“Fianna Fail needs to stop playing stupid patriot games”

For my money, the Irish Independent’s editorial somewhat scales up the current German influence within the EU for effect, but it warns Fianna Fail it is currently playing the wrong game in calling for a referendum:

It is a measure of how the European dream has soured that having joined with the clear intent of severing our provincial ties with Britain we are now little more than a part of Greater Germany. But, unless we want to return to the repressive sterility of Mr de Valera’s ‘frugal comfort’, Ireland’s future is irredeemably connected to the EU. The blunt truth is that only Europe has the capacity to resolve the banking debacle or an unemployment crisis that is creating fertile soil for fascism.

We are becoming far too fond of a Fifties-style language of elegiac, self-indulgent despair. Germany may be engaged in a vast historical error similar to the fearful embrace of protectionism in the Thirties. But times change, and when they do, a country that, economically, has always been a cork bobbing on an ocean would be better off in than out.

If that end is to be met, Fianna Fail needs to stop playing stupid patriot games. The Coalition, meanwhile, should leave religion alone and heed better the gnomic advice of Patrick Honohan about the virtues of putting our own fiscal house in order.

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  • Drumlins Rock

    “fertile soil for fascism”
    Your pulling my leg, is there any evidence that is the case? Stickes me as a strawman article at best. It is ironic that the third option, remote as it maybe, of closer ties with the UK is not considered.

  • Obelisk

    “It is ironic that the third option, remote as it maybe, of closer ties with the UK is not considered.”

    That would probably only delay the inevitable of getting sucked into Europe, and in the meantime we would return to being a satellite of Britain rather than the EU, so I fail to see the notional improvment.

    Even the UK is likely fated to end up, if not actively inside the rising Federal Europe, locked into it’s orbit, notionally independant but their choices constrained by whatever is decided in the corridors of power in Brussels and Berlin.

    The world is changing in ways we don’t like but have to deal with, and I’d rather cut the deal with Europe now rather than face China or India on our own fifty years from now.

    It’s not a pleasant outcome, but every way I look at it suggests that only by going along with it do we have any decent prospects in the longterm.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Clearly a strawman argument Drumlins. Moaning about “being part of Greater Germany” and about the nature of “patriot games” … clearly shows know gnomic will to actually understand what a patriot is.

    The media backed the artificially grown populism of Blair and Ahern when it was there, they were getting rich through a lack of responsibility. When people are getting poor and there’s an emergence of responsibility, the media get depressed and go to some fantasy land where fine arts and liberalism would save us instead of good old fashioned boring hard work.

  • Alias

    Europhile media doesn’t like eurosceptics – so what else is new? Poor old Dev’s corpse is always dug up and propped against the editor’s desk to threaten the readers with the reality of self-rule as opposed to EU rule.

    These eurogombeens got Ireland into this mess by their relentless europhilia, and the consequence of it is economic and political paralysis within the EU that will last for generations. Indeed, in addition to indirect economic cost of membership, we have to pay them 2 billion a year just for the fee and allow them to extract 6 billion every year in fishing stock from our territorial waters.

  • dwatch

    “Poor old Dev’s corpse is always dug up and propped against the editor’s desk to threaten the readers with the reality of self-rule as opposed to EU rule.”

    At least they waited to a former leader Fianna Fail was dead. The former leader of the DUP hasn’t even passed away yet and they are already reading his tea cup.

    “Ian Paisley: boorish, brutal but a politician of rare charisma
    He preached the Word of God, yet sought to justify the burning of Catholic homes and churches”

    Read more: http://www.theweek.co.uk/politics/45120/ian-paisley-boorish-brutal-politician-rare-charisma#ixzz1lnfxwflr
    http://www.theweek.co.uk/politics/45120/ian-paisley-boorish-brutal-politician-rare-charisma

  • “an unemployment crisis that is creating fertile soil for fascism.”

    That would be funny if it wasn’t so sick. It’s quite clear to all and exemplified by the fabricated article published in the Independent last week about the Polish girl in Donegal, that the real fertile ground for fascism is being sewn by the Independent and the rest of O’Reilly’s repugnant stable.

  • Mick Fealty

    Alias, are Fianna Fail Eurosceptic just because they are calling for a referendum? Can you see them coming out and arguing against signing?

