Greece – The collapse of Democracy.

Whatever happens today in Greece one thing seems clear, our leader’s disdain for democracy is now blatant and clear.

The Greek finance Minister, Mr Evangelos Venizelos was in favour of his Prime Minister’s call for a referendum until he went to the G20 at which point he suddenly saw things differently and came out opposing it. Mr Venizelos is not the people’s minister for controlling finance. He is Finance’s Minister for controlling the people. And his first duty has been to make sure the people of Greece are not allowed to have any say in the austerity/bail-out plans being forced upon them by foreign powers.

Will Papandreou be forced from government? If he does not resign then his opponents will force a vote of confidence and the banks will do all in their power to make sure he loses and has to go anyway. Whether he goes by resigning or losing a confidence vote, either way the world’s financiers and banks may hope that the ‘problem’ of the referendum will then go away. It was Papandreou who offered it. If he is no longer in power then ‘his’ offer, they will argue, goes with him.

What I think will happen then is that an election will be called in place of the referendum. That way it will not be a clear vote for or against the austerity and bail outs. The people’s will have been gagged.

To replace the referendum with an election will be a major victory for those who do not want the people to have a say. ‘They’ being the Troika and the big banks. But more important, than the election, I think, is what they will push through before, between now and any election. I think we will see a coalition government, as is being already talked about, and that government’s job will be to ‘suggest’ that before the election an expert ‘Commission’ should be set up. They will talk about it in terms of being a non-partisan, national unity panel whose job, they will say, will be to remove from the destabilizing hurly burly of party politics, those vital decisions which must be made by experts unswayed by partisan political considerations’. That is the sort of language I fully expect to hear.

Of course what it will in fact be is a putsch. It will the removing of the very decisions which are of most concern to the Greek people from the democratic process. The  ’Commission‘ will in fact be a unelected, cabal who will be Greece’s de facto governors. Not ‘government’ but governors. Because if any such ‘Commission’ is created and given the powers over Finance and Debt that I expect, then Greece will have become a vasal subsidiary of the financial system. It will be run by and for the banks. The Greek govenment will be there to wear authentic costumes and pose for the tourists except when it is required to inflict a little pain on those who might need reminding of their place in the new post democratic Greece Plc.

They will I expect make reference to America’s Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, now known as the  Super Committee. But unlike that Committee, which I regard as dismal and already on the path leading away from Democracy, the Greek ‘Commission’ will be answerable to no one in Greece itself. Who it is actually answerable to will, I expect, be left vague and confused. It will be ‘advised’ by and submit reports to the ECB, to the IMF and no doubt to some part of what is left of the Greek system of self government. But the reporting to perhaps the Finance Ministry will be more symbolic than real.

Of course none of this has happened yet. And I hope I am proved laughably wrong. But I fear we are seeing the Beta testing of the new Post Democratic structures that we will be told are to be ‘managed’ by those expert enough to be trusted to do so rather than, as they used to be, ‘governed’ by those now considered ‘unqualified‘ to do so – you and me.

The reason I say beta tested is because I think this arrangement I have hypothesized about is what they will definitely ‘need’ and want to have in place for Italy post Berlusconi. And I think they would very much like to be able to say, when they need to impose it in Italy, that it is … ‘extending’ would be a good word for them I think – extending to Italy a ‘mechanism’ which has already been seen to have ‘brought’ stability to Greece.

 

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94 Responses to Greece – The collapse of Democracy.

  1. Jonahsdad73 November 3, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Well, it seems there will now not be a referendum in Greece. Heaven forbid that the Greek people can have a say in their own destiny. Still, clearly ordinary people are irresponsible and can’t be expected to make complicated political decisions in the elite’s interests.

    It is obviously the elite who are fully responsible, and the financial elite who take full responsibility for their own mistakes. It’s a good jon they’re in charge, and that our elected politicians are only puppets.

  2. Nell November 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Maybe the bankers and their politicians were worried that the Greek people might read the article below and vote for leaving the Eurozone. Democracy is OK when it favours the powerful but a damn nuisance when it threatens to upset the apple cart.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/greece-eurozone-or-not-slavery-or-freedom

  3. Sean November 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Not such a bad day, the eurocraps have shown their hand. Once again.

    Save your ammo for the end of game baddie not the end of level one.

  4. Charles Wheeler November 3, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    Democratic politics is about managing opinion, not succumbing to it!

  5. Chris November 3, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    … happens as you predicted, always impressed by your articles!

    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,795704,00.html

  6. Mark Northfield November 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Europe seems to have form when it comes to ignoring the will of the people, even in referenda that have actually taken place. I think what has most annoyed me over the past 24 hrs is that I have not heard this denial of democracy raised in one single interview as being an issue worthy of note. Not even a passing reference. It was all about Sarkozy and Merkel being furious, the ‘done deal’ being undone, and consternation in financial circles.

    It does not now surprise me that this blog is bang on the money once more, even while the mainstream media seem to be content with the idea that populations are there to be coerced, not consulted, on such profound events. The concept that the present system is rotten to the core and the debt unpayable just does not compute. It is profoundly sad.

    • shtove November 3, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

      Sums it up.

      So frustrating that news media fail to raise the most obvious points. BBC is probably the worst.

      • Zardoz3006 November 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

        I couldn’t agree with you more – the stenographers at the BBC – Stephanie and Robert included are far too cosy with our political elite. They seem to be used as a sounding board to gauge public opinion and are certainly not going to rock the boat with comments regarding the emperor and his new sheer winter clothing collection

    • Phil November 4, 2011 at 1:26 am #

      Hi Mark,

      absolutely spot on there mate. I used part of your comment when I berated the BBC earlier. Why not drop them a line yourself?

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/newswatch/ukfs/hi/feedback/default.stm

      I like to stay in touch with all the major media : )

      • Mark Northfield November 6, 2011 at 1:31 am #

        Thanks. Complaint made. I ended with this:

        ‘It would be good if the BBC could actually challenge the ‘accepted’ financial/political view rather more rigorously than they have done lately. Writers/investigators like David Malone or Nicholas Shaxson might be able to offer a useful counterbalance to some of the empty rhetoric we hear so often from people whose jobs depend on us not questioning the rationality or sustainability of the current financial system.’

        (But I won’t hold my breath…)

  7. Pat Flannery November 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    This is Europe’s equivalent of the American Civil War, which was not about slavery but about states’ rights. Ironically it too was about the industrial northern states imposing their will on the poorer rural southern states. Greece’s ability to hold a referendum is now as dead as Georgia or Mississippi holding a referendum on Washington’s quantitative easing or the electronic creation of money.

