Saturday, 18 February 2012

Breaking the chains

February 17th 2012


                We are an enslaved people, our function to provide funds for the major European and world financial institutions. As slaves, and in common with the people of Greece, another enslaved nation, we have no rights, we have only uses. People wonder why it is that greater production is expected from us than from Greece; it’s because at the moment we are stronger than Greece, at the moment we are healthier. We will be fed just enough to keep us strong enough to keep producing enough; when we’re no longer able to produce enough, we’ll be discarded.

                Our masters are the ECB and the EU, the IMF as lesser partners. Their major interests are their banks, vast edifices which because of their own poor decisions were threatened with collapse. We are being used to provide the funding to try to prevent this from happening.

                Our overseers come from among us – Kenny, Gilmore, Noonan, Rabbitte, Varadkar, Sherlock, all the others, they are the ones cracking the whips, they are the ones who will ensure that every last ounce of effort is squeezed from us, and they will draw blood from the recalcitants. Their own motivations vary - fear, cowardice, greed, ignorance, but no matter. They have their orders, they have their whips, and feeling secure in their own elite little group, they flog us and will keep flogging us, getting fatter and fatter themselves in the process.

                The crash of the Irish economy a few years ago left us very suddenly with a huge budget deficit, an annually increasing national sovereign debt. In the years since then, we – the people of Ireland – have been saddled with an additional massive burden, the failed private bank debt. We were never consulted, we weren’t asked; our overseers were weak, badly informed, poorly equipped, succumbed to the threats of our powerful new masters, and gradually, inexorably, that additional burden is being wrapped around our own burden, til eventually the two will become one. When that happens, we are crushed.

                Threats, lies, misinformation and disinformation, all the classical weapons when you want to subjugate. There is the straight threat from the ECB, the financial bomb going off in Dublin spoken of by Overseer Varadkar – pay up or else; there is the apocalyptic picture painted by the media minions of what will happen if we don’t pay; there is the blatant ignoring of any discussion on the fundamental issue – what right has the ECB to use its financial muscle, what right has the EU powerful pairing of Germany and France to use its political muscle, to force a small and weakened member state to accept a debt that is not its own?

                The prospects are not good – how do we know? Because we’ve been here before. People aren’t dying in their millions but in so many other respect this is the 1840s all over again. People are going hungry, people are leaving in their hundreds of thousands; just as the food-relief ships coming into Irish harbours then met fully-laden food ships leaving for our then-masters in Britain, so it is that any inward investment is met by billions of euro leaving the Irish economy to feed the institutions in Germany and France, in other such institutions world-wide. €1.25bn paid on January 25th in one failed bank bond; over €1bn in two failed bank bonds this week; €19bn in failed bank bonds this year; €55bn in failed bank bonds over the coming four years, all bled from the people. One major difference with the 1840s, however; bad as the British government was in its overseeing of the genocide they didn’t actually destroy vast quantities of food – on March 31st last year, on March 31st this year, and on March 31st every year for a decade and more to come, following the instructions of the ECB our own Central Bank will oversee the destruction of 3.1bn of Irish money, real Irish money, the Anglo Promissory Notes.

                We can resist, we can fight, we can overthrow these new masters and their homegrown overseers; that too we know we can do, that too is in our history. Understand this; the €3.8bn austerity Budget 2012 isn’t the end of it, nor will be the €3.5bn austerity Budget mandated for 2013, nor the €3.1bn austerity budget for 2014, the €2bn in 2015. Put those together and the cumulative effect is a total of €12.4bn (3.8 + 3.5 + 3.1 +2) in cuts and taxes in the budget of 2015. Austerity? We ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. And for what? Throw their lies back in their faces; with the billions being paid in those failed private bank bonds, with the destruction of the €3.1bn on one day alone next month, it’s crystal clear that this enforced austerity isn’t to assist us out of the hole we’re in, it’s to enable the payment of those bonds, even if in the process the hole we’re in gets deeper and deeper. 

                In Iceland their own overseer government was going to  do exactly as ours has done but their President did what ours didn’t, refused to sign the bill. The people got a referendum, they rejected the lies, threats and misinformation, they voted against their own government, and now, just a couple of years later, Iceland is on the road to recovery. We are on the road to ruin, but we can turn. One of the money-making methods the ECB/EU/IMF have demanded that our overseers implement is a Household Charge. To enable this we are ordered to register by March 31st; don’t do it. Let this be our referendum, let this be your opportunity to stand and fight – DON’T REGISTER, DON’T PAY. March 31st is also the date the Promissory Note €3.1bn is due to be destroyed – demand now that this should not happen, march with us in Ballyhea on our weekly Bondholder Bailout Protest on Sunday, March 4th at 11.30am, the first anniversary of our first protest march. It’s time to break the chains.

