Joe Higgins still wants to nationalise the banks

I pondered this a while back and got my answer last night.

After years of privatised profits for the banks Joe Higgins wants to nationalise them (and presumably their losses).

I’m not sure, but I suspect in Joe’s mind we’d just confiscate the banks, I don’t think he envisages actually stumping up the 10’s of billions of cash that it would take to actually buy them.

I don’t think he’s thought about how to compensate the thousands of people who own shares either directly or through their pensions. Presumably anyone who bought shares would just lose them for being capitalist swine.

He also hasn’t given much thought to the fact that these nationalised banks are going to have to operate in a globalised economy, and anyone with 2 euro to rub toghether will be heading for the hills. Banks that work as efficiently as our hospitals? Ummm No.

He’s an honest hard working guy who I’d love to see back in the Dail, but he’s off his bloody rocker.


Joe Higgins is a natural for the opposition benches - good at ferreting out scandal and challenging the consensus. God forbid he ever get his hands on power though.

He’s a hard worker, a man of conviction and an excellent agitator.

His political views for the most part are totally at odds with mine but the Dail is worse for his absence.

Hear Hear Hear!

I do not agree with Joe on lots of things but there was nobody better at sticking it to Bertie in the Dáil. If he was my local TD I would give him number 1 every time .

To think that Joan Burton outlived him politically in Dublin West makes me mad , really mad :frowning: None of the ‘socialist’ shinners are a patch on him. Humourless pompous boors the lot of them .

I hope he realises that his country still needs him and will run again.

Yep, I agree with almost none of Joe’s ideas, but I too would give him my
No. 1.

Run Joe Run.


i think there’s a chance joe will get his wish. Would anyone rule out a Northern Rock here? Admittedly for different reasons. NR was a funding problem followed by a run. The ecb funding auctions means this type of crisis shouldn’t happen, unless it’s withdrawn. Inadequate capital could sink some irish banks if it looked like losses were going to big. Hence the “we’ve no arrears” (i’d imagine the construction interest roll up loans by definition cannot be in arrears - lucky eh?)

To an extent, i’d prefer to nationalise than cover their losses and keep them private. I’d image there are some legal complexities with bail outs that our banks would propose and prefer. It may break eu rules. Remember that a non-nationalisation solution would also cover international banks offering mortgages here. Should the irish tax payer cover reckless lending from ulsterbank, first active, halifax/bosi, nib, iib when it should be their parent’s problem?

I was 50/50 on the probability of an Irish bank going under in '08. Given events since last Friday, I’m now 75/25.

The spark will be a big developer or a building society or the credit union getting in a spot of serious bother which will have a knock-on effect for a major bank. When I looked, I was amazed at how big Anglo are relative to BOI: they’re pretty much the same size! Also, how tiny Irish Permanent are – glorified building society (as someone else has already commented).

Equity capital is risk capital. If the equity in the banks becomes worthless there will be no need to compensate people anyway. If people take large pension lesses as a result then their ire ought to be directed towards the pension fund manager who had too many financials (particularly Irish ones) in the portfolio and the banks for their imprudent lending.

the style of nationalisation i was suggesting wouldn’t involve any upfront cost to the state. And would motivate banks to avoid aid. The idea being to tidy up the balance sheet and reprivatise.

I’m pretty sure that some banks need capital. They’ll take the state for a ride if it comes cheap.

  1. I like Joe Higgins but…
  2. Surely you should vote for the guys you want to govern not those who you want to see in opposition.
  3. Joan Burton is in a party that actually has a realistic chance of being in government after each election. She is not afforded the luxury of spouting outdated 19th century socialist rhetoric.

Feck the banks, no one loves them but nationalise the housing stock and see how they like it :wink:

One of the benefits of proportional representation - you can actually vote for who you want in opposition too.

Voting for a good TD is perfectly logical whether he will be in government or not.

We need strong opposition and Joe Higgins landed more punches on FF than most other opposition TD’s combined.

A measure of that can be found in some of the responses he has elicted from people like Bertie Ahearn:

He has a failed ideology and the most hopeless policy pursued by any nitwit. He is a failed person who was rejected and whose political philosophy has been rejected. He will not pull people back into the failed old policies he dreamed up in south Kerry when he was a young fellow. Now go away.

Conor Lenihan:
Deputy Higgins should stick with the kebabs.

Whatever about Joe’s policies being off the wall, he certainly is not a failed person. It says a lot that even those who disagree with Joe Higgins still respect him, while even those who agree with Bertie Ahearn don’t respect him.


Not really. Your vote goes to only one candidate in the end. And remeber the Dail elects the government not the people.

Joan Burton’s party is indistinguishable from Fianna Fail or Fine Gael. That is the reason we still have the same shower in government. And the only rhetoric that seems to be prevalent in the bust times of the economic cycle is the lazy labelling of socialism as “19th century” or “outdated”.
Capitalism has grown, diversified and globalized but its inherent problems of boom and bust as analysed by socialists cannot be overcome.
Joe Higgins is just not one of the wishy-washy social democrat or green types who attempts to keep everyone happy. Because inevitably, those types (like the Greens at present) go into coalition and get neutralised by the larger party.

To be fair, socialism was never nor never will be a good idea, so it label it suggesting it had relevancy in the 19th century or any other unstated period is obviously wrong.

As opposed to socialisms advantage of permanent stagnation, if not starvation.

Comparing capitalism and socialism is comparing a somewhat flawed system which works in practice, to a mythical system which works only in deluded minds.

No he’s just an idiot - throwing darts at a policies on a dartboard would at least as sensible.

Yeah, sorry but none of the comments are fair.
You’re ideologically opposed. Fair enough.
Never relevant? Obviously wrong?
Joe Higgins an idiot? I think not.

I don’t think he’s an idiot, but I think he proposes a lot of half baked ill thought out ideas that make him sound like an idiot. Which is a shame.

I’m idealogically opposed to his extreme socialism in the same way that I’m idealogically opposed to getting hit in the groin with a football.


Perhaps you missed my point. You were referring to the lazy labelling of soclaism as “19th century” or “outdated”. I’m agreeing with you :slight_smile: - it is lazy labeling, and obviously wrong.

You can’t consider socialism as “19th century” - since it was just as incorrect then as now.

You can’t consider socialism as “outdated” - since this suggests it had a period of usefulness or relevancy.

It it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.