  8. Golem XIV November 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    First they came for Irish Democracy . The people of Europe did nothing to defend them.

    So now they have come for Greek Democracy. Next it will be for what little is left of Italian Democracy.

    One day, emboldened by our silence, they will come for ours and it will too late.

    • graveltongue November 4, 2011 at 7:58 am #

      Is it any coincidence that the very public coup de grace of democracy has happened in the place of its birth? Conspiracy theorists start your engines.

    • Roger Lewis November 7, 2011 at 9:07 am #

      David, this leaves me more and more worried. There is such a need for a general strike and direct attack on the banks by withdrawing all funds from them and going with a mutual or the like. How can we get democracy back without some form of revolution there has to be mass action and that involves a huge consciousness raising effort. It’s daunting but thank goodness for the Internet ( how much longer will it last,) I watched a documentary called Hackers Wanted the other day how long will channels of communication like this last Thank goodness for Linux alternative networks in addition to alternative operating systems need to be put in place when the Excrement really hits the Ventaxia we will all start to find keeping in touch rather more difficult I think.

  9. John Souter November 3, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    Now -with the scrapping of the referendum the politicians of Greece have invoked chapter 11 and placed their country and its citizens in the hands of the receivers

    The bond holders will suffer a haircut on the one hand then be handed the money to pay for it on the other.

    Meanwhile the people of Greece will have produce miracles plus interest from the molecules they’re left with.

    Another day – another fudge -another pyrrhic victory for funny money.

  10. Pat Flannery November 3, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    We are engaged in our own struggle here in the US, especially in California where I am.

    Here in San Diego the labor movement has taken a lead in the “occupy” movement.

    Yesterday, led by the Secretary of the Labor Council, the umbrella organization for all the unions, they marched on the main branch of BofA downtown, then Wells Fargo and withdrew their money and pointedly marched to a Credit Union and deposited it there.

    The labor leader’s speech was carried on all the local TV stations. The various credit unions announced today that they are staying open late to deal with the rush of new customers.

    Meanwhile up in Oakland they called a one day general strike. There is a battle royal going on up there with the police. It is widely believed among the protesters that undercover cops are committing violent acts to discredit the movement.

    Michael Moore is in Oakland.

    • Neil (the original one) November 3, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

      Papandreou “has ruled out a snap election, saying it would run the risk of Greece going bankrupt.

      “The PM said he was assigning two senior party members to hold talks with the opposition. If the opposition agrees to back the bailout deal in parliament, no referendum would be held, he said. [So much for letting the people decide, Ed.]

      “The opposition New Democracy party says it would join a coalition government if Mr Papandreou agrees to stand down.”

      I’d watch Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos (a real bruiser by the looks of him), who stood against Papandreou in the last leadership election and has now said Greece must say it is not holding the referendum.

      • Neil (the original one) November 3, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

        Two posts from Paul Mason:

        “I can sense very clearly here at Cannes that this is the moment “the masses” start shaping the policy response to the global financial crisis.

        Why? Because everybody I speak to, interview or discuss background with keeps dropping the words “Occupy Wall Street” into the conversation. In fact if #OWS were a global brand, like the designer apparel shops that line the Rue d’Antibes here, it would have a profile to die for among the super-elite.

        #OWS has, in just a few weeks, become global shorthand among policymakers for “what can happen” if they don’t regain control of the situation. Once you get a coalition of perfectly ordinary people saying “we’ve had enough”, and then you have to watch as the cops baton and taser them in the name of the trespass laws, you know you are in a reputational crisis.” [I'd call it a legitimacy crisis myself, Ed.]

        More at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15562965

        “Above all, Europe needs to find a leadership group and a joint narrative; otherwise the centrifugal pressures will pull the whole project apart.

        The problem: every one of these [austerity] measures flies in the face of where the European electorates and peoples stand right now. And because nobody is offering to inflict significant losses on the banks, or taxation on the rich, or credit easing for the poor, there is nothing out of which to construct a narrative.”

        More at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15576651

    • Golem XIV November 3, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

      Pat,

      Wouldn’t it be fantastic if other people followed their example and moved their money en masse. I have been arguing for people to organize where they put their money and move it as a group of like minded people – a depositors union, for ages – THAT would change the game completely!

      • Neil (the original one) November 3, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

        Get the unions involved. Get union leaders to launch a campaign to persuade union members to move to the Coop Bank or Smile (or other suitable alternative) if they haven’t got an account there already. Vote with your money.

        • cynicalHighlander November 3, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

          The only Union leader that I have heard with any integrity is Mark Serwotka GS of the Public and Commercial Services Union if that’s any help.

          • Golem XIV November 3, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

            He’s the only one to have bothered to read my book. He liked it and said so. I wish one or two others had bothered.

        • Guido November 4, 2011 at 11:23 am #

          Yes, do move the money out of the hands of the major banks. This simple act will impact their capital ratios and hasten their demise.

          No, do not get the unions involved in something that individuals can do themselves.

          Unions are, for all intents and purposes, authoritarian and socially stratified entities. Emboldening unions even more, could result in a situation whereby society would go from the frying pan into the coals. Dump the unions. Dump government. Dump the banks or rather, dump global banks.

          • Charles Wheeler November 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

            Libertarianism is the problem not the solution.

            The global banking cartel would love us to ‘dump the unions, dump the government’

        • Guido November 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

          Charles, I don’t know whether I am a libertarian or anything else. I am most definitely for, first of all, personal responsibility and then for personal freedom in that order. I recognize the necessity to have a government in order to take impartial decisions to safeguard a framework of laws to govern society. But….

          I absolutely reject the perceived need to create privileged classes of individuals that enjoy rights, freedoms and immunities that suspend their personal responsibilities.

          Unions create privileged classes of individuals that inevitably grow by concentrating power just like what happens in electoral politics.

          In truly democratic society, the profession of politician would not exist. A politician is necessarily and inevitably someone that wants to concentrate power. This is a mathematical truism. A union leader is a politician.

          Unions are detrimental to freedoms as is electoral politics.

          • Hawkeye November 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

            Guido

            The UK implementation of Unions has a chequered past and no doubt contributes to unhelpful conflict rather than constructive negotiation.

            The German Works Council model is far more successful:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Works_council

            This involves worker representatives actually having a seat at the table (i.e. on the board of directors). It helps to reduce the “them and us” antagonistic trap which we in the UK fall into every time.

            In fact at the LSE on Wednesday it was argued that the stronger “Northern” European countries all retained proper Works Council related labour protection measures, whereas the prolifigate “Southern” PIIGS didn’t.

            Gooey-eyed Libertarianism on the way up seems to begat caustic Libertarianism on the way down.

