent, there are many situations happening that will eventually have an impact on you or someone close to you.
So who really has or hasn’t control over your financial/medical/housing/families futures and why you should be concerned?
A HOGTIED CENTRAL BANK AND ANOTHER DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN?
A delegation from an Irish ethical fund who have been trying to buy distressed mortgages from Irish pillar banks so as to keep people in their homes recently met with the Irish Central Bank. They have been previously allowed to partake in the first round of tendering for distressed mortgages on sale with AIB. Two other funds were also in the running; however, the ethical fund was eliminated at round one and not allowed to proceed to round two even though they were the only genuine ethical fund in the running and the only one of the three to actually have the funds in place to purchase the loans.
Back to the Central Bank: In essence, it was admitted by the Central Bank that their hands are tied behind their back due to the European Central Bank and other organisations such as the IMF insisting that Irish banks reduce their distressed loans to basically zero. What they are admitting is that they have no control over what happens to the end result, which is homelessness for thousands of families in the next two or so years.
This is not scaremongering but is, unfortunately, the reality of what is to come.
Vultures rip the body asunder in a very short period of time and when they are full, they quickly move on looking for their next easy meal. This is the reality of what happens when a government hands control of the economy to external forces that destroys lives without a second thought for the consequences. Where will all those families be housed and at what cost to the taxpayer?
Individuals and couples looking to buy a home are facing having to save deposits of €87,000 or more for a home. In fairness the Central Bank are just protecting people from over-borrowing and risking a repeat of the 2008 financial collapse, however, the real culprits are the unbelievably greedy landowners (Yes, County Councils included), the developers and builders profiteering as though the crash of 2008 never happened and of course government inaction by letting “market forces” dictate the cost of everything and thereby relieving themselves of any blame when it collapses once again.
Neither the State nor the Central bank appear to know what to do and haven’t done in a long time. In the government’s case, it all really comes down to class warfare. Maybe the new guys at the helm have a big stick to slap the bankers into order?
Essentially the EU, the IMF, the World Bank, Irish and German banks and American vulture funds are in control, while the government clearly are not…
BANKERS ARE STILL RUNNING THE SHOW
This is probably the most contentious issue facing this country right now, even if you have forgotten their part in it. When the big hit came in 2008, we bailed the banks out on the premise that the taxpayer gets paid back what we paid in [involuntarily so, I might add here]. To date, we have not been paid back anywhere near the sums “lent by us” to the banks and therefore they are defaulting on the loans and we will never ever be paid back what they owe us. The borrowed capital and accruing interest that is piling billions of Euro on top of our national debt each year is growing by the day and can never be fully bought under control by any Irish government, either now or in the future.
Someone has to pay the Piper and it’s going to be you whether you like it or not and to make it worse, it will always be you!
Added to that, the underhanded freebie given to the banks by Minister Paschal Donohue, [to which it should be added] was an EU sanctioned tax-free status that is to last 20 years and will see no Irish pillar bank pay one cent in taxes while everyone else takes the pain.
This is essentially the 2nd public bail-out for the banks even if it was not recognised at the time. This is a €20bn loss to the economy and everyone else will pay the price in much reduced critical services and higher taxes over time, all to accommodate the bank’s profits and continuing existence by unjust enrichment sanctioned by this government. Banks have not taken any pain whatsoever because the taxpayer was fooled into bailing them out by the politicians.
With that said, the unbelievably smug bankers are back with an even bigger bounce in their step than ever and demanding that pay caps and bonuses to be uncapped again. The arrogance of their demands will, of course, be greeted with open arms by the government, who are already agreeable to the demands being met but are waiting for the opportune time to allow the news to be buried under the public outrage of another scandal.
One of the awkward and unanswered questions that bankers and politicians refuse to answer is: Where did the profits from the banks go for the period from 2005 to mid-2008? We know that there were profits made by all of the banks but who got them before the supposed losses? Going cap in hand to the Finance Minister in late 2008 and pleading poverty all of a sudden should have raised serious but unfortunately didn’t even an eyebrow amongst the politicians at the time.
