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Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week October 20, 2013

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.

MICHAEL Noonan will be able to, with some legitimacy, say in December that he was the Finance Minister to lead Ireland out of the Troika bailout.

But this would ignore the efforts of his predecessor Brian Lenihan.

This week’s winner, Daniel McConnell, really deserves to have his whole column, on how Brian Lenihan was the man really responsible for the state exiting the bailout, quoted but the first sentence gives a flavour of what follows, including a lament that there were not deeper cuts, more quickly (and which ignores the studies showing the damage austerity did as opposed to stimulus).

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1. Jonathan R - October 20, 2013

Pedants’ Corner: “In Ireland, the shadow economy was stable at around 15pc from 2000 to 2007, and ballooned to 18pc last year.” An increase of 3% in six years (or 0.5% a year) hardly counts as ‘ballooning’. More like ‘very gradually increasing’. If it increased by 18%, you could legitimately say it was ballooning. Even here, the dishonest use of language to exaggerate what is a minor problem (certainly more minor than, say, billionaire newspaper owners avoiding tax) is notable.

Guardian - October 20, 2013

I’ll see your pendatry, and raise you a nitpick ;)
An increase from 15% to 18% in fact represents a growth of 20%.
You’re confusing a percentage increase with the raw difference in percentage points http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percentage_point

Jonathan R - October 20, 2013

That is technically correct (the best kind of ‘correct’!), but I still think growing by a fifth (like going from seven-and-a-half stone to nine) hardly counts as ‘ballooning’, so it’s still a dishonest (or at least a loaded) use of language.

eamonncork - October 20, 2013

Though mind you, he said wistfully, dropping from fifteen to twelve stone would be a highly significant achievement.

6to5against - October 20, 2013

If I tried to tell my kids that a 20% increase in volume was sufficient to say that I had fully inflated their balloons, they would be quick to dismiss the notion.
It’s probably fair, though, to say that unemployment has ballooned over the last few years. As has bullshit.

RosencrantzisDead - October 20, 2013

I think 6to5against wins.

eamonncork - October 20, 2013

Unemployment’s gone up from 4 to 14% in seven years, which is either a growth of, am I right?, 250%. Now that’s the kind of spectacular figure which deserves some more publicity. The increase in emigration would be something of the same order. So Jonathan’s point is well made. However there was so much bullshit around during the Tiger Years I don’t think we can posit a significant increase, it hasn’t so much grown as metamorphosed into a different variety of bullshit, from boasting to vengefulness perhaps.

eamonncork - October 20, 2013

It’s highly amusing to see the notion that the state must be enjoined to clamp down on the increase in the Shadow Economy with all its Burtonesque nark loving might while apparently being unable to do anything to reduce the unemployment or emigration rates. The state, on this reading, must always be punitive but never creative.
I’d still boast quite a bit if I lost the three stone though.

hardcorefornerds - October 21, 2013

“The state, on this reading, must always be punitive but never creative”

Because when the state is creative, it punishes hard-working business people!

2. sonofstan - October 20, 2013

Picked up the Sindo by accident today in a shop, meaning to grab the SBP instead, and started reading a piece by Brendan O’Connor lamenting the fate of that kid in Cork who’s had her medical card taken away. What have we become as a nation? wondered Bren, windily. Apparently it’s our fault, not the HSE, not the minister, not the government of which he’s part, or the newspaper that has been the champion of austerity and trimming ‘waste’ in public services. Oh, no: its a reflection on all of us. After we all partied, we all decided to steal benefits from those who could least afford it. Because that’s what we’re like.

3. Garibaldy - October 20, 2013

Jack O’Connor gets a right of reply to Marc Coleman’s prize-winning silliness from last week



CMK - October 20, 2013

Speaking of Marc Coleman: in his column those week he decries ‘cruel’ universal healthcare.

WorldbyStorm - October 20, 2013

How does he justify that statement?

WorldbyStorm - October 20, 2013

Don’t worry, I went looking. Check it out:

“Likewise, a universal welfare system gives money to the elderly who don’t need it, making the system unaffordable. So we cut back and universality means we have to cut back across the board. Cruel, dysfunctional and wasteful welfare universality is a relic of a ‘big government’ era that will – as the US debt crisis shows – bankrupt us if we let it. We must now enter an era of small lean government.”

What an utterly bizarre analysis. He does understand the concept of general taxation funding welfare, no? And how those who are elderly who have significant incomes are (or should be) taxed accordingly thereby levelling any potential inequity? This stuff is just made up on the hoof. It really is.

EWI - October 21, 2013

WTF does “Cruel, dysfunctional and wasteful welfare universality is a relic of a ‘big government’ era that will – as the US debt crisis shows – bankrupt us if we let it” even mean?

How did he get from “welfare” to the “US debt crisis”, which was nothing but a GOP tactic to try to blackmail Obama with a gun to the head of the USA?

I don’t wish the Sindo well, but even I hope they’re not actually paying him to produce this tripe.

