Sunday, 7 August 2011

7-day fast final day

TWITTER:          @ballyhea14
FACEBOOK PAGES:   Bondwatch; Ballyhea bondholder bailout protest
August 7th 2011

Today is the last day of the 7-day bread n’ water fast, a symbolic protest against the penal on-going ECB-dictated bank bondholder bailout.  In a few minutes I’ll be heading for Croke Park to cover the All-Ireland semi-final, and thank God for the diversion, it will make this final day pass easily enough.
As anticipated, as feared, the fast has been in vain, and as with everything else attempted in an effort to highlight the massive injustice being visited on the Irish people on a weekly basis with the relentless payment of these bank bonds, it has registered not even a ripple in the national media.
It’s been a depressing six months of protest, a soul-destroying six months.  Over the next few months, as the budget 2012 proposals are firmed up, we’ll have broadcast to us all the proposed cuts, the closures, the new taxes, reports of the protests being organised against same here, there, everywhere.  What we won’t read about, the bond being paid by Bank of Ireland this Monday, €200,000,000; the bonds being paid this month, €444,260,916; the bonds being paid next month, €4,299,705,436; the bonds being paid next year, €20bn; the bonds being paid to the end of 2015, €60bn. 
The media are meant to be the eyes and ears of the people – where are they?  Reams of coverage of the Cloyne Diocese report, but what of this scandal, this bank robbery with a twist, the ECB robbing – under threat – billions from an already-suffering people?  And robbery is what it is, nothing less.  This is not our debt, was never our debt; neither this government nor the last WANTED to pay it, but were forced to do so by the bullying bungling ECB – ‘A nod is as good as a wink’, in the colourful words of Minister Michael Noonan.
When this day is over, for my own sake and for the sake of my family I have no option but to step back.  It has reduced me physically (10lbs of mostly excess fat), but even more so, it has cost me emotionally.  Depressing, soul-destroying?  I've had the black dog for company for many months now.  Cuts to the fuel/phone/electricity subsidies for the elderly and the poor, Autism programmes closed down, Special Needs Education hammered, hospital beds closed, operations deferred – the poorest, the neediest, the sick, all hit for the sake of millions, while billions are borrowed to pay bank bonds, and we don’t bat an eyelid in protest.  As a civilised and supposedly caring society, how do we justify this?  Watching this, knowing it’s happening, knowing also we’re letting it happen – it’s destroying me.
I'm taking a break from it for a while, so this will be the last annoying mail from me for the foreseeable future.  Wasted my time, and if you even bothered to read any of these missives, wasted yours.  Hopefully someone with a bit more stamina will now take up this fight.
Yours sincerely,
Diarmuid O'Flynn.

Friday, 5 August 2011

The walla-walla bird

The walla-walla bird is a bird that spends its life chasing its own tail; it flies around in an ever-decreasing spiral, and flies so fast it flies up its own asshole, from which secluded retreat it shits in the eye of its baffled pursuer.  Remind ye of anyone?

Monday, 1 August 2011

Colm McCarthy's take on the bank bondholder bailout

TWITTER:          @ballyhea14
FACEBOOK PAGES:   Bondwatch; Ballyhea bondholder bailout protest
August 1st 2011
BREAD N’ WATER 7-DAY FAST – the reason why
The following are extracts taken from an article by Colm McCarthy in the Sunday Independent, July 31st 2011 – the italics to highlight specific quotes are mine:
“As ministers head for the beaches after the close of the new Government's first parliamentary session, there should be no self-congratulation or talk of corners being turned.
The principal beneficiaries of European policy towards Ireland are those who bought bonds from insolvent Irish banks. Meanwhile, those who bought bonds from an insolvent Greek government are expected to bear at least some of the burden. Whatever relief the package contains for Ireland was grudging, inadequate and arose coincidentally from a belated attempt to solve problems elsewhere in Europe.
One of the reasons why Ireland has been shut out of the sovereign credit markets is the perception that, in addition to the known accumulation of sovereign debt, there may be further exposures for the Exchequer lurking beneath the waves in the murky wreckage of the banking system.
It is entirely fair for our European partners to observe that we have brought this on ourselves but it is equally fair to note that in picking up the tab, the Irish are 'taking one for the team', in the phrase of Sharon Bowles, the British MEP who chairs the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee. The team, in the form of the EU Commission, the European Central Bank and the Franco-German political leadership, persist in the pretence that the protection of creditors of the bust Irish banks, at the expense of the Irish Exchequer, represents some form of generosity to Irish citizens and taxpayers.
Fortunately, the existing deal with our European partners is impractical as well as unfair. It has not worked, it will not work and there will be further rounds of modifications as Europe gropes towards a resolution of the banking and sovereign debt crises. It will not be enough, in regaining solvency, for the Irish Government to avoid further pay-offs to bondholders in Anglo and Irish Nationwide. The Irish Exchequer's contributions to bank rescue have already destroyed the sovereign's capacity to borrow. There is still an opportunity to avoid default on the sovereign debt of the state, but the ability to avoid this outcome is being undermined by the obligations undertaken to investors in bonds issued by insolvent banks.
The restoration of that ability requires, in addition to vigorous reductions in the budget deficit, that the remaining costs of rescuing the Irish banks be shared with their creditors and with the European institutions whose defence of bank bondholders has helped to create the current untenable situation.
It would be nice if both sovereign and bank bondholder obligation could realistically be met. If they cannot, the choices need to be understood both here and in Europe.”
Colm McCarthy lectures in economics at UCD. He headed an expert group examining State assets and chaired the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Progra-mmes, An Bord Snip Nua. He also authored the report into the semi-state sector from the Review Group on State Assets and Liabilities.