  • HeinzGuderian

    The guy is only calling it like it is.
    I mean to say,did ireland think it was going to be equal partners with Germany,or even France ?
    I imagine the ‘fertile soil for fascism’,is aimed at the shinners,and after all,who could argue against that ?

    As an aside on the runaway growth of China and India. Both these countries still have to face the demands of the ordinary,working people.
    The start of the unions.
    A 40 hour week.
    The abolition of child,slave labour. Etc,etc,etc.
    It will come,eventually,as they realise their labours are making a very few Mega Rich.

    The old guard may be changing,but the new guard still has a whole lot of teething problems to overcome.

  • keano10

    To be fair Mick, you have ommitted a couple of key paragraphs from The Indo’s piece, namely:

    ” In fairness, the forces driving the rise of Euroscepticism are multifarious. There can be no doubting that the Euro elite’s response to the Great Disruption is a fraud against the citizens, who are being forced, at the point of a fiscal compact signed by cowardly and stupid politicians, to bail out the banks with their lives and futures. The dirty little fiscal compact Enda Kenny has signed up for will impoverish a continent, but, just as diplomacy was once famously compared to war by other means, the current peace certainly proves the diplomat’s nib is mightier than the sword. ”

    That particular little rant hardly lends itself to a conclusion that FF are solely engaging in populism while calling for a referendum. There are numerous legitimate reasons why a referendum may be both a wholly credible and indeed necessary vehicle for Irish Citizens to debate and decide whether it is only Europe “that has the capacity to resolve the banking debacle or an unemployment crisis”.

  • Mick Fealty

    Well, I couldn’t really cut and paste the whole article.

  • Alias

    Mick, FF are as eurosceptic as I Haughey was honest. I didn’t say they were. The editorial attacks them because it detects the shiff of euroscepticism in that they are “feasting with this particular political panther”. In accordance with the EU-supplied pro-EU propaganda, democracy – the will of the people – is duly dismissed as mere populism to be ignored by the elites (who, of course, think they know better because they, ironically, know no better than to think that).

    Let’s skip to its conclusion: “If that end is to be met, Fianna Fail needs to stop playing stupid patriot games. The Coalition, meanwhile, should leave religion alone and heed better the gnomic advice of Patrick Honohan about the virtues of putting our own fiscal house in order.”

    FF actually needs to start playing “patriot games” in that it needs to start promoting the national interest in opposition to a government that is colluding in its systematic betrayal. That won’t happen, of course, so we’re left with the instruction to heed the advice of the ECB. The gnomic Patrick Honohan takes his instructions exclusively from the ECB (the Central Bank is part of the ESCB and takes its policy and guidelines from them), so again we are seeing europhile media proffer the fraud that Patrick Honohan is representing the Irish national interest when he is in fact exclusively representing the EU’s interest.

    The editorial calls that “a fraud against the citizens, who are being forced, at the point of a fiscal compact signed by cowardly and stupid politicians, to bail out the banks with their lives and futures” but then goes on to tell us to follow the advice of those who adviced said fraud. This is designed to leave the reader with the bogus impression that the editorial actually gives flying fig about Irish “lives and futures”.

  • FuturePhysicist

    The editorial calls that “a fraud against the citizens, who are being forced, at the point of a fiscal compact signed by cowardly and stupid politicians, to bail out the banks with their lives and futures” but then goes on to tell us to follow the advice of those who adviced said fraud. This is designed to leave the reader with the bogus impression that the editorial actually gives flying fig about Irish “lives and futures”.

    I can only think of the late Brian Lenihan Jnr standing for election again and doing his part to ensure the next government was sworn in, with little life or little future. Perhaps not brave or smart, but certainly more necessary that the post hoc “talk on corners”, with so much of a life and a future ahead of them.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Like Eammon McCann, Ferghal McKinney and Mike Nesbitt, if you don’t like the menu of current politics … learn to cook.

  • andnowwhat

    I’m of the, they mucked the whole thing up from ’22 to 2010. Leave Europe, try and stand on your own 2 feet and try to do it all better.

    The relationship between the republic and the UK reminds me of Louden Wainwright’s description of Rufus as “mom’s titty boy”. It then moved in to the shared house of europe where it had free reign of the communal fridge, from which it took more than it’s fair share.

