Tuesday, November 30, 2010



Roger Cole, Chair of PANA said:

"PANA is really only an idea, as with an annual income of less than €10,000, what else could it be. The idea is that Ireland should be a United Independent Democratic Republic with its own Independent Foreign Policy with neutrality at its heart."

It is an idea that originated in 1790 with Wolfe Tone. Throughout the 19th and early 20th century the Irish political elite gave their allegiance to the British Union and its imperial wars until the 1916 Rising broke their power over the Irish people. It took some time before the Irish imperialists regrouped and the Fianna Fail/Fine Gael/Labour elite gave their allegiance the European Union and its Battle Groups. However, as between 50,000-100,000 Irish people cheered on Saturday 27 as once more the 1916 Proclamation was read outside the GPO, as a clear majority of the people in the Donegal by-election voted for supporters of the Proclamation, we can realistically ask, has the time for that idea come again? As Admiral Mullen, Chair of the US military Joint Chiefs of Staff and the real boss of the US/EU/NATO military axis states war with Iran is being considered, will the Irish political elite be able to sustain their power over the Irish people as they are drag! ged not only into mass poverty but yet another war? PANA has resisted these Irish imperialists since our foundation. We are part of a tradition that has resisted imperialism for 220 years. We shall never surrender."

The PANA AGM will be held in the Ireland Institute, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin 2 on Saturday December 4 from 11.30am-1.00pm with reports from the Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and International Secretary followed by elections. There will then be a public meeting with Alan Mackinnon, Chair of Scottish CND,
Jill Gough, National Secretary of CND Cymru and David Hutchinson Edgar, Chair of Irish CND

Roger Cole
Peace & Neutrality Alliance

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Government has negotiated a terrible deal

In an initial response this evening to the details of the EU/IMF bailout, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said:

“The government has negotiated a terrible deal.

"The 5.8% interest rate is unaffordable. The decision to force the state to take €17.5 billion out of the Pensions Reserve Fund to pour into black hole that is our banking system is a disaster.

“Sinn Féin had proposed €7 billion be taken from the Pension Reserve Fund for a jobs stimulus programme. The Government refused to do this. But now they are prepared to rob the pension fund to give a digout to the bankers.

“The decision to protect bondholders is disgraceful.
“The banks are getting another €15 billion while simultaneously €15 billion is being taken out the economy- out of people’s pockets.
“The costs of this deal to ordinary people will be deep and will result in hugely damaging cuts to public services, social welfare and wages.”

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Republic has not fallen.

If ever there was a proof required that the govt. in Dublin was not capable of defending, encouraging and bringing to full fruition the Irish Republic then the last week was full testament to how they have failed once again. There have been many witty uses of the proclamation text over the last week or so. The Irish Left Review and the Irish examiner both have examples which skilfully set the destructive arrogance of the Fianna Fail govt. in stark contrast against the selflessness and vision of the founders of this Republic. Further commentators have noted that the Republic is dead, disestablished in 2010, last Thursday to be exact. Typically we hear that the patriot dead of the rising and tan war would be spinning in their graves.

The sentiment is understandable. The southern state has suffered a very serious loss of control over its own fate. Its laudable that people are going back to the well - to the proclamation which is not just a historical document but alongside the programme of the first dail effectively the constituting document of the Republic that was founded in 1916.

The anger of people who believe that for all purposes the Republic has fallen due to the actions of the Fianna Fail govt is understandable. Yet its mistaken so far as it believes that the Irish Republic is Fianna Fail's or the Dublin Govt's to destroy.

One version of the oath of the Irish Republican Brotherhood had its members "swear allegiance to the Irish Republic, now virtually established". A republic established in principle in the 1860s and in reality in 1916 is not and never will be Fianna Fail's to destroy.

Which raises the question then of how the men of 1916 would view this. From their own words and their proclamation we know what there vision for Ireland was.

Did they envisage a 'Republic' whose governing class would welcome emigration twice in the space of three decades?

Did they envisage a 'Republic' where you are scared when your relative goes to hospital because it will probably kill them rather than save them?

Did they envisage a 'Republic' where the wealth of a generation was squandered to the defend the interests of a well heeled ascendancy, a native aristocracy of gombeens and arrogant crooks whose interest lays in their own land developer class over the mere Irish.

Did they envisage a 'Republic' which ignored the apartheid statelet's discriminaton to the north?

Connolly who was shot unconscious in a chair hardly would be happy to see an 80 year old woman in Sligo hosptial suffering from Lung cancer being slapped into a chair for the night.

