“as someone who only moved here a week or two ago…”

The Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead, Gerard Adams, has defended his lack of knowledge of “the minutiae” of Ireland’s economic policies.  From the Irish News

…last night Mr Adams claimed he should not be expected to know the finer details because of his recent move from West Belfast to contest the Dail election for Louth.

“I wouldn’t be expected – as someone who only moved here a week or two ago – to know the minutiae,” he said

“I was asked 20 questions and I answered 15 and I admitted when I didn’t know those details.

“But I know the fundamentals, the problems and – what is more important in all of this – Sinn Féin knows the solutions.”

Of course you do…

Adds  A “week or two ago”?

Mr Adams arrived into the court, which was held in the chamber of Louth County Council, just before 5pm yesterday. He presented Ms Ahern with a letter which it is believed was a declaration that he is now residing in Louth. [Added emphasis – Belfast Telegraph report 10 December 2010]

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  • Comrade Stalin

    Sammy,

    I wouldn’t be excited. If Gerry and co started sounding credible, I’d probably be a little bit scared. There seems to be no danger of that, though – plenty to use against GA so far, and that’s without even mentioning the words “Northern Bank” which are probably going to come up sooner or later.

  • PaddyReilly

    Could Sinn Fein do for the Irish economy what Zimbabwe’s African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) did for the Zimbabwean economy?

    Unfortunately. no. Fianna Fáil have already beaten them to it.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Heh, I wonder if calling them ZANU-SF would get them as animated as Sammy is about the baron Gerry thing.

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    CS,

    “Heh, I wonder if calling them ZANU-SF would get them as animated as Sammy is about the baron Gerry thing.”

    Are you suggesting all the parties in Ireland get funny names as well – including the obscure little Unionist ones like the Alliance and the TUV or is it just SF?

  • Nunoftheabove

    Comrade Stalin

    My point exactly however the ‘true’ Sinners are in denaail about what’s staring them in the face and injuring their own party interests. The personal loyalty being shown to Adams is in my estimation just simply demeaning.

    My point on qualified people is really simply that if they are light on this then they will be beholden to equally unqualified people within the civil service – very few of whom are qualified either – and providing advice to SF who would not be in a position to contrdict them or even challenge them from a position of authority – the visually impaired leading the visusally impaired. Think we’ve had enough of that already, no ?

  • Nunoftheabove

    ItwasSammyMcNally

    Based on your contribution so far I would have my doubts that you’re capable of asking, let alone answering, anything other than simple questions which prove little other than your rather pitiful deference to President Adams, about whom you don’t seem prepared to concede what is entirely obvious to the rest of us – he’s damaging SF by virtue of the fact that he hasn’t a baldy on economic matters (and damaging SF for other reasons too, if you feel like going there).

    Entirely happy to be contradicted though so one is all eyes….

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sammy, why not. See if you can make it stick.

  • vanhelsing

    I quite like the name ZANU SF – but many of the commentators are right; FF have already done their economic work for them. Gerry won’t get to burn the bond markets or was it lightly scorch on a hot griddle?

  • 241934 john brennan

    Burn the bondholders! Yesterday, Gerry Adams said that “Sinn Fein in power will tell the IMF to go home and take their money with them.”

    What are the consequences when a country defaults on loan repayments?

    At home, does this not always result in the twin evils of devalued currency and hyper-inflation? Abroad, treated as a pariah and frozen out of international trade?

  • Comrade Stalin

    My point on qualified people is really simply that if they are light on this then they will be beholden to equally unqualified people within the civil service – very few of whom are qualified either – and providing advice to SF who would not be in a position to contrdict them or even challenge them from a position of authority – the visually impaired leading the visusally impaired. Think we’ve had enough of that already, no ?

    I don’t agree. You’re advocating a technocracy. In a democracy it is up to the electorate to decide who should govern the country. The idea is that people are supposed to choose the candidates they believe are the most credible. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are qualified. That is why David McWilliams would have so much support – his ideas are coherent, seem workable and seem to make sense to people. I don’t think people will respond to Gerry’s “burn the bondholders” thing. I think people know that the country has been through a largesse and they are expecting to have to deal with pain as a result of that – as long as it is a fair deal.

  • Nunoftheabove

    241934 john brennan

    The implications are somewhat debatable but it’s a debate that really should be going on in a grown-up, transparent and progressive fashion, not least by people such as labour and by SF. People can reconcile themselves to bad news in life if they’re certain that all possible options have been considered and an informed decision taken which reflects the least worst outcome (for the majority of the domestic stakeholders) given all of the regrettable circumstances (for which certain interest groups and very well known individuals should still have their private parts blow-torched). It might not enthuse people a lot per se but might help them restore some confidence about what was in the offing going forward and give them some fire in the belly going into a very important and significant election with their eyes wide open.

