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December Issue of Socialist Voice Out Now

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The December issue of the Socialist Voice is out now. It can be viewed online here or downloaded here.

Articles:

Government forced onto the back foot
The success of the broadly based Right2Water campaign and the community groups that are actively preventing the installation of water meters has forced the government to backtrack to some degree in its strategy of imposing water charges.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/01-water.html

Organised labour is essential for resistance
Referring to the Conservative Party’s handling of Britain’s early post-war economy, Aneurin Bevan of the Labour Party said: “This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organising genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time.” In fairness to the Tories it has to be said that they are rarely short of such organising geniuses.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/02-labour.html

Ireland’s odious debt: A wake-up call

Those who think that only the “loony left” want to cancel or restructure Ireland’s odious debt have another think coming. For influential—and unlikely—voices on the other side of the ideological divide are calling for just that.
Recent articles in two influential bastions of economic journalism, Bloomberg in the United States—the premier global source of investment information—and the Financial Times in Britain
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/03-debt.html

Continued success for #WorkMustPay
The Connolly Youth Movement continues to take part in actions against Job Bridge under the banner of the #WorkMustPay campaign to directly challenge the acceptability of employers taking on unpaid interns instead of providing even the basic respect of a minimum wage for workers.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/04-cym.html

The budget, water tax, and inflation
A household’s income will be affected by the recent budget (2015), and the water tax will reduce the household’s ability to spend. Inflation, expected to be 1.1 per cent in 2015, will reduce the amount of goods and services that a given income will buy in 2015 compared with 2014. Table 1 shows the position of single households in 2015.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/05-budget.html

Suffer the little children
The political establishment under Fianna Fáil and the Green Party made a political decision to plunge this country into debt by deciding to pay billions of euros back to unsecured bondholders and speculators. At the time, Éamon Gilmore of the Labour Party described Cowen and Lenihan as “economic traitors.”
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/06-children.html

Aistear casta cróga

Tadhg Kennelly, Bóthar Casta: Ó Éirinn go dtí na Filipínigh (Baile Átha Cliath: Coiscéim, 2015; €7.50).

Ba ghné shuntasach de shaol na hÉireann sa chuid is mó den fhichiú haois an méid sagart miseanach a chuir eaglais Chaitliceach na hÉireann ar fud an domhain.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/07-tadhg.html

Corporate terrorism

Chambers’ 20th-Century Dictionary defines terrorism as “an organised system of intimidation.” At present, 70 per cent of global trade is controlled by five hundred corporations, and their greed will not be satisfied until they have complete control. One of the main weapons in their arsenal is free-trade agreements.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/08-terror.html

Mexicans fight dollar imperialism
The forty-three students “disappeared” by the municipal police of the city of Iguala in Mexico on 26 September 2014 are still missing. As the state wants to end popular reaction to their disappearance, their families and fellow-students vow to continue searching until they find the forty-three alive. However, it is feared that they were murdered by the police, or their accomplices in the drug gangs, and their bodies burned to avoid discovery.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/09-mexico.html

Colombia: Tragedies often contain elements of comedy
Tragedies often contain elements of comedy; but the recent adventures of General Rubén Alzate of the Colombian army belong more to the theatre of the absurd. The general was captured by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dressed in civilian clothes, along with his lawyer and three other soldiers,
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/10-colombia.html

Reclaim the Vision of 1916: A Citizens’ Initiative for 2016
A group of concerned individuals has established “Reclaim the Vision of 1916—A Citizens’ Initiative for 2016,” in order to reassert the political principles and objectives that animated the 1916 Rising and to show their continuing relevance for Ireland today.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/11-1916.html

In defence of the Spanish Republic
The 3rd Annual Frank Conroy Commemoration at the Republican memorial in Kildare on Sunday 9 November was a huge success, with a large attendance that included Councillors Joanne Pender and Mark Lynch.
Frank Conroy, from Kilcullen, Co. Kildare, died on 28 December 1936 while fighting with the 15th International Brigade defending the Spanish Republic.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/12-spain.html


Cannibalism, concentration camps, and commodification

Jonathan Swift, Liam O’Flaherty, and Tomás Mac Síomóin, Three Leaves of a Bitter Shamrock (Dublin: Nuascéalta, 2014)

Earlier this year—on St Patrick’s Day, to be exact—Connolly Books in Dublin launched an extraordinary collection of three satirical texts, which could hardly be surpassed in their vision of horror.
http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/sv/13-leaves.html

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1

Now Let Us Plot the Great Social Expansion

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Are we getting into election mode? We have Government Ministers promising every tax cut possible while warning of the pestilence that will descend upon us if anyone else gets elected to office. No doubt, parties are preparing their election manifestos, poster and leaflet designs, and candidate strategies. Good luck to some of them.

