The Vision thread


Apart from the complete lack of entrepeneurial spirit of most people in Ireland and the high wages which discouraged any get up and go there is another problem little discussed. Lack of capital. At the time when most entrepeneurs have a chance to build a really successful big business 20s and 30s, most Irish people are up to their neck in debts and too worried about the mortgage to quit and set up a company. The capital is locked up in bricks and mortar. I started a biz a couple of years back and didn’t even bother approaching my friends for cash as 1) I know the Irish mentality which is usually safely, safely 2) They sunk their money into houses for the most part or were saving for a deposit.

This is what has passed for entrepeneurs in Ireland for the most part- bizarre. … 0_2007.asp


turn empty housing estates in the middle of nowhere into schools or adult learnig centres for those who have lost jobs and have little or no skills. each house is a classroom. . link together some of em with a corridor or 2 if neccessary. allocate a few of these new schools for the idiots whose financial illiteracy have landed us in the shite. send rogue politicians , builders , estate agents , bankers and noveau “developers” back to these schools to learn primary school mathematics so we will never end up in this mess again. sample cirriculum could be as follows

John has 100 pounds. pat wants a loan of 100 pounds. pat earns 5 pounds a year and hopes to keep doing so for 30 years. pat may not be gauranteed to earn 5 pounds every year. for some years he may earn only 3 pounds a year. and every 10 years may only earn 1 pound a year. how much can john lend to pat without getting both them into financial trouble.?

multiple choice answering format. for the really financially illiterate, smilies could be included as clues to the correct answer

a. 100 pounds :slight_smile:
b. 75 pounds :bulb:
c. 125 pounds :frowning:
d. 1000 pounds with an offer of another 1000 more, if pat promises he can repay. :cry:

also make a few estates into nationwide driving training centres where primary school students live on site in these vacant houses whilst learning to drive in a controlled safe environment to international standards before being let loose on the roads. install a few traffic lights and appoint a few people to oversee the running of these training centres.

allocate a few empties in holiday villages as low cost accommodation for tourists to make a holiday in ireland affordable and worth it. im thinking the young international backpacker market whose only option at present is overpriced run dorms at 20 quid a night to share a room with 4 or 5 others- rather than taking guests form hotels. restrict it to say under 35s

all the above empties im assuming are for 2nd or 3rd properties repossesed from folk who cant afford the repayments by the govt. via the banks as part reward for the bank bailout. Provides for instant high quality accomm. in lieu of rat infested damp cold prefabs. subsitute with purpose built schools as funds become availble. money wasted servicing and heating old schools / prefabs w/ no insulation and heat p@ssing thru the walls can be put toward rebuilding schools program.

pick another few estates and turn them into retirement complexes with communal learning and social facilities for lonely isolated eldery not in need of constant care w/ on site nurse/ doctors. or team up isolated eldery in need of company more than care w/ young people/ college students priced out of the market

its estimated some 80% of small farms are unviable. lone farmers struggling to manage a few acres earning a pittance could be encouraged to consolidat or be partially bought out in return for a house in these eldery villages. encourage consolidation of scattered land holdings into highly productive farming models a la belguim / holland / US. , especially in the midlands.


I post the following with due acknowledgment to plagarising of Martin Luter Kings speech, and as a firm beliver in Free Enterprise, Capitalism and the Rights of Man. I do not intend to offend anybody, and in particular African Amercians in a year I suspect MLK could never have imagined could have happened, but it has!

To Be Read at the GPO

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Four score years and twelve ago, a great Irishman, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Proclamation of Independence. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Irish who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their suppression and emerge in the light of freedom.

