The Billion-Dollar Heist – For Whom The Bell Tolls

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From Diarmuid O’Flynn of Bondwatch Ireland and the Ballyhea bondholder bailout protests.

On November 2nd 2011, next Wednesday, a $1,000,000,000 bond comes due at Anglo Irish Bank. This bond is unsecured, unguaranteed, a bond we have absolutely no obligation to pay, from a bank described by Minister Michael Noonan in an RTE interview only last June in the following terms: “Look, it’s no longer a bank. Anglo is now merged with Irish Nationwide. It’s a warehouse for impaired assets. Its deposit base has been moved out into the pillar banks. And it doesn’t work as a bank anymore. You can’t put your money on deposit in Anglo Irish. You can’t get a loan from Anglo Irish. So the only thing that gives it the name of a bank is because it has a banking license. It needs the banking license to access the monies from the Central Bank. So I said that as far as I am concerned, this is not a real bank. This is a warehouse, and we need your assistance in dealing with the senior bond holders because we don’t think the Irish taxpayer should have to redeem what has become speculative investment.”  (Thanks to the Namawinelake blog – the most reliable source of otherwise hidden information – for this quote).

On November 1st, 2011, next Tuesday, at 12 noon, I am asking for a nationwide protest against the payment of this bond. 34 weeks we’ve been marching in Ballyhea and now in Charleville against the payment of these bonds, bonds that come due on an almost weekly basis, 34 weeks in which we’ve been almost on our own in protest against this massive injustice being visited on the Irish people. This one time, at noon on this one day and for just half an hour of your time, can you join us?

Wherever you are, at work or at play, can you just stop, down tools, get together with your workmates, your family, your friends, your fellow parishioners, and protest this new order, where bondholders are bailed out while people are burned?

It used to be that at noon the bells tolled throughout this land and called people to prayer, to reflection; those days are gone, long gone. This once, however, can we again come together at that hour, and reflect; reflect on what’s being done in our name, reflect on whether or not it’s right that the institutions whose billions fuelled the fire that engulfed our economy should themselves escape even being scorched; reflect on whether or not it was right that we should have been saddled with this debt without even a hint of consultation, a debt that will be passed on to our children, and perhaps to their children; reflect on whether we belong in a community where, far from everyone looking out for each other, the strongest – the Germans and the French – are forcing billions from us, among the smallest and the weakest, to bail out the German and French banks who recklessly lent those billions to our banks.

Most of all, we should reflect on this: already we’ve poured billions into the various Irish banks, but next year (2012) another €20 falls due in bank bonds, in 2013 it’s €17bn, in 2014 it’s €25bn – where do you think that money will come from? From the banks themselves? No, my friends; over the next three years our six banks will be back to us again cap-in-hand, the ECB at their shoulder guns-to-our-heads, and this government will pour yet more billions in to those banks, billions our ‘friends’ in the ECB will willingly lend to us, so all those major financial institutions get their money – ‘Every last cent’, according to our own government.

Next Tuesday, stand with us, a nation united, a united nation, and let Europe know, let Leinster House know – we’ve had enough of this outrage, we’ve had enough of this national humiliation, we’ve had enough of being told first, what bad people we were to squander all that money when the reality was that it was our banks and the banks from which they borrowed who were the reckless ones, and now, what good people we are to ‘honour’ all those bank bonds.

November 1st, Tuesday, noon, let the bells again toll and let us again commune, but this time let them toll time on those bank bondholders. Gather, protest, take a stand. All this is happening to us ONLY because we’re allowing it to happen. Enough.

 

2 Responses

  1. Des Derwin

    October 26, 2011 5:31 pm

    A dream. Between now and November 1st at noon all the groups recently organising protests (for a start) will come together, or use their own efforts, to organise and promote a big response to this call. To protest against this robbery.

    Ballyhea, ‘Enough!’, The ULA, Sinn Fein. Occupy Dame Street, Unite, The Spectacle of Defiance, the hospital campaigns, the Dublin and Waterford Trades Councils, etc. All welcome, all together on this simple clear demand, this simple choice: this billion for the needy not the greedy.

    The social media humming, the phone-ins crackling: November One at noon. And those bells too, for a new annunciation.

    A deam maybe, for there is not much time to get it going. But maybe people will quickly see the point: a hospital ‘minor injuries unit’ closed after 5 pm, a billion now, going, going, gone.

    What well-known person will be the first to take up Diarmuid O’Flynn’s modest proposal?

  2. Robert

    October 27, 2011 8:55 pm

    How will / are the mainstream media playing this?

    Are they vocal in thier concern at this travesty?

    Is Miram going to give Micheal Noonan ‘the lash’ like she did Martin McGuiness?

    Is Pat going to feign indignation during the Frontline debate before he retreats to his well earned home comforts?

    Is Joe going to savage the bankers the way he has savaged David McSavage for taking thie piss out of his sincerity?

    Are the citizens of Ireland going to have the courage to take on the banks and the political shishter’s who are in hock to the ‘market’, like they did in Iceland?

    Will our new President have the courage to tell the politicans No! No!, you do not have the common good of the Irish people in mind when you submit to the banks?

    Will we say no more! no more! no more of this injustice?

    And anyway we are in hock to the Chineese now after the most recent EU bailout effort to safe the Greeks, lets hope they are not as ruthless as the Anglo-saxons?

    Cheers