Thursday, 11 December 2014

NATIONAL WATER PROTEST Dec 10th 2012 - SPEECH TEXT

A catch-cry of Michael Noonan and of this government is that they must balance the books.

Michael, we agree, we too want to see the books balanced.

We want to see this government stop legislating to protect the interests of the greedy at the cost of the needy.

We want to see this government stop legislating to protect the interests of the vampires who operate from the tax haven that is the IFSC and who, through various nefarious tax-avoidance scams, gorge on the lifeblood of the people, not just in this state but worldwide.

We want you to further stop legislating to protect the interests of the vultures, those who then come in to feed on the carcass of what’s left, those for example to whom you sold off for a song the distressed mortgages of so many thousands of Irish homeowners, without giving them even the option to bid on those mortgages themselves;

Balance those books Michael, and when you have that done…

Just as you and others here and in Europe were able to introduce legislation that impoverishes this nation in this generation, that enslaves future generations to the EU and its debt-collection heavies of the ECB, we want ye now to reverse that legislation and set us free, allow us prosper.

Balance all THOSE books Michael.

We want to see you and this government reverse all the shameful life-shrinking cuts you have imposed over the last three and a half years on those who can least afford them, and instead spread that load across those who CAN most afford them, people like yourselves inside those gates on salaries and pensions far in excess of the value of what you're doing, far in excess of what most parliamentarians in even the biggest states receive.

Balance THAT book Michael.

We want to see you reverse every underhand forced-through law you introduced to set up Irish Water; we want to see it disbanded completely, an immediate end to the meter installation and the money thus saved ploughed into repairing the infrastructure.

And please don’t insult our intelligence by pretending the cost is now set in stone, the public ownership is now ‘enshrined’ in law. To our cost, to our crippling cost, we know only too well how quickly law can be changed or even enacted to enable government do its dastardly deeds. ONLY through a referendum will we see our right enshrined in our constitution because to change it, you then have to come back to the people.

So Michael, balance that book, and truly make water a permanent asset of the people.

There are so many other books that also need balancing, some that affect us all, such as the giveaway of our oil and gas, some that affect only a few, such as the medical card issue, the transport issue for the disabled – the full list would keep me here for a considerable time.

But the one on which the Ballyhea group has been campaigning now for nearly 200 weeks, the issue on which we were joined by Charleville, by Ratoath and Dublin who now also hold their own weekly march, the issue that is probably the greatest single travesty of all, is the issue on which your books are most seriously imbalanced.

I'm talking of the bank-bailout, that sell-out of the people to the vampires and vultures – and yes, I know there are also solid financial institutions investing on behalf of hundreds of millions of solid citizens around the world in there, bailed out by us. But it should not have happened, and most certainly not on the scale in which it DID happen.

€69.7bn, that was the ultimate capital cost to us of bailing out our banks – that amounts to over €15,000 for every woman, man and child among us.

Were we ever consulted on any of that? Yes, in a way, when Fine Gael and Labour promised before the last general election that they would take care of us, that they would ensure burden-sharing – Labour’s Way or Frankfurt’s Way.

Transpires that Labour’s Way WAS Frankfurt’s Way, and still is. Instead of taking our fight to Europe, they brought Europe’s fight to us.

Nowhere was this more evident than in Michael Noonan’s Promissory Notes deal.

I won’t go into detail; suffice to say that at this very moment and as a direct legacy of that deal, there are sovereign bonds to the value of €28bn, that’s €28,000m, sitting below in the Central Bank, awaiting sale. As soon as they’re sold, those billions are destroyed, every cent; as soon as they’re sold also, we start paying interest on them and then, starting in 2038 and ending in 2053, we start paying back the principal.

Think about that – a broke, seriously indebted small country, forced to borrow billions to burn. And for what? To pay for the bailout of the European big-bank creditors of two bust Irish banks, Anglo and Irish Nationwide.

The cost? In interest and principal, over the next 40 years we won’t get much change from €80bn – that’s an average of around €2bn a year, to go with the €1.6bn we’re already paying in bank-debt related interest, plus the €1bn a year we’re losing in interest on the €20bn plundered for the banks from our National Pension Reserve Fund.

That’s why we campaign in Ballyhea, Charleville, Ratoath, Dublin, that’s why, on December 28th, the last Sunday of the year, we’ll be having our 200th weekly protest march – you're all invited, by the way.

We can stop the sale of those bonds, we MUST stop the sale of those bonds; if we don’t, we ourselves are complicit in condemning future generations to debt slavery.

To finish:

Normally when we gather in these numbers up from the country in Dublin, even when Dubliners themselves gather in these numbers, it’s across the river in Croke Park. Normally also on the last Sunday of every season, someone will call for three cheers for the losers. I can't do that this evening, because so many of those who have lost are not here.

People like Jonathan Corrie, who died in a doorway almost on the doorsteps of the Dáil, for want of a roof over his head;

People like the thousands who have taken their own lives over the last seven crushing years, not because they craved death but because they couldn’t take any more of what those inside these gates were throwing at them;

People like the hundreds of thousands who have left, leaving behind them broken hearts in broken families in broken communities;

People like ourselves, all of us gathered here this miserable, glorious winter’s day to let our feelings be known – nearly 100 years after the 1916 Rising, we are not going to swap one Empire for another, one kind of servitude for another.

So no, no three cheers. But, in recognition of the next campaign that lies before us, I will call for three chants, just three, each rising in intensity so those in there really get the message; it’s this:

BURN THE BONDS, NOT THE BILLIONS!

BURN THE BONDS, NOT THE BILLIONS!

BURN THE BONDS, NOT THE BILLIONS!

From Ballyhea, thank you, and we’ll see ye on the 28th.

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