Thursday, 13 October 2011

What we're told, what we're not told

TWITTER:          @ballyhea14
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October 13th 2011

We know, because we’ve seen/heard/read it on TV/radio/newspapers, that because they’ve overrun their diminishing budgets to the tune of about a collective €50m our hospitals are having to cut back on beds and operations; do ye know that on Tuesday of this week our money was used to pay out on failed private unguaranteed bank bonds (BOI €35m; IL&P €17.5m; EBS €17.3m) to the tune of over €70m?
We know, because we’ve seen/heard/read it on TV/radio/newspapers, that Budget 2012 – which is now being put together – will involve cuts/taxes to the tune of something between €3.6bn and €4.5bn; do ye know that last month, September 2011, our money was used to pay out on failed private bank bonds to the tune of €4.3bn? And understand, this IS our money, in July we ‘injected’ €20bn into the banks from our now almost spent Pension Reserve Fund.
Do ye know that on November 2nd, less than three weeks away, we will pay a €700m unguaranteed bond from the zombie bank, Anglo Irish? Do ye know that over the next three years (2012 €20; 2013 €17bn; 2014 €25bn), if we continue the current official ECB-dictated government policy, we will pay over €62bn in those failed private bank bonds, most of which will have to be borrowed from that same ECB? Do ye know that we’re already paying, on an annual basis, the original interest on those bonds, but we’ll be paying interest again on the loans we need to pay off those bonds?
We know, because we’ve seen/heard/read it on TV/radio/newspapers, that with the massive interest rates they were charging the markets made it well-nigh impossible for us to borrow what we need to run the country while we close the budget deficit; do ye know that the main reason the markets ran scared from us was that they looked at that budget deficit, then looked at the bank debt we were also now going to assume, did the very simple arithmetic involved, and concluded – absolutely correctly – that this was a formula for economic failure, and made their decisions accordingly?
You've not heard any of the above – why? You've heard ad nauseum, to the point where it’s now almost the first thing people bring up when the bank bondholder bailout is discussed, a debate that is centred only around the cataclysmic possibilities if we didn’t submit to the ECB blackmail and pay the bank bonds; you've heard very little around the very positive possibilities if we did what we should have done from the outset, and refused to have anything to do with those failed private bonds.
Those bank bonds are anchoring the Irish economy in these dead waters, they are a drain on us and on what’s left of our banks, they are a drag on any possible growth. As long as the banks have to continue paying the interest on the bonds (which they do, every year), as long as they have to keep funds in reserve to ‘honour’ the principal on the bonds on the due date, they will have very little left to lend to business, to lend to mortgage applicants.
The debate we are having, all the doomsday scenarios if we don’t pay, is the debate the ECB wants us to have, is the debate their puppets here (our own government, our own Central Bank) want us to have. They DON’T want us to know the details of the bonds as they’re being paid, they DON’T want us to have a debate centred around the real question here – should we be paying those bonds at all? Should we be submitting to the unspoken blackmail (the ECB was far too clever to put any of that in writing, wouldn't look at all good when the history of this era is being written, a little member state being thus threatened), or should we now be telling Europe – look, we’ve suffered as much as we’re going to suffer to save the euro, to save the Franco-German banking systems?
Isn’t it time our own government began to put the interests of its own people first, before the interests of the world’s financial institutions, before the interests of Europe?
On Saturday last, on Sunday, again on Wednesday, I was in Dame Street for the occupation of the area in front of our central bank. For the most part those are youngsters, idealists, and so easy to dismiss. But they understand ‘liberty, equality, fraternity’, they understand ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people’, they understand ‘the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible’. They understand the real meaning of a republic.
Back them, support them. To our national media, a plea – be guided by the instincts that persuaded you into journalism; be guided by your own search for truth, by your own search for justice. Report what’s happening here not as the ECB would have you report it, but as you yourselves witness it.
Apologies for the long-windedness,
Yours sincerely,
Diarmuid O'Flynn.