North Korean Ruler
It’s not that anyone has done anything on young Kim, who at 28 became leader of his country after his dad died. He said at the end of the week that he had "Judged the time has come to settle accounts with the US imperialists".
Like most of you I have no idea what he is talking about but his statement made me think for a minute about war; the British, the Irish and the hobby we have of going to war with Britain every forty or fifty years.
After some time of deliberation I reached a conclusion; being at war is a state of mind more than anything else.
If we were fighting for a United Ireland, are you not glad that we lost? Those poor men who took over the GPO all those years ago must be wondering what they died for. I hope the Kingdom they have all gone to by now is better than the kingdom they helped create here in Ireland.
If we were fighting for some kind of equality and justice in society then we can reasonably say that we won. But the feeling of being at war has gone and this must be a big factor in the whole thing.
I wonder, do the heroes of the continuity ever ask themselves why no one else feels as if we are at war?
Then last week we had a very uncharacteristic intrusion into our affairs by one President Obama, who took time off from hiding under the couch for fear of Kim Jong-un dropping a bomb on the White House, to meet with the wee north’s “Terrible Twins,” Peter and Martin.
Mr Obama said "every citizen and every political party" needed to work together in service of "true and lasting peace and prosperity". Amen to that!
He said the United States would be there as a friend and partner "at every step of the way". Thank you for your help.
"That is the message I will carry with me when I visit Northern Ireland and attend the G-8 Summit in June," he added.
Eh, could yous not go and hold your G8 party somewhere else? I mean, thousands of media, security men, politicians and hangers on would make a great target for one of North Korea’s new long range missiles.
Did you ever think what would have happened if Captain Terence O’Neill had been given a chance? As time moves inexorably on we have reached the half century mark from when Terence became Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.
"O'Neill was the first Northern Ireland Unionist Party leader to have failed. All the other leaders were a success right up to the days of Brookeborough. Then Terence O'Neil lost touch with the average Ulster Unionist and failed."
These words were the solemn pronouncement of John Taylor, hotelier, newspaper proprietor and political animal of the species, “unionistus ulstoris,” which is a subspecies of the now extinct “unionistus ulstoris et conservatoris hibernicus.”
O’Neill was unceremoniously dumped because he wanted to make some changes to the old sectarian north and to recognise the Catholic minority as human beings. Any man who thought like that had to be got rid off!
Why did we fight for 25 years? What was it all about?
Discrimination, sectionalism and class distinction leads to a build up of anger and hatred in a community. From the “foundation of the state” ‘til 1968 the deposit of anger in the Catholic community was such that when it exploded it took 25 years for the anger to dissipate.
Unlike Egypt, South Africa and other places, the Catholics were still in a minority and had to fight longer to get equality.
What was it that built up the hatred the people felt?
Of course that could not happen now. Well, look at Cyprus. Were the rules not harshly applied to them? But we all know that we Irish would be not so hypocritical as to try to hurt the people of Cyprus....
The Labour and Fine Gael coalition came into power on a whole raft of policies about challenging Europe over the austerity imposed on Ireland. As we know, when they got in they did whatever Frauline Merkel told them to do; they imposed severe hardship on the Irish people.
Michael Noonan, the Fine Gael Minister of Finance in the Free(ish) State headed off to Brussels to help poor little Cyprus in its plight.
Well, not exactly. Our Michael voted to impose severe austerity on little Cyprus, population 840,000. Michael even voted for the people of Cyprus to lose the money in their deposit accounts, not just the rich ones, but even the not so rich, with less than 100,000 euros in their accounts.
The problem here is that there is a huge chance, perhaps almost a certainty that Irish banks shall need more money when the repossessions of “buy to let” houses begins. When the Fine Gaeler goes back to Mrs Merkel and asks for more money, what shall she say?
“Michael, there is oodles of money on deposit in the banks. Take the money off the people and stop begging from Germany.”
“Oh, we couldn’t do that, Your Majesty, that would be stealing from our own people,” the Fine Gaeler shall reply.
“Well, you were quick enough to do it to little Cyprus when you were looking some brownie points from Europe. Now run along like a good little boy and take the money from the people’s accounts.”
Don’t think it won’t happen. If you have money in the Free State and leave it there, you deserve all you get. The right people shall be told when it is going to happen and when to move their money to a safe haven like Switzerland.
In all these things it is perception that counts. Have you ever heard of a middle class person going to prison for drug use or possession? Do the middle classes not do these things?
Last week in the Free State there was one of those events that makes you think the place is rotten.