But nearly one hundred years later, the Irish are still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Irish is still sadly crippled by the manacles of property slavery and the chains of incompetent government. One hundred years later, the Irish live on a lonely island of rising poverty and economic collapse in the midst of a vast ocean of able political leadership and economic competence. One hundred years later, having rejected the Lisbon treaty, and asserted their democratic rights to do so, the Irish now languish in the dark corners of European society, and find their selves a reject in the European land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize this shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a cheque. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Proclamation of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every Irishman was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, men of no property, as well as men of property, would be guaranteed in “its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally” It is obvious today that Ireland has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of are concerned. Instead of honouring this sacred obligation, Ireland has given its people a bad cheque, a cheque which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this cheque, a cheque that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice, leadership, and prosperity.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind our leaders of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of our democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of incompetence to the sunlit path of justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand’s of economic injustice and collapse to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of Ireland’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This coming winter of the people’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating spring of freedom and equality. Two thousand and eight is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Irish people needed to blow off steam and will now be content, will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquillity in Ireland until the people are given decent, fair, and competent government, otherwise the whirlwinds of revolt will shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to our people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into disregard and disrespect. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of reasoned argument.

The marvellous new militancy which will engulf the Irish community must not lead us to a distrust of all those who have power, for many of those, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of Irish democracy, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Irish people are not protected from gangland crime, We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot reasonably gain lodging in the houses of the cities of Ireland. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Irish people’s basic mobility is restricted due to the lack of proper planning and development. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are educated in slum and shacks .We cannot be satisfied as long as an Irishman in London cannot vote and an Irishman in Dublin believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream, so well known to the Irish people.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible.”

I have a dream that one day on the green hills of Kildare, the sons of former cvil servants, and of tenants and the sons of former landlords, and of the private sector will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Ireland, a state freezing with the cold of injustice, freezing with the cold of economic oppression and mismanagement, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by their class to which they were born but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day; down in Carlow, Kerry and Cork, the people will come together, sharing their health care, their pension schemes, and their sense of justice, and fairness equally.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight.

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the people of Ireland with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day – this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

Sons of the Gael! Men of the Pale!
The long watched day is breaking
The serried ranks of Inisfail
Shall set the Tyrant quaking

And if Ireland is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of Monaghan
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of Kerry.
Let freedom ring from the windswept beaches of Donegal.
Let freedom ring from the flower filled Rocks of Clare.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous bays of Cork.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountains of Mayo.
Let freedom ring from Grasslands of Tipperary.
Let freedom ring from every hill and Lake of Westmeath.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every county and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, Irishmen and Immigrants, Public Sector and Private, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old American African American spiritual:

            Free at last! Free at last!
            Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!


That all sounds great but I want to know whether the public beheadings are before or after the speechifying?


As opposed to a referendum on Lisbon 2, have a referendum to completely disband the Irish Government and hand over complete control( for a period , say 10 years) to the EU
This would get rid of the “jobs for the boys” cronyism and would have the advantage of Ireland once again becoming the poster child for the EU Vision of what europe should look like
After the 10 years , control would slowly be given back to an Irish government that had not spent the time giving and recieving favors from all and sundry

I don’t obviously think this is a possible or practical solution , but its got to be better than the way it is now


After of course, the crowd are ready for it.


You obviously don’t understand the levels of corruption that exist in the EU. All human institutions of a political nature are inherently corrupt. This is not a solution.

The internet is the beginning of not the solution but the continual movement towards equilibrium.
It is a higher intensity of what needs to be to achieved for what needs to be delivered.


Sent this to government and media , but not much interest - maybe not very good.

18 November 2008
Brian Cowen
Dail Eireann
Kildare Street

Dear Brian

Congratulations on your appointment as Taoiseach earlier this year. You have taken on a role that is going to demand insight and vision as we move from the Celtic Tiger via the Bertie Bubble to the Irish Bust. You cannot stop what is happening to the economy now. What is needed is rapid and radical action to ameliorate its worst effects.

Some new thinking is now needed. This is what I suggest you do for starters – note the financial recommendations are approximations, as I do not have access to the financial information available to you.

Lisbon Treaty. A significant item on your agenda has been the Lisbon Treaty. Drop it – it is a ‘dead treaty’ an ‘ex treaty’. You should respect the ‘voter’ result. Ireland is an equal partner in the European Union, so do not be intimidated by your colleagues in Europe – declare the matter finished. This is essential because attention focused on the Lisbon Treaty is attention taken from the economy and the economy needs all your attention. Anyway, there is no guarantee that the result will be any different if you insist on a second vote.