Meanwhile, the government has allowed asset-stripping by vulture funds to continue unabated, all the while the rising suspicion in certain circles is that much of the money used by the vultures to buy distressed mortgages originates from dirty money which is funnelled through countries such as Cyprus and washed during the purchase of billions of Euro in loans from Irish banks.
Allegations are that the government are aware of this situation and have instructed the Revenue Commissioners not to investigate the source of the money. If these allegations are founded, will it finally prove the government’s complicity and part in the largest case of corruption in modern history?
The use of “servicing agents” such as Pepper or Start to front for unregulated and secretive vulture funds owners and claim legal ownership of mortgages is another prime example of the state ensuring that legislation is always in favour of the vultures and thereby ensures the asset-stripping toddles along unopposed.
The continued use of hiding behind section 110 charities by the vulture continues unabated and simply allows them to walk away with hundreds of billions of untaxed income to send offshore to another tax-evading jurisdiction, and no one in government even an eye to tax evasion on a massive scale.
The Master of the High Court, Ed Honohan first bought this to the public attention several months ago and was naturally ignored by the State, and in fact, was penalised by the President of the High Court for his public service announcement. Ed Honohan is the only man within the walls of the Four Courts who is keeping the judges and the government on their toes and he is a marked man for seeking justice for the many.
Family home evictions are going to become much more difficult to enforce. Roscommon was the line in the sand and if the line is crossed, there could be real trouble ahead for banks and vulture funds. No northern or even southern eviction teams are ever going to be that brave again.
Essentially the EU Central Bank, the IMF, banks and vulture funds of all kinds, solicitors and barristers, accounting firms, all in partnership with what is alleged to be international money laundering gangs are in control while the government are clearly not or at least looking the other way.
In another world, this would be called economic warfare!
The sleeping dragon that is going to bite very hard before we know it. Thousands of individuals and families are being intentionally priced out of the buying market by government policy. Giving planning permission to developers (Yes, those NAMA favourites included) while knowing full well that not one apartment or house in a complex is going to be sold to ordinary people and thereby creating a generation of renters who will most likely never own their own home due to the ridiculous rents that leave no room for saving a deposit.
The other winners are of course the banks. The usual favoured NAMA developers are not finding any problems borrowing money from Irish banks, however, look for a mortgage for an over-priced shoebox in Dublin and you may be left standing twiddling your thumbs while the big boys clear out the vaults.
This is housing privatisation by stealth and design. However, big money talks louder than small money which means the government aren’t listening to you. Wealth creation is only for the connected few that either pass brown envelopes to tax-evading ex-ministers or those frequenting the tent at Ballybrit.
Essentially the EU Central Bank, the IMF, banks and Cuckoo and vulture funds of all kinds are in control while the government are clearly not!
AN INCOMPETENT AND COMPLICIT POLITICAL SYSTEM?
Many TD’s and Senators vote for legislation [sometimes unwittingly and other times lazily] without ever really understanding the nature or the potential dangers or outcomes for the lives of those affected by party politics decision making. When votes are cast, they are cast on the political beliefs of the represented party rather than for the greater good. In other words, a couple of thousand Fine Gael & Fianna Fail voters are holding the country to ransom.
We have just seen the result of the vote of no confidence in Minister Murphy and in which the opposition failed in its duty to the country and voters by sitting on their hands once again. No one of them wants to face the electorate and risk losing the Lotto that is a TD’s pay and expenses. Michael Martin aiding and abetting Leo Varadkar so as to keep the spotlight from falling on his face while Leo & Co consistently drown in a quagmire of scandal after scandal yet buoyed up by Fianna Fail so as to save a little face and ego when things go badly wrong.