          • Mike Hall November 8, 2011 at 1:21 am #

            @ Guido & Hawkeye

            I’ve pondered the undesireable aspects of concentrated Union power for quite a while & was aware of the aguably better German ‘works council model.

            My concerns arise as regards +any+ concentration of power able to subvert a properly constructed democratic system of government. The latter I consider not only possible (albeit radically different from current abysmal efforts) but absolutely essential to properly represent & regulate in the interests of the majority in an otherwise free enterprise system. In which circumstances I consider that such government should be adequate also to properly represent & achieve fair returns to Labour without other bodies such as Unions or works councils being neccesary. The premise being that Labour is inherently in the majority vs Capital, so should be well represented by a democratic government. Capital is more than able to look after itself.

            Well, I came across something of how this might work in practice, within an MMT ‘functional finance’ system which uses a basic universal (gov supplied) income.

            Here’s a relevant quote:

            “The most obvious hazards of monetary policy transfers have to do with dependency and incentives to work. If people grow accustomed to getting sizable checks from the central bank, that would change behavior. But not all changes are bad. For example, it may be true that many workers would be pickier about what jobs to take if government transfers generated incomes they could get by on without employment. Employers would undoubtedly have to pay people who work unpleasant jobs more than they currently do. But that’s just another way of saying that workers would have greater bargaining power in negotiating employment, as their next best alternative would not be destitution. That we’ve spent 40 years increasing the bargaining power of capital over labor doesn’t make it “fair”, or good economics. Supplementary incomes are a cleaner way of increasing labor bargaining power than unionization. Unionization forces collective bargaining, which leads to one-size-fits-all work rules and inflexible hiring, firing, and promotion policies, in addition to higher wages. If workers have supplementary incomes, employment arrangements can be negotiated on terms specific to individuals and business circumstances, but outcomes will be more favorable to workers than they would have been absent an income to fall back upon.”

            Whole piece here:

            ‘Monetary policy for the 21st century.’

            http://www.interfluidity.com/v2/918.html

            To which I’d like to add a few thoughts of my own regarding how MMT & functional finance can be be a particularly suitable framework for the needed transformation to ecological sustainability.

            Recall that under MMT/functional finance, gov spending is entirely targeted to the majority social & public purpose and is only constrained by the availability of resources & inflation risk associated with exceeding that. Taxation merely being the means to regulate aggregate demand according to those resource & inflation constraints.

            So, a basic ‘free’ income for all, sufficient to meet essential food, shelter etc. needs should go a long way way to meet the ‘public purpose’ goal. People would then need to find additional paid work to furnish whatever ‘luxuries’ they decide they want. A lot may well choose not to do this much. But in an increasingly material, principally energy, constrained world this surely is a desireable outcome. I would then suggest that ‘regulating’ taxation be primarily applied to raw sources of energy & other key material commodities based on the level of scarcity/recycling currently applicable. (Within an overall target of required demand reduction.)

            Why not?

      • Neil (the original one) November 3, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

        Zerohedge: Today democracy died in Greece. With a comment from a Greek reader.

        http://www.zerohedge.com/news/all-fixed-greece-not-so-fast

      • Pat Flannery November 3, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

        Yes. I agree.

        I was at the center of an off-stage battle between the labor leader here and the police regarding whether or not labor should go downtown to the Civic Plaza and join the occupy movement.

        The police did everything they could to paint the “Occupy” activists as riff raff saying that it would tarnish the image of the labor leader and labor generally. The leader was torn.

        She was really disturbed by some videos the police were getting out of abusive activists screamed abuse at stoic police bravely doing their job.

        Everything pointed to staging by the police. The more the police showed such images the more I argued that the labor leader should be there to provide responsible leadership for the protection of the police. How could they disagree with that?

        That view prevailed in the end and now the labor leader is being widely praised for her leadership. She today received the Community Leader Award from Leadership California http://bit.ly/t2LmLt while the police are in retreat morally.

        This tells me two things:

        1. The police everywhere are terrified of labor getting involved in the Occupy Movement;

        2. They are forced to treat labor leaders with respect;

        3. There is real political capital for labor leaders who get involved in Occupy Movements. If labor are not the “99″ then who is?

        San Diego has proven that and I am proud to have been involved in my own small way. I merely gave her encouragement but the local labor leader took a big chance and it has now paid off for her.

        One of the by-products of our local “Move your money day” was that the local Credit Unions got free advertizing on the evening news. Many people did not know that they are noprofit. Many others thought that you had to be a public employee or have some special membership to qualify. It was a huge public service.

        Yes, David, if it spread it would be a gamechanger. All it lacks is leadership. We were fortunate here in San Diego that we had a ballsy female labor leader.

        • Golem XIV November 3, 2011 at 11:42 pm #

          Pat,

          I’m glad you were there mate. When people say what can we do? You have teh answer. BE THERE and speak up. You can never know when your ‘little’ bit will be what starts the landslide!

        • steviefinn November 3, 2011 at 11:50 pm #

          Fair play Pat.

        • Phil November 4, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

          Well done Pat!

      • Roger Lewis November 7, 2011 at 9:10 am #

        Should have carried on to the end of the thread. I have to load a sound system up for a gig later so must fly.

        “Tierra y Libertad”

  11. Adam west November 3, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    I have been following this blog for some time now and I have to say its probably the best source of the real truth out there. Well done on another great article. I am based in Ireland and things here get worse nearly on a daily basis,despite the lies and propaganda that we are being fed by our so called “leaders”, who are busy filling their own pockets as well as the parasite “investors”, who continue to bleed us dry.
    Sometimes it feels like there is nothing one can do,but people of the whole world really need to get together and stand up to the dictacts of rich politicians who act only in the interests of their even richer paymasters.
    Ireland 1st,Greece 2nd and who’s up for next?,take your pick from Portugal,Spain or Italy. Dark days indeed.

    • Golem XIV November 3, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

      Adam,

      Thank you. More and more people are reading blogs like this one, commenting, thinking it all thorugh for themselves. no longer taking as unquestionably true, what they are told by their leaders. Those things are what give me hope along side the brave souls who get out there and protest.

      Dark days but brave days.

  12. keekster November 3, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    I sense the time is drawing near where the only option left for the greek people is revolution. The cancelling of the referedum is a metaphorical kick in the groin for the people. The government is there to serve the will of the people. If it refuses to do so, then the people must show them who the decision makers really are. I dont treat this matter lightly, but I cannot see what options are left for the people of Greece.
    To be honest I’m surprised the Greek people have put up with this with this for so long.