    Regarding things like global credit-worthiness, it can be argued either that:

    (i) Ireland’s is poor already and it’s already paying a premium on the bail-out so how much worse could it get anyway;

    versus

    (ii) It could become immeasurably worse and might subject the economy to multiple structural risks, many of which might not be remotely in the government’s gift to manage, still less control, leastways unless it pulled out of the EU.

    Both are somewhat fatalistic – the markets could react more positively to evidence of a sustainable commitment to paying long term debt back (or a reasonable amount of it) if the underlying infrastructure was sound, exports remained healthy, evidence of a commitment to fiscal responsibility were strong, growth trends measured and sustainable and if there was a sense of political stability. On this basis tentative market confidence may return in the medium to long term….possibly.

    All of that being said, an awful lot more domestsic cost-cutting would/will be needed to enable the requisite international borrowing (at top dollar) to service the BAU domestic light-meter and the government remains a very long way from home on its ability to meet its obligations on that front. To that extent, people remain right to be frightened, perhaps all the more so in the public sector. At the moment the margins look so tight that risking any sort of material hike on the cost of state borrowing by defaulting looks a risk very few are willing to take – the numbers for the moment simply don’t add up to my eyes.

    I was reading yesterday that one of the Ireland negotiating team said that the issue of burning the bondholders was tabled and that the Europeans simply asked them to remove it from the table and they….very meekly did so.

    Surely the Irish should have held their ground and said they were signing (or paying) nothing unless or until the German, French and Dutch banks agreed to take a strong portion of the hit on their own preposterous lending to Anglo, BoI and AIB or at an absolute minimum made repayment terms very much more conducive to the lifetime of several governments – perhaps over 25-50 years at a price that the country was fairly comfortably able and willing to pay (a language that banks would understand even if FF or the ECB can’t). Either the rules of the game on risk and reward are straight or they aren’t – either the EU is a true market economy or it isn’t.

    Europe should also have been very publicly ridiculed regarding the pathetic stress-testing that it undertook on continental European and Irish banks which suggested that very little was wrong and that the problems in Irish banks, such as they were, related to liquidity rather than solvency – this was way past the point at which it was known by Anglo (and, I strongly suspect, by the Irish government itself) that the problem was much bigger than that and that Anglo in particular was completely Donald Ducked, thus highlighting the foolhardiness and recklessness of the lending undertaken by the German, French and Dutch banks into a property market going over the cliff and already hyper-inflated by any standard of measurement previously applied. As usual, the markets smelt a rat in Anglo way before the regulators (domestic or European) did and Europe should be very publicly shamed for that and due leverage for the Irish position secured.

    A renegotiation is very much in scope and on the cards – this election should be about positioning the parameters of that renegotiation and nothing should be ruled out until it’s been fully considered and eliminated from the range of possible approaches.

    Game on.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Comrade Stalin

    I’m not advocating that at all, what I am saying is that if my business was in big bother – let’s say it was Aer Lingus for the sake of argument – and I had all manner of untidy assets of unquantifiable and perhaps plummeting values and financial and tax liabilities galore in multiple countries and was struggling to make sense of it and that this had the potential to threaten the jobs of thousands of Irish taxpayers, are you honestly telling me you’d recommend to me seeking the advice of say, some, as it were, erstwhile green grocer of a Finance Minister and some French Literature graduates as his/her advisors at the Ministry of Finance in order to figure out what to do for the good of the country ?

    I take your point entirely on genuine democratic choice and to be honest this issue isn’t restricted to SF – again not to be disrespectful or to over-generalize but there were a disproportionately large number of TDs who are former school teachers in the last/current Dail – that worries me. Naturally, they can in-source advice from external experts while in office but the last (ok, current) government to my mind didn’t know enough to know what it didn’t know when it needed to know it – unconscious incompetence if you like – and that can’t be good for democracy in the long run either.

    In a sense I guess it’s idle commentary – we can’t engineer the qualifications of the people we elect and nor can we engineer the credentials of those who stand for election in the first place. Still, it would sharpen my sense of the available candidates as a consideratiuon, at least in some constituencies…

  • Cynic2

    “Surely the Irish should have held their ground and said they were signing (or paying) nothing unless or until the German, French and Dutch banks agreed to take a strong portion of the hit on their own preposterous lending to Anglo, BoI and AIB”

    Of course the Europeans could well have said “Sod off” or “Get out of the Euro” leaving Ireland worse off. You can only negotiate when you have something to negotiate with