    It needs tpo become independent to exploit it’s famously talented citizens for it’s own ends. They need to start producing industry rather than it’s fur coat and no knickers boast of how cultural and smart arse they are.

    Nothing makes you think like an empty kitchen a week before pay day.

  • wee buns

    It is amazing how many Irish people live under the illusion that the EU is a type of charity which gives ‘hand outs’ to farmers and to fix roads – ‘cos of the goodness of their liberal hearts – with no conception of what the EU actually takes out of Ireland!

    This perception has changed drastically lately and FF merely makes an idiot of itself by pretending FF thought so all along …. erm…shallowness incarnate.

    The rise of the right wing across the whole of Europe can’t be ruled out given present climate.

    I tend to think the sooner we get back to ourselves the better and perhaps a few other peripheral countries shall connect in achievable solidarity..

    Cuba had far worse times & now enters an era of relative prosperity due to support from socialist South American nations.

    Maybe the era of mere geographical alliance is over – necessity being the mother of invention.

  • Mick Fealty

    Much of this underlines the point I was trying to make in the Crotty post. Ireland’s foreign policy is probably least discussed and least understood of all the Republics policy areas.

    By that I mean that whilst it is never going to be uppermost in the minds of voters, but theres only have a tiny group of policy experts in the country compared to the likes of Denmark (which is closer in size than the likes of the UK).

    When you have only soft power to project howver you choose to use it, it has to be projected well, not fearfully.

  • tuatha

    “If you owe the bank a thousand, you have a problem. If you owe the bank several billion it has a problem”.
    The EU needs our slavish kow-towing far more than we need their austerity plans, yea even unto the third & fourth generations of those that hate IT, for very sound reasons.
    Let’s call the EU teknocraps’ bluff – can’t pay, would not if we could.
    Cut off further funding if you dare, whistle for your unsecured bondholders – the holes will be in YOUR balance sheets, not ours and you wouldn’t like that would you? The entire facade would be threatened.
    We may be reduced to eating what we produce – grown and wrenched from our depleted coastal zone but we did it with twice the current population less than 200 yrs ago whereas the Continent can’t feed itself in a good Autumn, let alone 350M through a winter without Third World imports, despite the C(r)AP

  • Mick Fealty

    I honestly think Frau Bundeskanzlerin can live pretty easily with that. In fact it seems to me that the main reason Germany is taking a such tough line with everybody else is precisely to get rid of all the flakes and create a more functional currency.

  • tuatha

    MickF – BRING IT ON!! All Imperiums need a subject class to fill the good soldier Schweik role, such as when Enoch Powel (in 1956/7) toured the Caribbean begging them to send succour to Old Blighty, staff the hospitals, drive the buses and cart the garbage) so, let Merkozy find some other patsy.

  • Mick Fealty

    Yep, that’ll be popular.

  • tuatha

    When has ‘sensible’ ever been ‘popular’?

  • Mick Fealty

    If its not the latter, then it won’t happen.

  • tuatha

    And therein, as de Tocqueville opined over 150 yrs ago, is the ‘worm in the bud’ of democracy.
    That’s why the NotW was the largest selling paper in the english speaking world.
    That’s why the SUN outsells the sane press by orders of magnitude.
    That’s why BILD ZEITUNG is the biggest selling paper in Germany.
    That’s why politicians… are.

  • Alias

    Gordon Brown had a good article a few months ago where he mentioned the unmentionable – massively overleveraged French and German banks – and their negative consequences to the EU’s citizens:

    “The extent of the banking problem simmering in Europe continues to be largely denied. It is rarely mentioned that Germany’s overleveraged banks have liabilities 32 times their capital base, and French banks 26 times. The comparable U.S. figure is 10 times. Europe’s banks owe €40 trillion in liabilities, dwarfing any American, Chinese, or Japanese bank debts. A long process of deleveraging is on its way. In simple terms that means a spate of liquidations. Thousands of European businesses will lose financing and go bust. Last week the new head of the global financial-stability board said that European bank-asset sales could rise to an astonishing €1.4 trillion and may even go as high as €2.5 trillion.”

