Even I, a man of limited intelligence, know that when you put in X and take out less than X there should be something left in the ATM for household necessities.
Before I left “Casa Turlough” I should have read the paper. RBS, of which dear old Ulster Bank is a minor subsidiary, lost the princely sum of £5.2 billion last year. How does a bank manage to do that?
The bank takes in money, charges you for lodging and everything else that it can dream up, lends out your money at about 7% above the base rate, and still loses money.
It takes a special talent to do that. Banks were always seen by investors as sure bets when buying stocks and shares. Even the governments told the people they could not lose, which is why so many poor fools in the Free State bought shares in Bank of Ireland and AIB, and now have worthless pensions.
Eventually I was able to use my debit card and the Quinn household did not have to fast for a day. I arrived home full of pride, carrying my groceries like a prehistoric hunter bringing a recent kill into his cave. I was proud and free.
What is it about a man trying to defend the indefensible that makes him look so silly? Poor Stephen Hester, who is head honcho at RBS, was trying to justify losing £5.2 billion. The words “squirming, about and fish” come to mind when trying to describe his reaction to the questions put to him by his interviewer.
Then Mr Hester says that RBS “has set aside money to cover PPI mis-selling, the mis-selling of interest rate swaps and its fine for attempting to fix Libor.”
You know Bruce Reynolds died last week. Poor old Bruce made one mistake in life. He thought that to rob a bank you had to go in the front door.
Bruce and a few other London criminals, who hadn’t the wit to get a job in the bank and rob it in the modern way, decided to attack a train and make off with a few million that was due to be burnt anyway. It wasn’t even real money; it was old stuff that was ready for the dump.
For his efforts Bruce and his 14 colleagues spent a considerable amount of time in choky at Her Majesty’s Pleasure.
A serious interesting point of history: it has long been believed that the mastermind behind the Great Train Robbery was an Ulsterman. This was put forward in a BBC documentary a few years ago. The bulk of the stolen money was not recovered.
I wonder where the mastermind went. Read the next sentence and figure it out!
The Ulster Bank, a small part of the overall RBS group lost £1.4 billion of the 5.2 billion that disappeared from the RBS balance sheet. Ulster Bank, 10% of the RBS group, loses 27% of the money. How could you mastermind that?
I can hear the old thunderer from Ballymena roar at the steps of Stormont castle, “When we in Ulster lose money, we lose money! Pass the collection box; we cannot have a broken Ulster Bank. From they closed the shipyard this place has gone to the dogs.”
I wonder what God says?
Perhaps justice shall become an issue, or the quarter of the world’s population who live in permanent famine, while we die of gluttony; maybe integrity in the financial world, which now sees the poor as people to be fleeced, would be higher in God’s priorities.
What I can’t understand is that in a secular world that ignores God, mocks goodness and wants to do exactly as it wants, why the pope should be important?
I read two serious articles this week which were absolutely brilliant. One was on a web site run by a priest in America called “Overheard in the Sacristy.” The other was by David Quinn in the Irish Independent.
The first one was not directly about the election but about why people rubbish the pope. Read this, it is superb:
“Author, Patrick J. Buchanan said earlier this week in his website The American Cause, “Why are so many journalists and cafeteria Catholic making fools of themselves denouncing Benedict XVI? The pope has no authority to force anyone to abide by church teachings… Answer: Deep in their hearts, they fear the church is right. They are unsettled because they fear that when the church says it has been given by Christ custody of the truths about how men must live to reach eternal life, it is right. When liberal Catholics say people have been “hurt” by Catholic teaching, what they are saying is that their consciences are being hurt.” He goes on to say, “To modern man, freedom means the inalienable right to live one’s life in conformity with one’s desires. Many Americans buy into that idea of freedom. In Catholicism, true freedom is the freedom to live one’s life in conformity with the Gospels and church teachings, as this is the only certain way to eternal life.”
In his article David Quinn tackles the issue of what the new pope shall do head on:
“It is hoped he will 'modernise' the church's attitude towards divorce, sex and contraception,” writes David, who then goes on to answer the point.
“Neither he nor the bishops have the authority to introduce the other desired reforms.
But this doesn't mean that the pressure on the church to conform to modern, liberal secular norms will abate. On the contrary, it is certain to intensify and increasingly the church and Christians generally, will find the law being used against them to make them conform.”