Diarmuid O’Flynn

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Ireland united


                On Sunday March 4th we will be having our 52nd weekly march in Ballyhea in protest against the on-going extortion of tens of billions of euro from us, the people of Ireland, by the ECB. To mark the occasion we're inviting anyone and everyone to make your way to Ballyhea on that date and for half an hour, from 11.30am til noon, park whatever differences we may all have and march together.

                We have a single cause - end the bank bondholder bailout. No playing around with the terms - this load is crushing us, remove it. Its imposition was wrong, unjust; it's not just a gross abuse of power by the ECB and the EU, it is a cynical, deliberate and calculated attack on our independence, on our sovereignty.

                It's being done for what, because the ECB's pet financial institutions are too big to fail? Are we, the people of Ireland, not too big to fail? Does the EU not have any responsibility to its people? And where does it all end? Once this bank debt has been fully 'socialised' and we are forced into inevitable sovereign default – well, Greece this week, Ireland next.

                The fallout from the imposition of this bank debt burden affects us all; we should all resist. I wish I had the eloquence to properly articulate just how a critical a period this is in Irish history, but I don’t. All I can do is ask that in the face of this common threat, right left and centre we should unite, all political creeds and none, native and settler - that is our only hope. Join us, Sunday March 4th at 11.30am, Ballyhea.

Diarmuid O’Flynn

Wednesday, 8 February 2012



                When we started marching on the first Sunday in March 2011, it was never our intention that Ballyhea would become the focal point for protest against the bank bondholder bailout – contagion was our big ambition, spread the protest from parish to parish til the whole country was marching.

                Didn’t happen, so now a smaller ambition; Sunday March 4th is the first anniversary of our first march, and now we DO want to make Ballyhea a focal point for this protest. This is an open invitation to all of you in the media who feel we’re being wronged, to all of you in the arts, to all of you in the world of academia, to all of you amateur and professional in the world of sport (with so many young people leaving, what sporting organisation hasn’t been adversely affected by this?), to all of you in the world of politics, to anyone and to everyone, to join us in Ballyhea on that one day and make this a protest march to remember.

                 With our own Central Bank set to destroy €3.1bn of our money on March 31st we are reaching a crisis point, a pivotal moment in Irish history. On that one day join us, please, and share this invitation with anyone you think would like to do likewise.

Diarmuid O’Flynn

Monday, 6 February 2012

Problem solving


                That we have a major problem in the Irish economy at the moment is beyond question. How to solve it? The same way you solve any other problem, using the same basic principles – you go back to the source, then take whatever steps are necessary.

                Leave aside the sloppy introduction of the euro, the easy money that then became available to Irish banks, the lack of oversight here and in Europe on the reckless inter-bank lending; the source of the current Irish problem is the blanket guarantee given to the Irish banks by then Minister of Finance Brian Lenihan. When the mist cleared and the money markets saw the emerging mountain of bank debt that Ireland taken on, on top of its own growing sovereign debt caused by the budget deficit, they did the simple arithmetic and came up with the simple conclusion – couldn't be done. Consequent to that conclusion they raised the rates on Irish government borrowing, eventually forcing us out of the market and into the embrace of the troika. In that embrace we remain.

                Under extreme duress and with seriously deficient information, the government legislated for that guarantee; the situation is now even more serious, we know the full extent of the problem – if we’re to get back into the money markets any time soon the government must now introduce new legislation to right the wrong that was done back then.
                The situation is stark; that bank debt piled on top of our sovereign debt puts us in an unsustainable position, MUST be removed. It is not our debt, was never our debt, will never rightfully be our debt, but is being forced on us by the ECB. If we don’t pay even the unguaranteed bank bonds in the zombie banks, ‘a bomb will go off in Dublin,’ said Minister Leo Varadker. He was speaking metaphorically of course but the threat, also alluded to by many government spokespersons over the last couple of shameful years, is real. That is extortion, ‘the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threat’, the Oxford English dictionary definition.

                When real bombs were going off in Dublin, Belfast and London the discussion didn’t centre around having no choice but to accede to the demands of those who were doing the bombing, it centred around resistance at all costs; within the Irish media, however, what we hear more than anything else is ‘Ah but, what happens if we don’t pay!’

                There should be NO debate, none; in using its financial muscle to extort under threat tens of billions from the Irish exchequer, what the ECB is doing – with the EU and Irish government complicit - is wrong. If there is to be any debate it should be around that fact. We are being forced to pay not just the losses on failed for-profit private inter-bank deals, we are being forced also to pay the profits (the coupons) those bonds would have made, and because we don’t have the money now to pay those bonds, we are being forced into a situation where we have to borrow, assume new loans, on which we have to pay interest.

                This is a crime. It’s happening in full view of the world. The fact that it’s an official major organisation – the ECB – doing this extorting doesn’t make it any less of a crime.

                We should refuse, immediately, to pay a further cent in bank bonds. We should refuse, immediately, to pay a cent on the Promissory Notes. We should introduce and implement, immediately, legislation to undo all the damage that’s been done to our economy. Enough of this false debate; we must start to stand up for ourselves, we must fight back.

Diarmuid O`Flynn