We know what the Government parties intend to do – pursue real spending austerity as identified here. They will cut primary expenditure (excluding interest) by 9 percent, public services by 8 percent and investment by an incredible 15 percent in real terms; that is, after inflation. They will do this in pursuit of an economically reckless, socially callous and fiscally irresponsible and unnecessary goal: eliminate the deficit by 2018. In fact, they intend to run a small surplus. We have an investment crisis, a poverty crisis, an enterprise crisis (in the indigenous sector), and a public service infrastructure degraded after six years of irrational austerity. Yet the Government intends to stand idly by while it pursues budget fundamentalism.

Fiscal Space 1

However, while they have outlined what they intend to do with expenditure (cut it in real terms), they have not revealed their taxation policies. They’re projections are based on ‘no change of policy’. If they reduce taxation – and maintain their deficit elimination target – they will have to cut spending even further. But they’re hiding that little scenario.

The Government hopes to trap progressive parties and independents. They will say ‘if you want to increase expenditure, you will have to raise taxes’. They will accuse progressives of wanting to increase taxes on workers. Given that workers have suffered falling real wages while at the same time seen the effective tax rate increase by nearly 25 percent since the start of the crisis (never mind the cuts in income support such as Child Benefit) any hint of increased taxes is not likely to be met with hurrahs.

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Seminar and Workshop on Precarious Employment

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Seminar: ‘Ethics in Higher Education: the increasing casualisation of teaching within a discourse of quality and excellence’, December 9th @ 2:00pm

Workshop: ‘Precarious Employment in UL’, December 9th @ 4:00pm

Both events take place at the University of Limerick, Engineering Research Building, ERB001

The seminar is open to all.

The workshop is for all those concerned with the immediate and long-term consequences of the casualisation of employment in third-level, for those interested in researching and highlighting conditions and related trends, and for those that would like to help fellow workers organise and act on the issue.

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1

Liechtenstein on the Lagan?

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A statement from the Workers’ Party

Liechtenstein on the Lagan?

It is rumoured that the Con-Dem government is about to introduce a lower rate of corporation tax in Northern Ireland in return for an electoral pact with the DUP at the next election.

It is the contention of the Workers’ Party that the risks involved in the introduction of a reduced rate of corporation tax in Northern Ireland are enormous and that even if ‘successful’ the benefits will mostly be felt by a tiny group of local investors, accountants and tax lawyers and a larger group of foreign corporations and wealthy individuals, many of whom will be tax avoiders rather than wealth creators.

The risks, on the other hand, will be felt by workers in Northern Ireland, who will have to face the consequences of a substantial reduction in the block grant and may see no meaningful return for this sacrifice. If expected initial  losses in the Westminster  block grant  of between £285 million  and £300 million are not offset by an increased tax take, job losses in the public sector will pay for a tax break for wealthy corporations.

All of this is taking place in a political vacuum in which working people have no effective political representation.The sectarian parties of all stripes are as one in agreeing that turning Northern Ireland into a tax haven is the way of the future. Time will prove them disastrously wrong for most people. A small privileged elite is looking forward to a windfall while for the majority the decline of living standards is set to continue at a faster pace than ever.

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1

Deprivation Nation

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Ireland is a deprivation nation.

All manner of numbers and stats regarding growth and employment numbers are thrown around which feeds into the illusion of the ‘Celtic Phoenix’.  But there is a grim reality – which doesn’t feature much in the popular debate:  we are a society riddled with high levels of poverty and deprivation.  And recent EU Commission data shows we have much higher levels than most other comparable EU countries.