    The EU’s banks are a long way short of their target leverage ratio of 13, and hence the firesale of assets to raise capital. Constantin Gurdgiev calculates that the true leverage ratio is substantially higher (and given the proposed scale of assets disposals, he is probably being conversative).

    Brown goes on to point out other reasons why the future for the EU’s citizens is bleak:

    “Meanwhile, Europe is mired in intractably low growth even before the full impact of the rising pensioner population, which threatens to cut growth further. Unemployment is stuck at around 10 percent, with average youth unemployment at 20 percent. (The youth of Spain face levels of 40 percent.) The near-zero growth cannot be written off as just a cyclical hangover from the global recession. Stagnant growth is exposing the huge structural shift in Europe’s place in the world. Its share of world output has sunk steadily from a peak of about 40 percent to less than 20. In the next two decades it will halve again as China, India, and others rise. Indeed, by 2020, according to Credit Suisse, Asia will account for as much as 40 percent of world consumer spending, while Germany will have only 4 percent, with France, Britain, and Italy all at 3 percent each. There is no “sit and wait” policy in an economic cycle that will fix this.

    Yet Europe’s leaders have failed to produce a credible plan for dealing with its long-term growth issues. Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden will for now continue to sell their products abroad. But the continent as a whole is struggling to find vital niches in the export markets of the future. Only 2 percent of Europe’s exports go to China, 1 percent reach India, and just under 1 percent go to fast-expanding Brazil. In total, just 7.5 percent of Europe’s exports go to the countries that will account for 70 percent of the world’s growth.”

    The question for Irish people must be why do they want to remain in a union that has been so badly misgoverned, and that has no future prosperity, only severe austerity, available to it? Do they really want to prop up the flale states such as Germany by donating their incomes in the form of taxes to bail-out their massively overleveraged banks?

  • Alias

    To add to that point about Irish taxpayers indirectly donating their incomes in the form of taxes as fiscal transfers to overleveraged German banks: it is deemed necessary because flake states such as Germany have banks that are extremely vulnerable to systemic risk from the smaller states due to these states allowing their banks to leverage to insane levels and thereby take extreme risks. As Constantin Gurdgiev points out, just a mere 2% write-down of assets is enough to render Deutsche Bank insolvent.

    As Enda Kenny pointed out the current EU policy is to protect the flake states such as Germany and France at all costs to the smaller states “Part of the existing agreement with our external partners is not to allow any Irish bank, including Anglo Irish Bank, default on its debts to bondholders for fear of paralysing wider European financial markets. I share the Irish public’s dismay at the cost and unfairness of this policy and the delay it caused to the State’s recovery.”

  • Alias

    Typo: “The EU’s banks are a long way off their target leverage ratio of 13, and hence the firesale of assets to raise capital. Constantin Gurdgiev calculates that the true leverage ratio is substantially higher (and given the proposed scale of assets disposals, he is probably being conversative).”

    In case it isn’t obvious, the deranged EU policy to deleverage its massively overleveraged banks involves those banks selling trillions worth of their assets. Why is the policy deranged? Because the banks are proposing to sell assets but are not proposing to lend the money to buyers to buy them, so the prices for these assets will be greatly discounted from their book value. If they did lend the money to the buyers then it would of course defeat the purpose of selling them (they’d be adding assets to their books). The banks will be forced to write-down the value of their assets and that write-down will increase, not decrease, their leverage ratios. Indeed, it will also force upwards the leverage ratios of those banks that are not currently overleveraged by driving down the value of their assets. Hence the policy is totally self-defeating. However, deranged as it is, it is the only policy left to the lunatics in the EU who have destroyed the prosperity of European nations with their demented “ever-closer union” agenda.

  • wee buns

    Mick
    No idea how many foreign policy makers Ireland has – but more pertinently – does size matter?

    Or is a case of the usual complacency, that foreign policy = EU and Amerikae? Sure that’s all ye need!

    Fail to see how Crotty has curtailed foreign policy (if that’s what you suggest).

    Crotty precedent simply holds a principle – sin é.

  • Stu DeNimm

    >It is ironic that the third option, remote as it maybe,
    >of closer ties with the UK is not considered.

    But the Brits themselves should consider how they could achieve a stronger position in Europe. Clearly, this is to accept their role as a satellite of France.