Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Sinn Fein Fiscal Treaty cartoon sums them up

And I thought it was the Unionists who were forever saying "no".   The Shinners aren't far behind it seems, especially when it comes to Europe.  They've been urging "no" votes in every referendum I can remember.  

You'll have heard, no doubt, how they recently used quotes from various economists on the subject of the  Fiscal Treaty, which takes place later this month? 

Never ones to bother too much about matters such as the truth, they failed to acknowledge that the quotes were conditional ones... each of the economists behind them had concluded a 'yes' vote was in Ireland's best interests.

Last Thursday's Martyn Turner cartoon, which made the front page of the Irish Times, captured it very well.


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john said...

Noonan coming out with the vote"Yes" or I'll have a tough budget for ye, does this explain the debate?, how we do it here is bring people into a tv studio and see who shouts down the other side and shows the least manners in not letting the other side make their point. Then no attempt is made to explain the issues in a logical way to explain what the issues are. So the end result we have, No one is the wiser!!.

Anonymous said...

Economists have concluded that a yes vote is in Ireland's interests?

Would those be the economists who advocated turning Ireland into a tax shelter for multinationals and called that a foundation for a national economy? The economists who thought the property bubble could inflate forever? The economists who approved of sub-prime mortgages as securities, backed with insurance instruments that lacked a fraction of the capital needed to cover losses? The economists who assured us that austerity would bring about an economic Renaissance throughout Europe? The economists who say that taxing the middle class into penury is a path to economic recovery? Would those be the economists whose sagacious judgment you are touting here, GM?

Economists do not care about any country's best interests. They are looking for lucrative consultancy fees from governments, and comfortable chairs at universities. The ties between academia, government, and the financial industry are a scandal.

The economist's function is to pimp out the hare-brained schemes that politicians use in service of their corporate or financial-industry masters. They lend legitimacy to financial and economic schemes: the foolish, the fantastic, and the criminal alike. They sell this rubbish to an ill-informed public, who, lacking a grasp of the complexity of macroeconomics, can only take it on faith.

Economists are flacks, priests, pimps, in service of a global industry that now dictates terms to governments and holds them hostage to bankruptcy. They are the cheerleaders of a new post-democratic era in which bond traders are able to discipline governments with far more authority than the electorate.

GM, I am disappointed by your suggestion that a consensus among economists is a basis for deciding how to vote, considering how ill that class of parasite has served us so far.

I will vote no. Here is why: I believe that if we do not break the cycle of economic blackmail by which the markets frustrate the democratic process, democracy in Europe will eventually fade, to be replaced by a ruthless plutocracy that answers to no government, hence to no electorate, with no process for the will of the people to be felt except through violent civil commotion, which is something I do not wish to see.

The price of a no vote will be high, and it will be felt. But the price of permitting this assault on democracy to stand will be far greater.


Ella said...

Hi GM "Never ones to bother too much about matters such as the truth, they failed to acknowledge that the quotes were conditional ones."- I believe the politically correct phrase here is "economical with the truth"!.

The Gombeen Man said...

@ John. The kind of unhelpful bluster we get so often in Ireland... I'm sure most people, if you asked, haven't a bull's notion what the thing is about, and never will at this rate. And that O'Cuiv prat makes me sick, seeing as his cronies got us here in the first place.

@ Thomas. In fairness, I was only pointing out the hypocrisy of the Shinners and their populist posturing, along with them taking liberties with the quotes. I'm having a pop at Gerry and Co rather than forelock tugging the economists.

I didn't actually make a call on the Treaty, but I imagine the vote will be "no" as people want to lash out.

Do they know what they are voting on though?... I doubt it. "Agin the government", but is that enough? Your reasons for voting as you will are well-considered. It's something I will have to think about and read up on myself before I make a decision. Is Ireland "no" going to result in less austerity though, I wonder? Can't really see it.

I think you know the blog's view on economists, Thomas. Only Morgan Kelly and McWilliams bucked the cosy consensus during the bubble.

@ Ella. It's what they do best. That and playing to the gallery every time (and being anti-EU by nature).

Let's see them when they get into power in coalition with FF next election.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, GM, I've been following the blog for about a year, so I don't actually know the view on economists. It's a relief to know that I misread you.