The men of 1916 didnt die to establish Irish sovereignty alone. Each of them had a vision whether it be cultural (which the state is failing), educational (which the state is failing), social equality ( which the state is failing) etc etc.

If the men of 1916 where spinning in their graves last Thursday then they have been doing it for decades.

Last Thursday was a new low, another step away from the Republic, not marking the end of the Republic, but maybe marking the realisation for may people that the so called republic was not a republic and has not been for decades. What was called the 'republic' was an oligarchy geared to the benefit of the few and failing at practically every task it turned its hand to whether that be the development of robust and functioning institutions, a stable economy, a revival of our national language or maintaing fiscal control.

So has the Republic fallen. No it has not. Its still there. The task is the same task it has been for a while now - to dismantle the oligarchical states and replace them with a functioning republic.

The 6 county orange state has been broken down and is being destroyed more and more and now the Fianna Fail state has destroyed itself.

But the Republic still exists and maybe today with the prospect of the end of the gombeen state built by Fianna Fail and tolerated by Fine Gael the men of 1916 are spinning a bit slower in their graves

Saturday, November 20, 2010


TEEU delegates have voted in favour of a campaign of civil disobedience if the Government does not call a General Election.

The emergency motion was passed by an overwhelming majority at the biennial conference of the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union in Galway this morning.
It condemned the Government for what it describes as 'negligence in the management of the economy'.

The union's General Secretary, Eamon Devoy, told delegates that he believes Ireland is on the brink of significant civil unrest.
He attacked the Government's plan to take €6 billion out of the economy in the next Budget.

'When the draconian measures being proposed are heaped on top of the €14.5 Billion cuts already implemented in the last three brutal budgets, life in Ireland will be unbearable', he said.

ICTU General Secretary David Begg accused banks of 'lying through their teeth to NAMA about the value of their loan books.

He told delegates that the Government guarantee to the banking bond holders was 'a terrible mistake' and the trade union movement would not 'acquiesce in the ruination of our society'.

Mr Begg said Congress was calling for a mass mobilisation on 27 November to 'allow ordinary working people to voice their opposition to a policy that could destroy 90,000 more jobs in the short term and any prospect of long term prosperity.'

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Peace and Neutrality Alliance Annual Conference

Peace & Neutrality Alliance Annual Conference

The Annual Conference of the Peace & Neutrality Alliance will be held on Saturday December 4 in the Ireland Institute, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. It will start at 11.30am with reports from the Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, International Secretary and resolutions followed by the elections to the NEC. It is open to the public, but only paid up members can vote.
The second session will be a public meeting commencing at 2.30pm. Speakers are John Macinnon, National Secretary of Scottish CND, Jill Gough, National Secretary of CND Cymru and David Hutchinson Edgar, Chair of Irish CND.

I hope everybody interested in learning more about these three peace movements attend.

Since 1996 PANA has worked to build a broad alliance throughout Ireland to oppose the neo-liberal militarist ideology that offers the people of this country nothing but war and mass poverty. While we have won some major victories, in particular the winning of the first referendums on the Nice and Lisbon treaties the Irish corporate media and all the mainstream political parties have continued to support their wars and their neo-liberal economics.
However the desire of the leadership of Fianna Fail/Fine Gael/Labour Party to continue to support the use of Shannon airport by US troops, the acceleration of the process of the militarisation of the EU and massive cuts in a four year period will absolutely inevitably mean a total transformation of Irish politics. This will however will not necessarily be a "good thing". When Obama got elected with the help of the peace movement in the US he ignored them and did the exact opposite by escalating the war and maintaining then neo-liberal economic ideology. By opposing change, Obama has opened the way for the US Republicans that offer the same but even more of it. In Ireland those that appear to offer change like TASC and Claiming our Future deliberately make no mention of Irish participation in the Imperial Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and Pakistan or the militarisation of the EU. But there can be no option for social justice in Ireland or elsewhere wh! ile supporting Imperial wars. It is the job of PANA not just to attack the blood soaked warmongers in Fianna Fail but ensure at every stage that opposition to Irish involvement in these horrific wars be an integral part of the emerging political alternative. Neither can this process be achieved in isolation which is why we have invited speakers from Scotland and Wales, taking part in the NO to WAR NO to NATO conference and have continued to build stronger links with other peace groups in the US and other countries. Let there be no mistake. As war and poverty grows, so will the resistance. They will be defeated.