Take the current housing crisis for instance. Leo won’t call it a crisis because his ego won’t fly that low. Thousands of unfinished houses lying empty throughout the country lies about how many new social houses are being built by the government and yet millions being spent on the wackiest of things such as an outdoor swimming pool that the lads from Sherriff or Pearse Street will happily occupy come the hot summer days, regardless of the entrance fee.
We have seen on many occasions with legislation such as the 2013 Land & Conveyancing Act (Amended) which was deceitfully designed to ensure a legal framework existed so as to hand control over people’s lives and financial futures directly to the banks.
Former Finance Minister Alan Shatter in designing and writing this bill ensured that families would lose homes by the thousands and that families would be decimated by both men and women committing suicide because of relentless pressure from the banks. This and other similar legislation was written for banks by banks.
Disgracefully, there are bills designed to help people in rough financial circumstances still sitting at the bottom of the pile and that will never be read into law because of party allegiances.
TD’s and Senators in the two main political parties as well as several so-called independents are complicit in creating homelessness and financial hardship for thousands but feel no pain because they are so far removed from the reality of what they are voting for.
The bought State made it much easier to eject families from homes by being complicit with the banks in their profiteering.
It has to be added that we have theft and outright fraud happening in front of our eyes in Dail Eireann. How badly does a TD really need the extra couple of thousand of our taxpayers’ money?
Perhaps Dara Murphy, now ex-TD and recently appointed to another lush EU job [created in his favour] because he was working for Fine Gael in Europe or otherwise known as the European People Party and stiffing us for thousands while not actually doing the job he was paid to do. Ironically, he is being rewarded with another half a million of our money for “representing Fine Gael in Europe” but as he was really working for them rather than you, then Fine Gael should have been paying him all along. Let them compensate the taxpayer now!
Essentially the EU, Fine Gael, the European Peoples Party, the banks, vulture funds and corporations are in control…
A PURCHASED JUDICIARY?
One often wonders why judges make judgements that consistently favour banks and vulture funds. Could it be that judges have had huge loans written off by banks for properties that they could ill afford to service during the so-called recession? Could it be that judge’s spouses have had millions of Euro written down or off the books by the banks and vulture funds so as to influence the behaviour of their spouses in making judgements in favour of the banks and vulture funds?
Could this be the reason who not one single self-litigant is ever likely to win their case when defending themselves against the banks so as to save their homes? One day a barrister or solicitor working for the banks – the next day a judge. However, with a neo-liberal government unwilling to introduce a public register of judges financial interests, it is quite clear that both the government and the judiciary do not want the public to see who is protecting the banks. What government is willing to lay the judges’ dirty laundry bare for all the world to see, especially given the “level of co-operation” between the executive in Merrion Street and the Four Courts down by the Liffey?
How can there be fairness and equality in a judgement whereby a judge is already compromised and whose continued wealth and financial well-being is in the hands of a bank? Needless to say that not all judges should be tarred with the one brush, however, waiting for the retirement pension and then speaking out against the injustices won’t cut the mustard either. There is far too much cosiness between the government via the Department of Justice and the judicial system for it not to be suspected of corruption.
Essentially the EU, Fine Gael, the banks and vulture funds are in control, while the government are clearly compromised by party politics.
SENIOR CIVIL SERVANTS
When former Finance Minister, Michael Noonan held office, both he and his cohort of senior civil servants met with American vulture funds such as Goldman Sachs on numerous occasions. It was a former senior civil servant in the Department of Finance that introduced the idea of vulture funds to Noonan, who gladly ran with the idea of selling distressed loans to these entities.
The simple idea of offloading “bad loans” to the clawed hands of the vultures appealed to Noonan as it was seen as a way out for the government to grease the path of the banks to profit again. His civil servants with the help of the big four legal firms ensured that legislation was written and put in place to put the profits of banks and vulture funds over the wellbeing of the very people who were thrown into a big legal black hole, from which few have recovered from to date.