I must confess that having read the Lisbon Treaty, I do not wish to be part of a European superstate. Opt outs are inadequate – have you read clause 48? I wish to be part of a free trade area only. I do not like the tone of some of the official European comment post the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty. I feel that there is a serious democratic deficit at the heart of Europe. I also feel like a small Irish child being reprimanded by our seniors and betters in Europe, when I see us as equal partners in a European club. It is my view, that as one of the few countries to hold a referendum, that Europe should learn from our democratic example, and that you should not disrespect it.

The Budget
The budget has not exactly been a success. Ideologically, Fianna Fail used to be the party of the little fellow. Now, I feel it is the party of the big and the powerful – the party of its paymasters. This matters because how you function as a party informs how you develop policy. Faced with a financial crisis, you could have taken a top - down or a bottom up approach to the drop in government income. A top - down approach would have meant cutting payments to the most wealthy, those with whom I suggest you identify. While you have had to row back on your initial plans, to me you have taken a bottom-up approach to budget cuts - targeting the most vulnerable in our society - those supposedly less well able to court government support. In addition, you are borrowing heavily for consumption – a truly reckless behaviour. Borrowing for consumption means that Ireland Inc. is living beyond its means. What will you do if the tax shortfall continues to widen in the next years? Who is going to pay back the money you are borrowing? What if you cannot rely on inflation to reduce the burden of the debt?

Minimum Wage
Recently, the Small Firms Association suggested that the minimum wage should be reduced. I suggest that individuals on the minimum wage are least able to afford wage reductions. The problem as I see it is not the minimum wage, but the very high wages further up the food chain. Although you have just completed a wage agreement, you may not have the money for it. I believe that you need to start talking about wage pauses at all levels and wage reductions at the top and above a certain level of salary.

Wages, Tax and Costs
1 Introduce a 50% + cut on income above € 100,000.00 for income and pensions of all government and government funded (e.g. the HSE) bodies – the country cannot afford the disproportionate remuneration of the public sector. This means that an individual earning € 500,000.00 would now earn € 100,000.00 plus 50% of € 400,000.00 = € 200,000.00 = a total of € 300,000.00.
2 Eliminate perks and make expenses receipt based only.
3 Everybody should pay tax on income – so start with members of the Oireachtas. Then proceed to seek tax from any industry not currently paying tax e.g. the horse industry.
4 To make business tax fair – simplify the tax system. Based on average costs as supplied by the Revenue set a cost deduction on sales / turnover for every industry – so depending on calculations:
 80%+ for primary producers, e.g. farmers and miners
 60%+ for manufacturers
 30% + for service industries
Tax would be paid at a very low level on sales / turnover over the cost allowed percentage. This would encourage businesses to be efficient and profitable and not to engage in buying unnecessary end of year tax avoidance equipment or dangerous leverage to avoid paying tax. It would support a move away from excessive deficit funding of businesses, which is now causing problems. It would spread the tax net, so that all companies pay some tax and end tax avoidance schemes. A tax free period would be allowed for new start-ups.
5 Change the public sector budget system, so that money over at the end of the year does not have to be spent needlessly to avoid having a surplus deducted from the next year’s budget allowance.

Ireland has become a dangerously expensive place to do business. This needs to be urgently reversed if all the gains of the Celtic Tiger are not to be completely lost. It is all very well to talk of going up the economic food chain, but that is a very short-term solution as there are too many competing countries out there for this to work except in the very short term. We have to reduce our costs and continue to produce and make. If we do not do this, we will have to borrow to buy goods and end up with a chronic Balance of Payments deficit like the United Kingdom and the United States. So, rents, rates, public service and utility costs need to come down now before it is too late. It would be better to facilitate this while there is an economy to save rather than when you are forced to do so with a devastated economy.

The banks following their international colleagues have ‘played puck’ with borrowing and lending, while you looked the other way. Historically bank lending was for investment, the capital sum lent could reliably expect to be repaid from the returns on the investment. As banks have raced more and more out of control, they have lent for speculation, consumption and gambling. They have also taken too much money out of the business in the form of dividends and remuneration. There is absolutely no point in giving them money to fritter on the inflated lifestyle that they have been living in recent years.

