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Inquiries June 17, 2014

Posted by doctorfive in Irish Politics.
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Brendan Howlin hasn’t left the house in two years without cribbing at voters for rejecting his inquiries referendum, the planned 30th amendment of the Irish constitution. I imagine him rising each morning, darkly muttering about an ungrateful electorate as he snaffles his coco pops.

The entire circus was a vanity project for Howlin & Shatter who felt personally slighted by the judiciary in 2001. Who needs separation of powers when there are scores to settle. Accountability and democracy were a convenient cloak for damaged egos.

The government had eight months to prepare for the vote but when the time came, they largely kept their mouths shut, hoping it would pass quietly along with the presidential election. And they were right. Three weeks into the campaign and only when pushed, the silence finally broke. Howlin bluffed his way through a Sunday morning radio interview before, remarkably, managed to come across more repellent than Michael McDowell on Primetime. Alan Shatter was just being himself but it was enough to drive a majority of voters towards a big fat Níl. Some justice.

Since then, Howlin hasn’t missed an opportunity to lay it on. How could ye. Sean Fitzpatrick and the rest of them will get away with it now, we were so often told.

The minster for public expenditure even commissioned a troop of political scientists to look into the hearts of Irish people. We usually do what we are told. What went wrong. The resulting report now doomed to dust in the oireachtas library for all eternity.

And so the banking inquiry falls down a tediously predictable hole, before even starting. The Taoiseach told the Dáil last week that;

The matter that has been a cause of some controversy in the Seanad will be dealt with very shortly.

And it was.

Donnelly is already gone while FF & SF are too busy waiting for the other to blink. Even Joe Higgins was less than convincing on radio yesterday. Overturn Abbeylara, trust your public representatives.  There hasn’t been a peep out of Brendan Howlin for two weeks.

 

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1. Paddy Healy - June 17, 2014

Now that Government has a majority,Will ICTU General Secretary David Begg , Labour Party member,be called to give evidence to Banking Enquiry?

ICTU secretary General David Begg was a senior member of the board of the Central Bank for 14 years up to the year 2010. He reports to the executive council of ICTU. Before he became governor of the Central Bank, the current governor, Professor Honohan, in Economic and Social Review (Summer 2009) said:“Irish banking system had been, in effect, on a life-support system since September 2008.—-.Complacency resulted in the banks fuelling the late stage of an obvious construction bubble with massive foreign borrowing, leaving them exposed to solvency and liquidity risks which in past times would have been inconceivable–At the end of 2003, net indebtedness of Irish banks to the rest of the world was just 10 per cent of GDP. By early 2008 that had jumped to over 60 per cent”

The borrowing of 50% of Gross Domestic Product over 5 years by the covered banks is precisely what the Central Bank is tasked to prevent-grossly irresponsible borrowing which threatens financial stability. All the elite of Irish society-IBEC, ICTU,Senior CIVIL Servants etc were represented on the board of the Central Bank in the 2003-2008 period.
Following the banking collapse, countless thousands have lost their jobs, more have been driven into negative equity, more have been forced to emigrate and savage austerity has been visited on the population at home including pay and pension cuts. Peter Matthews TD estimates thar 1 million people have been devastated.
Will Professor John Fitzgerald of ESRI (Son Former Taoiseach Garret) be called? ESRI, whose function is to provide professional economic advice to nation and government, was predicting a “soft landing” for the economy just months before the crash!!!

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