Roger Cole
Peace & Neutrality Alliance

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Below is a piece received from "The Guarantor" on our failure to break through in national opinion polls.

The Rise And Return

Well that is that then ,we are through, them opinion polls say so and the old order of things believe it and crows. Should we believe their words? Hell no.

I for one chooses to ignore them. Opinion polls ha. Do not take them seriously, they insult our intelligence. Pay no attention to them cause it was cooked up by individuals who failed Leaving Cert Maths.

Let us face facts here, we have bitter enemies so called nationalists, unionists and every journalistic hack in the comics wants a piece. I know, you as well as I have long memories. I remember the venom spread about us, the utter trash they came out with about the Republican movement.

So what is our response? Wring our hands in despair? Whinge? Write poison pen letters to the tabloids? Give up? Nah not us. Such is below our dignity, our character. The answer to them all is this we aren’t through with yet. Speaking of their venom reminds me of a poem by A.E.Housman in A Shropshire Lad.

About King Mithridates how he made himself immune to the venom’s in nature.

‘And easy, smiling, seasoned sound,
Sate the king when healths went round.
They put arsenic in his meat
And stared aghast to watch him eat;
They poured strychnine in his cup
And shook to see him drink it up;
They shook, they stared as white’s their shirt;
Them it was their poison hurt.’

They who zealously pursue our destruction have written our obituary prematurely.

Why do they hate us?

Why do they attack us so?

Self interest and fear. It is so because we are power, a wind of change, we have a point, we are on to something here….. We have an idea: A republic. They fear us cause we will succeed.

In our history as republicans in struggle we have remained ,and will remain, steadfast to the idea of a free independent Ireland. All other ideas of ours will change, alter and adapt cause they must. Our core identity, our core belief, will be unaltered standing the test of time - a republic. Heh, if Plato can 2500 years ago says it’s the most perfect form of government available. I tend to agree.

Polybius said ‘Some men give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal; while others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than before.’

Pessimism and defeatism are the bane of this nation. Micko organised a massive bluff and fooled the Empire and liberated for us 26 counties. It was some game they played in the face of such division at home.

Read Michael Flanagan’s Presidential Address ‘The Strength of Sinn Féin’ to see why I draw such a conclusion. And if the Irish race could stand against such adversity divided, what could we achieve together united?

After Collins and the lads hard fought battle during the Tan War, what happened in the intervening 80 odd years? We know well there were those who quit at that and went no further, resting on their laurels.

As Polybius said.
This is the mark Sinn Féin make we are relentless, unceasing that is the true difference between us Republicans and the middlemen of the Gombeens nation. The people of the Republic will always need Sinn Féin.

So take heart, Things for us are not so bad for us as portrayed.

The gombeens have gifted this island with a 3 fold curse, partition, emigration and debt. Such I call Clan Breaga. And us we have the youth of this country and our hard work, our graft. What are we to do? Wait? No, we are not Labour, who crucially for themselves must decide who they will stand with. To do James Connolly proud, us and Clan Séan Bean Vocht or the middlemen of Clan Breaga.

Today’s our day, if Ireland is to rise anew reborn it is republicans must lead as always. It must be now not some far flung distant date sometime in the future.

The first test of our strength and the republic’s soon November 25th.

Donegal South West. A by election. The FF/Green cabal hell bent to subvert the democratic principles of government to cling on to power for just a wee while longer.

I ask of the voters of this constituency elderly and middle aged accustomed to vote in tribal fashion for FF or FG. Why? Cause of loyalty to what your daddies and granddaddies done? I do not question the brave sacrifice of those individuals but I question rather was this sorry FF/FG axis of power what they fought for. Look at the unemployed, yourselves, your sons and daughters.

Finally to the youth of this constituency , the students, and the emigrants return home to the hills of Donegal. Drop everything cancel everything, nought else matters.

Travel up, return home. Make your plans revolve round this moment. More of the same or something else.

This is your future in an instant.

There is only one man to thank Senator Pearse Doherty, thank only one party,
Sinn Féin, for this opportunity to stand up for Donegal, and indeed for the national interest. Your vote you can bring a government to its knees, to its end. You can alter the fate of this island. Its destiny. Sink it to new lows or raise it up from the mire. Build the republic as it was envisioned. Let the world say of Ireland A people that said enough and no further. Let Ireland say ‘Here stands a Republic our Republic!’