David McWilliams has recommended a three step process to stop the collapse of the banks:
 Guarantee the deposits etc.
 Dismiss the architects of the disaster
 Recapitalise the banks

After steps 1 and 2, the suggestion is that you recapitalise the banks. If you absolutely have to do this, you first need to deal with the excessive monies being taken out of the business, particularly in the form of financial reward. Bank wages need to be reduced to reflect bank income and the need for recapitalisation. Then if you really have to use public money to recapitalise the banks, I suggest you consider the following:
 Buy residential mortgages issued from 2005 to 2008 from the banks at 30cent + on the Euro. Hold these mortgages with the original borrowers at 50cent + on the Euro, receiving the adjusted repayments. Do the same for mortgages from 2002 to 2004 at 50 cent + on the Euro. Hold these mortgages with the original borrowers at 70cent + on the Euro, receiving the adjusted repayments. You can repeat the process if necessary with other property loans, eventually selling them back or not to the originators at a profit. This will provide a means of writing down over-inflated loans, give the banks some money, help the poor borrowers who have been fooled into borrowing too much and put the extra money the borrowers will now have into the economy.

 It is my experience that banks are currently looking at all possible means to increase income. No lender should be allowed to add interest to capital outstanding and then charge interest on the interest (compounding) as it were.

Building Employment
The employment situation is deteriorating rapidly. There has been a large jump in the number of individuals unemployed and it is set to get worse. Many of these individuals are from the building trade. They need to find alternative employment. I suggest that in addition to government infrastructure projects, you quickly open up the building of one-off houses in the countryside. There are many persons (including me), who would build an individual house if allowed. While this would not replace the building boom, it would provide employment to a body of the currently unemployed. At the same time, you need to stop what could be seen as ‘racketeering’ by the county councils who repeatedly demand what are seen as arbitrary design changes with a new fee every time a plan has to be re-submitted.

It is now possible to install environmentally neutral septic tank systems, so objections to building in the countryside on these grounds are unnecessary. I attended the Sustainable Building Exhibition at the RDS recently. It is not just the individuals directly working in the building trade who are going to be out of work or business if you do not act. All the small businesses that depend on the building trade will go if you do not quickly respond. I cannot stress enough the urgency of this. Encourage these one-off houses to be multi-purpose e.g. suitable for living and small home businesses. You may say, ‘but we have too many houses’. Because of misguided government policies, we have too many houses of the wrong kind, in the wrong place and at the wrong price. You cannot force anyone to buy these unwanted houses as a means of supporting the building industry and the councils would get very bad value for money if they were to buy them for supported or social housing. As for Home Choice Loans – these are subprime loans to bail out the building industry by stiffing the first time buyers.

The current restrictive planning laws have not worked. The zoning and planning laws are similar to those in place in England where over many years they have led to overpriced building land, which has in turn led to property shortages, booms and busts, overpriced rents both private and commercial, mortgage slavery and high costs contributing to the decline of manufacturing. So much money goes into servicing property costs, it drives up all other costs in the economy and leaves much less money for investing and spending in that economy. High property prices are not a good thing. High property prices are a bad thing.

Now you can say that there is plenty of land zoned, but there has not been plenty of available zoned land, otherwise the price differential with agricultural land would not generally be so great. The cost and availability of land are the foundation costs of the economy and other costs follow on from them. You need to reform zoning. The current system has not been a success. Although the property bubble was driven by the banks, it had a real or perceived shortage of land and buildings as a spark. There always has to be a perceived shortage to start a bubble. You could not for example create a bubble in apples at the moment.

High Density Development and Congestion
The policy of concentrating jobs and populations in large urban centres has led to huge problems. What has been gained by concentration of services has been offset by the cost of congestion. There is no point in concentrating work in cities and towns if accommodation becomes unaffordable in those cities and towns and individuals have to travel long distances to work. One alternative to addressing the long commute and congestion would be to encourage home working. There are many jobs that do not require a trip to a centre of work and this would cut congestion and costs and the long commute. A financial incentive in the form of reduced Employer National Insurance contributions could be used to encourage take-up of the scheme. Of course widespread broadband would be an essential support system for this.

