Monday, 16 December 2013


On December 15th 2010 entered the Troika programme; today, December 16th 2013, we enter the fourth year of that bail-in. And make no mistake, a bail-in this was, €17.5bn immediately pillaged from our National Pension Reserve Fund and handed to the banks. To ensure we could meet our repayment ‘obligations’ we’ve had ‘extend and pretend’ arrangements in those three years but we haven’t had a cent of debt write-down, rather we’ve had bank-debt piled on sovereign debt so that now, three years on, we are over €60bn deeper in the red.

In March 2011, having run on a platform that there would be burden-sharing with the banks and their bondholders, that there would be openness, fairness and transparency, this government came to power. In every single facet they have betrayed that mandate, lying and spinning as they instead implemented in full the mandate of the market – socialisation of private debt, then austerity measures introduced to pay for that debt, those measures rammed through a now-redundant Dáil.

That new government did face several tough decisions:

  • Challenge the EU/ECB on the bank-debt, on the Promissory Note debt in particular; 
  • Draw up legislation requiring the multinationals to pay a minimum Corporate Tax rate; 
  • Sign up to the Financial Transaction Tax and thus levy the sector that had caused this problem worldwide in the first instance, the finance industry; 
  • Impose a third rate of tax to get a greater contribution from those who can most afford it, the high-earners; 
  • For those in the public sector, including TDs and Ministers, reduce the top rates of public sector salaries, pensions and expenses (this and the previous measure could have been made temporary, until the country is out of the woods).

They ran from every one of those decisions, instead hit over and over again the soft targets. Theirs has been a fear-driven policy of appeasement – appeasement of the EU/ECB, of Germany, of the markets, all at the expense of its own people.

They have made a litany of false claims, the latest being to take credit for job creation. Do they claim ‘credit’ when jobs are lost? Not likely. Those jobs were created by the enterprise of the Irish people, by self-employed people in particular who – God knows – have been hung out to dry by this government. 

They have been creative though – in the way in which they've masked the true unemployment figure with all the various schemes that are now running, in the way in which they have encouraged people to emigrate, in the way they are destroying employment terms & conditions, in the way they claim to have maintained social welfare rates and income-tax rates while simultaneously dipping deeper and deeper into our pockets, in the way they spin and weave their web of lies and half-truths.

We’ve just been presented with a conveniently timed Forbes rating of ‘best country in which to do business’, the same Forbes who gave us the same rating in 2007, the same year Anglo Irish Bank was ranked World’s Best Bank. Economist Constantin Gurdgiev – a far more reliable source – blew that rating to smithereens in a recent blog.

I'm sorry I can’t join in the celebration of this day. 

Our people are leaving by the hundreds of thousands, depression and suicide is increasing by the year as the government implements its ‘slash & burn’ public service policy, imposes its regressive ever-increasing ‘indirect taxation’ policy of stealth levies and charges.

We’re told that the Troika are leaving – they are not. ONLY the IMF will be gone, and ONLY the IMF showed any hint of moderation in their dealings with us – evidence of that surfaced yet again this week in an interview given by former IMF chief in Ireland, Ashaka Mody. The IMF wanted to burn those bondholders and they have now admitted that the Austerity programme was wrong. 

We will be left with the EU/ECB, the same terrible twins who when they came back in December 2010, bullied and blackmailed Ireland into accepting in its entirety all bank debt as a condition for lending us money. These are the people Enda Kenny and this government now call our partners - classic Stockholm Syndrome. They are his partners, he has worked hand-in-glove with them. They are not ours.

I implore the Irish people; don’t buy the lies, the spin. A classic tactic of an abuser is to make the victim feel guilty; we are the victims here, we are the ones who have been forced into accepting a debt that is not ours, a debt that sees us enslaved to Europe for at least the next four decades, €70bn transferred from our coffers to the accounts of the world’s financial elite.

What exactly are we exiting? Nothing. Rather, we are now firmly in the grip of our would-be European masters.

I am confident this country will recover, I have absolute faith in the Irish people. We will bounce back, not because of the policies of this government, but in spite of them.