Tag: Anglo Irish Bank

Why We Are Where We Are

(Originally Published on Indymedia.ie in December 2010)

Throughout the history of the Irish state, Ireland was seen as an almost backwater of the Western World. It was a country literally and both metaphorically on the fringes of Europe with an economy which always seemed to be floundering in the doldrums. All of this changed in the nineties with the onset of the Celtic Tiger which was effectively brought about by low corporate taxes, an educated workforce and the low cost of wages. All of this led to a massive upturn in the economic fortunes of Ireland but when things should have naturally slowed down, those with political power ensured that the Celtic Tiger was extended beyond its natural lifespan by creating a bubble. The bubble in this case was a property bubble and like all bubbles in economic history, it was bound to burst. The government, and their associates in the banking industry and construction industry, did their best to try to convince people, not only in Ireland but also all across the world, that Ireland was the perfect economic model to follow. In reality it was all smoke and mirrors when in actual fact the entire economy was based on a lie; the need for more and more property. This lie, along with the cronyism at the very top of Irish politics, has led to the situation which we are now in where we are likely to default on our sovereign debt within the next 2 years.

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Student March a Turning Point

(Originally Published on Corkstudentnews.com and Indymedia.ie in November 2010)

After closely following the events of today’s student march in Dublin from the relative comfort of my small abode in Cork, for reasons which I will get into a later date, I believe that students in Ireland, and Irish society at large, have reached a turning point in its relationship with the Government and its various arms. For students, today was all about voicing their protestations at the Government due to upcoming budget which is undoubtedly going to put even more financial pressure on the majority of third level students. What most of us did not expect is that it would turn violent and riot police would be deployed. This is the turning point to which I am referring. In reality, what took place today was a microcosm of Irish society contained within small group of students/activists who decided that they needed to make a statement of some kind in the hope that someone, somewhere in the Dáil will pay attention. Whether or not their motives were pure is irrelevant to the point i’m trying to make.

Everywhere you go in this country, someone is angry at the Government while others are simply scared. The overriding emotion however is anger. Anger at paycuts, increased taxes, cutbacks in vital services; the list goes on and this is even before the upcoming draconian budget. But none of this has been shown on the streets. The only thing that the majority of people have done is complain yet, as I have mentioned, they are furious with the Government. Today however showed that this anger can in fact reach the streets and actually, quite literally, reach into the heart of the Government; in particular the Department of Finance. As I was watching it unfold via the internet, it was as if all of the anger in this country had finally shown itself in the form of a small group of students/activists.

The Art of Economic Misdirection

(Originally Published on Corkstudentnews.com in July 2010)

That’s it folks. Game over. Ireland Inc is well and truly on the way down. I have been rather sceptical of the country having the ability to weather the recessionary storm that has gripped us for the last 2 years but now the game is well and truly up. The government on the other hand seem intent on either ignoring the evidence or they are just too dumb to read all the signs. The former, and more insidious fact, is what I believe to be the truth. They are actively ignoring the evidentiary statistics and figures in order to complete their “doublethink” and attempt to enforce this on the public via the government media outlets and their representatives. We have been hearing over the last number of months about how the country “has turned the corner” or “is turning the corner” and that economic growth is projected for next year and the years to come.

The Economics of Failure

(Originally Published on Corkstudentnews.com in June 2010)

Economics has always bored and intrigued me at the same time. The use of almost indecipherable lingo and seemingly huge figures turned me off instantly but despite this, I always tried my best to keep abreast of things, how they were developing and who was trying to screw whom. This seems to be kind of odd in Ireland, maybe Ireland is the exception, as most people couldn’t care less about the economy and the vagaries that go along with it. This changed however once people’s livelihoods were threatened and rightly so.