Old Ireland has throughout its history has the gombeen as its enemy.
So do what you can do what you are able.
Write thesis to educate so that you may be free,
Demonstrate to show your opposition so others may be inspired;
Canvass to gain support so that you will be an example
Join Sinn Féin and Vote Sinn Féin
Suas agus troid an naisiun gombeen!

And may our endeavor prove: The Rise And Return

Thursday, November 4, 2010

You makes your bet and takes your chances - facing the bondholders and special interests down

Sinn Féin versus the Bank Bail Out. Rathangan SF blog discusses the Irish banking crisis, the Sinn Fein reponse and the failures of the FF strategy. To see how far Fianna Fail's approach is from reality
you could look at the Financial Times editorial of 01st November which looked on in amazement at the insane strategy followed by Dublin. Even the right wing think FF have lost the plot. Its time to stand upto the bank debt bondholders. If we dont then the economy will likely be crippled.

A few short months ago this blog was both shocked and saddened to read an American headline entitled, "The bank that brought down a nation". Prehaps that wasnt the exact wording, but it was a clear meaning. The Americans, and the rest of the world, were watching in amazement as the Irish government chose covering subordinated bond holders tied to their nations failed banks, over the welfare of its own citizens. The rest of the world were watching our government ignore convention in promising to make Irelands citizens pay for the banking crisis, which they clearly were not responsible for and could only pay for at the expense of their whole way of life.

The recapitalisation of our banks is expected to cost in the range of €45 billion to €50 billion. Over €30 billion is already wrote off to loss in Anglo and Irish Nationwide. Sinn Féin believes that there will be a minimal if not zero return on the funds committed to recapitalising the remaining institutions. The cost of NAMA is not included in these figures. In the worst case scenario, NAMA will cost the Irish taxpayer €40 billion, while the very best scenario still sees the Irish taxpayer €1 billion down.

Sinn Féin believes rather than standing up for the bank bondholders, our government needs to stand up for the Irish people and the future of our economy. If additional billions can always be found for the banks, money can be found for our recovery. The Fianna Fail/Green coalition has it backwards; banks follow the economy; they do not lead it: fix the economy and you fix the banks as well as fix the future.

Certain opposition parties who seem unable to come up with their own progressive economic proposals are spending their time attacking Sinn Féin over our original stance on the bank bail out two years ago. It is true that Sinn Féin supported the original motion, as the guarantee appeared to be a measure to stabilise the entire banking sector which was about to collapse and the party agreed to support it only with the provision of proper terms and conditions. Sinn Féin, along with the rest of the nation were misled on the facts, and when we learned that the terms and conditions provided were inadequate, we voted against it and have done so ever since.

Let no one blur the truth, Sinn Féin is one hundred percent against the bank bail out, and find the fact that the government has refused to reveal the identities of the bond holders to the Irish people, who are bankrolling their get out of jail free card, disgusting. Roman Abramovic recently outed himself as a bond holder and had the cheek to threaten to sue the Irish state if it defaulted on any part of his bond. The fact is, Abramovic invested in a high risk bond with the bank. As the caveat under every financial institution reads - Caution: the value of your investment can go down as well as up.

Sinn Féin believes that the Anglo bondholders must take the hit of their bad investment and the good deposits in the bank must be moved to the now nationalised AIB, which must become a state bank. The banking guarantee as it stands should be abolished immediately, leaving just a depositors guarantee in place.

Sinn Féin refuses to take part in the consensus pretending that the bank bail out and its effects are somehow separate from the rest of the economy, and have no impact on government finances. The bank bail out has heightened the effects of our recession, made recovery much more difficult and left us as a state on our knees before the EU and the IMF. Our international reputation is ruined and despite what Brian Cowen thinks, allowing Irelands citizens and infrastructure to decay in order to save bondsmen will not appeal us to multinational investment. You cannot separate the bank bail out and our government finances, the international markets certainly wont. In reality, the bank bail out places our true deficit in excess of 32%, a truly horrifying figure.