We are familiar with the CSO’s deprivation measurement.  This based on people experiencing at least two of eleven deprivation experiences (unable to afford food, heating, clothes, etc.).   On this basis, they estimate that over one million people – or 28 percent of the population – experience multiple deprivation experiences and, so, are categorised as living in deprivation conditions.

The EU Commission uses two measurementsmaterial deprivation’ and ‘severe material deprivation’.  These are harsher benchmarks than what the CSO uses (they both work off the same database – the EU Survey of Income and Living Conditions).  The EU Commission use nine deprivation experiences in which people cannot afford to

  • Pay their rent, mortgage or utility bills
  • Keep their home adequately warm
  • Face unexpected expenses
  • Eat meat or proteins regularly
  • Go on holiday
  • Own a television set
  • Own a washing machine
  • Own a car
  • Own a telephone

For the EU Commission, ‘material deprivation’ measures the percentage of the population that cannot afford three of the nine items.  ‘Severe material deprivation’ measures the percentage that cannot afford four of the items.

How does Ireland compare to other EU-15 countries?

Deprivation Nation 1

This is pretty staggering.  While it is not surprising to see Greece with the highest level of material deprivation, Ireland is right up there at the top – marginally behind Italy but ahead of poorer countries like Portugal and Spain.  Material deprivation in Ireland is 58 percent higher than the EU-15 average.

  • There are over 1.1 million people in Ireland living in material deprivation – a quarter of the population.

When we turn to ‘severe’ material deprivation (remember – that is experiencing four out of the nine indicators above), we see a similar pattern.

Deprivation Nation 2

Ireland remains in third place – behind Greece and Italy – and over 33 percent above the EU-15 average.

  • There are 450,000 people in Ireland living in ‘severe’ material deprivation – or one-in-ten people.

The growth in the number of people suffering deprivation has been substantial.  Between 2007 and 2012, the numbers increased from 450,000 to over 1.1 million – doubling in the space of five years.  There is a similar pattern among those suffering from ‘severe’ material deprivation – rising from 190,000 to over 450,000 – again, more than doubling.

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11

Trailing Behind Europe in Employment Growth

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Here’s a quick post:  Had an interesting and informative twitter exchange with Tom Healy, Director of the Nevin Economic Research Institute and Dan O’Brien from the Sunday Independent on foot of the CSO’s release of new job numbers.

Jobs growth in the third quarter was 10,400 seasonally adjusted.  For the same period last year it was nearly 18,000 but we know there are serious flaws in 2013 employment figures given the CSO’s warnings about the impact of their revision of their sampling base.

So, 10,000 jobs growth; for the year it is 15,400.  This is better than a loss and going in the right direction.  But is it going fast enough?  It it well balanced across all sectors?  Is the glass half-full or half-empty.

What was interesting in the twitter exchange was how we compared to EU jobs growth.   The fact is that our jobs growth this year fares poorly with the rest of the EU. The data we have goes up to the 2nd quarter of this year.

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peoplesnews

Latest Issue of People’s News is Out Now

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The latest issue of People’s News is out now. Click here to download

Articles in this issue include 

Page 1

Water charges, the EU and TTIP

Water charges can and must be defeated by resistance and non-payment; but water as a human right must also be secured as a publicly owned and controlled resource……

Page 2

The Berlin road to an EU army

Prominent German think tanks and politicians have been repeatedly calling for the establishment of an EU army but recognise that there are obstacles standing in the way……….

Page 3

Kenny misleads Dáil on EU lawmaking changes

Weighting votes on the basis of population is…….. a power grab by Germany in particular, supported by France, Italy, and Britain, to increase the weight of the big states……..

Page 6

Big Tobacco wins judicial review on EU directive

The EUs recently agreed Tobacco Directive will be challenged in the European Court of Justice after cigarette giants won a judicial review to examine whether the bills provision for more health warnings and product bans is disproportionate and infringes the rules of the single market……………………….

Page 7

Belgian anti-austerity strike shakes new government

Workers from throughout Belgium converged on Brussels on 6 November to protest against the austerity measures of the new right-wing government of Charles Michel……………….