  13. James November 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

    As most of you are aware, the $1 Billion payment to the UNSECURED Anglo-Irish bond holders went through in Dublin yesterday.

    Interestingly, the bond payment seemed to slip out of the mainstream media focus which was dominated by the ‘arrest’ of one of the former Anglo Irish directors Willie Mcateer who was then released without charge and a €3.6 million clerical error on the national debt.

    Despite this, many people signed up to a petition which sent thousands of emails to the Oireachtas requesting that the payment not be made. The whipped TD’s responded dismissively.

    The responses typically referred to the payment as being -

    1) Inevitable due to the previous government’s mistakes.

    2) Inevitable due to the ‘contractual obligations’ of the state guarantee and the ‘bail-out’ memorandum of understanding with the IMF/EU (none of which I understand to be binding in respect of unsecured bondholders, even if these agreements are taken on face value).

    3) None of our business because it was being funded by one of the few ‘performing’ loan books that Anglo (or IBRC as they like to refer to it now) has in the US.

    4) Potentially a reason for the ECB to simply cut off funding to Irish banks.

    5) A battle that isn’t worth fighting as the future battle over the promissory notes with Anglo is of far greater value.

    I’d be interested to know whether any one posting on here feels any of these reasons can be taken seriously, I am interested in making a complaint to the ombudsman about the accuracy of the responses being supplied.and signed by our elected representatives.

    The fourth one interests me particularly. It is thrown around regularly and appears to have little concrete basis. Is it actually written down somewhere that the ECB will cut off funding if we don’t act in exact accordance with ECB policy? Is it really possible and how catastrophic would that actually be?

    The context for this latest submission by Ireland to the ECB of course has been the sneering media and political reaction here (and throughout Europe) to Papandreou’s referendum proposal, his summons to the court of Merkozy and subsequent capitulation.

    The Irish subjects and the Greek subjects being brought to heel by the ECB with slightly differing methods and degrees of resistance…

    I think the Irish media probably deserve some ‘credit’ in all of this for keeping the people here more ‘in-line’ than the Greeks, to date. It is hard to say, but I sense that, despite the mainstream media view remaining firmly behind the EU and ECB, talking to people in Dublin, even the ones with more conservative views, they are beginning to realise the three card trick that is being played on them.

    Hopefully the occupy protests can endure and continue to raise awareness. The walkout by the next generation of economists in Harvard today, seems to have been inspired by OWS and is maybe a sign of theings to come?

    http://hpronline.org/campus/an-open-letter-to-greg-mankiw/?mid=51

  14. Charles Wheeler November 3, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    Interesting take on the Greek political situation – more specifically, the legacy of dictatorship -from Adam Curtis: http://goo.gl/ktkjw

    The bigger picture is that Greece is simply the canary in the coalmine. The cracks in society induced by forty years of growing inequality in western economies have been papered over with debt. Now that option has failed, the gloves are off. The only way the super-rich can continue to siphon off a larger and larger share of national income is by imposing austerity on the rest. Western economies can no longer provide decent wages, pensions, education and healthcare for the majority without significant structural change – something those that have benefited most from the status quo will resist at every opportunity. Hence we see CEO pay continuing to accelerate, while benefits and pensions are pegged below inflation, disability allowances abolished even for the most severely disabled, median wages continuing to decline.

    The average Greek citizen – who had no reason to disbelieve the fictions they were sold on entry into the Euro, and who, contrary to the propaganda, have not been living the high life, are in the front line – but we will all be picked off one by one if ‘the markets’ have their way.

    • Neil (the original one) November 3, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

      The previous post by Curtis is also well worth reading/viewing:

      HOW THE LEFT GOT TRAPPED INSIDE THEIR OWN HEADS – AND HOW FAIRIES CAN OPEN THE DOOR TO THE FUTURE

      Marcuse features.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/2011/10/dream_on.html

    • Dave November 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

      Thanks for that excellent Adam Curtis link Charles.

      Most people, even the supposedly well-educated, have such a scanty knowledge of history !

      I’m bookmarking his blog and spreading the link .

  15. Guest November 3, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    I keep on reading this informative blog and can’t help leaving a comment. The face of European democracy never seemed more ugly to me as it does today.
    On top of Greek fiasco, having read the Guardian revelations on possible Iran attacks I just cannot comprehend what is going on, how it all fits together and how to digest all those news while not losing hope for the reason to endure. What would my protest bring if a handful of shortsighted governors at G20 have already decided on the world order “extending” it far beyond the borders of those 20 and turning previously debt-free states (like Libya for instance) into puppets, while themselves being puppets in the hands of their rich, mighty and evermore greedy sponsors?

    • Phil November 4, 2011 at 1:30 am #

      Next year is gonna be a shit-storm.

  16. allcoppedout November 4, 2011 at 12:12 am #

    My own suspicions have long edged towards ‘banking’ (other than as a utility) being a Jabberwock we are forced to fee(d) through mystification. The essence is the fear we have of radical change – much like primates chattering about a violent alpha.

  17. James November 4, 2011 at 12:57 am #

    How could a democracy collapse like this? Perhaps because it wasn’t a true democracy to begin with. It reminds me of a famous quote.

    ” Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws” —Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild

    • Phil November 4, 2011 at 1:29 am #

      or

      ”if voting changed anything, they’d ban it.”

    • Guido November 4, 2011 at 11:38 am #

      James, there is a difference between “democracy” and electoral politics. We have electoral politics and the arithmetic underpinning it can only lead to the concentration of power in the hands of select interest groups.

    • Charles Wheeler November 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

      “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

      We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society

      They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons-a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty million-who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.

      In theory, every citizen makes up his mind on public questions and matters of private conduct. In practice, if all men had to study for themselves the abstruse economic, political, and ethical data involved in every question, they would find it impossible to come to a conclusion without anything. We have voluntarily agreed to let an invisible government sift the data and high-spot the outstanding issue so that our field of choice shall be narrowed to practical proportions. From our leaders and the media they use to reach the public, we accept the evidence and the demarcation of issues bearing upon public question; from some ethical teacher, be it a minister, a favorite essayist, or merely prevailing opinion, we accept a standardized code of social conduct to which we conform most of the time.

      It might be better to have, instead of propaganda and special pleading, committees of wise men who would choose our rulers, dictate our conduct, private and public, and decide upon the best types of clothes for us to wear and the best kinds of food for us to eat. But we have chosen the opposite method, that of open competition. We must find a way to make free competition function with reasonable smoothness. To achieve this society has consented to permit free competition to be organized by leadership and propaganda.”
      Bernays, Propaganda

  18. Phil November 4, 2011 at 1:28 am #

    I for one just have to speak my mind to those charged with reporting the news. I posted the emails of the major newspapers a few updates back. Here’s BBC News’

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/newswatch/ukfs/hi/feedback/default.stm

    It’s good to talk : )

    ah! I’m confusing my corporate branding now!