I think you are right to suggest that austerity might get worse if we reject the treaty. But it will get worse either way, as the country is headed for an inevitable reckoning. The treaty delays that eventuality at the cost of democracy. Alternatively, we can face it now and be done with it in a few years (IF we handle it right, which is hardly guaranteed given Ireland's rich cultural tradition of failure and self-destructiveness).

Still, the long-term social and political costs of allowing the "Market", that is, a collection of large commercial banks, bond traders, pension funds, investment banks, etc., to dictate, economic strategy, fiscal and monetary policies, etc., to governments is too high. Locke and Mill were right: there is no democracy or national sovereignty without economic self determination.

When governments are intimidated more by their creditors than by their populace, that is a perversion of the social order. If it goes unchecked, the only recourse is for the populace to become even more threatening and intimidating, as we can see by consulting, for example, pretty much all of human history.

It might seem dramatic to say that European democracy is in the balance now. I don't think it is an overstatement. I'm not convinced that democracy ever took firm hold in Europe; it is a foreign, or at least a minority, concept, given our history. The EU was a step back from it; the common currency an even bigger step back, being a mechanism for (among other things of course) eliminating economic self-determination.

Just because we voted for something does not make it democratic. I can think of very few dictatorships that do not hold regular elections.

The truly maddening bit here is that Ireland, of all countries, is positioned to draw the line. In the past 90 years, I can think of exactly *nothing* that we have not f**ked up. Not one major policy, not one essential social institution, that we have not designed for maximum dysfunction, self-dealing and corruption; not one opportunity that we have not turned into a fiasco.

It is a hilarious tragedy that Europe's democratic future depends on an island congenitally unfit for purpose, populated by gombeen shits, cute hoors, and ignorant brainwashed dunces.

I will still vote no, because someone has got to say to the financial services monarchy: "Enough." The comic/tragic irony is that we, of all people, happen to be the only Europeans in a position to say it.


Dakota said...

Ouh, it's a strange one GM, this Island. Pay goes down car ownership goes up, traffic still the same. Oh the power of desire, casual egotism and the Irish psyche...

Eh, lets just establish the basic facts? Most notably, the terms of the fiscal compact have already been implemented. What people will be voting on is virtually what's already there UNFORTUNATELY.

That's the reality, that horse has already bolted. Then there's the pain. The UNDERSTANDABLE PAIN, ah yes, a pain, which must be somewhat unique in human history. A complicit population voted for FF (the omnipotent)in 2007, they implement austerity with no hope. FG (the omnipotent) and Labour (the omnipotent) enters the fray (LOL) after promising to reverse much of the former and then proceed to accelerate the pain. Ouh it's all the IMFs fault, don't you know. (COMPLETELY UNAPPOSED. THAT HAS TO BE A FIRST). Because they can (oh and they're worth it as well). They have put in place a system which is self defeating, destructive and above all lazy. A system which draws out all growth potential and hence destroys any hope of meaningful recovery. Air sucked out of a balloon, that's all, simple, straightforward. That is the present REALITY, the destruction has already begun, officially 4 years ago but in reality nearer to 6. The politicians (including SF) couldn't give a fiddlers. They say they recognise that GROWTH not AUSTERITY will create potential. Bla, bla...It's like the Graffiti "artist" GM, after scrawling on a wall, recognises that his/her contribution is not conducive to social cohesion.

Despite all that, it all hinges on growth, which will be achieved by either additional QE or an acceptance and embracing of inflationary policies (not of course by the PADDYWACKERS but by real Governments that actually recognise some basic economic fundamentals). Or possibly a combination of both. Either way, it will come about through another shorterm measure. The fiscal and financial penny will eventually drop and Paddy and Mary, mouth open, will still be all agog. Vote yes for more austerity, vote no for more austerity. Some choice.

The Gombeen Man said...

That's true D. I think the Shinners and the ULA using the term "Austerity Treaty" is a bit disingenuous. Nobody in their right mind will go out and vote for "austerity", but the fact is we don't even have enough money to run our public services. The money has to come from somewhere - the EU and the IMF. The other solution is draconian cuts in the public service... and do the Irish want that? Especially those working in the sector?

And as for a default - the Shinners would not be so gung-ho about that if they were actually in power. If we were out of the Euro, our money would be worth sweet FA.