There is a second problem with unemployment and it is that benefits are only available to individuals who were previously employees, i.e. the self-employed do not get benefits unless almost destitute. This is a barrier to the unemployed becoming self-employed. It is particularly a barrier to self-employment, that if you become ill, you will not be able to apply for benefits. I suggest that at least some if not all benefits available to employees be available to the self-employed. This would provide a safety net for the unemployed to try self-employment and go off benefits. I believe that many of the unemployed might be encouraged to become self-employed if the barrier of denial of State Benefits was removed. Let’s get people working.

Benefit for Work
Ideally I believe that some form of state employment should replace benefits for the unemployed. You would then not have to worry about individuals claiming benefits while doing undeclared work. It is not healthy to be given money without an expectation of some labour in return. I suggest that this could be done without upsetting the Unions and threatening anyone already employed. Ireland is still a tourist country. To this end, the grooming and appearance of the country is very important. While there are some well-kept areas of the country, a lot could be done to improve the visual appearance of the Irish Republic. In the countryside, many trees are being choked by ivy, there is widespread buachalán, there are less attractive ‘weeds’ on the road margins, there are road margins and crossroads left derelict following public works and there is litter. ‘Landscaping’ the countryside would greatly enhance its appeal to the tourists and make it more visually rewarding for all of us. While the Tidy Towns do sterling work, they need help. There are still some towns and cities, with litter, chewing gum and dirty streets. Clearing the litter and chewing gum and power washing the pavements would make them more attractive to the eye. I am thinking of an on-going Spring Clean and landscaping of the country by those currently claiming benefits.

Negative Equity
There are now many individuals in negative equity. These individuals cannot move house because they first have to clear the debt incurred on the current property. This means that individuals cannot move until the market changes. This may be a long time indeed and it contributes to paralysis of the market. I suggest that a very simple administrative change could help this situation. If it were possible to transfer the existing mortgage debt to a new property, an individual in negative equity could move house. It would not solve the debt problem, but it would create mobility.

The pension system has developed as a number of systems over many years. I applaud the concept of the Basic State Pension. However, there is an inherent unfairness in the alternative or additional pension systems. Company pension schemes are unstable. Private pension schemes are uncompetitive with the public sector and in turbulent financial times they are unreliable in terms of pay-outs. Very few individuals can accumulate sufficient money in a lifetime to be financially independent. The public service pension scheme is unsustainable in the longer term.

I believe that the pension system needs to be overhauled. I suggest the following. Continue with the Basic State Pension. For top-up, have an SSIA style pension. Individuals could save with a financial institution or pension company on a year by year basis subject to a yearly maximum. The individual would be committed to that institution for that year, but could change institution each new financial year. The government would add a sum for every so many Euro saved. This does not have to be excessively generous, but the money would go directly to the pension account, rather than to keeping a pension company in the style to which it has become accustomed. Because there are often unexpected financial needs, an individual would be allowed to withdraw up to 10% of the personal money invested in any one year in the subsequent financial year. Depending on actuarial tables, an individual at age 60 or subsequent years would be allowed to withdraw 1/25 + of the money in the pension scheme on an annual basis. Should the individual die before the age of 85 +, any sum remaining in the fund could be passed on to his / her heirs. Should an individual live beyond the age of 85 +, the state would fund that individual at the approximate level of the annual withdrawal from the fund for the remainder of his / her life.

Such a system has the advantage of:
 Simplicity
 Empowering the individual
 Relieving the burden on the state
 Transparency
 Equity
 Balance between state basic support and individual responsibility
 Competition between financial institutions.

Immigration and Overseas Aid
No country can cope with too rapid an increase in population too quickly. Ireland did not have the infrastructure to cope with the open door policy that was introduced when many countries from Eastern Europe joined the European Union. I suggest that immigration in Ireland needs to be regulated based on employment need. It is also unethical to seek immigration of skilled workers from poor countries that have a skilled worker deficit.