Remember this when the Minister for Finance slashes your social welfare, old age pension, disability payments or single mothers benefits on December the seventh. Remember this when your local hospital loses its A&E, when your local rail line is closed or when your kids cant afford to continue college due to rising fees. This budget has nothing to do deficit reduction. Every cent that is cut from frontline services, welfare benefits and general public spending next year will be redirected at least ten times into our governments bank bail out. You can stop them, but time is running out. It beyond time for the Irish people to pull the rug from under these people, once and for all.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Countries with Death Wishes. David McWilliams questions austerity machismo

David McWilliams wrote a very good piece which effectively demonstrates why the neo-liberal reaganite model is such a failure. Such a model assumes that the interests of business and state are always aligned and the state benefits incidentally as long as business is booming. The more business booms the more the state will boom. Unfortunately it does not work like that does it. The interests of the state (and more accurately the nation) are frequently similar to those of business but most definitely superior to them. Thats where Linehan and company have gotten so lost. They still think that as long as you are slavishly acting in the interests of businesses, property holders or debt holders then somehow that raises the state's boat as well (with a few bob won on the horses as well of course) . Naive men and women blinded by ideology (and personal greed) who are incapable of performing the jobs they hold and as a result need men like Suds and Seanie to tell them how to proceed.
David McWilliams:
I am writing this article from a ''ghost hotel'' in Leinster. Rumour has it that the business was recently sold for €1, but the hotel itself is probably in Nama.

It will never be worth what it was built for. Today, as well as owning a small part of this hotel, I am the only guest in it. The reason I know this is that, when I asked about the lack of hot water, the very charming hotel manager said that I'd have to run the water for a bit as there was no other hot water being used in the whole hotel.

There were no other guests. The hotel has more than 90 rooms. This is reality in Ireland, and this reality needs to be defined and accepted. The reality is that bank lending is falling, prices in most sectors are falling, lending to residential housing is falling and the economy is in the grips of a credit crunch. People have too much debt and don't want to borrow, and the banks have too much bad debt and don't want to lend.

Against this background, the people who run the country make announcements about ''front loading'' budget cuts as if budget cuts are some sort of clean arithmetic, which has no impact on the economics. This is not arithmetic, it is economics and, in economics, everything is related.

On paper, arithmetic can look clean and incisive, but in reality it affects jobs and people's decisions to spend. It means nights in a ghost hotel and wages for hotel managers, it means Christmas parties and Christmas presents, it means investments in machinery and the difference between some hope and no hope.

Those who best understand the difference between simple arithmetic and complex economics are the financial markets.

Investors want to invest in an economy which has the prospect of growth. If they see that a country is being turned into a large debt-servicing machine, they will pass. If they see that the people who run the state on behalf of the citizens are little more than despised debt collectors for owners of capital, the financial markets will take flight.
Read the full article: Death Wish Economics

Monday, November 1, 2010

Just Like That.

How do you get rid of €1.8 billion just like that? Well you dont get goofball comedian Tommy Cooper. Instead you get a goofball finance minister and hey presto the National Pensions Reserve Fund is down by €1.8 billion. The Sinn Fein budget proposals calls for a multi-year investment strategy to reflate the economy using money from the National Pension Reserve Fund. Can anyone seriously tell me that throwing away €1.8 billion in a flash is a better option than using the money to invest in the economy. Yet against all common sense I am sure the Govt. will say it.
As noted on the NamaWineLake blog and taken up again on IrishEconomy.ie Lenihan has engaged in another bail out of AIB shareholders and subordinated debt holders for reasons that are hard to fathom.
Brian Lenihan made a statement of October 30 that "AIB's upcoming €5.4 billion will be fully underwritten by the National Pension Reserve Fund Commission (NPRFC) at a fixed price of €0.50 per share."  The catch as noted by Karl Whelan is "Unfortunately, the shares closed on Friday at €0.337."
So the way things are being set up the Fund is going to drop an impressive €1.8 billion when those shares are bought. So what would be the alternative. IS there an alternative. Well one possible option layed out is " Cancel the underwriting, nationalise the bank and appoint an assessor to value the shares. If, for instance, the shares were valued at their closing price on Friday, this would cost us €364 million. Which sounds better? Losing €1.8 billion or losing €364 million. Is it worth €1.4 billion to retain a tiny private ownership share?"
Which again would be the SF position. Get these banks nationalised. Grasp the nettle and stop trying to keep them in private hands via huge, unwarranted state subventions for no benefit to the state.
How can Brian Lenihan agree to just provide a 1.8 Billion subvention simply to avoid nationalisation. They are totally in hock to the bond holders and the developers as noted by Martin Ferris and Pearse Doherty. And the property developers and bond holders are no fools. There advise is good advice. Good for bond holders and good for developers. Indeed the only fools here would appear to be the Min. of Finance and his team who despite all their pro-market fawning have only succeeded in driving interest rates over 7%.
They have brought us to the Greeks level of debt. The way things are going we'll end up fire saling every single asset which will be bought for next to nothing by investors. That may well be the end game here.