  19. dot November 4, 2011 at 5:18 am #

    The collapse of democracy is, of course, no news. I don’t think there has even been any semblance of it for a long time now. The mighty EU leadership did not become this brazen over the night.

  20. Pat Flannery November 4, 2011 at 5:58 am #

    650,000 Americans joined Credit Unions last month.

    That is more Than In All Of 2010 Combined: http://thkpr.gs/vP7iOg.

    Follow the links to find a Credit Union near you in the UK or Ireland.

    Sat is “Move your Money Day” in the US. You might do the same in the UK.

  21. Kenny boy November 4, 2011 at 5:59 am #

    I expect the military will need to take over in Greece to enforce the bankers will. Also on a wider scale military action against Iran to divert attention from the funny money scam.

  22. Patrick Donnelly November 4, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    Such hysteria! This is not the disease. This is the solution and TPTB are hurting badly!

    The disease is cheap credit!!! Banking makes slaves of those who are greedy or shortsighted. Debts are paid even if banks disappear as one persons debt is a savers asset! Pension funds vs home owners, geddit??

    By channeling pension funds into mortgages we could get rid of all those performance fees….. and OPM would be much smaller. But all that is too late now. The Greeks and the rest are being told that if they want to borrow, they must comply.

    So DO NOT BORROW! Print money and restore sovereignty! Cut out the banker!

  23. deepgreenpuddock November 4, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    patrick i agree but there are now legions of people who are employed in financial support industries, so we are are in a bind in this respect. However in general the banks and the whole infrastructure of parasitic feeding of non-jobs, fiscal and financial fiddling, all masquerading as useful work, and all sucking sustenance on an inflated commission from the public (and taxation intended for social purposes, has to be dismantled, but that is far from an easy task. There are few jobs of social and economic value now especially in the private area. The public jobs are beeing cut to their core. We will have to move to some kind of orderly work environment that shares out genuinely useful work and benefits, in a manageable way. It is a genuine transformation of human activity made possible by technology but the politicians are without vision and are retreating behind the paradigms of the past-mainly a regression to some kind of practical ad hoc fascism, but without the ideological technical certainties of past attempts to impose ‘discipline’.
    very dangerous times but it is at heart, a failure of democracy (mark 1). but a huge prize for humanity is also dangling not so far away.

    • Guido November 4, 2011 at 11:51 am #

      Nobody ever said that the path to freedom is painless. But taking bitter medicine now will avoid death by a thousand cuts. Consider that things could hardly be worse at present. What people must realize is that the choice today is simple:

      A crisis where only society suffers but politicians and bankers are spared

      A crisis where everyone suffers

      Material sacrifice today brought about by closing all lines of credit (by selling houses and cars if necessary), reducing consumption to what is necessary and increasing savings in local or regional banks and/or credit unions where possible will ensure the second option.

      There is no avoiding the depression. We can only ensure that the people that brought it about can feel the effects of their irresponsibility too. Failure to act now will result in a conflict of global proportions as in order to divert the attention of the masses Western leaders fabricate an ostensible foreign evil regime who is presumably attempting to subvert our lifestyle … such as it is.

  24. John Souter November 4, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    G20 Leaders meet in Cannes!

    Fail to work out how to close the door on an empty stable.

    Issue communiqué stating they have left doors open for further discussion and in the hope that inhabitants will see the light and return of their own accord.

    A further meeting will be held on February 2012 when, with further study of the instruction manuals and with a better understanding of the requirements deemed necessary by their market mentors, the results of their open door policy will be assessed in light of any developments in the interim.

    While the venue for the February conference has yet to be decided, rumour has it a senior EU official has been delegated to assess whether Rockall has adequate facilities.

    In a statement issued today the High Governing General stated; “Rockall had all the facilities needed to accommodate bird -brains but no stables.”

    On receipt of the HGGs statement the senior EU official who asked not to be named responded “The lack of stable’s would probably make Rockall the ideal location.”

  25. Charles Wheeler November 4, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

    I keep reading about the ‘bloated’ Greek public sector – even in supposedly ‘progressive’ blogs, so it was interesting to see this take on it:

    “as well as swelling the numbers of public workers now demonstrating in Syntagma Square”

    “The total population, according to the National Statistics Organisation (ELSTAT) was estimated at 11,257,290 in the first quarter of 2011. Thus, Greece’s public sector employment is 8% of the population, and 18% of the active labour force of the country. There was one public employee for every 13 citizens.”
    c/w
    “…7% public employment to the total population, and 15% of public employment in the total labour force. There are 14 people per public employ in the United States.”
    http://goo.gl/7YQkXg

    Presumably, it’s all in the interpretation?

  26. Mike Hall November 5, 2011 at 1:47 am #

    Michael Hudson, spot on as ever, on the impoverishment of Greece to bail out the EU & US banksters.

    http://neweconomicperspectives.blogspot.com/2011/11/wall-street-vs-greece-g20-opens-as.html

  27. Mike Hall November 5, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    I’ve just made the following comment on a Telegraph piece on Greece here:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/8871619/Greek-opposition-leader-calls-for-early-elections.html

    “The financial architecture of the Euro is a failure for precisely the reasons that the few lone voices explained before it was formed. It was based on the false assumptions & self interest of near all mainstream economists & their paymasters in the financial sector.

    One might expect that Germany’s political leaders are flatly refusing to have the ECB function as a proper central bank – the only solution, austerity being the opposite – as the Euro structure worked very much in their favour.

    But the fact that political leaders in the PIIGS are accepting the destruction of their own countries’ economies & public sector asset stripping at firesale prices, shows unequivocally that democracy in these states is as big a failure as the Euro’s design.

    Greece is following this pattern. Their politicians, of any ‘flavour’, are working quite opposite to the interests of the ordinary citizens. Rather in favour of the extractive banking & financial sector that caused the whole problem in the first place.

    Prime Minister G Pap. called a referendum purely for his own political survival purposes. He expected that with a massive campaign based on ‘the sky will fall’, the result would favour the so-called bail out. And of course, all the other major political parties would have no opportunity to ‘point score’ as they are also in favour. (So much for democratic ‘choice’.)

    That all manner of threats were made by Merkel & Sarkozy, probably including Greece’s removal from the EU itself, shows two things. One, there utter contempt for democracy. Two, the big lie that the ‘bail out’ is for Greece’s benefit – it is not, it’s entirely to prop up the EU’s version of the ‘vampire squid’ financial sector based in their own countries. Where their true allegiance lies.