It seems to me that overseas aid uses something of a scattergun and fragmented approach. If we really want to help poorer countries through overseas aid, I suggest that we develop an inward investment system that is targeted and efficient. In countries outside the European Union, I suggest a buddy system. Depending on size, we match up a developed country with a developing one. So, Ireland takes on one country of similar size and other developed countries do the same. This would be subject to a developing country bidding for our partnership and their agreement on developing democracy and the rule of law. This would concentrate aid on a country to country basis.

Fiscal Reserve Banking
The Fiscal Reserve model of banking is a kind of pyramid scheme, by which those in the ‘know’ or those who happen to borrow at the right point in the cycle make a lot of money at the expense of the later arrivals. It depends for its success on ever increasing levels of debt (inflation). Every time, the debt becomes excessive, it leads to boom and then bust. Once in a few generations, there is a boom so large that when it busts, it leads to a depression. It is a constant cycle of a selected group getting rich while a larger group get stiffed. It is not possible under this system for everybody to make it. The idea that everybody can make it under this system is a myth. There has to be a large body of losers for there to be winners. That is the nature of pyramid schemes.

You need to stop pretending that inflation is caused by rising prices and wage demands. Inflation for all practical purposes in Ireland and most other countries is caused by the creation of too much debt both by the government and banks. Price rises and wage demands are a consequence of inflation not its cause. Now while as a member of the Euro, you cannot solve the banking system alone, you need to start discussing alternative banking systems with your European colleagues.

I am also weary of hearing ignorant talk of ‘sophisticated financial instruments’ and ‘complex derivatives’. There is no sophisticated or complex finance, merely scams (selling on bad loans) and gambling (unbelievably sometimes with my pension money).

Finally, respect the Irish electorate and straighten your shoulders when you go to Europe on our behalf. Remember that you are in Europe as our representative. You do not go to Europe to do the bidding of the big countries there.

Yours sincerely

Helen Carty


Hmm. Not exactly visionary. More like ‘fairly competent problem analysis (in comparison to existing government efforts), solving the whole country’s problems in two considered pages, on me lonesome’.

7/10. Good effort.


Thank you.


Hi all,
My first post here but been lurking for a while now and really enjoy the discussions and ideas presented here. I have been preaching to my friends along similar lines for a couple of years now, and researching and formulating my opinions and ideas for solutions along the way. I have a burning desire to share these with my fellow humans to encourage change and so have started a blog. I have just published my first post in which I endeavor not to be partisan but to promote a paradigm shift and I would appreciate some feedback on content and composition. Please see below

In 1989 the Berlin wall collapsed, and with it the crippling fear of annihilation. The end of the Cold War marked the start of a period of global optimism. Once the threat of nuclear confrontation between the United States of America and the Soviet Union vanished, hopes for a better future, for a new dawn for human kind and the planet, looked, at the time, well founded. It could not be any other way. Once the conflict that had polarized the world’s politics for nearly half a century was over, we could use more resources to create a better world. Are you old enough to remember those days? Do you remember the sense of relief, of hope, even happiness of those days? It seems like a long time ago, but it has been just 20 years.

In 2009, we are facing the biggest economic crisis since 1929. Millions of people are losing their jobs, homes, pensions and savings. The standards of living of the vast majority of the population are decreasing dramatically. We are paying more than ever for our food, heating, and fuel. Unable to afford to buy food for their families, the population of at least a dozen developing countries have taken to the streets, staging riots, and looting food stores. Public unrest and street violence are spreading to developed countries. Millions around the globe, have been thrown back into poverty, erasing any achievement in that regard of the last 20 years. Not to mention the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur, Somalia, Congo, Chad, Mexico, Colombia…

Where are we going to be in 2050? The population of the world will be 9 billion people, up from the 6.7 we are now. Are we going to be able to feed all of us? Are we going to be able to provide jobs for all of us? And what about housing? Education? Health care? Which are going to be our sources of energy? Is it going to be enough for all of us? Or, are wars over sources of energy, water, and food supplies going to become the norm? Are we going have our freedoms cut, in the name of national security?

