A minor observation about the current chaos in Irish political and financial circles. The opposition parties; specifically Fine Gael and Labour; are demanding an immediate general election. The government insists that it needs to hang on for another month or two in order to pass the budget measures required to secure the IMF / EU bailout. To this, the opposition parties respond with indignant bluster but little else. They profess outrage at Fianna Fáil hanging on to power. They portray it as a denial of the electorate’s right to be heard on this uniquely important issue. And they promise to vote against the budget from a minority position.
Fine Gael and Labour are engaged in the politics of cowardice and dishonesty. They are cowering beneath the onslaught of the IMF, using Fianna Fáil and The Greens as increasingly fragile barricades. Let’s be 100% clear about this… if either party really wanted to trigger an instant election, they could do so at the drop of a hat. Fact is, they don’t have an alternative plan and are completely devoid of ideas and vision. These parties — our next government if polls are to be believed — are desperate for Fianna Fáil to sell us out to the IMF and absolve them from responsibility for the shitstorm being visited upon us by The Markets. If there were an election before the budget they’d be exposed as charlatans, forced to tread the same weary path as the current discredited lot. Ideologically incapable of considering radical alternatives.
And make no mistake, they could trigger an election. All it would take would be for Enda Kenny (Fine Gael) and Eamon Gilmore (Labour) to call a Press Conference and announce that they will not be bound by the impending Fianna Fáil four year plan and budget. Pledge to revisit both immediately after the next election. It would pull the rug out from under Cowen and force him to hold an election as soon as possible.
But Kenny and Gilmore are unwilling to force the issue. They’re hiding in their minority position. Condemning the actions of the government while steadfastly refusing to intervene, despite having the means to do so. They’ll watch as Fianna Fáil kick the crap out of the poor then take office and lament. All the while complaining about their hands being tied. About how they don’t have the power to change things.
Bullshit. They do have the power, they don’t have the wit. And so, they will watch this country get bled dry.
The European Banks gave out billions in loans to the Irish banks. The Irish banks were badly run, lost all the money and are functionally bankrupt. So the IMF is now insisting that the Irish taxpayer borrows the equivalent amount (from those same institutions!) and bails out the Irish banks with it. Then the Irish banks will pay back the loans they took from the European Banks. Leaving just the newly imposed Irish sovereign debt to the European banks remaining. To add insult to injury, the imposed loan is at a far higher interest rate than most of the original bad loans were.
Still angry and getting angrier about all this. This monstrous nationalisation of private debt shouldn’t be permitted. It is fundamentally unjust and the system that demands it is corrupt and immoral. There’ll be a march in Dublin this Saturday (click the image above for more details). It’s being organised by ICTU (the Irish Congress of Trade Unions) but is completely non-aligned and aims to give voice to public discontent rather than being a message specifically from the Unions. I urge my Irish readers to attend.
And I urge my overseas readers to take note. Because what’s happening in Ireland is the new face of international finance capital, and it’s not stopping with us.