Monthly Archives: March 2015

Gender discrimination, Dublin City University style

There was, quite properly, a massive outcry about the very intrusive health questionnaire from NUIG. However, what has crept under the table without any debate as far as I can see is a series of adverts “for women only”.

Dublin City University has a set of 4 posts advertised. The employer is DCU, an Irish higher education institution. And the posts are advertised as being for women only. Imagine if UCD or TCD were to advertise a job “only men need apply”? No, I cant either… Continue reading

What might radical politics look like in an Irish context?

So Renua has been born, a new Irish political party. New ideas and new blood are always good ideas in democracy, and even if there is not a whole pile of it evident so far the principle should be applauded.Their website and documents are full of rhetoric on a new kind of politics and a new set of ideas. Reading them I am not at all convinced that they are anything but a weakly brewed tea party lite, pro business and anti state, with what seem like parroted quasi-libertarian phrases at every turn. Maybe I am wrong.

What would, to my mind, a set of radical ideas look like? Here are some, very few of which I would imagine would be to the liking of the Renualistas. I’m sure that I could think of another 20 or 30 given time but these will do for a start.  A party that stood for these and which wasn’t tainted with decades of reneging on promises at the first whiff of the interior of a government Mercedes would be attractive to me. I have no idea to whom else they would be attractive but…

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Ireland…not spending enough..

An excellent data driven deep dive into Irish government spending here..
“Ireland is a low-spending economy. Historically, this has always been the case. In 2000, Ireland was well below the EU average. Even in the boom years we never got near the spending levels of other EU countries. The crash made it look like we were catching up to the EU average but this was a statistical illusion created by GDP volatility. Coming out of the recession and stagnation the numbers are reflecting our true state – a chronic and substantial under-spender.

So let’s knock all claims to the contrary. Whether it is public services, social protection and income support, or investment we are starving ourselves. The question is not whether we are a low-spender – we are most definitely. The question is: will we let this happen.”

10 Questions the media might ask President of Renua, Eddie Hobbs (but probably wont)

  1. How much money was lost by investors in the cape verde holiday home debacle?
  2. How much money has he earned from work for the public sector broadcaster RTE?
  3. Does he still believe that the female dominated teachers unions voted as they did on the Haddington Road agreement because it was their time of the month?
  4. Does he have any moral qualms about investing in repossessed property in Detroit?
  5. Will he be engaging in similar vulture fund activities in Ireland?
  6. Does he share the views of Billy Timmons, the deputy leader of Renua, that rough sleeping should be made illegal?
  7. Are there any other sectors of the economy, apart from public sector workers, who should see a wages freeze?
  8. Given he is now a public figure and president of a political party with representatives in the national parliament, will he provide a full accounting of all investments and debts he holds so we can be sure he is free of any question of potential conflicts of interest?
  9. How much money has he personally taken from Brendan Investment etcs, a property fund ?
  10. Does he wear lifts in his shoes

Eddie is now a public figure. Its good he and others have founded a party, we need diversity of opinion. But he comes off as cranky, thinskinned and evasive. So, its hard to see him lasting…

Additional questions others have raised

  1. Does he agree with the party’s consumate media performer, Terence Flanagan, that water protestors should have their social welfare payments cut?
  2. Given that you say you cant run for office as it wouldn’t pay you enough, is that not an argument that some public servants , politicians, are NOT overpaid? As a follow, what does that say for your powers of logical argument?

joined up government thinking would be nice…

We aren’t good at joined up socio-economic thinking in this state. As we move from the depression to the recovery, now would be the time to put in place some of the elements to solve longstanding issues. All the evidence is that the state wont, as it seems to be immune to evidence based policy . Continue reading

Boiling the bones of Anglo , but who gets the broth?

Anglo junior bonds may net €270m | Irish Examiner

We are being softened up. We are being softened up for the day when the junior bondholders of Anglo, on whose behalf the Guarantee was made, for the day they get paid.

Kenny and co have said they cant see any circumstances where this will happen. Well, here they are. The liquidiation of IBRC, the shell into which the putridity of Anglo was placed, that proceeds apace. And there may be a surplus, to allow the junior bondvultures to be paid.

These are not credit unions and widows and orphan pension funds. They are, in all probability, vulture funds and risk capital specialists, people who take a punt on distressed debt being repaid, people who bought these bonds for a few cents on the euro and who now will get paid in full. And the legal probability is that this will happen here.

The government can and should stop this. Instead of handwriging “sure that might never happen, god thatd be awful, I wouldnt see that at al:, legislation is the way forward. Whats that Madam AG? Unconstitutional you say? Well, first, that is your opinion, not that of the Supreme Court, so let them decide via the referral mechanism. Second, if it is, does anyone think that a constitutional amendment to burn bondholders would be defeated? We have amendments right and left, why not one for this?

The day will come when this happens. A surplus will be declared and paid out. The mechanically recovered meat scrapings off the bones of Anglo will be fed to the vultures. A government will declare that this is good, look at the size of the bones, sure that shows how the economy is prospering, anyhow they were Fianna Fail bones, those arent vultures really just chickens, too much meat is bad for you anyhow and so on. A mostly compliant media will solemnly report “the liquidation of Anglo has yielded a profit”, neglecting the sunk cost of €34b poured into the shell. A swarm of shillbots will post on and about how this is a good thing. A goldfish memory afflicted populace will credulously believe, because yer man on the telly nd that fella on the radio said, that the taxpayer made a profit from Anglo.

Any political party that stands over payment of a single cent to these creditors is one for whom no sentient voter should ever vote again. Paying these would be immoral. Simple as.


Anglo junior bonds may net €270m | Irish Examiner.