    Probably similar threats and/or cosy inducements were made to Ireland’s politicians, all behaving with similar contempt for democracy.

    Greece does not need elections, there is no democracy left there – it needs a referendum.

    I suggest the Greek people give the Eurozone leaders two options. One, make the ECB a properly functioning central bank & use it both cancel some debt & restore employment (& hence aggregate demand & growth). Or, keep your euro & the current program of debt peonage for weaker countries & stuff it where the sun don’t shine. (Greece can create all the New Drachmas it needs to restore employment & growth.)

    Such fiscal policies, in such conditions of deep recession do not create excess inflation. Even the the poorly designed large scale money creation employment programs that China has used since 2008 have maintained a strong economy with little excess inflation – proof this works.

    So, revised ECB or New Drachma. It’s long past time the financial sector (& their puppet politicians) worked for the benefit of the real economy – not the other way round that has got us where we are.”

    • Mike Hall November 5, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

      Yeah, what ‘democracy’ !? And this quote:

      “…By yesterday, the plot was well advanced, with Lucas Papademos, a former European Central Bank vice-president, tipped to be its head. ”

      FORMER EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK VICE-PRESIDENT !!! WTF!!!

      Greeks, if you let this happen, with or without the touted ‘elections’ you can wave any idea sovereignty goodbye. You are to be under permanent occupation by bloodless coup of the new REAL power in Europe – the banksters.

      Get out there & strike, & stay there until every incumbent politician resigns & you get your referendum. You will have a great deal of support from many citizens in Europe & beyond. The line in the sand is now. Exit the euro, tell them where to stuff it. With your own Drachma, you can employ every Greek citizen who wants a job & hence restore your economy to prosperity. Seek the help of MMT economists like Professor Bill Mitchell.

      • Charles Wheeler November 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

        “Greek sovereignty has been trampled over again and again.
        The Greeks were told to not go to the IMF, to not restructure their debts, and instead to run their economy to the ground.
        Then they were told that turning to the IMF is OK.
        Under pressure from EZ leaders – not the IMF – they have been given loans on conditions far worse and more intrusive than those for which the IMF has been crucified – rightly so – after the Asian crisis.
        Most recently, they were told that a debt restructuring will be negotiated on their behalf with the banks.
        None of that is part of the European Treaties – in fact it runs against the spirit of the no-bailout clause. The Greek people never signed up for such treatment.
        The Greeks have remained complaisant far too long. As a sovereign country, these are decisions that they should be able to make, certainly after consultations with fellow Eurozone members.
        There is nothing wrong with an attempt to restore sovereignty and with a message from its inventors that democracy is a fundamental value, even if it is difficult, even if it stands in the way of the technocratic approach that has prevailed all along.

        http://goo.gl/TnHae

      • Roger Lewis November 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

        Here Here!

  28. John Souter November 6, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    The EU reduces national governments to Vichy status.

    • Margaret November 6, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

      Yes, Papandreou has just resigned, 400 reporters waiting outside the Presidential Palace to continue with the ritual humiliation of the elected leader of a so-called democratic state. I have spent 25 years working quietly (and efficiently) for the establishment of a viable EU, mainly in the languages side. bloody hard work, I can tell you.And not remunerated much either, as I belong to the generation that give rather than takes everything in sight.
      Whatever one thinks of Papandreou, this was a truly shameful sight. End of democracy. End of story.
      I could tell you stories of how people are suffering here, but no one really wants to hear. Whingeing Greeks. let them starve. That’ what they say on the Guardian blogs so God knows what they say on the Daily Mail.

      • Golem XIV November 6, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

        Margaret,

        I am very sorry. The shame is ours not yours.
        All I can say is this is not over. Not over by a very long and painfull way.

      • John Souter November 7, 2011 at 9:09 am #

        Margaret: we do feel for you and the Greek people.

        There is a vast difference between victims and the idiots who create the circumstances that makes them so.

      • MrShigemitsu November 7, 2011 at 11:34 am #

        Margaret, a little OT, but don’t believe everything you read on CiF – be aware that it’s continually subject to sustained campaigns by right-wing trolls, many from political parties, corporate PR companies (especially any posts involving tax evasion) and pro-zionist groups, as well as individual armchair warriors and saloon bar bores.

        (Amusingly, what they all have in common is their disdain for “Guardianistas”, and CiF in general, without appreciating the irony!)

        It is annoying, because the intentional hijacking of informed exchange is often quite effective, as even some well-intentioned posters cannot resist rising to the bait.

        I wish there were a feature on CiF where you could block posters who you know are trolls, sock puppets and astroturfers, but the Guardian would never offer that – they couldn’t care less: the more argy-bargy that goes on on CiF, the more posts, and the higher the price they can charge for advertising.

        • Neil (the original one) November 7, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

          Telegraph:

          “Two remarkable stats from the New York Times’ report on the rage and paralysis stalking Athens.

          Greek banks have lost $63.5bn in deposits – 20pc of GNP -, with up to $20.7bn gone in the last two months alone. Greek families are sending their life savings abroad amid fears their banks could collapse.

          As families cut back, the number of uninsured drivers has risen by 500,000 in a quarter to 1.5 million.”

      • Charles Wheeler November 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

        A corrective on the myth of Greek profligacy:
        http://goo.gl/DSy9b

  29. Neil (the original one) November 7, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    Daniel Hannan, Tory MEP for SE England agreeing with the Communists’ view on the bank bail-outs:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9IYcq6hzJE&feature=player_embedded

    From an article by Hannan:

    The EU sunders Greek politicians from their people, http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100115775/greek-elites-are-set-against-their-own-people-by-the-eu/

    And this from the Telegraph by way of confirmation:

    “All the main Greek opposition parties will be asked for written guarantees and promises to uphold the EU-IMF austerity package that sunk George Papandreou.

    After killing off the Greek referendum, the EU wants to make sure that the fix is well in before national elections expected in next February. Until the promises are signed, sealed and delivered to Brussels the Greeks will not get a penny of a critical €8bn EU-IMF payment, a deadline of December.

    Austrian finance minister Maria Fekter:

    “We want a commitment to reforms in writing, from all opposition parties, not to wait for elections first. Once we have this, then we’ll release the next tranche. “

  30. Phil November 7, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    http://uk.ibtimes.com/articles/244449/20111107/raining-bonus-rbs-plans-lavish-500-million.htm

    Seriously, I’m gonna have to go for a walk after reading this. I really could punch something.

  31. Irate November 7, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    Hi,

    can anyone send me some cast iron data about RBS and its fraud and recklessness?