Read this from the Irish Independent of March 28th:
The former All-Star midfielder, of Mounthawk Manor, Tralee, had faced charges of drink-driving, dangerous driving, having no insurance and no driving licence.
Mr O Se (37) was stopped by Garda Deirdre Barry on February 3 last on the N7, at Blackchurch, Kill, Co Kildare.
But when the case was called, at Naas District Court, Chief Superintendent Pat Mangan told Judge Desmond Zaidan that the cases against the famous footballer were being withdrawn, on the instructions of the DPP.
"Why?" the judge asked.”
The inevitable answer given to the judge was “procedural reasons.” Now it may well be that there were some very serious procedural reasons why the case should be dropped but the perception that goes abroad is that there is one law for the well connected and another for the ordinary folk.
Even Judge Zaidan was angry and said he could not figure out what was going on.
But of course we know that all people are (sort off) equal under the law.
Have you noticed that if you want to get some real news on the television you have to go to Al Jazeera or Russia Today? Now before you think that I am off on some sort of Muslim or Communist crusade I hasten to add that I believe that both these stations are probably as full of propaganda as the rest of them.
But no one here in the British Isles appears to be doing any investigative journalism into the HSBC collapse, the shenanigans at Lloyds or the RBS or anywhere else.
In our beloved homeland the bankers and developers who destroyed the country are still at large. Not one, except Sean Quinn and Tome McFeely, has done a day in prison. Oh, Quinn and McFeely are northerners: the law can be applied harshly against them.
Here is a bit of news that you probably have not heard: Cyprus is technically out of the Euro. How did I come to this conclusion? Well, this is the legal opinion of an American website and financial group called Money & Markets.
“Anyone who restricts the free movement of capital is in direct violation of European Union treaties.
And yet, all three members of the so-called Troika — the IMF, the ECB, and the EU — have stamped their seal of approval on the capital controls imposed by Cyprus on its bank depositors,” said the site.
Do you remember Mrs Thatcher, upon whom Frauline Merkel seems to have modelled herself, thundering on about the importance of the “free movement of capital” throughout Europe?
Well, not from Cyprus. If you are unfortunate to be one of the 840,000 Cypriots and you want to send a few thousand euros to your family somewhere.....you can’t do it!
The reason Cyprus was stopped moving money was to make the banks safe and solvent....now read on in the auricle in Money & Markets concerning the safety of the banks:
“But again, that's not the case. Some of the most endangered banks are among the largest banks in the world, especially in Europe, where the contagion is most likely.
You shouldn't have to ask which ones they are ... because we already named them months ago. But just in case you missed our earlier release, here's our updated list of the largest endangered banks in the world:”
You can’t get any lower!
“These are huge banks, all with at least $1 trillion in assets — all knee deep in bad loans ... all in or near the same condition as Cyprus banks were a year or two ago,” says Money & Markets. And we think that the euro crisis is over.
If you bank that the banks in the UK are safe consider something that got a little though not a great amount of press coverage in the UK last week.
“Major UK banks must raise a total of £25bn in extra capital by the end of 2013 to guard against potential losses, the Bank of England (BoE) has said.
In a statement, the BoE's Financial Policy Committee (FPC) said only some banks need to raise the cash, but did not name them.”
I wonder if I could get odds from Paddy Power about the names on the list. I could use my insider information from Money & Markets, bet a few thousand from my Cypriot account and when I get my winnings it would go into my Cypriot account and help the people there.
There’s more chance of that happening than there is of Europe genuinely trying to help Cyprus.
The BBC report concerning the banks in England went on to say that the banks are expected to lose billions in the next few years as a result of bad loans they made. And then goes on to say:
“They may also lose money through fines, and require extra capital to support a more prudent approach to risk.”
Makes you wonder what they have been at when even the Bank of England says that they may be facing fines. And another point, if the banks have to raise another £25bn in capital where shall the money come from to finance the growth that is needed to end the recession?
Tarzan, do you remember him, was back in the news this week, and for once he seemed to be speaking some sense:
Tarzan was saying that the people of Britain are too well off to be bothered working hard to rebuild the economy and he was saying that we have got too lazy and comfortable to be bothered about the common good.
A wise man our Tarzan. Do you remember who he is? Michael Heseltine.
Europe will emerge from this crisis in a different form and a different place. But we will survive. Why? Because this is Easter week!
What has that got to do with money and power and privilege, I hear you ask?
Because Easter guarantees us that there is a God who cares deeply about our lives, and some of his concern for us shall always flow in his people.
And Easter also says that greed, power and lust for money will not win. You cannot kill goodness, He keeps coming back!
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