Page 7

Italian groups seek restoration of national currency

Ireland was not the only euro-zone country to get a letter from the European Central Bank……………………..…………

Page 9

“Dark, secret rooms, behind closed doors”Junckers murky past

Jean-Claude Juncker, the new president of the EU Commission, was the prime minister of Luxembourg for almost two decades. In that time he oversaw the growth of a financial industry that became a tax centre for at least 340 global companies, not to mention investment funds with almost 3 trillion in net assetssecond only to the United States……………….

Page 10

EU mission in Kosovo beset by allegations of corruption

The EU has asked a French academic to look at recent allegations of corruption against Eulex, its “rule of law” mission in Kosovo…………………..

Page 12

Mícheál Ó Loingsigh

Mícheál Ó Loingsigh, who died last week, was chairman of the Common Market Defence Campaign, the non-party group that campaigned against Irelands membership of the EEC in the 1972 referendum and provided the main arguments that were used by the various elements on the No side on that occasion. These included the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Labour Party, as well as both elements of the then divided Sinn Féin. He was also an active member of the Common Market Studies Group, which produced several pamphlets for the No side…………………..

Page 12

Page 17

Summing up TTIP: An agenda for corporate plunder

The corporate jargon surrounding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal is about “protecting investment,” reducing “unnecessary” barriers and “harmonising” regulations that supposedly deter free trade between the US and the EU………………..

Return of the bondholders?

A talk to be given by Dr Conor McCabe of UCD School of Social Justice and author of Sins of the Father: The Decisions that Shaped the Irish Economy. The event is being hosted by the trade unions Unite and Mandate.- Wednesday 3 December

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Make the Economy Better – Abolish Zero-Hour Contracts

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Minister Ged Nash launched an investigation into the extent of zero and low-hour contracts in the labour market.  This is most welcome – we need this information which is not available in official surveys (though it should be noted that the investigation into low-hour contracts could be extremely limited as they are only examining eight hour or less contracts – whereas low-hour contracts can go as high as 20 hours).

But what would be even more welcome would be an announcement that zero-hour contracts will be abolished.

I will refer to zero and low hours contracts as precarious contracts.  These contracts require employees to be available for a certain number of hours per week, or when required, or a combination of both – but without any guarantee of work.

Under Irish law, if the employee gets no work, then the compensation should be either 25% of the possible available hours or for 15 hours – whichever is less. If the employee gets some work, they should be compensated to bring them up to 25% of the possible available hours.   Here are a couple of examples:

  • Janet is required to be available for work for 20 hours a week.   She gets no work.  She must be paid, nonetheless, for 25 percent of the available hours – five hours (this is less than 15 hours).
  • Bob is, also, required to be available for work for 20 hours a week.  He gets four hours’ work.  Since he is entitled to five hours payment (25 percent of his work availability), he get an extra hour payment.

I don’t intend to list all the negative impact of precarious hour contracts on workers.  Suffice this piece from Paul Mills writing in the Examiner:

‘The ‘employee’ is effectively reduced to a commodity like a tin of beans on a shelf waiting until someone comes to pick him or her up. It is not sustainable and is effectively immoral.

This type of contract means that the employee has no guaranteed hours or roster but must be available for work.

Whilst the system is undoubtedly beneficial to the employer, it puts the ‘employee’ at a serious disadvantage. It means there is no sick pay, only limited holiday pay, and getting a loan or a mortgage is impossible. In fact there is no guarantee of any work, so no guarantee of any pay and all that leads from that.

It takes us back to the days when fruit pickers, dock workers, farm labourers and general workers stood at a designated corner and waited for an employer to come by in the hope of being selected to work that day.’

Well put.

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a2ot

From Alpha to Omega Podcast #56: Essence and the Philosophy of Science

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This week I am delighted to welcome Thom Workman to the show, Professor of Political Science at the University of New Brunswick. Thom’s research explores the philosophical and sociological critiques of modernity, especially as these have developed over the post-Enlightenment era. In this episode we discuss the history of the Philosophy of Science, Marx’s understanding of science at the time of writing ‘Das Kapital’, Postmodernism, and how this notion of science has come under attack over the years, from various quarters, both from outside and within Marxism itself.

