The most personally interesting points of David McWilliams interview with Yanis Varoufakis at Kilkenomics touched on religion and Ireland’s role as the ‘good prisoner’ during the Eurogroups brief spar with both democracy and reality. When Syriza called out the kleptocracy that Europe has become a playground of a delusional bankers dreams, a technocratic world where public policy is based on over simplified economic models. The EuroGroup were never going to let reality get in the way.
Noonan, who upon meeting Christine Lagarde, then head of the I.M.F, blushed, as ya do during geopolitical negotiations which will determine the fate of entire nations. So when the Greeks started with their rational arguments about the absurdity of unpayable debts, an economic policy designed to destroy societies, talk of democracy and people having a say in how their own country is run. Michael reacted in his utterly humiliating special child of austerity dance. The Greeks kept it up with their democracy. Unsurprisingly this brought out the confused, forever over his head Mickey bully boy Noonan, the one which kicked the hep C ladies in the ribs. Never one to miss an opportunity to show the big boys what a good boot boy he can be. Whatever form the target takes, he’ll be there, leering away his pride. So slavishly enamoured with being part of the cool gang he set about tutting at the Greeks with the febrile pleasure of the chubby kid, temporarily accepted by the bullies, who paraded him up and down, their good child. The success story of soulless call centres. Even if it means hiding almost 40% of children in food poverty and food banks from the middle class. The broken child of austerity who loved at first sight his masters. They are everything he and that weird mix of house Irish and officer class which make up the increasingly inbred ranks of our political class, aspire to be. But that kids is how colonialism works.
Ireland never really stopped being a colony, a mindset which is rewarded with advancement up the ranks. Demonstrated by Cormac Lucey, former financial adviser to the government, and Kilkenomics contributor. Poor man granted me an interview in Kilkenny and he played his part perfectly. The patronising face of a paternalistic state. And I played my part, challenging him but backing straight down in the face of the patient laugh of a priest taking time out to explain the workings of moving statues to a pretty lil prole. Ireland, as he explained our economic policy in terms of hotels, is a one star hotel, so we can only charge one star prices. Whereas countries such as America and Norway are five star countries, so if we were to raise any tax they would leave us for another one star country where they don’t get uppity about little things like poverty and paying tax.
Norway would up an run from that one gas field providing each citizen with 4k annually if we were to up the tax from 0% to any%.
Initially the existence of any oil or gas was denied until I mentioned that closed door meeting with Ray Burke and Shell where tax on oil and gas was lowered from 50% to 0%. The rest of our conversation can be summed up by this clip from Django unchained.
In this example the Big House is the concept of autonomy, Django is Ireland. LeoDiC is those multinationals and foreign direct investment.
Sam Jackson is Cormac Lucey, or any member of the governments team, its a mindset which gets you places, just remember yours and you’ll be fine.
Unfortunately for Cormac and the rest of the regime, the field Irish have been educating themselves, educating each other and organising. There is no malignant shame in this generation. We only caught the tail end of full on theocracy while the older generations slipped easily into a shame and guilt based economic model: austerity. The one which takes a first world country to a de-populated third word country in about 15 years. Which was something discussed at Kilkeomics, and with Bill Black.
Its also got us questioning why our state has so little faith in the abilities, intelligence and competence of the Irish people. Why are we not good enough to learn from that five star Norway who has the equipment, expertise and personnel already on our Island. Statoil, owned by the Norwegian people provides 4k per year for each citizen of Norway, who has a similar population to Ireland.
But that house Irish mentality doesn’t dare ask for anything, sure just take it, its grand just please love us Ends will make Simon Harris dance for you. The Greeks stepping out of line provided the perfect opportunity for Noonan to show off his other talent, sticking the boot into weaker people/nations. Noonan a failed school teacher and according to the Irish Times “The Godfather of our nation”. Eh right house Irish Times, maybe for you guys. The rest of us want to know why there are only low paid temp jobs about and try not to count the sleeping bags as we walk through town.
Noonan revelled in being part of the gang of bullies. Bullies who used Greece and the Greek people to discipline not only the PIIGS countries, but other European powers, who behind the scenes agreed completely with the Greeks. But in public towed the line for fear of a group of unelected bureaucrats who’ve found themselves running Europe with debt, financial threats and propaganda.
The propaganda part is easy to laugh at but things like this don’t happen by accident.
Ya’d almost feel sorry for the guy if it wasn’t so utterly humiliating on an international stage, Ireland playing the house slave. Disciplining our own while doing a jig to entertain the Germans. Putting prisoners from Mountjoy on temporary release over Paddies weekend, somewhere to hide those without homes. easy on the eye.
Wouldn’t want the neighbours to talk now, would we?