More than anyone, certain senior civil servants are to blame for instigating and influencing government policies that are detrimental to a healthy society but yet refuse to take responsibility and in fact quite often plead the fifth when questioned as we see at Committee hearings in the Dail. They can make any decision they like and still not get sacked when it goes wrong. Perhaps the top ten senior civil servants in every government department need to be culled every once in a while, to keep it clean and tidy at the top.
Essentially, the EU, the banks, vulture funds senior civil servants and Tweddle Dee are all in control, all the while the government twiddle their thumbs and Leo gets his mug plastered on every possible newspaper and media outlet’s online counterpart.
This next group are perhaps the most devious of all. Known to run with the hare and hounds at the same time when the money is right. This group are effectively the ones protecting the banks and vultures from being put in their place, legally speaking. Liberal with the truth when it comes to protecting the banks and fooling judges with spurious paperwork that a 1st-year apprentice solicitor would spot in a heartbeat.
Many of the “successful and politically connected ones” go onto to become judges, which in reality only adds to a bigger circling of the wagons for the protection of their previous paymasters.
Needless to say that not every solicitor or barrister is in on the game as some have morals that don’t drag them to the depths of accepting dirty money for the sake of a fine dining experience in the Shelbourne Hotel every weekend.
However, it seems that just two groups are ruling the roost in this case- The first being the banks and vulture funds are in control because the government have stepped back and told them to do a trolley dash with people’s lives and property. While the other group being the occupants of Blackhall Place and Henrietta Street are also clearly in control, all the while a compromised government willingly facilitates “the old school tie fraternity scam” and makes millionaires for the cloak and wig brigade.
Essentially, the Law Society and the BAR are entirely in control of the country and will continue to do so until they are all reigned in by a government with a healthy social outlook or at least a sense of social balance.
No one has to be told how dangerous to life and limb and how soul-destroying it is to have to go to an A&E department at any time of the year. No minister appointed to the health service portfolio can ever seems to get to grips with the worsening situation that is the Calcutta of all of the government departments.
Is it the fear of seeing how out of his or her depth a minister must feel when faced with a poison chalice that has a massive financial black hole attached to it or is it a case of intentionally running down the service because it costs billions of Euro to run each year for no financial return? I would hazard a guess that the latter situation is the case.
Now that Boris Johnston is returned to power and it will probably be a ditto for Fine Gael/Fianna Fail or Fianna Fail/Fine Gael, then there will be a huge incentive to a copycat decision to sell off the HSE in chunks in much the same way that Boris is planning to sell to the American corporations.
We already have a proliferation of private hospitals and medical facilities run by medical consultants [many of whom are already being paid from the public purse]. Of course, we also have the many private hospitals run by many of the same religious orders who have thus far refused to pay their share of the compensation due to be paid to the unfortunate Magdalene laundry women.
SO WHO IS REALLY IN CONTROL?
Essentially, the EU, the IMF, the World Bank, the Irish banks and vulture funds, judges, barristers, solicitors, and everyone bloody else who is profiteering and thieving off of the public purse or plainly making life a misery for everyone else are essentially in control, so there you have it – everyone except the people we are paying to be in control, which is, of course, the government!
Just a thought… In the up and coming election campaign, people should set up “truth campaigns” in their own localities and follow the politician’s door to door while handing out leaflets that show how little any of the sitting incumbents have really done for the local community and country. Put them on the spot and watch them run as fast as they can.
Politician’s leaflets tend to be full of promises, lies and untruths and they need to be called out on the fact that once they are in the hot seat, then they are working for their political party rather than you, your community or your country. Think Fianna Fail abstaining on the Murphy vote and you will quickly get the idea.
It’s called taking back your power… Try it sometime!
PS: Innocent people being locked up for challenging the system… That action will come back to haunt the taxpayers once again and will show how unbelievably vengeful the state can become especially when a citizen is looking to right a wrong.
ANOTHER PS: Jeffery Epstein didn’t commit suicide and Michael Martin isn’t fit to lead the next government. 😉
Happy new year!