Thom has also published a number of books, his latest called: ‘If You’re in My Way, I’m Walking: The Assault on Working People since 1970’.

http://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/if-youre-in-my-way-im-walking.

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1_t

Progressive Film Club: Films on Conflict Around the World

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Films on Conflict Around the World

Saturday 29th November 3.00 pm

The New Theatre 43 East Essex Street, Dublin 2

Admission Free

www.progressivefilmclub.ie

  • “Mi Fink”: Make it happen – 3.00 pm
  • Road to Revolution – 3.30 pm

“Mi Fink”: Make it happen – 3.00 pm

“Mi Fink”-Make it happen! shows the process of community organization and resistance. This participatory action arose in the face of vulnerability to losing the land: one of the few things that keep the community united and free. Since the abolition of slavery in Colombia, the land has sustained the food supply and the economy of the Afrodescendant people of Villa Rica. Today the sugar companies dominate the area, planting sugar cane as a monoculture, thereby forcing out the traditional small farms of the region. Some families are resisting this eviction and the loss of their livelihoods. As a result, the life of Jota, one of the community leaders,is being threatend.

Road to Revolution 3.30 pm

Taking off from Istanbul, the “Road to Revolution” crosses some of the most tense territories on the planet – Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Tiago Carrasco, João Henriques and João Fontes will be determined to find out more about the lifestyle, culture and beliefs in those territories. Three journalists travel 15.000 kilometers and 10 countries in the Maghreb & Middle Eastern region, following the path of the Arab Spring.

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rp_irishwaterprotest1Nov.jpg

We Won’t Back Down: Statement from Communities Against Water Charges

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Statement from Communities Against Water Charges

We Won’t Back Down

On Monday the 24 November 2014 we expect four of our friends and neighbors to be committed to prison for exercising their right to peaceful protest. They are to be punished for failing to abide by a High Court injunction granted to GMC Sierra which requires them (and any other protester) to, among other things, remain at least 20 meters away from workers installing unwanted water meters.

This injunction, in spite of the High Court Judges claims to the contrary, obliterates any meaningful right to protest against the installation of water meters. For that reason protesters throughout Dublin, and the rest of the country, have rejected this illegitimate interference with their right to protest, and have continued their dignified resistance to the installation of water meters, and the water charges regime.

This injunction, and the expected imprisonment of our friends and neighbors on Monday, represents another attack on the people of this country, and on the right to peacefully resist and oppose the unjust policies of an unrepresentative government. In the coming weeks and months, we expect the establishment to engage in many more attacks on our movement, using the law as one of its main instruments.

For this reason, we have been working with groups around the country on building legal defence funds: this is a collective struggle for our basic rights and a better future. For that reason, any person that ends up in court for resisting this illegitimate tax and attempt to commodify the most basic of necessities, needs to know that they will not be alone, and we will stand with them. We therefore call on the Right2Water Campaign, it’s affiliated unions and the political parties that have stated their opposition to the water charges, to contribute what they can to the Peoples Defence Funds.

If, as feared, our friends are imprisoned on Monday we are calling for a mass, silent candlelight vigil outside of the prison they are committed to (most likely Mountjoy Prison in Dublin).

As the struggle against this unjust double-tax enters a new phase, and a beleaguered government begins to lash out with all of the means at its disposal, we will make it abundantly clear that fear will not carry the day in this contest, and that nobody who stands against this injustice will stand alone.

Communities Against Water Charges

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Guaranteeing Recidivism

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This article originally appeared in Irish Left Review, Issue 2, Vol 1., published in November 2013. 

Recidivism (from recidive and ism, from Latin recidivus “recurring”, from re- “back” and cado “I fall”) is the act of a person repeating an undesirable behaviour after he/she has either experienced negative consequences of that behavior, or has been treated or trained to extinguish that behavior.

In June 2013, the ongoing rumblings of discontent at the blanket guarantee decision exploded on to the front pages with the publishing of the ‘Anglo Tapes’ recordings by the Irish Independent. After three bank inquires of a sort, through the Nyberg Report, the Honohan Report and the Public Accounts Committee Inquiry, the remaining fog around the events leading up to the guarantee and what happened on the night and early morning of 29th and 30th of September 2008 was such that it only took the selective leaking of a fraction of the tapes held by the ongoing criminal investigation to stoke up public rage and renew calls for a proper inquiry or tribunal[i].