Everybody likes to criticize our politicians, and now the bankers too. They are the guilty ones. We are in this mess because of them. They took the decisions, they manage our economies. They should be held accountable. But, in the last 20 years, who elected our highly inefficient and corrupt politicians? Who gave them the legitimacy and the power? Who allowed them to squander our chance for a better world? Who therefore, is ultimately responsible?

I believe we do not ask ourselves these questions because ultimately WE are responsible. We have reduced our role as citizens to passive consumer and tax payer, and casting our votes from time to time. We have relinquished our sovereignty and now we are paying the price.

We know that our political and financial systems are inefficient, prone to corruption, and serve the interests of the few. The fact of the matter is that the systems in place are not sustainable, and are not fair. If you believe that the solution to the current situation is simply better regulation of the current financial system, if you still believe that our politicians are going to sort-out this mess, if you think we will carry on business as usual in 2, 3, or 4 years, you are still in denial. And we are in big trouble.

The problem being that, in the 21st century, we have ideologies, dogmas, power and economic structures that were born, 1, 2, or 3 centuries ago. The obstacles are the “vested interests” of the few, blocking the solutions for the many.

As long as the power structure remains the same, none of the solutions will be discussed publicly, or implemented adequately. As long as “back room deals” or “off the record meetings” have primacy over open, public and democratic processes, none of the obstacles to a better world will be removed.

This is a call to all citizens of the European Union, to rebel against the corrupt and incompetent political classes that we all have to suffer in our countries. This is a call to use our anger in a constructive manner, in a democratic and peaceful RE-EVOLUTION to install REAL DEMOCRACY in our countries, and the E.U. This is a call to you, to take PERSONAL POLITICAL RESPONSIBILITY, over your country, your life, and your future. This is a call, to you, regardless of your nationality, social class, religion, or political ideology, to install a system that serves us all, and is run for the benefit of the many, not the profit of the few. This is a call to set up new national institutions that facilitate and guarantee our new democratic rights;

1- The right of the citizens to RECALL, at any time, any politician, or public servant.

2-The right of the citizens to INITIATE, and APPROVE by referendum any legislation. The citizens constituting the highest legislative power.

3-The right to VETO any appointment in any public institution.

4-The right of all citizens to have equal access to political life, through programs to facilitate the transition from private citizen, to politician, back to being private citizen regardless of economic status.

5-The right to access ALL INFORMATION related to any public institution EASILY and INSTANTLY with the exception of personal data, and certain judicial processes designated by the judiciary, on a temporary basis.

All these rights can be exercised at local, national, and European levels. These new institutions must use the Internet and new technologies to facilitate and advance this REAL DEMOCRACY, and present all information on a centralized database that is accessible to all.

This RE-EVOLUTION is not going to take place in the streets, it’s going to take place in your workplace, pub and living-room. Talking to each other about things that really matter, sharing and discussing these ideas, and not feeling isolated and powerless anymore. This re-evolution is not going to be about finding our new leader, nor about engaging in the divisive left versus right discussions. It’s going to be about a battle against ignorance and apathy. This is about a horizontal, grass-roots movement with no ideologies or dogmas, but just one common goal; installing REAL DEMOCRACY in our countries and the European Union.

To achieve this is theoretically simple, force a referendum on these ideas. To win such a referendum we just need to UNITE to achieve the majority, and that’s the beauty of this game, because they’ve got the money but we’ve got the numbers.

If we really live in Democracies, there is only one Sovereign, the People. And being the sovereign means that nothing or nobody is above you, you are the boss, and the owner of your State.

Are we the people, mature enough to realize the seriousness of the challenges ahead of us and to face up to them. To unite for a common good, instead of quarrelling for our individual crumbs? Are we wise enough to build an alternative, or are we dependent on our “leaders”? Are we free, critical, and independent, or do we live in fear and enslaved?

Only you have the answer.


so, what you’re saying is that you’re idea is based on people voting for what you just wrote.

good luck with that.

