Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Tom Parlon - very close to the bottom.

"We're at, or very close to, the bottom now and it's turning around".   Tom Parlon, Newstalk Breakfast Show, 11 Feb 2008.

Maybe I’d better put this quote in context? The “bottom” that we are “close to” in this instance – Tom loves his bottoms – refers to house prices and the property market.  Parlon is an ex PD minister and current head of the Construction Industry Federation who regularly features in the press and on the radio exhorting young people to buy, buy, buy!

It is quite telling that Parlon’s political background was with the now - thankfully - defunct Progressive Democrats, a party that was supposed to clean up Irish politics while aping the policies of Thatcher and Reagan.  And what better personification is there of the unhealthy ties between politics in Ireland and the developers than Parlon, who jumped straight from his junior minister’s position at the Department of Finance to become head cheerleader for the CIF.

Mark Keenan had a piece on Parlon in the last Sunday’s Times which reported that he had directly lobbied fellow Offaly chancer Brian Cowen “to request that two-thirds of Nama positions be taken by those with recent relevant experience in banking or property.”  You would have thought these were the last people we needed running Nama, until you reflect that Nama is just a racket and those bad loans will all be forgotten about in 15 years time.

Parlon also requested that article 41 of the constitution (the gumpf about protecting the family) be invoked to safeguard developers’ private homes from seizure, and asked Cowen to make homes on up to 3 acres immune to repossession.  So will our wonderful constitution also protect families on the breadline due to the bankers, Government and developers squeezing them dry?  No, I don't think so.

The same doyen of the developers, according to Keenan, opposed the capping of development prices in 2003 which lead to developers and landowners pocketing “hundreds of millions” as the bubble inflated and house prices hit the stratosphere. Apparently he viewed such possible legislation as lying “somewhere to the left of Stalin”.   The same man was a huge supporter of the decentralisation fiasco, which resulted in land being bought and buildings being built in remote places that civil servants don't want to occupy.

But for all his apparent faults, Tom is generous with it. He once tipped a limousine driver €1,751.

Then wrote it off against ministerial expenses.

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9 comments:

anna said...

EXCELLENT choice of subject.
Sometimes we think we were ALL haphazardly stumbling, and an unlucky series of bad coincidences happened to crash of the economy:
Let history and this blogspot record that covertly pulling the strings and mysteriously emptying the little people’s pockets of gold at night, was the Irish Leprechaun’s most unlovely cousin the Irish Gombeen: a vile creature who makes all Irish creatures of myth: EG Leprechauns, Banshees, Bolg ( the 1 eyed monster), Michael Flatly etc all look like cuddly toys.
A 100% Guaranteed Irish product- these vile toads only multiplied since the creation of the state @ 1922, and now are in every county, however they never made it to the north as John Bull’s tyranny and strict laws against chancers mean they were denied their chances there.
People forget too quickly- remember we could have an election within 12 months: How about featuring a different gombeen every month, under name
“Gombeens you have loved*” (*Well someone must have done if they kept getting re-elected, and /or kept out of prison to carry on with dodgy business.)
Maybe a blog sub title until we get the long awaited revolution;
Eg www.gombeenbusters./ www.GombeenOkill / www.Goldengombeen of the year finals.’

Laurence said...

Tom Parlon really is the bottom of the barrel.

"As a Dubliner I have no problem with the principle of decentralisation but I do not want it to cost excessive amounts of money and to be the type of gombeen initiative that the Minister of State, Deputy Parlon, who has just left the committee, projected" -- Richard Bruton, Dáil committee debate, 2003.

Nice comment too Anna.
A nation ruled by gombeen muck-savage philistines.
I got attacked in an Irish Times comments board for saying that what the country needs is a time machine to go back and put a bullet into Patrick Pearse before he ever got up to any mischief, but it really is the truth. Same goes for all his mates.

Ella said...