This continuing fog and the far reaching consequence of the decision have led many to reach all sorts of conclusions about who ultimately was responsible. In 2013 commentators like Fintan O’Toole[ii] and Stephen Donnelly TD appear to think that the protection of Irish banks provided by the 2008 guarantee was so devastating for the Irish economy that it must have been insisted upon by the ECB.

More often than not, however, this regularly repeated belief is a conflation of the 2008 guarantee with what Brian Lenihan, and later Michael Noonan, suggested was the insistence of the ECB that unguaranteed senior debt must be paid back after the 2010 bailout.

There is no indication of ECB involvement in the 2008 decision despite Brian Lenihan’s retrospective claim in 2010 that it was impelled by Jean Claude Trichet’s voicemail directive in 2008 to ‘save our banks at all cost’[iii]. On the contrary there is plenty of evidence that there was widespread surprise and anger in Europe at the ‘unilateral’ move and the problems it created, as well as pressure to change it.

It is important to understand that the original guarantee was an Irish decision alone, without any outside involvement, because it helps us dissect the nature of power and class in Ireland. The facts need to be separated from the myths in order to appreciate how decisions like it continue to determine the shape of the economy and the nature of Irish society.

The action in September 2008 is an illustration too of how a type of ‘rentier’ class in Ireland are able to exploit Ireland’s resources without consideration of the consequences for wider society. These rentier capitalists benefit from the managing of assets, whether through financial services, the movement of corporate profits tax-free or investment property. Their interests are boosted by the state leading to the side-lining of productive capital and the continually undermining of labour’s position[iv].

The guarantee was not put in place simply to maintain liquidity to Irish banks. Officials and politicians knew enough to be aware that the problems at Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide were far greater than one of a temporary lack of liquidity due to a crisis elsewhere. Funds from the Central Bank of Ireland had been provided to Irish banks through unprecedented quantities of Emergency Liquidity Assistance. Banks in other countries were experiencing similar problems and received extraordinary quantities of emergency funding from their central bank during the crisis in September. Yet, significantly, no other EU country provided an unlimited guarantee.

In Ireland’s case the problem was twofold. One, to keep cheap interbank lending available to Irish banks, they needed a guarantee that would remove the sense that Irish banks were increasingly high risk because of their over-exposure to collapsing property markets.

Two, in order to keep the level of emergency liquidity available to ensure that Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide remained open they needed a guarantee that would make an insolvent bank ‘solvent’. The dangers of this approach were clearly outlined before the decision was taken, yet we are still asking ‘why did they do it?’

To try and answer that question we have to go back to the last time the Irish government provided an unlimited guarantee to the banks to enable them extract themselves from a speculative fiasco even though there was incredible risks to the wider economy by doing so.

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bogco

The Blue Moon Women

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Sing bog cotton carols, speak
in soft whisperings,
blow cool wind  to calm summer’s  heat,
clawing gloopy smells of faded day.
 f
Their suitcases laughing,
filled with cruciform spinning tops
songs and incantations
a flock of giggling  goats.
 f
They frighten  indoctrinated bombosities
shiny political pomposities
yellow beasts wandering
whose  paws choke the night
 f
To de-indoctrinate them
from that cronied  sycophant in them
they’re impaled on Celtic Crosses
and left swirling on the bog.
 f
The Blue Moon Women sing to them
soft and sweet they sing to them
and the goats circle round
nibbling at their toes.
 f
Till they squeal out all their vanity
return to normal sanity
and serve the people properly
walking humbly down the roads

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road

The Road To Ireland & The Water Thief

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I would like to live in the West, at the edge

of the world, on a small holding,

walk my cow each day to the milk shed

and see which hen I am beholding to

s

for laying an egg. I would change

wheat into loaves, fill my plate from the field,

stack turf like gold bars for the kitchen range,

and conceal my distillery in creels.

s

Instead, I have stood at the town’s crossroads

and listened to who is ‘Wanted’ across the border,

who is being adulterous on the old bog roads

and who sprayed ‘Ireland is out of order!’

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