This is one of those weeks when there is so much news it is hard to decide where to begin. In the middle of all the political coming and goings the phrase, ‘sure we all knew that,’ comes to mind. I would like to start at home but we’ll leave that for a minute and I’ll kick off with a quiz to test your political memory.
“What article, which he said was very important to him, did Mr Obama lose as soon as he became president?”
Think back now, he had it everywhere he went and he said it was an indispensible piece of his equipment.
If you said, ‘His Blackberry mobile phone’ take a sweet and go to the front of the class.
Candidate Obama, way back when he was a candidate, was never seen without his trusty blackberry. He used it to organize meetings, record useful information and generally keep on top of things. He also called the wife and children to keep in contact with them when he was away.
When the news broke last week that Mrs Merkel couldn’t place an order for sauerkraut and cheese without Mr. O knowing how much salt and pepper she wanted, we all said, “Sure we all knew that!”
Then we hear that £80,000,000 is available for community groups over four years in Northern Ireland and it can’t be claimed because certain unionist politicians know that with the poverty criteria the EU uses, the Catholics would get a bigger share of the money because more Catholics live in deprived areas.
“Sure we all knew that!”
Staying with the wee North, a Belfast journalist, Anne Cadwallader, in association with the Pat Finucane Centre, launched a book at St Mary’s College Belfast on Saturday 26th Oct at 1pm. The book was called “Lethal Allies” and claimed to expose the wholesale collusion of the security forces with the UVF and others. Presumably Anne spent quite some time doing research into her work to expose just how corrupt the old North was, but Anne,
“Sure we all knew that!”
In all this talk about spies, poor Britain is taking a battering and from his recent showings in the Prime Minister’s Questions at Westminster, David Cameron does not like to have the truth thrown in his face.
Imagine the dinner last Thursday evening in Brussels when Mrs Merkel, Emperor of Greater Germany and Francois Hollande, King of France, along with Enda the Red, leader of the Broke State, were all sitting around the table fuming with rage at the Americans.
And then we hear that at the G8 in Fermanagh the Brits tapped into everyone’s e mails.
Great stuff this spying!
Perhaps Mr. Cameron and the British Intelligence services are innocent. Who knows? But to coin an old phrase of certain unionist politicians during our wee civil war, “sure, the dogs in the streets know they are guilty.”
From the time of General De Gaulle, it has always been suspected that in every situation where a choice has to be made between serving their American masters or being loyal to Europe, there are those who believe that the British shall do what the Americans say.
Can you blame them? Twice Germany had the good old British Empire on its knees and twice the Americans came to their rescue. Make no mistake about it, if it was not for the boys with the Stars and Stripes we could all be speaking broken German.
Wouldn’t you love to have been a fly on the wall when David had to listen to Merkel berating the USA for listening to her talk to her family.
But we know what it is like to be spied upon. During the Troubles there was a file on every person in the Old North. As Anne Cadwallader’s book shows, the security forces were effectively carrying out a war against the Nationalist people.
In 1667, John Milton published an epic poem called ‘Paradise Lost.’ In his poem, Satan describes himself by the now famous saying, "Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n."
There is £80 million of EU money sitting in the coffers, earmarked for the New North and the politicians cannot agree on taking it because one side might get a bit more than the other.
Let’s say the split is 43/37. Some people would rather see their own neighbours do without the 37 million before they would let the other crowd get 6 million more.
What better description of this than Milton’s "Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n."
Friends spying on each other and hatred in Northern Ireland: “Sure we all knew that!”
As a Catholic I find that fundamentalist bigoted unionist hatred that seems to be still in the air, hard to understand and here is why:
There is no chance of a United Ireland in the foreseeable future. Ireland has shown that through greed, corruption and unresolved Civil War politics that the country is not fit to govern itself.
Ireland has never developed an independent system for monitoring what is going on in the country. The banks, the media and the politicians, along with big business interests are too intertwined. It is not healthy. The best example of this is the ability of the banks to forestall any inquiry into their collapse and the breaking of election promises by both Labour and Fine Gael. The voters are treated with contempt.
It is not that those of us brought up in the Republican tradition do not want a free Ireland; we dream of it. But alongside us there are too many comfortable Catholics in the New North who don’t want to rock the boat.
And the unpalatable truth for Sinn Fein is that a lot of these comfortable Catholics vote for them. If Sinn Fein ever showed itself to be serious about a United Ireland they would lose votes by the tens of thousands, and they know that.
All through history the revolutionary party has ended up becoming part of the system. It is not the party’s fault; it is just that to get into power a party has to become integrated into the political elite.
And even revolutionaries like being part of the political elite.
So if the union is safe, what prevents the ‘fundamentalist unionist’ from wanting to work with his Catholic neighbour to make the New North a better place?
We can ask the same question of dissident republicans, (I won’t give them the dignity of capital letters) who on the face of it want to fight for the sake of fighting.