Great post GM. Tom is on an annual salary of EUR 250,000 and this is the man who thinks building workers should have a 20% pay cut, labour court didn't agree with him though.
http://www.rte.ie/business/2010/0702/construction.html

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Anonymous said...

hi thereMR GM this tom parlon dude looks like like a super sincere sensitive honest man to me just going by his pic of course, if you look hard you can see how closely he resembles MOTHER TERESA he has that i feel your pain and iam there for you look about him just what irl needs in this time of crisis caused by lehman brothers gobshite chancers,as for the 250k heck a popular hard working girl can make that on a weekend here in beverly hills even medical consultants in dublin that cant even read an xray make more .if the oirish expect the celtic tiger to return they must pay their political wizards like our tom at least 250k SLAINTE BH

Anonymous said...

Could this country be any more comical GM? I don't think it could. A conflict of interest between Mr Parlon and the building industry? THE IRISH building industry?....Surely not!! Ireland is the land of saints and scolars??? Isn't the populace here one of the most open, sincere, genuine, accepting, lovable anywhere on the face of the earth? Mr Parlon fits right in there.

Now GM, lets see a real positive in all this shall we? Mr Parlon took 15 seconds or so to tell the builders they need a 20% haircut. Now, that was kind of painless wasn't it? Did you see many builders complaining on the meeediaaa, GM? No and neither did I. Lets expand on this positive shall we? Though as the way in Ireland what do you come up againist fairly soon, concealed in the long grass? Yes you guessed it, a negative. And whats that negative,I hear you say? Yep its a government initiative.

Now correct me if I'm wrong but the new government recommendation, which says, they are going to help hardpressed home owners, only took two years to finalise, right? Yes I heard it oooooonnllyyy, took two years! After all that paper, money and long hours of slogg they are now telling people what they - needed?- possibly guessed two years ago. Yep.....and that was, unless thay get some (any) kind of strategy together to help people in mortgage arrears (whether or not they deserve it)the mess which they are going to create, will help no one. It took two years for that. Imagine the complexity of any proposed jobs strategy? The mind boggles.

Em they wouldn't be softening us up for worse to come? Of course not......

As ever a grand country. Though watch out for the scangers.

Dakota

The Gombeen Man said...

@ Anna. Michael Flately. Now that IS scary. Good idea about a Gombeens You Have Loved feature... I suppose we could have a separate page and build them up over time. Wouldn't take long to fill. But can I take on such a massive extra workload? ;-)

@ Laurence. Couldn't agree more on Paddy Pee. Those web forums are v conservative places, and the younger the demographic, the more blinkered and little Irlander they are, IMO. A friend of mine often remarks how he hates the Brits. Why? Because they didn't shoot Dev when they had the chance... I like that one.

@ Ella. €250,000? But look at the quality they are getting for their money!!! ;-) Thanks for the link.

@ BH. Yes, we really are fortunate to have men of the calibre of Tom in Irish public life. Do you know, I can just imagine him with a stripey tea towel on his head. The likeness is uncanny!

@ Dakota. It would make you sick, and anything Cowen and Co do just makes matters worse and more protracted... like Nama is artifically keeping prices high by avoiding fire sales. Yeah... can't wait to see the jobs "strategy".

As I've said before, doing the blog let's us know we're not completely on our own, in our little (but select) GN community!

Anonymous said...

in a previous incarnation as head of the IFA country tom was all for subsidies for farmers.In fact without subsidies farmers would be making a loss of €6k on average.THAT IS TO THE LEFT OF STALIN.Stopping People Building on 499 out of 500 acres creating shortage of building land.Creating an artifical shortage only causes the price of any goods to skyrocket as any beginner in economics 101 class will tell you. The proponents of the need for such restriction say(and I am not disputing it) that we need resources ie schools, hospitals roads etc.Guess who pays for this all this-you do as taxpayer.Real capitalist countries ie east asian tigers knew this.No farmer in Singapore is going to agitate to get his land rezoned-It will only be bought by the Government from him at agricultural value.What would Michael Davitt make of this if he were alive today.

Anonymous said...

thats it , im moving to sweden