I don’t think people will vote beyond what they see as their own needs.


It is more based on the idea of people communicating more to each other more, like you and me are doing now.
And start talking more about solutions, and our future, and less about the obvious problems we are facing now, and
we’ll facing in the next years. We can not let our establishment hijack, as they are successfully doing so far, the public debate, tone, and discourse.

“I don’t think people will vote beyond what they see as their own needs.”
I’m not interested at the moment in what “they” could or will do. What would you do?


You might be biased though based on the userbase of this website. Other websites might contain similar opinions to those of the “establishment”.


Sorry, could you clarify what you mean here as I am not sure I understand?


well, I’m saying that the users on this website post their opinions. You might look at their opinions and think they would be representative of the entire country if it were online.

but, I’m raising the issue that other irish websites might have users with different opinions. their opinions might be more similar to the "establishment"s opinions than you would be happy with.

so, if your online system were established… then I think it could still be hijacked by the "establishment"s opinions.

more opinion does not necessarily mean good
neither does less opinion

both could be abused

As for Me… I’ll probably keep my voting decisions to myself. I will try to inform myself on what I vote on though.


Not me. I’ve never voted. Precisely because I could clearly see how I would be contributing to the legitimacy of a system that aids and abets the strong, fucks over the weak, and ravages resources without a thought to future generations.

Oo-er. I’d be a little sceptical of implementing this kind of thing before we started properly educating our people. As Oscar Wilde said, ‘democracy is the BLUDGEONING of the people, by the people, for the people’.

Have a look at the David McWilliams forum for a good example of this.

I’m all for this. Absofuckinlutely. Fuck referenda though… Just reclaim public spaces, de-commercialise them, and meet up there every evening to discuss these kinds of issues. Set up like the old polis in Greece… And back up these type of face to face meetings with web technologies like forums and newsletters etc… I reckon…

Probably not as yet. A few years eating nettles might fix that though.

Puke. :wink:


Lots there Javishka. But this one point would be an important revolution in Irish politics. At present the political system is a closed shop and influence for initiatives is a strictly internal matter. VIs who own the politicians set the agenda and this is normalised via the oireachtas, the courts and the media. Any surge from below demanding change in this or that direction can be efficiently squashed thru time wasting and inertia with all the requisite pigging out that that entails from the above. Inquiries, reports, tribunals etc do the rest. In the US any citizen or group with the required number of signatures can put a proposition directly to voters, bypassing entirely this system. if it is approved it becomes law and that is that. There are numerous examples of progressive and pro democratic initiatives generated in this way. Medical Marijuana is one example in California, a high speed train from the Bay Area to LA is another (early stage of development). Of course the bad guys can put propositions through also and some socially useful propositions tend to be poorly funded but many of them succeed nevertheless. Its by no means a panacea to VI control of politics or the monstrosities of capitalism. But it is a mechanism whereby ordinary people can defend their own interests without necessarily compromising with a corrupt representative system. It also serves to demarcate the political space between political parties and voters and gets active support from people for things that are useful. Ireland could do with some of that.


I’ve been thinking a little about this ‘Work as Play’ idea and while this company may not identify itself as such, i think it’s on its way there. When a project comes up or is dreamt up by the ‘associates’(employees in the traditional sense), the associates volunteer for the project if they like the look of it. This is a multi-billion dollar enterprise where people are really enjoying their work. 8000 associates with a staff turnover of less than 5% per annum. Internet forums are another symptom, where people give of their time and effort for no reward but the enjoyment of the discussion and the occasional result. I hope that the emphasis on traditional hard work advocated by many to restore our standards of living doesn’t rule out this whole new way of work.
Btw, this is not Google do no evil stuff, this is a 50 year old company that makes products that people want.


Two articles reminded me of this thread over the weekend.

Read it and weep.’s 1GB/s Fibre Network at $70/month (€50 approx.) … l&tc=pgall … #more-1779
A very long (7000 word) piece but skip down to this.

I realise the length is beyond most peoples attention span but that is exactly what he’s talking about.
Some interesting ideas.