GUBU* Revisited After 30 Years – What Was Unbelievable ?
September 30, 2012

What was unbelievable?

It was unbelievable that the Minister for Justice would, a year after the hunger strikes, call the RUC for a “favour” and have a man detained in order that he not give evidence against his brother-in-law.

It was unbelievable that the minister for Finance would ask the Gardai to deliver a tape recorder to his office in order that he could tape a conversation between him and the then Minister for Economic Development.

It was unbelievable that the Minister for Justice dismiss his appointed driver and take his state car in the company with a well known singer and drive the car into a ditch in County Kerry in which the boot opened revealing Uzi sub-machine guns.

It was unbelievable that the Taoiseach, before the vote on his leadership, would have two shot pheasant delivered to the house of an opponent with a Mafia-style message simply saying “Shot on Saturday”.

It was unbelievable that the Taoiseach appoint a disaffected opposition TD as a European Commissioner in order to create a bye-election in which his sister-in-law would be his partý´s candidate.

It was unbelievable that in that bye-election, the Minister for the Environment would order trees in his constituency be uprooted and delivered to the constituency of the bye-election in order to garner votes and, when the bye-election was lost, the trees were uprooted again and brought back to their original “home”.

It was an unbelievable time!

Slim Buddha     30 September 2012

Source:   “The Boss” by Joyce and Murtagh 1983

*GUBU is an acronym standing for grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented. The words were Charles Haughey’s and the acronym from Conor Cruise O’Brien, to describe the way that a serial killer was apprehended holed up in the Attorney General’s home in 1982.

Not Only Are We Ceding Sovereignty, More Importantly, We Are Ceding Democracy
May 18, 2012

This Fiscal Pact makes no sense in the current political and economic climate. It also, again, needs to be reiterated that the fiscal pact/stability treaty would NOT have prevented our current crisis, so is therefore not the “solution”.

We here in Ireland and across Europe stand on a precipice and must take time and effort to secure the future not only for ourselves but for generations to come. Greece is in turmoil, Ireland and Portugal are in “forced bailouts” (of private financial institutions) Spain and Italy are spiralling out of control and the response from Europe has been much less than “adequate”- indeed some would describe the European response as having been fatal to the economies involved.

Europe has continually refused to accept that the introduction and implementation of the euro and the policies of the ECB which came with that implementation is where the structural flaws of the currency lies and that the devastation wreaked by those flaws should never under any circumstances have been placed on the shoulders of its citizens to burden. Europe must wake-up and take collective responsibility for this crises, acceptance of responsibility will be the first steps to recovery.

A solution is what needs to be found and part of that solution has to be removing the burden of private banking institutions and speculative property developer debts from the shoulders of the ordinary citizen, let market forces run their course and it won’t be long before the wheat is separated from the chaff in our financial institutions.

Our greatest asset is our people, their productivity, sustaining and expanding our economies.  Until people can get back to doing what they do best we will be unable to get on the road to recovery. Being part of Europe was meant to be a partnership that enhanced and secured the viability of Europe, its people and economies but current policies have tied us all into a “marriage from hell”

Ireland must step back reflect and have an informed, inclusive debate on where and how we wish to proceed to best combat this current crisis. Decisions have been made in haste, panic and darkness.  This is certainly neither the time nor the climate either politically or economically to enter into “experimental policies” dictated by Europe (running scared of markets) and implemented through fear and blackmail of its citizens. Our political leaders have a moral duty to ensure, encourage and promote democracy whilst putting the interests of the Irish people first and foremost in all discussion and policy implementation. If politicians have to use fear and blackmail to force citizens to do their bidding we have then indeed lost our last shreds of democracy.

ang  18 May 2012

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“The morning after…. ” A Risk Assessment of the Fiscal Stability Treaty Vote
May 17, 2012

” The morning after…….

Supporting a ” yes” vote in this referendum is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make, politically. 

My ability to represent my constituents was taken away by the Intergovernmental nature of the Fiscal Compact Treaty.  The European Parliament, in particular, the Socialist Group, was hostile to the Treaty.  It was obvious that it was a political agreement to satisfy Merkel’s government. Just about everything was wrong with it. 

And yet, and yet, I had to move past all that, in to the particular situation we were in. After much deliberating it became clear to me and at least some others on the centre left, that the risk was simply too great for a “no” vote. In other words I made a risk assessment. It had nothing to do with being a member of a government Party. It is also clear that the FCT will fail at a EU level, but it is a failure that we must not bring about. On a more hopeful note, our ability to re-negotiate our debts, in particular the promissory notes, will be enhanced by a yes vote. However I personally expect the government to engage in that serious negotiating with the Troika, if necessary, unilaterally.

My concerns are, and always have been, about the aftermath, the morning after May 31st. Where will we be then? While we will have left the “hot zone” of risk by a “yes” vote, no actual gains will be made.  At that point if no political will is demonstrated to show a red rather than white flag, in those negotiations, the government, in particular the Labour Party, will have failed. At that point it will be impossible for me to support the status quo. 

Many of my constituents are very angry, even the “yes” voters. Why should anyone be surprised at this anger? They will still be so on June 1st. And they will expect something.  I expect something. But will it happen? 

There is reason for hope. Only a few people know our negotiating strategy. But I know what is right and what is wrong. No hero will appear to rescue us from everything. Great damage has been done already. But we can be rescued from unacceptable suffering. 

Nessa Childers    16.5.2012

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