Our American and German masters do not want their jaunt around the colonies ruined by the sight of their asset stripping of all we have left, our pride. And we are still a colony. This was one of the areas I touched on with Bill Black a Kilkenomics regular, word famous economist an all round buzzer who pointed out, we all have the same Hollywood. There’s your aspiration and the Bundesbank sponsors programmes like “The unemployables” because it is your fault ya can’t find a job, not that there aren’t jobs, its all your fault. Economists play the role in our society which priests used to play. Green shoots may aswell be heaven if you’re good, but it is your fault that the shoots died off.
The demos part of democracy (the people) gave Syriza a democratic mandate to put an end to austerity, that is the Troikas worst nightmare.
Their response as we saw was to dismiss both as mere irritants to be swatted away with the nuance and finesse of a whisky drunk sledge hammer. The world watched as democracy was brushed aside, the will of the Greek people ignored and hospitals ran out of antibiotics. #thisIsACoup trended.
Prof. Steve Keen another Kilkenomics regular spoke about how the elite are terrified of this thin edge of dissent. There isn’t a plan to manage it, riots, no problem, but democracy, democracy is something people get protective about. If all you have is an illusion of control, don’t remove the bloody illusion.
When you do grandmothers start doing things like this:
Democracy is a difficult thing to de-legitimize, yet they managed. Like it was managed in Scotland, and each time the rest of the European demos is watching. Citizens are being born of pure frustration.
In case the original mandate wasn’t made clear the Greeks pulled a political master stroke by calling a referendum on the bailout conditions.
Faced with this democratic defiance, a population brought to its knees, faced full on psychological warfare. The Greek media, as in Ireland, owned by a golden circle fuelled the fear. The ECB, a central bank,run by faceless unelected officials shut down the Greek banking system.
Imagine voting as to whether to maintain a defiant stance or give in to these powers who have spent a week turning the life of every citizen upside down. They voted with their pride, or at least the working class did, like in Scotland and in the Equalityref here, a divide is clearly emerging. With one side with one side going ‘yis still tink we fuckin round here?’.
The democratic will of the Greek people was ignored, democracy was suspended at least the illusion of democracy was suspended. There is a lot more to democracy than turning up to vote every now and then. Or maybe a petition, just for the buzz.
The Greek people were hit with every weapon in the play book of neo liberalism. Another word for austerity. Restructuring not just individual societies but entire continents. We’re on the de-populated 3rd world state road, for anybody who missed the last post.
As Vaurofakis puts it, ‘Setting the people of one proud nation against another.’ In a race to the bottom. Workers rights removed, the welfare state dismantled, the middle too terrified of losing what little they have left.
Well, unless we’re happy on the road to Bangladesh as Yanis pointed out by the time the Troika reached Ireland they were more nuanced in their approach. Nuanced, intelligent and highly manipulative of our colonial history. We had spent almost a century being colonised by the best in the business, the Catholic church. After 800 year of abject poverty and oppression we were easy pickings.
The Church didn’t have to discipline each individual citizen, or soldiers of Christ as were then know. They were far more sophisticated than that, nudge theory which the Chinese are starting to love is something the Irish have had down for quite a while now. Social control by means of social acceptance,anything to keep cartoons of Ireland eating out of a trough from European magazines. Anything to stay friends with Europe, even 40% child poverty.
It may go some of the way in explaining why with 1% of the population of Europe we took on 42% of the European banking systems debt. And why everybody is afraid to mention the bad thing in case it gets worse.
Even when we broke free of the suffocating isolationist stance with T.K Whitaker and his ground breaking (in Irish terms) economic text, The Grey Book, which set the template. Foreign direct investment, entice external powers in exchange for call centres.
Much was made in the Irish press about Vaurofakis’s ‘rock star persona’ Regime.T.Vs Miriam put it to him that the Eurogroup gave Ireland a better deal because ‘They like Michel Noonan.’
We know why they like Noonan. Syriza has been described roundly as a failure but they did land one massive blow. They made democracy cool. When you look around the finance ministers of Europe, you’ll see nothing exceptional, its been beaten out of them.
Greece needed an ally in the room, they got what they expected.
Its up to the demos to save democracy. The citizens of Norway can call a referendum, lets bypass the government and go straight to the people.
We need help, we are owed it but we need it to stand on our own feet, pride, as Varofakis honed in on is a variable which switches without warning.
“The history of Africa is the one we more relate to..” – Costello,Workin’ Class records
An a quick word to Cormac Lucey, sorry buddy, ya weren’t to know but da proles are on the march an we fighting with the brain not the brawn. On a personal note I really do hope to get to chat again, differences in ideologies aside, ya a decent guy.