    There is a branch in my city which is crying out for a protest at today’s announcement of £500million in bonuses.

    With thanks

    • StevieFinn November 7, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

      A bit of info here, also refers to the fact that this pile of mainly publicly owned crap could well be looking for another bailout. It’s probably a good idea for these talented, valuable individuals who put so much into society to get their well deserved bonuses paid now, after all, we wouldn’t want them to leave, would we ?

      http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2011/10/10/697286/the-costs-of-an-rbs-bailout/

      You could try typing RBS into search on this blog, Should be some good stuff.

      • Apoplectic November 7, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

        Thanks a lot Steve

  32. Dave November 7, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    The Original Neil 6.111PM

    That cry for written guarantees is very like the offsetting insurances via CDS etc that the market-players believed were worth something !

    The Greek ‘politicians’ can sign anything at all, but if their taxpayers go on strike, and/or the Recession bites deeper, it’s like AIG all over again .

    Without the US Treasury and Fed….

    frog2

  33. Mike Hall November 8, 2011 at 12:15 am #

    A good link from the Transnational Institute, self explanatory:

    http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/EUcrisis_pocket_guide-12pp.pdf

    Also, particularly comprehensive blog from Bill Mitchell today on banking/monetary operations & the myriad falsehoods taught to economics students by Harvard’s Greg Mankiw (former Bush ‘adviser’) & his textbook.

    ‘It’s a disagreement about facts not ideology’

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=16796

    • Neil (the original one) November 8, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

      Bruce Krasting at Zerohedge:

      “I talked to someone in the shipping business this morning. He happens to be Greek and has substantial interests in the country. We never did get around to talking about ships. Some of his words on the status quo in Greece:

      The situation today is worse than ever. Business has stopped

      The world does not appreciate the extent of social deterioration in the country.

      Soup kitchens are forming to feed people.

      Many old age homes are desperate. Many are indebted. The have been pleading for donations.

      Wealthy ship owners have been discussing a private initiative to provide support for those on the edge.

      There is no possibility for a unity government. There is less chance for this in Greece then there is in the USA. You think there is a problem between Democrats and Republicans? Here, they hate each other.

      Papandreou was desperate to get out. He could not see how he could continue to play a confrontational role with the Greek people. He was losing his ability to maintain civil order. He did not want to govern a country that was going to become either a police state, or fall into a state of revolution.

      An interim government may pass new laws and make promises to the EU and IMF. Most in the government want to stay in the EU and stick with the Euro. It’s in their best interests to do so. That’s what the EU is pushing them day and night to do.

      It’s way to late for this type of orderly transition. It will end badly for Greece.

      There is a sense of optimism in the markets and the press that a soft landing can be achieved in Europe. That a “solution” is hours away. Only “one more” vote in parliament is required in any of the countries facing trouble. The financial resources needed to address the problem are available. There may be a temporary liquidity issue but solvency is not a question. The social, political and economic consequences of what will come are all manageable.

      I thought I would provide this fellow’s thoughts as a contrast to all that hopium.”

      http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/thoughts-athens

      In line with the above comments, the Greek opposition leaders are refusing to sign up to the EU agreement.

  34. bill40 November 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    Has Europe gone stark, staring raving mad? I am just reading in the Telegraph that SB is being resigned in Italy as yields pass 7%. The ECB and Germany in particular, have just watched whilst an utter catastphrohe is looming. How in hell can a country the size of Italy be bailed out?

    The narrative we are given is that government spending is out of control and monetising that debt is a BAD THING. So bad in fact that it is forbidden in the EU treaty. The truth is that banks have created vast mounds of deriatives and other alternatives to “wealth” and it is these that need monetising under the cover of bailing out states.

    I feel much safer watching this unfold from China.

  35. steviefinn November 9, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    A sign that things might not go exactly to plan in Libya.

    http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/al-qaeda-plants-its-flag-in-libya

  36. steviefinn November 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    I hate this sell-out prick, seems everything is now the fault of inflexible workforces & red tape. Nothing to do with out-sourcing, incompetent management etc. I can honestly say after 35 years of wondering what Lib-dems, Liberals or whatever would contribute to UK politics if ever elected, I never expected Neoliberalism. I’m sure the Europeans are desperate to hear his pearls of wisdom.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/nov/09/nick-clegg-debt-crisis-european-decline

    • Roger Lewis November 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

      Hes Just another fascist his father was a Banker I believe. He’s just another Puppet in the Puppet show we call democracy at westminster. They all really have to go.

  37. princesschipchops November 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    Clegg is a – word I can’t write here – make no mistake. I detest him. I’m from Sheffield and don’t know anyone who doesn’t despise the man.

    Anyway all is well. We can stop worrying (again) as Italy has done as she’s told and voted in more austerity. This will end the crisis. Despite the fact that even arch neo-lib Lagarde recognises that austerity is damaging economies and they need ‘pro growth policies’.

    I feel like Europe’s leaders have gone clinically insane.

    • Neil (the original one) November 11, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

      When I see Clegg sitting next to Cameron in the House of Commons listening to him speak, he always seems to have his face screwed up as though he’s about to cry (as well he might).

      Clegg will lose his seat at the next election and get a job as a Eurocrat. He will go down in history as the man who sold the soul of the LibDems for a brief share of power, condemning it to be overtaken by UKIP as the third largest party in the process and setting back the cause of electoral reform for a decade and more.

      • steviefinn November 11, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

        Hopefully, there’s also a good chance there won’t be an EU for him to crat in as well.

  38. Joe R November 12, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    Re; The death of democracy ( in Ireland ).

    This death of democracy with in the EU is not a new phenomenon. Its been grinding along sine the Euro started but it really took off after the EU constitutional referendum rejections by French and Dutch voters in 2005.

    Politicians in Ireland talked out of both sides out of their mouths during the aftermath the no vote to the Lisbon treaty in 2009 – a treaty which had all the same parts but with a different as the rejected and dead constitutional. Ireland was the only place to have a referendum ( I think ).

    Wikileaks exposed Eamonn Gilmore, current Taniste ( deputy prime minister ) and originally a hard left leaning politcian and current leader of the Labour Party in the following manner as saying one thing in public, that the result would be respected, while telling the US EMBASSY in private AT THE EXACT SAME TIME that he expcted a re-run and a win for the EU/irish official political parties & government yes campaign.

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/wikileaks/gilmore-took-opposing-views-in-public-and-in-private-2662663.html

    The man is nothing short of a latter day Quisling. I know what I think should happen to Quislings.

    However he is now deputy prime minister and he is still leader of the party that represents the unions and union power in Ireland.