4. people beyond sense - October 20, 2013

Well said Jack O’Connor. If only all his public statements were so measured he might be taken seriously.

5. Torheit - October 20, 2013

Clearly, the time has arrived to start the process of the canonisation of the late B. Lenihan.

Attested miracles, anyone? Like the sudden conversion of private debt into public debt? Or loaves of bread to millstones?

6. Joe - October 20, 2013

Two stories ( well the same story twice ) about alleged SF internal investigation process into sexual abuse by members of the Republican movement. Each carries a denial by SF of any such thing. But quotes “republican sources” to say there was indeed such a thing.
I know it’s the Sindo, stupid. But is there a story here?
The Republican movement didn’t/couldn’t co-operate with the police north or south for many, many years for obvious reasons. So they had to investigate alleged crimes internally. Which mightn’t have led to the best of outcomes in all cases. Shades a little bit of the British SWP, the worldwide Catholic Church.
It’s probably the one cloud on the horizon for SF at the moment?

CMK - October 20, 2013

An angle that will be pushed mercilessly by the media in the run-up to the elections 2014. The media may well have found some kryptonite to use against SF; if they have, they’ll ruthlessly use that. Given that the abuse of children in the gombeen republic from 1920′s onwards, was state policy, that’s going to be a hard sell, but it will be sold, ‘in the national interest’.

Johnny Forty Coats - October 20, 2013

Eamon McCann had a piece in the “Irish Times” during the week that was excellent as far as it went.

He argued that both the Catholic hierarchy and the Republican leadership regarded themselves as being more legitimate than the civil authorities – given that the former believed they had a mandate from God and the latter believed they had a mandate from the second Dáil.

It occurred to me that the same mind-set is not entirely unknown among the leaderships of revolutionary sects who imagine they have been appointed gravediggers-in-chief of the bourgeoisie by the motive force of history.

That parallel wasn’t noted by McCann though. Then again, didn’t he used to …

Ghandi - October 21, 2013

This is a huge issue and the that adams is still in place beggars belief. The story which reflects much of the infoprmation I have been recieving since the Adams conviction. Though I do seem to recall hearing of the “senior southern figure”, a number of years ago. I was speaking to some Provos on this matter on Saturday and they are still supportive of adams and that he would survive, no show here move on etc., …or its the securocrats.

My own view is that when this runs it will be bigger than the church. On a personal level notwithstanding all the previous cartwheels of the provos, and a feeling which I suspect will be shared by many in the Republican family is that I am gutted and shocked by this.

One of the comments I recieved from a woman in the Lower Falls.

..” just read ur article about ira rapes i am sure there are hundreds of women in belfast alone who suffered at the hands of some brutal men who got away with it because of their connections to the ira it would be great to see them brought to justice”. The article she referred to was Suzanne Breens piece on the evidence given by GA at the trial.

7. Ghandi - October 21, 2013

Back in 2009, when commenting about child abuse by clerics in the Dublin diocese, the Sinn Féin vice president Mary Lou McDonald,

said anybody found to have covered up the abuse of children should be arrested and face the full rigours of the law.

“Anyone, including gardaí, found to be complicit in the cover-up of child abuse must be arrested and made to face the full rigours of the law,” she said.

CLEARLY SHE MEANT “ANYONE” unless your a Provo. Her silence is deafening on it now.

In March 2010, Martin McGuinness, alongside Gerry Adams the most important person in Sinn Féin, said that Cardinal Sean Brady should be “considering his position” after the revelation of his failures to report the notorious paedophile Fr Brendan Smyth to the police

8. Ghandi - October 21, 2013


the Sinn Féin spokesperson said.

Firstly, Gerry Adams did not lead any internal inquiry into claims of sexual abuse against republicans.

Secondly, there was no internal inquiry into claims of sexual abuse carried out under the auspices of Sinn Féin’s Coiste Seasta in 2005.

The response is quite selective, and leads immediatley to further questions, if he did not lead it then who did, and if not 2005 then when. The statement does not rule out that there was an inquiry.

Bob Smiles - October 21, 2013

While the usual anti republican suspects attack Adams, SF members will defend him. But if someone breaks ranks it could be damaging. From radio reports there might be more to come

Ghandi - October 22, 2013

Its seems to me that their is a lot more to come, if readers recall the slow drip from the Church Abuse Scandal before the tusami similar is being played out here.

Adams saw “nits” as more important than rape, and reports his sister -in-law to social services, what he was really saying was keep this up and I’ll make sure your kids are put into care

While the article was in the SINDO, it was written by Suzanne Breen who has credibility and has generally called it right and has good contacts, indded the Provos thought she was great up until the GFA. She has written a number of articles on this matter in teh BT which are Court reports of the evidence given by Adams which speaks for itself.

Interestingly there appears to be little chatter on this issue even on here, why is that?

Bob Smiles - October 22, 2013

Exhaustion. People cannot keep up with accusations against Gerry Adams and republicans know media is out to get him. If more emerged then maybe different responses

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