He then goes on to list several ways in which the Church in Ireland and the UK is discriminated against legally.
David Quinn points out that the Church “won't accept that morality is a matter of opinion. It won't accept that there is your truth and my truth. The church doesn't want to see religion relegated to the private sphere.
This makes liberal societies intensely uncomfortable. It makes modern people intensely uncomfortable because they feel insulted by the suggestion that their actions in the end must be judged according to objective moral norms.”
In other words, there is a definite right and wrong—not what we choose.
Patrick J. Buchanan and David Quinn are right; the Church shall not change no matter what. The day of the Church being forced to change or to close down may be much closer than we think. And it will close before it gives way on the truth. It has happened many times before and it shall happen again; it shall just be strange to see it in “Catholic Ireland.”
They have taken it upon themselves to publish a list of twelve cardinals who they say are not fit to be pope.
Let me state here and now, I know nothing about what these poor people suffered or who they are as individuals. Nor have I read their reasons for naming these twelve cardinals. This is not my point.
Forgiveness; that is my point!
The Catholic Church is a church of forgiveness. If you don’t believe me go and read about Bernard Nathanson, a Jewish doctor who was responsible for taking the lives of 75,000 people and who died a Catholic, in 2011.
He often said that the main reason he became a Catholic was because it was the only place that he could find forgiveness.
There is no forgiveness in the secular world, which brings me to my point.
What leader is there in the modern world who could stand up to the scrutiny that members of the church are put under?
Before you say “but these people don’t tell us how to live,” remember that this is exactly what they do.
We had to pay to by our taxes for Tony Blair to send young men to die in a foreign war that is none of our business.
We have to pay every day for the abortion of children whether we agree with it or not.
We had to pay, through our taxes, for the British army to come to Ireland and help loyalists kill our neighbours.
As Patrick J. Buchanan says, “the pope has no authority to force anyone to abide by church teachings,” but try to be a Catholic nurse in England who won’t carry out an abortion and see how long you last in your job.
The double standards are all one-sided. The secular world hates the church for the reasons David Quinn says and we like fools believe what the papers say without thinking about it.
What a world!
Pryce used the defense of marital coercion, claiming she had no choice but to bow to her husband’s demands over the speeding ticket. However, the judge did not buy it. He said that since women are now equal in all things that this defense could not be used. Vicky Pryce’s defense of marital coercion was 'incompatible with gender equality' said the judge.
No harm to my Learned Friend, but I do not agree. We all know that in most households a husband could berate his wife into submission in a prolonged barrage of aggression.
Women’s liberation is a good thing when it calls for genuine equality between men and women. Where it falls down is when it begins to try to force the issue that men and women are the same.
A very cursory glance at a man and a woman will tell you that they are not the same. We are, and should be treated as equal in dignity, but we are definitely not the same.
Poor Vicky Pryce is not a victim of male dominance in this case; she is a victim of women’s lib that insists that men and women are the same when they patently are not.
After that rant I am getting hungry but I am not going to NOMA to eat. NOMA is not a misspelling of NAMA, the Free State’s rich boy’s property developers, but the name of a Danish restaurant, which is among the 50 top restaurants in the world.
Its chef Rene Redzepi has been described as "the standard bearer for the New Nordic movement,” which seems to be a new culinary fad that I have never heard of, just like I never heard of Justin Beiber.
NOMA charges up to 1,500 kroner or £175 for a menu without drinks, and reservations often must be made months in advance.
Maybe Rene Redzepi would be better described as "the standard bearer for the New Nordic Bowel movement,”
And now to something very personal and I make no apologies for bringing it up.
In November last, Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald put forward a motion backing abortion in the Dail. Now Sinn Fein in the north is refusing to vote against the Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast.
Seeing the results of the by election, I could not vote for Francie Molloy in the Mid Ulster election. I have voted Sinn Fein for most of my life but as a Catholic I could not for a party that supports abortion.
I have known Francie Molloy for forty years and I like the man personally, but I have to go with my conscience. Francie quite rightly tweeted last week that Sinn Fein was not voting for abortion on demand but that was not the point.
God’s law forbids the taking of all innocent life. Sinn Fein, Fine Gael or no party in the world has the right to redefine life.
I am glad I stood by my conscience.
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