The only answer I can honestly think of to help me understand the behaviour of these two groups is that quote from Milton:
“Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n.”
There are three evangelical counsels which the Catholic Church teaches are the best way to attain perfection. These are ‘poverty, chastity and obedience.’
The wonderful inherent poverty of the present pope attracts so many people who never would have equated poverty with the Petrine office.
The election of Pope Francis earlier this year and his obvious devotion to poverty should have been a wakeup call to any prelate or bishop living beyond his means.
Perhaps Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst thought he could escape under the radar.
“The Vatican has suspended a senior German Church leader dubbed the ‘bishop of bling’ by the media over his alleged lavish spending.
Bishop of Limburg Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst is accused of spending more than 31m euros (£26m; $42m) on renovating his official residence.
The Vatican said it deemed ‘appropriate... a period of leave from the diocese’ for the bishop.
The suspension comes two days after he met the Pope to discuss the matter.”
This is another event that occurred last week where I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall. What would that conversation have been like, a pope who loves poverty and a bishop who spends a bit too much on the curtains.
Then we read about the exact opposite: “Rachel Denton, a teacher for 15 years, culminating in a deputy headship in Cambridgeshire, gave it all up 12 years ago for a life of contemplative silence as a Roman Catholic hermit.”
Rachel lives in an end of terrace house embracing a life of poverty. I love that about the Catholic faith; there is room for everyone, even a sinner like me.
Perhaps the poor bishop in Germany was suffering delusions of grandeur.
Delusions of grandeur take on a whole new dimension when it comes to Enda the Red, leader of the Broke State. On Friday last, our Enda called in the chief of the Garda and demanded to know if the CIA had been listening to his private calls on his mobile phone.
“Be gorra,” said Enda, “I was on the phone last week to wee Gilmore and we spoke about some very private stuff. Cud the yanks ave heared it?”
“I t’ink they cud,” said the burly Garda, “sure dem yanks could hear a mouse fart in the Dail.”
“We’ll declare war on them. We’ll reopen the internment camps at the Curragh and we’ll put all the Yankee tourists in there. But don’t touch the ones that own the factories. We need the money. And we can shoot the hostages, sure we Free Staters were good at shooting hostages in the Civil War.”
In truth I do actually believe that the CIA is tapping Enda’s phone. How else do you account for the fact that as soon as he set foot on Irish soil, Obama said to Enda, “Don’t ask for any money, you’re not getting it!”
Brendan Keenan wrote about the return of the Republic to the Bond market and what would happen if the lenders would not lend money to them. Keenan writes:
“The next big issue is the testing of eurozone banks and the sharing of losses and provision of capital for those found wanting. It is widely believed that junior bondholders – at the very least – will have to take losses, as they did in Greece, Cyprus and even Anglo Irish.
It is even more widely believed that there will be no direct EU capital for troubled banks to cover remaining losses. This makes it clear why Ireland is making no headway in trying to secure such capital for its banks. The precedent is just too dangerous.”
Reading between the lines, Keenan, an eminent economist down there, is voicing the opinion that the banks are broke and are making no progress towards balancing their books. This is mainly because the mortgage crisis is far from over, and the ‘buy to let’ mortgage problem has not even been tackled yet.
The banks are still overestimating the value of their mortgages and the estimates of the money that these mortgages shall bring in. They are doing this to make their accounts look healthy.
But the important bit for us is the last paragraph quoted: “there will be no direct EU capital for troubled banks to cover remaining losses.”
The banks are getting no more money from Europe. So where shall they get it from?
The only place they can get money is from the depositors. Legally, and this is something very few people realize, when you deposit money in a bank, YOU are lending the bank money.
They have been kicking the ball further and further down the line in the Free State banks, but it can’t go on forever. There is a very high likelihood that the banks shall have to take the money from the depositors.
If you have £100 in your pocket that you don’t it owe to anyone, then you are probably worth more than any bank in Ireland: that’s how bad it is.
As if to confirm what Kennan had written earlier in the day on Friday afternoon, the Agricultural Credit Corporation was reported like this on RTE:
“ACCBank is to cut 180 jobs, stop providing deposit and current accounts and focus solely on debt recovery.
In a statement, the bank said it will close all of its public business centres and give up its banking license.
ACC employs 470 people in Ireland and it said it will reduce this by 180 through a voluntary severance scheme.”
If that does not say all you need to know about Irish banking then what does!
The Tiger has now turned on the people, devouring their young, impoverishing the elderly and leaving the people in terror.
And still they hate the Lamb, the Lamb who served them so well for a millennium and a half.
Even in the midst of poverty and self destruction by many people the Irish continue to worship the Tiger and in spite of everything they sacrifice their young to its devouring teeth!
The Fools, the Fools, they are destroying our nation’s heritage: “Ireland unfree (of the Tiger) shall never be at peace!”
Oh, by the way…Happy Halloween.
“Our God is a great God.”
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