    What does this say about Ireland and its electorate?

    It would be amusing to see the result of any new EU treaty referendum in Ireland. There might be some as aresult of all of this. Ireland has constitutional obligations to hold referendums.

    If anybody is further interested in this topic heres a second article from about the same time when after the ‘no’ result the nouveau Bonaparte of Europe little Nicko Sarkozy flew into Dublin to attempt to batter down the upstart motley crew of minor politicans of all hues who had opposed the Lisbon treaty in a ‘discussion’ in the French ambassadors residence ( please note all then major parties supported the treaty with the exception of Sinn Fein – yes that Sinn Fein. ).

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0721/eulisbon.html

    What isn’t mentioned in the print media but which was reported by Richard Boyd Barrett of PBP and Patricia MacKenna, independent ( on radio ) who both attended the meeting that Sarkozy was very clear that he did not wish for Europe’s people to be left to decide on something such as a European Treaty. He did not have ‘discussions’ as reported he shouted the various political activists there down. He was openly comtemptful of them and the democratic vote that was taken and when it was put to him specifically that the French people should have had a vote he made it clear that they would not be given the right as he knew that they could well reject such treaties, as they already in the recent past. They weren’t to be given a voice. They were to be bypassed. That was the price for saying non! in 2005.

    So too was the democratic wish of the pesky little state he was visiting. And it duly was.

    .

    • Roger Lewis November 13, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

      I can’t understand why the Irish people seem to have been so Meek?
      I wrote this poem back in april inspired by the Poem The welsh Baards.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNjeBOgGus4&feature=related

      • Joe R November 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

        Thats a long one Roger! It is interesting to me that you can sense and voice the i njustices this some 7 or 8 centuries later and that you see some parallels in the events of this moment. Exploitation is exploitation, whenever it occurs.

        There is a 98 year old peom by W.B. Yeats on the theme of Irish meekness from just before WW1. All Irish teenagers learn this following verse from it by heart in 2nd level, let me quote it;

        September 1913 ( by William Butler Yeats, 1st verse )

        WHAT need you, being come to sense,
        But fumble in a greasy till
        And add the halfpence to the pence
        And prayer to shivering prayer, until
        You have dried the marrow from the bone;
        For men were born to pray and save:
        Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone,
        It’s with O’Leary in the grave.

        I have no firm answer for you on why the Irish have been so meek. Theres 500,000 unemployed there now many with no prospects of decent employement and with burgeoning debts.

        I think post-colonial theorists have substantial material for many, many books and completely new areas of thought in post-colonial theory solely on the topic of Irelands dramatic rise and fall of the last 15-20 years. ( I’m on not here to encourage academics though).

        Within the Ireland nationalistic anti-English sentiment clearly lies deeply embedded in the foundation of the state. The Irish national anthem, for example, is about fighting the Brits ( more specifically the English ) and we are particularly happy roar it out at sporting events against England ( they are not mentioned specifically but we know who is being spoken about ). Thats just the tip of the anti-english (and pro old-IRA ) iceberg. I had thought this active nationalistic brainwashing of the irish people since the very foundation of the state would result in a natural backlash within the population against tyranny of any kind or at least a sense of common cause and nationhood in coming together against a percieved threat ( misplaced or otherwise ) in times of crises. It has not. We were ot brainwashed well I would conclude.

        If I have to guess – I think the answers lie in the outsider/insider dynamic of Irish society which has resulted in the outsiders ( and usually more radically minded ) emigrating throughout the last 150 years. I think too the fact that Irelands problems are largely self made with so many Irish in on it not many people there have wanted to do anything that would really rock the boat up to now.

        I think national insecurity, particularly intellectual insecurity has played a part in getting Ireland to where it is too.If you are interested in this David McWilliams has written quite a bit about insiders/outsiders and national insecurity and pretence – he talks about it in terms of ‘a good room complex’. I think Golem has links to his site hereabouts.

        • Mike Hall November 14, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

          Hi Joe, appreciate your posts – always good to see people getting active.

          Whilst Ireland has it’s own flavour of things, I think the problem of democratic deficit isn’t so different anywhere. Politics has become a career game for insiders with it’s primary role to distract the populace from seeing the real issues. And appeals to tabloid nationalism is all part of it. Divide & rule – oldest game in the book. The second oldest is to pick off sections of society one by one. You know, first they came for the communists, but I was not a communist so did nothing…. Modern version…they came for the Greeks, but I was not Greek….or closer to home…they denied medical treatment to those in need….but I wasn’t in need, so did nothing.

          You would think it obvious (I think MCwWlliams has written about this too) that the members of the Euro periphery would cop on & seek to fight together. But of course, as the mainstream politicians (no difference between them) only represent themselves as part of a narrow group, no interest there.

          We need something like a general strike & a clear goal. I’ve posted this up before, but it is the best approach I can think of – a citizen led process of fundamental change:

          http://www.2nd-republic.ie/site/

          Their document detailing the process for change has recently been launched & sent to TDs. If you want to help, speak to your TD about it – both parties had some sort of statement on reform in their manifestos.

          As regards economics, imo, there is an entirely viable & well understood alternative in MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) with ‘functional finance’. Essentially it uses the ability of any (fiat, free floating) currency issuing authority to provide debt-free public financing as & when required, The primary goal becomes the maintenance of (near) full employment. The Eurozone could adopt such a stategy immediately & solve the public debt, unemployment & economic contraction downward death spiral at a stroke. Our own Richard Douthwaite of feasta.org has also proposed this. Of course, it removes the nice little earner for the banksters & rich – the bond market – & likely gives labour greater power in restoring their share of prosperity. So you can see why the captured mainstream prefers to ignore it (not even daring to engage in debate, as they know the system works & would fully expose their own hubris). You can read commentary from this MMT perspective here:

          http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/

          http://neweconomicperspectives.blogspot.com/

          http://smarttaxes.org/

  39. steviefinn November 13, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    A long 9 page article from Vanity Fair detailing the why’s, lies, & more lies of the Irish collapse, includes details of Merrill- Lynch’s involvement with Fianna Fail, which I wasn’t aware of. I have been to Achill island & I think the madness is summed up by the fact that a multi-storey luxury hotel was going to be built there. All there is now is a huge hole in the ground, kind of sums it up.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2011/03/michael-lewis-ireland-201103?currentPage=all

    Well there is #occupy Dame street, & one man who hit back, fair play Gary Keogh.

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0615/boi-business.html

  40. fiesta costa breve November 5, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    Thanks for another informative blog. Where else may I am getting that kind of information written in such a perfect method? I have a project that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the glance out for such info.

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